Passengers in the same boat

After an interesting outcome in April elections, Finland is forming a new government. The Dachshund Coalition will consist of the right, the left, and the wrong, in a true Sergio Leone spirit.

The program manifesto of this new cabinet will include the traditional alphabet-based approach to revenue generation: raise the taxes on Alcohol, Benzine (gas), and Candy, and then jump to the end of the alphabet for Oil. And do not forget T for Tobacco.

This is fine: the price increases for booze, tobacco, and sweets generally hits the poorest part of population that voluntarily wastes their money on these things. You can only marvel at the cosmic justice. Increasing prices for transportation is more problematic, because it is bad  economic growth, but it can be seen as a safe way to collect money because people don't have alternatives.

The interesting thing here is that taxing the vices can be supported by different people who have vastly different philosophies and goals, but end up supporting the same means, i.e. tax increases.

  • The Christian Democrats support tax increases on alcohol and tobacco because these vices are bad in God's eyes, and they think taxes will reduce the amount of sinning.
  • The Left League and Social Democrats support tax increases because they just like big government they think they will get. It's not real money, but they'll be happy with imaginary.
  • Bootleggers and smugglers just love these tax increases, because they know that illegitimate sales will be immensely more profitable, and their volume will increase.
So everyone is happy ever after.

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