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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Another nail into the coffin of the freedom

Copied verbatim for public good reasons:

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)--Ten states, the U.S. government and major credit card companies have agreed to a plan aimed at preventing the illegal sale of tobacco products over the Internet.

Louisiana is among those states involved in the agreement, along with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the credit card companies.

State regulators have been trying to halt the Internet sale of cigarettes across state lines because the trade undercuts traditional business operators and deprives states of a sales tax revenue.

The Internet sales can also be a way for underage consumers to buy cigarettes and chewing tobacco before they turn 18 years old.

Other states involved in the agreement are California, Oregon, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Wisconsin.

Here is a more detailed version of the article.

Interesting approach. The states could start forcing commerce back to the taxable brick-and-mortar if they can only get the credit card companies to stop accepting internet transactions.

Can't happen you say? Did the credit card companies get a bone thrown their way the other day with the bankruptcy reforms? Think that kind of Congressional action doesn't come with a potential price? The government took on big tobacco and will take on the credit card companies too, if it has to. Perhaps all of these industries will eventually be made to cooperate with the taxman.

There is a word for that: fascism. I'm not talking about looney tunes fascism, but an economic system in which the factors of production are privately owned but the state dictates how those factors will be used.

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