Sunday, June 04, 2006

Bo and Luke Had The Right Idea

I was thinking today, and that’s never a good sign.

I watched an episode of ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ (I don’t know why either), and of course, it was about moonshining.

Now, for people who’ve lived under a rock for most of their lives, moonshining is essentially making your own booze. It’s not exactly illegal to do, but requires all kind of licenses, and as The Duke’s often exclaim, brewing moonshine will ‘get the revenue after you’.

However, this is something I don’t get.

You see, you can buy all the ingredients perfectly legally. You can buy all the parts to make your still legally.

So considering you’ve already paid taxes on all of this, why do you have to pay more taxes for mixing them together?

I mean, I understand if you’re selling the stuff. You’re basically starting a business, and have all that income tax crap to worry about. But if it’s for personal use, how can the government charge you for it?

For example, I can go out, buy powdered sugar, flour, eggs and milk, but I don’t have to pay extra tax if I make those ingredients into a cake!

It’s even more ridiculous if you actually grow your own ingredients. You can make hard liquor out of anything from rice, to barley, to potatoes.

I can understand the safety issue, distilling booze essentially involves heating up something with alcohol in it, so the alcohol evaporates, and you the alcohol in another container. Fire and damn near pure alcohol in a pressurized container is a recipe for a big boom if not done right…but then again, people do all sorts of dangerous stuff.

I should point out here that I have absolutely no interest in distilling my own booze. One, I wouldn’t have the first idea how to start, and Two, I only actually drink a couple times a year.

My point is, in England, it’s perfectly legal to make your own beer and wine, as long as you don’t sell it. I’m not sure what the deal on ‘hard’ booze is.

What I’m essentially trying to say here is that I think the government getting involved in this is basically them saying:

“Oi, we make exactly one shit load of money from taxing booze. If you can make it yourself, and make it a hell of a lot more cheaply than what we you can buy in a liquor store (because we tax it out the ass), it’s less money in our pockets. So unless you’re willing to let us take a big, wet bite out of your profits, it’s illegal.”

It’s the same way that there is a limit on how much booze or cigarettes you can buy abroad and bring back into the country. It’s common for Brits to jump on the ferry to France, for the singular purpose of stocking up on booze, because it’s a hell of a lot cheaper over there.

How can people in a supposedly free country be told that it’s illegal for them to buy anything from somewhere else, and instead are forced to buy it, at a higher price, in their home country…because if they don’t, the government can’t tax it?

Here’s an idea! Why not lower the taxes on this shit, so people don’t have to buy stuff abroad.

Oh, and just to give you an idea, a pack of cigarettes (a single pack, that is), in American money will cost you roughly $9. A gallon of gas will cost you roughly $8.50, and a large bottle of Jack Daniels will cost you roughly $60.

It all comes from the same place, and the reason for the price difference is simply tax. For every British Pound that’s spent on Gasoline, only 6 pence of that actually pays for the gas…and considering I can buy a whole carton of cigarettes over here (That’s ten packs) for less than two packs would cost me in England…you can understand just how reamed we get by the old Inland Revenue Service.

It’s bullshit, is what it is.

Oh, and in England, the same Government that will throw you in jail for bringing in too much booze from France, is the same Government that set the policy for farmers to send 90% of their livestock and meat to France, and buy meat from France, because it works out cheaper for them to do that, and they can pass all the transportation costs onto the consumer.

In other words, when it makes a profit for them, it’s all fine and dandy. When it takes money from them, it’s illegal.

Sounds fair to me! How about you?

(and yes, I’m aware this is a very weird post.)

1 comment:

Vicarious Living said...

Weird post - nah, I liked it. Interesting points. (Because you know I have nothing to add on the tech stuff.)