Every once in a while, someone like Don Boudreaux or Mark Perry will mock an import tariff, trade restriction, or other protectionist policy simply by substituting the names of states — er, that’s States in the Union — for the names of countries. Most of the flag-waving crypto-racist thugs who yell incoherently about China and India stealing American jobs get flustered and tongue-tied when you ask them to yell incoherently about South Carolina stealing Washingtonian jobs. (The remaining flag-waving crypto-racist thugs work for the NLRB.)
On the other side of the 49th, though, we have yet to realize that Dr.s Boudreaux and Perry are being sarcastic. By way of a for instance, I give you this gem:
- Canada’s dirty secret: buying beer in another province (A Good Beer Blog)
Imagine being the cop detailed to confiscate a rural neighbour’s vehicle over a 16 buck difference in the cost of beer.
Yep: we can get arrested, and have our vehicles seized, for buying beer on the wrong side of a provincial divide. Commenter Mark elaborates:
The only legal way you can “import” liquor from another province is to have your province’s liquor control board import it on your behalf. This also ensures that your home province collects the various taxes and import duties from you the consumer, in addition to the various taxes and import duties that have already been included in the source province.
The Western Canadian reader will not be at all shocked to discover that this shit is mostly locally enforced east of the Prairies, though a federal law exists to prevent people from engaging in peaceful commerce with other people who happen to live in different provinces. I think Deep Ones have secretly been dumping dumbworm larvae into the Atlantic for, oh, the last two hundred years or so.