The New York "Stupid Tax"

It’s a new one in the annals of city government. The cash-strapped Bloomberg administration has mounted a “sting operation” against city beekeepers — ticketing a Douglaston man an unbelievable $2,000 for not watering his beehive.

“It’s outrageous. It’s difficult to understand how this could happen,” Tip Sempliner said.

And here’s why: there is a beehive waterer a few feet from the hive.

via Cash-Strapped New York City Fines Resident Tip Sempliner $2,000 For Failing To Water A Beehive « CBS New York.

TAL Commentary: As I’ve mentioned elsewhere (see The Truth About Liberty, chapter 7, “Liberty and Justice”), when the government holds a monopoly on judicial administration, it will act like any other monopolist; it will minimize quality and maximize cost. Moreover, it will act so as to maximize demand for its service, in this case by increasing criminality in society.

One way government can increase criminality is simply by criminalizing benign conduct. This is an extreme example, because there was in fact water just a few feet from the hive. The only way to understand the depths of stupidity here is to realize that it is only a desperate attempt to generate revenue.

It’s a variation on the stupid tax, only this time you’re getting taxed because of the government’s stupidity, not your own.

For Liberty,

Manny Edwards

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