Black markets

New York Creates Massive Cigarette Black Market, Wants Virginia to Fix It

Because lowering taxes to reduce the incentive for smuggling is out of the question

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Assef Elweter

With state cigarette taxes at $4.35 per pack and the Big Apple piling another $1.50 on top of that, New York has become a major destination for smuggled smokes. Up to 60 percent of all cigarettes sold in the state are smuggled from elsewhere (The Mackinac Center, which tracks these things, puts the number at 56.87 percent for 2012). By contrast, Virginia's taxes per pack are only 30 cents, which makes it an excellent source for all of those smokes headed up I-95 to the Empire State. Logically enough, at least in the context of the political world, New York officials are concerned and think Virginia should do something.

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Asked why Virginia should be concerned, [New York City Sheriff Joseph] Fucito said, "I would start with organized crime, which clearly has been established in Virginia. There are a lot of groups that are using this money for their purposes and they've set up a large network here in New York and in Virginia."

"I also believe in the good-state policy. If we were doing something in New York that was causing Virginia a tremendous amount of harm, would Virginia be satisfied with our answer: 'Well, it's not illegal up here,'?" Fucito said. "The level of violence, as you're beginning to see, will increase because of competition: who will control this flow of material to New York, who's selling it to people in New York. That's all spill over. That's the effect of crime — it spills over into other areas."

Let's review this logic again, shall we? The state of New York, and New York City, have hiked taxes so high that they've created an irresistible gravitational pull for underground entrepreneurs great and small who can find a happy source of supply simply by picking a jurisdiction, any jurisdiction, that doesn't similarly view smokers with quite the same degree of hunger with which Dracula eyes a bared throat. In particular, as the Virginia State Crime Commission points out, "In Richmond, Virginia, a carton of premium cigarettes costs a consumer approximately $40-$45. In New York City, a carton of premium cigarettes costs a consumer approximately $120-$150." The commission estimates the profit on one load of 750 cartons as up to $43,000.

Virginia State Crime Commission

Experience on the ground bears out the estimates. New York City went after a single delivery service for transporting 25 tons of untaxed cigarettes. That's a single (Virginia-based) company that officials stumbled across. Never mind the serious criminal operators.

And somehow, this opportunity for illicit profit in a high-tax-fueled black market, created by New York officials' avarice, is supposed to be Virginia's problem. Never mind its own policies—a less insane (on this issue) state government is supposed to adjust its policies and unleash its cops to address a situation that New York created.

In the world of politicians, there's no such thing as admitting that a tax is too sky-high to be enforced.

Well, OK. New Hampshire actually cut its tax by a dime—and benefited from increased sales to neighboring states. Now that's smart.

New York, of course, isn't the only state to create a black market by trying to milk its residents. The Tax Foundation handily presents the flow of cigarettes captured in Mackinac's data.

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186 responses to “New York Creates Massive Cigarette Black Market, Wants Virginia to Fix It

  1. This is why I don’t think drug legalization will have the huge effect on drug cartels – as long as drugs are taxed, there will always be an opportunity for them to make money.

    (Though drugs should still be legalized simply because drug users aren’t harming anyone but themselves and it’s ridiculous to imprison people for that…)

    1. So long as drugs are ‘legalized’, I agree. Has any state as yet simply repealed the laws making dope illegal?

    2. Except people can more easily get away with growing mj for personal use. That seems to be the main effect in my neck of the woods.

      1. Yes. Once weed is legal, cops have absolutely no way of “finding” your plants, because they can no longer try to bust into your house because they “smelled mj” or because you might be suspected of possession, especially since the person might have a medical card (which allows them to grow). To bust a person growing a few plants becomes way harder and for so little benefit to the officer(s) that they just completely don’t bother. I haven’t heard of a (non-federal) grow bust in the state since legalization. They just don’t give a shit because even if they do the work necessary to bust someone the penalties aren’t even that much.

        It’s asinine that we can’t grow our own but tons of people do anyway, and it’s still better than when weed wasn’t legal.

    3. Depends how high the taxes are. You don’t see many people selling cigarettes illegally in Virginia because the 30 cent tax isn’t enough to make it worth risking breaking the law.

    4. Well, there simply won’t be as much money involved once legalized/regulated.

      It is difficult to smuggle huge amounts of cigs. Cig sales are still regulated in VA, after all, and it will be suspicious if you go around trying to buy 1000s of packs for resale in NY. And you can’t completely fleece customers in NY because they can just go to the corner store and buy it 100% legally.

      1. Suspicious to whom?

        If I were a Virginia business owner, I would be more than happy to have customers buy packs of cigarettes by the 1000s.

        1. I’m darkly certain that there is some law prohibiting or requiring the reporting of such a sale.

        2. Exactly – why would a VA seller get suspicious if you came in and bought 10 cartons? Especially if you made the purchase near a military base (stocking up for deployment).

          Not illegal in VA and who cares what the law is in NY.

          1. I used to hit the VA border for cigs all the time when I lived in MD. Best corridor (maybe) for smugglers was taking I-78 to 81 to US-15/340, avoiding all the tolls Couple shops sold massive quantities (and very little else). Interestingly, Wawa and Sheetz, which had much better prices, would limit you to something like 5 or 10 cartons a day.

          2. As if anyone should care what the most Fascist state in the USA wants.

        3. I’m sort of assuming selling 1000s to one person may be regulated in some way (at the very least, if you buy in cash, it’ll require an IRS filing). But I may be wrong. Regardless, the amount of money to be made will be okay for small timers, but I don’t see cartels getting involved.

    5. as long as drugs are taxed, there will always be an opportunity for them to make money.

      Margins. The profit has to outweigh the risk. Higher taxes means a higher profit margin. If taxes are high enough, you can make a shitton of money! If you stash it wisely, you could exit prison a millionaire on the chance you got caught. But it would be worth planning for, just in case. If taxes are low enough, then the profit margin just isn’t worth the risk.

      1. What Irish said.

        *refreshes*

      2. American cigarettes are a buck and a half here in Taiwan and buyers still complain about the high tax. America ass-fucks every cigarette smoker.

    6. You don’t exactly have cigarette cartels, though. I’m sure some nasty people are involved with cigarette smuggling and tax evasion, but it’s not destroying whole countries like the drug war. Yes, organized crime will get involved with anything that can make them money and tax arbitrage is always a good racket. But if supply is legalized, you won’t need the huge criminal infrastructure that characterizes the really nasty cartels. Of course this assumes that legalization allows for a sufficient supply to meet demand.

      In the case of weed, I suspect what you will get is a large “grey market” where people grow on a small scale and sell it to people they know.

      1. While I have scant patience for the Drug War?, I don’t think it’s strictly fair to say it has destroyed whole countries. Most of the countries in question were regularly “destroyed” by revolution or suchlike idiocies long before the drugs became an issue. It seems likely that they will continue to wallow in socio-political awfulness until whatever is fundamentally wrong with them changes. I don’t know for sure what that is (though I have some ideas) but I strongly suspect it isn’t drugs.

        1. I may have overstated it a bit. The drug war has further fucked up a number of countries pretty significantly.

      2. That’s a feature, not a bug. The longer I stay away from the USSA, the more I think I made the right choice. Fuck those statist thieves.

        1. In Taiwan, I make one and a half cartons of cigarettes per hour. Explain how the USSA is better, please.

          1. That’s an interesting new metric for standard of living.

        2. Which part is a feature?

    7. I make up to $90 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $40h to $86h? Someone was good to me by sharing this link with me, so now i am hoping i could help someone else out there by sharing this link… Try it, you won’t regret it!……
      http://www.jobs-check.com

    8. I make up to $90 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $40h to $86h? Someone was good to me by sharing this link with me, so now i am hoping i could help someone else out there by sharing this link… Try it, you won’t regret it!……
      http://www.jobs-check.com

    9. I’ve made $64,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student. I’m using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it. Heres what I’ve been doing
      http://www.jobs-check.com

      1. How much is that i ciggie cartons?

        Kevin R

  2. That first map has the worst color scheme ever.

    1. Agreed. It would seem like red would indicate the highest tax jurisdictions, and I know that (thankfully) California is oddly among the states where tobacco-derp hasn’t entirely infested.

    2. Why does that map say: “Source: NATO, 2013”? Why is NATO tracking state tobacco taxes?

        1. Ah, thanks.

    3. Speaking of bad color schemes – anyone catch the Oregon-Oklahoma State game last night?

  3. With state cigarette taxes at $4.35 per pack and the Big Apple piling another $1.50 on top of that, New York has become a major destination for smuggled smokes.

    Meanwhile, the Nation is complaining that poor people in New York pay too much money in taxes. Maybe they could, you know, start arguing against a $5.85 cigarette tax that falls overwhelmingly on the poor.

    Just a thought.

    1. But….SMOKING IS TEH EVUL!!1!

    2. Honestly, I think they actually think that cig taxes somehow hurt the tabacco companies. Because they’re actually that stupid. And they don’t care about the poor, they care about hurting those they hate, including corporations. Collateral damage? Like they give a shit.

      1. Episiarch|3.20.15 @ 8:07PM|#
        “Honestly, I think they actually think that cig taxes somehow hurt the tabacco companies.”

        I don’t think there is a doubt about this; that’s the reason for the claim that ‘Korpurashuns don’t pay their fair share!’.
        And it does hurt the company, but only by distorting the pricing structure and making the product uncompetitive.

      2. Honestly, I think they actually think that cig taxes somehow hurt the tabacco companies.

        That’s part of it. Another, probably bigger, part is that their “concern for the poor” is largely little more than a social pose. As such, it’s “the poor” that count and not individual poor people. And, in their value system, people who smoke, including poor people who smoke, are “icky”. And in the world of social signaling, icky trumps the poor.

        1. Nonsense. Their concern for the poor is entirely real. They are deeply committed to hedging the poor in with regulations and advice until they live they way the Right People think they should. Rather like the Victorian Moralists they so loudly deride, the hypocrites.

        2. Unless it’s “icky” gay sex. Then that’s cool, except for those icky cisgendered people.

      3. I think they think that tobacco taxes help the city and state budget. And when they’re collected, that’s true.

        Minus, of course, the cost of enforcement efforts to collect what they miss on the black market.

  4. Looks like I’ve to load up on smokes and head on out to the big apple. chah ching.

    Dumb asses. Raise taxes, drive up black market, raise taxes higher to offset the loss from the black market, black market grows, rinse and repeat until the price of a pack of smokes is $1,000,000,000,000.

    1. …rinse and repeat until the price of a pack of smokes is $1,000,000,000,000.

      Double win for NY. First, they only need one person to buy one legal pack of smokes to cover the tax collection goals. Second, they get to declare NY smoke free!

      1. Except that the price of a loaf of bread will be $1,000,000,000

    2. Good thinking. Because then you can build a machine that sells smokes.

      In the past a trillion dollar pack of smokes would have been silly. But now that our treasury is being urged to issue trillion dollar coins (for some reason), this all makes sense.

  5. “I also believe in the good-state policy. If we were doing something in New York that was causing Virginia a tremendous amount of harm, would Virginia be satisfied with our answer: ‘Well, it’s not illegal up here,’?” Fucito said.

    Obviously this calls for a federal law requiring states to help enforce the laws of their neighbor states in this regard. Needs a catchy name though…how about the “Fugitive Cigarette Act”?

    1. Yeah, the good state policy. I am guessing that is a one way street.

  6. NY has also passed the Death Penalty for selling loosies.

    1. Came here to make sure someone made this joke, leaving satisfied.

      1. Celebrate with a cigarette.

    2. All laws, no how matter trivial they seem to be, come with a potential death sentence for those who refuse to submit to those who enforce the law.

  7. I live in va and regularly see tourists from up north stocking up on cigs/dip/chew/snuff in massive quantities because it’s so cheap here. Good business for Virginia. I do hope we tell NY to go fuck itself on this one. We love our tobacco and our guns down here!

    1. I can’t see a possible reason VA wouldn’t tell NYC to go fuck itself, especially after NYC was caught secretly sending police officers down to VA to do some gun-banner investigations and shit.

      1. Because McAuliffe is a DNC hack who’s always looking for his next score

        1. Why would you not tell New York to fuck itself? Except for methadone.

  8. The death of that poor guy with the six kids in New York New York is so depressing. With taxes that high I would’ve thought about selling cigarettes on the black market, too.

    1. What gives? You aren’t being insane.

      1. Way to go, dude, you just jinxed it.

        (shakes head)

  9. Letter from the Governor of New York to the Governor of Virginia:

    To my esteemed colleague, Governor of Viginia,

    It has become apparent that the citizens of your fair state are attempting to usurp New York’s enlightened policy of reducing smoking via various tariffs and policies the good people of New York have democratically enacted upon cigarettes and various other tobacco products. It is our opinion that your unregulated wild-west cigarette market, and subsequently your artificially low domestic price is contributing to an unfortunate element entering out state and usurping out duly enacted laws regulating same.

    The People of New York implore you to enact stricter regulations, higher prices and appropriate tariffs to stem the flow of illegal, un-taxed cigarettes which evidence will show (attached) originate in your state. I look forward to hearing your response and plan to mitigate this menace which invades our state’s borders.

    Thank you, and I remain most cordially,

    Mario Cuomo.
    ===================
    Office of the Governor of Virginia
    Terry McAuliffe

    Dear Mr. Cuomo (and the people of New York)

    Nuts.

    Signed, Terry.

    1. Let’s put a sign on a tank outside of DC!

    2. BTW, excellent catch!

    3. Mario? Isn’t he dead or something?

      1. Good catch. I just can’t get used to the son’s name I guess.

      2. You bust him for Mario and ignore McAuliffe?!
        philistine…

    4. The pols of New York delved too greedy and deep. Who knows what they awakened?

        1. Half remembered LOTR line.

    5. Dear Mr. DeBlasio, we are raising the price of cigarettes to $200.00 per carton, but we are including one complimentary AR15 and two boxes of shells with each purchase. We look forward to your interstate shipments of crack cocaine and heroin. Excess prostitutes would also be appreciated Thank you very much.
      Terry McAuliffe.

  10. Speaking of black markets, Greece was tossed a bone, but the conditions for the bail-out remain:

    “Tsipras [Greek PM] had requested the meeting and had been confrontational in the days preceding it. According to an authoritative account of what took place, he started the negotiations by making it clear he expected urgently needed bailout funds released without giving very much in return.
    According to the account, he was disabused of that notion within 10 minutes and the meeting then ran smoothly,”
    http://www.theguardian.com/bus…..nt-reforms
    But they tossed him 2bn Euros for ‘humanitarian purposes’.

    1. But they tossed him 2bn Euros for ‘humanitarian purposes’.

      At least they essentially forced him to admit he’s a third world nation, worthy of western aid.

    2. How do you go into a meeting making those kinds of demands? Was he wearing a vest filled with dynamite?

      1. Threatened them with rotten spanakopita

      2. How do you go into a meeting making those kinds of demands?

        Well, the guy is a Marxist. What do you thing the odds are that anyone had ever suggested to him before that he wasn’t entitled to others’ money by virtue of his poverty?

    3. According to the account, he was disabused of that notion within 10 minutes and the meeting then ran smoothly

      What’s ‘Go fuck yourself’ in German?

      1. I’ll bet he speaks English well enough to get the point.

        1. And brought a few gyros.

      2. Fallschirmj?ger.

      3. Rhababerbarbarabarbarbarenbartbarbierbierbarb?rbel

      4. Arbeit Macht Frei

        1. “Arbeit Macht Frei”
          And offered him a one-way train ticket, too!

          1. Fuck work. It makes you a slave.

      5. Germans don’t tell you to fuck your “self”, they tell you to fuck your “knee”, i.e., Fick dich ins Knie.

        Yeah, I know.

        1. They are the knights who say Knie!

          1. You fucking nerds. I don’t know why I bother.

            1. Because we’re JUVENILE. GAMERGATE. PSYCHOPATHS.

  11. Former Reason employee might be running for congress.

    Flynn?who, full disclosure, worked in a non-journalism role at the libertarian Reason foundation when I worked at its magazine, Reason?estimated that he’d need $500,000 to $700,000 to mount his own bid. He’d spent more than 20 years in politics, much of it in Illinois, much of the recent work in the high-dollar world of issue PACs. If he was convinced that the money was there, he imagined an anti-establishment campaign that could capitalize on conservative disappointment with the new Congress. He hadn’t lived in the district in 20 years (at 47, he’s 14 years older than the disgraced Schock), but he had roots there, and an existing family business. He had a message.

    He appears to be a pretty serious conservative though, rather than really being libertarian.

    1. Does this mean he’s going to gambol for office?

      1. Booooooo

  12. Maybe Virginia can send the Alcoholic Beverage Control enforcers to New York to choke and tackle the cigarette dealers. New York gets the interstate cooperation it wants, NY Democratic voters get the abuse they voted for, and Virginia students can get bottled water in peace.

  13. Sweden worried about possible Russian military operations.

    I cannot imagine what Putin would hope to accomplish by getting Sweden all riled up. If he starts something can Sweden expect help from the other Nordics?

    1. If Putin ‘starts something’ with Sweden, he’d better hope the other Nordic states don’t get involved, since if he sucks Denmark or Norway into a conflict, the US will then carpet bomb Moscow due to our NATO commitments.

      1. Are there any pan-Nordic defense agreements? Even informal ones?

            1. Yeah, but is it more awkward than that time you guys touched penises while spitroasting Scruffy’s mom?

              1. That’s just how you close the circuit.

                1. Just carpet-bomb with lutefisk.

                  1. *passes out from imagining smell*

          1. That’s a hell of an article.

            A lot of hemming and hawing from Finland.

            1. Finland was a vassal state of Sweden for almost 600 years, I can see why they’d be skittish.

              1. I also think that Finland’s sharing a border with Russia and Russia presuming that such a pact would be an explicit challenge to its hegemony in the Euro North Atlantic played a role.

        1. Sweden has apparently been talking about it because if anyone attacks them they’re royally fucked.

          Recent remarks by Gen. Sverker G?ransson questioning Sweden’s overall military capability have sparked a renewed national debate on defense and security. The commander in chief said he doubted that Sweden could withstand a sustained attack on the country for longer than one week.

          1. Nobody is going to attack Sweden. The idea is ridiculous, Muslims are burning it down just fine on their own.

            Baltics get get some fun though, they have significant Russian population.

            1. No one thought Putin would attack the Ukraine in 2013.

              1. Why not? Russia started to care about their friends, and demonstrated it in Georgia 2008. I didn’t expect Maidan to turn out the way it did (at least in 2004 they had the decency to wait for election), but once they gained power, the game was set.

          2. That is my answer when anyone goes ga-ga over say, Finland’s education system. We could have those results too if we shifted all our resources to the schools and left ourselves open to invasion by Tonga’s navy.

            1. No we couldn’t. Finland doesn’t spend much more on their schools than we do. The problem with American schools are the system, not the amount of money we spend.

              1. Note, I didn’t say “money”, I said resources, which includes stuff like human and political capital. As Finish Lessons points out, the best and the brightest enter Finland’s schools of education, where are more competitive than their schools of engineering and physical sciences. You have a similar situation in Japan and South Korea, by the way. This is the exact opposite of America where education majors have had the lowest SAT scores since the creation of the test.

                1. You have a similar situation in Japan and South Korea, by the way. This is the exact opposite of America where education majors have had the lowest SAT scores since the creation of the test.

                  BECAUSE TEACHER PAY IS SO LOW

                  /progderp I’ve actually been told by teachers in California that make $85k year for nine months of work.

                2. If we compare the PISA scores we should get a reasonable approximation of what would happen if we replaced drooling retards with the best and brightest.

                  SD appears to be 80 to 100.

                  In Math, Reading and Science:

                  White Americans could increase scores by 13, 5, and 17.

                  Asian Americans could increase scores by -13 or 5, -12 or -14, and 1 or – 8.

                  http://www.oecd.org/pisa/keyfindings/…..erview.pdf
                  http://www.nces.ed.gov/surveys/pisa/p…..hts_3f.asp

                  I don’t think that’s the Secret Sauce.

            2. We could have those results if we bred 300 million Finns. The underlying IQ of the population is the most important factor in education outcomes.

              And since education majors != teachers, the “EDUCATION MAJORS ARE DUMB” meme has no relevance. As EdReal has pointed out, fewer than half of education majors become teachers.

              1. We could have those results if we bred 300 million Finns. The underlying IQ of the population is the most important factor in education outcomes.

                Thus proving yet again that government-funded schools don’t do jack shit…

                And since education majors != teachers, the “EDUCATION MAJORS ARE DUMB” meme has no relevance. As EdReal has pointed out, fewer than half of education majors become teachers.

                Yeah, the smart ones get real jobs.

    2. Several years ago, there was a Fin commenter here, forever whinging about ‘US cowboys!’.
      I mentioned he’d better hope for the cowboys if the bear starts knocking on the door. He claimed ‘Russia isn’t like that anymore’.

    3. I doubt Putin cares about Sweden. Baltics are buzzing because people are showing off – Americans sent tanks to Narva, Russians sent Iskanders to Kaliningrad.

    4. Spitroasting and educational policy in the same sub-thread? I’m so proud of you guys.

      1. Spitroasting, educational policy *and* the current state of Sweden’s military commitments.

        We came to play.

  14. Scott Walker just killed the weekend.
    http://www.latimes.com/busines…..olumn.html

    State law currently allows factory or retail employees to work seven days or more in a row for a limited period, but they and their employer have to jointly petition the Department of Workforce Development for a waiver.

    I’m an independent contractor and so can get around many of the ludicrous labor laws they have here. There are stretches where I work 2 months in row without a day off. Then there are months where I only work 3 days a week. My choice. Having to going with my hat in my hand to beg a bureaucrat for a “waiver” would disgust me. Seriously fuck these people.

    1. It’s impossible to sort through all the leftism in that article opinion piece to get at the truth.

  15. State law currently allows

    Go. Fuck. Yourself. State.

    1. You’d think a shred of dignity would exist in these people. Maybe say, “We know we are limiting your rights concerning freedom of association, but ….”. These assholes don’t even give the obligatory reach around. This whole article is one authoritarian wet dream wrapped in fallacy inside an enema.

      1. Dignity? Someone with dignity would claim they get to “allow” people to work the amount they want to work. They’re just totalitarian shitheads getting off on their power (that people utterly ignore anyway all the time, so their power isn’t that powerful).

        1. Oh shit “wouldn’t claim”.

      2. Why would they apologize? As far as they are concerned the sole legitimate purpose of your business is to provide employee benefits.

        1. Well, it’s not like any company could possibly exist with the systematic exploitation of chattel/wage slaves. Wage slaves do all the work, whilst business “owners” roll around on piles of exploited cash strewn about the floor, not unlike how a mutt dog wallows around on a pile of shit. Those “owners” should be kissing “employee” asses 24/7 with all their might, and constantly showering them with cash and prizes, just for showing up… because after all, wage slaves do all the work, so.. it’s really their company after all.. Business owners would be hopelessly fucked without them, and they know it.

    2. Hm, I don’t think NY has such a law because I recall working numerous days in a row when I was an unskilled college student desperate for money. Yeah, I hated it but I just assumed that’s how it works when you’re an unskilled college student. I mean, what was I going to “bargain” with?

      1. If NY doesn’t have it now ( I’d guess they do by now), just wait. It’s too tempting a way to gather the votes of the illiterate.

      2. Hm, I don’t think NY has such a law because I recall working numerous days in a row when I was an unskilled college student desperate for money.

        NY does have a similar law but it is only enforce if someone files a complaint.

        1. I wonder if it existed circa 1990. Because some of the joints I worked at would have surely folded due to lack of staff. But who cares, they’re just one-percenter billionaires swimming in dollar bills, I guess.

          1. I wonder if it existed circa 1990.

            Yep. I worked in a restaurant in the early 70’s six days a week. We were not allowed to work 7 consecutive days because State law.

            1. Doesn’t the “1 Day of rest” law smell like a blue law? When everyone took Sunday as the sabbath, the legislature would just ban business on Sunday. Once there were significant numbers of non-sabbath keepers, and Jews, Adventists, Muslims and others who use a different sabbath, they widened the meaning.

              So, did the legislature do this as a health/safety “police power” measure, or is it to encourage going to church/temple/mosque, etc? In that case, shouldn’t liberals, even the statist* variety, be agin’ it?

              Kevin R

              *Why does the comment software think “statist” isn’t a perfectly cromulent word?

  16. A coworker and I agreed that, since our labor is no longer worth the cost of employing us in NYC and our jobs were shipped to NJ, that the only good thing about the situation is that we save a couple bucks on every pack of cigarettes.

    1. Sure, but at least there are people in your neighborhood attending adult pre-school.

      1. I know you’re joking but I want it made abundantly clear that my neighborhood has nothing in common with that neighborhood other than the first three digits of our zip code.

    2. I used to order cartons from a place called AllOfOurButts.com (which I learned about on this very website in a Sullum article), which was on a Seneca reservation in upstate NY. It was WAY cheaper (like, at first I was getting them at 55% of the local price) and they even shipped the packages as if they were something else. Then one time when I went to re-up my supply, their website said they couldn’t take orders anymore (I think this was around 2009 or 2010), and then not long after that, the website was gone. This corresponded with a time when the states were starting to get all shitty about reservations selling cheap smokes, so I assumed that was what caused it.

      The website is back but it only sells EU-made smokes, and I want American Spirits, so it’s useless to me.

      1. I used to get them shipped from Switzerland, until the attorney general cut a deal with UPS to save my life force me to pay full price.

        I don’t give a shit where they’re made so I’ll check that site out even though I bet they won’t deliver to my state.

        1. Gawd that website looks so sketchy. Guess that’s appropriate.

      2. American spirits man?

        I knew there was a reason i liked you Epi, despite what your Mom says.

  17. So, do any of you know anyone in New York who’s looking for a cigarette mule?

    Its, uh, for an *article* I’m working on.

    1. You would force a poor, defenseless animal to smoke just for your own benefit? You monster!

    2. Seriously. Virginian here willing to make a run to NY for some illicit profits. I always love visiting NYC (but glad I don’t live there).

    3. Well, how many cartons of cigarettes can you fit in your ass?

  18. Here’s Washington’s Governor explaining why vaping needs to be taxed

    We’ve chosen to focus on children’s health to prevent an industry in succeeding in getting people to become addicted to nicotine.

    Literally “for the children.” Totally not because tobacco taxes are a declining revenue source. Totally a coincidence, that he also states that Washington has “the most unfair tax system in the nation.”

    1. Is it easier or harder to smuggle vaping supplies compared to cigs?

      1. I buy all mine on the internet soooo, incredibly easy?

    2. Well, everyone starts out a “child” so… makes sense to me.

      1. I believe Warty and Epi were both vat grown.

        1. Incorrect, we both sprang fully-formed from NutraSweet’s brain tumor. True story.

          1. Did you even pay him rent?

            1. We did, but he cranked the rent up so we left. No rent control, you see.

              1. Goddamn greedy lump lords!

    3. The giveaway is that the tax is the same amount as cigarettes. Revenue is the only sane reason for that.

  19. And more of ‘beware of Greeks bearing demands’:

    “Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of Greece used a speech before Parliament on Tuesday to renew a call for Germany to pay reparations to Greece for the crimes and unpaid debts of the Nazis, and his government threatened to seize German assets in Greece.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03……html?_r=0

    Amazingly enough, the NYT does not come down firmly on the side of Greece, but points out that the Greeks are holding a weak hand, bluffing and everyone knows it.
    BTW, regarding ‘reparations’, could the US bill the Greeks for saving their sorry asses from the Commies in the ’50s? That’s got to be worth the entire Greek GDP for twenty years or so.

    1. If they were saved from the commies, why are they in the position they’re in now?

      /libertarian-style snark

      1. Hint:
        The difference is between what Sarte lived in and what he claimed to prefer.

    2. My solution to the current “situation” – tell the Turks they can join the EU, but their entrance fee is buying Greece. (Offer good for a limited time only! Call in the next ten minutes, and get a gyro maker FREE!)

      1. Mmm…Turkey dipped in Greece…

        1. It’s enough to make me Hungary.

          1. Do one with Estonia, and I’ll be *really* impressed.

            1. I’d have to be Estonia’d off my ass to do something that ridiculous.

              1. Come up with Samoa

              2. Come up with Samoa

                1. Ask nicely. Say, “please, sir, I want Samoa.”

                  1. Or have your Mom say it. Alaska.

                    1. We can make a deal with Canada to trade Oregon for Alberta.

                      Call it the Oregon Transplant.

                    2. Oh please no. As someone who works at a ski resort awfully close to the border, I can say definitively that Calgarians are the worst. Tipping me with their damn monopoly money…

                      Besides, Portlandians are too up their own ass to leave their own little utopia, and the rest of Oregon ain’t so bad.

              3. Oh, well done. Here – have a prefecture.

                1. You know what they said to the robots on Mystery Science Theater 3000?

                  “Do you Botswana watch a movie?”

                  1. Wham, bang, sweet Pyongyang.

                    1. I’m taking my wife to Portland, Maine, and then I’m going to Bangor.

                    2. Too bad reality got to this joke before I could –

                      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvs…..talks.html

                    3. Too easy –

                      http://www.phuketgazette.net/p…..nday/52631

                    4. Skimming the pictures of that article leaves me unsure that humanity deserves to exist.

                    5. The ads for the beachfont villas looked sweet, and I liked the po?l about the trustworthiness of the Thai police on that page, it totally looks like a trap.

                  2. You’re down to a municipality now, pal.

                    1. No, I’m down to some islands. Some Falkland islands, you got a problem with that?

      2. Solves the unpleasantness going on in Cyprus. Everyone wins.

    3. could the US bill the Greeks for saving their sorry asses from the Commies in the ’50s

      Don’t go down that road: Syriza will probably issue a reparations claim against the US for the damage caused by the civil war.

  20. “WaPo’s Jonathan Capehart Admits He’s Wrong On Ferguson, Gets Called Race Traitor…

    “”After my piece … folks used Twitter and Facebook to dismember my personhood,” Capehart said. “Fellow African-Americans called me a sellout or ‘house negro.’ Others said I did it because I wanted ‘white people to like me’ or I did it for the money. No I didn’t. I did it because it was the right thing to do.””

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..mg00000051

  21. Ugh, Bill Maher must really have a stranglehold on vice. Let’s see, episode three , the rise of patriot groups in America. I guess the SPLC has got their ear.

  22. 7mm pattern from 6mm ammo at 200 yds? Yep:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qatf5g7lzk

  23. Smoke ’em if you got ’em

  24. Tragic accident. Will we hear a chorus of people demanding that taxis be outlawed?

  25. What little Eichmann Jr. is really saying…

    Asked why Virginia should be concerned, [New York City Sheriff Joseph] Fucito said, “I would start with organized crime, which clearly has been established in Virginia the NYPD. How many citizens do we have to choke to death on our streets, for allegedly selling loose tax-free cigarettes.. until you get the message and solve our problem, Virginia? There are a lot of Political groups that are using this money for their purposes and they’ve set up a large network here in New York and in Virginia to exploit that projected revenue…. The level of violence, as you’re beginning to see, will increase because violence is the only tool in our toolbox. Do we have to kill everyone in New York to get you to do something about our problem?”

    FTFY

  26. I adore how states like NY and CA toss out “states’ rights” when they want to justify banning certain firearms, discriminatory issue of carry permits, increasing taxes on cigarettes, but never ever want to honor other states ‘right’ to NOT do the same.

    CA/NY get to pass the laws they want, then expect other states to reorganize their laws around CA/NY; when that fails, they try to get federal laws passed doing the same. This is why I love those proposals to force concealed weapon permit reciprocity.

    I’m almost on board with anything that forces NY or CA to be on the receiving end of the same kind of federal ‘intervention’ they try to impose on other states.

  27. TODAY ONLY : Get Your Own Mac Book Pro With $1000 Visa Gift Card .Get It Here

    http://goo.gl/LpNgjp

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