The Danes have learned what is obvious to anybody that has learned the lessons of Econ101: taxes change behavior. In this case, brought to my awareness by the Carpe Diem blog, the Danish attempt to curb saturated fat consumption by imposing a tax on foods containing such fat has failed. Danes go to Germany to buy the same foods (so the purpose is being foiled) and Denmark is losing revenue and jobs because of the law and the circumvention of the law (a predicable unintended consequence (see, for example, US-Mexico drug trade)).

The noble might protest: Though this be madness, yet there is method in it. To which I say: doesn’t much matter if the method is foiled.

The future is hard to predict; men are hard to predict; and order emerges. Top-down does not work.

-JD Cross

 

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