Chickashanews.com

Opinion

August 30, 2013

Tax Credits, Tort Reform and Tea in Boston Harbor for the Common Good

CHICKASHA —

On December 16, 1773, One hundred sixteen men, several of whom were dressed as members of the Mohawk tribe, threw 342 chests full of tea into Boston Harbor.

The rest of the story involves tax credits, government bailouts, monopolies, American ships and yes, even tort reform in 2013.  

It is natural to think that the Boston Tea Party as it has become known was a reaction to high taxes imposed by the British Parliament.  

However, to understand the issues that precipitated the event that for decades was simply known as “the destruction of the tea” we have to go back to December 31, 1600, when the British Crown chartered and granted favored status to a business known as "The Governor and Company of Merchants of London, trading with the East Indies" for the importation of agricultural goods and products from the area of India and the Middle East. 

In time, the mega-corporation that had its own military, counted opium among its commodities and for several decades was the world’s largest drug-dealing operation became known as simply, “The East India Company,” or the “EIC”.  Many members of parliament owned interests in the EIC and eerily like 21st century politics, the company’s paid lobbyists were always available to “help” make laws.

Through favorable legislation, government incentives and protectionist policies, the EIC reaped huge profits and lined the pockets of England’s merchants and members of parliament.  Enter the American colonies.  The EIC eyed the emerging American market, however, 85 percent of the tea drank in America was smuggled Dutch tea. In 1767, lobbyists for the East India Company compelled parliament to grant it a tax credit rebating to the company a chunk of the tax on tea that was re-exported to the colonies so that it could compete with the smuggled tea.  

In 1772, the tax rebate expired.  Sales plummeted, warehouses were full of unwanted tea and the EIC, perhaps England’s most profitable commercial entity was in dire financial trouble.  May 1773 dealt a blow to free enterprise when the lobbyists of the East India Company convinced parliament to enact the “Tea Act”, restoring the tax credit and allowing the company to bypass colonial businessmen who had previously bought and sold tea.  In July 1773, the East India Company selected agents in the colonies who would simply be hired to sell tea on commission. 

Text Only
Opinion
  • Fightin' Words: Lessons from sports, even in tragedy

    This week, Americans got to hear firsthand accounts, some for the first time, of a sporting tragedy, the lessons from which are as poignant as sport itself.

    April 18, 2014

  • Weir speaks on good traffic stops do for society

    On the law enforcement side the county was fairly quiet last month. There was an incident which may not have seemed of great importance to many, but I would take exception to that.

    April 15, 2014

  • The Hero of Haarlem…For the Common Good

    “Trudging stoutly along by the canal,” as the story goes, the eight year old son of a Dutch sluicer was returning home from delivering cakes to a blind man. Humming as he passed the dikes, he noticed that recent rains had made his father’s job even more important.

    April 11, 2014

  • Morning Ralph…Morning Sam…For the Common Good

    Deep in the vaults of Warner Bros. there is a series of Merrie Melodies cartoons featuring Sam the Sheepdog and Ralph E. Wolf.  It has been years since I have seen the animation; however, the tan sheepdog with the unruly mop of auburn hair and the thin brown wolf that bears an uncanny resemblance to Wile E. Coyote (except for Ralph’s red nose and Wile’s yellow eyes) are readily recalled.

    April 4, 2014

  • Fightin' Words: A right way and a wrong way to treat a college players union

    Initially the ruling by the National Labor Relations Board over Northwestern football players' ability to unionize was, at first, the start of a ticking time bomb on college sports.

    March 28, 2014

  • In New Orleans, Katrina victims live out Hollywood eco agenda

    I visited Lousiana recently to do some reporting on Sen. Mary Landrieu's bid to win a fourth term in a tough political year. But before heading to the key parishes that will determine Landrieu's fate this November, I stopped by New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward to see how rebuilding efforts are faring nearly nine years after Hurricane Katrina.

    March 25, 2014

  • BLOG: America is doing all it can to Russia

    The conservative response to President Obama's handling of the Ukraine crisis is a perfect example of what some Americans need to learn about how the world around them works now.

    March 21, 2014

  • In jam over Obamacare, Dems don't know which way to turn

    When it comes to Obamacare, many Democrats take comfort in polls showing a small majority of voters, or at least a plurality, oppose repealing the Affordable Care Act. To them, that proves the Republicans' do-away-with-it position is out of sync with voters as this November's midterm elections approach.

    March 18, 2014

  • Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo and the Common Good

    The term “Spaghetti Western” is used to describe a movie about the American West but directed and produced by Italians and normally filmed in Europe. This motion picture genre has been around for more than 70 years.  Outdoor scenes are often shot in an area of Spain that bears a striking resemblance to the Southwestern United States.

    March 14, 2014

  • Have Bazooka - will travel and the Common Good

    For seven seasons from 1957 through 1963, actor Richard Boone played a gentleman gunslinger named Paladin in the CBS television, Have Gun—Will Travel.  The storyline involved Boone’s character, a highly educated and cultured mercenary whose residence was the Hotel Carlton in wild-west era San Francisco.  Paladin’s business card intimated that he had no qualms about using his Colt .45 revolver or his single action Marlin rifle for hire, wherever his career would take him.

    March 7, 2014