Lodging Tax II

The following followup article to the above lodge tax was in response to the Evanston, WY Chamber of Commerce

Radical Statement

by Mark A. Laughlin

Copyright © by Mark A. Laughlin

Some members of the Chamber of Commerce seem to believe that you can dismiss "radical" ideas because they have labeled them "radical". They believe that the claim that "everyone else is doing it" is an argument for the truth of their position.

You cannot dismiss an argument by simply saying it is racical. You cannot refute an argument by claiming it is extreme. An argument may be extremely right as well as extremely wrong. And, in fact, the battle over the lodging tax is a battle between that which is extremely wrong (evil) and that which is extremely right (good). It is the battle between collectivism and individualism.

Proponents of the lodging tax threaten that "without it...we cannot be competitive with surrounding towns."

This reminds me of the close-minded Soviet bureaucrat who when reprimanded for not privatizing shoe production, responds "What? And have everyone going barefooted!"

Everything the taxers are seeking (except power lust) can be better achieved in a voluntary manner thru private enterprise.

Why can't they create a voluntary organization of businesses for which there are dues totaling their "needs?" Such a voluntary organization can even include other businesses outside the lodging industry. Other businesses that are so ready to force their desires exclusively on the lodging industry, could contribute and benefit from such a voluntary program also.

Furthermore, they can easily make changes in their goals and plans. The won't be burdened with a four year tax it it fails, nor be limited by the restraints of a government program it they would like to expand.

Finally the private business association would not have to lobby to get the bureaucrats to do with the money as they wish. A greater variety of local events are possible in freedom.

Most importantly, we could take pride in continuing the Wyoming legacy of voluntary cooperation. Proponents of the lodge tax should be ashamed, not proud, of being accomplices in legislating compulsion.

That taxers promise that the tax is limited by Wyoming State statutes. While in the next breath claiming "What more democratic way is there if we don't like it...we can change our minds!" And you want to trust that Wyoming State statute? States which now feature 12% lodge tax rates also had such limitations at one time.

That tax is wrong in principle. It is not right for all of us, the public, to use voting to intrude into the business of others.

The voluntary business association can better achieve our goals. It can more effectively adapt to the turbulent and changing market. With freedom we can avoid the inefficacy of bureaucracy. Freedom will allow each of us to look at our fellow man as possible partners in life, instead of viewing each other as a host for our parasitic intentions.

I grant my opponents that my ideas are "radical" in a society enamoured with a collectivist philosophy. But I hope to see the citizens of Uinta County vote "NO" in defense of these radical and right ideas.