Re: Does consumption tax include real estate sales? (Was: Consumption 2)

From: Russell Turpin (
Date: Sat Mar 31 2001 - 06:01:58 PST

Grlygrl is proposing a *real* consumption tax that
distinguishes consumer goods (food, underwear, liquor)
from capital goods (automobiles, yachts, and houses)?
So .. who sets down and makes the two lists? And
where's the dividing line? Are computers a consumer
good, because they are obsolete in two years? Or a
capital good, because they typically continue to work
for seven years, or more? What about wallets and
windbreakers? Men often have the same ones they
used in highschool, so do these go untaxed, at least
for us guys? Are washing machines and driers capital
goods? Microwave oven? TV? DVD player? The
latest game station? Fuel filter? Oil jug? Grease gun?
Power drill? Dremel tool? Racing genoa? Trisail?

This is going to be a fun tax. I can hardly wait for the
bacon question to be discussed in legislative assembly.
Bacon clearly is a consumer good, for the modern
folks who throw away the grease. But old-fashioned
folks who filter it into a Folger's can and use it to
bake next year's Christmas dinner are just as clearly
treating it as raw material in a manufacturing chain!

And what is the rationale for such a tax? Since I'm
becoming a leftist softie (Jeff's fault, see previous
post), I have to point out that a lot of a rich person's
consumption is done in the form of "capital" goods:
new cars, big houses, etc. Yet the frugal person
will keep for years many items that likely would be
taxed as "consumable."


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