The Australian state of Victoria implemented the world’s first … sin-tax … hypothecated for health in 1987. It came in the form of … a 5% levy on tobacco products … whose revenue was then used to fund a newly formed independent health promotion foundation called VicHealth.
Apart from increasing cigarette prices, the legislation banned most tobacco advertising and formed the basis for later rules to create smoke-free workplaces and public venues.
Meanwhile, VicHealth bought-out all tobacco industry sponsorships of the arts and sports. This proved less costly and easier than anticipated, as most preferred non-tobacco sponsors. Among the foundations other activities are more than AUS$ 20 million annually in funding for health research and in support of anti-smoking and other public health campaigns.
Until 1997, all of these activities were funded exclusively from the hypothecated tax on cigarettes. Since then, the hypothecation aspect has been weakened as states are no longer allowed such tobacco levies. However, tax funding from the national level from sin-taxes and others is transferred to states to compensate.
Prior to the Victorian tobacco legislation, a survey found 47% of respondents in favour of an increase in tobacco taxes (including 20% of smokers). If hypothecated for health or other community benefits, this support surged to 84%.
To retain such support and realise the benefits in terms of accountability and public trust the hypothecation must be strict, i.e. no topping-up from general taxation and no siphoning off to other purposes.
Beyond the government-finance issues of hypothecation I’m just so fascinated that smokers want to raise taxes on (only) themselves. It’s unsurprising from real-life experience but does not fit into the standard microeconomics utility theory.
High modernist subjectivity gives an extraordinary privilege … to judgement and especially to cognition…. The modern predominance of reading….
High [modernism] … furthermore … privileges the cognitive and moral over the aesthetic and the libidinal, the ego over the id, the visual over touch, and discursive over figural communication.
…the individual [is] somehow ‘closed’ instead of open; to be somehow obsessed with self-mastery and self-domination.
Lash, S. & Friedman, J. (Eds.). (1993). Modernity & Identity. Massachusetts: Blackwell, pg. 5
@isomorphisms Thx for the hat tip. “discursive over figural communication” refers to J.-F. Lyotard’s book Discourse, Figure btw— Graham Joncas 戈雷 (@writingcapital)October 10, 2014