Monday, April 16, 2007

Indian reserves the new Ireland?

Don't count on it. But Captain Capitalism saw the potential on a recent trip to Thunder Bay:

For you see on the first night of our arrival in Thunder Bay my buddy Tony and I were looking for two simple things wrapped up in one convenient place

1. A place to eat
2. A place to smoke a cigar

Knowing this wasn't Quebec we thought we might have stood a pretty good shot, but little did we know that;

1. Thunder Bay is a pithole so there were no good restuarants
2. It's just as hyper-Nazi on the smoking ban as Quebec, Minnesota and 1930's Berlin.

That's when our hotel hostess recommended Bannon's.

"You can smoke and eat at Bannon's."

"So where's Bannon's?" we asked?

"It's on the reservation."

And then I was reminded, Indian reservations, presumably the same as in the US, are technically sovereign nations that set up their own rules and laws and needn't necessarily goose-step in line with the rest of their anti-smoking-Nazi Canadian and American brothers.

So it was off to Bannon's Gas Bar we went.

Now we had made it up to Duluth from the Twin Cities on one tank of gas and we surmised that gas was a lot more expensive in Canada, so the strategy of timing our fills required us to fill up near the border, but not in Canada, hopefully get by on one tank of gas while in Canada with enough to spare to get us to the closest American gas station on the return trip.

And we were right. Canada, when you adjust for the litre (note I put the "e" after the "r" to make it truly Canadian) has gas costing about $3.70 per gallon, a full dollar more than what we were paying in the land of the free.

But I noticed something odd about Bannon's Gas Bar. Gas was a full 20% cheaper on the reservation than just 1.6 km (note the metric conversion) north across the river in Thunder Bay.

Again, I was reminded that Indian reservations are their own sovereign nations able to set their own tax rates on gas and tobacco and so forth and therefore have cheaper gas.

So Tony and I sat down at Bannon's, ordered a pizza, lit up some cigars and enjoyed our dinner, and then BAAM! It hit me.

INDIAN RESERVATIONS ARE THEIR OWN SOVEREIGN NATIONS!

NOT ONLY CAN THEY SET THEIR OWN RULES AND LAWS!

NOT THEY CAN ALSO SET THEIR OWN GAS AND TOBACCO TAXES!

BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY AND PRESUMABLY THEY CAN SET THEIR OWN INCOME TAXES AND CORPORATE TAXES!

And then my economic spidey senses started tingling. I had a cunning plan. And it was sheer brilliance.
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Read the whole thing...with charts! Can anyone see the inherent problem with the premise here?

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