By John Ballard
From today's NY Times
Robert H. Frank, a professor of economics at the Johnson School of Management at Cornell, is the author of �The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition and the Common Good.�
Black Friday (or, more accurately, Black Thursday Night) is only hours away, so it�s too late to do anything about early openings this year. But we can start thinking about what can be done to protect our future Thanksgivings. Many societies employ �blue laws� � laws that mandate closing times, usually on Sundays. But there is a simpler, more flexible, way to approach this problem. Inspired by the 9-9-9 proposal of the Republican presidential contender Herman Cain, I call it the 6-6-6 plan � an across-the-board 6 percent national sales tax (on top of any existing state and local sales taxes) in effect from 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving to 6 a.m. on Black Friday.
This plan would leave both stores and consumers free to decide for themselves whether middle-of-the-night shopping is worth it. Even if some retailers decided to stick with the early openings and even if some shoppers showed up, the country would reap a significant benefit. As every mature adult realizes, we have to tax something, and the revenue from my 6-6-6 plan would make it possible to reduce taxes on other activities that are actually useful. Best of all, it would encourage Americans to spend Thanksgiving night where they really want to � in bed.
I can already hear screams from the Religious Right as they encounter "666."
They know without reading the plan is of the Devil.
Michelle Bachmann already warned them about it.