The Chinese government announced plans on Wednesday to increase existing taxes and impose new ones on April 1 for everything from gas-guzzling vehicles to chopsticks in a move to rein in rising use of energy and timber and the widening gap between rich and poor.
New or higher taxes will fall on vehicles with engines larger than two liters, disposable wooden chopsticks, planks for wood floors, luxury watches, golf clubs, golf balls and certain oil products.
The finance ministry is imposing a 5 percent tax on chopsticks and floor planks, citing a need to conserve timber.
Ok, a couple of things. First of all, how the hell do you use chopsticks? I’ve tried for years to learn how and I think I am just a moron.
Second, compare the behavior of the Chinese government with the US, where personal consumption makes up 70% of GDP (in China, it’s 42%).
So governments restrict spending on items, but what about regular people? What if you put a tax on your own luxury spending? Something like “for every $1 I spend on shoes, I’m going to add $1 to my savings account.” Is that too weird?