Mickey Tax Update

by Henry Farrell on June 26, 2008

When I saw that the Mickey Tax1 issue had been taken up by “Atrios”:http://www.eschatonblog.com/2008_06_22_archive.html#7116689960490247198 and “Kos”:http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/6/19/132923/717, I guessed that it wouldn’t be long before I started seeing some pushback. A former student of mine did “some research”:http://www.ipdi.org/UploadedFiles/PoliticalInfluenceofBlogs.pdf a couple of years ago that suggests that Kos is the most widely read blog on the Hill, with a fair readership among Republicans (who want to see what’s coming down the pike) as well as Democrats, and I’d imagine that Markos’ fulminations got some attention in the right places. Sure enough, I got an email last night from a flack at the Travel Industry Association (the lobby group that’s been most heavily involved in pushing the Mickey Tax), offering to set me right on my various misconceptions about this Act. I replied that I would be happy to receive any proposed corrections/new information, but reserved the right to publish them on this blog. I haven’t gotten any response and don’t expect one, but will update this post if I’m wrong.

In the meantime, I’d like to take advantage of CT’s cross-national readership, and encourage those of you who live in visa-waiver countries to hassle your politicians, and write to your newspapers about the Mickey Tax. This, unlike the Iraqi translators appeal, is not a life or death issue, but it _will_ lead to substantial amounts of money ($200 million) being transferred from tourists’ pockets to an outrageous boondoggle fund unless it gets stopped.

I _particularly_ encourage you to use the terms ‘Mickey Tax’ or (Markos’s coinage) ‘Disney Tax’ in your communications. I imagine that the fervor of the Disney corporation for this particular rip-off would be dampened if incoming tourists to the US came to understand the political origins of the fee, and were able to draw the relevant conclusions about where to spend, or not to spend, their hardwon money once they had gotten in. The terms ‘Mickey Tax’ and ‘Disney Tax’ seem to me to draw these causal connections in a straightforward and useful way. Of course, Irish people in particular may think that the Mickey Tax is even more outrageous than it is, but that doesn’t necessarily seem to me to be a bad thing.

1 Term a trademark of This Blog, although I’m grateful to Atrios for seeing that it made for a better title than throwaway aside.

Shock of the New

by John Holbo on June 26, 2008

So I got up this morning and, reading the pages of the venerable “Atlantic Monthly” over coffee, learned that – some hours earlier – my young daughters, ages 6 and 4, half a world away, had said something amusing.

Ain’t it just the 21st Century, though?

(In my defense: I figured Belle was going to be way too busy to update the blog, so I didn’t check there first, before firing up Talking Points Memo and Matthew Yglesias – always my first reads. I did check iChat, but Belle wasn’t on.)

In fact, this is more a case of small world than future world, since Belle and I know Matthew Y. Anyway. What strange and futuristic experience have you had recently?