China market(s) of the day

From A Singapore Economist:

Chinese officials have decided to crack down on the practice at some
rural villages of hiring strippers to perform at funerals.  The practice
is intended to attract more attendees to funerals because many people
believe that a greater number of people improve the deceased’s chances
for better afterlife.  They also think that more people bring luck to
the survivors as well.

Ah, but a new market has sprung up in its place:

Local officials [have been] told they must submit plans for funerals
within 12 hours after a villager dies.  Exotic dancing is off the menu –
and residents can report “funeral misdeeds” on a special hotline for a
reward of USD $35.


I totally want strippers at my funeral.

Herr Cowen,

Death seems to be the theme of your posts today. I wonder how much coffins cost in China.

Also, how many people are eligible for this $35 prize? It seems that almost every villager will find some misdeed to report?

Here is another example of governments finding ways to increase their revenue while preventing revenues from going to those that actually need them. The government is preventing strippers from earning the wages they receive from their funeral performances while at the same time increasing their revenue.

How is the government’s revenue increased you might ask? They are offering a reward for people that report “Funeral Misdeeds† if there is a hotline and reward there is someone that has to man that hotline, and follow up on the tip. This means that there are now numerous government employees that man phone lines, and file reports. Police have to be hired to investigate the “Misdeeds†. An increase of judges or magistrates is needed to levee fines or decide on the cases. All of these people require supervisors, and support structures such as secretaries, file clerks, and other bureaucratic functionaries. The need to pay these extra employees of the government leads to an increase in government spending and therefore an increase in taxes.

This increase in taxes is only going to further hurt the strippers who are probably already heavily taxed because of their line of work. Strippers usually don’t have the education needed to get the type of jobs that are being created to prevent them from doing their jobs. Therefore, the strippers either lose the one source of revenue they had or they fall into the system of fines and possible jail time because they are performing their job now illegally.

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