by Will Schreiber

Province Tax

We were eating dinner at Viman in Vang Vieng. The owner is a German-born Thai expat living in Vang Vieng, Laos.

He was explaining how the woman who cooked our food had to pay the government every month a “Province Tax.” Since she was born in Vientiane, but now lived in Vang Vieng, she had to pay a “foreigner’s fee.”

“If you want less of something, tax it.”

What sort of implications could this policy have on the country?

Could the smart business people, engineers, and government officials decide to never move to the city centers?

Intellectual inefficiency is an obvious side effect. People aren’t going where they should go when they need to go there.

What are the second and third level ramifications, though?