November 30, 2010

Black Friday Externalities

During the first Friday after Thanksgiving, millions of Americans across the nation are out to retail stores, outlets, and shopping malls to grab one time discounted deals. One state on the other hand has garnered attention by using this traditional shopping day craze to make sales of a particularly controversial item...

According to, a leading online state news article, explains how in South Carolina, for a third year in a row, has made hand guns, rifles, and shotguns tax free within the state during Black Friday and the following Saturday. This event is called the 2nd Amendment Sales tax and is the only tax write-off during that holiday that is shockingly designated only for firearms. By having tax free gun purchases, it has considerably raised the demand of firearms during that short weekend, considering the nearly hundreds of dollars saved without a tax upon the purchases and an increase of revenue for the local gun shops in South Carolina. Though shoppers may have felt a rush of savings through the purchase of firearms, there will be externalities that may occur. Even with the costs of obtaining firearms to be much lower than other parts of the year, many would consider this frugal event to be questionable, seeing that there will be an influx of legal but dangerous weaponry in the hands of consumers. With an increase of firearms on the there will be an assumption that crimes and/or deaths may increase within the state but on the other hand may even raise profits for local gun shops in the state of South Carolina and aid the state locally especially in the current economic depression.

To veteran gun owners and newly gun toting citizens alike, this tax free exception on firearms may seem like a valuable opportunity to obtain a firearm during this current economic downturn but ultimately consequences may arise with externalities (rise of crime and deaths) considering the seemingly never ending debate with firearms.

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1 comment:

Larry Eubanks said...

Of course, I've not turned our attention in this course to the concept of externalities. And, it turns out, I do not characterize crime as an externality. I know plenty of economists do, but I think that is incorrect. Crime is a different normative issue than economic efficiency, which is the conceptual framework within which the externality concept is relevant.