**A Post By Shifra**

There are many perplexing questions that have yet to be answered. For example:

Hamlet: To be or not to be?

Physicists: Does the Boson-Higgs particle really exist?

Biologists: Why do lemmings commit mass suicide in the oceans?

Me: How could Liberals be SO STUPID?

How did this Dumb B@stard incompetent candidate become POTUS?

I was thinking about these vexing questions after coming across this article in the WSJ:  (The article in full can be read here.)

Thanks to a ‘cabaret tax,’ millions of Americans said goodbye to Swing Music. A lot fewer said hello to bebop….

With millions of young men coming home from World War II—eager to trade their combat boots for dancing shoes—the postwar years should have been a boom time for the big bands that had been so wildly popular since the 1930s. Yet by 1946 many of the top orchestras—including those of Benny Goodman, Harry James and Tommy Dorsey—had disbanded. Some big names found ways to get going again, but the journeyman bands weren’t so lucky. By 1949, the hotel dine-and-dance-room trade was a third of what it had been three years earlier. The Swing Era was over….

In 1944, a new wartime “cabaret tax” went into effect, imposing a ruinous 30% (later merely a destructive 20%) excise on all receipts at any venue that served food or drink and allowed dancing….

The tax hit not just swells, but anyone who liked to go out dancing—which in those days included just about everyone who went out at all….

Long after the war ended, the cabaret tax persisted. By 1956 the musicians union was bemoaning that two-thirds of its members—many of them former big-band performers—were “unemployed or are unable to make the major portion of their livelihood from music.” When Rep. Thomas Pelly (R., Wash.) in 1957 argued that musicians and entertainers were “under the lash” of the tax, other lawmakers suggested the solution wasn’t to repeal the tax, but to provide musicians with federal grants.

The cabaret tax dropped to 10% in 1960 and was finally eliminated in 1965. By then, the Swing Era ballrooms and other “terperies” were long gone, and public dancing was done in front of stages where young men wielded electric guitars.

So, there you have it. Progressive “thinking” (and I use the term very loosely):  Tax an industry (or a dance craze) to death, and then, offer gubmint money in an effectual (and senseless) attempt to revive the dying enterprise.

One would think that Liberals might learn from the past. They don’t.

Which leads to perhaps the most important question of all, posed by Tammy, several years ago, to the DB.

And I think it applies to all Leftists, everywhere:


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10 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. Alain41 says:

    Can’t answer that question. But my suspicion on the dance tax is that it was that era’s equivalent of the yacht tax. Liberals always want money for government and the easiest taxes to get passed are those on people who don’t live there (hotel taxes, etc.) and taxes ostensibly on the wealthy a la the yacht tax (also sin taxes). I’m presuming that the thinking was, anyone who could afford to go out during the war was wealthy, therefore, they can afford to pay Uncle Sam to support those fighting. Of course, the war ended and the tax ended up hitting all those who had been fighting. Just like the yacht tax, the wealthy really aren’t bothered by ‘taxes on the wealthy’, the taxes hit the public and specifically the workers be they boat builders or swing bands. I’m sure the VAT will be sold as we need to make sure the wealthy pay their fair share on jewelry and furs and yachts, it won’t affect you. Ha!

  2. LucyLadley says:

    Shifra, your post was thought provoking & sad on many levels. Sad in a historical way because being educated about the cabaret tax, thanks to you Shifra, makes me
    realize how important the happy music & dances kept spirits up & that uplifting inspiration was punished. Sad in a current events way, because so many things that give our lives little bits of pleasure here & there, have to be modified or cut out completely because our personal finances have been lessened. Again Shifra, many thanks for expanding our thoughts in a historical way.

  3. strider says:

    Maybe the fear of an unknown outcome in changing course is greater than the known discomfort of the ditch.

  4. Pat_S says:

    Frank Sinatra: Do Be Do Be Do

    Wonder if Ol’ Blue Eyes would have made the cut for a federal grant.

  5. MACVEL says:

    The consequences ARE intended. The rule is to cause as much pain as possible until they can do away with the Constitution, and then they can cause maximum pain.

  6. LJZumpano says:

    it’s all just STUPID STUPID STUPID! and the stupid never stops!

  7. Maynard says:

    Same thing with the “Yacht Tax” of 1990. Congress figured the “rich” people that bought recreational boats could spare it. Ended up driving boat builders out of business.

    It’s true of every system. The “global warming” crowd should understand this, because it’s the same argument they make, and it’s reasonable at the fundamental level: Change a fundamental parameter of a system (in this case, the level of atmospheric CO2), and you’ll permute the system. Sometimes the permutation is predictable (that’s why they’re concerned about “warming”, which is indeed the obvious permutation); if the system is high complex, the permutation may be unpredictable, and range from nonexistent to catastrophic.

    Same principle applies to the introduction of easy birth control, easy divorce, same-sex marriage, taxes, freeing the slaves, invading Iraq, whatever. Consequences, always consequences.

    I think the increase in obesity is in part driven by the war on tobacco. Consequences never end.

    I look with grave suspicion upon the thoughtless tweakers, always so ready to tamper with the system. Yes, there are times when we must act. But not so fast, not so casually, not with mindless arrogance.

    I’m cautious because I have an understanding of how much I don’t know and can’t know. I’m not fond of the word “conservative”, but I use it to express the general sentiment of understanding how we got here, rather than charging forward based upon blind ideology. There’s wisdom in that bit of the Hippocratic Oath about first doing no harm.

  8. Kitten says:

    Shifra, I love your take on this…ever enlightening us. 🙂 I have a question. Was Hillary awake during this debate? I think I saw her drop her head one time to write something on her pad. I’m guessing it was “Dumb Ba$tard”. Her silence was proof that if you just be quiet, the fool will show his true colors.

    The answer to Tammy’s important question is obvious, they’re LIBERALS.

  9. Nemesister says:

    Quinn’s First Law: “Liberal policies ALWAYS generate the exact opposite of their stated intent.”

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