One reason economies do not flourish under authoritarian regimes is that there is not much use working hard and investing when an arbitrary decree can wipe out an entire industry overnight:
[Last] Friday, President Barack Obama [was] expected to sign into law a federal highway bill with a section that redefines tobacco manufacturers to include any business with a roll-your-own cigarette machine and taxes those products at the same rate as packaged smokes. …
The machines, which cost about $33,000 each, allow customers to pick their own tobacco and pour it into a device that can roll the tobacco into a carton, or about 200 cigarettes, within minutes.
On tips from Shawn, J, Dan Feely, and Bob Roberts.