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David J. Theroux

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David J. Theroux is the founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Independent Institute, a Californian think tank which worked extensively for the tobacco industry and any other industry that would pay them to fake research

In late 1994 the Independent Institute took over from James Savarese & Associates and his associate, Robert Tollison, the management of the Cash for Comments Economists Network. Robert Higgs who gloried in the title of Research Director at the Institute (which didn't ever conduct any research itself according to Theoux) was a early network member.

Document & Timeline


1994 Oct 14: David Theroux at the Independent Institute sends a copy of their proposal for a book to be called "Sin Taxes" to William Orzechowski at the Tobacco Institute. It implies that excise taxes are imposed on cigarettes simply because the tobacco industry is unpopular and an easy target.

It doesn't single out cigarettes (that would be too obvious) but raises the threat of Alcohol, Prohibition: The Ultimate "Sin", Gun Control, the War on Drugs, and the evils of 'Earmarking' such excises to prop up the health care system. Constitutional Liberties are also dealt up in the penultimate chapters.

The Institute is prepared to print and promote 810,000 books (cheap enough to be used as text-books) and there will be other benefits, such as "reprints in journals and magazines, syndication of Op-Eds and wire stories to major newspapers, media intereviews and government testimony by authors. Also lecture tours, etc. etc.

It will be edited by William Shughart under the direction of the Independent Institute's Research Director, Dr Robert Higgs, and have chapters written by the old Cash for Comment crowd.

William F Shughart, Uni of Mississippi
Adam C Gifford Jr, California State Uni, Northridge
Randall G Holcombe, Florida State Uni
Dwight R Lee, University of Georgia
Thomas J DiLorenzo, Loyola College in Maryland
Richard K Vedder, Ohio University
Mark Thornton, Auburn University
Bruce L Benson and David W Rasmussen, Florida State Uni
Richard E Wagner, George Mason University
Robert B Ekelund Jr and Paula A Gant, Auburn University
Bruce Kobayashi, George Mason University
Jonathan Macey, (Law) Cornell University
Gary M Anderson, Cailfornia State Uni, Northbridge
Donald J Boudreaux and Adam C Pritchard (Law) Clemson Uni
Gordon Tullock, Arizona State University. [2]
The book reached the drafting stages, and William Shughart sent his detailed Introduction along to the Tobacco Institute for their approval. [3]


1995 July: The remnants of the Cash-for-Comments Network has now transferred over to work through the Independent Institute. William F Shughart II (U of Mississippi is editing "Taxing Liberty and Other "Sins": Predatory Politics and Taxation" for the Tobacco Institute. It has chapters by:

(With the exception of a few new names this is the remnants of the old Cash for Comments Economists Network)

Hence, when David Theroux of the Independent Institute contacted me to ask whether I might be interested in putting together a volume that would explore the purposes and effects of tax policy in regulating consumption choices, I eagerly accepted . Let me here acknowledge the Independent Institute's financial sponsorship and David Theroux's encouragement along the way.

This draft was in Philip Morris files, and it has additions and corrections in handwritten form. For instance "politically incorrect" has been inserted before"products" and "excise" inserted before taxes. "Sin" taxes have been quoted. New chapter titles have been added. [4] [5]

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