Saturday, April 18, 2009

Our Boston Tea Party

Even if its place in the American Revolution isn’t so important, the Boston Tea Party is still a very good story.

The Plot

A mega company, close to the government, has serious problems: a glut of its product, looming bankruptcy. It needs a quick bailout, Fall 2008 style;
The government is the only one who can bail it out. Unfortunately, it has critical cash flow problems of its own;
A public who will fund it all, and believe it’s getting a good deal.

Let’s now fill in the blanks.

The East India Company has a tea monopoly, which is encountering serious market conditions. The outlook is not good.

But the government, Great Britain, has a Happy Plan. There is a ready market for all that tea, the American colonies. Sure, a small tax will be added, but the colonies will actually pay less than the smuggled beverage they usually drink.

Everyone should be happy.

No, the colonies are furious. In 1773, they see through the Happy Plan as nothing but illegal taxation. Which product will be next? With the spirit of Sam Adams always as a guide, the colonies would not let the tea enter the market. The rest of the story is history.

Dump the stuff.

April 15 is officially American Tax Day, and now also Tax Protest Day.

Crowds gathered to demonstrate anger at taxation of all types. A retail opportunity seems to have been missed though, because I didn’t read that anyone actually served tea.

To drink it, in china cups accompanies by trimmings such as scones, strawberries, cream, the beverage iced on a hot day, what could be more delicious?

Maybe next year. – Renata Breisacher Mulry

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