Originally Posted by hamandcheese
The example of a country club is pretty clear cut, though, such that if you ask why the owners why their fees are high they'll more or less say "to keep the peasants out" (or something like that). By imposing a tax the country club gets what it wants (an upper-crust membership). The fees are not to finance anything; only to create a barrier to entry, so why would they miss them?
Wouldn't this fail to account for competition between country clubs? After all, I don't think that cc's have particularly absurd profit margins, so they're clearly spending the money on something that increases the club's attractiveness to wealthy potential members.