Monday, January 5, 2009

Law of Unintended Consequences

There is a talk show host who often talks about the Law of Unintended Consequences.

A good example is the Ecological imperative that using less gas is good.  Oregon has proposed adding transponders to cars so that the cars which are hybrid (OR has the highest % of these in the US) can be taxed per mile when they fill up since they get more mpg.  Here a good thing buy less gas (less pollution less cash to overseas, etc.) has led to lower gas taxes so government "needs" more tax.

In other states, since gas use has decreased the price has decreased which leads to less tax revenue from sales tax or proportional gas tax.  So other states are looking at OR for inspiration!

Many states increased cigarette taxes to reduce the amount of smoking (let me state for the record I am against smoking!) so as people have stopped smoking, the tax revenue is going down.  Smoking brings in a lot of taxes (of course the "costs" of smoking in terms of health care, etc. are also high).

As people get healthier they live longer, so medicare costs increase, so taxes go up.

Makes you wonder, what can we do that won't increase taxes?

consequence (n) 1 a result or effect of an action or condition : many have been laid off from work as a consequence of the administration's policies. 2 [often with negative ] importance or relevance : the past is of no consequence | he didn't say anything of great consequence.
• dated social distinction : a woman of consequence

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