Friday, July 9, 2010

Tax our Morning "Joe"....here's one vote in favour!

Think about this: a 50-cent surcharge to every drive-thru order, whether it’s a coffee shop, bank or dry cleaner. And the revenue (50 cents times millions of users every day — you do the math!) would go toward all those transportation improvements the province so desperately needs.
 (John LeBlanc, wheels.ca, and Toronto Star, Friday, July 9, 2010, also on his blog: John LeBlanc's Crank)
There are at least two conflicting dynamics in play in our obsession with our cars, including our use of them for super-convenience, at drive-thru's, and our machines' coughing up billions of tonnes of carbox dioxide.
LeBlanc's idea to put a 50-cent tax on each cup of coffee,(plus dry-cleaning order pick-up and bank drive thru) on most days, would provoke me to park the damn car and go into the coffee shop to get my double-double. On those days when I am late, or the weather is lousy, or I'm on my way out of town to visit family in Montreal, I would say, "Hell, it's all part of the trip," and drive thru and pay the tax.
I support the proposition that on an item like coffee, now an indispensable part of every Canadian's workday, the drop in coffee sales would be minimal. We are, after all, addicted to the caffeine fix, and another 50-cents will only demonstrate the depth of our "conviction," "addiction," "obsession," or even "wardrobe." If we are not wearing one of those 'tim mugs' as part of our daily "suit" then we are not really ready for work, are we?
And isn't it interesting that the mug goes with any attire, from the roughest construction boots and the holiest denims, and the sleeveless 'T's', with the dancing tattoo ink on the flexed muscles, to the casual shirt and slacks, with loafers or walking shoes, and even to the formal business suit with dress "Clarke's."
This idea of "taxing" our morning "joe" could be so good that revenues could enjoy "steroid" development, and governments everywhere could actually see it as one "step-up" from gambling, their current cash grab. At least they could say, there is no "chance" involved in the transaction, and the roads and bridges and comfort stops, and transportation infrastructure generally could experience a cash infusion, not to mention the jobs such a tax would generate.
We must, as a caution, however, insist, that the money generated NOT go into general revenue, but remain strictly for roads, rapid transit, and all things "transportational."

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