We can't please everyone...

The quandary into which we've inserted ourselves as a culture is becoming increasingly clear to me. There are a lot of people out there, some of them lawmakers and politicians, who recognize the importance of "going green" and supporting initiatives to clean up the environment, but we've been walking the same road for so long, we've become extremely dependent on a wasteful and harmful way of life. It's so much this way that policy changes are never "good" all across the board -- sooner or later, somebody has to pay the piper, and it seems that it's never the people who should be paying.

Take for example the recent proposal by Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick to impose a higher registration fee on large SUVs and trucks (luxury vehicles, essentially). This isn't a new proposal -- the idea has been around since 2001 -- but this is the first time a sitting governor has actively backed the idea. On one hand it sounds great, because it is a good incentive for people to invest in smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles, but as always, there's another shoe.

Opponents of the proposal have cited the fact that small businesses and the self-employed will suffer as a result of this fee -- the people who actually need trucks and SUVs and don't just want them are going to pay the price for the extravagance of others who will invest in these vehicles as a luxury and not an occupational necessity. I can dig where they're coming from on this point -- I have an uncle who works in construction by day and is a gigging musician by night, so his truck is a non-negotiable part of both his jobs (hauling concrete or a lot of music gear requires the use of a pickup). He's self-employed and has enough trouble making ends meet as it is; an additional taxd on his head would hardly be fair.

We can't make everybody happy, unfortunately, but I rather wish there was a way for us to tax people who deserve taxing and exempt others who can prove they don't just want the thrill of driving an urban assault vehicle to their kids' soccer practice.

Check out the full article here.

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