Monday, December 13, 2010
How about some healthcare with your education?
A short time ago, a Canadian cable provider Bell TV began to offer consumers the option to choose which channels they paid for. Many cable customers have long expressed displeasure with paying for 800+ channels and only actually watching twenty or less. They call this type of cable service "a la carte" Monthly rates for the Bell TV a la carte channels are 15 channels for $15, 20 channels for $19 or 30 channels for $22. Beyond that individual channels can be purchased for $2 each or another 20 popular channels can get tacked on for $5.
This got me thinking...what if the government adopted this approach to taxes? What if we had the option to decide how are tax money is spent? (representative democracy is supposed to do this for us, but I'm not convinced it's working...at all!!) I know there would be many details to work out, but I think it's sounds like a great idea (mostly because I came up with it of course). Okay, obviously there are some things that everybody has to pay for, National defense, infrastructure costs, etc. But there are several other things that we don't all agree on. For example, I'm not interested in using my tax dollars to fund art museums (I don't dislike art, I just think they should survive on their own merit and not be propped up by taxpayers.) In fact, as a Libertarian, I'm not interested in the government funding much of anything other than what's absolutely essential. The one area where I occasionally break from that philosophy is in regards to scientific research. You may disagree with that. That would be okay, you just wouldn't check that box on your "tax menu". It is in the best interest of companies like Microsoft to have a pool of highly educated potential employees so that they can continue to grow as a company and make money. You can bet that they would be inclined to check off the "education box" on theirs. But I live right next to a couple who don't have children and don't plan on having any. Why should they pay for education? This way they wouldn't have to.
I know it sounds crazy at first. But give it some time to swirl around in your head (or the toilet, which may be where it belongs) and see if it starts to make some sense. Maybe not exactly as I've described it, but something like it where people have a choice. I trust the judgement of individuals much more than I do the judgement of the two-faced, special-interest serving goons in Washington. Shouldn't WE be their special-interest? And by the way, the "a la carte" Cable thing sounds pretty good to, eh? Way to go Canada!!!