Google
 

9.15.2006

A BIT ABOUT ROAD SAFETY, TAXES AND PUBLIC GOODS

The road was a bit slippery, last Sunday morning, and I saw a motorcycle cop, sans a crash helmet, leisurely driving his bike on a highway. Please take note of the salient words of my previous sentence. It was a SUNDAY, on a HIGHWAY (speedway), the road was SLIPPERY and he WAS NOT WEARING A CRASH HELMET. In addition, the cop swerved his bike from the leftmost lane towards the opposite side, as if he was the only soul in that part of the planet.

To add a few more observations, his upper garment looked like a sweater, embroidered with the name of his unit. I wonder if it was an official Police officer’s uniform.

In relation to my discourse for today, let me start by saying that ordinary citizen’s pay taxes through direct means, like income taxes, and indirect methods, through the purchase of cigarettes and other taxed commodities. The income tax is quite easy to figure out but what about the purchase of cigarettes? Well, cigarettes are heavily taxed and whenever consumers buy it, they are, in effect, shouldering the tax being levied by the government.

The Taxes collected by the government are used to pay for public goods (and services) that the society enjoys. Classic examples of public goods include traffic lights, public schools, public highways and national defense. In relation to this topic, relevant examples of public goods/services would be the Highway Patrol and Public Safety.

Therefore, it is quite accurate to say that government employees (Cops) are being paid by the taxpayers to “Serve & Protect”.

In last Sunday’s incident, the cop did something contrary to the character that he was being paid to perform. Instead of being a role model and an enforcer of road safety, he intentionally endangered himself and posed as a hazard to the neighborhood.

The cop, at that instant, was providing the community with a “Public Bad”. I had the urge to refer to it as a government failure but unfortunately, economics has a different definition.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You gotta hand it to the city's finest. Hardheaded=no crash helmet needed.