plastic bags and Irish taxes
Thoughtful people are raising serious questions about aspects of the governor’s toll plan, and, making recommendations increase the tax on gas; eliminate property tax rebates; re negotiate contract terms with public employees to reduce the drain on the treasury among several combination approaches that do not seem to be gaining any traction. So, perhaps a less serious approach might have an effect?
Consider the critical issue of whether, if the governor’s plan is implemented, folks will continue to travel on the toll roads once tolls rise and rise significantly and, if they don’t, where the money comes from to pay off the bonds. And, then, look to Ireland, specifically to what happened when the gov fake rolex ernment placed a tax on plastic bags in 2002.
The ubiquitous symbol of urban life, the plast fake rolex ic shopping bag, all but disappeared in Ireland, or so reports Elisabeth Rosenthal from Dublin in Saturday’s New York Times. And, within a year, nearly everyone had bought reusable cloth bags, keeping them in offices and in the backs of cars. Pla fake rolex stic bags were not outlawed, but carrying them became socially unacceptable on a par with wearing a fur coat or not cleaning up after one’s dog. But, now, we see it as something a smart, progressive person would carry.’
In Ireland, that purpose has been accomplished.
So, the lesson on the one fake rolex hand is this: Charge an unacceptable fee for a practice, a service, a product, and people won’t buy it. If substitutes are available if alternatives can be used they will be. Imposing an unacceptable charge, then, can change behavior.
In this vein, too, one need look no further than the irascible Paul Mulshine for insight. Imagine that war in the Mideast pushes gas prices up 300 percent. Drivers will have a tough time paying tolls that have gone up 800 percent.”
There is a second lesson. Attaching values to an action can reinforce the policy and the behavior the policy seeks to encourage. Using plastic bags has become something one simply does not do.
In the United States, and in New Jersey particularly, we’re genuinely trying to reduce fuel consumption and encourage mass transit and carpooling, bicycling, and other modes of transport, to become ‘greener’ and to reduce reliance on oil and its derivatives, among other values. As ‘green’ values become closely attached to the goal of reducing automobile and truck traffic, we may see reduced income on the toll roads. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”
So, here we are. On two compelling counts, price and social acceptability (derived from sound economic and environmental values), we may find that the imposition of high tolls alters behavior. Indeed, Governor Corzine might just be putting New Jersey in the forefront of advancing environmentally sound practices with his plan. Impose those tolls, and people won’t drive the toll roads and, then, they may look for other modes of transport that are likely to be more socially acceptable than driving automobiles and trucks.
The problem, though, is the inconsistency. The governor’s plan relies on people continuing to drive, even alone in cars the more vehicles, the more tolls collected and, too, driving more frequently than they do now on the toll roads for that matter, in order to generate the revenue to pay off the bonds that are at the heart of his plan. Without toll revenues, what will happen? I don’t know, that’s for sure. Seventy five years is a long time.