Snow removal: We get what we pay for

February 10, 2010

Once again, we see evidence of the wide disparity between what American people expect their government to do for them and what they're prepared to pay for it. It is political suicide for a politician to even suggest a tax increase, and yet we all end up paying more in the long run because we refuse to pay for things up front.

It's not the supposed snow plow masters in Boston that we really need to take a look at for how to manage a happy and healthy society ("Baltimore needs to get some advice on snow removal," Readers respond, Feb. 9). It's the Scandanavian countries. Yes. You pay a huge amount of tax up front. But before you start to say "no way," do some digging into what citizens of those countries get for those funds. They keep a much greater percentage of their take home pay ultimately because many more things are covered. In the end, we actually end up paying more but we're fooled into thinking we're making more money as individuals than we really are. For instance, when that rainy day comes (or snow in this case), we don't have the reserves in our collective coffers to deal with it, and a lot more suffering happens than really needs to.

Oh and one final point. I don't care how many plows you've got or how skilled you're people are, when nature decides to really do her stuff, we must accept that we are mere mortals. Contrary to what Americans like to believe, it is not all about us! We are part of a much bigger system than we can fully understand. It's time we started behaving like it.

Kirsten Day, Baltimore

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