But what's "fair?"
A TV news segment yesterday covered an oddity: differing prices being charged for the exact same web-delivered service (online SAT tutoring), depending on where customers lived, possibly their ethnic background and possibly -- the reporter made particular mention of this -- "economic class."
It all seems hinky; if both the Smiths and Ramirezes receive the same web-tutoring, should one pay more and the other less simply because Dr. Ramirez lives in Chillicothe while Mrs. Smith scrubs floors in Elmira? Unfairness!
But try this on for unfairness: Smith's Janitorial pulls in a couple million profit a year, while Dr. Ramirez is still finishing his internship at City General and does well to keep the rent paid. Consequently, Mrs. Smith pays a higher percentage of her income in taxes than Doc does -- so not only does she pay more for the exact same amount of government he gets, they don't even pay the same proportion of their income for it. --And most people are okay with that; others might argue that a "flat tax" (both pay the same percentage -- ten or fifty percent, whatever) would be "fairer," and yet they'd still be paying different prices for the same service!
We're not okay with that when it's a business doing it. Why is it okay when a government puts a thumb on the scales?
3 months ago