Archive for the ‘Society’ Category

Transportation and Taxes in a Brave New World

Would you buy a used car from this man? How about a brand new vehicle surveillance system?

Would you buy a used car from this man? How about a brand new vehicle surveillance system?

A task group led by former Nokia and current Shell chairman Jorma Ollila has proposed a new paradigm for transportation tax in Finland. Currently, the racket is based on two cornerstones: first, tax the living s&!t out of new cars, second, slap a hefty (most of the retail price) tax on fuel. With the advent of low fuel consumption engines and worse, electric vehicles, old Jore has come up with a bright new idea:

Let’s track each and every vehicle by satellite for taxation purposes.

Finally, the wet dream of every tax collector will be realized. Finland will indeed tax everything that moves. This is, of course, in addition to taxing things that don’t move, such as real estate.

The cost of this scheme, Ollila assures us, will be negligible, and besides, it will create jobs and therefore new wealth. What’s not to love?

Well, the loss of privacy, for starters. For a chilling look at what will (not may, will) happen down the road with this data that will of course not leak anywhere, will not be kept for all eternity, and will most certainly only be used for the originally intended purpose, see what Jay Stanley of ACLU thinks about a very similar scheme: Meet Jack. Or, What The Government Could Do With All That Location Data

Of course, only a criminal who has something to hide would care, right? After all, we have always been at war with Eastasia.