On car Taxes

Increasing taxes and the whole ‘equality’ motto of DPT depresses me.

It makes me that that the party leans towards socialism, an opinion further justified by the fact that this government is quickly increasing taxes.

The thing about socialism is that it may sound nice to a lot of people in theory, but it always goes wrong. Equality sound good to you?

Well, there are two ways to achieve equality. Either you make everyone rich, or you make everyone poor. And honestly, sometimes, I think it’s not clear which option is being followed.

It’s like this story I once read called Five Children and It, by E Nesbit. A children’s book, but with lessons well worth learning. In it, five children find a sand fairy called psammead, who they call ‘It’. The sand fairy is special- it can grant you any wish. Now that sounds like something we could do with. But on further introspection, you discover that getting every wish that you make without thinking through is not necessarily the best thing to happen to you.

It’s the same with ‘Equality’. While it sounds good, at first glance, it is always worth a second and maybe a third look as well.

How does a country go about achieving equality? Do we perhaps strip those who are more fortunate? Do a Robin Hood? Who decides what is really equal? I mean, if you did a lot of work and I did none, what is equality? Paying the same salary? Well, you would have a lot to say about that.

The worst thing about socialist ideals is, however, that it never works anyways.

Take the car taxes for instance. I make lots of money, and I don’t care if I have to pay some more money for my gas guzzler, I mean, I can afford one of those brass embossed custom made name plates.

And you are an average salary earning person who wants a car because it’s a waste of time and energy to get around in Thimphu in any other way at the moment, among other things. But they increase the taxes, and you feel the difference hard.

I don’t so much mind the fact that the rich guy doesn’t mind the taxes- I mean he (hopefully) made his own money.

What is awful about this rule is that it is intended to reduce the number of cars in the city. And because those who can buy huge gas guzzlers can pay the taxes quite easily, it means that those cars will keep coming in- and the ones who have made just enough to buy that Alto will have to forget about it.

Is this equality?

It’s definitely not fair, because the little ones are environmentally better options.

And it’s silly because it will never work.

Incidentally, I thought Lyonpo Nandalal saying in the latest Drukpa that the reason for increase in car taxes was so that people who could afford them contribute towards nation building by paying taxes was smart.

If only they had thought of it before they said the whole ‘reducing number of cars’ thing.

Oh, and the tax increase BEFORE any improvement in the public transport? That is a sin. Because we all know how much time it really takes for the government’s ‘soon’ to materialize, and till then. We still have to get places.


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