Posted by Leonard Steinberg on December 21st, 2011
There are certain essential expenses that Americans incur that are a form of taxation…..Here are two examples:
GAS: The average American spends over $ 4,100/year on gasoline…..thats over 8% of their income! Now thats quite a tax. Gas prices are artificially high because of OPEC’s ability to monopolize the oil markets, and even though monopolies are illegal for all others, well, the oil industry is obviously immune to the law it seems. Imagine reducing the cost (or consumption) of oil by a third and the average Amercian household could pump another $ 100+ per month into the economy.
RENT: The news talks about the rise in rental apartment construction, as opposed to ‘for sale’ properties citing the fear of first time homebuyers wanting to rent instead of own. If there is a sharp rise in the volume of rental apartments, we could see rental prices drop, although its unlikely in Manhattan. Over 2,1 million apartments in New York City have some form of rent regulation, about 40,000 have full rent control. Imagine those controls were removed, the general consensus is that landlords would go crazy raising the rents……but maybe the exact opposite is true. Is it not possible that with a flood of lesser priced units in the market, all rents would come down, thereby reducing this ‘tax’ on the consumer? Imagine each tenant having an additional $ 100 per month or so to spend in the economy (where sales taxes are collected). Then again, just like our Federal tax system, only a select few benefit from rent control: the only problem is the selection process is deeply flawed and benefits a few unfairly.
What other disguised ‘taxes’ are out there that could help the middle class have a better life? Cable? MTA fees attached to cab fees? ATM fees?