Mailed Your Taxes Yesterday?….You Are a Drag on Society!

What’s wrong with people? I walked by the post office late yesterday afternoon and I see it full of people, with a line almost out the door. No I’m no dummy. I recognize that yesterday was April 15th, otherwise known as Dooms-Day—I mean tax Day. But come on! It’s freaking 2009. If you’re still mailing your taxes, nevermind doing them on paper, not only do you have a problem…you are the problem!

No, I’m not saying that anybody mailing their taxes is causing the Rain Forest to deplete—although, I guess there is an argument for that. But I’m not playing the “green card” today. Instead, I’m talking about the fact the so many people are so adverse to new technology and new ways of thinking, that this country has no choice but a future bound for a Romanesque type fall.

Before you start calling me Anti-American, let me remind you that it was the Ancient Roman society that would not alter its political, economical and imperialistic ways, ultimately resulting in the fall of one of the greatest empires of all time.

Conversely, this United States of America is considered one of the greatest empires of all time. But we too won’t give up some of our ways. Starting with the whole tax thing? Like what kind of cave dweller still goes to the post office on April 15th, to mail their taxes—or even worse—send off their extension papers? I mean, has anyone heard of TurboTax? And if you really want to pay more attention to your taxes than some “ordinary software” can provide, then you should probably have enough money to hire someone else to do them for you.

However, forgetting about how people do their taxes, if you’re crazy enough to do them on paper, why are you waiting until the last day? Did these people not get their W-2’s by February like every other person in America? Why are so many Americans waiting until the final day to do the one thing that the federal government ask them to do every year? It’s pure laziness and slothfulness! Get off your butts and do your damn taxes in a timely fashion. Don’t crowd up the post office and keep other people from doing what they need to do there.

But this kind of antiquated and slothful behavior is indicative of the very society we live in. America is no longer tops in education, because we invest our money by pumping our egos with warfare and the bailing out of Wall St. America is also one of the fattest countries in the world, because we’re too busy sitting on the couch watching the Biggest Loser, not realizing we’re breeding ourselves for cameo appearances on the show in the near future—myself included! America isn’t even the best auto-maker anymore. We invented the damn machine, but because of our lethargy and unwillingness to embrace new technology, we have fallen behind in an industry that we ourselves created. That would be like Bill Gates creating Word in 1981 and sticking with that version of the program for the rest of his career. It just wouldn’t work!

Of course, this shouldn’t be a surprise. We allowed Japan to surpass us in so many technological areas during the Cold War, because we were too preoccupied with Russia. I’m too young and too uneducated on the matter to say our preoccupation with Russia was unfounded, but the fact is that we did sacrifice innovation dollars for an arms race, and the extent to which we did deserves at least some debate.

This brings me back to taxes. Chances are, if you are reading my blog, on the internet and not printed out by your intern, then you probably did your taxes in a timely fashion and via e-file. It’s the people who refuse to turn to blogs, read their news online, get an iPod, file for direct deposit, open a Twitter or Facebook account, or embrace video chatting, that keep America struggling to get out of the very dark ages we once fought to leave behind.

MTA Prices Up…Service Down?

I’ve lived in New York City for almost 7 years now, and if there is one thing that I have become accustomed to, it is the raising of MTA prices.

When I first came to New York City to go to college, the cost of a single fare was $1.50 and you could still buy tokens. Now the price of a single fare is $2.00, there are no more tokens, and the price is set to rise to $2.50 beginning this summer—unless something should change.

However, the price of a single fare is not the only thing the MTA has raised. More commonly, the price of a monthly subway card has risen at least two times since my arrival, and the price of riding in taxis and on the train have gone up substantially as well.

If you are a New York City resident and worker, the most staggering price shift is that monthly fare increase. Right now, the cost of a monthly subway card is just $81, but it is set to jump all the way to $103, a shift of over 27%!

If you could show me the numbers that say this is the price that that the monthly card has to be if we are going to keep the subway running at its currently level of efficiency, then eventually I would have to accept that. I would hope for continued improvements if I am going to give that much more of my money to the MTA, but I can only expect so much from a municipality, right?

However, instead of the MTA simply saying this is the price that they need to make monthly Metrocards if the subway is going to continue to operate, they are also adding to that by saying that they will cut back subway service.

That’s right. The MTA is going to ask New Yorkers to pay more money for the subway while giving its riders less subway to work with.

Subway service is not the only thing the MTA is going to cutback. Bus routes will also be cut. Need I not point out how critical bus transportation is to those outerboroughs. So on top of cutting back subway service in areas of New York City where the subway runs too infrequently, the MTA is also cutting back on one of the most vital forms of transportation for the elderly.

I find it amazing how the MTA turns to the people of New York City when they need to bludgeon people for money. As if it’s the people using the subway everyday to get to work that are responsible for the MTA’s poor financial accounting and the city’s overall economic downfall. If you ask me, if the MTA needs money, they need to turn to the people who are responsible for the city’s budgeting problems: the people on Wall Street and government officials.

If Citibank and Bank of America can acquire taxpayer money and backing, then why can’t the people of the New York City have some of that money spent on rescuing the MTA?

I would rather see the fall of Citibank before I see the subway shut down. Call me shortsighted, but the subway is the reason this city is the way it is. Public transportation is what makes New York City unlike any other, because it puts people on a level playing field, in that anyone can get anywhere, regardless of income. Citibank is only a proponent for making the wealthy even wealthier, and while many New Yorkers have benefited from that, I want my tax dollars saving the average man from a 27% increase on the subway, not from some proposed catastrophic fall of a bank that could care less about me.