Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Cost of a Dollar

Everyone is hurt by the current economy.  Unions are protesting every other day as if protesting is a rite of passage.  Fees are being raised all across the board.  People are up in arms over it.  How dare someone else be affected by the economy!  How dare they raise fees to compensate! 

Watching the news is like watching a circus side show.  The cause and effect takes on a level of surrealism.  Like a Salvador Dali painting melting.  thumbnail[2]

Besides the controversial proposal to create a daytime curfew for juveniles . . . that wasn’t already a law?  It was when I was growing up.  Parents are beside themselves shouting that this is racial profiling.  One angry parent said,“The Latino kids will be caught for truancy which will introduce them into the system and before we know it they will be on the road to prison.”  Don’t all kids, minority or not, have the choice to just attend school like they’re supposed to?  Stay out of gateway trouble altogether?  How is this a debate?  But I digress from my original point.

The newest outrage among the Bay Area community is the proposal to increase tolls across the Golden Gate Bridge.  Not just for regular traffic but for carpoolers too.  “We may be the only bridge in the United States who doesn’t charge for carpooling.”  A quote from some lady in a suit.

What is most crazy is they want to charge pedestrians and bicyclists to cross the bridge too.  A small poll of tourists concluded that people are generally ok with this idea.  After all, it’s only a dollar per person.  They paid enough to visit San Francisco, what’s another dollar to cross a landmark bridge?

But here lies the problem.  The one thing no one thought of. 

Some guy is having a bad day.  He lost his job, his significant other left him and his cat ran away.  Plus, he burned dinner and the acrid smell still hangs in the air.  Ok, the guy is having more than a bad day.  He’s depressed.  To the point that he is considering leaving this world.  His debt is astronomical and without a job to even make a dent in the payments . . . well, you can see how late at night desperate thoughts are entertained.

The Golden Gate Bridge looms in his mind and in the picturesque view from the apartment he cannot afford.  A metaphorical light bulb blinks on in his mind.  But he has to pay $1 just to get on the bridge.  A whole dollar to jump. 

The government applauds Golden Gates’ efforts to save millions to help ‘bridge’ the financial gap.  A financial gap that has been in the making for years.  Government spending is like a bum on the street begging for a buck you know will only be wasted on booze.  It took being trillions of dollars in debt before our government decided to reverse course.  And now Jon Doe can’t even escape his impossible situation without the government gaining from his loss.

Is there no rest for the weary?

(Because it is difficult to hear tone of voice through writing, I need to say that I am being sarcastic and facetious.  This post is supposed to be funny!)


  1. Gee, Tristan, did the guy with the bad luck have to be abandoned by his cat too? LOL

    He surely was having a very bad day.

    I liked where you were going with the description of the backlash about a proposed daytime curfew for juveniles. I know that there are always unintended consequences to consider when instituting this type of rule, but I find it hard to come up with a reason for being against the premise -- children should be in school when school is in session.

    Increases in prices are inevitable. No one likes it, but there's no getting around it. I don't normally react angrily over it, but what happened a couple of years was different. Remember when gas prices spiked from $50 to $135 per barrel. If you were to Google "crude oil prices" and look up a 10-year history chart, it is apparent that there was no compelling reason for such a dramatic spike. That situation, I must admit, bugged me a lot.

    The fate of Jon Doe is a sad one. His sorry state having been prolonged for lack of a dollar may end up costing taxpayers more in the long run. Maybe they should have a free express lane to the afterlife to cover this type situation. :) Ray

  2. Hi Ray,

    Your comment made me laugh. A free express lane to the afterlife! "Hi, are you crossing the bridge for business, pleasure, or simply to kill yourself? Suicide? Ok, you're free to go. Good luck!"

    You bring up a good point with the gas prices. Increases in prices are inevitable. It's part of life. I just feel bad for Jon Doe because his cat has been located and it's hungry.

  3. Now I'm laughing! Your quote of the questioning is much funnier, especially since it ends with, "Good luck".


Now that I've shared my thoughts, what are your thoughts?