Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The unintended consequences from the proceeds of sloth

For those who have the luck not to reside in the Centre of the Universe (aka as Toronto for the uninitiated) may not know that our esteemed Mayor imposed a $.05 ‘fine’ which all retailers operating within the city limits are forced to charge their customers for each ‘plastic’ bag used to bag the customer’s purchases in. Any retailer caught not charging the fine will face a rather substantial penalty via the municipal by-law.

In a city which seems to suffer from chronic budget shortfalls one can be forgiven for thinking it was a new initiative to raise cash for the city coffers, but alas, no. This isn’t a fund raising initiative but rather the mayor’s attempt to punish all unsuitably green municipal citizens for their slovenly and sloth-filled ways. The stores actually get to keep the proceeds of sloth. Although, retailers can always get around the ‘fine’ by offering ‘paper’ bags to their customers as paper bags are deemed more ‘environmentally responsible’ via the mayor’s office, and are therefore ‘exempt’ from the sloth fine.

What I love about this half-baked venture into social engineering is all the unintended consequences which have resulted since the mayor and his cohorts came up with their ‘green’ by-law. I suppose those city hall types are so use to dealing with environ-tyrants that it never occurred to them that the vast unwashed slackers and slothful might not be so compliant or reasonable to deal with either.

The Last Amazon has a summer job working in a retail store located in a large and prominent mall. Her breaks have now become enormously entertaining watching mall security guards trying attempting to sort out the shoplifters from non-green slacker citizen consumer types who refuse to pay the sloth surcharge for a plastic bag but didn’t plan ahead for their shopping sprees by bringing their own bags, and instead, carry their purchases stuffed in their pockets, handbags, or openly in their hands with the tags hanging down.

The Last Amazon tells me nothing screams righteous and indignant outrage quite like a middle-aged type from Forest Hill who has just been confronted by a mall security guard demanding said patron prove he/she is not a shoplifter…well that is, until said middle-aged type from Forest Hill just also happens to be a lawyer as well. Good times people, good times.

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