By John F. Di Leo -
How would you react to the following news stories?
“Former Shoppers Fined $5,000 for No Longer Frequenting Nearby Mall”
Residents of Anytown, USA were surprised to receive invoices in the mail from their local county government Friday. The county identified people who used to shop in the local mall but, due to reports of muggings, rapes, and vehicle theft at the mall, switched to shopping at other, safer malls, or just doing it online. The thousand dollar a year fine was based on the estimated amount of revenue the mall says it lost due to their departure. Professional economists, when asked about the new approach, called it “creative” and “visionary.”
“Former Theatergoers Arrested for Switching from Cinema Attendance to DVD Purchases and Cable Watching”
The local movieplex, having raised its price by fifty cents a year for the past four years, persuaded the city council of Anytown, USA to punish the residents who used to attend the cinema but no longer do. The new $500/year “Economic Avoidance Penalty” is designed to dissuade people from the unhealthy choice to stay home. This new trend, usually blamed on the steep prices of tickets and drinks, costs the community important resources, by depressing the employment of ushers and cashiers, and by reducing critical sales tax revenue. Economists, when notified of this new charge for non-attendance at the cinema, laughing hysterically, unanimously said “Ha ha, that’s a good one,” before being notified that it was for real, and then correcting their comments to call it “creative” and “visionary.”