Things That Rub Me the Wrong Way: Traffic Signs, Tax Writeoffs

My Favorite Charity

The Salvation Army, My Favorite Charity
The Salvation Army, My Favorite Charity

One of the Helpful Roadsigns

As we wend our way through the trials and tribulations of daily living, all of us, I suppose, come across annoyances -- great and small -- that rile us, almost on a daily basis. Trouble is there's generally little we can do about them except to grimace, growl, shake our heads and let bygones be bygones.

Some people like to ignore all the little vexations that occur from time to time -- probably because they somehow feel that it would be "negative" to say anything or do anything about them.

To me, it's important for people to speak up when they see something wrong; that's the way our system works. If no one points out when something needs correcting it's unlikely the problem will ever be resolved.

You could say that, in my view, being negative is the positive thing to do.

In any case, there are many observations I'd like to share -- in the hope that, perhaps, somebody's "listening" and may be in a position to do something positive. Unfortunately, space limits me to these few examples.

Decreasing Radius Turn

* * * The incredibly dangerous exit from the Route 7 Extension that serves as an entrance to Interstate 95. Despite the fact that it links two 55 mph limited access highways the road has a dangerous decreasing radius turn which can take drivers by surprise. Sure, people should slow down when they enter a curve but in the real world people don't always do what they're supposed to do.

Out-of-towners who are driving on major highways couldn't possibly suspect that any state would lay before them such a dangerous and inadequately signed curve. It's more than an accident waiting to happen; it's a whole series of them. And, unless something is done, the state can look forward to some big lawsuits in the months and years to come. I hope state officials don't cry crocodile tears when they confront the inevitably large damage awards.

Misplaced Highway Signs

* * * The placement of highway signs in general, not only in Connecticut but virtually everywhere. Anyone who has ever driven more than two blocks from home is aware of how easy it is to go awry when motoring in an unfamiliar area. There are so many places where signs are erected in the wrong place, or missing entirely, that it would take a gargantuan national effort to straighten out the mess.

There ought to be a law that requires communities to bring in someone unfamiliar with the area to designate where the signs should go. I've always had a theory that highway engineers are rarely our best and brightest because youngsters invariably dream of becoming builders of bridges and skyscrapers. Only those who fail to make the mark settle for jobs as highway engineers.

Charitable Contributions

* * * Tax write-offs by the rich and famous. There are some very worthy charities -- notably the Salvation Army -- and some, which shall remain nameless, that get little respect from me. Nevertheless, I seethe when I read about wealthy, often famous, people giving vast sums to charity. It's not because I have anything against the charities, but, rather, it's because I am thinking of the big tax write-offs these people are taking (sometimes with little justification, such as when they donate personal effects to a museum.)

This is the way I look at it: Every time a wealthy person writes off $1 million in charitable contributions, the government loses a big slice of taxes -- and that means you and I have to pay more to make up for the loss.

I wrote this column as a "My View" for The Hour newspaper of Norwalk, Conn., on June 22, 1996. I now write my views on a wide variety of topics on HubPages. To view my HubPages Profile Click Here

Should Federal Standards Be Established for the Design and Placement of Road Signs?

See results without voting

California DMV Rules of the Road No. 4 -- Road Signs

More by this Author


Comments 9 comments

IĆ°unn 8 years ago

You could say that, in my view, being negative is the positive thing to do. <-- so welll put. hahaha

whinging, to me, is something of an artform. I think I rather excel and far be it from me to argue with a fellow artist.

also, that the super-elite seem to think they should be exempt from taxes is nauseating, so very Leona Helmsley. I'd be all for seeing a tax on only UNEARNED income. those who don't work for their income, pay, those who do work for it regardless of compensation level, don't.

I sometimes wonder how those figures would turn out. I do know it would add to that GOP promoted concept that hard work pays. Every time I hear how the rich are rich because of merit I think of Paris Hilton. :|


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 8 years ago

Excellent hub. I am not even going to start on the whole tax the poor to feed the rich system :)


In The Doghouse profile image

In The Doghouse 8 years ago from California

William

Isn't it said, "the squeeky wheel gets the grease"? I hope that we can all be negative in a positive way. I don't even want to talk about the "heros" of society who "donate soooooooooooo much to the starving children in Africa" syndrome. I really wonder what percentage of their vast fortune they actually use for charity? Do you think it is just the amount that you need for a standard deduction? YIKES. Now, there you go, you got this wheel squeeking!!!


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

Talking taxes is also too taxing for me right now but i do know that complaining is something that everyone need to do when there are problems within the system etc.

Every-time I'm on the bus there are always people complaining about the drivers driving or service and i tell them to complain to the supervisor if it bothers them. I even show them the location for the complaints number which is not in the best of locations like the advertising!

My problem is i never really complain! i just moan to another passenger on a bus!


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 8 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

Thanks, Iðunn . I like your idea, but I'm afraid the GOP would have apoplexy!

And thank you, Mark. Yeah, I'm afraid you'd have to write a hub if you started commenting on taxing the poor to feed the rich!

Keep squeaking, In The Doghouse. I always think of John D. Rockefeller, who became very generous when he was advised that it would pay him dividends in terms of reputation and political power. The ultra-rich who create foundations reap huge benefits and maintain control over those funds for generations.

You're like most people, compu-smart -- including me. There are some things you can influence for the better, and some things you can't. My experience in the business world has been that complaints against employees that are liked by management will go nowhere, while complaints against others will help management do whatever they wanted to do in the first place.


Curdman profile image

Curdman 8 years ago from Lawrence, KS

I liked your article, but due to my own cynicism, i'm unaffected by such broad items and find myself nit picking on actual people who have more responsibility and abuse it.

I fear the business world for your reason stated above, I'm a nice guy and all but i don't suck up to someone i don't respect, higher than me or not, and that has sometimes been to my own detriment.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 8 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

Those people who fail to live up to their responsibilities get little sympathy from me, Curdman, but I think that a whole new subject for another column. Neither do I give deference to those who hold positions of authority unless I believe they are acting in the best interests of all of us. Thanks for your always welcome comments.


suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 3 years ago from Asheville, NC

Useless "Yield" signs annoy me. No one ever yields. Fun read - thanks.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 3 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

Every day I see useless signs, suziecat7. Some are just annoying like "Yield" signs, but many are actually useless because it is impossible to follow their instruction -- like signs that say "No Trucks" that when seen the truck is alread there where trucks are not allowed. Worse are the left or right turn lanes that you can't possible see until you are already in the wrong lane. Thanks for commenting.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working