- Politics and Social Issues
Things That Rub Me the Wrong Way: Traffic Signs, Tax Writeoffs
One of the Helpful Roadsigns
My Favorite Charity
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.
* * * 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.