Tuesday, March 11, 2008

About Plastic Bags...

As you may have read, I am currently on a mission to rid my life completely of plastic bags. It's turning out to be nearly impossible, but all the same, I think it's a good way to spend my time, berating the crazy lady with 27 barrettes in her hair who works at CVS for double bagging my stick of deodorant--because, you know, the bag is going to break on my 2 block walk home... At the grocery store the other day, I started putting groceries in my pocketbook (this is possible because even though I am 29, I carry a purse big enough for any 80 year old...), and the checkout girl thought that was the weirdest thing she'd ever seen. Eric agreed with her, of course. But I didn't use any plastic! Anyway, I digress.

Today, one of our illustrious elected officials proposed that Massachusetts levy a 2 cent tax per plastic bag used. And he wonders why "Tax-achusetts" is our nickname...

So, I'm on the fence about this. On one hand, taxation is an effective way to deter behavior, and there is certainly 2 cents per bag worth of cost that we bear in cleaning up and landfilling the stupid things. On the other hand, there HAS to be some sort of limitation on the ability of our legislators to tax us. Massachusetts' state budget is like $28 BILLION, and I know for a fact that a whole lot of that money goes towards stupid pet projects in places nobody ever goes, like the Merry-Go-Round in Holyoke or the Bonnie Brae Camp, which I don't even think exists (yet, there are still at least 25 homeless people within a stone's throw of the State House... Nice priorities, huh?).

Anyway, I've been thinking about it all morning, but I feel nothing strong for either side of this issue. I suppose for the time being, I will just continue to use my cloth bags, and continue to just complain about Massachusetts politics. What?! Complaining is totally productive.

In better news, we received notice this morning that the Gov made a great choice in appointing the new Secretary of Education, under which my department will start working quite soon. His choice is the best possible outside of overturning the legislation that created the Secretary in the first place. I am RELIEVED.

Trip to Indiana in 15 days!