|American Road Rules|
I have often been struck by the chaos that exists on city streets hereabouts. Struck and sometimes stuck . . . like behind a line of trucks parked smack dab in the middle of the National Highway.
Probably half the drivers hereabouts are unlicensed. Maybe more, if the number who obey helmet laws is a reasonable guide. That's about 10% it seems. People park on the sidewalks, in the middle of the road, in front of driveways. They go the wrong way on one-way streets and speed past schools as if kids were just dogs to run over.
Crosswalks? What a waste of good paint.
The idea came to me when I was researching Kim Henares. The Bureau of Internal Revenue has traditionally spent about 78 centavos for every 100 pesos of revenue generated. This year, the expense rose appreciably and will probably come in at 1 peso for every 100 pesos of revenue generated. At first I was going to ding BIR and Henares for lousy cost control.
Then it struck me. Hey, if we can spend as much as 2 pesos for every 100 pesos of revenue generated, we are doing well. After all, 98 pesos are going into the government's kitty for roads and schools and agencies and pork.
So if we doubled the BIR budget, and put it all into tax collectors, we'd:
- Provide whole bunch of jobs, thousands of them.
- We'd increase revenue and be able to build more schools and better roads.
- We'd improve obedience in the lawless Philippines, instill an upright culture rather than a cheating culture of impunity.
The downside is that revenue gets harder and harder to find. The addition of a peso of cost may not generate 100 pesos of revenue. It may at the outset generate 80. Then as people start to pay taxes like they are supposed to, it might drop to 60 or 40 or even 20. But it is highly measureable, eh?
- Pay a tax collector P10,000 per month, plus incentive bonus based on collections. Say all-in cost of P150,000 per year. What should he or she be expected to generate over the course of that year out hunting? A million pesos?
He's paying for himself. So we're good to go.
And in the municipality, that rat's nest of disobedience to order and safe driving, hire up. Get those traffic enforcers in uniform, ticket pad in hand, and start writing.
Pay a traffic enforcer P8,000 per month, plus incentive bonus based on collections. Say all-in cost of P120,000 per year. What should he or she be expected to generate over the course of that year out ticketing? P2,000 per day? Maybe P600,000 per year?
Good to go.
Now about all those fishermen fishing in off-limits waters, or using small-mesh nets.
Good to go. Start hiring.
And the illegal logging.
And the under-the-table spiffs at LTO, or PNP.
Man, hunt 'em down.
Good to go. Good to go.
It's an industry, for sure . Enforcement of laws, "The Obey or Pay Industry". The advantage is threefold, and all three folds are huge.
- A LOT of good paying jobs.
- Filling of the civic treasury.
- Instilling more disciplined and safe behavior across the nation.
The marketplace, for sure, is huge. It consists of all the people who ignore the laws today.
I figure the market is about 40 million people including senators.
Good to go. Good to go.