TV guide listings tell us that shows last, for example, from 7:00 p.m. to 7:30p.m. However, no sitcom actually lasts 30 minutes because of frequent commercial interruptions. Actually, most sitcoms last between 20 and 22 minutes.
The 30 minute time slot is similar to personal income. They both show us what we could have.
Personal taxes are similar to commercials shown during T.V. Commercials last only 30 seconds to a minute each, but all of those seconds add up. Similarly, taxes are usually taken out at every paycheck and during most purchases. But they add up when you take into account all local, state, and Federal taxes.
Commercials are needed to generate income for programmers to pay for actors, directors, and crew members of shows and movies. Without commercials, viewers would have to directly pay for what they want to watch.
Similarly, taxes are needed to provide useful public services. Local, state, and Federal government employees such as the armed forces, park rangers, policemen, and firefighters must be paid for. Taxes also fund Social Security, Welfare, public schools and such.
Taxes and commercials are necessary evils. Just like economists are fond of saying, there are no free lunches.
- Anna Glover is an undergraduate at the University of Memphis.