If we would just acknowledge that our perspectives are not necessarily “right,” we might better understand the world in which we live. If we would accept that perspectives that differ from our own may be equally as valid, and possibly more so, our hubris might morph into humility.  Wisdom arises from recognizing that the ignorance on which we rely for truth may be what holds us back from enlightenment.


I am troubled by the arguments I hear that taxes on electric and/or hybrid vehicles constitute unreasonable penalties for environmental responsibility. In my opinion, taxes on gasoline and taxes on hybrids, etc. both represent variations on the same concept: use fees. In my opinion, vehicles, regardless of type, that use public roadways should be assessed use fees to pay for the construction and upkeep of streets and highways. Taxes on gasoline, therefore, make perfectly good sense to me. When technologies replace—or reduce the amount of—gasoline required for the operation of automobiles, the public revenue lost to more efficient gasoline engines or electric-powered vehicles must come from alternatives to gas taxes. Fees levied on electric vehicles or hybrids can provide those alternative revenue streams. Arguments might be made that users of such vehicles deserve rewards of some sort to recognize environmental responsibility, but I do not think reductions in road use taxes are appropriate ways to acknowledge good environmental stewardship. Perhaps, though, increased gasoline taxes levied on users of gasoline-powered vehicles should be implemented. Such “penalties,” over and above what is required for roadway maintenance, could be used to partially fund more environmentally responsible modes of public transportation. A negative aspect of higher gasoline taxes is that they would place proportionally greater financial burdens on low income users. That greater financial burden could be reduced by implementing reductions in income tax rates for people whose incomes fall below specific threshold limits. Whether my ideas are valid or not, I suspect solutions can be developed that will provide necessary public funds as well as ensure fairness in shared burdens. The place to start is to acknowledge that all users of public means of transportation have a responsibility to pay for the privilege.


The greatest tragedy for any human being is going through their entire lives believing the only perspective that matters is their own.

~ Doug Baldwin ~


Empathy begins with understanding life from another person’s perspective. Nobody has an objective experience of reality. It’s all through our own individual prisms.

~ Sterling K. Brown ~


I have so much to learn, but not nearly enough time to learn it.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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