We Need a Stupidity Tax: Just Tax the Stupid People

There was an episode of Absolutely Fabulous where Edina Monsoon is representing herself in court after breaking various laws and then goes on a tirade about how the system doesn’t quite work. She eventually defends her stance that stupid people should be taxed because of the expenses they bring onto society.

An article in today’s Metro newspaper reminded me of that.

Apparently, three college students have died in the past 3 months or so by falling from high places. One idiot was drunk and wanted to climb to the roof of his Back Bay apartment building to impress chicks. He fell off and died.

Another brainiac decided to do a handstand on the railing of a bridge. He fell off and died.

The third student, just this week, was climibing onto the roof of his rented apartment in Roxbury. He fell off and died.

The parents of one of these scholars mentioned something about the city and universities doing more to protect students from such accidents. And that infuriates me. Are we in such a litigious society that we think we have to place blame/responsibility on third parties? Why aren’t we held accountable for our own actions? I think it’s fairly logical that you shouldn’t climb onto a roof that does not have an actual roof deck. Period.

And, logic would say, you should probably not attempt to climb onto a roof while intoxicated, while it’s dark, or while your attention is on impressing the woman you brought home from a bar.

These guys are in college. They must have developed some sort of knowledge to have gotten accepted into college in the first place. I mean, what else would you want the city (or the universities) to do when college kids move into town?

Put bars on every window so you can’t fall out?

Use plastic sporks instead of forks in the cafeteria to prevent injury?


  1. Comment by Lise Berg on September 28, 2006 9:58 am

    We do have a stupid people tax – it’s called the lottery. But your point is well taken. And you know they only give us plastic utensils now so they can laugh at us as we try to cut the half-chickens and spear the giant-sized cooked vegetables.

  2. Comment by Chris on September 28, 2006 11:59 am

    Please don’t give the laywers suggestions.

  3. Comment by snarl on September 28, 2006 12:31 pm

    HMMM – Will (of DesignerBlog) was having trouble commenting so he went out of his way to send it to me by email (I love how devoted my readers can be!). Here’s his comment:

    Book learning, especially in our rather degrades educational system,
    doesn’t always equate to life knowledge or common sense, particularly
    when large amounts of testosterone are involved.

    I like the way they do things in France. When you go to an ancient
    site or some place like a gorge or waterfall there are signs that say
    Danger of Death. Then in both glyphs and in words, all the various
    ways in which death can occur are spelled out for you. You can stay
    on the path or you can elect to try to get as close to the abyss as
    possible in the area beyond the guard rail. It’s up to you. The
    French still believe in individual responsibility.

  4. Comment by karyn on September 28, 2006 2:34 pm

    Logic tends to defy most inebriated citizens, Karl. Of course parents say the universities should do more to protect their kids. Their kid just died , and regardless of whose fault it is, the parents are galvanized with heartache. They feel like they sent their baby off to college full of hopes and dreams only to see it all dashed on the rocks.

    Doesn’t make it right. Yes our society IS that litigious. You know that already.

    But that kind of unimaginable heartbreak must render people so helpless that they take a stab where they can in an attempt to mitigate their horrendous grief.

    Of course the individuals did something stupid. Of course they are the ones who are responsible. No argument. But do you think parents are really going to sit back and bash their dead child for having bad judgment?

  5. Comment by karyn on September 28, 2006 2:36 pm

    And ps: I forgot to say I like the ‘stupid tax’. The politicians who vote themselves payraises will be using said financial gain to pay their way. Finally.

  6. Comment by karyn on September 28, 2006 2:39 pm

    AND (last comment) they may be the freaking global champions of personal responsibility, but their collective responsibility leaves a great deal to be desired, as far as I am concerned

    For example , did you know that they were planning a German alliance in a new Europe against the UK and USA before the D-Day invasion which liberated their country ( at huge loss of life for allied forces of course ) from the Nazis ?

    Did you know that they were supplying information about allied plans and actions ( which they were supposed to be a part of ) to Saddam Hussein in the first gulf war ? Plus doing the same in the war against Yugoslavia .

    There are a vast number of examples of French perfidy but those will do for now .

  7. Comment by karyn on September 28, 2006 2:41 pm

    Ahem. And by “they”, in that NEXT to last post, I mean The French.

    Not French bashing, I’m sure there are plenty of lovely French citizens and I would very much love to visit, eventually, assuming they’ll let me in.

  8. Comment by karyn on September 28, 2006 2:41 pm

    Ahem. And by “they”, in that NEXT to last post, I mean The French.

    Not French bashing, I’m sure there are plenty of lovely French citizens and I would very much love to visit, eventually, assuming they’ll let me in.

    And now I’m really done. Swear.

  9. Comment by snarl on September 28, 2006 2:42 pm

    I agree. The heartbreak of losing a loved one is horrible. And I can understand the irrational desire to make somebody else pay for what happened. In some cases, thata’s warranted.

    For example, the women killed on the Mass Turnpike when the ceiling collaspsed as a result of negligent design and construction. She wasn’t being reckless.

    In this case (college kids), they act stupid and get stupid results. It sucks that they’re dead, but don’t get a city’s feathers alll riled up beause you just know time is now going to be wasted on coming up with ways to prevetn drunk college guys from dropping from the sky (why aren’t women dropping like flies?).

    Because they can drink and apparently maintain at least minimal logic. Men have a lot to learn.

  10. Comment by karyn on September 28, 2006 2:46 pm

    Women are too busy standing on the ground ogling the jumpers, honey. They’re so drunk they think it’s cool.

    We all have a lot to learn.

  11. Comment by snarl on September 28, 2006 2:55 pm

    Actually, the two most revolting drunks I’ve ever seen have both been females. Fortunately, they were wise enough to remain on terra firma.

    Unfortunately, terra firma is also where their dinners and drinks ended up after making a quick, and rather loud, escape from their mouths.

  12. Comment by karyn on September 28, 2006 3:00 pm

    Oh you do paint a pretty picture.

    And you can’t deny you are just a tiny bit biased… but okay, whatever, a drunk is a drunk is a drunk.

  13. Comment by Dave in Chicago (2) on September 28, 2006 7:45 pm

    I think you have 3 excellent competitors for next year’s Darwin Awards (in the same category, no less). Natural selection at work.

  14. Comment by Fred on September 29, 2006 1:51 am

    It gets worse – some brainiac (probably an attorney) on the City Council (it may have been Mike Ross, who is damn cute, and not stupid, but would still do something dumb like this…) is proposing making going on a roof w/o a deck some kind of crime/misdemeanor unless in an emergency…sheesh…just what we need – another opportunity for the city to ticket us for doing something that CAN be fun (if one accepts responsibility, etc.).

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