August 06, 2008

An Issue of Trust?

The following is going to be a generalization. So don't get your knickers all twisted just yet.

Having just returned from a visit to New York City, not even three days ago, and a trip to Florida earlier in the year, it occurred to me that there seems to be a very different level of trust when it comes to motorists. This is regards to gas and tolls.

Anyone that has been to the U.S. probably knows that pre-paying for gas is the norm. However, the same the mentality has also been applied to tolls. Many of the toll routes now have the option of electronic tolls, similar to Ontario's 407 system. The biggest difference is that for the U.S. the accounts must have a pre-paid balance whereas in Ontario you pay after the fact. This is much like the gas situation where gas in Ontario and most provinces (BCers started pre-paying this year) is paid for after the fact but in the U.S. it all must be paid for in advance.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. It's just a simple and generalized observation I've made. It makes me curious about the way motorists, or people in general, are viewed by the the decision-makers or by each other. And for me, it begs some questions; Is there a lower sense of trust given to Americans by Americans than to Canadians by Canadians? If so, what drives the underlying fear of fellow Americans that doesn't exist for Canadians? Does this extend into areas beyond gas and tolls?

Quotes from people smarter than me...

"If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich" ~ JFK

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. " ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. " ~ Benjamin Franklin

"First it is necessary to stand on your own two feet. But the minute a man finds himself in that position, the next thing he should do is reach out his arms. " ~ Kristin Hunter

"When you're a mayor and you have a problem you blame the provincial government. If you are provincial government and you have a problem you blame the federal government. We don't blame the Queen any more, so once in a while we might blame the Americans." ~ Jean Chretien

"Which is ideology? Which not? You shall know them by their assertion of truth, their contempt for considered reflection, and their fear of debate." ~ John Ralston Saul

"It is undoubtedly easier to believe in absolutes, follow blindly, mouth received wisdom. But that is self-betrayal." ~ John Ralston Saul

"Everybody dies, Tracey. Someone's carrying a bullet for you right now, doesn't even know it. The trick is to die of old age before it finds you." ~ Cpt. Malcolm Reynolds (Firefly, Episode 12)