Recently, more grocery stores have been doing something ingenious. They’ve programmed their registers to offer to round up every customer’s total to the next dollar. The extra pennies go to the store’s charity of choice. Children with cancer. Assistance to veterans. Homeless pets. Worthy causes all. Assuming a normal distribution of totals, the charity makes an average of 49 cents for every customer who donates. Most of us probably donate. It’s easy. Even if only half of us donate, that’s about a quarter per customer.
As of Thursday, Howard County scarfs four cents of those proceeds for every plastic bag the customer uses. That’s less money for private charity and more for… what? We’re told a chunk of it will be used to buy bags for the disadvantaged–who were already getting them free until the tax hit. Remember, you’re not only paying more for the bags, you’re paying the people who thought up this clever plan to come up with more just like it. A sobering thought come Election Day.