Now, according to a recent report, people are throwing around the concept of taxing stuff that contains too much -- or any -- sugar.
What about bad TV shows? Programming that is too sweet, trite, hackneyed, not funny, not well cast; shows with bad direction, poor lighting, not believable sound effects. I figure all those should be taxable.
In this economy, everyone and everything needs to be accountable. Talk to your media buying and planning professional about efficiency and eliminating waste. One can get fired for much less.
Bad critical reviews could be one level of tax. Poor viewership could be another. What to do with those tax dollars? Pay back viewers for their wasted time.
Our new economy is being built for 50- or 100-mile-per-gallon cars. Why not demand more from TV? Dramas should move you to tears -- or whatever -- 75% of the time. Comedies should make you laugh -- or smile -- at least 65% of the time. (Give comedy writers a break here, considering the recent poor history of launching new sitcoms).
Reality television should do it part as well. Producers need to find more real-life, voyeuristic moments to satisfy our empty voyeuristic lives. If producers can't find angry, back-biting wannabe business people, hairstylists, chefs, fashion designers, singers, dancers, car drivers, models, bull riders, athletes, poker players, or actors -- they are not doing their jobs.
A New York Times story says research suggests a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages would have strong positive effects on reducing consumption.
Ah hah! Rid yourselves of that bad-tasting entertainment. Most TV advertisers have long yearned for more engaged -- less sweet -- TV viewers, anyway.
Tax program license fees, the cost of TV commercials that support those shows, or any forthcoming digital TV subscription fees. I don't care.
If cash can't be returned to the viewer, then that tax money should be used to make better shows.
In TV advertising-speak, that's my version of a viewer make-good.