As a P.T. (often referred to as perpetual traveller, permanent tourist or prior taxpayer), I have travelled to nearly 100 countries. During those travels there has always been one defining moment, upon entry into a country, which shows that the country is what is generally thought of as a “third world country”.
It is the moment when, upon arrival, you are charged a fee to enter the country. The reason generally being that the government of the country has so destroyed the economy and/or they have so little understanding of what creates wealth that they think that the way to make their country prosperous is to charge a fee upon entry rather than allowing people to enter freely and transact, trade and spend their money in the economy. Either that or the government is so desperate for money that it uses this as a significant source of revenue.
They have this in Cambodia, Indonesia, Bolivia and numerous other similar countries. And now, they have it in the US.
The US has long-used “visa application fees” to bilk money from people in countries like Thailand as a way to raise money but now the US has announced that they are going to charge a $5.50 fee to Canadians upon entering the US.
The fee is ludicrous and counterproductive for many reasons. Not least of which is making it five dollars and fifty cents, ensuring that payment of the transaction will take twice as long as normal to make the extra change. Canadians who are one of the only large groups of people still bringing some economic activity into the US will both be turned off by having to pay to enter the US but also by the extra long lines to enter as they make change for this fee.
Not to mention the hilarity of calling it an “inspection fee”. Does this mean that if we would not like to be inspected then we don’t have to pay?
CHECKPOINTS POPPING UP EVERYWHERE IN THE US
Checkpoints have recently gone up in Flint, Michigan and TSA VIPR (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response) teams have spread our across Tennessee to stop drivers and “check their documents”.