The Netflix Mandate

I finally took the plunge and signed up for Netflix.  I don't know why I was being so cheap before; I'm not really going to miss the $8/month.  And, I feel that I get a great deal of entertainment for the money.  Even more, I don't have to think about it; every month the money is charged to my credit card.  If it was more than $8/month, that bother me, but as it is I feel pretty good about it.

But, it got me to thinking, "What if the fee was automatically deducted from my paycheck on a pre-tax basis?"  Not only would that simplify things for me, but it would obviously increase the value proposition of Netflix, so much so that they would doubtless be able to increase their prices without loosing customers.  In fact, they would probably see a considerable expansion in their subscriptions, because let's face it, avoiding every possible penny of taxes is great fun.  Everyone else in the entertainment sector - and frankly, outside of it as well - would cry "foul".  This is rightfully so as Netflix would be profiting greatly from a fortuitous tax loophole.

This should make you wonder why we pay for health "insurance" this way.  Do we benefit from greater access to cheaper care because we are able to pay for it with pre-tax money, or does this practice simply inflate the prices, remove the true consumer from the decision making process and artificially drive the expansion of this voter-preferred sector of the economy?      
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