Final Word from Monday, July 18, 2011

When a reporter asked Aretha Franklin how she lost 85 lb,she replied that she had learned she wouldn't starve if she hadone hot dog instead of two. It's like the phenomenally populardiet from the 1970s - eat whatever you want, but only half asmuch. Many normal Czechs will soon be going on a forceddiet of this same sort. A 19% VAT rate on food and almost everythingelse will require them to make tough decisions. Theymight decide to keep buying their favorite products, but insmaller quantities. Pubs and restaurants will inevitably sufferfrom the drop in disposable income. Czechs will opt to keeptheir mobile phones, but they might have to use them moresparingly. (A Facebook protest yesterday called for switchingphones off for the entire afternoon.) Of course all that extraVAT money being sucked from the pockets of normal Czechshas to go somewhere, so car dealers can look forward to sellingmore luxury cars, as the criminal elite learn that theywon't starve if they have two Lamborghinis instead of one.

Glossary of difficult words

lb - the abbreviation for "pound";

to opt - to make a choice from a range of possibilities;

disposable income - income remaining after deduction of taxes and other mandatory charges, available to be spent or saved as one wishes;

sparingly - moderately, economically.


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