[…]

Now here’s an idea that seems fair in theory but would be an administrative nightmare to put into practice: Gonzalo Otalora is arguing that good-looking people should pay more tax. This would make up for the better deal they get in life (from employers, potential lovers etc).

He also wants photo requirements on job applications and airbrushing in magazines to be outlawed and for the levy to be donated to “the ugly.” I’m right with him on the first two goals but I must say the mind boggles when it comes to how on earth the government would decide who could be classed as “ugly.” Would they use a very narrow definition that attempts to boil attractiveness down to an exact science? (For the record, the one I’ve linked to looks pretty sexist too.) Would there be a sliding scale or a sharp cut-off point? Would the government have to make turning up to get assessed compulsory? Or would they rely on people voluntarily stepping forward as potential “uglies” for official confirmation? Imagine the backlash! Surely a whole section of lower taxpayers (not to mention the recipients of the funds) would end up being vilified for their certified status as “officially not good looking”?

Thank goodness Lucy Mangan jokily suggests rebates for late bloomers. Just think of all those people who spent their early years suffering as apparent ugly ducklings only to be penalised for turning into swans…

Then again, maybe we’d actually see a positive result, as hoardes of tax-dodgers got slack in the effort to make sure they looked as minging as possible. Perhaps some people would discover that life is much more fun when you don’t fritter your time away on trying to look attractive?