Nothing succeeds in the travel industry like a bad idea. The latest hidden mandatory add-on is a "health" charge added to restaurant bills. As far as I know, this scam cropped up first in San Francisco, but you can count on it to spread.
The rationale for this one is to cover the employers' mandatory contribution to the City's "Healthy San Francisco" health-coverage system. The charge actually is levied on employers, but at least some restaurants are adding a few dollars or percentage points to each customer's bill to cover this charge.
The restaurants' excuse for assessing this charge separately is to let customers know how much they're paying for employees' health coverage. That's the same excuse hotels use when they add "resort" or "housekeeping" fees to unsuspecting guests' room bills. It's the same excuse airlines would use to exclude fuel surcharges from their advertised fares if the Department of Transportation would allow them. And it's sheer nonsense. Employees' health insurance is no less of a cost of doing business than rent, property taxes, food costs, security services and all the other inputs businesses require to operate. To single out health care for a separate surcharge is unwarranted.
I can understand the outrage....to a degree. But let's look at something may not be so apparent to the person who wrote this article.
I have worked in businesses both large and small, over my many years in the workforce. The cost of doing business is the cost of doing business. Whatever cost a business owner or corporation must pay to keep the doors open is part of the overhead, and it always gets passed onto the customer. This includes taxes and fees levied by all levels of government.
In this case, the restaurants in SF are passing this city tax (and it is a tax) to cover the additional cost forced upon them. The only difference is they are not building it into the price of the items on the menu. They are showing it for all to see.
This is why additional taxes on corporations and businesses in a time of recession only creates inflation, which can (and often does) result in more recession. This is why a tax on commerce of any kind, is a tax on the consumer.
Let's look at this in healthcare terms:
Whenever government sticks its nasty snot-dripping noses into our lives, it infects every thing it touches. Whether bacterial or viral, it spreads like wildfire and weakens the system.