Cutting in line is getting expensive. But is it a moral concern?
On some urban freeways, you can pay to use the lanes that once were restricted to cars carrying two or more passengers to encourage carpooling. For a fee, so-called High Occupancy/Toll (HOT) lanes are available to single-occupant cars in Houston and California and have been proposed for Washington, D.C.; Maryland; Georgia; Minnesota; Washington; Colorado; Florida; Minnesota; and Dallas and San Antonio, Texas
You can avoid long lines in some amusement parks by renting a pager that holds your place. At Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey, the cost for this service is $20, plus $10 for each additional member of the group.
Soon, you may be able to avoid long security lines at airports by purchasing a special pass. A pilot program at five airports is free, but the Transportation Security Administration plans to charge for the service when it becomes widely available.
And in August, a Texas man zipped past 17,000 liver-transplant candidates because his family had the financial resources to advertise on billboards and in newspapers for a new liver. He found a donor and underwent transplant surgery, thus circumventing a national system designed to give everyone an equal shot at a transplant.
We asked two theologically trained experts whether we should be concerned because these are new ways for the rich to seal themselves off from the unwashed masses, or whether they are simply examples of a free market working correctly.
Eugene McCarraher, a Villanova University historian who is working on a theologically informed critique of corporate capitalism, said it is bothwith one important disclaimer.
"I take it on socialist and Catholic principles of 'solidarity' that ...1
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