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Refers to any case where Big Brother hypocritically "talks out of both sides of his mouth" in the management/oversight of certain economic policies; i.e., the Government loudly claims to approve/disapprove of a certain practice/behavior, yet they tax you or charge you extra if you actually "do the right thing" in that instance.
A classic example of "propriety-penalty" is the marriage-tax, whereby two people who marry are collectively charged more than twice the amount of income-tax that just one of them would have to pay "on his own", and government-provided financial assistance (i.e., Social Security, SSI Disability, etc.) that two benefits-eligible people receive is significantly reduced if they get married instead of merely practicing the socially-frowned-upon "co-habitating without a wedding band" living-arrangement... in both cases, you get "financially penalized" for "doing the right thing"! It's little wonder that so few couples --- especially the younger ones who might be required to pay income tax if their earnings are high enough --- want to "tie the knot" nowadays; these destructive monetary policies actually **encourage** love-birds to "misbehave" in this way.
by QuacksO August 01, 2018
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