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A Voice in the Wilderness

As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness. -- William O. Douglas

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I Love Taxes?

Alicia, over at 'Last Left Before Hootervillle' has posted a brilliant piece of work regarding taxes. I agree with her, I love taxes too.

Now, before you get to thinking my cheese slipped off it’s cracker, read the sample of her post that I have provided here and then please, please go visit her blog.

I must say she makes some brilliant arguments and I strongly suggest you read what she has to say in its entirety.

Here is a sample which will hopefully entice you into clicking on the link to her post right here. Her post is called, ‘I Love taxes.’

“The impetus for our nationhood was rebellion against unjust taxation. There is a deep-seated distrust of taxes built into the American psyche for this reason. And acquisitiveness is a primal survival mechanism. Babies are born selfish out of necessity. But we are not babies. We learn that sharing is not only kind, it's necessary to our way of life. We have to give if we want to get. If we want something, we have to pay for it. Americans believe in hard work, and making your own way. But Warren Buffet acknowledges that "There's no way I would enjoy what I enjoy if I had been born in West Africa." Part of being successful in America is the resources that America has to offer, and these don't just come out of thin air. If we want the benefit of all these resources, we need to pay for it. No matter how hard a person works, no matter what sort of entrepreneurial spirit and determination you have, it doesn't matter if the infrastructure and resources are not there to work with. Babies expect to be given everything without having to pay for it. Adults should know better…

...Call for taxing the rich, and the howls of 'class warfare' are heard from the right. But it is a privilege to be able to do business in the United States, and poor people pay a much larger proportion of their income in taxes that benefit the rich when you figure in the taxes that are paid on everything they consume. There is already class warfare, and it's the war of the rich against the poor, and of the corporation against the individual. For all the reminiscing about how great life was in the 50's, and how family life was so fantastic because moms stayed home, one big reason was the high tax rate of the well-off, and of corporations. The overall economy was prosperous enough that a shoe salesman could own a home, a car, and support a wife and large family - on one job! And a not-especially high-paying or prestigious one at that! Never mind that much of the idealization of the 50s conveniently forgets about racism and sexism, and the fact that many dads missed out on their kids' entire childhoods and moms were often tied up in a pink ruffled straitjacket, but speaking in economic terms, the dollar went a whole lot farther than it does today. Plus, decent-paying blue-collar jobs have gone the way of the 45 record, college tuition is through the roof, and social mobility is more stratified and frozen than ever. The good-paying jobs for those without a college degree (and those with one!) have been replaced by service jobs - McJobs, if you will, without benefits, where you can work full-time and not be able to support yourself. Think about that - you work as hard as you can for 40 hours or more a week, and not make enough money to supply even the basic necessities of life. That's not work - that's indentured servitude. Folks, the trickle-down theory does not work. It's just a race to the bottom for the poor, and the formerly-middle-class that is rapidly becoming poor. More money might be made for those at the top - Wall Street shows that - but it's staying there, siphoned to offshore accounts and tax shelters. We've seen the results, and we're living with it now. And with the elimination of the estate tax, money that would have gone to charitable giving as a tax shelter is now unnecessary.”

Alicia goes on and on about this and it is just incredible how she has put this post together. I am sorry that I lifted so much of Alicia's work to post here but my intention is to share it with everyone who reads my blog because what she has to say is compelling and important.

By the way, do not worry - her post is not one of those that makes you furrow your eyebrows, cross your eyes and scratch your head. Actually it's more akin to looking at the Statue of Liberty or the Golden Gate Bridge in person - a 'wow' experience. On second thought, maybe I am loopy. Oh well.

Please give her blog a visit and read her post in its entirety – she is one of my daily reads - I am convinced you will see why this is so once you have visited her site. This woman is witty, funny and brilliant.

Folks this is one of those pieces of work that is a keeper. If Alicia ever decides to run for President, she has my vote. Alicia makes me proud to be an American because she makes total sense. A refreshing change in comparison to the lack-luster fuddy duddys in the Whitehouse these days.


At Tue Aug 30, 01:44:00 PM MDT, Blogger Alicia said...

Gosh, J - you can't imagine what a shock it was to open up your page (you're a daily read of mine, too!) and see my picture up there - don't scare me like that! (Just kidding...) I'm so glad this resonates with you like it does with me. I'm tired of having these things framed by the Republicans, like unions, universal health care, and the like. They try to turn them into epithets; they did it to the word 'liberal' and even (incredibly enough) 'intellectual'! Imagine the irony of demonizing thinking and intelligence! But that's what we're up against.

I'm going to try to pull this idea together part by part - thanks so much for the nice post, and please accept my appreciation of the thoughtful and inspiring things you post!

At Tue Aug 30, 07:44:00 PM MDT, Blogger Lew Scannon said...

I agree with Alicia, as well. i know what it's like to work fourty hours and not make enough to survive, while the priviliged send more and more good paying manufacturing jobs across our borders. Then their Congressmen give them a tax break on all the money they make, where's the incentive to keep the jobs in this country?
Our founding fathers were opposed to taxation without representation, if you're a conservative, you got nothing to complain about as you are amply represented by the Korporate Congress.
p.s. like your word verification! i hate when I get those comments that agree with me not matter how outlandish the post(I'd much prefer they didn't)then suggest I check out their insurance web site

At Wed Aug 31, 08:53:00 PM MDT, Blogger Liquidplastic said...

I agree with Alicia. Also, churches have become big businesses and they should be taxed too! Its one thing to save souls, quite another to use fear and guilt to take money from the poor so the big shots in the churches can live well, vacation, and get on television and call for the assassination of another human being.

What boggle my mind is that there are so many poor folks calling themselves conservatives!


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