Monday, January 24, 2011

I Want to Talk About Voting...

     This is totally off the topic of Cancer but I will probably bring National Health into this discussion. The town next to mine, a little bit bigger, in considering an issue to establish a sales tax to raise money for publicly funded education.  Personally I think it is pretty stupid; I think Education mismanages the money they already receive, and I know it would just drive people to shop in my town.  We are only spitting distance apart. Part of the proposal would be to exempt "people who make under $50,000" and the others are whining that this is an unfair tax burden on those who make over $50,000.  This is not really an issue of ganging up on the rich, but I would like to make a couple points.
    The first is, all the time we vote on issues that don't affect us. The cigarette tax is one example. Most people don't smoke now (and that is a good thing, no argument there) but they vote for more tax for those who do.  We vote on Indian Casinos and we may not be Indians and we may not gamble.  We voted for
a huge Arts Center where it might cost $100 to see Elton John, something most of us could never afford. Without the voted to subsidize this art center the ticket would cost over $200.  We vote for stuff all the time that will never apply to us. Actually for me, almost every single issue is irrelevant. I almost never leave my island.  Except to vote.
     I vote on issues that appeal to me as a Citizen, a member of this Society.  I like the Idea of an educated society.  I like the idea of a society interested in the Arts. I think ultimately a society will be judged (I am not sure by whom) by how well it takes care of its elders, the lame, the sick, the downtrodden and its children.
I think public education and support for the arts is essential for a healthy society.
   Now the issue has come up that they need more money!  I admit that in the middle of this recession when most of us are cutting costs every way we can, I don't understand this.  It always seems their first choice is to punish us by laying off teachers and making the class sizes bigger.  Even I know that is stupid!  How can you ever believe that they even value education when their first move is to punish the children?  I am not sure whose interests they have at heart?
      Back to my point, let's take a huge leap of faith here and assume they really do need more money!
Or assume any government agency needs more money for whatever cause.  What is a fair way to get it?
Or another thought since we are talking about the government, What is a nonfair way to get it?  I think if you have to have more money then you have to go to where the money is. It is really that simple and I will try to explain why I think this is fair.
     I should be a Republican but I am not.  I have not worked for someone else in over 35 years. I own the company.  I am it; I am the man.  On a real small scale I am Corporate America. Over these years I had between 5 and 15 people working for me.  Most of my money went to taxes, far more than I ever made.
My most important employee was always the clean-up man.  You can build the best house in the world and if it is not a clean job site no one appreciates it.  My clean up man (sometimes a woman) was paid less than my lead carpenter but worked much harder.  Rich people do not work harder than poor people.
     Some people have jobs that pay a lot, have great retirement programs and all kinds of health benefits and other perks.  They do not work harder than my clean up man. I think it is only that my clean up man is easier to replace that he gets paid less.  It is our system of supply and demand.  In this recession people are losing their jobs, their retirements, their benefits and our "middle class" is dwindling enlarging the class below us.
We are becoming "them".  Those of us who can find work are working for less.
     2% of Americans control over 60% of the wealth.  Think about that.  In the 1960's it was normal for a CEO to make six times the wages of his average employee. Today that figure is thousands of times. It is not unusual to see bonus checks in the millions of dollars.  More power to them if they can get this but they need to know it is us who is giving it to them.  It is our society that fosters this kind of entrepreneurship. And they need to return the favor, be thankful for our system and pay more taxes.  Republicans especially have this fantasy of returning to the glory days of the 1950's without ever admitting we had a graduated income tax in those days and far less deductibles and methods to avoid taxes.
     I am not sure what a good system would be.  A good start would be to require less money, spend what you have a little wiser.  Do what we do, cut back.  And I think, although it sounds fair to me, that if we said the "first $50,000" is not taxable at all, maybe that would work?  Certainly "the rich" would not be paying on their first $50,000 also!!!  Most of us never dream of that much money, can you imagine seeing that second $50,000 or the hundredth for the really rich?
     What makes this unreasonable to me is that we all live in this society and we should all contribute to it.
I would like to see some kind of "Service to America", yes a draft, two years for your country!  It wouldn't have to be in the Military although that could count.  It could be in educations, music, parks, there are a million choices, and if you made a million a year you still have to do it!!!  The military used to be the great equalizer in our country when we had the draft.  You could be the bad ass n the streets with no skills and no talent and the military would shape you up and you would come out different.  They have pretty high standards now and won't take just everyone.  But everyone should contribute to our society.
     It seems we lost some pride in our country a long time ago and now not even those who are able want to contribute.  It is just like the school system, get rid of the teachers and punish the students.  Nothing is free, we will pay for this one way or another, I promise you that.
My Art Blog is Here


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. StonePost I am unable to comment as 'I know nothing.' I admit to recently becoming aware of Glen Beck and I do enjoy listening to what he has to say. Since getting to know you, and more of your fellow citizens, I am interested in what you have to say.

  3. Chez, my dear friend, please listen to Glen Beck with a grain of salt! He is an idiot and an entertainer, no kind of news or reasonable observations on life.

  4. Pamo, you are so right! We have lost that pride of ownership so necessary and have little sense of belonging, except maybe to a gang, and that is so very sad.

  5. Wow a very powerful post today Jerry love it. I am an outsider so will keep my comment to that.