Monday, September 19, 2011

Rambling post, again, on taxes

I saw, in my son's packet of stuff he brought home from school, a surprising number of fund-raiser requests and solicitations.  These, to my eye, aren't for extra trips, or for events that are additional to the normal school routine.  They are for items like library supplies and computers and , which seem more essential than superfluous to me.

We seem to see ourselves, in USAmerica, as the best at everything ~ a beacon on the hill, and a model for other nations.  And in some ways we probably are.  However, we cannot, and will not, be the best at anything unless we invest in ourselves and in our children.  Investments of time and energy are certainly important; but in our society, investments are almost always financial.  We cannot build a great society if we constantly and consistently refuse to pay taxes.  This is our investment.

Sure, it's inevitable that those who spend money will do so badly.  But we are still a society ~ people working together for the good of all.  And as such, it's better to do something for the benefit of everyone badly than it is to do nothing for others, and remain selfish and self-centered.  Of course, it's obviously better to do something well than to do something badly ~ but even if we work together badly, it's better than remaining individualistically selfish and isolationist. 

Unless we work together for the good of all, we will inevitably be left with much less than good for each one.

I'm constantly baffled by people who are reluctant to pay taxes.  Yes, you'll have a little bit less today ~ but your taxes, collected with everyone else's and invested in (for instance) schools, sustainable energy and infrastructure, and good relationships with foreign governments, will surely yield a much greater return over the long term than keeping a couple extra dollars today to spend (depending on your income bracket) on gourmet coffee or personal airplanes. Plus, if we invest together, perhaps we will live up to our self-proclaimed status as global example. 


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