Taxes are Great You Idiots.

I’m just kidding, I would never really call you an idiot. Unless I got to know you and it turns out that you are an idiot, then I guess I might. I shouldn’t! It serves no purpose. It does happen though, I can be critical beyond necessity.

What determines necessity in regards to criticism?

Perhaps the degree to which the criticism can be acted upon. It isn’t helpful to call you an idiot because it doesn’t provide any guidance as to remedy. It suggests the state of idiocy you are occupying is inalterable…or unalterable, on those I think. That probably isn’t true though, idiocy is usually caused by a gap in information, and so idiocy is cured by filling that gap.

The importance of the issue at which the criticism is directed at must also be considered of course. If you hit me with your car and break my back because you can’t put your cell phone down for 5 minutes to drive to the idiot store and pick up some more duuuhh then pretty much any level of criticism leveled at you is probably appropriate. However, and this is something we all can probably do well to remember, if you squeeze into a gap that wasn’t quite as wide as you thought and I have to tap my brakes, that probably doesn’t justify curses against your mother. Just because a person is in a different car does not make them my sworn enemy and I ought not take every opportunity to testify to their imagined despicableness. Someday I will truly convince myself of that.

So, in order to justify criticism, it ought to be actionable and it should be delivered in relative proportion to the effect caused by the error. As such, I believe it would be justified for me to say that the lack of taxes paid in proportion to income by wealthy corporations is tantamount to murder, and so wealthy corporations, and their officers, ought to pay much more in taxes.

Actionable! There is a directive right at the end there. Proportional to the effect of the error? Well the fact of the matter is that because “we can’t afford” universal healthcare people are dying of curable diseases, cancers, and injuries, so yeah, I think so. There’s a few guys just in the Seattle area that are worth about a quarter of a trillion dollars combined, and all due to the profits made by corporations that pay as close to nothing as possible, their lobbyists, lawyers, and accountants have made sure of it, in taxes. I see a problem, and I see a solution.

Here’s a belief you can let knock around the old noggin for a while; while any one person starves to death, no one should have a billion dollars. Why in the world would a single person ever need a billion dollars? Don’t tell me how much these Croesuses are donating, tell me, if they care so much about the world, why the hell they still have tens of billions of dollars? Let them have ten million dollars! They’ll live like kings forever! Spread the remaining profits around like the fertilizer it ought to be.

It should never be forgotten where the money is made anyway. There isn’t a billionaire alive who doesn’t profit from impoverished workers, the people digging the metal out of mines, slaving away on production lines. There really are people who made no money building the phone in your pocket, who will die working in that factory with nothing to show for it, that’s how such a marvel of modern technology costs so little. Why it costs so little, why it is imperative to the executive boards of this committee that they must put reducing costs, and so the quality of life for as many as employees as possible, is to sell as many as they can. Real people die so phones, and shoes, and computers, and jeans can cost so little. So these horrendously underpaid human beings make the products, then the vastly better paid, but just as dependent in their daily lives on their ability to create wealth for others, in another country consumes them. The only ones making progress is the ones already wealthy in the first place, directly at the expense of pretty much everyone else on the planet.

Dang, ok, sorry. I really just thought about talking about this because of how awesome the library is. I went there with my kid today, and was as blown away as usual by how much they offer. Books, movies, cds, a play area, internet access, printing. The one by my house has machines that convert your records to mp3s, and your video cassettes to mp4s, you can even burn them onto a dvd. All freeish! I mean, I own a house, so about $50 of my property taxes go to the library every year. Thank god! Can you imagine if it didn’t? No more libraries, no more social programs, no more post office, no more schools? Taxes are the best idea ever. Our tax structure, however, is terrible. We put a sales tax on products, we tax water and heat, we tax those things that everyone needs, and the taxes affect those with the least the most. In the meantime we ask nothing of the billionaires among us. If we can have so much with the taxes we collect now, primarily on the backs of the lower classes, imagine what we could do if those with the most among us actually gave back to society to the same degree society benefitted them.

These days dreams of ingraining equality into law seem like Candyland fantasies. When Donald Trump can be president, but the press is upset when a comedian accurately calls out the preposterousness of it all, in language that still wasn’t quite strong enough or specific enough to truly capture it, pipe dreams of a just society seem almost irresponsible. But we need them now more than ever. We must dream of how good it can be, the alternative is to believe this is as good as it gets. I refuse to do that.



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