Thursday, October 23, 2008

Feed the rich

It drives me stark raving insane to see people complaining about increased taxes on the wealthy and calling it 'socialist' (because it was unwisely framed as spreading the wealth, or sharing the wealth, or whatever). Again, I have never been an ardent Obama supporter, but this issue has always bothered me.

Don't people think?

Consider it as an exchange for services rendered. For example, I, in my unwealthiness but (to be Bourdieuvian for a moment) being possessed of much social capital, fly numerous times a year to numerous destinations, two of them international last year. This means, just off the top of my head, that I require the FAA, TSA, passport services, international customs, a reasonable amount of intelligence devoted to ensuring that nothing national security related happens to me in the air, regulations ensuring that Boeing made my plane without child labor, environmental regulations ensuring that said plane emits only its fair share of pollutants, foreign consulates in case I get arrested or get ill, some type of economic negotiations ensuring that my $2 will get me one British pound rather than a sixpence... I also use the oil that will be pumped out of Iraq by Bush's cronies after this multi-xillion war, or already is, since the Iraqis are having a terrible time building their own oil business without the cooperation of the multinationals.

Now, on the other hand, I do not own a yacht. I do not go on boat trips of any kind, and I but rarely make it to the beach. The Coast Guard and I are only distant friends.

I have no car. I am not on highways that often. The DMV and I are only occasional acquaintances. Pave the interstates, by all means, I still need them occasionally. Police presence, sure. Regulate car manufactures, work with labor unions, inspect mines from which metal is drawn to make sure they're safe; I need all that, too.

Everything takes maintenance, and if you live the high life using and abusing the structure, you pay your fair share. Now, I agree with Josh (I think it was) on the West Wing, who said that as we ask rich people to pay for so much, we should at least not hate them for it. Fine by me. But I think they need to consider what they're paying for.

1 comment:

jodi said...

Amen to all that.

When I lived in New York I had very high local (city) taxes, but look at what I got for them-- wonderful (if imperfect) things like the subway.

I've been very nostalgic for "West Wing" lately. M. refuses to watch it again unless someone decent is elected; otherwise, the fantasy (and of course it was always a fantasy) is just too painful in the longing it inspires.

[I don't think there was any proper grammar in that sentence]