Monday, April 12, 2010

The High Cost of Less Taxes and the Accompanying Loss of Freedom

It seems very odd to me - like we have a whole nation, that wants to move backwards.....back to the "old days" which were not "the good old days" at all, but rather a time when life expectancy was low, health was poor and life was hard. Back when the average worker had no recourse if he were put at danger, if he were abused by his employers, if his situation was an unhealthy and unhappy one. A time when corporations called all the shots and no one monitored them or watched over them and they could do whatever they wanted, to whoever they wanted, whenever they wanted. A time when people had 12 and 14 children for two reasons - one being that there was no such thing as health insurance and so you had to produce many so at least a few would live. The second reason being that you needed them to live long enough to support you, their parents, because you sure as hell couldn't save enough and there sure the hell was no pension plan or social security to work for or to rely upon.

It was a time of very little "government interference," granted, but it was also a time when children routinely ate lead paint and got brain-damaged. A time when conditions in factories were horrendous and people routinely suffered life-threatening injuries - and were promptly fired without compensation when they did - and all because there was no mandatory insurance protecting them. A time when people went hungry, children of hard working fathers suffered rickets and malnutrition, gainfully employed men died from untreated pneumonia and undiagnosed ulcers, mothers of 10 children died giving birth to their 11th - and all because there was simply no money to pay the doctor and there was no employee-sponsored insurance plans. A time when, because there were no unions to speak for the common man and there were no government agencies making sure safety laws were passed and enforced, men and women worked 16 and 17 hour days, 7 days a week in the most hellish conditions and children under 12 were routinely hired at half the wage of an adult and made to do the same job as the adult would have done.

Is that what we want? All in the name of "freedom" and all in the name of "being mad as hell and not wanting to pay taxes" any longer?

Sometimes, the more laws we have, the more oversight and safety that's provided, the more free we become.

Those days of lower taxes and less government intervention - people weren't "free" then. They were slaves to making a dollar - that and only that. There wasn't much joy to go around, nor was there any "freedom." A person is not free when he worries constantly about a dangerous work place, an illness that he can't afford, a child he cannot feed, an old age he cannot support, a house full of lead paint and asbestos, two parents who are destitute and looking to him for sustenance.

All good things come at a cost - the cost is sometimes taxes. If we were to suddenly have all taxes repealed, as well as the loss of all those things that government provides us by virtue of our paying those taxes, how much better off do you think you'd be? How much richer? Does a few dollars a week more in your paycheck offset the cost of providing your own health insurance, the painfully higher cost of commercial products which do not contain things like lead and asbestos, your own retirement fund - without matching funds from your employer, your own workman's comp. insurance in case you get hurt in your suddenly way-more dangerous workplace, tuition for your children's schooling since the government will no longer be able to subsidize them, your own security since the police force will be full of under-qualified patrolmen because salaries will not longer be competitive, hauling your own trash to the dump - which will be full of radioactive junk and harmful materials, since the government will no longer regulate things like waste? The list could go on and on, but you get the point, I'm sure.

The Tea Party is telling us what they don't want....they don't want government interference. They are telling us what they do want - which is LESS TAXES. What they are not telling us is how we survive if and when they succeed.

They are telling us what they want to give to us - but not what it will cost us in the end - or what we will be giving up to get it.

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