Friday, April 27, 2012


With all the news surrounding local school budget cuts, federal cuts in school meals for children and intense pressure from local governments to slash their work force, just to save a few bucks in taxes for residents, I want to say something to anyone who thinks that paying taxes is a bad thing.

Sure, there's waste in government, especially in OUR government. But you know what?

Public services cost money.

Read that again, just in case you missed it.

Public services cost money.

When you turn on the tap and clean, drinkable water comes out, that costs money. When you flush your toilet and the waste doesn't get backed up and flood your bathroom or contaminate local rivers and streams, that costs money.

Do you enjoy driving on roads that are well-maintained? You want to be sure that the bridge you're about to drive across won't collapse and send you plunging down into the river below?

Those things cost money.

We live in a country where we have the privilege of having functional public services. All these things we take for granted - public schools, public libraries, safe and accessible roads, public drinking water, public utilities - cost money.

When you pay your local taxes, that money goes to pay someone's salary. That someone probably works at a drinking water plant, wastewater treatment plant, electric plant, or highway department. They aren't there because they looooove getting sweaty and dirty and handling dangerous chemicals on a daily basis. They are there because they need a job.

Sure, we could take away all those jobs and just privatize everything. No more public water. You want clean drinking water? You'll have to deal with a large corporation (like Monsanto, maybe?) who only answers to its shareholders, not to its customers.

You want reliable roads? Sorry, you'll have to fill out this form and wait for a customer service representative to get back to you.

If you think you can do without public services like these, please, I beg you, go spend six months in sub-Saharan Africa where there are NO functioning public services.

No public schools. No public libraries. No drinkable water. No roads. No reliable electric service.

Wouldn't you gladly pay for these services? So what's the difference between paying your taxes and paying a corporation?

The difference is that the public government should have your best interests at heart. A corporation cares for no one.

Enough about that for now. More about beads later.

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