Saturday, November 15, 2008

Socioeconomically Oriented Post

There has been much ado about the definition of 'rich' lately. Where is the line between middle class and rich? How much does that vary based on location? What percentage of the tax should the rich contribute? How awful is it for people to be making so much more than the average Joe? And on and on and on.

Quite frankly, I don't understand all the fuss. I don't really care about the income/taxation of the wealthy. It's basically immaterial. What I care about is the number of people and families living below the poverty line. Shouldn't we, as a nation, be more concerned with that?

It just feels like the low-flow toilet debacle. Congress said, 'We need to conserve water, so all toilets can oly use X amount of water per flush.' Poof! We wind up with crappy (pardon the pun) toilets for a decade or so while the engineering catches up. If you want to conserve a resource, just make it more expensive. Americans are quite ingenious. Shoot, we even managed to drop our gas consumption when gas prices were so high. I know I saw quite a bit of car pooling at work. I'm not anti low flow toilets, I just think we would have found better ways to conserve water if water were simply made more expensive.

Now we're saying, 'We need more tax dollars, so we're going to boost the taxes of the wealthy.' Wouldn't it be better to investigate how to provide the skills, training, etc. to get people above the poverty line? You raise the standard of living across the board and tax revenue will go up. Why wouldn't this approach work? Why isn't it even discussed? And I'm not talking about a 'redistribution of wealth' situation, either.

I don't believe I'm the only person who thinks this way, but I really don't see anyone in the media asking those kinds of questions.

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