Everyone thinks we’re doomed. We may be. But it won’t be because there’s not enough money around.
That’s one of a few obvious things that may be being overlooked.
This is, still, even with all our debt and deficit, the richest country in the world, by far, even if you and I are not able to pay our bills.
There is enough wealth in this country for everyone to have a roof, meals and hot water, and still enough for the richest people to stay that way…and get richer. Still enough to allow poor and working people to dream about being rich without that evil socialism preventing such an imminent ascent.
We are income taxed less than Australia, Barbados, Belgium, China (yes, China), Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, the United Kingdom…many of those countries also have value added taxes (sales taxes) that reach as high as Norway, Brazil and Sweden’s 25 percent. Many don’t level property taxes as we do on the local level. But a chart showing tax revenues as a percent of gross domestic product puts the U.S. 27th out of 30 of the richer nations of the world.
The split comes with the philosophy. Do we object to concepts of taking better care of our less fortunate citizens with programs like Medicare, Social Security, housing allowances, health care, welfare, unemployment insurance, school grants, or do we simply object to the governance of those programs? Certainly we can agree that many are wastefully mis-governed. If they were better run, would conservative Americans still object? Perhaps, because many of them believe government shouldn’t be in our lives so much.
But Mario Cuomo used to say, we’ll give you “all the government you need, but only the government you need.” You still need that government to promulgate regulations when your neighbor wants to build his septic system close to your well.
But you need it to work, too. And it becomes difficult when clashing philosophies lead to stubborn gridlock. Better to talk about basics…whom do we want to help and how do we want to do it? If there is enough to go around, why wouldn’t we want to? Make sure no one suffers, then go ahead and get as rich as you want. ++