Re: the right to pursue excellence (Off-topic rant)

Charlie Wilkinson (
Wed, 7 May 1997 17:03:25 -0400 (EDT)

I believe it was Dale R. Reed who once said:
> If you can surf try this URL out:
> I will never forget taking the boys and their mommy on a tour of Rainier
> Brewery here in Seattle a few years ago and seeing the tax meters
> running. Then more taxes were charged you when you bought the beer at
> the grocery store. There are taxes on taxes on taxes in the U.S. so it
> is becoming very difficult to keep track.


Just in case it wasn't obvious, "Citizens for Tax Justice" is a
right-wing propaganda front - at least by my definition. Their sense of
priorities troubles me greatly. They are oh-so concerned that people in
wheelchairs and regulations allowing someone to take sick leave to care
for a family member are going to bankrupt our country, while a bloated
military-industrial complex with it's $1200 toilet seats bears no
mention at all. (Unless I missed that page?)

Then they talk of "costly government regulation", as if somehow,
limiting a corporation from doing anything they damn well please (which
is all-too nearly the case now) is inherently a bad thing. I would ask,
what is the cost of _no_ regulation?

Two examples:
We are stripping away FCC regulations intended to ensure at least a
minimal diversity of opinion in the media. The result is that now it is
legally possible for a single corporation to own better than half the
radio stations in the country. More than 90% of media outlets are owned
by less than 20 corporations. Two major outlets, NBC and CBS, are owned
by two of the largest Defense contractors, both of which are very much
into nuclear power. What do you think your chances are of seeing a
meaningful debate over the pros and cons of nuclear power on either of
those networks?

Second example - what about environmental costs of non-regulation? If
we choose to allow it, capitalism encourages the big fish to get bigger
and it's entirely possible for one or more huge multinationals to snap
up great tracts of land and decimate them for private profit. They are
already doing their level best to crowbar our national parks away from
us. If the nightmare comes true, we can stand on a nearby mountain
peak, gazing out over the hectares of tree stumps, and we'll marvel
about how nice it was that we didn't have to pay anything to regulate
the timber industry.

Also consider this:
Back as recently as the 50's, corporations paid better than half the
income taxes (sorry don't remember exact figure) and therefore bore the
lion's share of the "cost of regulation." Now they pay less than 30%
and now as citizens we are supposed to lash out at the government for
"over-regulating" instead of lashing out at corporations for paying
their cronies on the hill to get them out of their obligations.

So, I can certainly understand how less government can sound
like a good thing, and even _be_ a good thing, but don't become a dupe
for corporate interests who are trying to get you to hate, fear, and
help them undermine the one sizable force that prevents them from
_totally_ plundering the planet - our governments.

If you don't like the Government the way it is (I know _I_ don't), by
all means work to change it, but don't buy into the bullshit line that
the cash-eating megaliths behind the current "down with government"
craze are your benevolent friends who could really get down to the
business of making the world a better place if those gosh-darned, pesky
civil servants didn't keep getting in the way.


*whew* I feel better now. :-) Apologies for the off-topic outburst.
I just couldn't help myself.

Best regards,

   Charlie Wilkinson      Maintainer - Radio For Peace International Web Site
"I went into a general store, and they wouldn't sell me anything
		-- Steven Wright