To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

New Observercast

Our Money, Our Services

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Privatization is capitalism’s end goal, a plan that funnels all taxes into private enterprise and publicly traded companies. That includes essential services – education, health care, and the infrastructure on which we all rely.

In the last couple of decades, not only are taxpayers paying executive bonuses, we are funding stock buybacks. This is not how our tax dollars should be spent.

Privatizing essential services leaves out people, mostly poor people. Poor people pay taxes – sales taxes, property taxes, FICA. They eventually get a return on their investment in FICA, if they live long enough and if the privatizers don’t bankrupt the system.

Free enterprise is a beautiful thing. People who are well educated with tax dollars and are kept healthy with tax dollars can leave home and school and make it on their own. They can start businesses, work for someone else, or devote themselves to public service so the next generation can have the same choices.

This is not socialism. This is capitalism with a social safety net, a system that gives the most opportunity to the largest portion of the population, the population to which the government owes its treasury and its allegiance.

We shouldn’t fret that the social safety net is available to non-citizens. Legal immigrants who work in this country pay taxes. They add their dollars to Gross Domestic Product. They help us build our roads and refill the Social Security coffers. Yes, they pay into programs that they may never be able to access.

This doesn’t mean we should open the gates and let everyone in, but there is room for entrepreneurs, students, workers, and others who not only contribute to our economy but also to our culture. Illegal immigration would be less of a problem if we made it easier for people to come here legally to work and to find asylum.

We are part of a global economy, but we need balance. If we can produce it in this country, we should. If we can’t, import it. Free trade benefits both seller and buyer so long as the playing field is level. Workers should be treated well, whether they are here at home or outside our borders.

For trade and safety, we need a strong State Department. We don’t let down our guard. We gather information. We spend foreign aid dollars wisely to help those beset by natural disasters or strife. We maintain a respectful dialogue with other countries, but in this global landscape, our first job is to make sure the citizens here at home have the goods and services they need.

Freedom and free enterprise are both more secure with a strong social safety net.

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Sharon Martin
Sharon Martin
Educator, reading specialist and writer Sharon Martin's latest book, I've Got the Blues: Looking for Justice in a Red State, is available by sending $20 to PO Box 458, Oilton, OK 74052.

She also is the author of Not A Prodigal, a poetry collection and 2019 Oklahoma Book Award finalist available through Barnes and Noble, and Froggy Bottom Blues, a children's picture book available through Doodle And Peck or Amazon.
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