Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
A mystified taxpayer writes into the Sacramento Bee on August 26.
Let us buy things, not pay taxes
Would the Democratic Assembly please tell citizens why paying taxes is more important than spending one’s money as one chooses? Why are government programs more important than consumer items that actually generate tax revenue?
When tax revenues fall, hello, there is a reason. Why should we, and especially those on limited incomes, be forced to pay higher taxes rather than on goods and services of our choice?
Just asking for clarification.
– Cynthia Van Auken, Chico
An eyeball-rolling fan of big government responds with mock patience, today. Like, what the hell is the matter with this beleagured taxpayer, is she stupid or something?
Tax dollars benefit the economy
Apparently, Cynthia Van Auken is the product of private schools, uses an autogyro for transportation, has a private security guard and a superior fire retarding system for her home. Otherwise, like most of the rest of us, she has benefited from the taxes we all, including the employees of civil service systems, pay (“Let us buy things, not pay taxes,” letter, Aug. 26).
When we build roads, the private sector, under the supervision of civil servants, makes money that goes directly back into the economy. When we hire teachers, our children grow up able to make a decent salary, and the teachers’ salaries go to purchase products and pay taxes. These tax dollars benefit the economy just as much as the dollars spent by those who don’t pay taxes. I suggest Van Auken could benefit from a short course in economics. We must pay for services we want to use, be they airports, highways, police departments or fire departments.
– Joy M. Doyle, Sacramento
I couldn’t resist adding to the melee. Being evil, and all.
Just what do you think people do with money when they are allowed by their gracious and benevolent state government to keep it? Stick it up their butts, or something?
Whereupon I yanked that virtual draft out of my virtual typewriter, crumpled it into a virtual ball, and tossed it in the virtual wastebasket.
Rolling a fresh virtual sheet of virtual paper under the virtual platen, I began anew:
Cyntha Van Auken was “just asking for clarification” but Joy Doyle bit her head off. I hope she enjoyed doing it.
Ms. Doyle, can your argument take on merely the appearance of merit, if it’s presented in a civil tone? I think it could; evidently, you disagree. That’s a shame. I’ve found ideas consistently presented in haughty and condescending tones tend to be bad. I also notice Keynesian theory is often presented this way.
One other question: On your next job interview, when your prospective employer asks why you should get the job, do you intend to say something like “when you pay me money, I spend it, and that benefits everybody”? If so – that, of course, would be very silly. If not, then I’m afraid I need some enlightenment: Why should our state government get credit for spending money, when individuals don’t?
I think that’s the issue Van Auken was trying to raise. I see you pretty much sidestepped it. That’s probably because you felt the need to.
I should add that today’s letters section carried another letter making the same point as Ms. Doyle’s, but exhibiting an exception to this rule about advocating Keynesian economics in snarky, snotty tones.
Paying for our quality of life
Allow me to answer Cynthia Van Auken’s question of why paying taxes is sometimes more important than spending one’s money as one chooses.
There are things that can’t be bought but instead require the ongoing investment of all of society. The basics include roads, police and fire protection.
Then account for the fact that bad things can happen to good people. If your spouse has a stroke or your child has a disability, do you want there to be programs so that you can work, go shopping and have respite from caregiving? If you get cancer and your insurance doesn’t cover all the bills, should you face bankruptcy and foreclosure? Do you really want the kids down your street to lack quality education and job opportunities, leaving them so hopeless that they’re willing to shoot each other over the color of a jacket?
Government services to address those needs are not charity but investments in our quality of life. We can argue about which investments and how much, but let’s stop pretending that we can have something for nothing. Part of being a responsible citizen means being willing to pay for the quality of life we want.
– Kathy Campbell, Sacramento
However, I have a bone to pick with Ms. Campbell too (although I’ll not further burden my poor local letters-to-editor guy with it today).
I keep seeing the same bullshit used to defend our ravenous state government’s insatiable apetite for money.
Police & Fire.
Educating our chiiiiilllllddddrrreeeeeennnn…
I’ll not tear into the entrails of our state’s budget to demonstrate how off the mark this is. For one thing, I don’t have a budget I could inspect in such a way just yet! That’s part of the reason, I’m sure, Van Auken wrote her letter in the first place; there are few state-level boondoggles bigger than California’s annual clown-puppet show.
Just take it from this Golden State citizen — take my word for it.
This state spends money on a lot of other things besides schools, roads and fire departments.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.