Monday, March 1, 2010

Tony’s Blog “If her daddy’s rich take her out for a meal. If her daddy’s poor... just do what you feel.”

We live in a plutonomy, a system that favors the wealthy and is designed to keep them that way.  We try to curry favor with them.  Those who can afford it the most, pay the least for necessities.  And when a wealthy American gives a large donation to a worthy cause we all stand up and applaud, as we should.  It is a good thing and people should be encouraged to do so.  God knows that YMC/Urban Oasis benefits from the generosity of wealthy (and kinda wealthy and not so wealthy) folks.  Yet, when we ask all wealthy Americans to do so we risk revolt.  It’s called taxes.  They aren’t evil.  Its how we get the roads we drive on and know that the meat we eat is not contaminated.  It is how we know that when we have a catastrophic earthquake dozens may die instead of thousands.  Someone has to pay those damn bureaucrats who make certain that building codes are enforced.  Yet, when it comes to the building blocks of a healthy society, we can’t seem to find the will to do it.  

Corporate America has taught us all to think quarterly and so any benefit beyond 3 or 6 months down the road is just too far out there to resonate.  Things like education and health care which pay off way down the road are just too long term to smite the bogey man of taxes.  So a few years ago when California had the chance to invest in early childhood education (prop 82) by imposing a tax hike of 1.7% on people making over $500,000 it went down in flames with our governor screaming the right wing cry of “they’re raising your taxes”.  Even though it was demonstrated that universal preschool programs would generate an estimated $2-$4 for every dollar spent.  

Just recently the senate gutted the provision for a small tax on “Cadillac Healthcare Plans” for the wealthy so that we could afford to reform our healthcare system and stem this burgeoning problem that keeps us all paying more and many without any coverage at all.  Our education and healthcare systems are fast becoming the worst in the industrialized world, but we can’t see far enough ahead to make the necessary changes.  We live in a “tea bagger”, all taxes are evil world.

Why is this coming up for me now?  Because President Obama just announced that he wants to commit 900 million dollars to fighting our epidemic dropout rates.  Hooray for us!  To keep our kids from failing we are willing to spend one tenth of one percent of the amount that we spent to keep our banks from failing.  Americans will all stand up and cheer as we should, then go back to spending the bulk of their time making the bosses richer.  All the incentives of our economy are designed to keep it that way.  The Supreme Court just voted to give corporations unlimited ability to influence our political process to make sure that never changes.

“If her daddy’s rich take her out for a meal.  If her daddy’s poor, you just do what you feel…”  From the song “Summertime” by Mongo Jerry


Tony LoReFounder/CEO
Youth Mentoring Connection


bsegall said...

Once again Tony you show amazing insights and communicate with such passion for such a young man.

bsegall said...

Tony, once again you show amazing insight and vivid communication for such a young person.