Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Common Decency

Some may find the title to this post a little disheartening. Some may find it a little misleading.

Yes, the title is somewhat of an oxymoron since decency is not so common nowadays. Oh how I remember those days long ago when one would naturally open a door for someone, man or woman, as they entered a building. Gone are the days when a person would actually look down at the paper wrapper they just dropped on the floor. Ancient are the days when that person would actually consider picking it up and putting it into a local trash can.

I don't know what happened to this trait so many desired in the past. It almost seems people go out of their way to "get what's theirs" despite how it might affect others. And, this attitude has seeped through out American culture, rising all the way to the top of our government. Or, could it have started and the top and trickled down? I think it could be a little of both.

A prime example of this can be found in the current argument between opposing parties of our government over taxes and fairness. One one hand, our current administration proclaims that it's time those rich folks (those making over 2 million annually) kick in their fair share of taxes in order to scratch down our national debt and fund green energy programs. (although many are under the false assumption that these funds will be utilized to expand social programs.) This is a great concept as long as people are gullible enough to buy into it -- and so far, this seems to be the case.

What I don't understand is how people can completely fail to see the reality of this path. It we continue to take monies from the richest people in our nation to uphold a comfortable standard of living for the poor, then those rich people will eventually run out of resources or put their money elsewhere (read, overseas) until the burden will eventually fall squarely upon the middle. For those with limited memory of high school history, or basic economics, this leveling of society into one tier where everyone is given a fair share no matter what their contribution is called socialism.

I do my best not to get into the political quagmire, so I will also bring up the view from the other side. Now, in complete defiance to the thought of those richest people in America paying their fair share, many politicians spew hatred upon this plan, insisting that, if you overburden those that create jobs, there will be no jobs, or jobs will simply go elsewhere.

What I don't understand is why we cannot just come up with a fair tax system in which everyone pays a certain percentage of their earnings back to the government to offset the services the government provides, such as security, financial help, and yes, social programs. It all seems so simple to me that I feel I must be missing something. Why not just simplify the system and get rid of loopholes so that, by way of example, the business or individual making three million a year will simply pay say ten percent of that, or three-hundred thousand dollars in taxes. Likewise, the person on welfare (since that should be considered income) making sixteen thousand dollars per year would be responsible for the same ten percent (even though they were given the money by the government) and would pay sixteen hundred dollars in annual taxes.

I just don't get it. why couldn't something like this work? It seems to me that a simple system such as this would completely eliminate large corporations, or even individuals using loopholes to pay nearly nothing while, at the same time, requiring a sense of responsibility to be maintained by those wholly supported by government through annual tax payment.

It seems like a start to a fair, sane plan to me. But, I suppose our new world is not so sane. In the end, it all comes back to common decency. That's what determines fairness for all.