by (the currently unable to sleep) Debi George who blogs. reads. and sews (usually rather innocuously) as GrayEyedScorpio
During trying economic times altruism is in short supply. Fortunately, tax laws mandate that we, the willing and unwilling alike, help one another in myriad ways.
I am thrilled to have health inspectors, coroners, and water treatment facilities. I adore libraries and public schools. I listen to NPR, and spend huge amounts of time in public parks. I appreciate national weather service bulletins and the efforts of the Clean Air Act. I like to drive on roads in good repair, with the knowledge that most drivers are licensed and held accountable for breaking traffic laws.
I'm happy to serve as a juror in our judicial system, or to make reparations for ills we Americans have caused. I appreciate building codes, FDA testing, CDC watchfulness, and FEMA presence. I certainly don't mind that firefighters and paramedics earn pay for being ready when they're needed. I see that as something to rejoice in. The same goes for our armed forces, the Red Cross, and our foreign ambassadors. Too often, these individuals are needed. Too often, they pay a price far beyond any tax bill.
And I'm glad to help provision those in need. Medicare, Medicaid, housing assistance, special education, food stamps, welfare, child and family services, mental health agencies, PELL grants, and other programs benefit our society.
In lean times, capitalism manufactures desperation. Matters of health are desperate enough. Business, as we know it, has no place in medicine. The people of our nation can protect and provide for one another. Why would anyone be proud of a reluctance to do so?
There are many reasons to be proud of what our collective tax dollars accomplish. There could be many more. True patriots honor rights and privileges of citizenship by caring for our land, water, air, laws, and people.