Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dear Reagan Dunn: Shut up


To quote the boy wonder who wants his mother's old seat, "The first rule in economics, you don't tax economic activity in a down cycle of the recession."

Funny, when I did a Google search for "The first rule in economics", I got a different result: First Rule of Economics: Wealth Is a Result of Exploitation.

Maybe I should complete his sentence, say what he really meant to say. The first rule in economic politics is that you don't dare tax wealth if you want a prayer of being reelected or elected to a higher office.

In case you can't tell, I'm rather angry about this.

No funding for parks, to heck with health services, end all help to people who need it. Perhaps the only way to drive this home would be to not only stop funding clean up efforts in the parks, but actually blockade the entrances so that nobody can use them. We should post signs in the windows of the health service centers that shut down saying "This center closed due to rich greed."

Economics is a science. It is the study of financial transactions and how those transactions affect the lives of people. In a true sense, economic value is like matter and energy. Can neither be created or destroyed. We take resources from the Earth and the Sun, and convert them into goods and services that meet a human need. Food is soil combined with water combined with sunlight. Shelter comes from taking materials from a forest or the ground, and turning them into homes and buildings. We generate wealth through the production of those goods and services, but these things only have value if they actually serve a human need. Just generating numbers in an accounting book does nothing to help anyone, and it should be discouraged.

Taxing wealth, the way that President Herbert Hoover did in 1932 on our way down into the depths of the Great Depression, was a way of preventing the rich from getting away with their wealth. Taxes on the highest incomes went from 25% to 63% on a graduated scale. That wasn't to tax economic activity, it was to discourage idle wealth from sucking up the recovery dollars that were going to be put into trying to dig us out of the hole.

Power corrupts. Wealth in our society means power. That means wealth corrupts. Our problem here in Washington is that we have a Constitution that says "All taxes shall be uniform upon the same class of property within the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax and shall be levied and collected for public purposes only. The word 'property' as used herein shall mean and include everything, whether tangible or intangible, subject to ownership." - Article VII, Section 1. This has been interpreted by the court as preventing a progressive state income tax, as well as any measures that would tax any property at a higher rate than any other property. Which gives our state the most regressive tax system in the nation, hurting the people who need the most support from the foundations of our society. The foundations that we rely on our government to secure.

We need leadership in this state who will put their reelection needs lower on the priority list than getting the real work done. We need people in office who will do what is right.


Bryce M. said...

I just read through the comments on that story - Scary... Here're the comments I posted to it:

Thanks to NWCitizen for introducing some actual information into the discussion rather than mere opinion, and to VinceInSeattle for suggesting the unthinkable, that maybe, (cough), we're actually spending more on law and order than we strictly need to and that the "luxury" of incarcerating our meth heads and alcoholics may not be something we can afford in these lean times... Perhaps the time has come to consider some rational substance abuse treatment alternatives to current system of mandatory minimum sentences that remove judicial discretion from the justice equation.

Anonymous said...

Dow Constantine said the same thing Reagan Dunn said - no new taxes during these times. Why does this blog only attack Dunn? Perhaps because as an intelligent, affable, good looking, former U.S. attorney he is a rising star in Washington state politics and liberals just want more politicians like Dow Constantine and Nancy Pelosi.


Chad Lupkes said...

If Dow said that, and I don't doubt you, he was a fool for saying it. And why attack Dunn? Because it was his quote that I saw, and I'm a progressive Democrat.

Oh, and personally I'd like to see more Alan Graysons.