Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The (new) Boston Tea Party

Today marks a new Tea Party in Boston. What a novel idea!

The only problem...a lot of the protesters are protesting against what is right. Now that's not just my opinion, as I try to stay as unbiased as possible on this blog. It's true. Let me explain:

One woman was quoted as saying, "I'd like to eliminate the superfluous (correct word usage?) taxes that go towards our towns to support bloated salaries and pensions. I'm scared for my daughter for what the future will look like in 10 years."

Ok. Besides the obvious contradictions and ironies in her argument, lies the one looming question: are salaries and pensions bloated? Simple answers: In comparison to other professions requiring the same education levels, stresses, hours (including home hours), and commitments, absolutely not. In fact, they still serious bounds.

Pensions are becoming a problem, though, as the amount of people collecting them swells each year. Should there be a higher amount of years before a pension can be collected? A smaller amount to be collected? More money put into the pension system before one can be collected? All of these are viable and probable arguments that I'll entertain listening to, though I'm not sure that any of them singularly can solve anything. Perhaps a commingling of all of these, included with several additional parameters, will effectively solve a lot of the problems.

Ok, so here's her largest crux: She's scared for her small daughter, presumably for what lies in her future. Her future is of course filled with education, buying a home, and getting married and having children. Let's just assume the stereotype is the expectation, for the sake of the argument, shall we? If no one pays money into the system, how will salaries be paid? Is she suggesting educators take massive pay cuts, or work for free? Is she suggesting the nominal amounts we pay for taxes right now are too large? What about in other countries where nearly 50% of your wages are taken to cover expenses of the companies such as provided food, transportation, retirements, etc.? We look like a country with no taxes compared to them.

Maybe some of these protesters need to rethink what they're having the tea parties? Originally, and I mean this with no disrespect to any conservatives, Republicans would have been the equivalent to British sympathizers, and any Washingtons or Adams (Gores or Kennedys) would be the ones protesting them. Instead, it has sort of been flipped around. Reminds me of the argument about 'maverick' I posted about earlier.

Protest many things: Unfair taxation (providing for basic essential funding is not so 'unfair'..but I'll entertain the idea), government greed, wall street bonuses and bloated salaries (why is she not protesting that?), and a country still so politically divided in the face of something (recession/depression) so incredibly beyond politically squabbling that it isn't even funny.

I'm sure some are there for the right reasons, others for the wrong reasons, and many others just to observe or dawdle. Just remember what the original Tea Party was all about--freedom for all, not for one.

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