Tag Archive | taxes

Why Pay Taxes?

As an individual citizen of the United States of America, I have paid taxes with each job that I have had in my adult life. I have never had a problem with the philosophy behind paying income taxes. I do believe that some alternatives might make the system work better for the government of the country or states, but I do not hesitate to pay my share of taxes. It ensures that the country will have the proper funds for all the different services the government must provide. Services like defense, infrastructure, and social programs are just a few. These programs require some form of revenue to support them for the future. It is a simple procedure that most civilized countries use to govern the society.

The arguments from both side of the debate center around one simple factor when it comes to taxes. This is my hard-earned money and I should have a say on how it is used. Now, for one side, this is a simple matter that if the taxes are lowered or eliminated, then the money will be used as the citizen wishes. This is a simplified definition, but the point is that the lack of tax revenue starves the government to the point that unwanted programs fail.

As most of these programs work as a safety net for the populace, this side wants to dissolve the net because the government is just giving money to those that have not earned it through hard work. On the surface, this seems a fair argument to those seeking to make our society about the individual.  Individualism walks hand-in-hand with the capitalism ideal that business success and wealth of the individual should benefit from lower taxes.  This ideal suggests that to raise the tax levels for the successful is a punishment of the success. In other words, this style of thinking leads leaders to remove the barriers to capitalism and its free market.

On the other side of the coin, the need for tax revenue to support the government and its proper administration is important to continuation of the country. This angle moves the eyes from the individualism to a community environment. A sense of collective resources being used for the group as a whole boils up from this side. Their ideals that the success of capitalism comes from consumerism, in turn the dependence of the free market on the people must submit to equality through regulations. In the minds of this side, the tax levels should show that the upper income levels pay a larger portion to help support the community.

Now, with all that stated in a very simple form, it would seem that the struggle could remain for years, but it is crazy to think that such a matter could stay in a cyclical pattern. Even my cynical side does not despair when I look at this. We live in a world that is moving forward with progressive thoughts and situations. A simpler way to express the two sides is to say that one side wishes to cling to a hardened status quo while the other side seeks to push our society to a dark chasm of chaos in the unknown future.  However, I don’t believe this is the future if we just open our minds to possibilities. There are so many possibilities to find constructive ways to use the riches of our society. Natural resources safely used and infrastructure projects are just a couple areas.

A spirit of community grew from the dark times of World War II. The world grew to use its wealth to venture into community building and exploration. This idea of coming together has been lost to many of my generation as we are all looking for the entitlement of individual success without helping the community. Perhaps it is time to return our thinking to those dreams of success as a community that the individual can be proud to be part of. Remove the barriers between us and return to the spirit that we are all human beings.

crudus animus

A Duel With Death

Death and taxes touch every life in this country.  We are all equal when we are visited by both in our time here on this planet.  If you try to avoid either, the suffering can truly begin.  Tax evasion gives us a chance to find the real strength of the IRS, and it takes a hard soul to find a way to escape from the long arm of the law.  If you are caught, you are paying for a long time.

As for avoiding death, I am not sure how one could do that beyond staying on life support forever or chilling the brain to be thawed out done the road.  It is crazy to think that Death is a personified entity coming to collect you at the end of your life.  Many times, the tales have been created to tell the story of a person who finds a way to avoid the cold touch of Death.  Those narratives usually lead the protagonist to regret and a haunted existence.  In the end, they seek Death so the suffering can end.

I don’t know that any of us truly understands the concept of immortality, but we do try.  Many authors have taken up the mantle of immortality and placed it on a main character in order to give them a long lifetime as a playground for their stories.  I eagerly await the next fantasy novel that will expand the creations that will have immortality and how it is dealt with.  To me, the mortal mind is a troubling spot that few authors have taken into account.  To move from the ranks of the mortal to the immortal causes a shift in the view of time and the world around them.  These existential thoughts must strain the mortal mind as it is quite finite in conditioning.  I imagine that if we were told from birth that we were immortal, it would lead to a stronger concept of the infinite.

Death can be an interesting topic to ramble on for hours.  The afterlife will eventually enter into the discussion, but that is only if you have a belief in such.  Our civilization has many mythologies to choose from.  We are could look to the ancient Greeks.  A step back even further can lead us to the civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt.  The religion ceremonies surround death and the afterlife, but there has been little evidence to reveal the true answers.  The one common fact is that death will come.  It is how we handle that final moment which will mark our place in the world.  It is the final chance to leave a legacy for those left behind.

I personally have not faced many deaths in my family to this point to form much of an opinion on death.  I sat down to write this blog posting with the topic in mind and started to really pull some of my thoughts together.  First, I know that it will come for me someday and I am prepared to accept it.  By that time, I will have left my mark on those around me now.  I do not say that as a boast that I am some great person, but those around me know that at some point I have left some influence or mark on their lives.  It is also true that they have left it on me.

As for what is beyond the veil of death, I will not claim to know or try to convince anyone to believe my ideas.  I would like to think that the afterlife is a place of comfort and peace.  For anyone to consider it to be anything more or less leaves me with a bad taste.  If one has the ego to claim that their beliefs are the only true ones and anyone that does not agree will suffer without the comforts of the afterlife has placed a judgment on another.  It is no one’s place to pass judgment on another.  The moment that you put yourself in that position, you are filled with hubris and may the powers strike you down.

Of course, that is a bit of a judgment on my part, but I am prepared to accept the strike if only to get the point across.  Tolerance and cognizance are the only factors in this world that should matter.  If you live in the world where you are without these qualities, then you are working against the great truth that many religious figures have spoken.  I strongly suggest that you take a moment to examine that.

crudus animus

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