The "Free Ride" Society
The right-wingers often tend to look at taxes as a way of stealing the fruits of other people´s labor, that people are being taxed so that other can enjoy a free ride. Well they´re way off. First of all, the ones who are really stealing the fruits of our labor are the financial elite who have been making billions by pushing a few buttons on a computer at the stock exchange and exploiting people in the US and all over the world. And secondly, the "fruits" of one´s labor can´t be measured in an advanced moderen society.
We now live in a complex, highly advanced technological society built up by generations of people thru hundreds of years. People have been building infrastructure, contributed to science, developed technology, developed efficient ways of manufacturing etc etc. Because of all this effort we now enjoy a more wealthy, advanced and efficient society than ever. All of this, lots of it built and created long before we were even born, we`re now enjoying despite having little or nothing to do with contributing to it ourselves. In other words, our contributions, no matter what we do, are microscopic compared to what we receive from society. We`re enjoying the results of generations of people`s work gradually building a modern society - an enormous free ride.
Now, there are people, certainly in third world countries, but also in the West, who are struggling to get by and do not feel that they´re enjoying all these goods. I totally understand that but that has to do with the unfortunate concentration of wealth. I`m talking about the society as a whole. The western countries are more efficient and wealthy as ever, the problem is that we have a system that allows for more and more accumulation of wealth. That is one of the reasons why we have to abolish Capitalism and replace it with democracy.
Now, what´s really interesting about this "free ride" - debate is that even though the rich, which the right-wing tend to support, are becoming increasingly wealthy by doing less, the right always turn to the poor and working class when they want to give a speech about getting free rides and stealing the friuts of other people´s labor. Citibank first recieved their taxpayer bailout back in the 80s from Reagan and have since that, along with an increasing number of other corporations received an enormous sum of taxmoney. Is that not stealing the fruits of other people´s labor? And what about, let´s say, indonesian facory girls working 12 hours a day for 50 cents an hour at a Nike- factory so that Phil Knight and the rest of them can sell shoes and equipment for huge profits. Is that not getting a free ride?? Why isn´t this theft adressed by the right-wing? The rich, which have become rich mostly by pushing a few buttons at a computer at Wall Street, and/or exploiting workers in the US and all over the world, which isn`t exactly hard work, are being given more and more tax breaks and benefits by politicians, yet the right wing have the balls to criticize sick people for getting their medical bills covered by the government. To put it this way, as long as the wealthy are getting more and more recourses into their hands by doing very little, people should have no right lecturing the working class and poor for asking for welfare programs.
So how should we organize a complex highly advanced wealthy society? Make it more democratic! Make the workplaces democratic, make the communities democratic. Organize society so that people can be in control over their own lives. Create a society where we focus on peoples needs instead of short term profit. End the system we have today, which encourages greed and unsustainable and pointless consumption, and instead create a society where true human characteristics and feelings like engagement and solidarity will come to the fore. Create a decent civilized society where everyone can enjoy a decent life. Create a world where we all can enjoy the "Free Ride" Society.