Is There Hope?

Richard Swerdlin swerdlin at GTE.NET
Wed Jun 11 16:58:48 MDT 1997

> From: Chuck Warman <cwarman at WF.NET>
> Subject: Re: Is There Hope?
> Date: Tuesday, June 10, 1997 10:22 PM
> Here is a proofed version of my last post.  Sorry!
> >
> >        Only a simple majority is needed to vary income tax rates.  If
> >many people think rates are too high, then the above is a reasonable
> Yes, unfortunately, this *is* the way it's done, isn't it? So it's
> possible for the lower and lower-middle-class majority to simply to take
> *all* from the wealthier minority.  So easy, and so likely.  Thus
> destroying our economy's capital base and ensuring permanent class
> Sound familiar?
> Given your rather dark view of human nature, Richard, it surprises me
> you'd be so uncritical of a system such as this.

> cwarman at    (Wichita Falls, TX)

        I view humans as a complex mix of various positives and negatives.
Humans are capable of doing things from the sublime to the ridiculous.

        My reference to a simple majority is that certain kinds of actions
(actually most) are more easily achieved than others.  It was in no way a
suggestion that a simple majority should act foolishly.

        As indicated before, I sincerely believe (as I always have), that a
broader base of revenue is more reliable or stable than a narrower one.
Sales tax, income tax, and property tax still remain the three basic

        Returning to the concept of simple majority, I do not see the
usefulness  in classifying  people into upper, middle, and lower classes.
While these three descriptors are often encountered, they unfortunately
suggest something monolithic or lumped about the constituents of each
class.  Congress usually legislates by compromises, to achieve action of
some kind.  Relatedly, a candidate for the Senate has to satisfy a state
constituency, which is a relatively wide one.  Even a candidate for the
House may have to satify voters in a wide constituency, depending on the
particular district.  The above is a lower profile version of the familiar
"checks & balances" principle.  All things considered, legislative actions
in Congress seldom are extreme.  In essence, arithmetical requirements of
various kinds promotes slower change, for better or worse.

        I did not set a particular income tax rate, or for that matter,
oarticular sales or property raxes.  As a citizen, I have voted on various
tax measures, directly or indirectly.  I view taxation as a means of
raising revenue, not as a means of restribution of income.

        I do not see the current situation as overwhelming.  Easily
observing the actions or life styles of neighbors, colleagues, etc.,
"overwhelming" is an exaggerated adjective.

        It is often said in presidential campaign rhetoric, that there is a
wind or wave across the land in favor of certain actions.  However, what
happens in primary elections also suggests that the wind or wave has been
misread or exaggerated.  Understandably, it might be a matter of wishful
thinking, than reality.  Harold Stassen used feel changes in the breeze,
but he seldom got very far in Democratic primaries.  Comparably, Pat
Buchanan and Pat Robertson feel  breezes, but they too encounter little
actual support in Republican primaries.  There is little doubt in my mind
that in a few years, there will again be feelings of the above.

        If so many citizens sincerelly see the current level of income tax
as unreasonable, nothing really stops them from sincerely voting for
candidates to follow through.  Sooner or later, a majority can be mustered.
 Legislation associated with the civil rights movement
was not the result of new proposals, but the persistent promotion of
desired changes, until a majority was reached in Congress.  Proponents of
civil rights legislation did not give up the ship.  Perhaps they took heart
from the suffragettes.  It took about 80 years for women to achieve full
voting rights.  Susan B. Anthony did not live to see her dream realized.

Richard Swerdlin
(swerdlin at

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