Thursday, July 19, 2012

Let's end discrimination

When I was in sixth grade, back in the mid-1950s, I was taught that the color of one's skin didn't make any difference, that we were all the same. It made sense to me, and I brought up my own children to understand the same. At some point in the future, I explained, all the races and all the ethnicities would be commingled—it is inevitable given the ease of travel in modern society. Yet here we are, over 50 years later, still taking census counts of how many of us are white, brown, black, or whatever. We keep insisting on identifying our racial origins, and classifying ourselves by language, religion, and sex, but to what end? If we are going to stop the discrimination, we need to stop the counting and the classifying. Aren't we all just Americans? Free to pursue our own vision of happiness?

The Democrats are hell-bent on raising taxes on "the rich" but not the middle class, even though higher taxes on the rich would only amount to a fraction of our current $1.2 trillion deficit, and even though the hardest-working of the middle class would likely aspire to be rich some day. The Republicans want to avoid raising taxes on anyone, arguing that this might endanger the fragile recovery. Unfortunately, both parties are missing the more important point: using the tax code to discriminate between one person and another is just plain wrong.

It's wrong to discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, or religion, and it's just as wrong to discriminate on the basis of one's income or capital gains. It's wrong to discriminate on the basis of whether a couple is married or not, or whether they have children or not, or whether they rent or own their home, or whether they make more than $250,000 or not. We need to greatly simplify our tax code by not discriminating on the basis of anything. We need to make sure that everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed, but we need to stop punishing those that do and stop rewarding those who don't.

If the tax code distributes favors to every favored interest group, at the expense of any minority group, we only end up being a nation of special interests pitted against each other.

The more we discriminate on the basis of anything, the more incentive our politicians have to pander to special interest groups, and the more divided we become. This will be the death of us if we don't stop it.

13 comments:

mmanagedaccounts said...

Pitting one group against another group was the brain child of FDR. Didn't he introduce class or group identity as a basis for government favoritism or benefit? This has been the way of the progressive. As long as the liberals can make hay with it, it won't go away.

Benjamin said...

It's nice when I can totally agree with Scott Grannis, and in this case I do.

Pat Buchanan likes to say in politics things start off as missions or causes, decline into parties, and then become rackets.

The D-Party has developed orthodoxies that have become dogmas, such as racism is what is holding some citizens back (racism is detestable, btw).

I am happy to see that federal taxes, as a percent of total GDP, have been in multi-decade decline, as Grannis' charts have shown.

I hope we can keep this decline going.

I prefer consumption taxes to taxes on productive people or enterprises, but that will never happen.

Romney is a poor choice of the GOP wants to convince people that rich people need lower taxes.

Really, a guy with quarter-billion dollars, much of it stuffed into dubious in Cayman Islands accounts, wants lower taxes? A guy with offshore accounts, the purpose of which is dubious, wants to be President of the United States?

I think the GOP is out of touch.

Jim said...

It is more of a political strategy to get reelected. The democrats are just manipulating the system for their personal gain - plain and simple.

William said...

WOW!! A very powerful comment. I will need to read it a few times to fully understand its impact.
Thank you.

William

Jake said...

Curious what your view is on same sex marriage that Republicans seem to oppose given your detest of discrimination.

Scott Grannis said...

I think the federal government has no business getting involved in social issues. Those issues belong to states, churches, and individuals.

L.A. said...

First of all, I couldn't agree more. Very well said.

But this comment in your last paragraph is precisely why a simpler tax code suited to benefit the citizens will NEVER happen, in my humble opinion:

"The more we discriminate on the basis of anything, the more incentive our politicians have to pander to special interest groups, and the more divided we become. "

It is precisely the handouts, tax credits, progressive tax system, pandering to different voting blocks, social engineering functions of the tax code that our elected politicians simply will not relinquish. Won't happen.

Which is a shame. I liken this scenario to those same officials voting themselves pay cuts or voting their salaries to be tied to GDP so that they actually have some incentive to make smart decisions. That will also never happen.

Public Library said...

Need to abolish the Fed which discriminates in favor of banks, debt,and against savings and investment.

Squire said...

Ending discrimination starting with the tax code is a great idea. Then end job preferences and college preference. Even if that means the University of California enrollment becomes 50-60% Asian. THAT, would have market consequences as it should and wake up a lot of white kids.

After decades of trying to make the U.S. a more just and egalitarian society, we have created a system where everybody is trying to get more from the other guy than the other guy gets from you.

Dr William J McKibbin said...

Elites have long sought regressive tax schemes instead of progressive tax schemes -- the reality of progressive tazation in America is in fact legal, and therefore moral, according to the law of the land -- that's democracy folks...

Gloeschi said...

We also should fight to eliminate discrimination against Royals. These poor fellows didn't chose which family they were born into.
Yeah, don't discriminate against the rich - they just "happen" to be rich.
(This post must be a last-ditch attempt by the Romney campaign to use virtual personality Scott to try to defuse anger among US voters)

Jake said...

So if a state, church, or individual wanted to discriminate against a rich person you would be okay with the federal government allowing it to happen?

sturdeebeggar said...

Just goes to show you--you've been hopelessly naive.

This egalitarian, color of the skin vs. the content of character type stuff has simply served to rope a dope those believers into becoming a victim.