Walnut Room this way

Walnut Room this way

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Here's a question for you:

I just finished reading the article about how USB (a major Swiss bank) has acknowledged helping wealthy US people hide enough money that it has defrauded the US government of at least $300 million in taxes.  "Oops, our control system was clearly inadequate" at the exact same moment that the executives are being indicted and acknowledging they clearly helped conceal the money.  Even now, they are advising their clients to "stash" items purchased with that money--I assume to lessen the chance the IRS garnishes it to pay back taxes?

My question:  Why is it that millions of hard working folks in the US will get outraged at poor, uneducated women who need a paltry couple of hundred bucks a month to feed the children because there are no adequate resources in the crappy neighborhoods in which they live, and not be outraged that those wealthy people will knowingly and intentionally evade their civic responsibility?  Wealthy people leave paying those taxes to those folks who are least able to do it: those hard working folks who are upset at "welfare" and think that is where their tax dollars are being "wasted."

I am all for stimulating the economy and creating jobs ala the Great Depression saving of folks.  It's clear we are in a hell of a mess--albeit one created intentionally by greedy people with no thought to the consequences.  What I hope is that finally, enough folks at the groundswell figure it out.  In the words of Si Kahn, "What's good for big business has to give way for what's good for people."  We did not get in this mess doing what is good for people, "ensuring the general welfare" of our citizenry.

I do not know what it will take to get us out of it, but I do know one thing.  We will not solve a problem at the same level of thinking as created it in the first place.


Gigi said...

Good question and one I often ask myself. I love Si's comment. I wonder what he's doing these days. Have you seen anything about him lately?

Suzassippi said...

Grassroots Leadership did a study not long ago in Mississippi about incarceration and education and our backward priorities. It was excellent, of course--a policy analysis. Si is still at the helm. His name comes up a lot on the BPD list serve when people ask about social justice issues.