Editorial favors the powerful and wealthy

Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2000

It has been about a week since your leadoff editorial of the year 2000 (Sunday, Jan. 2), exhorting us to take individual responsibility and not look to government for solutions to our problems. Well, how many have taken the pledge? Have the ``Right ons!'' been pouring in from the health insurance companies, the agribusiness industry, Wall Street, defense giants, the American Manufacturers Association, or the US Chamber of Commerce, all of them pledging to lay off their lobbyists and stop the cash flow to our elected representatives? No? Somehow, I didn't think so.

Could it be that they know full well that messages such as yours are not really meant for their ears? After all, that's their propaganda line also. They'd like our already hyper-individualistic populace to feel ever more timid and apologetic about using the democratic tools that are rightfully theirs, leaving more of the field to the wealthy and the corporations, who are anything but timid and apologetic about using government to solve their problems. This is where we need to ``finally rip off the band-aid and let the sore heal in the fresh air.'' Great line, Mr. Editor, but the wrong sore.

But don't get me wrong, I loved parts of your editorial, especially the closing lines, ``As the adage goes: To whom much is given, much is expected. Let that be our motto for the 21st Century.'' Well! Sounds to me like an estate tax, a steeply progressive income tax, a wealth tax, higher natural resource royalties, and maybe even paying a fair share of our international obligations. Right on!

John Dunker

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