Thursday, September 22, 2005

Fun and Games

It's amazing what people who truly love sports will do. I mean, in the states, it's normal to throw a parade if your team wins the world series, or riot when they win the college hockey championship, or burn blocks down after the NBA finals.

But those Gambians are classy. And sneaky. Apparently a flight of 289 Gambian soccer fans faked being out of fuel, so their flight (scheduled for Lima) could land in some other city where they're under-17 boys national team was playing a world cup match against Qatar. And the best parts: the flight was run by an airline called "Air Rum" and chartered by Gambia's President!

In Wonk News Today:

Despite a pledge by Minnesota's Governor, Tim Pawlenty during his 2002 gubernatorial race to not raise taxes, it seems Minnesotan's will be basking in the warm glow of his plan to destroy Minnesota.

According to "experts" (whoever they are) property taxes around the state are expected to rise by 12%. Now this is fine and dandy for people like Pawlenty and people who fight the existence of taxes with the messianic zeal most people would put into fighting satan; people like David Strom.

There are lots of good reasons to want to decrease taxes. Deriving a greater-than-normal pleasure at the thought of being in debt; knowing that you spend your money on new cars and new tvs better than the government could spend it on new cars and new schools; or what I think is the most common reason: a mysanthropic rejection of any commitment to the place you live or the people around you.

I cringe as much as the next person when I look at my state and federal tax withholdings (or looked, when I actually got paychecks) but I believe that those taxes serve a purpose. Usually, I think the purpose is to pay police salaries so they can arrest the punk-kids who drop out of under-funded schools before they graduate and then begin to live off the dole rather than getting a low-paying wal-mart job and serving me obsequisly when I walk in.

Ooops, was that sarcastic. Sorry. Totally out of line.

Seriously though, what's wrong with government playing a role in society? And an important role: keeping us safe, helping provide our children with the opportunity to chose what they want from life, and allowing the rest of us to go about our daily lives without fear of being robbed, disposessed, or arbitrarily dropped from our jobs? Call me a liberal, or a damn hippie, but I think those are all good things.

And you know what? Those all take tax-money.

Tomorrow: all the ways government encroaches on Private Enterprise, Entreprenuership, and the Free Market that made America great in those golden days of yore.

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