It’s not an accident that abolition of the state income tax has come up at this juncture of history.
Because of the economics of scarcity, and the on-going slide of our nation onto the ash heap of history, people understand that there isn’t enough to go around anymore. We can no longer afford business as usual. Radical restructuring of government and the economy is necessary to embrace an economy of abundance. We can’t continue to lavishly shift resources to the powerful economic aristocrats and fund the necessary functions of local, regional, and state government. With or without the income tax, that’s not happening.
But instead of doing what needs to be done to support the common good, the political goal of the Republicans in the present instance is to accelerate the flow of wealth to the already rich and powerful by abolition of the income tax.
If rats are placed in a confined area, and the resources available to them are restricted, the biggest and strongest rats will get most of the limited resources. That’s what we see right now writ large in our debate on the income tax and “core functions” of government. Not only are we cutting funding for the poor and low income, a major squabble has erupted among the economic aristocracy concerning who will continue to get corporate welfare checks from the State.
Thus, tax credits for film makers and wind generation are out the window, while the oil and gas and manufacturing tax credits stay. Money to fund GED classes for high school drop-outs? No way. At the federal level, we saw this going on when Lehman Brothers was fed to the sharks, while Goldman Sachs and Chase Manhatten were rescued.
Notice also that no one is talking about extending the sales tax to advertising sales, legal fees, or newspapers. So the rest of us pay more so that powerful media companies and lawyers can pay less. Nice work if you can get it, eh?
The abolition of the income tax is a deliberate political decision to throw some people behind for the wolves to devour. Who? The not-strong and not-powerful. Which is to say. . . kids in foster care. The elderly whose taxes will increase significantly under the present scheme. Education. Prisons. People in rural areas. Non oil and gas energy initiatives. In other words, just about everyone who isn’t an economic aristocrat.
This is what happens as we reach the limits of growth and bounce back while our government is under the control of economic gangsters without compassion or decency who do not hesitate to continue to loot the public treasury for their private benefit. This is what Peak Oil and the Decline Years look like. This is why we need a defenestration of our aristocracy.
According to Wikipedia — Defenestration is the act of throwing someone or something out of a window. The term was coined around the time of an incident in Prague Castle in the year 1618. The word comes from the Latin de– (down or away from) and fenestra (window or opening). Likewise, it can also refer to the condition of being thrown out of a window, as in The Defenestration of Ermintrude Inch.
A more rational approach would be to fund the common good and defenestrate these economic aristocrats, but alas for us all, Oklahoma government is not about protecting the general welfare, it’s about rewarding the friends and punishing the enemies of the controlling political factions in the Legislature and the Executive. It’s a zero sum game of looting the public to benefit the one percent.
So what to do? The list I compiled as the crises of 2008 came upon us remains good advice for today — 20 Resilient Responses for Troubled Times. The first one is particularly important during this election year —
Close your ears to the lies of politicians and corporations. . . The government will make the situation worse. Politicians will distract you from important actions that are necessary to save your family and community from this crisis.
So we continue to do what we are already doing. We understand what the economic aristocrats are doing and help others to open their eyes and see what’s happening to them. We build alternatives amidst the collapsing ruins of the old. We protect ourselves from the thefts of the economic aristocrats by doing as little business with them as we can. In other words —
- we choose a locally owned burger instead of McDonalds or Burger King,
- we plant a garden or shop at a farmers market or the Oklahoma Food Coop instead of buying pesticide drenched produce at Wal Mart,
- we chop up our credit cards into tiny pieces and we NEVER use a credit card again,
- we take our money out of the big national bank system and do business with a credit union instead.
These and many other similar actions are revolutionary deeds in support of a better future.
We should also be loud in our protest of the actions of the economic and political aristocracies who steal from the general welfare for their own corrupt purposes. This is a time to write letters to the editor, to meet personally with politicians and call them — loudly — to account for their actions. Indeed, demonstrations in front of the homes and boycotts of the businesses of certain legislators would be helpful.
One detail in our favor is that the economic and political aristocrats in control these days are as clueless as the Romanovs in 1917 or the French aristocracy in 1789-1793. They will do much of the work to bring about a revolution of justice and sustainability just be being who they are. If you have any doubts about this, just review the legislation submitted for consideration during this session.
The day will come when the movement for sanity, justice, and sustainability reaches a critical mass. It’s not today, and it won’t be next week. But it is coming, just as sure as gun is iron. Our job is to get there the firstest with the mostest to help people understand what is happening so they can make their own transitions from economic slavery to a life in freedom and justice.
So let us all look forward to the day of the defenestration of our political and economic aristocracies. It’s about time to throw them out the window and onto a pile of manure.