Pennsylvania Property Tax

     Someone I know recently told me about some Pennsylvania official or representative who wants to eliminate property taxes and replace them with various other taxes.  My initial reaction was, “Would government ever consider doing something like this if they weren’t going to make more money in the long run?  They certainly wouldn’t do it if they were going to make less!”

     Apparently (though not explicitly stated), what they really want to do is collect all of the tax money into one big pot and redistribute it as they see fit, taking money out of wealthier communities and putting it in other less attractive communities, communities that everyone is leaving because of drugs and crime, decades of poorly elected officials, high taxes, and/or lack of quality employment.

     I’m not convinced that this will pass any time soon (I could be wrong), but it probably will someday.  We’ll be fooled again!

     I realize that, once in a great while, one politician or another will implement a so called “tax break.”  Usually that just means that they created a different tax somewhere else, or the supposed tax break will be put back in another four or eight years, or they promised the elimination of one tax in favor of another, only to have the eliminated tax be reinstated somewhere down the road.  We fall for it every time.  How rarely do we hear anything about the real problem—government spending!  That should be the focus!  Cut off all of the unnecessary spending and there would probably be no need to raise taxes to begin with!


A Losing Battle

     I was recently talking to someone I know who is very into all of the digital technology that is increasingly dominating people’s lives.  I, for one, am actually scaling back my use of digital electronics and media to what I believe to be a more moderate level.

     In any case, I was telling them that I recently disabled my “cookies” on my phone and am using only “private mode” now, which creates various problems (for myself) from time to time.  (Although most of you are probably aware of what “cookies” are, for those who are not, “cookies” are used by websites to track and store what you do when visiting their site, which they then use to better understand your likes, desires, and tendencies and also to sell to 3rd party companies to do with as they please.)  Many sites simply will not even load when the cookies are off, presenting a blank, grey screen.  When that happens I just move on to something different; they don’t get my business.

     The person I was speaking with said, “Yeah, it’s a losing battle.”  I didn’t say it at the time, but what I should have said was, “No, losing is to not battle at all.”

     And that’s the problem with so many people today.  People aren’t willing to battle at all.  They just accept whatever they are told to do or buckle to the slightest pressure, never standing up for anything whatsoever.

     I know that disabling my “cookies” is pretty small in the grand scheme of things, but at least it’s fighting back a little.  That’s what I am, a fighter; I know exactly what I want in life, and I fight the good fight in many little ways.  I want my freedom as much as possible, from as many things and people as possible.  I consider it a badge of honor to have to endure some inconvenience or hard work to achieve my goals.  It helps to give my life greater meaning, and therefore, much more joy, peace, and satisfaction.

     Sometimes I feel that the people in my life who are familiar with my fighting spirit only see what I’m giving up (like giving up the internet and cable at home, for example), but not what I gain (better use of free time, less television programming, more reading and writing, etc.), which is so much greater than what I’m giving up.

     So no, it’s not a losing battle.  Losing is to not battle at all!

Excerpted from Them and Us: A Philosophy of Freedom by Adam Soto