Quote, October 22 2011 — Money in your pocket, taxes, and the ability to make your own choices

“For, the more I think about it, the more the question of taxes is central to that of liberty in general. For the question is: Who is to run the country? Is it to be run by its citizens, free to exchange goods and services for mutual benefit, or by the government, increasing both its powers and its corruption by the ability to tax?

. . . Cut taxes and the “special interests” will have no incentive to bribe or “support” a candidate to the tune of a fortune, for the candidate, if elected, will have no ability to repay the bribe.”

-David Mamet, “Liberal Tax Dodgers and the Disrespected Sushi Chef”, Wall Street Journal, October 11 2011 (link requires subscription, unfortunately)

I wish they didn’t put as many of their articles behind a subscription wall.

For those curious abut the title of Mamet’s article, he was referring to artists & business owners he runs into who typically vote for Democratic candidates — knowing that many of the candidates they vote for are disposed towards raising taxes as a way to deal with government revenue problems — but who in their daily lives seek to avoid some of those same taxes.

In the same article, he recounted a dinner with a friend whose daughter was home from college. They were eating take-out sushi and as the father was deconstructing his California roll, his daughter was reprimanding him for disrespecting the sushi chef (who was not present, this being a take-out meal eaten in a private residence). The daughter wanted to know if the sushi chef’s work in putting together the California roll was worth nothing & Mamet said he responded by saying, no, it was worth the price that was paid for the meal, which is why the chef was selling it at that price.

Mamet’s said he wondered why the daughter was so concerned about the value of the sushi chef’s work that she apparently failed to consider the worth of her father’s work to make enough money to both buy take-out sushi & send his daughter to college.

“Why did the T-shirt maker have to whisper when he made his offer of a legitimate exchange? And who did he think was going to pay the increased taxes he voted for? Certainly not himself, as he (like everyone else) was going to dodge as many as he could. Who but “the Rich,” that magical invocation of a group in opposition to which we citizens have time and again impoverished ourselves?”

Maybe the daughter considered her dad to be one of the Rich and that’s why his work to have money to afford a nice house & take-out sushi that he could eat any way he pleased was worth less in her eyes than the work of the anonymous sushi chef?

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