There is a lot of talk about equal rights today. In fact, the argument that every American should have equal rights has expanded to some previously taboo area such as same sex marriage, the right to smoke weed and to have free or subsidized health care regardless of financial ability to pay. There are even many who are pushing for laws that would guarantee equal outcomes in life regardless of the resources that were available (or not available) to the individual while growing up.
Such a trend riles the hell out of many conservatives, as they call it modern day communism, European socialism, liberal progressive ideas gone amok, etc. But the world is changing. In America the past election saw 60% of white Americans vote Republican, while 95% of black Americans voted Democrat and 70% of other ethnic groups (Hispanic being the main one) voted Democrat also. Inside these numbers was a preponderance of younger white women who also voted for the more liberal party.
I believe this trend is here to stay. To major challenge to the trend seems to be: “Can we afford it?” This battle is being fought out as I write this blog. But the trend begs the question of obligation. Of course we all harken back to the word uttered by JFK, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.” I read today that there is some serious consideration being given to expanding the military draft to women between the ages of 18 and 26. http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/national_world&id... I understand that a bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives. This goes along with the lifting of the restriction on women to be assigned combat roles in the military. Why not?
But this small token of obligation to one's country is just a piece to the whole area of obligation. This is a great nation and I have benefited by it. I served six years in the United States Air Force. Over the years I also participated in numerous community service activities. But the one duty I fulfilled every year of my adult life is upon me today. I am going to prepare my taxes for the 57th time in my life. I will dutifully calculate them, using the latest software, and pay any residual bill that I have on time. It makes me sick to learn that 15% of all taxes due don't get paid. I am also perturbed that facebook will pay no taxes this year! As an equal opportunity complainer, I wasn't too happy that GE payed no taxes last year.
I understand that approximately 47% of Americans don't pay federal income taxes. I am very sorry for those people who don't pay anything to the federal government that their finances have come to this in their lives -- that their income is so low as to be below the tax schedule. I hope their lives improve. But even for the less fortunate, I think there needs to be a way that they can participate in the system and feel a sense of pride that they fulfilled an obligation. I believe we need to find a way to make everyone in America inclusive in both rights and obligations.
What is wrong with serving your country in some way?
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