Oh dear, never ever post replies to people’s blogs when you’ve just woken up. (Tan, I apologise, again).
The reply I posted was quite long but it is the essence of something I think about a lot; the continuing decline in social responsibility and the ever-creeping “does this cost too much” ideology that is attaching to our most vital services. In short, we’re fucking the country up and I’m getting a bit sick of it. If you want me to explain further please let me know – two years of writing computer programs for the social care “industry” was enough to make me sick to the stomach of people, perhaps with good intent, monetizing the care of the helpless and making judgments on pain relief based on it costing too much to provide the best option.
This is a copy of my comment (I edited it a bit to make me look more clever):
Oh you said the T word!
Being someone who is taxed to death – I mean horribly, take-all-my-money-and-they-still-want-more taxed to death – I still have the viewpoint that this is entirely the way that society should be shaped; people like me who, quite frankly, earn obscene amounts of money largely for doing nothing but rampaging through easily-led women and drinking far too much (oh wait, I mean computer programming, ahem) – I should pay lots of tax. This tax paying is for the benefit of all us that live in society – including me. It confers no extra rights to me than someone who is not paying tax. It’s the social obligation of people like me (the haves?) and yes, it does mean that some other people (the have nots? The cannots?) benefit from the payment I received for a website or program I wrote without doing anything at all.
My sister has just become a foster mother. She has always been on the bread line. The foster agencies contribute various amounts towards her making sure that the kids she fosters have a safe and loving environment to escape to. I cried tears of real pride when she passed the final set of checks and “boards” and got her official approval to go ahead. My taxes go towards that. Even the taxes that I paid (because they forced me) which meant I was left so broke one day I could choose petrol or food. I chose petrol.
My taxes also go to the genuinely unemployed and the genuinely can’t-be-bothered. People on various benefits, deserving and undeserving. Students (even the beer monsters). War. Political corruption. Political excellence.
I hate paying any bill – I’d much rather spend it on my usual (well documented) debauchery but whoever and whatever my taxes go to it is right and proper that they do.
Sneering fools who say “I pay my taxes for people like that” and point some self-righteous finger at an area of society that they feel should be less deserving than another is really missing the point about a civilized humanist point of view – we can’t do things like that. Legislate against abuse of the system – yes. Punish the abusers – yes. But stfu and pay your taxes and be happy that you have the freedom to take that undeserving moral high ground in a country which wants us all to succeed and does not measure people by their direct contribution to the national financial wealth. Thinking any other way means the disappearance of everything and anything like art for art’s sake and leads us further down the path of hospital services and educational policies that describe people with cancer as “service users” and children as “clients” and descriptions of cancelled school trips to the zoo as “not being cost effective”.
Please God, save us from all of that.