Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Why Taxes Are Necessary

Look, I know that everyone has grown to have a certain level of disdain for taxes (Who the Hell is FICA?!?!). However, it seems pretty obvious that without taxes, the poor (which often times equate to African-Americans) are left to their own devices in order to survive. For many of our youth, they are often times forced (yes, I said forced, and I meant it) to join gangs for protection and sell drugs for money.

You see, when Mayors, Governors and Presidents cut taxes, they do so to protect the interests of our wealthy citizens; this is done at the expense of those who are less fortunate. Many of the programs that assist our poor citizens are either severely reduced or done away with completely so that the wealthy can enjoy more of their profits. Debating the fairness of this is not my intention. I do want to point out one of the many social ramifications that occur when the tax cut is initiated.

Since 2000, the number of New Jersey's youth who are affiliated with a gang has grown from a little under 7,000 to more than 17,000 today. Without any programs to keep children off of the streets and out of trouble (i.e. afterschool programs, investments in art curriculums, etc), children are left to their own devices to entertain themselves. And since parents simply have to work longer hours in order to pay the bills, children are without parental supervision for long periods of time. On top of all of that, poor people of all ages are turning to drug dealing to make money, because of the simple yet discouraging truth that desperately poor people have little else to turn to for money. This comprehensive problem leads to more hopelessness in our communities, and therefore more drug and gang activity.

Is it merely a coincidence that this rise in gang membership coincides with the installation of George Dubya as President? I think not. If I were a betting man, I'd put cash money down on the notion that a similar spike occured during the Reagan Administration. If we continue down this path, most of our children will have the same hopeless look in their eyes as this recently arrested 19 year old possesses.

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