Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gratitude Day

Today is Gratitude Day for me. I walk two blocks down fairly even and well maintained sidewalks to a heavily subsidized public transportation system that gets me to work. I note how the trees planted along the street and maintained by the city are blooming now, and I hear a plane overhead and then another, and feel confident they will not collide because of the Air Traffic Controllers. When I get to work, I get a glass of water from the tap and know that it is far purer than any bottled water I might drink. Yes, I am grateful today because I know that that amount I pay in taxes does not begin to cover the amount that I cost—I could never build the infrastructure, do the testing, run the systems that help my life go relatively smoothly. I couldn’t have paid for college or seen hundreds of museums, or borrowed books from the library if I had to pay for it all. I couldn’t have paid a fraction of the cost of the services I have used over my 56 years of life.

“Taxes are the price we pay for membership in a civilized society” said Oliver Wendell Holmes. I am not a Pollyanna and I can see that our society is far from perfect—in fact in many ways it is far from civilized. But many of its problems can be traced to poor tax policy and the degree to which we are able to be in a livable society is a credit to good tax policy.

Gratitude Day. My life is made possible by people who believe in the common good, and I am very grateful.

1 comment:

Rona Fernandez said...

Great post Kim. I'm going to post a similar note on FB soon and hope it catches on!