Sunday, April 8, 2012

Afterthoughts on the PYMWYMI post…

As often happens, added thoughts that occurred to us as we were walking the poochies, in a light rain.

We posted this just a little while ago:


That petition, by the way, reads:

“We, the undersigned, petition the Brunswick School Board and the Brunswick Town Council to prepare and approve a school budget for 2012-2013 that fully funds the educational needs of the community, that preserves the quality and reputation of the Brunswick public schools, and that does not cut the many valuable programs that enrich and improve young students’ lives. By signing below we pledge to stand by the Brunswick Town Council as they work to fund the public schools.”

If you read that statement, it really boils down to a lot of generic squish.  How much more forceful it would have been if it said ‘we the undersigned are willing to pay 10% more on our property taxes,’ or ‘we the undersigned are willing to pay $700 more in property taxes.’  

Instead, they use language with plenty of wiggle room like ‘fully fund,’ ‘preserve,’ ‘many valuable programs,’ and ‘stand by.’  Don’t want to get too pinned down, do we?


We realized that the “imagine and invest” crowd may be having trouble coming up with dollar values to place on their convictions. 

So, in keeping with our always helpful point of view, we offer the following guidelines for monetizing their devotion:

‘Fully fund:’ Suggested minimum tax increase supported is $500.

‘Preserve:’ Wow; this is a tough one, but let’s go with $300 minimum.

‘Many valuable programs:’  $200 per program doesn’t seem too much to ask, does it?

‘Stand by:’  This is a pretty sweeping vow; it should be worth at least $500 per year as well.

In other words, depending on their personal preferences, we would expect the devotees to volunteer at least $1,500 more a year in property taxes.

The good news is that they don’t have to volunteer anything, because what they really want is for town officials to compel all of us to pay whatever they want, backed up by the force of law.  It’s so much more egalitarian and ‘fair’ than paying for what they want.

Imagine if the same principle applied to everything else you supported.  And imagine if you could compel your employer to fork over the necessary pay increases.

The bad news is that the imagine crowd is putting forward an argument that these increases should recur annually.  So even if you think you’re just going to suck it up this year, what will you do in the coming years?

Use your imagination, because there may not be any other options.

No comments:

Post a Comment