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Income Inequality and Societal Health

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Mary Bell Lockhart     Permalink
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Recently, we've heard and read demands from some that our tax dollars not be taken "against our will" and given to "those who refuse to produce anything." How do these folks know their money is going to "people who refuse to produce anything?" There's no evidence of this. Where are these slackards and ne'r-do-wells?

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The fact is most tax dollars go to businesses and organizations to provide services and to state and local governments which in turn provide other services through businesses and organizations. Their employees are recipients of the money but only in a context of working to earn it. Employees, in turn, buy goods and services from businesses. Our entire workforce is not a bunch of non-producers. They're taxpayers too!

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And what about the case of the government paying for health care for those who cannot pay, such as Medicaid and SCHIP? That money never crosses the palms of the patients. It goes directly to the providers of health care and their WORKING employees. The patient gets the benefit of treatment, which may enable them to work rather than sit at home sick or die. It improves their quality of life and enhances their future, but they can't "bum a living" off health care assistance. The same applies to the food stamp program which pays in food and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) which is, as its name, "temporary." So, there are few refusing non-producers under those rugs either.

Also, strike from the pack of non-producers those 18 and under who are not yet of "producing" age and the retirees who already "produced" for many years. And strike those in higher ed or technical schools who are still learning how to "produce." Then there are those with debilitating illness that are unable to work.

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I'm a retired public health worker focused these days on supporting a variety of progressive issues, such as criminal justice reform, energy efficiency, environmental protection, universal health care, civil rights, and worldwide peace and (more...)
 

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