But driving the rest of us into penury, as this post points out, destroys civilization.
Which is what is happening, and not just in California, although it is being played out more clearly in California than anywhere else at the moment.
In order NOT to tax ExxonMobile, Shell Oil, and other oil conglomerates that have made record profits in the tens of billions of dollars off California consumers in recent years, the Republicans blocked Torrico's oil severance tax proposal that would have provided a billion dollars for higher education. They also blocked a tax on cigarettes that would have adverted cuts as well. And they did so for blind ideological reasons with a total disregard for what is in the best interest of the state of California. They sided with Big Oil and Big Tobacco to penalize college students who are just trying to increase their skill and knowledge levels to be productive members of the state's workforce and to make California's future as bright as its past.
When those who profit from a society's goods do not support that society, who will? Oil companies profit by this country -- use its workers, use its roads, are defended by its soldiers, profit off its natural resources, wreck its environment, grow obscenely wealthy according to its very beneficial laws -- they should support the country that makes that possible. Thus also the timber companies, Big Pharm, other giant corporations.
Instead, what we hear is that it is not fair to tax the wealthiest among us, who have worked so hard to gain that wealth; not only is it not fair, but it will stifle their initiative. They will stop working so hard, and that will destroy our country. (Stop drilling for so much oil. Stop cutting down so many trees in our national forests. Stop developing so many drugs for male impotence and restless leg syndrome.) No, no, we must cut their taxes, and, instead, those in the lower brackets -- me and you, and those sad people over there, who make fifty thousand a year, or thirty thousand, let them pay more for their clothes or their food -- because if the support from the state drops, the local taxes go up; and if the support from the feds drops, the state taxes increase; and if all the support drops, well, things like tuition and services just start costing more, or disappear entirely, and you have to provide your own books, since the library doesn't have them anymore, or pay more of your own college tuition, since the university is charging more -- though I guess you could just stop reading books and just drop out of college.
What happens if we all have to pay our own tuition, and tuition keeps going up?
What happens if we all have to buy our own books, and we don't have money for that?
What happens to the quality of education on the university level when universities can't hire new faculty (many can't now) and enrollments keep going up (people come back to school when unemployment levels rise)? More students in every classroom, lower pay for faculty members -- do you think that equals a better education for students?
But let's not tax the rich. Because that would be wrong.