Wants to see national tax reform

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJanuary 31, 2014 

I believe the equality that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and so many others, sacrificed so much for has arrived in a perverted form.

Poverty is the only institution that has become fully integrated. Decent-wage jobs have been automated and exported by increasingly unfettered corporations. I believe most of our children now fail to attain a basic 21st century education.

The U.S. has the most unequal distribution of wealth among affluent nations. As per Oxfam International data the wealthy 1 percent now own 19.3 percent of our wealth. How brutal that we rank at the bottom among these nations in health, education and other quality of life indices. Scandinavian and European nations with greatly higher living standards also have much more equitable distributions of wealth. I believe this is because they have strong unions and more progressive tax policies that redistribute wealth through government services.

Homelessness can't be solved by treating it as a disease. Our quality of education can't be improved by punishing teachers. These challenges can only be met by providing better paying jobs, more education funding and restoring a strong social safety net. It's been 40 years since LBJ declared war on poverty.

It's time we stopped retreating and began advancing in that battle. Demand real tax reform!

Jim Hansen

Bellingham

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