See what I just did there? That’s a first! Fifteen years, and never before have I made my point in the first sentence! Sometimes I never get around to it at all!
I’m doing it now for two reasons. One, last week I opened with what I thought was an amusing misleading statement “Today’s topic is insanity”, and nobody got it. Two, recently I’ve been obsessed by something said to me 23 years ago. I was homeless then and a man I’ll call Luke Sidewalker had asked why, and I had given him four answers, the first three being impromptu jokes.
Luke, who had recently graduated in Advanced Pre-Modern Sociology, told me that my last reason, the true one, was false, because he had “learned” in Sociology Science 101 that people always say the truth in their first answer.
|Not a sociology class; a sociology experiment.|
Mostly I’ve pondered, how many people are as stupid as Luke Sidewalker? How many really take every study ever generated by sociologists as gospel, without appreciating how much trickier it is to study people than atoms, and the tools aren’t there yet? Does diet cause such stupidity? Can we do a study?
But I digress. Last election, Washington State defied the national trend, re-electing Democrat Patty Murray over Republican contender Dino Rossi, and I spent hours on the internet trying to explain to various representatives of The Rest of The State, why there was a perfectly good reason that should have happened, even though only 9 counties went for Murray, and the other 30 went for Dino Rossi.
What looks like a failure of democracy is not, I said, because counties only report the votes, they don’t do the voting. The voting is done by people, and one-person-one-vote means if more people vote for one candidate than another, it’s not their fault that so many of them live in King County, which just happens to have 25% of the population of the state even though it’s only one county.
Contrast that with last Friday’s Seattle P-I headline: “King Co. pays for the rest of the state - is that fair?”
It doesn’t look fair! Our taxes make up 42% of the state’s income, but only 25% of the budget gets spent here! Wah!
However, as I have just now said, we’re 25% of the population, approximately, so the spending amount IS fair, on that basis. So what’s going on?
What’s going on is, King County is liberal. And liberals vote for liberal policies. Liberal policies are better. So the businesses here do better. So King County residents make more money. So they pay more in taxes.
More importantly, we’re liberal so we believe that’s exactly the way it should be! Let the wealthiest people pay the most, they that have the most to pay. Let everyone reap the benefits in accordance with their numbers and it will all work out for the best for all of us.
Now, a few conservatives happen to live in King County. For example, Luke Sidewalker lived in Eastern Wallingford, of all places. They might complain like this: “Hey, we King County-ers earned our money through hard work. Why should those the bare-foot children of Eastern Washington hippies, drunks, deadbeat dads, and other ne’er-do-wells get our money? They should earn their own!”
But most of us see the error in that reasoning. We know that our money will go to good use. It will be especially needed to raise the educational level of Eastern Washington, to the point where they could at least write that thank you note I mentioned at the beginning of this.