I have been musing for some time about who is affected. I think I have come up with a way to communicate it.
The Problem: Why does the government, any government, at any level, run by any political party, pass laws, rules and regulations which negatively affect mostly the lower income members of our society. To wit:
- Gasoline taxes and ‘environmental’ rules add about $1 per gallon on fuel cost in California. (Gasoline in New Orleans last week was $1.79 a gallon, in Los Angeles $2.80.) Who is affected most by this $15 a tank surcharge in California. Not the rich or upper middle class, they just pay it and press on. The lower income earners see $60 to $100 a month coming out of their pay, and they need it.
- So called ‘sin’ taxes add substantially to the cost of wine, beer, liquor, and tobacco. The 1 percenters could care less. The poor are hit hard. And it may be the case that lower income folks smoke more and drink more that others.
- Insurance regulations limit competition, particularly in health insurance, and thus tend to drive up rates. The rich probably don’t even know what their insurance costs. The poor, not so much.
- The Environmental Protection Agency and its mandates have greatly affected the production of coal, limited construction of refineries, and the like. Where is most of the coal produced? In West Virginia, one of our poorer states. Where are the refineries, the Gulf Coast, areas of high unemployment. Bill Gates and Elon Musk don’t care — they pay what it takes to power their enterprises.
- And what about the XL pipeline. Canada will sell the oil to us, or to China. We don’t build the pipeline, costings 1000s of jobs, Canada shrugs and goes elsewhere with their oil. A lot of poor people who would have had jobs here in the US go wanting.
- City governments are pressuring police to hold back on enforcement in minority neighborhoods. If you take Baltimore as an example, the police pulled back, and murder rates in poorer neighborhoods skyrocketed. It didn’t happen in rich neighborhoods.
- Zoning rules set parking requirements for apartments, thus driving up the construction costs of those buildings and causing higher rents. Renters are paying for parking even though they may not have vehicles. Who are hurt? Lower income families who can’t afford to live in those buildings because of high rents.
I could go on but you get the idea.
A solution? Perhaps when a new tax, law, or regulation, an “impact study” would have to be done to see just who is affected and by how much. Maybe if lawmakers knew that a particular tax cost low income families so much a year, they might think twice.
Naw, probably not…