March 19, 2001
Don't forget the French Revolution
In the March 5 letter to the editor, a writer describes a pizza dinner for which three friends pay $3 and one friend pays $10.
The writer informs us when the change comes back to the table it's only fair that the $10 friend should receive all the change. In this way, he illustrates and attempts to justify the current, and in fact, all Republican tax cuts that enrich the already rich.
What the writer fails to mention is that the $3 friends each had only one tantalizing bite. Except for those three bites, the greedy $10 friend consumed the entire pizza. Who is really more deserving of the change now? Hasn't the one friend already benefited more than all the others?
There is also the pesky problem of the outstanding bar tab the four friends owe from the previous dinners. Shouldn't the restaurant owner keep the change to reduce this debt?
The $10 friend has been frantically trying to convince the owner that all bar tabs, debts and accounts receivable will disappear in the next ten years. The owner is intrigued by the optimism of this form of economics, but should have the right to demand something a little more tangible than these long-range predictions of future income.
We must ask, and keep asking those who crave Republican-style tax cuts, how much of a nation's wealth can be safely concentrated in the pockets and trust funds of the richest 2 percent of its population, 20 percent, 50 percent, 90 percent? Is it not truly dangerous for so much to be controlled by so few?
Maybe the answer is that we live in a free market, capitalist economy and we should do nothing to control the transfer of wealth from the middle class to the astonishingly wealthy. So, when the three friends can no longer afford to pay $3 for each bite of pizza, will you tell them to "eat cake?"
It is often said and always true that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Therefore, I would ask the writer to remember and seriously consider two final words. French Revolution.