INSITEVIEW- - tom shugart's weblog

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Time vs. Reality

Here’s an interesting development—“Take Back Your Time Day”—a nationwide initiative being formed “to challenge the epidemic of overwork, over-scheduling and time famine that now threatens our health, our families and relationships, our communities and our environment.”

They’ve already got the governor of Michigan on board. But, then, Gov. Jennifer Granholm is light years ahead of any other State leader in the US. It’s a tragedy that this awesome woman was born in Canada and is thus barred from the Presidency. She could wipe the mat with George W.

But I digress. This movement is a splendid idea but I wonder how far it will travel beyond some nice rhetoric and unassailable logic. They like to point to Europe as an example to be emulated. Well, hell yes, it would be fantastic to have the 35-hour work weeks, the five-week vacations, and the health care.

But there’s a little hitch that they don’t seem to want to talk about. Europeans pay far higher taxes than any politician in this society would ever dare propose.

The voters of this land have shown time and time again—especially in this era of a GOP Congress—that they are willing to accept the trade-off of low taxes in exchange for overwork, shitty health care, declining education, higher college tuitions, and an overall, absolute minimum of government services.

In other words, the Texas model, cheerfully brought to you by Bush, DeLay, and Gang.

Here’s wishing the best of luck to the Take Back Your Time people. They’ll need a hell of a lot of it.


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