Tag Archives: Self-improvement

The Thing About Taxes

I will preface this by saying I am not well-researched in the areas of politics, national financing, or whatever actually goes into this mess, in the United States or elsewhere.

But I think it might be worth mentioning my thoughts on a few things, based on personal experiences, and some things I’ve heard that just… don’t make a lot of sense.

Taxes aren’t inherently bad.

The word “tax” in itself has come to have largely negative connotations–if you’re being “taxed” by something, you’re being weighed down or put upon. We have classic examples of people, like the Sheriff of Nottingham from the Robin Hood stories, who abuse taxes.

In a truly ironic state of affairs, my dad is adamantly against any kind of raise in taxes, but he also works for the state of Minnesota, and part of our taxes are what pay his own wages.

But if taxes are being abused, for things like… oh, say, a giant wall, or a football stadium… then, yeah, I wholeheartedly understand the aversion.

I don’t think anyone is ever entirely sure what taxes are used for, but there’s obviously some mismanagement going on somewhere, and that’s the bad thing. Taxes themselves? They have some truly positive possibilities.

Let’s just, for the sake of imagination, pretend that a perfect world is possible. What should taxes, in a perfect world (and my opinion) be used for?

  • Protecting/conserving the environment
  • Researching and developing important new innovations in energy, transportation, and health (cure for cancer, anyone?)
  • Providing/maintaining a basic standard of health and well-being for everyone
  • Paying first responders, health professionals, and peace-keepers
  • Educating people well
  • Preserving culture by investing in arts, museums, libraries, archives, and community centers
  • Community improvements, like road construction, parks & rec, etc.
  • Providing some kind of safety net and/or rehabilitation programs for those who are  out of work and/or homeless. (This would include retirement, and being out of work due to an injury, veteran benefits, and other things of that nature, in addition to being in a bad situation for other reasons.)

Some people are really put out by the thought of providing for others. Which… I get, to some extent. At the moment, it’s hard to fathom providing for myself, let alone anyone else in the country–but that’s because a lot of things in “the system” are broken. They’re not being used the way they should.

If I had the peace of mind that came with guaranteed good health, the basic ability to learn the things I need to know without being in debt for the foreseeable future, and the reassurance that life as we know it wasn’t on its way to being toasted out of the Earth like a bad virus, I would happily give away a third or more of my income for the rest of my life.

In a perfect world, what would your taxes be used for?

What would you be willing to provide, to make your own life and the lives of others easier?

Being Your Best You

My next piece of advice for the upcoming generations is to accept failure. I grew up being so discouraged about not succeeding in everything I do and let it get me down. I have quit sports that I loved because I was embarrassed about not being as good as those around me. As I get older I realize you need to fail in order to learn and get stronger at something. It isn’t something to be ashamed of but proud to practice and overcome.

I strongly urge those who come across this to let your curiosity take over and explore new things. Try to think differently and don’t stick to a basic routine. It takes more effort and you may find out you hate some of them but it opens so many doors which you may have never had the change if not willing to be a beginner. I came across this viral video that as really hit home on how to be your best you…through failure! If you haven’t seen it already here is Will Smith’s opinion on the topic:

There are a few different reasons I believe this video has grabbed the attention of so many people. As Mendelson said in “How to Really Make it on the Web”, having a legitimate celebrity alone can capture the audience of fans who already like them and care about what they have to say. Mendelson also stated that what you need to make it on the web is to have the media more than just the audience. I found this video on Facebook as it keeps popping up consistently. Media can help connect the message you want to get out and spread as fast as a disease. Mendelson recommends Twitter more than other social media sites but currently they all can help you keep intact with your audience if that is the platforms you use. The people you want to reach will dictate everything you do.