By Steve Levy
E-mail Steve Levy
About this blog: I grew up in Los Angeles and moved to the area in 1963 when I started graduate school at Stanford. Nancy and I were married in 1977 and we lived for nearly 30 years in the Duveneck school area. Our children went to Paly. We moved ... (More)
About this blog: I grew up in Los Angeles and moved to the area in 1963 when I started graduate school at Stanford. Nancy and I were married in 1977 and we lived for nearly 30 years in the Duveneck school area. Our children went to Paly. We moved downtown in 2006 and enjoy being able to walk to activities. I do not drive and being downtown where I work and close to the CalTrain station and downtown amenities makes my life more independent. I have worked all my life as an economist focusing on the California economy. My work centers around two main activities. The first is helping regional planning agencies such as ABAG understand their long-term growth outlook. I do this for several regional planning agencies in northern, southern and central coast California. My other main activity is studying workforce trends and policy implications both as a professional and as a volunteer member of the NOVA (Silicon Valley) and state workforce boards. The title of the blog is Invest and Innovate and that is what I believe is the imperative for our local area, region, state and nation. That includes investing in people, in infrastructure and in making our communities great places to live and work. I served on the recent Palo Alto Infrastructure Commission. I also believe that our local and state economy benefits from being a welcoming community, which mostly we are a leader in, for people of all religions, sexual preferences and places of birth. (Hide)
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It's Not (All) Your Money
Uploaded: Sep 15, 2011
Another false leap of logic made sometimes by posters is that their earnings are "their money" and the government has no claim on it to support public programs.
We all have faced situations where we would like to say "I don't want to pay for" (fill in the blank--the Iraq war, high speed rail, education for the children of unauthorized immigrants, subsidies to oil companies).
But that is because we don't approve of the programs and have been outvoted but not because it is "all our money".
Most of us have benefited from freely available public education, from subsidized tuition or federal grants at college, from federal funding for basic science research that helps our industry, from publicly funded infrastructure like highways, and from the security of being defended by our men and women in the military (even if we don't like every war).
And we have benefited by the taxes paid and investments funded by governments in our parents' and grandparents' generations.
Anyone who thinks that he or she has done it all on their own so it is all "their money" is either very special or not recognizing the role that public programs and investments have made in our opportunities and our earning power.
One problem (besides truth) with the assertion that half of the families don't pay taxes or that our earnings are "all our money" is that it divides us at a time when we desperately need to find a way out of this finger pointing stubbornness that is paralyzing our ability to move forward and address our challenges.
What is it worth to you?
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