Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Chapter XVIII, Section 3

Poul Anderson, The Boat Of A Million Years (London, 1991).

"...Washington had no state income tax yet. That had been one strong reason among many for moving to Seattle." (p. 374)

No state income tax in Washington so move to Seattle? I don't quite follow that one.

(For a few years, the comic book character, Green Arrow, eschewing fictional locations like Metropolis, Gotham City and his own original Star City, lived in Seattle with its distinctive skyline - the Emerald Archer in the Emerald City.)

Hanno, a millionaire in 1975, thinks that he should pay only enough tax for his country's maintenance and defense whereas his fellow immortal, Wanderer, thinks that a government response is necessary to "...human needs, threatened biosphere, scientific mysteries..." (ibid.)

As ever, Anderson shows reasoned disagreements between his characters as well as, usually, making clear which side he favors.

I agree with Wanderer while also thinking that the issue warrants discussion that would be too lengthy for this breakfast post. The wealth-poverty gap is too wide, international cooperation is necessary for scientific research and the threat to life on Earth is urgent. Cinema superheroes regularly avert global threats while we seem to have our own such threat due before the end of this century.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

What Hanno meant was that the state of Washington had no income tax in ADDITION to the US income tax at the time he moved there.

And I agree more with Hanno (and Anderson, for that matter) than I do with Wanderer about imposing taxes to pay for "...human needs, threatened biosphere..", etc. Because, FAR more often than not we only get waste, corruption, crushing national debt, steadily increasing tyranny, etc., from allowing the state to tax and borrow more and more and more. Excuses can always be found to justify pie in the sky social engineering schemes!

I do agree, with some caution, on the desirability of using some tax raised funds for GENUINE scientific researches.