Monday, February 27, 2012

Chapter Four

I thought franks insights about California were interesting, and I'm glad that he pointed out the positive impacts that Californians have been able to make. It doesn't surprise me that Proposition 13 would pass, property taxes in California must be intense, but through this price ceiling on taxes, they did end up starving there owm government. As he says, the mere fact that group supports a project, does not mean that it serves the public interest, leading back to his theory of what is good for the individual may not be good for all. 

I feel like the theme of this chapter is feast or famine, we go back and forth between extremes; unattended gravel roads to CEO's daughter birthday parties. To me it displays the incredibly unbalanced distribution of wealth throughout the country, and as Frank points out, rather than the middle class be outraged about their failing dirt road and dwindling public services, they want to emulate these wasteful, wealthy habits. But then, criticize the government for it's wasteful spending, when in some cases, and extravagant expenditure is well worth the results. In this way I see a failure of the invisible hand, at least it's benefit to the many over the few, making one see how people would call for the need of government intervention.
And of course, the question is, how do we keep tax money flowing to the right programs, and how do we know what the right programs are? Can we vote on everything? Would that just be using more tax money that could be going to the programs that you're voting on whether or not to fund?I love the set up the California has, but it has some obvious downfalls. This chapter jumped back and forth a bit, so it's hard to focus on one thing, but I think it's was my favorite so far.

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