Saturday, September 29, 2007

Taking a Poll

I just got off the phone, a call from a pollster. It was actually kind of fun, playing with the slanted questions. The poll was being conducted by a "taxpayers advocacy" group, and had lots of weasel phrases like "wasteful spending" and "government excess" in the questions. It was obvious what results the poll was designed to show, and I doubt that my answers will have any statistical significance, but it shows a certain political philosophy. The anti-tax crowd opposes the basic idea of a government providing social services as wasteful. So here's me, the liberal, saying "hey, I want a strong social safety net, and I'm willing to pay taxes to provide that." The person taking the poll seemed to have a hard time understanding my philosophy, and repeatedly asked me if I properly understood the question. The underlying attitude seemed to be "don't you know that taxes are bad?", but I wouldn't bite. Taxes aren't fun or sexy, but they are the price you pay for things like fire departments, schools, roads, and all the other societal needs that we take for granted. I'll re-use one of my favorite graphics now:

5 comments:

Demeur said...

You forgot to tell them of the hundreds of billions in wasted spending on a war based on lies. There's your real waste of taxes.

pygalgia said...

I did mention the waste on war, but that was an aside. The questions were slanted in such a way that I tried to attack the premise, not the details.

fillip said...

It sounds to me like it was a pushpoll, not a real poll at all.

As for taxes, I think they are both fun and sexy!

IF the money is well spent. It's like shopping. If you go shopping and you pick up some really fun and useful things made by good people sold in stores run by good people, you feel good as hell. If you buy some junk that's badly made by people who are paid next to nothing in some foreign land that chances are you don't need anybody, in a store run by people not paid a living wage, that looks like hell and where you can't get any assistance if you need it and everyone acts like given the choice between working there and sticking their feet in a fiery furnace they'd go for the furnace, or else they just took some drug that makes them smile and act out some combination of patronizing and obsequious for no reason - that makes you feel like someone just put your soul through a wringer.

fillip said...

...that chances are you don't need anyway...

Demeur said...

It would be nice if we could get some basics like roads and bridges that don't collapse, health care, emergency services that were actually there when we need them.