“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” — Martin Luther King Jr.
The injustices in our society are systemic. They are baked into the system. The question is, how do we fix this? I suggest we follow the money.
Property taxes support the local school systems. Rich communities have better schools in part because they have more money to support their local schools. My suggestion is to pool property taxes into a state-wide account and have the money distributed evenly to all school districts. It is in our collective interest for every child to be afforded a decent education. Our state representative, Mr. Brian Hubbell, told me this was tried before but failed. Please try again.
It’s time for universal healthcare. Call it what you like, but healthcare is a human right and it is unconscionable that we deprive some of our fellow citizens a basic need that, by the way, also affects other people’s health and our economy.
It’s time for the state of Maine to invest in renewable energy. Why doesn’t the Public Utilities Commission move us towards a clean and sustainable future? The PUC was established to ensure safe, reasonable and adequate service of public utilities. Fossil fuels are no longer safe. They destroy the environment, our health and our ability to enjoy life. It’s well past the time to act on this menace.
And, finally, we must revamp our tax system. Too many corporations pay no federal taxes. Wealthy individuals employ loopholes to mitigate the damage from paying their fair share. They do not help provide for the common defense. I’m not referring only to the military when I say common defense. Our common defense also includes a viable infrastructure; roads, dams, bridges, the energy grid, our education system, our healthcare system. They are not interested in the common good and will not support anything that does not benefit them directly. We must make them pay their fair share.
This union of ours, if we can keep it, is a union of all, for all. By lifting up the least of us we will lift up ourselves. And that is justice.