stephanie jones

Archive for November, 2007|Monthly archive page

is a fair tax one possible way to work towards economic equity?

In politics, social class on November 8, 2007 at 8:46 pm

Jane Van Galen has a great post about a book she recently read regarding replacing the income tax system with a retail/consumption tax system in the U.S. Lots of folks have been talking about this, and Jane has received an interesting comment from “Ian” about how a “Fair Tax” would work.

I agree with Jane about the refreshing feeling of imagining a concrete, economic way to work toward equity rather than always working more abstractly around issues of morality and other things that are extremely important (access to schools, technology, entry-level positions, housing, etc.) but always already within an existing inequitable system. Completely redefining the very system of taxation seems like something that may make a real difference and something that is actually possible to accomplish in the near future – if, that is, it would truly make a positive qualitative (and quantitative) difference in the lives of working-class and poor people.

Obviously there is a lot of bantering around about this already – check out some of these sites:

Americans for a Fair Tax

Fact Check

Fair Tax Calculator

Fair Tax Blog

With all this going on…how is one supposed to know what to think?

On “Freedom”

In aesthetics, Bakhtin, creativity, freedom, politics, social action on November 2, 2007 at 8:08 pm

What does “freedom” mean?

“[O]ne of the tenets of a democratic society is that men [sic] be allowed to think and express themselves freely on any subject, even to the point of speaking out against the idea of a democratic society. To the extent that our schools are instruments of such a society, they must develop in the young not only an awareness of this freedom but a will to exercise it, and the intellectual power and perspective to do so effectively” (Postman, 1969, p. 1)

From Postman, N., & Weingartner, C. (1969). Crap detecting. In Teaching as a subversive activity (pp. 1-15). New York: Delacorte Press.

“The only freedom that is of enduring importance is freedom of intelligence, that is to say, freedom of observation and of judgment exercised in behalf of purposes that are intrinsically worth while” (Dewey, 1963, p. 61).

From Dewey, J. (1963). The nature of freedom. In Experience & education (pp. 61-65). New York: Collier Books.


In politics, satire as critical literacy, Uncategorized on November 1, 2007 at 9:50 pm

We can laugh at this satirical commentary on the burden of long work days, the cost of day care, and the potential for outsourcing child care to countries like India. Of course, I know all too well the student who sat in my office yesterday afternoon and told me that his father’s assembly line job disappeared after 23 years (along with the pension he would have earned in two more). When I think of real people pushed to the limit, this comedy begins to have teeth that bite back, and I’m reminded of Jonathan’s Swift’s A Modest Proposal. How can these satirical texts help us critically analyze policies that affect our loved ones? Watch the clip from The Onion.

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