On Mon, 25 Jun 2007, Mr Joseph Singer wrote:
> Mark Crispin <firstname.lastname@example.org> Mon, 25 Jun 2007 11:57:11 -0700
>> All due sympathies. Now that Washington State has become a one-party
>> state, I'm sure that our costs and taxes will rise to Northeast standards.
> Isn't this just typical of Crispin to politicize any comment he sends
> to the digest.
Pat, if you are going to approve messages that contain nothing but
personal attacks, you should post this response.
Singer sent me a private email in which he made a bigoted remark about
Utah and the Mormon church. Sadly, such behavior is typical of young
liberals. [Why he thinks that I have anything in common with Mormons
escapes me, other than perhaps a general category of "people that Joseph
Singer does not like."]
Washington State effectively has a one-party government. Not only
does one party have majority control of the governor's mansion and
both houses of the legislature, they have a supermajority. In a few
short months, substantial new taxes (and spending) were passed, and
voter initiatives to limit taxes and union power (such as being able
to spend non-members' representation fees for political causes) were
More is coming. Although Washington State does not have a personal
income tax (yet), its other levies add up. Washington is the 8th
highest taxing state in the union (after CT, NY, NJ, VT, RI, NV, and
CA; rounding up the top 10 are MA and MN). The liberals have a point
in that most of Washington's taxes are highly regressive (the sales
tax is one of the heftiest in the nation); but there's also a stiff
business income tax that also hits the self-employed.
It is surprising that it is still possible to get a non-frills
local-only POTS line here for so much cheaper than other states, but
that cost differential isn't likely to last.
Between Republican filibusters and voter initiatives, state spending
was severely limited for many years (but not so much that Seattle
couldn't build two new sports stadia). This led to a pent-up demand
that our current legislature seeks to satisfy now that it is
The point of all this is to pre-emptively debunk the myth of
Washington being a land of cheap telecom and low taxes. That may have
been once been the case, but not any longer.
Another point is the one-party governments are not a good thing no
matter which party you support. A viable opposition keeps you honest;
more importantly, it saves you from yourself when you go too far off
the deep end. Ultimately, the pendulum swings the other way, and the
more corrupt and extreme it had been on one side, the more corrupt and
extreme it will go on the other side.
-- Mark --
Science does not emerge from voting, party politics, or public debate.
Si vis pacem, para bellum.
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I'll leave these two gentlemen -- Mark
Crispin and Joseph Singer -- to continue their discussions in email
with my thanks to both of them for participating and sharing with the
rest of us here. PAT]