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Letters to the Editor

From time to time, a commentary on the world will bubble up inside of me to the extent that I'm forced to write a letter to my local, metropolitan, daily newspaper, The Age. This is where I blow of some steam. Feel like venting too? Add your own comment or visit my homepage.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Education and Taxes

So the government is obliged to fund private education (Bethany Clarke, Letters, 9/1), yet has no right to dictate the content (John Taylor, Letter, 9/1) - a case of shut up and give us the money. But who's money is it? One argument is that "tax-paying families [are] already unfairly punished" for electing to go private (Philip O'Carrol, Letters, 9/1). Presumably, private school parents want the proportion of the their taxes earmarked for public education (for all) to be redirected into private education (for themselves).

This view stems from a misunderstanding: taxation is not levied on a fee-for-service basis. Taxpayers are not entitled to a refund (cash or in kind) if they don't use directly the museums, libraries, roads, public transport or police services offered to all. Taxes are pooled and spent according to the political process. In this regard, we are citizens, not consumers - a crucial distinction.


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