About now, some may ask, “What on God's green Earth is he talking about?”
Pre-Industrial times, how many families in a house had garbage pails outside? None. There were no taxes to pay for such a service and the reason was because the service was done by the family in the house themselves. “Waste Not, Want Not!”
They didn’t throw away anything. Food scraps went into the outside compost. Broken items that could not be fixed were sold as scrap or as spare parts. If they had torn clothing, they repaired the damage by resewing. Clothing unable to wear anymore? Saved to use as patches or to combine with other material to make a new garment. A broken clock on the mantel? Fixed on the next trip into town. Containers, boxes, paper? All reused over and over again. Water pressure low? We fixed the valve or backyard well ourselves. An extra piece of wood? Saved to be used on some future project or repair. Someone in the city was buying a different color linoleum floor, they sold their old floor as "used" to someone else in need that didn’t have the money to buy new. Snowed-in? We dug ourselves out and then went to help dig out our elderly neighbor. No pollution creating snow blowers or plow trucks, just shovels and muscle power with the whole family helping.
There were no town taxes to plow the snow or pick up garbage. People repaired, reused or recycled everything. They knew how to fix everything. They knew how to invent games, entertain others by playing a musical instrument. They drew, painted, and read books! Sadly, this knowledge and ability faded. People became complacent to pay taxes so someone else will do things for them. We became lazy. Shovel snow for neighbors? No thanks, wait, how much will you pay me? Oh, but still no... I have to save the world with my friends on a video game.
A good friend of mine lives in a high rise apartment building and claimed to me that he doesn’t pay taxes for having things done or repaired in his apartment. I pointed out that his maintenance fee was the tax. If he fixed his own leaky faucet, changed the light bulb, replaced the old toilet bowl himself, why should he pay that much in maintenance fees? An amount that is over one thousand dollars a month. All in addition to the other payments being made for the rent and utilities that also cover the owner's taxes.
When people are in power, who are elitists and / or authoritarians, the next step after taxing us is to start exploiting us. Let us say that we want to fix up our own bathroom in our apartment, but now we are not allowed to do so. We must use the landlord’s contractor that will cost three times more than doing the job ourselves. Safety a concern? That is understandable, so we will pay for a third party to inspect our work. Sadly, that isn’t acceptable either. Freedoms are lost, kickbacks are done with payments under the table and we fail to wake up to what we gave away.
Want to save water by collecting rainwater off your roof and into a barrel. The water is used for the garden, flower beds, lawn, and washing cars. Our tax rate and the cost for the water should be lowered since we are using less. Loop-hole time! The government must now protect us and this is the case in various states where collecting rainwater is illegal. Why? Because they claim we are not smart enough to realize that this collected water is not drinkable. This is how the governments of some states protect their incoming tax dollars by passing laws to prevent us from saving money, water and our environment.
Time for the people to wake up, think this through and run for office grass roots style, door to door and make the changes to help save everyone.
Bill Lauto, at GoingTrueGreen.com
International Sustainability and Energy Consultant
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