Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, December 21, 2007

"Spending without guilt"

Scott Braski of Moscow has a great response to PARDner Don Orlich's recent letter chastizing the Walton Family Foundation (i.e. the family that owns Wal-Mart) for supporting school vouchers.

Braski probably doesn't know Orlich and the PARDners as well as we do. Choice and freedom to them are things that belong in the hands of faceless government bureaucrats, not the individual.

By the way, the Walton Family Foundation's emphasis on providing tuition assistance for low-income families wanting to give their children the best possible education through attendance at a private school came from Sam Walton's son John, who died in an experimental aircraft crash in 2005.

Though he was the son of a millionaire entrepreneur, John Walton dropped out of college, enlisted in the Army, and became a member of the Special Forces. He was wounded in action and won the Silver Star for heroism in Vietnam as part of a top secret, behind the lines MACV-SOG unit, Recon Team Louisiana.

John Walton was a man who knew a thing or two about freedom and fighting for it. How dare some statist educrat question the fact Walton decided to spend some of his birthright on providing opportunity and freedom for others less fortunate.

From today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
There is more to Donald C. Orlich's recent letter to the editor than meets the eye (Opinion, Dec. 14), and I have a few questions. Yes, the wonders of Pullman are due to public education. Yes, most of the students at Washington State University received a public education. No one is debating that. The question is, would it have been possible to have the Pullman public education be any better? If so, would it have been wrong for a set of parents to want a better education for their child?

If I work extra hard so that I can afford to purchase a better-than-public education for my child, should I feel guilty for wanting to invest my money in my own children? I am required to pay taxes that support public schools, even if my kids never set foot in one, so I'm not leaving the poor in the cold. Should someone else have the right to force me to educate my child a certain way?

As for Wal-Mart, Orlich believes the company doesn't have the right to invest its post-tax earnings as it wishes. At what point does one lose that right? When one becomes a certain degree of successful? The harder you work, the more skill you apply, the less control you should have over your own money? One of these omniscient philanthropy committees needs to draw an exact line somewhere, so we all know exactly how successful not to become, and how hard not to work. Is not a good definition of freedom the ability to spend your own after-tax earnings as you wish? Erode that freedom and you'll find you have none left.

Scott Braski, Moscow

No comments: