Young Voters Speak Out: Each day, RR.com will spotlight politically minded youth writers from throughout the U.S. speaking their minds on Election 2012. First-time voters, student journalists and new graduates will debate the Obama vs. Romney race to the White House. Young Democrats, Republicans and ‘Undecided’ Americans are eager to play politics and choose the next Commander & Chief.
Read A.W. Strouse's thoughts from a left-leaning perspective:
Funding the American Dream
That the rich should pay more in taxes is part of the fundamental compact of modern America. Since Franklin Roosevelt's instituted the New Deal and saved our society from the brink of disaster, a liberal tax policy that charges the rich more has helped to create what we've come to know as the American Dream. It is patriotic for the rich to pay more. It's as American as apple pie.
We the People Built That
Consider that working-class people are the ones who bake the American Pie. We plant the fruit trees and harvest the apples and bring them to market. We core out the seeds and roll out the dough. We're the ones sweating in the kitchen to keep our national pie company in business. Besides the fact that workers are the ones who bake America's pies, it is working people who own the baking ovens that we use to operate the pie factory--public money funds the roads, the power lines, the schools and universities, the hospitals and police stations and fire houses, and all of the resources that make it possible to run a pie business in this country.
Hands Off Our Pie
Now, the pie factory might be owned by a "job creator" who inherited the family recipe. And this entrepreneur may be a savvy individual who saw a good business opportunity and took it. But the C.E.O. of American Pie, Inc., does only a small fraction of the work necessary to keep the company operating. It simply isn't sane, therefore, that they should take home a much bigger slice of pie at the end of the day.
The Gluttony of the Free Market
As things stand, wealthy Americans control over half of the American pie--the richest 1% have half of all the money. This is as if your family had a picnic, and one of your cousins said he'd like a slice of pie for dessert. The whole family pitched in, grew an orchard though years of work, raised the grain and milled the flour, and baked a perfect pie. But then your cousin for some reason felt like he could eat half the pie. It was his idea, he claims, to bake a pie in the first place. Even though he didn't actually make the pie, he feels entitled to half of it, all to himself. The other half he leaves for you, your siblings, your parents and grandparents, and all of your aunts, uncles, and other cousins. A dozen of you are expected to share half of a pie, while your cousin gorges on the other half. Obviously, this isn't how people should behave at a family picnic.
Bake your Pie and Eat it Too
Right-wing extremists like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are trying to make it the norm for people like this hypothetical cousin to steal from the rest of us. But this kind of behavior is un-American, and it's high time that working people started to take charge of things in the kitchen. Like Langston Hughes wrote: "Freedom / Is just frosting / On somebody else's / Cake– / And so must be / Till we / Learn how to / Bake."