“The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” — Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Several recent BND articles can be linked and should be a wake-up call for our local Illinois legislators. The Feb. 7, 2014, BND issue printed, without comment, the result of a U.S. Census Bureau study (time frame not given) for three counties: St. Clair, Madison and Monroe. It listed the population change and residents’ educational shift. As an average, there was a 7.3 percent population reduction. Of those with bachelor’s degrees and higher, there was a 28 percent reduction. The brain drain is voting with their feet. The economic and educational pyramid height is lowered, increasing the tax burden on the remaining residents.
The above data gets reflected in the four-year (2009-2013) average of the three counties’ income (-3.2 percent) and tax burden (22.9 percent) changes. (BND, week 2, 2016)
“More Illinoisans rely on food stamps than work in manufacturing, construction, education, and health care combined.” (BND, Aug. 8, 2016)
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The pyramid’s base is wider, and we may have reached the threshold where the pyramid’s base is larger than those that provide the taxes. Perhaps this is how some local politicians remain in office: the promise of more free stuff. In November, can this be changed? Ms. Thatcher forgot to mention part two of her statement: eventually you run out of people to tax.
Ray Catlett, Collinsville