Wednesday, August 4, 2004
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Clayton News Daily
Let's see a show of hands from the readers, how many of you are enjoying the tax-free weekend today? Good, Good. Now how many of you out there enjoy filling that gas tank up on the way to buy those tax-free computers and school supplies. Probably not, considering you are helping the Saudis provide a permanent one hundred percent tax cut to their citizens.
According to Noah Feldman's book After Jihad, "Political Scientists consider oil-producing monarchies ?rentier states' because they collect the rent in the form of payments for their oil from foreigners, instead of generating revenue by taxing their own citizens."
We pay their taxes while paying at the pump, endorsing the Saudi Royal Family's monarchy meanwhile supporting and promoting democracy in other Arab states such as Iraq. Feldman goes on to say, "At the structural level, Democrats realize that a government that does not have to tax its people also lacks most incentives to respond to the people's desires."
It seems we endorse this situation out of convenience since it's much easier to go after the big bad wolves like Saddam Hussein who won't cooperate with us. Our government says it wants to free the Iraqi people and give them democracy. Well what about Saudi citizens? The problem is that your fill-up money may still be going to support terrorist thought in Saudi Arabia.
With the wealth from oil coming into their county, many young people probably don't have to work hard to achieve anything. This kind of situation breeds boredom which may lead to resentment that they have nothing real to struggle for except the creation of a real government that they can actively participate in instead of sitting around. So then they take it out on us for our government endorsing the monarchy by killing our citizens in New York and Washington D.C., plus beheading Americans over there. Our government gives them six lashes with a wet noodle and we keep buying their oil.
The gift of the fossil fuels will not keep on giving. In the meantime there are two things we need to do: Support democracy, EVERYWHERE instead of playing favorites in the name of oil and produce amazing battery powered flying cars that will reduce the need for roads and oil. But the scientists are probably too busy creating clones of everyone's DNA samples. I want a tax-free holiday every day like the Saudis but I want to have a voice in my own government, this democracy we embrace. What should I do? Maybe I'll just stay locked in the house at home this tax-free weekend, awaiting a ring at the door from my cloned doppelganger.
Zach Porter is a photographer with the News Daily. He can be reached at email@example.com or (770) 478-5753.