Retirees and School Taxes

There seems to be a large but diffuse opposition to school taxes. About once a week I see a letter to the editor that, in essence, contains the following:

"I am retired and do not have any children in school. Why should I have to pay to educate the children of other people? I will not benefit from paying school taxes."

I am also retired and have no children or grand children, in school or otherwise. My reply to anyone who supports the above quote is very simple.

Okay, Mr/Ms Scrooge, consider the following. Do you think that you are a superman, who can provide for your every need? I know that I am not and I am equally certain that you, or anyone else, can not be. Under the age of 40 maybe you could pretend to be a superman (although you should know that is untrue). But after 65 that would be absurd. Where are the people who will provide the following services to you when you need them?

  • Major surgery
  • Transportation
  • Accountant
  • Nurse
  • Pharmacist
  • Grocery checkout
  • Waitress
  • Cook
  • Police
  • Ambulance
  • Insurance
  • Government services
  • Routine medical
  • Lawyer
  • Farmer
  • Rest home care provider
  • House cleaner
  • Equipment repair
  • Entertainment
  • Barber/Beautician
  • Dry cleaner/Laundry
  • Medical research
  • Airline crew
  • Communications

And the hundreds of other services that you use; and will need even more as you age? Unless you die tonight, your quality of live will depend critically on service personnel more and more. When you need them, qualified service personnel will be available only if we maintain a high quality educational system; financed, in part, by the school taxes that you don't want to pay.

Actually I am not usually this abrasive, but this truly reflect my feelings. I first heard the above complaint before I was 10, and it has not improved with age.

Personally, I can justify support for education on the basis that I received a fairly good education and everyone should have the opportunity for education to whatever level they can achieve. I can also justify it on purely selfish considerations; I need competent service personnel of all types to maintain a reasonably comfortable life style. While the educational system needs reform, my best investments for future well being are the school taxes. It should be for all people, especially for retirees.

© Copyright 2005-2017 D E Pauley