Friday, September 23, 2011

Taxation Without Representation

Residents in the communities surrounding Cincinnati who derive their income from jobs in Cincinnati complain that they have no say in Cincinnati politics even though they pay income taxes for their Cincinnati derived income. Many, if not all Ohio cities tax this way. Most foreign countries do as well. Locally, many of these outlying non-resident workers are Cincinnati expatriates.
They complain bitterly that, like the colonial patriots who fomented a war for independence from England cited taxation without representation as a major cause for their displeasure, are asking for nothing more or less.
Let's take a closer look.
The American colonies were originally chartered to people and groups by the king. That is, they were essentially businesses / corporations that would receive some nominal political and military support from the crown. England knew that expanding their empire by strictly militaristic means would bankrupt the kingdom and they saw this as a more economical way of expanding the empire. The colonists saw themselves as patriotic Britons engaged in in patriotic endeavors. They saw themselves increasing the wealth & power of England and spreading the philosophies & culture of their great country. These companies were in America, Jamaica & India, the most notorious being the East India Company.
The taxation without representation thing arose from onerous restrictions and taxes put exclusively on the American colonies. The restrictions and taxes were levied by Parliament although Parliament had not been involved in their charters in the first place. The colonists saw their societies as under the crown but not really under Parliament - maybe parallel? Scotland, Ireland & Wales had all been granted seats in Parliament since American colonization had started but the proximities of those lands made participation in the body much more practical than far off lands like the Americas & India.
The people who lived and worked in Cincinnati & opted to move their residences out of town in the second half of the 20th century were not seeking to expand the borders of Cincinnati. They were not inclined to expand the wealth or spread the philosophies of Cincinnati. Many actually cite a preference to live outside of the city and abandon that society. In the pre 20th century model of American cities, this move away from the city center by the wealthy was expected and the cities just grew by annexing the newly developed areas. This was expected and the wealthy residents fairly knew it was coming and appreciated the services they gained by being part of the city. Granted, this wasn't 100%.
These people moving away did so on their own. They had no compact with the mayor or whomever.
Actually, for a historical context, these people who derive their wealth from one community, manipulate it's politics, and hurry away with the wealth as soon as possible, probably have less in common with pre-Revolutionary War patriots and much more in common with post-Civil War carpetbaggers. Doubtless, many of these people are probably Republicans, too.
Should they have a say in Cincinnati politics?
Again, the problem is to figure out how. As long as they express allegiance to their townships, villages & cities of residence, I don't see how, other than bankrolling moles in the city.
They really need a new argument, tho.

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