Tuesday, May 03, 2005

We're coming up on re-election day

There's an election on a school bond issue in Little College Town today. (It is actually the only question on the ballot. There's not a single other thing on there.) The pro-bond forces have done an admirable job of trying to motivate all our recently registered new neighbors to come on out and vote.

Needless to say, this has motivated the high-brow carefully considered dialogue which email lists and electronic bulletin boards lend themselves to. I'll excerpt from the diatribelogue:

GRRR! Rich kids deciding my taxes! ARRR!
        Voting's cool, man. Vote for the kids.
Taxes don't affect students!
        Jeffersonian democracy poststructuralist deconstruction antidisestablishmentarianism I've got some more big words over here.

As for myself, I've got a couple of thoughts. Frankly, I think it's kind of sad that students don't have a strong enough attachment to their "homes" that they'd change their legal residence so easily. It's unfortunate that they don't want to stay informed about their local government issues, their own Senators and Representatives and statehouses and bond issues. And to a certain extent, I feel like we've tried this move to a swing state thing before and it didn't go well.

But that said, if you live in a place for 8 months a year and it feels like home, it's your right to choose it. Heck, I'd be shocked if I voted in a single municipal election while I was in college, so if the students are voting today, more power to them. I do think you ought to reregister your car and pay your income tax here and all that jazz, but Ohio law doesn't actually seem to force you to.

What I really wanted to address, though, is that "taxes don't affect students" idea, because it's so blatantly wrong. At the end of the day, all taxes are actually paid by consumers. And say what you will about the 18-22 year old demographic, but boy oh boy are they consumers.

But this is a property tax, you say? Exactly. I just voted for my property taxes to go up. And when they do, I'm going to be looking for a little more pay. And if I get it, the college will go looking to the folks who consume my services to foot the bill. And the same thing will happen at the barber, the bookstore, the grocery, the bar, the clothing shop, every rental landlord... and those changes will affect everybody.

What I'm saying here is that this is not just a "rights of man" issue. It's also basic bad math.

[Columbo voice] Oh, ahhh, I'm sorry, there's just one more thing. I like the little voting shuttle that's been running up and down the hill. That's very public spirited of you. I was just wondering... aren't you folks who need to drive a car 4 minutes to vote the same people who were yelling "No Blood For Oil" a few years ago?[/Columbo voice]

It's a pretty day. It's a 10 minute walk. No Blood For Oil, but No Walking For Me. Got it.


Blogger Swankette said...

Property also are going to affect local rents and probably housing costs at the school as well.

My guess is unless students are living in their cars or squatting that property taxes will either directly or indirectly be paid by them.

7:32 PM, May 03, 2005  
Blogger TeacherRefPoet said...

Kenyonites! WALK!!!! It is part of the joy of your time in Gambier! Walk through the rain! The snow! The gorgeous autumn! The spring! Walk your way to an 8:30 class when nobody else is up and the mist settles on the pickleball court in the valley beneath Gund Commons!

If you don't, you're not just politically bankrupt as Joe says, you're kinda pathetic.

10:58 PM, May 03, 2005  
Blogger tommyspoon said...

What if you don't like pickleball?

(Kidding. I just like writing the word "pickleball".)

And ditto what Joe and Paul said about the walking thing.

6:35 AM, May 04, 2005  
Blogger Alison said...

I just wrote my own blurb about the election, but had to weigh in and point out how proud I am that Joe quoted Duran Duran for this post. This is almost undoubtedly my fault.

Oh, and count me in on the walking thing too. Ferpetessake, you're 19 years old. Get some damned exercise.

10:46 AM, May 04, 2005  
Blogger lemming said...

At least the van is a quasi car pool rather than each student driving their own car up and down the hill.

Will the bond save the elementary school building?

2:02 PM, May 04, 2005  
Blogger TeacherRefPoet said...

Duran Duran! I knew I knew that! Thanks for clarifying, Alison.

12:12 AM, May 05, 2005  
Blogger Joe said...

Arcadia, technically. And it was the first Duran Duran project that I actually had any interest at all in... sorry, dear, this one goes to MTV, not your fine, taste-expanding self.

10:07 AM, May 05, 2005  
Blogger Hugh said...

To quote Charlie Brown, "AUGH!" I knew it was Arcadia from the first.

Most of these kids grew up in suburbs where no one walked anyway, so why should they start now?

10:47 AM, May 06, 2005  
Blogger Joe said...

In retrospect, if we could've gotten about 600 more of them to vote so the bond issue passed, I'd have carried them down there piggyback.

11:43 AM, May 06, 2005  

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