I recently visited my neighborhood grocery store on my weekly trip to town to stock up on essentials. While walking from my car to the doors of this store I was asked to sign some petitions. I was immediately intrigued. Here are some real people putting faith in a dead system. I said to myself, Sure let’s see what they got.
There were three issues. The first was a repeal of the death tax. The next was to put a stop to corporations forcing residents with eminent domain and the third was… argh I forget. Anyway, I ask about them and what they are. The lady asks me if I know what eminent domain is and I replied yes. So she said okay and her excitement was noticeable. I read the lines of… oh yeah, a green initiative was the third. Okay, back to the story.
We talked about the eminent domain and I agreed that corporations shouldn’t have that sort of right over property owners. I asked about the state and apparently it will retain its rights. I felt that that was a fair compromise. I recently followed a story about a hotel developer using eminent domain to gobble up some town and Wal-Mart threatening to use it in another. I sign it.
Next was the green initiative. Now I support cleaner practices and saving the environment but I kept asking what it would do. I never got a straight answer. She kept looking around me like she was going to get mugged. I ignored it and tried to get more out of her. She pointed to the sponsors being the Sierra Club and a few others. I didn’t feel like kissing the devil so I passed.
Finally was the death tax. Honestly, its an uncomfortable subject. No one (or at least no one in my family) wants to see their parents’ earnings get taxed away. And, quite frankly, no one wants to see them die. I immediately felt an urge to agree to this but I decided to ask questions. I wanted to know the revenue generated by the current tax and what it pays for. She had no idea. I then asked that if this was repealed the slack would be picked up elsewhere like they did when they dropped tabs. Remember the gasoline tax hike? She started looking past me more and more. Now that I think about it, I was a tough one to sell and she was looking or easy biters. That pissed me off. Look me in the eye and tell me what and why I should sign. And then she said the last thing I would need to hear from her:
“It’s not about the issues. We don’t need to discuss this. You know, we’re just trying to get it on the ballot. That’s what this is about.”
My jaw dropped that I think a small tremor was felt on the other side of the globe. I simply said no thanks and walked off. You want people to just sign stuff to get it on the ballot so thousands of idiots can decide for me? Madam, please research the issues and stakes at hand before embarking on such a feat. I felt like I had, with success, exercised a small part of my civil liberty. I walked with some pride and well, some anger. I really wish that those folks wouldn’t be stupid signature hunters.