Sunday, August 5, 2007
Paying the Price
Mille Lacs News
One of the advantages of not having kids is that I can't get blamed for
being a bad parent. I also have the luxury of thinking that if I were a
parent, I'd be a pretty damn good one - because there's no proof that I
kid, (if I had one) would be perfect. He (or she) would be polite and
friendly, get straight A's in school, help little old ladies across the
street, be popular, well-adjusted, loving, kind to animals, and naturally
good looking. I'd be oh so proud of his or her perfection.
I'm pretty sure that a lot of people feel the same way, that is, before
they actually have children. Then reality sets in. They discover that
nobody's perfect, everybody has problems, and life isn't always easy for
anyone, including their beloved child. But most parents love their kids in
spite of it all; and after a brief period of black lipstick and a rebellious
nose-ring, the kids grow up and turn out fine, and the cycle of life
a non-parent, I support these OPKs (Other People's Kids) and
want them to succeed. After all, I'm paying for their public education with
my tax dollars, which gives me some sort of stake in the matter. And even
though I don't have children in school, I haven't minded (too much) paying
just as much for their schooling as if I did. Why? Because I'm a member of
the community and children are our future. We should all contribute to the
education of the youth in the communities in which we live. That's my
belief, anyway. (But don't expect me to join the PTA or attend school
board meetings, okay?)
Maybe I sound self-righteous, but by paying my taxes and supporting the
public schools, I feel that I've done my duty.
don't feel obligated, however, to support OPKs from outside the community.
And yet I am paying for them. We all are. We seem to be "the gifts
that keep on giving."
For instance, I might be more amiable towards the Mille Lacs Academy if the
teenage sex offenders being serviced there were from my town of Onamia. But
at least most, if not all of the MLA juveniles have been convicted,
through the judicial system, of criminal sexual behavior which has
caused harm - to someone outside of Mille Lacs County. Yes, most, if not
all, aren't from around here but come from other counties in the state. Some
are sent in from other states.
Now, as I said before, I don't mind doing my part in supporting kids in my
community, but I don't like having to pay for other people's problems.
Does that sound harsh? Sorry. I'm aware that most of the MLA residents come
from bad situations where they have suffered abuse, some of it horrific.
They have also been abusers and have victims of their own.
But is it my responsibility to keep paying and paying for other people's bad
character or poor parenting skills? Is it yours? We have a no choice in the
matter. Its sort of like "Forced Charity".
Now some members of the community are saying that Nexus shouldn't have to
pay property taxes. To me, that's just plain foolish. Nexus rakes in
approximately $23,000 PER DAY. Nearly all of that comes from tax dollars.
Don't you think they should give something back to the community?