Originally Posted by MercedezGolf
First of all, sorry to hear about your cousins......second, what about the prospect of not taxing food and that which is deemed basic necessities....and third.....why are we so brainwashed that we feel the necessity to pay more than others who are probably in a poorer situation due to lack of personal effort rather than external circumstances! (sorry germanstar, playing devil's advocate"
Thanks for the thoughts for my family.
As far as breaking down what is a necessity, you could do that, food, perscriptions, fuel, but after a while the list starts getting murky as to what is a necessity and what is not. I would argue that gas is a necessity and should not have taxes because people need it to get to work. Others would say use mass transit, though it is not available everywhere. You could add that my toy car should have tax but my work car should not...yikes.
Now as for poor situation due to lack of personal effort. I grew up in Harlan County Kentucky which is just about as hard as it gets in the US. I was fortunate that I had a good brain, my parents had good work [dad a butcher and mom a bookkeeper] and good mentors [was Eagle Scout]. Others were not so lucky. Their parents may not have had work due to mining slump, lack of education or death. Some had a bunch of kids in the family so they did not have education advantages and left school early to go to work where they could get it.
Once that cycle starts at 16 years old, it is almost impossible for them to pull out. It is possible but not realistic and they are stuck in a low wage/welfare state most of their lives. This replays in the mountains, farmland, cities throughout the country. Unless you have lived next to it [literally] it is very hard to understand. I have cousins who, even with family help on many occasions cannot break the cycle and it is real frustrating.
I think the ones that do not have external circumstance that started the cycle are very few.