Should Seattle Tax Big Business?      by    Ruth Utnage

This tax Amazon initiative that’s been pushed hard over the past few years has gotten me thinking. Is it right or is it wrong?

I have avoided certain topics because of their potentially controversial nature, afraid that if I give my opinion I will lose readership. Then I realized, newsflash dummy, I’m not hiding for anyone.

I admire Amazon and Jeff Bezos. He is one of my personal heroes. Attacking him and his gentrification of Seattle is hypocritical at best. First, the amount of resources our Seattle City Councilmen and women spend on trying to rake success over the coals is disheartening, at best. While they preach about giving to Seattle’s poor from another’s success I sure haven’t seen them give any of their government paycheck to anyone they represent. That’s for sure.

I know that I have dreams of being successful, even helping out. But I don’t want to just hand anything over so someone else doesn’t have to share their resources. I want a big business that employs thousands and helps millions, I really want that. So I admire Amazon, it’s my BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal).

I believe in capitalism and its rewards, I also believe in giving back creatively and in ways that solve problems. I was born into a democracy, a Republic no less, home of the free. This isn’t a socialist or communist country. We aren’t like China where every business is owned by the government. We are America and its businesses like Amazon and audacious leaders like Trump that millions flock to our borders to be part of what is great about this land, capitalism and the pursuit thereof.

I have spent my entire life leeching off of others hard work and continued to hold my hand out for more, even feeling entitled to it. I came to prison, grew up, got an education, made some serious changes and now all I can think about is getting out and putting to use my new life. My new skills. My new purpose in life. Making my own way, carving out my own piece of heaven, capitalizing on our capitalist nation, the right way. If I can do it with my past, so can anyone else.

While I may not be in Washington’s top 2% of profitable businesses, I am sure as hell gonna try. Taxing big business may seem like robin hooding to many, but in this case, robin hood is doing just fine financially and isn’t giving up any of their resources to help any of you.

Take from the rich and give to the poor? You first council…we will follow your example. You give everything in your bank account to the poor, then you can ask others to do the same.

With Love
Ruth Utnage

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“A real humanist can be identified more by his trust in the people, which engages him in their struggle, then by a thousand actions in their favor without that trust.” (“Pedagogy of the Oppressed” by Paulo Freire )