All the political and media attention directed at welfare abuses these days brings back memories of my sociology professor 25 years ago speaking of “false consciousness.” He pointed out how politicians and media will direct societies’ attention to welfare cheats and abuses of social programs. While abuses of social programs do occur, it adds up to a small percentage of programs serving essential functions in a modern society.

The real focus should be on the gargantuan abuse involving corporate welfare. Now that involves serious money. For example; While the average citizen pays about 25 percent income tax, according to a 2013 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, for-profit corporations pay 13 percent in federal income taxes. The statutory tax rate set forth by law for these corporations is 35 percent. Why are corporations not paying what they are bound to by law? It is all “legal” of course through tax loop holes passed by politicians.

We should not be distracted by rhetoric about minor flaws of an imperfect social system; instead we should act on real issues affecting our society. We should call our local representatives and ask that politicians stop picking on the poor about pennies and conduct real work addressing corporate welfare and addressing the real dollar issues.

We are missing out on the best part of freedom if we passively allow politicians and media to bring issues to our attention and telling us what to focus on. That’s how a dictatorship works. What is important to you?

Mike Parent, Manchester

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