January 1, 1997

Beginning of the Road


1997 – a new year.  Soon we will have a new President and a new Congress.  Yeah.  I know, not much is really that new.  We still have the Clinton McWhite House and Congress still leads by the example of backstabbing and waste.  Maybe 1997 isn’t such a good idea.

I can think of many reasons for not allowing 1997 to exist.  If you own any business property in Ely, then I am sure you have met Mr. Valentine.  Mr. Valentine is a very nice guy and very enjoyable to talk to.  He is in the export business.  He exports tax dollars to St. Paul.  Presently he is appraising all the business property in Ely.  If you are smirking and thinking that is touch luck, then wait until he finishes with the businesses and moves onto home tax appraisals.

One business owner has told me his property taxes are going up 42%.  If that is going to be the average increase, I can think of a few businesses that will not be capable of absorbing that.  We will simply lose those services because St. Paul demands too much blood money.  I imagine that there are many small business people who would love to extend 1996 by 42% so they can afford the higher taxes that will come in 1997.

I can remember when the Minnesota State Legislature met only every other year.  Some years ago, the politicians convinced the electorate that governing is a full time job.  The result is an ever increasing amount of laws and taxes.  It is too bad we couldn’t move the state capital to a small town on the Range.  If I could I would pick Ely.  Maybe then, the legislators would see that up North we have a seasonal economy.  Most of us are like crop farmers, we would long hours from June to August harvesting tourist dollars.  The other nine months many businesses in Ely either tread water or just plain lose money.  At least if our appraiser came from Ely he would understand that values for property are relative to their ability to create income. 

Besides taxes, I can think of other reasons to lengthen the year.  We could add more days to the week.  Your boss would probably like to add on a few days between Monday and Friday.  I would prefer they be added between Saturday and Sunday.  I propose we add two days during the weekend.  We can call one of the “Hersday” and the other “Hisday.”  On Hersday all women must be taken out to lunch and allowed to relax.  On Hisday all men can tinker in their garage and skip shaving.  We can leave Saturday and Sunday as days for household chores. 

If we are such an advanced civilization, then it is about time we had four day weekends.  We are only three lousy years away from the year 2000.  For as long as I can remember the media and Hollywood have shown us whizzing away on rockets and commanding robots to take out the trash.  The truth is we will be entering a new century without even so much as a Confederation of Planets or a moon colony.  There will not be any vacations to the far side of the moon.  For our area resorts that is probably a good thing, especially since NASA found snow on the lunar poles.  How can you compete with lunar cross country skiing?

If we could lengthen the year we would give our scientists more time to catch up to Star Trek.  It would allow us to catch up on income tax, too.  Currently, the average tax slave works until mid-May to pay off taxes.  The Catch 22 is that by working in a longer year you would make more money.  By making more money you would push yourself up into a higher income bracket.  The only benefit is that April 15 would not come so often. 

Perhaps, a longer year is not the solution.  Maybe a shorter year would be the answer.  Perhaps we should cut April out altogether.  Weather wise, April is nothing to write home about.  The lakes can’t be used because the ice is getting dangerous.  The snow conditions usually are poor.  April is no big deal in Minnesota.  NO more April – no more tax day.  Eleven months doesn’t sound bad.  Since I believe in state’s rights, I feel Minnesota should pass a law to chop April out and let the rest of the country observe April.  I like the idea so much I have already torn out every April in my house.  I suggest you do the same.  Let us all go from March to May in an instant.  If your birthday is in April then you can look forward to eternal youth.  No more birthdays means no more increases in health insurance or life insurance.  Without birthdays you won’t need life insurance.

I definitely think a shorter spring is in order.  Now if I could only combine a longer weekend with a shorter year we just might have something worth getting a patent for.

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