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Letter to the Editor: Paying someone else's taxes

Economics rules our modern, "civilized" lives. We've allowed this system to become so complex, it's not understandable. This allows abuses to slide through like crazy.

Ask economists a question, you'll get opposite answers, sometimes from the same economist. They'll give an answer, then follow it with, "On the other hand ..."

My best friend often joked, "Always look for one-handed economists."

My understanding of economics and business is very basic. But at all levels, fundamental rules apply. For example, you don't get something for nothing.

Basic business is very simple. You find a market, then try to supply it. That requires buildings, vehicles, utilities, supplies, people's wages and equipment. Whether done by government or "privatized," costs of all these things is the same.

Private has one additional cost though: profits for investors. (You add up income, pay all the expenses, what's left are "profits," or sometimes losses.)

Customers of "privatized" can vote with their wallets, buying from a competitor, if there is one, and assuming there's no collusion between competitors.

"Customers" of government sometimes have no alternative choice, but we do have a voice in the "company:" our votes. You don't get to vote how a private business operates.

Enbridge wants to build pipelines. Their associates acquire natural resources (oil) that is property of all the people, process oil into useful products, such as gasoline, then sell them back to us. They hope to make us hopelessly dependent on them, much like tobacco companies.

Enbridge says it will pay taxes to counties. That will become part of their "cost of doing business," so will be added to the cost of the products they sell us. We end up paying our own "taxes"!

Of course, Enbridge expects to make profits on that, too.

Enbridge isn't "bad," but greedy. The system is bad.

A. Martin,