Proposition 30

Sep 30, 2012 by

Although I am spending this academic year out of the United States, I have not been able to escape the excitement of election season.  I am still aware of all that glorious mud-slinging that has become our substitute for intelligent debate back home.  But this November, voters will not only be voting for the nation’s president, but for other statesmen and propositions as well.  And I have not been allowed to forget that either.

The other day, I received this letter via email.  It’s not the first notice about tuition fee increases looming on the horizon, but I’m tired of getting these notices.  I’m not just tired of tuition fee increases (and boy am I!).  I’m tired of practically being blackmailed to vote for propositions to raise taxes in California, in this case Prop 30.  The only government class I took was in high school, but I’m pretty sure that ex post facto laws are illegal.  But Proposition 30 would increase income taxes even on the income earned this year before the proposition passes.  If, however, this proposition passes, a basket of goodies will come my way.  This letter promises that not only will tuition not increase, it will actually decrease!  But if the proposition was to fail, more cuts will destroy the CSU budget, tuition will rise, and most likely there will be another tax increase proposition in the near future (along with more blackmail letters like this one).

I do like knowing that tuition may increase (again) next semester, but I don’t like being blackmailed into voting for anything.  I feel like I’m being pressured to make sure that proposition 30 passes.  I don’t know who decided to include that underlying threat in this letter, but all you opponents of Prop 30 had better watch out, because many college students in the UC and CSU systems have received similar letters and are feeling a similar pressure to vote yes on Prop 30.    I can’t think of a better motivation to get the young adults out to the voting polls than good old blackmail, for better or for worse.  I think I almost prefer the mudslinging of the presidential election; at least those candidates haven’t sent me any threatening emails… yet.

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