Forum: It’s great to hear when we’re right, but don’t stop there

Being right about taxes, politics, schools and more is so satisfying, but why isn’t enough to fix it all?

Ron Friesen

Ron Friesen

By Ron Friesen / Herald Forum

You. Are. Right!

Are those the sweetest words we can hear or what? You. Are. Right!

My wife and I play a game when we disagree about something. After we check out the facts, one of us says, “Wait for it; wait for it: You. Are. Right!” Then whoever is “right” gets to whoop it up with arms in the air. Touchdown!

So, knowing how much fun it is to hear those three words, you need to get ready. It is time to raise your arms and cheer! Ready?

Everyone who thinks our taxes in Washington are terrible: You. Are. Right! How bad are they? The sales tax started in the 1930s at 2.5 percent. By the early ’70s it was up to 5 percent. It is now over 10 percent in some cities with no end in sight. This is the most unfair, regressive tax known to mankind, yet good old progressive Washington has us locked into this. Oregon has an income tax. It works fine.

Some states, like Arizona, only impose the sales tax on new items, like a new car for example. Items at the thrift store or a used car are not taxed again. Imagine that! But conservative Arizona does have an income tax to balance things out. In Washington, even thinking about an income tax invites calls of a dystopian nightmare!

Our property taxes are out of control. Some states (like California) freeze property taxes at the time of purchase so they are always predictable. And in that case, inflation works in the property owner’s favor. And someone on a fixed income need not ever worry they will be taxed out of their home unlike good old progressive “We care for the homeless,” Washington.

So: You. Are. Right! Government is inefficient. Democrats and Republicans keep getting worse and worse. Boomers are selfish. The younger generation is going to you-know-where in a hand basket, as they always have been and ever will be. “Defund the police” was a stupid idea. The homeless need help. Everyone needs good, affordable medical care. The deadly combo of gun access combined with our society’s poor mental health is literally killing us.

The pandemic is a hoax! Trump won the election! Wait. What? Nope! No “You. Are. Right!” on those!

The point here is that the list of grievances is endless.

Here in Marysville we have some additional ones as well, and yes, “You. Are. Right!”

The school district was not run well for a long time. Our kid’s achievement levels are not where they should be. Our school buildings are in poor condition. Our enrollment is declining. Our subject offerings are dwindling. Our entire district’s school staff has endured the same terrible last three years, serving as nurses and law enforcement.

Yes: You. Are. Right!

So now what? Is Tinker Bell going to magically appear, wave her magic wand, and all our cares go away? Or is some Great Leader going to come along, make us “great” again, and fix everything? Let’s get real, OK?

It does not matter if “You. Are. Right!” Being “right” fixes nothing. Rolling up our sleeves, paying attention to what is important (instead of that blasted un-smart phone), getting good information, being registered to vote, and voting is the answer.

Of course, if you agree that our schools are not very good, just keep on voting “no” on those levies and bonds. That is a sure-fire way to not fix a school district! And who cares if Washington state’s Crazytypical Funding Formula is stacked against Marysville schools. We are always going to vote “NO!” where it really counts. Yessiree!

Some of us have just checked out. We have done our time, and we are done. Some of us are so busy just trying to get by that there is hardly time for anything else. Some of us are still walking around in the pandemic-induced stupor, and we can’t focus on anything else. Some of us are gripped by fear and can barely make it to work or the grocery store let alone think about what is good for our community.

But my plea to all of us is this: Please lift up your head and see where we are. Please see where we are going. Please have the faith and courage to put your hand on our wheel of destiny and help guide it for the benefit of us all. We need you. You are important. You are valuable. You matter! And I have great faith that deep down, you really do care. And when you care: You. Are. Right!


Ron Friesen is a longtime Marysville resident, a retired music teacher and community and church musician and is committed to community improvement.

Herald Forum

The Herald Forum invites community members to submit essays on topics of importance and interest to them. Essays typically are between 400 and 600 words in length, although exceptions for longer pieces can be made. To submit essays or for more information about the Herald Forum, write Herald Opinion editor Jon Bauer at or call him at 425-339-3466.

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