Take some money from the wealthy, give it to the poor -- why not do it? Basic accounting suggests that another $1,000 for a student with a $10,000 yearly income puts them further ahead than the same amount does for someone earning $100,000. After all, it gives the student a boost of 10 per cent, and the affluent person only one per cent.
In Canada, the small amount of income redistributed to the poor has long been a matter of public debate. Lately, the poor have been losing. The low-tax, small-government crowd, both Liberal and Conservative, have had control of the federal government for decades.
If you're a top executive at a major corporation, no need to read further; you'll know all this.
But if you're an ordinary person, you may not. You've probably heard of "executive stock options" -- a perk that allows corporate executives a special deal on purchasing the company's stocks.
And you may suspect that these stock options are connected to the rampant greed and corruption that have plagued the corporate world in recent years. If so, you'd be right.
Even leading business thinkers agree.
Rachel Notley led the Alberta NDP to victory on May 6 calling for higher taxes on corporations to pay for more teachers and better health care. Interestingly, in 1990, Bob Rae led the Ontario NDP to victory pointing to corporations that paid no income tax.
The federal NDP is calling for higher corporate taxes, hoping it will become an election issue in October, a rallying point for Canadians fed up with the underfunding of health care, and other government services.
Imagine for a moment two societies living side by side. One has discovered and uses the wheel effectively -- a technology that makes life easier for workers and boosts the economy for everyone. Prosperity reigns. The society next door is well aware of the wheel and watches as its neighbours move inexorably ahead -- wealthier, more efficient, healthier and with more leisure time for cultural activities. But it is not those who do the work in this society who reject the wheel -- it is the governing elite, the priests, the official advisers and scribes who have incorporated a moral objection to the wheel into the state religion. Use of the wheel is thus proscribed by faith, not reason. All practical arguments in its favour are rendered useless.