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It's counterintuitive, but tax the rich, not the poor

Photo: Eric L/flickr

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.

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Columnists

Alberta rejects the Canadian legacy of tax injustice

Photo: Don Voaklander/flickr

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.

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Photo: Cheryl DeWolfe/flickr
| April 10, 2015
Columnists

Canada's choice: Austerity or prosperity

Photo: Jamie McCaffrey/flickr

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.

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We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

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Photo: Rick Eh?/flickr
| November 26, 2014
August 18, 2014 |
Everyone has his or her own idea of how to be bold when it comes to taxes. Here’s ours: make broad, innovative changes to increase taxes and make them more progressive.
Photo: Ann Douglas/flickr
| May 22, 2014
December 2, 2013 |
Our tax system is riddled with unfair and ineffective loopholes that cost federal and provincial governments a lot of money and disproportionately benefit higher income taxpayers.
August 9, 2013 |
The University of Alberta wants to "reopen two-year collective agreements" with faculty and staff "to help the university balance its budget." This strikes me as a curious turn of events.
July 5, 2013 |
With the FTT gaining ground in the European Union and other countries, advocates in Canada hope that the Harper government will end their opposition to the policy.
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