Canada’s Dangerously Distorted Tax Conversation

"(In)visible Dialogue". Installation by Wang King Road. 2011. Wikipedia Commons.

(This post was written by Alex and Jordan Himelfarb; an abridged version appeared in the Star here.) We don’t like paying taxes. This is not big news: we don’t much like paying any bills, and there’s probably never been a time when we didn’t grumble in particular about taxes. But somehow “tax” has gone from … Continue reading

Austeria

Austeria

  “Austeria”. An informal talk to OMSSA’s 2013 Learning Symposium, held in Ottawa, Ontario from June 16 to 19, 2013.

Tax Is Not a Four-Letter Word

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Ironically it is in the anti-tax U.S. that a conversation has erupted on taxes. Warren Buffett and a few other billionaires helped open the door, if only a crack, and President Obama has, finally, made taxing the rich a key means of funding his jobs plan. In the context of all that is happening now … Continue reading

The Inequality Trap: A Meaner Canada

Un Dimanche après-midi à la Grande-Jatte (G. Seurat)

“Inequality is corrosive. It rots societies from within. The impact of material differences takes a while to show up but in due course competition for status and goods increases; people find a  growing  sense of superiority (or inferiority) based on their possessions; prejudice toward those on the lower rungs of the social ladder hardens; crime … Continue reading

Crazy Ideas: Overton’s Window and the Political Imagination

A small argument about whether the government should be raising taxes broke out at a recent dinner party, quite possibly in response to something I said. Some argued that tax increases were just a terrible idea given that Canadians were already suffering tax fatigue and many were struggling from paycheck to paycheck, not to mention … Continue reading

What Are We To Think?

H. Bosch, 7 Deadly Sins: Anger

What are we to think when our government tells us that government is the problem, that notwithstanding a decade of tax cuts, we pay too much taxes, that we should be concerned that our government has private information about us, that our government has ulterior motives for its firearms registry?  What are we to think? … Continue reading

Trust, Traps, and Taxes

mouse_trap

A short while back, I posted a piece on why we vote against our own interests which provoked diverse responses including several which insisted that, to the contrary, we do know perfectly well who serves our interests and we vote accordingly. My problem, this argument goes, is that at best I just don’t like the … Continue reading

Bargain Basement Citizenship

Bargain Basement

What do the Omar Khadr case, the census controversy and taxes all have in common?  All, I think, in one way or another, tell us something about the value of our common citizenship. With citizenship, as with most things, we get what we pay for.  It seems today we are being asked to pay less … Continue reading

A Dangerous Experiment

Young Frankenstein

Here is a take on the G20 commitment to cut deficits and reduce debt. David Leonhardt, not quite echoing Paul Krugman’s dire warnings, does set out the question with clarity.  Will the G20 deficit and debt targets lead to greater private sector confidence and spending to fill the space left by the end of stimulus … Continue reading

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