It’s not equalization. It’s the taxes, stupid! That is to say, Alberta’s taxes are too low to run the place over the long term andContinue reading
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation, a self-described non-partisan tax watchdog and taxpayer advocacy group once headed by Alberta Opposition Leader Jason Kenney, has always been tight-lipped aboutContinue reading
The so-called Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms achieved its first goal yesterday, generating plenty of publicity for itself and its social conservative supporters at theContinue reading
Assorted content to end your week. – Harriet Agerholm comments on the connection between income inequality and a growing life expectancy gap between the richContinue reading
OCDSB Trustees spoke out loud & clear against this distribution. Staff have responded by pulling it. — Theresa Kavanagh (@ironmaamt) January 24, 2018 Last week,Continue reading
I think most people have heard of the right-wing Fraser Institute, the ‘non-partisan’ think tank that receives charitable tax status while promoting a largely neoliberalContinue reading
First published here in 2009 Flipping the radio dial on Labour Day I noticed CKNW’s Christy Clark featured a guest who seemed a strange choice onContinue reading
Miscellaneous material to start your week. – The Star’s editorial board offers a needed response to the Fraser Institute’s tired anti-social posturing: The study’s greatestContinue reading
PHOTOS: Edmonton’s stately old Macdonald Hotel, named for the prime minister of the same name and site of Canada’s premiers’ annual summertime beanfest this week.Continue reading
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Danny Dorling writes about the connection between high inequality and disregard for the environment: In a 2016 report,Continue reading
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Dennis Howlett comments on the distortions in Canada’s tax system which redistribute money upward to those who needContinue reading
PHOTOS: The scene abroad N. Murray Edwards’ yacht imagined. Actual Canadian bitumen billionaires and their onboard guests may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: TheContinue reading
PHOTOS: Stop the presses! … I mean the losses! Put me through to the red ink department … I mean the tax department … ActualContinue reading
PHOTOS: Democracy has been downgraded in the U.S.A. … (Azerbaijan Press Agency photo). Below: A recent copy of The Economist, U.S. President Donald Trump andContinue reading
PHOTOS: A typical daily newspaper press, once a common sight in small cities and larger towns throughout North America. This one was photographed through aContinue reading
This and that for your Tuesday reading.- Dennis Howlett discusses the public costs of allowing tax avoidance – as Canada could afford a national pharmacare program (and much more) merely by ensuring that the rich pay what they owe:Eliminating tax haven…Continue reading
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
– Dennis Howlett discusses the public costs of allowing tax avoidance – as Canada could afford a national pharmacare program (and much more) merely by ensuring that the rich pay what they owe:
Time after time, budget after budget, poll after poll, those in charge make it sound as if we’re too poor as a country to afford the programs that would really improve Canadians’ lives. The fact that revenues are lost to poor policy on tax havens and loopholes is often conveniently ignored.
At this stage of the game, the federal finance minister doesn’t need to raise taxes to pay for pharmacare. Bill Morneau just has to make sure that Canadian multinationals and wealthy individuals pay the tax rate we already have. That isn’t happening right now.
It’s simple. Canadians can continue to support a tax system that lets the richest avoid paying $8 billion in taxes annually — or we can tell them that the party’s over. Instead of ignoring what is happening in the Cayman Islands, Panama and other tax havens, we can urge our politicians to invest the taxes owing on those billions into services that benefit individuals, families, communities and the country as a whole.
There is solid data supporting raising taxes in some areas. But that’s an argument for another day. The issue at hand right now is that we do have enough money for pharmacare — likely enough for public dental care as well. Through a series of misguided and outdated decisions driven by the tax dodge lobby, we are needlessly and destructively giving up that revenue.
It’s time to fix those old mistakes and use the tax system to help this country live up to its potential.
– Meanwhile, Owen Jones discusses a European Commission ruling finding that Apple can’t validly avoid paying tax through a special arrangement with Ireland. And the Star rightly slams the Fraser Institute for presenting a misleading picture of where public revenue comes from and what it can accomplish.
– The CP reports on the Libs’ plans to facilitate the use of temporary foreign workers for liquid natural gas projects in British Columbia – meaning that the last supposed benefit for the province of engaging in a dangerous industry seems to be as illusory as all the others. And Jeremy Nuttall notes that Justin Trudeau seems set to open the door even wider to entrench the use of exploitable foreign labour by multinational corporations.
– Finally, Catherine Cullen reports on the effects of privatized health care insurance which are being presented in an effort to defend Canada’s medicare system from would-be profiteers:
John Frank, a Canadian physician who is now chairman of public health research and policy at the University of Edinburgh, argues in his report that more private health care “would be expected to adversely affect Canadian society as a whole.”
He cites research that suggests public resources, including highly trained nurses and doctors, would be siphoned off by the private system.
More Canadians would face financial hardship or even — in extreme cases — “medical bankruptcy” from paying for private care, he writes.
Frank even suggests there could be deadly consequences. He says complications from privately funded surgeries often need to be dealt with in the public system because private facilities are generally less equipped to handle complex cases.
“If such complications, arising from privately funded care, are not promptly referred to an appropriately equipped and staffed care facility, the patient is likely to experience death or long-term disability, potentially leading to reduced earnings and financial hardship.”
Overall, “in my expert opinion,” Frank writes, the change would reduce fairness and efficiency and “society as a whole would be worse off.”
Miscellaneous material to start your week.- Jim Hightower argues that there’s no reason the U.S. can’t develop an economic model which leads to shared prosperity – and the ideas are no less relevant in Canada:Take On Wall Street is both the name and th…Continue reading
Miscellaneous material to start your week.
– Jim Hightower argues that there’s no reason the U.S. can’t develop an economic model which leads to shared prosperity – and the ideas are no less relevant in Canada:
Take On Wall Street is both the name and the feisty attitude of a nationwide campaign that a coalition of grassroots groups has launched to do just that: take on Wall Street. The coalition, spearheaded by the Communication Workers of America, points out there is nothing natural or sacred about today’s money-grabbing financial complex. Far from sacrosanct, the system of finance that now rules over us has been designed by and for Wall Street speculators, money managers and big bank flimflammers. So, big surprise, rather than serving our common good, the system is corrupt, routinely serving their uncommon greed at everyone else’s expense.
The coalition’s structural reforms include:
1. Getting the corrupting cash of corporations and the superrich out of politics with an overturning of Citizens United v. FEC and providing a public system for financing America’s elections.
2. Stopping “too big to fail” banks from subsidizing their high-risk speculative gambling with the deposits of ordinary customers. Make them choose to be a consumer bank or a casino, but not both.
3. Institute a tiny “Robin Hood tax” on Wall Street speculators to discourage their computerized gaming of the system, while also generating hundreds of billions of tax dollars to invest in America’s real economy.
4. Restore low-cost, convenient “postal banking” in our post offices to serve millions of Americans who’re now at the mercy of predatory payday lenders and check-cashing chains.
– Juliette Garside reports on the EU’s efforts to get the U.S. to agree to basic reporting to rein in offshore tax evasion. And Heather Long points out Joseph Stiglitz’ criticisms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership as enriching corporations at the expense of citizens.
– Amy Maxmen notes that a non-profit system can develop new drugs far more affordably than the current corporate model – and without creating the expectation of windfall profits that currently underlies the pharmaceutical industry.
– Jordan Press offers a preview of a federal strategy for homeless veterans featuring rental subsidies and the building of targeted housing units – which leads only to the question of why the same plan wouldn’t be applied to address homelessness generally.
– Alan Shanoff comments on the many holes in Ontario’s employment standards (which are generally matched elsewhere as well).
– Finally, Dougald Lamont highlights the many ways in which the Fraser Institute’s anti-tax spin misleads the media about how citizens relate to Canadian governments.
[Edit: fixed wording.]Continue reading
This and that for your Thursday reading.- Owen Jones discusses the UK’s experience with privatized rail as yet another example of how vital services become more costly and worse-run when put in corporate hands.- Sean McElwee highlights still more resea…Continue reading