Below is an excellent and thoughful letter on the place of taxes in a functioning and sustainable society written by my good friend Dr. Bob Dickson.
Don’t underestimate what taxes do for us
The Edmonton Journal Saturday November 22, 2008
Neither tax nor taxes are four letter words. Yet, in our modern-day greed and dollar-driven society, the Alberta and Canadian taxpayer federations and the provincial and federal Conservatives all berate and demean these entities.
The truth is, we live in an amazingly privileged society where taxes are the fuel that propel and sustain our lives and lifestyles. Our roads, medical care, education, parks, water, sanitation, sporting venues, recreational facilities, senior care, programs for the less fortunate, police and legal systems, fire protection, emergency services, assistance to the world’s poorest, and most of our daily lives are almost entirely supported by the taxation system.
We have Conservatives governments in power that, for political expediency and often just to buy votes, make senseless tax cuts like that in the GST that took over $12 billion out of federal coffers.
Then they plead lack of funding for such things as foreign aid and municipalities, leaving the average Canadian to dole out more for charities and local services. A wise person stated several years ago, when commenting on philanthropy, “A society that relies on the politics of charity exchanges human rights for handouts.”
Indeed, if we were to tax our corporations and elite closer to average levels of other wealthy nations, we could not only adequately fund our overstretched municipalities but could again shine in the international arena.
Robert C. Dickson, Calgary