Archive for Taxation

I rest my case

Dave Killion — December 5, 2011

If there are any doubts in your mind concerning the superiority of the private sector over the public sector, consider the following –

Private sector, no cost to taxpayer… dogs on surfboards!

 

Public sector, tax-funded… shrimp on a treadmill?

 

No contest.

Cross-border baloney

Dave Killion — October 18, 2011

Here’s a letter to the Toronto Sun –

The endorsement of free trade by International Trade Minister Ed Fast (Buy America will help Canadian Economy, Oct 18) is a welcome development. Too bad the government says one thing and does another! While decrying the harmful effects of trade barriers, Canada maintains a slew of tariffs, taxes, subsidies, and other regulations against foreign goods that leave us northern consumers no reasonable option but to ‘Buy Canada”. Let our elected hypocrites remove these hurdles (even unilaterally!) and not only will Canadians become more prosperous, but we will have far more credibility when lecturing other nations.

 

Why make the government take it by force?

Dave Killion — October 11, 2011

Couldn't you just send them a cheque?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A poll by the Pew Research Center finds 9 out of 10 Americans consider themselves middle class. This young lady aside, if you’re posing with one of these signs, you’re actually about 10% of the 99%. But I guess writing ‘I am the 9%’ would make you sound less like a victim of someone other than yourself.

Priorities and perspective

Dave Killion — September 16, 2011

Many of us were horrified to hear about the killing of 100 sled dogs last year, and after a lengthy and expensive investigation the BC SPCA is recommending the man committing the act be charged

“Marcie Moriarty, head of cruelty investigations at the B.C. SPCA, said her organization is recommending that Crown lawyers charge Fawcett with causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal.

“Under the criminal code, the maximum penalty this individual could receive is five years in jail,” Moriarty said.

“In addition, [he] can receive a lifetime ban on owning animals and a significant fine.

Moriarty said the investigation was one of the most complex and expensive ever undertaken by the B.C. SPCA.”

Indeed. Not only was $250,000.00 spent on the investigation, but taxpayers also had to foot the bill for a government task force that recommended tougher animal cruelty penalties including fines up to $75,000 and jail sentences up to two years.

None of this is any surprise. The SPCA exists because of animal cruelty and is obviously made up of people more concerned about animal treatment than the public at large. They are likely to find abuse where others would not, and they have a financial incentive to do so.  As to the task force, would anyone expect them to conclude that everything was just dandy and that no increase in state involvement was called for?

None of us likes to see animals suffer, but the world is full of problems and the resources available to solve them are limited. So if you think it’s more important to donate your money to organizations that look to preserve endangered species, or educate third world girls, or end the AIDS epidemic in Africa than to spend your money on animal abuse prosecutions, you might want to think about speaking out against a government that takes that choice away from you.

Super Awesome Economic Genius!

Dave Killion — September 11, 2011

I hardly let a day go by without visiting Captain Capitalism, the blog of economist, dance instructor, motorcyclist, paleontologist, and all around alpha male Aaron Clarey. The Captain is one of those individuals who, like Milton Friedman, Thomas Sowell, and Don Boudreaux, cannot be bamboozled by numbers nor words, and he has generously elected to share his insights with a foolish and ungrateful world. I am very excited to have recently purchased his latest publication, “Privatizing Governments” not because anyone has referred it to me, but rather because my acquaintance with his other works makes this book self-recommending. Check out the book, check out the blog, and as Cappy Cap says – Enjoy the decline!

 

Call the wambulance!

Dave Killion — September 9, 2011

Award-winning teacher Ron Clark lets Mom and Dad know “What teachers really want to tell parents“, which is mostly that teachers are fed up to here with parental nonsense, you people are all ingrates, the best people are losing the incentives to become teachers, quit laying criminal charges against educators, and stop making excuses for your under-performer!  And most importantly –

“We know you love your children. We love them, too. We just ask — and beg of you — to trust us, support us and work with the system, not against it. We need you to have our backs, and we need you to give us the respect we deserve. Lift us up and make us feel appreciated, and we will work even harder to give your child the best education possible.”

Lift you up and make you feel appreciated? What, do you think we’re dating? This is the kind of bullshit you never hear from the private sector. As Walter Williams says, “Here’s my relationship with my grocery store. I don’t tell them when I’m coming. I don’t tell them what I want to buy. I don’t tell them how much I’m going to buy. But if they don’t have what I want when I show up, I fire ’em.”

Private sector vendors have long ago recognized that people are petulant, childish, and unreasonable, but do they whinge about it? No! They bend over backward to provide us what we want even when we make it hard for them. And when they succeed, we lift them up and make them feel appreciated by giving them the hard-earned dollars WE earned by serving other unreasonable people. As a result, they don’t waste their time writing articles about how you and I and everyone else should stop acting out, and start smartening up. That’s loser talk, and so long as there are people reliant on government coercion for their paycheques, you’ll never hear the end of it.

Saving consumers from saving money

Dave Killion — August 25, 2011

It's true! Some Americans DO need to be protected from cheap Canadian lumber!

The US government is working hard to protect its citizens bestow favours on one group of voters at the expense of others

“The United States is seeking a $499-million penalty against Interior British Columbia lumber companies US consumers of Canadian lumber in a complaint filed under the Softwood Lumber Agreement.”

What have these consumers done to warrant such a massive penalty? They have purchased goods at lower prices –

“When those producers and exporters then sell lumber made from the cheaply-purchased timber, they recover substantially more money than they could have had pass much of those savings onto customers,” the USTR states in its 93-page complaint. “By its actions, B.C. has provided its lumber industry US consumers, including manufacturers with benefits approaching $500 million.”

If a foreign government was trying something like this against Americans it would be considered an act of war, but so long as it’s being done by elected officials and their appointees, then it’s no problem.

When Does Richer = Poorer ?

Dave Killion — July 27, 2011

Over at Paying Attention, Paul Willcocks writes about inequality in Canada

“We’ve become a lot more unequal society in Canada, widening the gap between the rich and the rest. The top earners have increased their share of after-tax income in the last three decades, with the gap widening since 2000.”

Yikes! The poor are getting poorer? Well, only relatively speaking –

“…the Conference Board reports the average income level of the poorest group of people rose, “marginally,” from $12,400 in 1976 to $14,500 in 2009 – about 17 per cent over 33 years.”

Oh, so the poor are getting richer. But the rich are getting EVEN more richer than the poor, and this is a problem because… because…

“There are also moral issues. The idea of some people enjoying huge incomes while children live a few streets away in desperate poverty should be troubling.”

It IS troubling. Or rather it would be if  such a situation was either wide-spread or increasing, rather than being a small and disappearing problem.  But if Willcocks is truly concerned about moral issues, perhaps he should consider the righteousness of using the threat of violence to take money away from someone just because you don’t like them having so much more than others.

Politispeak™

Dave Killion — July 21, 2011

It’s good to remind ourselves that in order to cultivate support, politicians must say that that which is, is not. And vice versa. US President Barack Obama helps us remember this in this recent press conference

“…this is not just a Democratic understanding; this is an understanding that I think the American people hold that we should not be asking sacrifices from middle-class folks who are working hard every day, from the most vulnerable in our society — we should not be asking them to make sacrifices if we’re not asking the most fortunate in our society to make some sacrifices as well.”

Ugh. There is no ‘we’, and there is no ‘asking’. There is only a one group led by the President that is looking to gather enough support to use the threat of violence against other groups in order to seize some of their property. Euphemistic Politispeak™  is employed to maintain the fantasy that the victims are consensual.

We’re not falling for it.

Unhealthy Justice

Dave Killion — June 22, 2011

Have you seen this story? An unemployed North Carolina man suffering from various ailments is trying to acquire health care through novel means. His idea? –

“… commit a crime and get set up with a place to stay, food and doctors.”

It seems James Richard Verone, for reasons not revealed in the article, lost his job three years ago and has been unable to earn a living since. He attempted to file for disability –

“The only thing Verone qualified for was food stamps. The extra money helped, but he felt desperate. He needed to get medical attention, and he refused to be a burden on his sister and brothers.”

“He considered turning to a homeless shelter and seeking medical help through charitable organizations.

Then he had another idea…”

Despite the fact that this guy had private options available to him, this story is supposed to be some sort of indictment against the state of health care availability in the US. In fact, it is an indictment of the penal system. Although I doubt there are many who pursue imprisonment in order to get free food, shelter, clothing, and health care, surely the tax-payers provision of these necessities does nothing to encourage criminals to walk the straight-and-narrow. Surely a libertarian justice system, in which convicts would be required to earn their keep in addition to making restitution for their crimes, would provide superior incentives for right behaviour.