Politics and its Discontents: Time To Reject Magical Thinking

Canadians, along with the West in general, have been fed a neoliberal diet of propaganda and policy for so long that far too many have succumbed to magical thinking, the belief that we can have it all with only minimal pain, the later in the form of low taxation rates. A steady barrage of government ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Tax Increases no longer Political Kryptonite in Canadian Elections

It’s been a rough year for Conservatives in Canada as two major elections in six months have resulted in major blows for Conservative parties in Alberta and Ottawa. In May 2015, former federal cabinet minister and bank vice-president Jim Prentice, a political moderate… Continue Reading →

Progressive Proselytizing: Justin Trudeau’s tax plan is good policy and great politics

Going as far back as Justin Trudeau’s leadership election, he has consistently kept his major campaign planks close to the vest. Little tidbits, like the policy on marijuana, come out in carefully crafted morsels, but for the most part we are left guessing at what his first federal election campaign platform will be based on ...

Progressive Proselytizing: Justin Trudeau’s tax plan is good policy and great politics

Going as far back as Justin Trudeau’s leadership election, he has consistently kept his major campaign planks close to the vest. Little tidbits, like the policy on marijuana, come out in carefully crafted morsels, but for the most part we are left guessing at what his first federal election campaign platform will be based on ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Sometimes living in Alberta is like living in Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day

Sometimes living in Alberta is like living in the classic film Groundhog Day, in which actor Bill Murray finds himself in a time loop, repeating the same day again and again. In Alberta, relying on the cyclical nature of oil prices while… Continue Reading →

Progressive Proselytizing: Income Splitting and Progressive Taxation

The motivation behind the idea of Income Splitting is quite reasonable. Namely, under the current scheme, two families with identical total income can be taxed at substantially different rates, depending on how that income is distributed between both parents. Given the fact that families do very often function as a singular economic unit dividing up ...

Progressive Proselytizing: Income Splitting and Progressive Taxation

The motivation behind the idea of Income Splitting is quite reasonable. Namely, under the current scheme, two families with identical total income can be taxed at substantially different rates, depending on how that income is distributed between both parents. Given the fact that families do very often function as a singular economic unit dividing up ...

Politics and its Discontents: The ‘Robin-Hood Tax’ Gains Traction

In a declaration that will likely earn him the designation ‘Enemy of the Capitalist State,’ Pope Francis recently called upon the world to redistribute its wealth in order to reduce what is likely the greatest socio-economic scourge of our times, income inequality. In his address to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other U.N. leaders, the ...

Politics and its Discontents: Two Takes On Taxation

The contrast couldn’t be more striking. As announced by federal Fiance Minister Joe Oliver the other day, Ottawa is well on its way to posting a $9 billion surplus, but Canadians shouldn’t expect any massive new spending programs. Instead, he plans to reduce taxes once the deficit is eliminated in the 2015-16 budget, likely next ...

Politics and its Discontents: A Reading Recommendation.

I have a deep respect for Alex Himelfarb, the director of the Glendon School of International and Public Affairs and tireless proponent of responsible, progressive taxation. The latter, as one can well-imagine, likely makes him persona non grata in many circles, but those are likely the same circles that close out responsible thought or discussion ...

Politics and its Discontents: Wisdom From A 91-Year-Old

Don’t worry. This is not one of those bromides on how to live a long and happy life. It is, however, a realistic recipe for social cohesion and progress. The letter, from Joy Taylor of Scarborough, was published in today’s Toronto Star: Today I turned 91. My friends and I celebrated with laughter, and good ...

Politics and its Discontents: A Timely Reminder About Taxation

Responding to a column the other day by the Star’s Thomas Walkom, letter-writer Bruna Nota of Toronto offers us some timely reminders: Re: Tax a dirty word in these Thatcherite political times, March 15 Yes, most unfortunately, the culture has developed in Canada, fully supported by all big media to depict taxes as evil rather ...

Autonomy For All: Toronto Needs Progressive Property Taxation

In November, the TTC board decided to raise fares for 2014 by approximately $60/year for people who buy metropasses every month.  Many have already noted that this amount is the same as the $60 VRT that Mayor Ford and Council repealed early in this term.  Quite plausibly, this is a regressive tax transfer from a ...

Autonomy For All: Toronto Needs Progressive Property Taxation

In November, the TTC board decided to raise fares for 2014 by approximately $60/year for people who buy metropasses every month.  Many have already noted that this amount is the same as the $60 VRT that Mayor Ford and Council repealed early in this term.  Quite plausibly, this is a regressive tax transfer from a ...

Northern Reflections: What Happened To Progressive Taxation?

In the last thirty years, the idea that taxes should be progressive has disappeared from public discourse. Robert Reich writes that the father of free market capitalism believed that nations should institute progressive taxation: Even Adam Smith, the 18th century guru of free-market conservatives, saw the wisdom of a graduated tax embodying the principle of ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine Gears Up

Deeply affronted, perhaps even frightened by the recent change to the Ontario budget that will impose an increase of 2% on the income of those making over $500,000 per year, the right-wing has been busy cranking out its anti-tax propaganda. Lest anyone think that a return to some form of progressive taxation is a good ...

Politics and its Discontents: Thomas Walkom on Fair Taxation

Long a taboo subject, increasing tax rates for the wealthy is back on the agenda, in no small part due to the Occupy Movement and, more recently, Andrea Horwath. In today’s Star, Thomas Walkom presents an interesting perspective on the issue. You can click here to read it. Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: An Inconvenient Truth For The Right Wing To Digest

Over the past several years, most notably since the ascension to power of the Harper regime, taxation, especially the concept of progressive taxation, has fallen into bad odour, Thanks to the ethos espoused by the right, we have been consistently bombarded with messages that we are unfairly burdened with oppressive tax rates, that we have ...

Politics and its Discontents: Where Do Justice and Morality Reside?

On this Easter Sunday, when many turn their thoughts from the secular to the sacred, it is perhaps a propitious time to remember that the elusive goals of justice and morality, so often seemingly absent from the world, can and must be pursued, however imperfectly, only by those living in the world; it is a ...

Politics and its Discontents: Andrea Horwath’s Dance With Dalton

While I continue to remain dubious of what will happen when the Ontario Legislature votes on Dalton McGuinty’s budget, I give the leader of the Ontario NDP, Andrea Horwath, top marks for what she says are her demands for NDP support. It is, however, interesting to note how her plan, especially regarding a two-point increase ...

Politics and its Discontents: A New Call For a Return to Progressive Taxation

I suppose one has to be of a certain age to remember that progressive taxation has been a mainstay, until fairly recently, of our taxation system. Little by little over the past two decades, probably starting with the introduction of the GST, that principle has been on the wane, to the point where we have ...

Politics and its Discontents: Why the Occupy Movement Has Relevance in Canada

Thee are many who assert that the Occupy Movement has no relevance in Canada because we have a social safety net and other measures that provide a modicum of protection to the most vulnerable. They also argue for the superiority of our banking system, which required no government bailouts because it is more tightly regulated ...

Politics and its Discontents: TruthDig For A Different Kind Of Truth

I recently wrote a couple of blog posts on Warren Buffett and the need for higher taxation of the very wealthy, an idea that is gaining currency in a number of countries, including France and Spain, the latter actually recently imposing a new tax on the wealthy. While conventional news formats are reluctant to pursue ...

Politics and its Discontents: Fair Taxation

Democratic Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren speaks on the topic of fair taxation: Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: Increased Taxation Of The Rich In Spain

Having written previously on the logic and desirability of increasing taxation on the wealthy, I was heartened to learn that Spain recently increased its rate for those with real estate assets (excluding their principal residences), stocks and bank holding of more than 700,000 Euros annually. It is expected to raise revenues of about €1.08 billion ...