Taxes and Human Purpose:- some controversial food for thought during the federal election campaign.
by Neil Brooks
I like paying taxes. [!] Taxes allow us to pursue our aspirations collectively and thus they greatly enrich the quality of life for the average Canadian family. Taxes have brought us high quality public schools that remain our democratic treasure, low tuition at world class universities, freedom from fear of crippling health bills and excellent medical services, public parks and libraries, save streets and livable cities. None of these things come cheaply.
Taxes also assist us in spreading our incomes over our lifetimes to maximize our well being by, for example, transferring income from our high-income years to our retirement years, from times when we are supporting children to times when we are not, and from periods when we are well and able to take care of our own needs to periods when we are ill or suffering from a disability.
Just as importantly, the public goods and services that we purchase with taxes leave working people more secure, healthier, better educated, more economically secure and therefore better protected against business threats and thus more able to win their fair share of the national income that we all collectively produce.
Taxes also allow us to discharge our moral obligations to one another. They enable us to establish democratically controlled public institutions that attempt to prevent exploitation in market exchanges and family relations; to ensure mutuality in our interdependence upon each other; to compensate those who are inevitably harmed through no fault of their own by the operation of a dynamic market economy that we all benefit from; to ensure a more socially acceptable distribution of income and wealth than that which results from market forces alone; to strive for gender and racial equality; and, to provide full entitlement and open access to those services essential to human development. As a result, taxes buy us a relatively high level of social cohesion and social equality and therefore the benefits of community existence. What would any of us have without community? ...continued
Economic Cleansing:Terminal Poverty in British Columbia
by William Proulx
Editor’s note: The scandal that broke recently after leaked government documents showed that the cases of over 700 children who died under the care of government-sponsored services have gone un-investigated since the BC Liberal regime abolished the Children’s Commission in 2002 (at the same time it gave away huge tax breaks to stock brokers) has sent a shockwave through public interest and child advocacy circles.
Despite efforts by much of the corporate media and BC Liberal defenders to down-play the seriousness of this development, investigative reporter and commentator William Proulx suggests this is simply part of an even bigger trend by the government to abandon people who in need of social and economic assistance or redress—to the point of where it has become “economic cleansing.” This is explored in this report.
The 20th Century has brought to the forefront of modern discourse new phrases such as; Ethnic Cleansing, Cultural Genocide, “Acts” of Genocide, Holocaust and other terms that describe the attempt of a political entity to impose its ideology upon the masses. To the previous descriptive phrases we must add that of “economic’ cleansing,” an act of genocide perpetrated against a class of people, like those living in poverty and suffering from addictions, mental illness, who are physically unpalatable or who are emotionally/psychologically fragile.
However, this is a group that is readily identifiable and even more insidiously this is one that is easily presented by ideological propaganda spinners as a legitimate target for elimination. In other words, targets for what can only be called genocide.
A cursory overview of the current Employment & Assistance Ministry shows that the more recent components of the new ‘improved’ Welfare ministry were designed to erect barriers to both money and public services for the poor. ...continued
|NPA “Corporate-style” Governance Meeting Public Resistance, say Critics
by Marco Procaccini
The three weeks following November’s civic election have a lot of turbulence at Vancouver’s city hall, as directives from the controversial new mayor are causing dissent even among some member of his own civic organization.
Last week’s defeat of Mayor Sam Sullivan’s motion to disband all of the city’s public advisory committees, including four NPA councilors voting with COPE and Vision Vancouver council members, after a huge outcry from both the public and civic workers.
"This council doesn't care about citizen involvement," said committee participant Kate Sutherland. “These committees were set to gives citizens the right to directly approach their elected officials. Now just scrapping them is just an insult.”
She was one of dozens of people who waited for hours in council chambers to speak against Sullivan’s move. There are currently 23 civic volunteer boards and committees including the Bicycle Advisory Committee, Public Art Committee, Advisory Committee on Seniors' Issues, Advisory Committee on Disability Issues, Vancouver Civic Theatres Board and the Fire and Rescue Services Advisory Committee. All are made up of citizens who volunteer their time.
They will be now re-instated as a result of the council vote.... continued