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The iPod Tax debate

The NDP asks that this House condemn…


 

The New Democrats have released the motion they’ll have the House debate on Monday.

“That this House condemn the tax hikes introduced by the government in Budget 2013 on hospital parking, bicycles, baby strollers, coffee makers, iPods and other goods and services, which break the promise the Government made to Canadians during the last election.”

See previously: A tax on imported blanketsThe Commons: Ted Menzies challenges everyone to find a tax increase in the budget, A tax on bicycles, baby carriages and iPods, The Great iPod Tax Crisis of 2013 and The iPod tax: The finance department responds


 

The iPod Tax debate

  1. How strange: the NDP complaining about the cost of consumer goods. Does this mean that the NDP no longer believes in climate change, for we all know by now that consumers have a role to play in this, namely, the more we consume, the more CO2 gets wasted, right?

    Mulcair should worry about the lack of solar panels on Canadian roofs! When are those solar panels being installed on Canadian roofs? (Remember, the climate change is going to be devastating! Soon…..)

    • I’m interested to hear your opinion on these tariffs – do you support the change, or disagree?

      • I find the tariffs miniscule but well directed. It is my opinion, as a Canadian consumer, that choices for the consumer remain.

        I do, however, find the hypocrisy about solar panels, outstanding. Therefore, I think it would be more honest for Mulcair to give the non-installation of solar panels a voice or two. Loud and clear if possible.

        • “It is my opinion, as a Canadian consumer, that choices for the consumer remain.”
          Care to elaborate what choices you’re referring to?

          “I do, however, find the hypocrisy about solar panels, outstanding.”
          Good for you. There’s another thread about Joe Oliver that you can take this up in (and indeed, you already are). This page is about tariffs.

          • No, actually, this page is about consumers and their choices. And so , btw, is the page about climate change.

            Many in life (and many on these boards) would like to have it both ways; many try to block out the personal responsibility when it comes to consuming in regards to CO2 emissions.

            Nothing can be separated in reality. All hangs together, whether we want it to or not.

            Countries being levied a tariff are probably the worst CO2 polluters out there and if the government finds it is time to increase the levy then why not? After all, there are so many choices out there of what to buy and what not. We aren’t forced to buy it all.

            Mulcair complaining about tariffes when his carbon tax proposal would do so much worse for adding costs for consumers. That somehow seems to be ok with his followers but slapping a tariff on some goods for good reason is not ok.

            Some strange reasoning Mulcair is capable of. I think the voters are catching on to him. Mulcair is becoming more and more unbelievable.

          • “I find the tariffs miniscule but well directed.”
            Just to clarify your definition of ‘miniscule’, $1 billion in new tariffs collected through 2015 is miniscule in your mind?

          • How do you know it is $1 billion? Because someone has budgeted as such?

            I believe that the consumer has a role to play. The $1 billion could be 2 or 3 or could in fact be $0 if all consumers decided not to buy the products with tariffs attached. Such is the power of the individual consumer. Such is the power of the will.

          • $1 billion represents $330 billion per year between now and 2015, per Mike Moffatt. To the extent you disagree, take it up with him.
            http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/economy-lab/canadian-consumers-will-feel-the-pain-of-ottawas-tariff-hikes/article10753547/

            “The $1 billion could be 2 or 3 or could in fact be $0 if all consumers decided not to buy the products with tariffs attached.”
            So what you’re telling me instead is government action is going to kill electronics sales. Best Buy/Future Shop/etc I’m sure will be thrilled to hear this news. Yep, that will really support the economy.

          • No, what I am saying (and what you could have understood already had you been reasonable) is that people have a choice in what to buy or not. There are many products out there not being levied with a tariff.

            Choice. Consumer choice. No one holds a gun to your head saying you must buy this or that. It is your will to buy this or that, no one elses. Perhaps free will is a foreign concept to you. In that case, I really do feel sorry for you, because most people do understand that the holding of a gun to your head is all in your head, and is not real.

          • “Choice. Consumer choice. No one holds a gun to your head saying you must buy this or that.”

            Sure, but the government unquestionably introduces policies to influence consumer choices. Tax credits for public transit – gov’t wants you to choose public transit. Tariff reductions on baby clothing – gov’t wants to support families. Taxes on cigarettes – gov’t would prefer you not smoke. Otherwise, why all these little credits and/or taxes? Why not just a flat tax on everyone if it’s just about revenue?

            So the question is – what behaviour is the government trying to change in hiking these tariffs? Seems to me your logic would suggest it’s ‘don’t buy electronics from these countries.’

            Here’s the list of 72 countries for which tariffs are being hiked:
            http://cdn.pacificgroup.net/pdf/pcb/GPT%20Countries%20being%20Withdrawn%20from%20Eligibility.pdf

            The vast majority of the world’s electronics are built in this list of countries. As such, it would seem the government’s message then becomes ‘don’t buy electronics period’. As such, this move is one of two things:
            1) a $1 billion tax grab
            2) a blow to sales of consumer electronics
            Don’t feel sorry for me. I feel sorry for you, Francien.

          • Oh, no need to feel sorry for me! I am not a slave to the latest of gadgets, and I buy most of my clothes and consumer items from second hand stores. Great buys out there without the need to worry about tariffs!

            Try to live like that and you will see how much of your worrying is for naught!

        • BTW, you talk to me as if I support Mulcair. I don’t. The Dutch disease rhetoric was economic hokum. A read of my posts on these boards certainly places me to the right on the fiscal spectrum.

          • Perhaps you are a Justin supporter. It does not matter to me who you support.

            But in case you do support Justin, ask him if he is ready to slap on a carbon tax. I hope he does.

          • In light of your recent words, I have to come back to this….

            “Choice. Consumer choice. No one holds a gun to your head saying you must buy this or that.”

            So by your logic, I would think you must be pretty ambivalent about a carbon tax. After all, no one is holding a gun to your head saying ‘buy gas’, ‘buy oil’. By your free will which I’m sure you exercise, you can buy alternative fuel sources to take care of your needs. Maybe some solar panels and a wood stove?

          • Why would I? I don’t think CO2 emissions will be curbed by adding on another tax. People will get used to the increase of prices due to an increase of taxes. I am all for adaptation practices. We,as humans, have always adapted and will do so again, always, till the end of time.

            Solar panels actually produce more CO2 (production, transport, replacement etc) and are not reliable enough. I do use a wood stove every now and then. But I use natural gas and gasoline as well whenever I need it. My need is not great.

          • So, in the case of a carbon tax, you believe people’s response will be to pay the higher price and not reduce carbon emissions.

            In the case of the tariffs, you believe people’s response will be to reduce consumption of these goods (if you believe consumption is unaffected, you are out and out stating this is just a tax grab on the government’s part)

            Why the contradiction, Francien? Do taxes reduce people’s consumption, or don’t they?

          • NO, in the case of tariffs, people have a choice. In the case of carbon, all will be taxed and people won’t have the choice, but will have to pay the extra tax regardless of their choice. But you knew that already.

          • “In the case of carbon, all will be taxed and people won’t have the choice,”

            Sure they will have a choice. Instead of gasoline for your car, bike. Instead of natural gas, heat with geothermal. Instead of coal, use wood. Propane? Cook over a wood fire. Jet fuel? Choose not to fly. There’s choices, Francien. You’re just a slave to carbon. You need to take personal responsibility for your actions! Oh, where did I hear that?

            “many try to block out the personal responsibility when it comes to consuming in regards to CO2 emissions… countries being levied a tariff are probably the worst CO2 polluters out there and if the government finds it is time to increase the levy then why not?”

            So taxing foreign countries for their carbon emissions via tariffs achieves something, but taxing citizens here for carbon emissions achieves nothing. How?

          • You don’t get it, do you? Bikes will be taxed. Geothermal will be taxed – the pipes to get the heat and cold up or down. The wood will be taxed. There will be no choice.

            With the tariffs, you do have a choice. Either you buy the products with the tariffs attached or you buy products with no tariffs attached. You choose. What is so difficult about all of this. You like behaving in an ignorant manner! Obviously!

            Without levies, why should we pay for the pollution other countries make free of charge? I think the CPC is just trying to wake up the Canadian public by pointing out how hypocritical the whole process of consumer spending is.

          • But you say there is benefit in taxing foreign countries due to their carbon emissions? You are jumping all over the place – you confuse me greatly Francien!

            “Without levies, why should we pay for the pollution other countries make free of charge?” Um, how are we paying for their pollution today?

            “I think the CPC is just trying to wake up the Canadian public by pointing out how hypocritical the whole process of consumer spending is.” So this is like Flaherty and Manulife, sure it’s bad policy, but thank god their bad policies drew attention to an issue.

            Leave it to this government to tout free trade while hiking tariffs.

    • In political “messaging” parlance, Isn’t that often referred to as “changing the channel”?

  2. Still waiting for the NDP to explain to Canadians why they believe Chinese and Indian manufacturers should be given a competitive advantage over other countries. It’s the only possible explanation for their stance, since I haven’t heard them suggest we should lower tariffs for other countries to be equal.

    • I’m still waiting for you to explain why you think they were getting an advantage. I rebutted this argument in the earlier post.

      For ease of viewing, I’ll repost:

      Don’t disagree Rick, so let’s think about this here…
      Apple raises the price of an iPod to pass on the tariff (the price will go up somewhat as iPods are not perfectly elastic, though agree they’re not perfectly inelastic either).
      Apple loses out since they have fewer sales. Consumers lose out since the price of iPods go up.
      So who exactly gains here (since someone has to gain for Apple and consumers’ losses)? One and only one entity – the federal government, for whom this is one big cash grab. By Mr Moffatt’s article the other day, an even $1 billion cash grab by the next election.
      Agree or disagree, Rick?

      • You think people buy less ipods because the price goes up by a few dollars? Excuse me, but there are many people who don’t complain to buy a new phone or ipod each and every year (sometimes twice a year) or every time a new version come onto the market. The tariffs now complained about are peanuts compared to the cash doled out each and every time a company such as Apple bring a new gadget onto the market.

        Consume, consume, and then some seems to be the consumers motto while temporarily blocking out the climate change caused by so-called CO2 emissions. How do you think those CO2 emissions get into the air?

        Mulcair is a hypocrite.

        • “You think people buy less ipods because the price goes up by a few dollars?”
          iPod sales go up when they’re on sale and discounted, so it is also true iPod sales fall if prices rise.

          “Consume, consume, and then some seems to be the consumers motto while temporarily blocking out the climate change caused by so-called CO2 emissions. How do you think those CO2 emissions get into the air?
          Mulcair is a hypocrite.”
          Good for you. Head on over to the Joe Oliver thread. Lots of discussion there on this.

          • I am not a pretender. I am fully aware that consumption and CO2 emissions all hang together. Consumer choice is the operative word here.

            I don’t see the need to go from one page to another to discuss the very same topic. Consumers do have a choice. One choice would be to consume less.

          • “I don’t see the need to go from one page to another to discuss the very same topic.”
            Then why are you? You are posting over in the Joe Oliver thread already! 3 hours ago!

          • I started there and then decided to stay here responding to you. If that is a problem for you, just ignore my postings.

      • If Country A is forced to pay a higher tariff on a product than Country B, Country A has an advantage. It’s not rocket science.

        • True enough. Except Country A is China, which produces iPods.
          Who is Country B, Rick? No other country produces iPods!! As such, Country A hikes their price to offset the tariff, and the consumer pays.

          • Other countries produce MP3 players, not just China. And by your logic, since a country has a monopoly on something, they should be able to maintain that monopoly forever, with taxpayer support helping to crush any would-be competition. That wouldn’t end well.

  3. When the government’s answer to EVERYTHING is “We’ll create a new tax!” it is a sign of a government in collapse. It’s just a matter of how fast the collapse is going to occur, and who they’ve sold the country to, that needs to be answered.

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