The prosperity gap


Alex Himelfarb considers the ramifications of inequality.

When Warren Buffett argued that the rich should pay more than they do (heck, even Adam Smith believed in progressive taxation), across the U.S. media we were told what a dangerous idea this is. Why would we penalize productive folk only to give the money to the unproductive?  Why do we penalize success, they ask?  Here, in Canada, the language is softer.  Why would we tax so-called job-creators?  Of course there are important economic considerations in how much and whom we tax – but “job creators”? As though they  do not benefit from earlier generations more willing than us to sacrifice and pay taxes to build and defend a country of opportunity? As though the rest of us somehow do not contribute to the growth in the economy through our labour, consumption and creative ideas?


The prosperity gap

  1. The danger in this is that the rich may well decide that they’d rather pay lower taxes, although still a substantial sum, to a country with a lower tax rate.

    Ask Paul Martin, he knows a thing or two about tax friendly countries.

  2. A civilized country needs a large middle-class to maintain law and order – they have a good life, and much to lose if incarcerated.  The continual erosion of the middle class into a two-tier state of rich and poor leaves only the rich to create laws against their own personal annoyances, and the poor who have nothing to lose and will ignore any laws.  Look at Jolly Old England in the 1700’s.
    Of course this is exactly what Harper wants.

  3. London Community News:

    The “sunshine list,” which began in 1995, discloses the name and salaries of all Ontario public sector workers paid more than $100,000. In 2010, 71,478 Ontario employees made the list, an 11 per cent increase from last year’s total of 63,761.

    William Sumner ~ The Forgotten Man:

    The type and formula of most schemes of philanthropy or humanitarianism is this: A and B put their heads together to decide what C shall be made to do for D …. They are always under the dominion of the superstition of government, and, forgetting that a government produces nothing at all, they leave out of sight the first fact to be remembered in all social discussion — that the state cannot get a cent for any man without taking it from some other man, and this latter must be a man who has produced and saved it.

    Library Of Economics & Liberty:

    Gary Becker – Nobel Winner – showed that discrimination will be less pervasive in more competitive industries ….. Becker also presented evidence that discrimination is more pervasive in more-regulated, and therefore less-competitive, industries. The idea that discrimination is costly to the discriminator is common sense among economists today, and that is due to Becker. 

    Mike Moffatt:

    Canada’s electoral system, however, does inadvertently make the votes from voters of some races worth less than others.

Sign in to comment.