The prosperity gap - Macleans.ca

The prosperity gap

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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?