This week's Around the World looks at the issue of who is keeping Canada's government going. Not surprisingly, the burden isn't being shared equally by all. Still, the stats are eye-popping when you consider that the top 10% of income earners in Canada pay over half the taxes in Canada, while the bottom 50% pay almost nothing.
Roads, hospitals, schools, entitlement programs et al all must be paid. It's been said -rather glibly I might add, that "taxes are the price we pay for civilization." Of course a contrary position could refute this by arguing that "taxes threaten civilization," as evidenced by the American and French Revolutions -all tax protest when you get right down to it.
But whether you subscribe to the first interpretation or the second, the bottom line is that the good ship Canada relies far too heavily on a very small part of its population for its standard of living. Our current government believes the answer is to take even more from those who are already shouldering more than their share of the burden. A better approach is to grow the economy through lower tax rates, lighter regulations and pro-business policies at the Provincial and Federal levels.
This prescription has zero chance of happening however, leaving us with the reminder of the lesson of Ayn Rand's seminal classic Atlas Shrugged. If -or when- the top 10% leave, the rest of the Canadian economy will sink to the bottom, taking the taken-for-granted standards of living of Canadians with them.