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Old 08-23-2011, 02:40 PM   #106
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I won't disclose my salary, but that's not even close (subtract at least 50% there). I do make more here than I ever did in the American Midwest, but the cost of living here is astronomical, and (I'll admit it's untenable) I definitely don't get those amazing tax refunds at the end of the year anymore like I'd get in the U.S. It just seems like between higher payroll deductions, much higher retail prices for the exact same item in the U.S., more than double the rate in sales taxes and inane user fees, in addition to a higher cost of living, I'm barely getting by.

I guess there's a cost for escaping U.S. theocratic lunacy and achieving a level of freedom and equality I don't expect to see back home until I'm old. And at least there's cross-border shopping with Amazon.com.
I have to say, by the sound of things, the Canadian type of model is the norm across western Europe - particularly, frankly, in the better developed and better run economies. There's no denying that living in a 'progressive' economy involves sacrifices as compared to the US, where taxes are lower and the cost of living also is generally lower - but then look at the health systems and for that matter public transport systems in the better run (for the purposes of this, forget the UK or Ireland) European countries compared to the US. The average worker in Germany or Sweden is not living the high life and driving an S-class Merc - but there is so little poverty that it is almost a statistical blip.

(Purpleoscar will now be duly along to tell me it's because we don't spend enough on defense to combat the Eastern Menace, or whatever.)
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Old 08-23-2011, 02:58 PM   #107
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Anitram, that is done to encourage money to come into the province and invest. I know it seems strange, but the province wants investor to invest and create job growth. It is not some conspiracy against the little guy. It is just sound economic practice. And I am kinda a leftie.
That has nothing to do with what I am talking about.

I merely pointed out that the highest MARGINAL tax rate in Ontario is 46%. Which means that nobody is paying taxes equal to half of their income.
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:47 PM   #108
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Ok, my mistake.
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:56 PM   #109
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I have to say, by the sound of things, the Canadian type of model is the norm across western Europe - particularly, frankly, in the better developed and better run economies. There's no denying that living in a 'progressive' economy involves sacrifices as compared to the US, where taxes are lower and the cost of living also is generally lower - but then look at the health systems and for that matter public transport systems in the better run (for the purposes of this, forget the UK or Ireland) European countries compared to the US. The average worker in Germany or Sweden is not living the high life and driving an S-class Merc - but there is so little poverty that it is almost a statistical blip.
Canadas historical economy is rooted in staples (fish, fur, logging) and I suppose that created an interdependence. Whereas the U.S. tends to still value the individual contribution. I really, really like the idea that Government gives plenty of thought to tax revenues but individuals are so paltry to the grand scheme of things. Minute. (and don't give me examples of Bono or Bill gates)

Nor do I believe a system of individuals acting merely acting in their own interests will really last and prosper for a long extended period.
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:15 PM   #110
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That has nothing to do with what I am talking about.

I merely pointed out that the highest MARGINAL tax rate in Ontario is 46%. Which means that nobody is paying taxes equal to half of their income.
Not yet, but when you add municipal taxes, government fees, sales taxes, and provincial taxes it's over 40% for middle to upper middle classes. Many in the left still complain and want a larger share.

Of course one could sock as much money into their RRSP as they can to defer taxes to when they are likely to have lower incomes in retirement. Also investing in a Tax-free savings account can help reduce the tax load on investment income. Of course if a person has lots of investments in retirement the only benefit of the RRSP is the tax-free compounding because they still hit the higher marginal rates.
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:17 PM   #111
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(Purpleoscar will now be duly along to tell me it's because we don't spend enough on defense to combat the Eastern Menace, or whatever.)
That's right. Military welfare.....
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:45 PM   #112
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Which is ultimately why most "socialist" initiatives do little more than pummel the middle class, which isn't wealthy enough to tax dodge and not poor enough to qualify for handouts.
This is why I think socialist systems always need constant reform. They bleed money like crazy (especially on salaries and pensions) and every recession there is a battle to get results with less money. Then you have strikes and shutdowns.

Here's my challenge to the left:

1. Create an environment where government employees don't feel they are irreplaceable and that cost effectiveness is rewarded as opposed to patronage. The idea that "money has to be spent or it will be taken away" has to be changed. There must be some reward mechanism for efficiency.
2. Create a "Clarity Act" that clearly states what we the taxpayer will get when we increase government funding and make the accountability such that duplicate programs are eliminated and programs that are woeful in meeting their objectives are then massively reformed or discontinued.
3. With lower taxes there's no reason to have tax preferences to corporations or the individual rich because it would be a haven for capital compared to other countries that don't do this.

Of course schools would have to have more discipline and teach children how to lose in fair play in order to better themselves to win later (much like in good sportsman like behaviour in sports). I actually met some more Marxist teachers at a hike and they didn't believe in competition "because there has to be a loser". . This kind of mentality will not create more independent minded, resilient citizens. If there was no competition there would be no innovation. There would be no striving to improve oneself.

The end result would be that government employees would have similar benefits to what is in the market place. The safety net would be reduced to temporary welfare recipients, employment insurance recipients, retirees and health catastrophes only. We would look at the government like we would look at companies and see constructively the result of what we are paying for. If there is a big new project that will benefit most people the taxes could increase on individuals because the value would be there.

Naturally I don't expect this will happen but instead the usual scenario: Government lowers interest rates too low for too long. Savers save less and borrowers see the low interest as a reason to borrow more. The economy booms and the government grows with larger tax revenue. When the boom busts (because wages can't handle the overproduction) then deficits increase (due to the inability to generate revenues by taxing companies that lose money and taxing individuals that have no job and need employment insurance). Then budget cutters come in and push for austerity packages and unions strike and the dance continues.
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:03 PM   #113
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Here's my challenge to the left:

1. Create an environment where government employees don't feel they are irreplaceable and that cost effectiveness is rewarded as opposed to patronage. The idea that "money has to be spent or it will be taken away" has to be changed. There must be some reward mechanism for efficiency.
Uber point. Just fantastic. I do see that happening in some circles.
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:56 AM   #114
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Rex Murphy pays tribute to Jack Layton Aug 22, 2011. - YouTube

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Marathoners of every kind might want to look at Jack Layton’s last great run.

Not many people leave a hospital room, having faced-off with cancer, get smacked with a broken hip, just to make things even a little more tricky – launch into a national election, as a leader of a fractious and volatile party – and then turn in the most energetic, most attractive, most brave campaign of anyone – leader or follower – ever.

Good thing for his opponents Jack wasn’t absolutely at the top of his game, or Stephen Harper might even now be checking the vacancies at some think tank.

Hemingway called courage “grace under pressure.” Jack Layton’s last campaign did the definition one better: he was a cane-wielding one man wonder of grace and cheerfulness; easily the most exuberant and – everyone said so – just the most damn likeable of all the leaders. At the end of the campaign, by the way – the cane was no longer a crutch, it was more like a wand, or his conductor’s baton, or his personalized cudgel beating back the grim Harperites and deluded Iggnatophiles.

Jack was having fun -- the smiling warrior.

In a way that’s one of the elements that makes today’s news so harsh for all Canadians, and must make it just about unbearable for those who are very close to Mr. Layton. He rose so fully, so completely to the challenge, outperformed past all expectation – and, as it were, almost at the exact moment of his triumph, as he raised his hands in victory, his eyes lit with joy on election night, the horrible cancer was returning for its second assault.

From his appearance on election night to his appearance at that news conference – shrunken, pale, but irrepressible still – this was a transition terrible to witness.

As far as what can be said – well, here too, Mr. Layton was the true leader – leaving a last letter to all Canadians, which is as fine a testament to his dauntless character and sense of public service as it is possible to have. He wrote:

Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.

A life’s noble creed – precise as an equation – and the perfect signature of the man who wrote it.

To his family, most especially his wife Olivia – they were a team – and to all who knew and cherished him – we offer our deepest commiseration.

For The National, I’m Rex Murphy.
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:12 PM   #115
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Nathan Phillips Square in downtown Toronto - expressions of condolence in chalk:

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Old 08-25-2011, 07:52 AM   #116
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Too bad it will all be gone after that storm we had last night
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Old 08-25-2011, 02:18 PM   #117
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Love that TO shot, BP. I had to do a double take when I first saw it yesterday.



Chalk tributes St. John's, NL... The gathering here last night was a real mix of emotion, and it was amazing to see how it attracted folks from all walks of life, regardless of their ideology. I spotted a number of Liberals, for example, who were clapping and clearly moved by the NDP leader's speech. Truly remarkable how Layton's galvanized the entire country at the moment.
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:46 AM   #118
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Rise Up by Parachute Club is going to be his funeral song.

Rise Up - Parachute Club - YouTube

I like it.
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:59 AM   #119
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Rise Up by Parachute Club is going to be his funeral song.

I like it.


Absolutely awesome...I loved this song when I was a kid. Perfect, perfect.


Quote:
Rise Up

(Rise up rise up)
Oh rise and show your power
(Rise up rise up)
Were dancing into the sun
(Rise up rise up)
It's time for celebration
(Rise up rise up)
Spirits time has come

We want lovin' we want laughter again
We want heartbeat
We want madness to end
We want dancin'
We wanna run in the streets
We want freedom to live in this peace
We want power
We want to make it ok
Want to be singin' at the end of the day
Children to breathe a new life
We want freedom to love who we please

*Chorus
(Rise up rise up)
Oh rise and show your power
(Rise up rise up)
Everybody dance into the sun
(Rise up rise up)
It's time for celebration
(Rise up rise up)
The spirits time has come

Talkin' 'bout the right time to be workin' for peace
Wantin' all the tension in the world to ease
This tightrope's gotta learn how to bend
We're makin' new plans
Gonna start it again

(Repeat chorus)
Rise up now

It's time, it's time, it's time

(Rise up rise up)
Oh rise and show your power
(Rise up rise up)
But dance into the sun
(Rise up rise up)
It's time for a celebration
(Rise up rise up)
Everbody's time has come
Spirits time has come
Spirits time has come

(Rise up rise up)
Oh rise and show your power
(Rise up rise up)
All dance into the sun
(Rise up rise up)
It's time for a celebration
(Rise up rise up)
Everbody's time has come
Spirits time has come
Spirits time has come
(Rise up rise up)
Oh rise and show your power...
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Old 08-26-2011, 05:55 PM   #120
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Lorraine Segato is from my hometown. She is a life long lefty.
Lanois produced the track pre-u2.
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