Archive for Taxation
Dave Killion — February 5, 2013
The Frontier Centre for Public Policy brings to our attention a recent Wall Street Journal article concerning state income taxes in the U.S., and the governors who are looking to eliminate them -
“Washington may be a tax reform wasteland, but out in the states the action is hot and heavy. Nine states—including such fast-growing places as Florida, Tennessee and Texas—currently have no income tax, and the race is on to see which will be the tenth, and perhaps the 11th and 12th.”….”Income taxes generally do more economic harm (than sales taxes) because they are a direct penalty on saving, investment and labor that create new wealth. Sales taxes, by contrast, hit consumption, which is the result of that wealth creation. Governors Jindal, McCrory and Heineman cite the growing evidence that states with low or no income taxes have done better economically in recent decades compared to states with income-tax rates of 10% or more.”
Replacing lost income tax revenue with sales tax revenue is frowned on in some circles as regressive, since families who don’t currently pay income taxes will become subject to sales taxes. There are ways to correct this, such as declining to tax certain items such as food and clothing, or issuing tax rebates. But the optimal solution? Cut spending. Government is too big, does too much, and does it all poorly. Roll it back, and enjoy your increased prosperity.
The benefits of eliminating the income tax are well-established. The only questions are these: why is there NO Canadian province or territory without an income tax, and why is there no one in Canada campaigning for repeal? I wish I knew. But if the Free Province Project gets some legs, don’t be surprised if this is one of the first issues they take on.
Dave Killion — November 17, 2012
I’ve met vegetarians who say that people who want to eat meat should kill and process the animal themselves. The idea is that we are so removed from the violence and ugliness of the process that most would simply give up meat. Those vegetarians should be prime candidates for conversion to libertarianism!
Say to them, “If you want Peter to pay for Paul’s health care/education/retirement, even if Peter doesn’t want to,then you should personally go Peter’s house and use whatever level of violence you think is necessary to force Peter to hand over the money.” Being so far removed from the savagery inherent in the welfare state, I imagine said vegetarians (indeed, all people) would, in the face of such a daunting prospect, quickly lay aside their appetites for other peoples’ possessions, and embrace more peaceful pursuits.
Dave Killion — May 29, 2012
Quebec students have been protesting for over 100 days , and I have repeatedly heard pundits debating whether or not increased tuition would lower university enrollment. I would think it’s more important to determine whether or not it lowers university graduations.
And if you weren’t being forced to subsidize university students, why would you even care about that?
Dave Killion — April 28, 2012
A metaphor for the manner and degree to which the Honduran government intervenes in the national economy.
Writer Jody Paterson, formerly of Victoria, recently packed up her life and moved to Honduras, where she is doing volunteer work for Cuso International. She continues to blog, and a recent post contains enough errors that it will take a few posts to address them all. Let’s begin at the beginning -
“We were commiserating over breakfast yesterday with the owner of the little hotel in Tegucigalpa where we stay when on Cuso International business. He described Honduras as a capitalist country without the balance of a social structure, which struck me as a near-perfect description of the place.
Honduras is the real-life embodiment of the kind of governance that conservative political forces in Canada, the U.S. and Great Britain think they want for their own countries. It has a free-market economy with very little government interference, a political structure built around the needs of business and the upper-class, and a distinct absence of social supports.”
This particular hotel owner appears to be a poor source of high-quality economic analysis. According to the 2012 edition of the “Index of Economic Freedom“, Honduras is ranked 98th in the world. In case you are wondering, this is not good. Not only is the Honduran economy labeled Mostly Unfree, but it is also below both the world AND regional averages for economic freedom -
“… completing licensing requirements remains costly. Labor regulations are burdensome and outmoded. A large part of the labor force relies on the informal sector for employment. The government continues to regulate the prices of key products and services.”
Expensive licensing requirements, burdensome labour regulation, and price controls are hallmarks of economic policies designed to manipulate economies so as to maintain or increase state power by favouring special interests. Although it is all too common for critics of free enterprise and limited government to blame troubles on those institutions, we can see quite clearly that that is not the situation in this case. Hondurans may have many things, but of free markets and limited governments they have none.