For­get cuts, start col­lect­ing

The Compass - - Editorial -

The so­lu­tion to the gov­ern­ment’s debt prob­lem is not over-spend­ing; it is un­der-col­lect­ing. The gov­ern­ment needs to gov­ern ef­fec­tively and ef­fi­ciently, but it does not need to harm peo­ple through health­care cuts, make us less ed­u­cated and less skilled through ed­u­ca­tion cuts or de­pop­u­late the prov­ince with em­ploy­ment cuts.

While the cap­i­tal­is­tic bosses of­fer cuts as the only so­lu­tion, they are merely try­ing to cam­ou­flage them­selves from hav­ing any pos­si­ble part in the so­lu­tion. This is, of course, fool­ish talk.

We have just re­cently seen the cap­i­tal­is­tic bosses beat back an at­tempt by the cap­i­tal­is­tic Lib­eral party to make the use of the tax sys­tem’s loop­holes more eth­i­cal. In a cam­paign that seethed with hys­te­ria, these bosses de­fended their part­ner bosses from hav­ing to stop us­ing the tax sys­tem’s loop­holes in an un­eth­i­cal and, some­times, an il­le­gal man­ner. Their take-no­pris­on­ers de­fense drove the eas­ily con­vinced Fi­nance Min­is­ter Bill Morneau - who could not even bring him­self to put his busi­ness shares into a blind trust to pre­vent be­ing in a con­flict of in­ter­est - to back away from clos­ing the fla­grant mis­use of these loop­holes

While the cap­i­tal­is­tic bosses of­fer cuts as the only so­lu­tion, they are merely try­ing to cam­ou­flage them­selves from hav­ing any pos­si­ble part in the so­lu­tion.

and, even more so, to bring the tax rate of the bosses’ busi­nesses down by 1.5 per cent.

Surely the use of these tax loop­holes, eth­i­cal or not, and the tax re­duc­tion of 1.5 per cent pro­vides room for a pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment that is in dire straits to find the so­lu­tion for our large deficit in the lowly taxed sta­tus of the cap­i­tal­is­tic bosses group. It surely is the duty of those who get more out of our so­ci­ety than those of us not blessed by loop­hole ad­van­tages and re­duced tax rates, to come to the aid of our prov­ince. It is the duty of those favoured by these spe­cial treat­ments to pony up the money to de­feat our deficit.

On an­other hand, I see no ra­tio­nal­ity to these bosses’ ar­gu­ments that they can­not af­ford to raise the em­ploy­ees’ rate of pay to at least $15 an hour. Af­ter all, they’re not pay­ing out the money. When they price their goods they take into ac­count the costs of labour, freight, busi­ness, en­ergy and all other fac­tors and they put their rate of profit on top of that and pass that price on to us as the cost of the prod­uct. Con­sumers pay that price, in­clud­ing labour. Noth­ing comes out of the pock­ets of the bosses for the in­creased wages, be­cause if they are run­ning their busi­nesses prop­erly, only the profit goes to the bosses, while all the ex­penses are in­ter­nal to the com­pany.

With the in­crease from $11 to $15 - paid for by the con­sumer - we would be in­creas­ing the amount of money cir­cu­lat­ing in our econ­omy by 26.7 per cent if all peo­ple were start­ing from $11. But, of course, only the min­i­mum wage group are, so fig­ure maybe an in­crease of 15 per cent.

This de­mo­graphic of wage earn­ers will not be putting this money into fine wines, ex­otic cars or con­vo­luted busi­ness plans. They are go­ing to spend this money on ba­sic, every­day items and this should al­low the bosses to make even greater prof­its to en­able them to put their shoul­ders to the wheel and cover off the deficit for the good of the whole pop­u­la­tion.

P.F. Mur­phy writes from St. John’s

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