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August 30, 2002

Colby Cosh


I must earnestly recommend to anyone who has a brain and a sense of humor that they stop everything else they’re doing and check out the writings of Colby Cosh which you can check out here.

Mr. Cosh’s day job is as Senior Editor of The Report, Canada's independent conservative newsmagazine, but that can’t be nearly as much fun as his website. In a topic close to my heart as an entrepreneur, following is an excerpt from a fairly serious discussion of the excesses of Canadian taxation:

By world standards, Canada is in fact good at facilitating the creation and survival of enormous private fortunes. It is not so good at encouraging people to make that step from a $40,000 income to a $60,000 one, or from $60,000 to $80,000.

The experience of the typical Canadian working person is a slide backward that never seems to end. Work for a raise, or put in overtime, and you'll see about half of every extra dollar you've earned disappear. Assuming you can hold a job and go up the salary ladder in the first place, that is. As the Fraser Institute has pointed out, the average Canadian's tax bill increased $761 in the past year.

Income taxes went down, but the gain was promptly swallowed by Canada Pension Plan contribution hikes. If you fly, there's a new "security" tax. If you drink or smoke, you're paying more tax than you did before: I'm paying $3 a pack more for cigarettes than I did at the start of 2002, but then, smoking makes me evil so I deserve to be broke. Medicare premiums are going up in the provinces that have them; but those that don't will have them soon, don't worry.

These are the good times, mind. The pattern is that taxes more or less stagnate when there's no crisis, and go up when there is. They don't ever go down. I speak solely from the standpoint of one who works for a living. This, of course, is unforgivable selfishness in a Canadian.

On a less ideological note, I can’t help but quote his observation on airline safety in Canada:

My morning Post tells me the U.S. Transport Security Administration has
abandoned the routine check-in questions in air terminals. "Did you pack your own luggage?" Naw, I let my friend do it--my friend Abdul, fresh out of university in Pakistan! He is, like, the goddamn packing master! I think it was his major! Canada is retaining the routine questions, which a ministry spokesman explained by saying "We're all pretty much bonobos with chromosome damage around here." I'm paraphrasing, of course.



posted by Friedrich at August 30, 2002


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