Robin Hood economics

From time immemorial a popular proposal of politicians is to “soak” the rich.

It appeals to many and mainly affects only a minority. However, it is a bad idea with adverse consequences for all of us.

Still, it is suggested that the wealthy should bear more of the tax burden. It is unseemly that the wealthy should pay taxes at a lower rate than most of us.

Clearly what should transpire is that tax loopholes be eliminated such as moving income to other nations with low taxes, like the Cayman Islands. Canada receives no benefit whatsoever from that gimmick.

Governments across the land should have as their objective to further our economy so that knowledge-based workers are attracted and retained while being able to realize their full potential.

Many years ago this columnist called on the office of the prime minister of Ireland, a nation which was enjoying the best economic performance of almost any nation. There it was suggested that Canada should follow that example of a low personal tax rate and applied also to capital gains taxes. Our failure to follow that example was questioned.

We should have as our objective to lure knowledge-based workers and secure their abilities in order to achieve that goal. The problem is nowhere more obvious than our personal tax policy as it applies to capital gains.

We have made our economy less competitive by our personal tax rate that is the sixth highest in the industrialized world behind, for example France.

Our top year bracket is 53.4 per cent, one that will become even more onerous under the Trudeau administration’s plans to tax upper income earners to boost the middle class.  With that, how can we expect to have the best entrepreneurs and innovators work here? To attract the best personnel here success must be rewarded and enterprising capital should be based here.

Robin Hood economics may be a winning strategy for electoral success but it certainly harms our economic prospects. One must also be aware that higher corporate taxes mean lower wages for workers and higher prices for consumers.

We must re-adjust our tax policies to further enhance our economic prospects. We should have more wherewithal to be prosperous, following examples that work.

Our demagogic politicians no longer must fail to face facts.



Bruce Whitestone