Q: Do you think rich people should pay more taxes?
A: To tax individuals, whether rich or not, is not a modern way to raise public revenue. Governments should claim the revenue they require directly from the economy’s active collective units, not from individuals. An active collective unit is a group of people working in the economy, usually a company.
As far as individuals go, whatever money you earn should belong to you. It is ridiculous to lose a third or more of your wages in taxes and then even more through sales taxes every time you go shopping or eat out. Governments should not take away the money you have earned, which belongs to you by right. You earned it through work producing value of one kind or another. Governments’ role is to ensure economic stability and security, and peace of mind for all so that they can contribute to the economy and society to the best of their abilities. The revenue government requires to fulfill its social responsibilities should come from the collective economic units active in production and distribution.
Traditionally, governments have claimed revenue from state-owned public assets such as Canada Post and the now long-privatized Air Canada and Canadian National Railways, as well as city and provincial engineering and construction companies, the Bank of Canada, provincial liquor stores etc. The current anti-social neo-liberal line is to privatize public assets and deprive governments of their revenue so that the rich can get richer by seizing for themselves all the wealth those public assets produce. We are told public enterprises are not profitable or sustainable, which is not true. The rich spread this nonsense so they can take them over to expand their private empires. They want to own and control all the public enterprises so that they can have for themselves all the value those assets produce and deprive governments of the value. The MLPC believes this should be stopped and reversed.
The question you raise on taxes about how much certain individuals should pay takes us away from the heart of the matter of who decides what revenue is required and what it should be used for, and how governments go about claiming the revenue they need.
Canadians do not have any input or control over how much public revenue is needed or how it is spent. This must change with people becoming informed and involved in deciding how much public money is needed. This is of particular importance in the essential sectors where so many work such as education and health care.
Take education for example. Teachers, administrators, other education workers, students and parents of students are best placed to decide how much money the education system requires to create a great learning environment for students. They should have the power to decide the amount and how it is spent! Also, in addition to public revenue destined for education, the companies that hire educated students should pay directly to the public education system for the value those students bring to the company through their education and expertise at work.
The public revenue required in all sectors should be established on a transparent basis. It must be based on society’s all-sided needs, not the whims of a political party in power and the private interests it serves. Once the amounts are decided, the collective economic units active in the economy are responsible for handing over to governments the amount they owe. The amount from each unit should be determined by transparent national and regional standards according to the unit’s size and role in the economy.