05.12.2015 10:05 PM

I think the Thomsons, Westons, Pattisons and Irvings receive quite enough benefits, don’t you?

Maybe it’s because it’s been a while since my book on this income inequality thing. Maybe it’s because the Occupy kids have moved on. Maybe it’s because I’m missing something. 

But saying this: “Benefiting every single family isn’t what’s fair.”

I don’t see what’s wrong with that. 

Sure, Justin Trudeau has made some verbal flubs. Sure, he isn’t as polished as Angry Tom, or whomever. But saying the 99 per cent deserve more benefits from their government than the one per cent? I don’t see that as a mistake. 

I see that as good politics. 

64 Comments

  1. UFP Ambassador says:

    Seriously…income splitting is for the 1%? TFSA’s are for the 1%? Wow, I must be a helluva a lot richer than I thought. I guess my $100K’ish salary and my wife who stays home to raise the kids makes me a Rothschild or a Rockefeller, eh Warren?

    • Kelly says:

      Why should upper middle income earners like YOU and I benefit from income splitting and a single mom who works at Loblaws for $15 an hour get NO benefit from this unfair conservative plan? Why not close high income tax loopholes and simplify the tax code? Why not enhance CPP — it’s efficient and low risk and guaranteed. Those are real conservative approaches, not the phony ones that the phony economist heading a phony majority government is foisting on future generations.

      • Lyn says:

        Kelly and Scott: The single mother that earns $15.00 per hour work at Loblaws, I say doesn’t pay any income tax with all the tax credits that we have now for single women and men. Lots of tax breaks for family’s, nice to see the Conservative have made this possible, since in office. I’m a senior and our tax’s have never been lower.

        Go Harper Go!

        • Kelly says:

          Conservatives dont get it. $15 an hour for a single mom isn’t enough to live with the ability to make real economic choices or participate in the economy in a really significant way. Money is about choices and power. Money is not really tied to how hard one works, so it’s not a valid tool for distributing power in society. Everyone is equal and the point of governments role in the economy — in a real democracy — is to ensure a balancing of citizens ability to have a voice and options — in other words, freedom. Thats why we redistribute income. That’s why we need policy that addresses real need, rather than discriminate against certain family structures.

          And in case you don’t “get” that, why should a family that has one $100k income get more of a break than the one with two $50k incomes. And at the end of the day, a $100k income is waaay above the Canadian average. That’s why this whole middle class debate is BS. We have too many people living in absolute poverty. It’s a scar on an increasingly pathetic country.

          • Danny Aldham says:

            No, Liberals don’t get it.
            My wife makes about $15 an hour. I make considerably more.
            My two next door neighbors both make just over $30 an hour. Both our households have the same gross income, but we pay $10K more in taxes.
            That is not fair.

  2. Michael says:

    In that case, should the wealthy also be barred from receiving universal healthcare? Regardless, Trudeau will have a tough time winning votes from 905ers that benefit from income splitting and whoever likes the TFSA.

    • Kelly says:

      Poor argument. Everyone benefits from universal healthcare, and access to healthcare is a human right under international charters that we have signed. The idle rich need to start paying more taxes like they used to before Mulroney came along. We need to start managing societal risk, so that more people can participate in the economy in a significant way and markets grow. This is why high tax Scandinavian economies are dynamic, innovative and entrepreneurial, yet poverty is very low. Those countries are truly conservative, just as the NDP is the only real conservative party. Conservative people don’t enact policies that require people to fend for themselves when markets fail. Phony economists — people who’ve only ever worked as lobbyists or politicians and learned about life from books, sitting alone in their parents suburban basement, while everyone else was out with their girlfriends — propose policies like those Mr. Oliver announced.

      • Bruce Marcille says:

        Scandinavian economies are wildly different from Canada’s; as they are from each other. Is Finnish oil like Norwegian oil? Never heard of it, but i doubt it’s like Canada’s vastly larger supply of heavy oil.
        Their health care systems are nothing like ours and are, in fact, more reliant upon co-pay and private sector delivery. More innovative or dynamic? At least this confirms that you’ve never been there (or likely to a major Canadian city) because the innovation going on in North America daily validates Europe as the “Old World.”

      • monkey says:

        Scandinavian Countries are not nearly as socialistic as many on the left think. Their corporate taxes are actually lower than ours while top marginal tax bracket is higher but the biggest difference is they have a 25% VAT thus why they can have much better social programs than we can. Besides when it comes to social programs, 4 of the 5 Nordic Countries have user fees for health care which we prohibit, although they are quite small and the government pays most of the cost, while also all of them have a parallel private system albeit quite small too which is something most on the left generally oppose in Canada. So yes we could copy the Nordic Countries but it would mean adopting very different policies than many on the Canadian left favour. The Heritage Foundation ranked Denmark # 10 for economic freedom and generally economic freedom is not something you associate with socialism. Europe over the past 30 years has swung quite a bit to the right and most Canadians on both sides of the spectrum fail to realize this thus many on the right wrongly point to Greece as proof socialism doesn’t work while many on the left wrongly point to the Nordic Countries as proof socialism works. In reality Europe in pretty much every country has been dominated by centre-right governments over the past 30 years and they’ve only been more centrist than our Conservatives is they need to form coalitions, but the actual percentage who vote for parties on the right is generally higher in Europe than Canada and in fact with the rise of the NDP here and decline of social democratic parties in Europe, the percentage voting for left wing parties (note I count the Liberals as centrists) is now the same unlike in the 90s when it was much higher in Europe.

    • Lyn says:

      Michael: You are so right. I totally agree.

      Go Harper Go!

  3. patrick says:

    “This is what happens when you go off script.” What does that mean? Our blessed prime minister is only functional on script? We should obediently stay on script? The prime minister can’t handle anything that isn’t on script? That the prime minister couldn’t deliver a prescripted to punchline to save his life. That the cackling back benchers are nothing but a bunch of trained seals.
    Is there any real point to question period as it now functions?

    • Peter Mumford says:

      I think Harper’s trying to reinforce the perception that Trudeau can’t be trusted without supervision; that when he attempts to go “off script” he says foolish things. But saying “benefiting every single family isn’t what’s fair” isn’t a particularly foolish thing to say. You can disagree with it, but it doesn’t really qualify as a gaffe.

      • Matt says:

        Which I think is exactly why Harper dropped the bomb on the consortium (CTV, CBC, Global) controlled leaders debates yesterday. Too much scripted talk, too much relying on prepared talking points.

        With a more free flowing debate, Trudeau will be “unscripted” and have to think on his feet. History suggests he’ll get himself into trouble going off script – admiring China’s dictatorship, Russia would increase action against Ukraine because Putin was mad they lost at Olympic hockey, ‘whipping out our CF-18’s to show ISIL how big they are” to name a few examples.

        • doconnor says:

          It’s more that Harper never goes off script and has stronger will power to stick to his talking points no matter how little sense they make, like Sara Palin in her non-disastrous Vice-Presidential debate.

          Trudeau does go off script and think on his feet, although it sometime results in clumsy phasing.

      • Lance says:

        I think I get what Trudeau is trying to say. He is essentially saying that it doesn’t do any good to help everyone a little bit; it is better to help the people who need it more the most.

        I don’t take issue with what he said; in fact I can agree with it. The problem is that Trudeau is a terrible communicator. He gets off track easily, constantly needs to have what he MEANT to say re-explained by someone else, and context provided, etc. The Conservatives are exploiting that, which Harper did with his “off script” response. It was only Question Period. If that were a campaign debate, it would have been devastating.

        By the way, what is with the earpiece? He can’t need a translation, so what gives? Too loud in the Chamber to hear? Getting orders from Liberal mission control? What?

  4. Al in Cranbrook says:

    Couple thoughts about this…

    I am reminded of that line, “Everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others.” Different implication, but same rationalization.

    Tax Freedom Day now arrives on June 9, which is about 20 days short of what it was back in 2006. The middle class have been, by far, the largest benefactors of this. What it means, nevertheless, is that Joe Average taxpayer pays out just short of half of every dollar he/she makes in taxes of one kind or another in 2014.

    Haven’t got the exact numbers handy, but roughly speaking: 10% of Canadians pay something like 37% of all income taxes collected. Over 40% of Canadians don’t pay any income tax. The suggested 1% paradigm is, IMHO, utterly contrived nonsense.

    Regardless of how much money anyone manages to make in any given year, or how much they have, how is it possibly fair that they should pay over half of it in income tax? I have a huge problem with the ever so shamelessly self-serving tactic of class warfare that all too often is indulged by the left wing. What amounts to nothing less than penalizing success is, all said and done, counterproductive and ultimately self defeating. Wealthy people, by far for the most part, invest, create jobs and opportunity, and thereby generate more wealth to be shared by more people. They are a boon to any society’s health and prosperity.

    The “middle class”, by every factual measurement, are doing better in Canada now than at any time in the last half century. Don’t take my word for it; here from Andrew Coyne… http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/andrew-coyne-forget-the-liberal-mythology-canadas-middle-class-is-not-struggling

    Everyone, regardless of status or wealth, deserves to be treated fairly and equitably, including by the tax man. Period.

  5. Peter Jay says:

    The current UCB is a taxable benefit. So the Thomsons, etc are already getting way less than the average Joe.

  6. Matt from Ottawa says:

    I think his 200K cap for a new bracket is a bit fresh.. If you live in an urban area, Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, 200K doesnt make you “rich” by any means. A bit nicer car and house? Sure, but you’re not rich.

    A few things bother me. I think regardless of what you make, theres that “psychological barrier” so to speak when you take into account fed and prov taxes and you surpass the 50% mark. I think alot of people resent having to pay more than half their taxes to government. In NB, if the plan goes through, the marginal tax rate will be 58%, and we arent seeing many professionals flock there such as Drs bc they are already passed the threshold. Also, I find it a bit disingenuous to use himself and all politicans as an example that theyll pay a little bit more too. Well thats great, except us common folk dont have expense accounts, travel vouchers, per-diems and housing and car allowances, so its a little bit different.

    I am far from rich myself, but with regards to the TFSA factor. 2 weeks ago I received my Q1 bonus of $1900 and I put into my TFSA and live off my salary. Will I max out this year at the new 10K limit? No. But still, $7600 isnt bad.

    • Jeff P says:

      Matt. You’re rich. Get over yourself.

      A nicer house and car???? Try getting any house and car on the average Ottawa wage.

      $7600 in annual bonuses? That’s more than 4 months salary at $11 per hour.

      I think it might be time for you to take a drive around Heron Gate and realize how lucky you are.

      • Elisabeth Lindsay says:

        If you are only making $11.00 per hour you do not pay income taxes.

      • Matt from Ottawa says:

        Jeff,

        My apologies for working my ass off getting a Masters, making sacrifices and paying down my loans. If you must know. while in Uni I was working 2 jobs while juggling school and 4 jobs in the summer working about 80 hours a week. (all minimum wage jobs). I work very hard at my job which allows me to get bonuses that work out to about 12K a year before deductions. I guess since I cant post my T4 on here my base is 54K +12K thats 66K, so my apologies for being so filthy rich. I figured I am able to save that money because I watch what I spend. I drive a 2000 Honda with almost 400K on it, and dont buy $5 coffees daily amongst other things.

  7. Matt says:

    Well, for starters the Conservatives will plant the seed that when, not if but when Trudeau realizes he can’t get the money out of the “rich” for all of his grand spending plans he’ll raise taxes on everyone else.

    Can you tell Trudeau’s being advised by members of Obama’s team? What’s next? Is he going to tell small business owners “You didn’t build that”

  8. Curt says:

    So you name four very rich families. What about the other 35 million of us. Canada is for all of us. We are all equal even though you make a hell of a lot less money than those people you mention. One person one vote.

  9. Matt says:

    Then of course there is this from a speech he gave recently

    “In short, fairness for the middle class and those working hard to join it is good for all of us. It’s good for Canada,” he said. “And, I might say, if we don’t deliver fairness, Canadians will eventually entertain more radical options. All of the time I’ve spent with Canadians tells me that the status quo is not sustainable. Change is coming, my friends. What we need is leadership and a plan to shape that change responsibly, for the benefit of all.”

    More radical options?????

    He’s starting to sound like a raving lunatic.

    http://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/trudeau-warns-the-rich-to-watch-out-again/ar-BBjDfsd?ocid=mailsignout

    • MF says:

      “The first will be last and the last will be first and the times they are a changing.”

    • MM says:

      “More radical options????”

      He was speaking to a Toronto business crowd. I assume he was referring to the NDP.

      • Peter Mumford says:

        [MM wrote} “I assume he was referring to the NDP.”

        But then he goes on to say, “What we need is leadership and a plan to shape that change responsibly.” So Justin would do what the NDP would do, only more “responsibly”?

  10. Matt says:

    “Benefiting every single family isn’t what’s fair.”

    That’s got the potential to rival Stephane Dion’s “Do you think it’s easy to set priorities?”

  11. Liam Young says:

    It’s a failed platform for both the Liberals and the Cons because neither have a plan for CREATING jobs, and without jobs, income tax giveaways mean NOTHING. They are empty promises.

    And WHY are we in this endless race to the bottom? Every year, we see that the greatest standards of living are in regions that have the highest tax levels.

    Also, as an aside, I’m not sure what to make of this ‘Angry Tom’ title. Just because he’s been the only one with a spine to call out Harper and his goons in the last 4 years (and longer), doesn’t mean he should have to live with a negative to his name. I’ve seen many Liberals start to use this title in an apparent strategy to alienate Canadians from a politician that has a backbone, unlike the insipid, sad ‘Living By My Father’s Name Justin’ who just apes whatever Harper rams down Canadians’ throats.

    • Bill says:

      You make a good point about the jobs, it’s actually a phenom that’s happening globally.

      But, after your jabs at failed CPC,LPC platforms on jobs, you don’t tell us how the NDP would create them.

      I’d like to hear it.

  12. Steve T says:

    There was an article recently, citing a StatsCan figure in which the upper 1% of income-earners pay approximately 20% of the total taxes in Canada. Yet they likely consume closer to 1% of the benefits (healthcare; road usage; police services; etc..). Is that fair?

    I’m not advocating for a flat tax, and I’m hardly in that 1% myself, but it’s a useful statistic to keep in mind when Justin starts riding the “unfairness” horse.

    • Elisabeth Lindsay says:

      It is the 1% that is building the hospitals, funding the charities and building the communities here in BC and I am sure the same could be said elsewhere as well.

      Income taxes are not the only taxes that are going to Governments.

      Don`t forget that the single tax payer is funding THREE forms of Governments, and each level of Government has a huge bureaucracy which quickly gobbles up the majority of those taxes in their higher salaries and benefits.

      I would like to know how much of that money actually gets to those that need it.

      • doconnor says:

        I’m pretty sure the government provides most of the funds to build hospitals, provides most of the benefits to those in poverty and supervises community building. Individuals buy the houses in those communities.

        Salaries for lower paid government workers are higher, but managers are paid less then in the private sector.

        In the private sector there are hundreds of large companies, each with their own bureaucracy and high priced managers and executives.

        “Income taxes are not the only taxes that are going to Governments.”

        Yes. Most other taxes are more regressive then income taxes.

  13. JH says:

    In the words of the immortal Harry Bosch, ‘Everybody counts, or nobody counts.’

  14. Gayle says:

    I am actually astonished that people think this was a gaffe. It is entirely consistent with what he has been saying.

    I live in a higher income household without children. I have had really no benefits from Harper’s tax plan cuts, and I very much dislike the fact that my tax dollars are being used to give wealthy parents more money. I much prefer a plan that gives more money to families who need it more. It is so obviously better for the country to stagger benefits based on income.

    I am taxed at a higher rate, and have no problem paying a higher tax rate. One of the reasons I have a higher income is because I benefited from a taxpayer subsidized education. Not everyone can access higher education, but we all pay for those who do. That is why you do not have to be wealthy to have a higher education (though we are rapidly getting to the point where only the rich can afford that too). Business owners benefit from the tax subsidized education of their staff, tax funded transportation systems that bring their staff to work, maintenance of the roads that carry their goods to the community, police who protect their goods and staff, military who protect our way of life in Canada, health benefits that keep their staff healthy and productive etc etc.

    Believe me, people who make over 200 k/year are not going to suffer from a hike in their taxes. People who make less will benefit from a more generous child tax benefit. Those kids deserve opportunity, and Trudeau’s plan is more likely to give that to them.

  15. Joe says:

    Ah the dreary side of leftist politics the “If I can’t then you can’t”. If I can’t be rich then you can’t be rich. If I can’t be a man then you can’t be a man. If I can’t afford good health care then you can’t have good health care. etc etc etc. All the good and noble things brought about by progressives are greatly diminished by this kind of tripe.

  16. GFMD says:

    Treating everyone the same isn’t treating everyone equally. That’s pretty basic.

  17. eric weiss says:

    Math is hard.

  18. Priyesh says:

    I agree. Poorly phrased. But 100% good policy.

    • Priyesh says:

      Unfortunately true. I worry about Trudeau’s inability to think off script more and more. I also worry that the people writing his script are the same idiots who tanked the party for the past 20 years.

  19. patrick says:

    Just a thought, but it’s wages that have to go up so there is fuel for the economy. Way more important than tax breaks.

  20. davie says:

    ‘Benefitting every single family isn’t fair,…’ This is what the Conservatives and their media pals are sneeringly cherry picking.
    ‘…helping families that need help, that’s fair.’ (or something like that) is what JT continued in that sentence.
    …unless there is something wrong with CPAC or my tv,…or maybe in Conservative Canada we stop a sentence with a comma now.

  21. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Warren,

    I also see it as good politics — it dovetails nicely with Justin’s middle-class theme. However, it could quite conceivably go to Hell in a hand basket if the middle-class is not properly defined and limited.

    Going with anything like the various American definitions and it blows up right in the Canadian politician’s face.

  22. P Brennan says:

    hmmm…Angry Tom is always angry , Trudeau says dumb things, conservatives have their issues – folks above that discuss job creation are right ..thats the future…

    There are too many – some very bright and hard working people that work in government type jobs… that is why even at close to 50% paid in taxes by everyone including govt folks – that its still not enough – see debt and deficits at every level of government – much borrowed to finance not only long term assets but current cash flow shortages

    we need to grow the country workforce and/or reduce the cost of governing – its just math and it is hard..

    • davie says:

      High tech is replacing jobs at an accelerated rate, especially low paying jobs, but it is creeping everywhere. Robotics and computer run this and that are replacing workers. Heck, a person soon won’t be able to get a start in life as bush or fighter pilot the way drone robotics are going.
      As well, increasingly, this high tech is owned by fewer and fewer people. 10’s of thousands over decades can build the high tech, but a couple of young guys get a patent on a result of all that work and development, and they become billionaires with exclusive rights, all protected by our state control of property.

      The crown, or state, awards property rights, land, monopolies, patents, licenses and such that exclude increasing numbers of us from our common wealth, and enables capital, the property owners, to artificially redistribute all wealth to themselves. The ‘job creators’ as their pr and political fronts call them, have more of the wealth, the rest of us simply hope that we will be given a job so that we can take an increasingly smaller piece of the pie for our families and ourselves.

      I have a hard time seeing the trends change unless we figure out a way, a fair way, to change the trend to fewer and fewer controlling more and more of our property and wealth. Our governments, with assorted ‘trade’ treaties, are accelerating this trend by undermining national, provincial and municipal ownership and control of anything.

      (As the past 4 years have revealed this and that, the more I realize that the candidate in our constituency in 2011 who had the most accuratte take on the way the world is going was the Pirate Party candidate.)

  23. !o! says:

    It’s great. It resonates like all hell and puts conservatives into a hell of a tizzy.

    • davie says:

      Conservs almost sound like that Anatole France one liner that goes something like, – The law forbids both the rich and the poor to sleep under the bridges, beg in the streets, and steal bread.

  24. CSM says:

    Warren, I admire your trying to reframe the statement.

    Of course, the richest of us do not need government subsidies. Rationally, the extra few hundred or thousand dollars a years is meaningless to them. Emotionally, I am not so sure. But this statement is not just about the new Child Care Benefit. To many, it starts us wondering whether this philosophy would be applied to all “universal” programs. It get us wondering if a federal government applied this standard, would it spread to the provincial and municipal levels?

    Given the costs of healthcare, we have already heard ideas ranging from two tier healthcare to making the rich pay more for services. There is logic to both.

    For many, especially in the middle class, they worry that, when it comes to setting the means test, they will magically be considered rich. Not an irrational fear, as we see every year when the Sunshine List appears and, suddenly, middle class civil servants are berated for the money they earn. At what level will the newest surtax be applied or additional cost be added to services.

    It is a trust and communications thing.

    • Elisabeth Lindsay says:

      Plus…you cannot have the brackets the same across the country.

      $200,000 in the Maritimes is worth way more than it is in Toronto, Calgary or Vancouver.

      I have no idea how that could in any way be considered “fair”.

      • Gayle says:

        200 k is worth a lot in Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto.

        Are we supposed to subsidize people because of where they choose to live now?

        “Oh, it is just SO HARD to be rich in Toronto….”

        My heart bleeds.

  25. Jason H says:

    Here’s the thing. If JT had said, instead of “every family”, “rich families instead of middle class/poor families”, this wouldn’t be an issue (nor the subject of an ad, coming to a TV/radio near you). I’m not saying I’d agree with him personally, policy-wise, but that’s not my point.

    The point is, he phrased it terribly. And now he & his team will have to explain what he meant. And as (I think) Warren has said in the past, if you’re explaining, you’re losing.

    Not fair? Maybe. Probably wasn’t fair that Stanfield got defined by a dropped football, or Clark by losing his luggage, or Turner by patting someone’s backside, or…etc. That’s how it has been for decades if not longer, that’s the way it is.

    • Warren says:

      For sure. But it’s an election year, and every little thing gets turned into a Great Big Thing.

    • !o! says:

      It doesn’t matter if JT et al repeat it enough, people associate what he said with the underlying message (higher taxes on those that can afford it to create a more equal/just society), and when the words get attacked by the inevitable Con ads, people see the message as being attacked.

  26. Jim Walsh says:

    I think these debates tend to get bogged down when we forget what Government is for. It’s not supposed to be a nanny doling out treats (paid with our own money) to a selected few of us. It’s supposed to manage the roads and such and facilitate the rest of us doing the actual heavy economic lifting. It’s supposed to stay out of the damned way.

    It’s ALWAYS going to be possible to cherry-pick a particular income bracket or circumstance with a particular measure and bleat “unfair!”.

    What would best for all of us, regardless of voting intention, is if everyone was in the $200,000 per year income bracket. So the measures that the Government undertakes to strengthen the economy are more important than their division of any leftover scraps. And I think it’s on this basis that the Liberals are considerably weaker. I think the economy as a whole would suffer under a Trudeau government. And I don’t need to be 100% approving of the conservative government to hold that view.

  27. monkey says:

    I think Trudeau’s tax plan is politically smart, but economically stupid. The problem is in most provinces this will push the top bracket over 50% and when you have that it will either increase the brain drain, lead to more tax avoidance, or people may decide its not worth making the extra effort. The revenue expected goes on the assumption those making over $200,000 won’t change their behaviour. The problem is contrary to many, our tax system is quite progressive and re-distributive. The top 1% make 11% of the national income, but pay 21% of the taxes while the top 10% make 33% of the national income but pay 54% of the taxes. Too many have bought into the Occupy Wall Street’s mantra without looking at the impacts never mind occupy wall street was directed towards the extreme inequality in the US, not Canada. Our income distribution after tax is closer to the Nordic Countries (although less equal) than it is to the US. I also don’t think his plan on taxing the rich more was his view so much as the party probably ran several polls and focus groups and this looked like a vote winning issue even if economically stupid. Lets remember the chance of the Liberals getting a majority are very slim and the NDP is against raising income taxes but for higher corporate taxes which the Liberals favour so unless one of those two parties wins a majority, which seems very unlikely, there will be no tax hikes.

    • doconnor says:

      In the 1940s, 50s and 60s the highest income tax rate was way higher then what Trudeau proposes, yet economic growth, income growth and productivity growth was higher then it has been since the 1980s when neo-liberalism became dominate in North America and Europe.

      I don’t think the NDP will have any problem compromising on an income tax increase. The only reason they aren’t proposing one is to shake their tax and spend label. It’s more likely that the Liberals would abandon the promise when elected because they always govern more right-wing then they campaign.

      The big difference in the Nordic Countries is they have a much higher rates of unionization. That makes a big difference in their inequality.

  28. Africon says:

    I guess that I’m the outlier here.
    I’d assume that $15.00 per hour or approx $30k per year may be tough in places like Toronto or Vancouver.
    But for me it all comes down to our own choices about what really counts in terms of qulaity of life.

    Some (many) cannot live without their regular fix of smoke, dope or booze which all cost money.
    Some feel that they are deprived if not eating out every day. I prefer home cooked food and the company of my family/friends – um cheaper and better quality. Plus, I prefer growing and eating my own home grown food – veggies and herbs.
    I never watch movies in a theatre or watch pro sports – would rather play than watch – cheaper and healthier.
    I think that phoney plastic shows like Vegas or Disneyland are a bore and would far rather raft, hike or canoe.
    I am not compelled to wear brand name clothes or watches in order to feel “successful” perhaps due to my African roots.
    I do not work extra long hours just to pay more in taxes and be away from family, sitting in traffic.
    I feel rich, am not worried about a financial collapse, can manage off the grid if needed and have a lower carbon footprint than most.

    Poor choices in life whether they result in any number of addictions, wasted time, money and image on crap that will wind up in a garage sale ( can’t take it with you) all takes post tax money to acquire and for what??

    Think about it – what is life really all about – all of that crap or a life of purpose and personal accomplishment – the one thing that the well meaning Nanny state deprives it’s recipients of.
    So sad.

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