Thanksgiving is a time when Canadians, of all people, should express their gratitude of living in a free country where most of us do not suffer hunger or exposure or poverty.
So often I hear or read exaggerated comments about how we are being ripped off, especially by those who happen to have more of this world’s wealth and goods than we do.
Unfortunately there is a prevailing thought, especially among those who basically have more than enough to enjoy life, that only crooks and cheats become rich.
Not only that but they obtain their wealth at the expense of middle or lower class people.
The scenario continues that somehow those who have money get off easy when it comes to paying taxes. The cry goes out over and over again that these folks need to pay their fair share.
I no longer work out of the home but during my working years I was employed by a bank, a utility company and also for a short time we had a business of our own.
I have often said I saw the worst of humanity when we owned an insurance office which also prepared income tax returns for the general public.
When it came to lying and cheating, middle and lower class people could hold their own with the upper class just fine!
It was a challenge to ascertain just what the truth really was when interviewing some clients. So often the idea was that if it was the government or a corporation, people had a perfect right to steal from them because they deserved it. It was payback time!
Even when I was a bank employee, staff would steal petty items, such as light bulbs and toilet paper from the supply room in order to make up for the “inadequate wages” they had received.
Little thought is given to just how important corporations and the wealthy are in our society.
Let’s deal with the corporations first. How many of us realize the workforce these corporations employ? For instance, the Royal Bank of Canada had a payroll of 75,510 individuals in 2016, Trans Canada Utilities employs 7,100 workers and Manulife Insurance Company has a staff of 34,000 plus 63,000 agents.
Can we presume most of these employees pay income tax?
Contrary to what some people think should be the norm for Corporations, these companies are in business to make a profit. They are not charitable organizations!
Do they add to the overall economy of Canada,? Of course they do. Love them or hate them, we need them.
Now let’s talk about the so-called unfair taxes the wealthy pay, the personal income taxes paid by the country’s high-skilled, educated workers including entrepreneurs, business professionals, engineers, doctors and lawyers.
Well, in 2013 the top 10 per cent of income earners accounted for 35 per cent of Canada’s total income, yet paid 54 per cent of federal and provincial income taxes. This is data according to Statistics Canada.
So 10 percent of taxpayers paid 54 per cent of the countries income tax, while earning 34 per cent of the income. Does that seem fair enough for you?
Nothing to compare that too? How about this: The middle and lower class earners in Canada account for 22 per cent of all working income and paid a whopping 13 per cent of all income taxes.
Chew on that for a while, then maybe we could agree on just being thankful to God for what we have, food in our stomachs and a roof over our heads, as well as a few other trinkets!