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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Wednesday 13 May 2015

Income Splitting, Fractured Society

The fight rages on over income splitting; the spinners smile when they feel the narrative is going their way, furl their brows and gnash their teeth when they feel it isn't.

The people with tons of money will focus on what they give and why they're deserving of government largess, and point to social assistance as proof some get more than they should, and more than they put in.  

Those with less will look at who they consider wealthy - not just the exorbitantly wealthy who could give away half their income in taxes and still live like kings compared to everyone else, but those who can actually work one job, pay the bills and take two-week vacations while never worrying about things like affording groceries or daycare.

Political parties will play one group off the other for votes, and then do things their way.

None of them get it.

Laissez faire doesn't work, because it implies the people at the top want to spend money in ways that will benefit those at the bottom - hires, training, purchase of craft goods, whatever.  That doesn't happen.  Blame the poor for not convincing the rich to seed their business or hire them, but if it takes money to raise money and you start with none, you're kinda screwed, aren't you?

When the expectation is on those without to fight harder for their share, they will - but when the rules of the game are exclusive by nature, the people pick other rules to fight by.

Teachers are protesting, in essence, the downloading of parenting from the home to the school, with fewer resources available (ECEs) and more kids in fewer spaces with more complex needs present. The narrative is being shaped by those who know best how to get headlines as one of salaries and benefits more than the really pressing issue, which is the structural failing of the educational system.

The healthcare system costs too much, and so the emphasis is on how to reduce service, getting new moms out of the hospital as quickly as possible, putting restrictions on drugs without providing alternatives, so on and so forth.  Financial well-being is replacing humanity in our social services.

The assumption on the part of government is that people might get mad, might write some nasty letters-to-the-editor or post some bitter tweets, but they won't go any further.  There is an embarrassing ignorance at the top of how much rage their is at the bottom, getting worse day after day.

For government's portraying themselves as kings of security, you can't have road blockades or protests that go ugly happen on your streets without looking weak to the block you're appealing to, so you clap down harder.  The people targeted the most are those with the least opportunity.

It can all go so wrong, so quickly.  We've seen it happen before.

There is, of course, an alternative.  It requires sacrifices of different kinds from different elements of society; it requires an emphasis on long-term gains, making the effort to understand complexities and true empathy - the desire and ability to understand a person's circumstances through their eyes.

Yet here we stand, on the burning platform, waiting until we are fully engulfed before deciding to jump.  

I've heard some rich folk talk about how the poor are wrecking the country and how they are raising their kids to be mobile - ie, leave Canada for greener pastures should things get too bad.  Where, I would ask, would they go that's better?

That's the one thing I wish people would understand, would internalize and accept; there's nowhere else to go.  There is this world, and there are the people in it.  The people who annoy you won't go away; the people you take advantage of can't endure it forever.  Something has to give.

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