October 18, 2010, 5:00 am

Your Take; Would You Pay For Your Neighbor?

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Taxes
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About 2 weeks ago, I wrote about how it is nice to live in Quebec. I saw that many of you think that we are paying way too much tax for what we get in return. Most people don’t see where their taxes go and believe it just feeds the beast. I must say that the administrative beast in Quebec is one of a kind! However, after a few years, I started to think differently; I am now ready to pay for my neighbor.

A right wing agrees with the left wing

Those who know me will probably say that I am a hard, right wing capitalist. I actually like the capitalism model and like the fact that it’s up to you to make your way through and earn a decent living. I am lucky enough to have parents that provided me with a good education and still think that I would manage my way through. And this is possible because we live in a capitalist country.

Maybe it’s because I am a father that my children have pierced my capitalist armored but I am now happy that I can support others with my taxes. Not all the time (I still get upset at people in their 20s who apply for welfare), but still, I think that we don’t have the same background and that everybody deserves a chance.

So even if I can afford all kinds of insurance if I didn’t have free healthcare or that I can afford to pay for my kids’ education, I am happy to participate in a system that offers them for free.

Are you stupid or what?

Yeah… some of you may think that I am stupid. That I should care about my family and our stuff and that I would have a lot more money in my pocket if it was that way. You are probably right. However, I know that some people including some in my family or circle of friends would have a hard time paying for everything with their own means.

It is not true that everybody can make a lot of money. Why? Not because they are stupid. Not because they are cowards or they don’t have enough  motivation. In fact, we all have special talents. We all have special skills. The problem in a capitalist model is that some skills are irrelevant to make money in 2010. Some people can’t really make money with their talent or by doing what they like. And to those people, I say: keep doing what you like, you live in a place where you can do it.

I always take my wife’s previous job for example. She loves kids. And kids love her. As she is really good with them (she was able to connect with an autistic kid when most educators never got near that level) and because she is fascinated by psychology and their development, she has decided to work in a day care. She was working full time, doing a tough job and being good at it. How much was she making? $25,000 after 7 years.  TWENTY FIVE… Do you really think that if she was going out with an educator they would be able to live a comfortable life without government support? I know some people do it, but it is a crazy life. This is why I don’t mind paying taxes (even though we are getting ripped compared to tax rates by country), because I believe that some people deserve to get more than what they pay in taxes.

What’s your take?

So, do you pay for your neighbor? Do you like it? Do you think that we should drop taxes in Quebec? What is your point about taxes and benefits?

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Comments

Good perspective TFB.

As with any system, there is good and bad.

I think that post-secondary education should be subsidized like it is in some countries. I am VERY thankful we have social health care. And even gov-sponsored daycare is a good idea (maybe just tax people only over a certain age?) I am not familiar with QST credits or QPP so I’m not sure of thier benefits either.

The bad is, you become top-heavy (bureaucracy) and the power to control that much money gives birth to competing self interest and you’ll for-go the common interest of people. I think QC OVER taxes for the services. 20%! For my income bracket. Every year. Ouch!

More money in the hands of a citizen means they can decide what to do with their money. including helping thier neighbour. Shouldn’t it be a choice?

I love Canada. We are one of the healthiest and most educated people in the world. That in part, comes from our tax system.

okilly-dokilly :)

It would be important to identify what all your taxes are paying for … They were always the highest even before the 7$ a day daycare. There is a lot of history around the large government in Quebec compared to other provinces and to sustain it, you need the high taxes. Can you really say that you get a better lifestyle from what that extra bureaucracy? That’s more the question.

@ Passive Income Earner,

There is a definite gap between the moment my money leaves my pay stub to get in the government’s hands and when it is being spent on daycare and healthcare.

I think we have a serious bureaucracy problem but we would have it regardless how much taxes are paid. This is how things go in Quebec; while Pittsburgh is exploiting Shale Gas (gaz de shiste), we put a hold on to it and move the debate in the newspaper instead of actually doing something…

Unions are too strong within the government to avoid bureaucracy…

I am not really sure all about Canadian and Quebec Taxes, but before you get too over to left, just give 10 mins to think about all the waste that ANY government has.

Great Post! I’m with you, I think that a welfare system is very good to help everyone have a good lifestyle, instead of having super-rich and super-poor. It’s a better system, as long as we can keep the incentives mostly right.

Waste in the public sector is insane here in QC, which is the downside when you have big government. But that is more the voter’s fault for not punishing or demanding a better government.

It saddens me when the government here wastes their time trying to figure out how many years of private school some kid has to take before they can go into an English school. Instead, they should be ashamed of the fact that private schools are so prolific here because it means that the public schools are not doing the job.

I would pay for others, just like I would pay for my family if they were in trouble. Take care of each other. We have to, I would hope others would do it for me, at the same time I’m too proud to ask for help except in a real emergency.

There are people who think that their success in life is 100% earned and created by themselves. I think they are usually mistaken. Infrastructure, education, law&order are all “subsidized” by society.

Slacker is right, 99% of what everyone has was given to them by someone. Very few people have even had an original idea.

I totally agree with Slacker. Even if, each year when my taxes bills say HI from my mailbox I feel frustrated, I understand that even if I could afford some services by myself, I am not yet able to afford EVERY service by myself. My combined taxe rate (federal+provincial) is a whopping 42%, kinda annoying to think that between january and may, you don’t work for yourself but for «others», even the ones who does’nt necessarily deserve it…

But when my husband has to ask for financial support to go back to school to fight years of unemployment, and got help… even if it wasn’t enough to fulfill all his financial needs, I was happy to have help in some ways. I was happy to be part of this help, to allow him to go back to school and after have better work conditions.

He got his diploma on Oct. 15 and I am very thankfull to all contributors for that 16 months of financial support. Without all of them, all this project would still be a dream in our minds.

I agree with Slacker too. I have a stong feeling that I am responsible of all my success but the fact that most of my education was free definitely play a huge role in my career!

Very good perspective Mike and I agree with you. If one has the capacity to help out a neighbor, they should just as if one has the ability to try harder, try should.

San Fran needs more people like you to come help pay for our school system!

Cheers

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