Jim Taylor's Columns - 'Soft Edges' and 'Sharp Edges'

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A eulogy for wild yellow flowers

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday May 16, 2021

            The problem, it seems to me, is that we humans don’t know how to value anything unless it can be taxed.

            Undeveloped lands have no intrinsic value.

           Old growth forests, magnificent as they are, have no value in themselves.

            Just as unpolluted streams have no value in themselves.

            Yellow flowers growing wild on hillsides have no value.

            Parks and wild lands are not treated as assets in municipal accounting, because they don’t produce tax revenue. Even though they certainly add value to other real estate. Imagine Vancouver without Stanley Park. Or New York without Central Park.



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Robots won’t pay taxes for you

Author: Jim Taylor

You-know-who said he would bring jobs back to America. He can’t. Blaming free trade agreements misses the point. American jobs may have gone to lower-paid workers in Mexico, or China, or Bangladesh. But they won’t come back.

            The missing jobs will be done by automated equipment. These robots don’t beep and squawk like R2D2 and C3P0. And no one would consider them loveable. 

            But they don’t get paid anything. They never go on strike, never take sick leave, never demand pension plans. They can work three shifts around the clock, if necessary, day after day. 

            And they make fewer mistakes than human workers do.

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Consent is a complicated matter

Author: Jim Taylor
The telephone shocked us out of sleep at 5:00 a.m. “This is the Criminal Investigations Branch of the Canada Revenue Agency,” a grim male voice threatened. “This is to advise you that the CRA has decided to institute legal proceedings against you for non-payment of back taxes.” We hung up. Canada Revenue Agency doesn’t use recorded messages, and doesn’t threaten. (Although Ottawa bureaucrats do sometimes forget that Canada covers five time zones.) But as income tax deadline drew closer, the threatening calls continued: “We will be placing a lien on your assets and accounts. If you have any questions, you may phone our customer service line at 613-434-1554. I repeat, 613-434-1554.
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Categories: Sharp Edges

Tags: consent, CRA, taxes



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