To the Editor,
Re: Other people’s cash eventually runs out, Letters, July 19.
There is a very large difference between a democratic socialist country and socialism offered up by a despotic dictator.
Bart Jessup refers to Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Spain as socialist countries, but they are not. They are countries that have got themselves in a financial mess because they have offered very generous ‘social programs’ without collecting the taxes to pay for them – in fact in Greece and Italy collecting income taxes proves to be almost impossible – especially from those with higher incomes.
The ideal of a socialist country is to provide social programs to all citizens regardless of income.
The Scandinavian countries have proven to be very successful in doing this and being able to pay for it – the income tax rates run between 70-80 per cent.
In these countries, people have access to free health care, universal day care, paid holidays, transit systems, post secondary education and comfortable pensions, as well as many other programs, so nobody complains much about the taxes they pay. It may not be for everyone, but has worked very well for them.
The biggest problems we run into is people wanting endless social programs but with a very low tax rate – as wonderful as that would be it will never work.
To suggest that Nanaimo has a 16 per cent unemployment rate because we have ‘socialists’ at the helm is a bit far-fetched. Nanaimo does have an NDP MLA and an NDP MP, but the unemployment issue gets laid at the feet of the government in power.
The Island has always been big in forestry and fishing and both industries have been decimated. This is true all through the province of B.C.
Under Gordon Campbell’s watch the timber laws were relaxed and instead of the logs being milled in the area where they were cut the raw logs now cross the border in a steady stream to the mills in the U.S.
Socialism cannot be blamed for the debt in our province. The B.C. Liberals were left with a surplus – they ‘diversified the economy’ by increasing casinos, introduced slot machines, then changed the 50 per cent gaming profits that went to non-profit societies into general revenue and still managed to dig us into a big hole.
There is no point trying to blame socialism or capitalism, in the end it just comes down to poor money management. We are paying our taxes and fees (which are taxes in disguise) and are not getting a very good return on our investmest.