Friday 24 May 2013

I’m Hoping for a Brain

I was taking a shortcut through a back hallway in our local plaza going from the bank to the library when I overheard a snippet of a conversation coming from a laptop/cell phone/sales/repair store. I personally think they also dabble in stolen goods and perhaps drugs, but that’s just because they are located close to the high school and the guy behind the counter looks like a crook.

There voice I heard belonged to a woman and she was saying “If I give you a hundred and twenty in cash, I save thirty and you don’t have to pay the GST or any income tax so you will come out ahead and so do I.” I didn’t linger because generally speaking, people don’t want witnesses around when they are ripping off the federal government, or at least making plans to. I did glance in the store and the woman looked like any other middle aged woman you would find in the community. This one just happened to be bereft of morals and any feelings of civic responsibility.
I can understand the desire to save money, and I can appreciate the woman’s negotiating skills. I have often wished that I could bargain like that, but stupid person that I am; I believe the merchant is already giving me his best price. One time when I was taking a cab out to my walk, I was talking to the driver and I asked him if he would move back to India if he could. He told me that he visits every year to help his family during harvest, but would never move back permanently. I made the assumption that he wouldn’t go back due to the poverty, but he told me how India was a very rich country. However, so many people avoid paying taxes when ever they can and it leaves the government without enough money to provide the services necessary for the population.
Now, I am just taking this guys word on the problem and I am sure that India has many, many problems that are complex and varied. I do believe that it is our duty to pay our taxes so that our government can provide services equally throughout the country. I would gladly pay 90% of my income to the government if everything was provided. Unfortunately, it seems that as the years go on we pay more taxes for less service. We also pay our politicians and upper civil servants too much for what they do. To be fair, most workers of all kinds make more money than they deserve.

I am not sure where I was going with this, but suffice to say that the woman should just pay the $150 and the merchant should pay the proper amount of GST and income tax. The government should spend the money in a fiscally responsible way. Workers should be satisfied with their wages and stores and businesses should be happy with a healthy but honest mark up on their goods and services. We should all be able to get affordable housing and decent, healthy food. Medical and dental services should be available to all who need them. People should treat each other with the honesty and respect they deserve.

Yeah, I know that is never going to happen, but I can hope. Perhaps if we all hope for the same thing it just might come to pass. Maybe a little girl with a small dog and red slippers will drop a house on Steven Harper and we will all dance off down the yellow brick road looking for salvation from the Wizard.

I’m hoping for a brain.

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