Americans are being shortchanged—but not because of outsourcing, offshoring, high taxes, regulations, and bad health care. Instead, we are disadvantaged because of an ideologically-driven, willful gullibility that allows us to consent to politicians screwing us. What Americans need right now is to stop patting ourselves on the back as countries like Canada pass us by when it comes to the things that matter the most.
This must-read article titled "Canadians may pay more taxes than Americans, but here's what they get for their money" should make most poor and middle-class American re-examine their tolerance for electing politicians who not only lie to them but who materially hurt their survival—literally and figuratively.
The article starts as follows.
Even with all kinds of taxes considered, including income, local and sales taxes, among others — and contrary to what President Donald Trump has repeatedly said — Americans do not pay the highest taxes in the world. Not even close. Actually, the U.S. is a little below average compared to our 34 peer countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
But what about Canada? Given all the social services that Canadian citizens enjoy relative to their neighbors to the south, including health care, many Americans assume that Canadians bear a significantly heavier tax burden.
The reality is that Canadians do not pay much more in taxes than Americans do. They just get a lot more for their dollar. But many have allowed the fallacy regurgitated by the plutocracy to take hold, and the end result is that Americans fear taxes. If the average citizen could get more from paying taxes for a service that otherwise costs more in the private sector, then that should be caused to examine the choices made by those running our country.
Canadians may not pay that much more than Americans — and, on occasion, as a nation, they have even paid less — but they do get a lot more from their government in terms of social services.
As Vice Money puts it, "American marginal tax brackets aren't too different from Canadians', yet [Canadians] get universal health care and [Americans] don't." Currently, Americans pay $3.4 trillion a year for medical care and, unfortunately, don't get impressive results: "The U.S. life expectancy of 78.8 years ranks 27th. It has the fourth highest infant mortality rate in the OECD, the sixth highest maternal mortality rate and the ninth highest likelihood of dying at a younger age from a host of ailments, including cardiovascular disease and cancer," reports Bloomberg.
Per capita health care spending in the U.S. is over $9,000.
By contrast, per capita health care spending in Canada is half that, or $4,500. Yet life expectancy in Canada is 81.7, and the country ranks 13th, significantly ahead of the U.S.
Even as Canadians pay close to what Americans pay in taxes, they get so much more for their dollar. Canada’s outcomes prove that in fact, government can work. Not only can it work, but it can work much more effectively in certain areas compared to the free market. In certain areas, private profits are nothing more than a public expense. The math is absolute.
The piece continued:
Overall, though, Canadians enjoy the kind of perks Americans only get if they work for the most generous, prestigious corporations. Those include free health care without deductibles as well as up to 18 months of subsidized parental leave when they have children.
They also enjoy access to high-quality education for children across the income spectrum. Even top-notch colleges and universities are cheaper than comparable institutions in the U.S.
Vice cites a 2009 Canadian study by the Centre for Policy Alternatives that found that "the vast majority of Canada's population" gets a great deal: "Middle-income Canadian families enjoy public services worth about $41,000 — or 63 percent of their income. Even households earning $80,000–$90,000 a year enjoy public services benefits equivalent to about half of their income."
In short, the study concludes, "the majority of Canadian households enjoy a higher quality of life because of the public services their taxes fund."
So why do Americans pay so much in taxes, and what do they pay for? Much of our taxes are used for the military. And while our country happily spends big bucks on weapons, we do not support education or health care, nor other services to make life better (i.e. family leave, etc.) while other industrialized countries do.
Our tax system is nothing more than a way to transfer wealth from the masses to the wealthy few. One must realize that spending heavily for defense means subsidizing many private corporations within the military industrial complex. Those corporations amass massive profits that you, the American citizen, pay for. Again: a massive transfer of wealth.
The same applies to our health care system. The American taxpayer pays for drug research. When it is time to develop it into a product, corporations monetize it, inflate costs, and make huge profits for selling us the drugs we developed at exorbitant prices.
On issue after issue, we have allowed the wealthy few to screw us all. They legally take what they should not be entitled to have. The article ends with a prescient statement:
Perhaps that's why so many Americans, as well as the President, feel that Americans pay more than anyone else in taxes: Because while many U.S. residents pay nearly as much, or in some cases more, than our neighbors to the north, Canadians in general can get so much more in exchange.
True, but it is deeper than that. Americans need to support a complete restructuring of our economy. Here are a few things we can do to really make America great for the masses.
- Tax investment income at a higher rate than income from work. Why should some who spends their days sitting by their luxury swimming pool or otherwise doing nothing pay a lesser tax rate than someone who risks their lives and limb to go to work every day?
- Drug companies must share profits with the U.S. Treasury for all drugs developed with taxpayer dollars.
- Subsidize medical students to ensure they don’t have huge student loans, which ultimately every American pays for through high doctor fees.
- Every American who keeps a good GPA should be offered pay-it-forward, tuition-free college. The higher tax base from an educated America will pay for the subsequent generations.
- Establish a single-payer, Medicare for all system. It is the only mathematically feasible solution to our health care problem.
- No individual American should profit from fossil fuels or minerals found on their land. They did not put it there, and every American should have an inalienable right to all of the country’s natural resources. We should profit from our work and added value, not from a value we had no stake in creating.
This may seem radical. However, if examined outside of the framework of our indoctrination, one would see it is both moral and fair. Americans must start asserting their worth and extricating themselves from the mindset established since the country's inception, which was only fortified with the release of the Powell Manifesto.
It won’t be easy. But if we are to survive as a country, we will eventually have to get there.