Category: Commentary

Be your own change

Here is the most powerful thing you can do right now.

Taxes go up, services go down, the government squanders money they take from you. If you are a working-class Canadian, this story sounds familiar, right?

With the new carbon tax, gas and anything that depends on gasoline (which is pretty much everything) is going up in price yet again.

I am sure if you are reading this you have already asked: “What can I do about this? Is there a solution? Should I protest?”

Well, naturally big government (BC NDP, BC Liberals, BC Greens) isn’t too concerned about protests as they know they will just burn out over the next few months and in a worst case scenario, you usually just inconvenience other working class people just trying to get to or from work. That is other people, just like yourself, trying to grind out a living in an increasingly intolerable environment.

But there is good news, as there is something you can do about it tomorrow, and doesn’t require a great deal of manpower.

Here are 5 easy things you can start doing either immediately or with minimal planning.

  1. If you live near a border, get a Nexus Pass and buy gas and dairy there. You will save money almost instantly, and buying these goods there is effectively a protest buy. This is a win-win situation. If enough Canadians were doing this, it would also put pressure on large grocery and gasoline chains to start lobbying the government to drop taxation so they could become competitive again.
  2. Buy a freezer, or learn to can or jar and buy in bulk directly from the farmer. This one takes some capital but you can bypass the middleman if you are buying in quantity, and if you bought often enough or get to know your producer you likely could work out a cash deal, and increase the quantity and quality of your food per dollar spent.
  3. Make your own alcoholic beverages. This one will save you a ton of money as mead, beer, wine are relatively easy to make, and you learn a new skill. Plus it can be an enjoyable recreational activity and hobby. Our government rakes in huge taxes from the alcohol racket, and if you really want to show them you are done with their extortion, this is a great and easy start. A bonus is that if you are good at this skill you have highly desired gifts for holidays and special occasions!
  4. Like the previous point, grow your own. Cannabis is legal now, get a plant for your garden and start growing. The plan for BC is that you can grow up to 4 plants for personal use. So if you have a green thumb, avoid the tax, and get some company for your tomato plants in the garden.
  5. Get a side hustle. What I mean by this is that our grandparents’ generation could produce things, our generation needs to learn this skill again. Then sell those things or services for cold, hard cash as there are more options than ever to market your product through the internet. Now this more of a grey area, but in an economy such as this one, you likely need a side hustle if you ever hope of having anything. Most people tend to be good at something and have a small hobby which is likely an untapped source of potential revenue. And with the online marketplace (Etsy, craigslist, Amazon, etc), and farmers markets popping up everywhere there is real potential here.

The cold hard facts are that until attitudes change towards voting, and people start voting in their own direct interests and not out of fear, our current government, and the one likely to succeed them, are not going to help you anytime soon.

So as a struggling middle-class person looking at a stack of bills and wondering what to do, the hard reality is that the only person who can help you is you. The big parasites in the halls of power will continue to get paid and continue to take your hard earned money as much as they possibly can.

It’s time we started finding ways to empower ourselves again and keep as much of our hard earned money out of their hands as we possibly can.

Yours in liberty,

Lee Smith
Vice President


About Lee SmithLee is based in New Westminister and is an entrepreneur and internationally recognized martial arts teacher. Through martial arts, he is focused upon teaching people how to better face the challenges of today and tomorrow. Lee was born and raised in British Columbia and is concerned about the course the province is taking. He is increasingly dedicated to promoting more personal responsibility, principles and choice within the province he calls home. Lee Smith was elected as Vice President of the BC Libertarian Party this past October.

While you are doing these things, you can also help build a brighter tomorrow. More than ever, BC needs a viable third choice in Victoria. We need politicians that seek not power but to be genuine representatives, held directly accountable by the people.

The BC Libertarian Party is the only organization in BC that has the ability to change this status quo. So while picking up more affordable dairy, or crafting your finest homebrew, why not join us in building a tomorrow that actually includes you?

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The BC Libertarian Party is a grassroots movement and we depend on normal middle-class British Columbians to take an invested effort in securing a tomorrow with lower taxation, more choice and smaller government.

Leonard Melman: “Libertarian Thoughts #5 – TAXATION FREQUENCY”

In the first of these commentaries, I noted that there were three primary assaults on our freedom caused by government laws and regulations.  First, actions we may wish to take would now be prohibited; next, actions we may NOT wish to take would now be compelled; and finally, taxation (of all sorts) by government diminishes our ability to spend OUR funds as we might freely wish.

It is the third of these that is the subject of this commentary.

When we confront our non-libertarian contemporaries, I believe that our arguments can be strongly enhanced by the recitation of indisputable fact, particularly when those of our opponents   are backed up by non-factual emotional declarations – and little else.

Regarding matters of taxation, most people seem to ‘feel’ there is a vague threat that governments are taxing the public ‘too much’ and perhaps too frequently.  However, unless we can PROVE this is indeed the case, it is difficult to gain advantage for the Libertarian side.

My goal in this paper is to provide the PROOF that governments are recommending or enacting taxation, fees or other similar measures at a rate which can only be regarded as astonishing.  What follows is a documented list of such actions which have been either enacted or proposed SINCE THE BEGINNING OF 2018 (!). The data is taken from (somewhat) reliable publications – which are identified.

There is no attempt to provide arguments regarding the right and wrong of each measure – but only to provide proof of their frequency – and thereby to allow an informed judgement regarding their probable collective impact on society.  The list will include the date, name of publication and a short description of the measure. Also, I believe that every increase in revenue to the government based on direct taxation, indirect taxation, fees, fines and payment for government services qualifies as a ‘taxation measure.’

(Personal note:  Since I live on Vancouver Island, many articles are taken from the Victoria Times-Colonist (TC) which I read daily.  Many of those articles are sourced from various news agencies such as the Canadian Press (CP) and Associated Press (AP).

2018

March 21 – Yahoo-Finance – “The European Union on Wednesday unveiled new plans to make high tech companies pay more taxes…”

March 20 – Parksville–Qualicum Beach News – The Regional District of Nanaimo is considering its own fees for applications for a non-medical cannabis distribution license.

March 16 – National Post – Discussion of increases in already-existing provincial Carbon Taxes.  Also, discussion of proposed NEW federal carbon tax.

March 15 – TC, CP – “Speculation Tax” opposition grows.”  The tax would, “…apply to properties owned by people who do not pay B.C. income tax.”

March 8 – Nanaimo News Bulletin (NNB) – “This month, ICBC increased penalties for drivers who have been repeatedly ticketed for distracted driving…”

March 8 – NNB – “Vancouver Island University steers toward increasing parking rates by 50%…”

March 8 – TC, CP – Headline, “Thousands facing tax for their empty homes” discusses impact of Vancouver’s new ‘empty homes tax’.

March 2 – TC – “Hydro rates to rise 3% after freeze rejected.”

February 28 – TC – “Tax hurts small business” – discusses impact of new health tax on employers with payrolls of over $500,000…”

February 22 – TC – “Gas-Tax hike to fuel region transit boost…government to raise the tax from 3.5 cents per litre to 5.5 cents…”

February 21 – TC – Headline:  “B.C. Budget – Raft of tax measures to help pay for child care, homes and health…”

February 21 – Financial Post, CP – “British Columbia is raising its foreign-buyers tax and expanding it to areas outside of Vancouver while bringing in a new tax on speculators…”

February 17 – TC, CP – “Trump weighing options for global tariffs on steel…”

February 6 – Wall Street Journal (WSJ) – “…Cash-strapped American cities are increasingly asking (demanding???-LM) their residents to pay higher amounts for mundane services…In 73 U.S. cities fees and fines increased by a collective US$182 million in 2017…”

January 31 – WSJ – Headline:  “Connecticut governor proposes Raising Gas Tax, Adding Highway Tolls.”

January 17 – TC, CP – Discusses ‘positive impact’ of a new Federal tax measure which, “…limits the use of passive investment income by the top three percent of the wealthiest incorporated individuals…”

January 9 – National Post – Joe Oliver, Former Minister of Finance, declares, “…Carbon tax policy is about to spiral from dysfunctional into madness…”

January 4 – Financial Post headline – “Alberta’s carbon tax rises by 50% – tied with B.C. for highest rate in the country.”

…………

It is hard to imagine this many articles relating to increasing government revenues in less than one-quarter of a year, but there they are – and I have the printed proof for every one of these on the list.  Also, I can assure readers that my files for 2017 and previous years show a similar astonishing rate of accumulation of articles relating to increasing taxation. And, it must be noted, these items have been gleaned from a very few publications and when one considers how many others have likely been reported in hundreds of other local or national news media sources, the situation could easily become increasingly perilous going forward.

It all relates to the following famous quote, attributed to the late President Reagan:

“If it moves, tax it.  If it keeps moving, regulate it.  And, if it stops moving, subsidize it.”