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Making Waves

Our Needs Within Our Grasp

David

By David McLaren

Bob Crachit's Christmas turned out alright after all. A goose as big as Tiny Tim for dinner, a living income in the New Year, and more coal for his freezing office. All thanks to his ghost-ridden employer Ebenezer Scrooge.

But we all can't rely on the munificence of a boss – even one that requires a Christmas haunting. Now we rely on government.

Some people are OK with this. Others, not so much. It is what it is.

Yes, the things we need to see under our Christmas trees are expensive. Well-funded health and dental care, pharma-care, affordable day care, decent housing, working infrastructure, reliable access to Internet – all are expensive. But they are within our means – if we have the will.

A fin-tax – a very small tax on stock transactions – would pay for most of it. Chasing down the $10-15 billion dollars in taxes stashed away in off-shore accounts and the $10 billion they're dodging in Canada would pretty much cover the rest.
Women in the boardroom tend to make corporations more sensitive to their employees' needs and they encourage businesses to look at the long game, not just short-term gain. Unions have proven to be even better than government at raising wages and reducing inequality. Everyone should be helping to create ecosystems for innovation. In our area, the SWIFT fibre-optical Internet infrastructure is a good start.

So yes, we have the tools to make Bob Crachit healthier and happier in the New Year. Either we use them or we wait for the ghosts.


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