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In which I complain from a position of privilege - delta_november

Dec. 7th, 2011

07:48 pm - In which I complain from a position of privilege

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I run a business, and I have people working for me.  As required by law, I withhold taxes, CPP and EI from their salaries and remit it monthly to the government (CRA).  Most recently, I sent in a cheque for my October withholdings when I returned from my vacation on November 24.  This was approximately two weeks past the deadline.

For being late, the CRA has just assessed me a penalty of $417.05.

So when the revolution comes, and you line all the bosses up against the wall, remember that the 1% aren't just eating caviar all day.  Sometimes we get kicked by The Man too.

Comments:

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From:kiwano
Date:December 8th, 2011 06:02 am (UTC)
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Or we'll just remember that not all business owners are part of the 1%...
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From:delta_november
Date:December 8th, 2011 12:33 pm (UTC)
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That's very true, of course. But in my case I am one of the top 1% earners in Canada. And so when I hear some people in the occupy movement saying "we should put the 1% in jail" I can't help but take that personally.
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From:leftofcool
Date:December 8th, 2011 05:12 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, while it's understandable why the "1% vs 99%" construct resonates with so many people, it's definitely disturbing when it's used in an unthinking, blanket way when what they really mean is "the people and institutions whose greed and bad policies got us into this mess".

You really want to jail the top 1% of income earners? I've seen differing numbers in different places, but it's something on the order of $180K for individuals and $300K for a household. So there go some of your university profs, and maybe your doctor and dentist, along with the judge you'll be hauled up in front of if you do something foolish on the protest, and maybe the lawyer defending you.

Tarring a wide-ranging group with the "part of the problem" brush just because they have the audacity to get paid well for what they do really doesn't help us have any kind of constructive discussion. :P
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From:delta_november
Date:December 8th, 2011 06:22 pm (UTC)
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Yup. Part of the problem may be the social taboo concerning talking about income. If nobody publicly identifies as being part of a group then it's easy to spread ideas of what they must be like. There are parallels (imperfect, of course) to the "who's communist?" or "who's gay?" scares of the past.
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From:kiwano
Date:December 8th, 2011 06:57 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I find the notion of basing it on a statistical income threshold troubling for a number of reasons. You're not the only person with top-1% income who I know, and who isn't all that directly connected with the problems we're experiencing. Of course one of the bigger reason I object to a threshold like that is that both the threshold and someone's income can be pretty variable. A friend of mine recently had a little income windfall as a former employer exited and his stock options paid off. For the tax year in which that windfall occurred, he's solidly inside the 1%, but if you were to spread that payout over the entire time he spent working for said employer, then that's definitely not the case. (Oh, and that income inequality is nowhere near as bad up here as it is down in the States).

There does seem to be a definite oligarchy forming/operating, but the 99/1% boundary really doesn't line up with its membership..
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From:kiwano
Date:December 8th, 2011 11:28 pm (UTC)
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Oh, also, most politicians and their staffers don't fit into the top 1% of income earners, but I'm sure that they're supposed to be included among the first against the wall when the revolution comes. It's a really bad label.
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