Wark Principle defended (by Wark)

Bruce Wark, whose defense of the Dexter Government’s carbon subsidy came under attack here, points out that he is not the first to argue that governments should eschew taxing necessities (herein dubbed The Wark Principle):

Adam Smith, father of laissez-faire capitalism, was a strong proponent of it, both on moral and practical grounds. See for yourself.

This is not a “crap principle” as Jonathan Dursi claims.  It was a standard tax principle in western democracies until the advent of the Thatcher-Reagan era. Since then, taxes have become steadily less progressive. According to Neil Brooks, we are now at the point in Canada where the flat tax has become a reality even though most people don’t realize it.

“All Canadian residents — whether they earned $10,000, $100,000 or $1,000,000 — pay somewhere between 30% and 35% of their income in taxes of all kinds…Contrary to the claims of business groups, we already have a flat tax system. The mild progressivity of the income tax system simply offsets the regressivity of other taxes like the GST, retail sales taxes and property taxes, which take their biggest bite, proportionally, from lower-income Canadians.”

Finally, we should not forget good old-fashioned class analysis as we tackle environmental crises such as climate change. The poor have a much smaller carbon footprint than the well-heeled. It is morally wrong to tax the poor disproportionately under the guise of cutting greenhouse gas emissions from dirty coal. Adam Smith, thou should be living at this hour!