For a real-life example of how scaling back government has led to positive and practical economic benefits, Americans should look north. In Canada the conventional wisdom for much of the second half of the 20th century favored increasing the size of government. This led to significant growth in government as a share of the economy.
Tax season has begun. This yearly tradition is dreaded by many Canadians, but it doesn't need to be. Taxes are what keeps our roads paved, our schools running, and our health care free. When we think about the money we give to the government, we don't always realize that our money is going towards things we take for granted every day. So, approach the upcoming tax filing deadline with a positive outlook.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, so when you're trying to do it on your own, you're entitled to a little exasperation. But the government and the Canada Revenue Agency recognize the financial challenges of being a single parent, and the tax code has provisions that can make it a little easier. However, there are also some pitfalls that require attention to navigational detail to avoid.
Some say that the proliferation of home cultivation licenses has also helped to drop prices, but I don't think this has had a major impact. The amount of cannabis being produced by all licensed patients is not that significant when compared to the total level of underground production in Canada. It's shrinking U.S. demand that is driving prices down here.
Alberta Premier Allison Redford was forced to resign last week following revelations that she had charged the treasury $45,000 to attend President Mandela's funeral. Redford's quick hand with the expense account chequebook, in turn, obviously brings to mind the shenanigans of our old pals in the Senate.
No matter your age, you very likely made a donation you can claim on your tax return. This can be anything from sponsoring a friend's marathon, to attending a fundraising gala, to growing a moustache. Giving through the year is a great way to give back to your community, and there's certainly a little karma built into tax refunds, so make sure you follow these tips to get a little back come tax time.
By design, free trade agreements tear down the protectionist walls propping up status quo producers. However, even those producers -- at least those who reform, will also find a newfound ability to thrive given increased access to markets with tens of millions, or hundreds of millions, of potential new customers. All of this benefits consumers, most obviously when expensive tariffs on their choices, from Korean cars to Canadian beef, are eliminated.
Beyond higher taxes or more debt, there has always been another option: prudent spending. However, that is something the Alberta government has been less than adept at in some years. For instance, had the province increased program spending after 2005/06 and to 2012/2013 but only in line with inflation and population growth, it would have spent $22 billion less compared to what it actually sent out the door.
While these digital natives bank and manage credit cards online and through mobile apps, only one third plan to file taxes themselves using tax software. Given that taxes are like the DNA of personal finances, it's only natural that doing it themselves is the next step in managing all aspects of their pocketbook. Here are three tax tips to help Millennials take full control come tax time.
As Albertans approach another provincial budget, the usual fables about Alberta's finances often crop up. To inoculate ourselves in advance, let's ponder two myths. Myth number one: "Alberta's wealth is a result of luck." This tall tale assumes that the existence of natural resources automatically results in wealth creation, jobs, and a higher standard of living. That's hardly the case. Plenty of jurisdictions have little in the way of natural resources but prosper, while others have plentiful natural resources yet flounder. Let's investigate myth number two: "Alberta is undertaxed."
Have you noticed that every holiday season, the pressure builds as everyone rushes around buying too much stuff before the Big Day? Then our festive bubble bursts just after New Year's when they announce how much new debt everyone has incurred. And then just as suddenly, the talk turns to RSPs and taxes. The collective anxiety is enough to give everyone a massive ulcer.
This is precisely what happened in Canada in the early 1990s. Indeed, following a steep increase in duties and taxes applicable to tobacco products by the federal government and the provinces, a vast illegal trade in cigarettes sprang up. Contraband's share in the Canadian tobacco market jumped from 1 per cent in 1987 to approximately 31 per cent by the end of 1993.
Recent headlines say that some Canadian executives earn in a few days or weeks what the rest of us might earn in a year or longer. In assessing those stories, it is critical to remember one fact: risk-taking and entrepreneurs are not a burden but a key part of a civilized, opportunity-based, and prosperous country.