How can we afford to save ourselves?

We are often told that there is not enough money available to create a genuine equitable society, to provide the basic needs of life for all human beings on Earth. So why even try? As some interests would suggest, governments are always broke. However, a team of economists set out to establish the fact that an equitable society is possible—if we cut programs that fund corporations or those who are already wealthy.

These include ending fossil fuel subsidies (worth about $775 billion globally); getting a fairer share of of the financial sectors’ earnings by imposing a transaction tax (which could raise $650 billion globally; according to the European Parliament); increasing royalties on fossil fuel extractions; raising income tax on corporations and the wealthiest people (lots of room there—a one percent billionaire’s tax alone could raise $45 billion globally.) According to the United Nations, a progressive carbon tax (at $50 per metric ton of CO2, emitted in developed countries), would raise an estimated $450 billion annually; and making cuts to military spending. If the top ten global military spenders were cut by 25 percent, that would free up $325 billion. These are numbers reported by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. However, this group forgot to mention the fact that billions of dollars of taxable money—perhaps the greatest revenue potential of all—are illegally siphoned away to offshore tax havens, It is the responsibility of government to shut down the availability of those tax havens. Siphoning off taxable money to tax havens should be considered a crime. Those evading the payment of legal taxes should be fined the appropriate amounts.

It is the duty of voters to inform their political leaders that an equitable society is possible. Today more money is being accumulated by the wealthy instead being used to fund programs that contribute to society in general.

Leo Kurtenbach, Saskatoon

Peace Magazine Oct-Dec 2017

Peace Magazine Oct-Dec 2017, page 5. Some rights reserved.

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