Are You a Consumer, Taxpayer or Citizen?

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“Taxes are the way we pay for the things we decide to do together, and we are stronger together.” – Alex Himelfarb

Citizen. Period.

While we consume and pay taxes, those are activities of our existence. The economy is supposed to serve our social goals as human beings. We are not economic entities that exist to serve the 1% in their effort to maximize shareholder wealth.

So here’s a word to drop this year, and forever:


Of course, we are all taxpayers, but we are, first and foremost, social citizens who invest in each other and in our communities. That’s the gift we give each other every time we pay our taxes. Group hug. [Source]

via Hennessy’s Index: January 2014 | Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

And to be honest, I LOVE paying taxes. They are how we buy things together as a society, many of which are human rights, like:

  1. clean water
  2. free education
  3. free healthcare
  4. reliable sewage systems
  5. libraries
  6. swimming pools
  7. rec centres
  8. tennis courts
  9. electrical infrastructure
  10. the CPP, which today has been declared wildly solvent!
  11. massively subsidized post-secondary education
  12. mental health supports
  13. Insite
  14. legal aid
  15. Quebec’s childcare plan
  16. cancer research
  17. community health clinics
  18. parks
  19. beaches
  20. museums
  21. public art [even this]
  22. and so many more things…

What are you thankful for, which taxes provide?

And do you agree with Trish Hennessy, above, that we’re human beings and not “taxpayers”? Personally, I reject being minimized to an economic element.

And if you agree with Trish, do the group hug thing. It’s V-day after all! And click on that link above to see all the other words she thinks we can do with out, forever, starting this year!


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Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Post-partisan eco-socialist. at Politics, Re-Spun
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website,

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3 thoughts on “Are You a Consumer, Taxpayer or Citizen?”

  1. While I agree with Trish that we are first and foremost ‘Human Beings’, the reality is that we are also taxpayers. As Stephen correctly points out, it is through our taxes that we provide for many important works, services, and fundamental rights. Unfortunately our taxes are also used to fund unwarrented and unwise military actions and armaments, instead of the Peace Keeping Missions which a clear majority of us support. Our taxes are also being used to fund invasions of our privacy and abrbridge our human rights. When you add to this the lavish expenditures of some senators and government officals, the unfair and regressive nature of our tax system, and the lack of real transparency and accountability, it is rather surprizing that there are folks like Stephen who love paying their taxes. Of course there are likely many more folks who like me would love paying taxes if we had a tax system that was fair, and expenditures were transparent and accountable to us.

  2. hi Stephen…good post. This made me smile.

    “And to be honest, I LOVE paying taxes.”

    Because it’s so refreshing, and there is no issue more important. The insane war on taxation which so many Canadians have been brainwashed into believing is the only thing Cons like Harper and Ford have going for them. And it is absolutely essential that it be countered before the next election. As you know Alex Himelfarb has written about this in magnificent manner. His book which he talks about here is excellent.

    But the clear easily understandable way you lay out the case for taxation is the way we bloggers must sell those ideas to Canadians, if we hope to cut through the clutter and reach them. So good work…

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