« April 2006 | Main | June 2006 »

May 12, 2006

Afghanistan, Darfur and Gaza

Canadian trops are now in Afghanistan. Even if government decided to redirect them to Darfur it would take a long time to prepare them for a new operational theater. The parties who neglected our troops for years should blame only themselves that there are no spare troops.

Canadian foreign aid should go to Darfur. Including those funds which were supposed to go to Gaza. No matter how bad could be humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Darfur is much worse. This is the crisis of the completely different magnitude. The money should not be assigned for Gaza in the first place: this is much better place to live than many other places. Further there are so many oil rich Arab states which claimed to take the wellbeing of their Palestinian breathen very seriously.

Posted by Victor at 05:55 AM

May 09, 2006

Darfur and Afghanistan

Some opposition parties and political commentators demand Canada pulled troops from Afghanistan and send them for peacekeeping mission in Darfur. While I believe that saving people of Darfur is the very high priority I am not sure that Mr. Annan is a proper man for the job (he was the Chief of Peacekeeping of UN and his inaction contributed to Rwanda' tragedy). But more important: ground troops should be supplied by African countries. Western countries should provide an airpower - B52s to force Sudanese government agree to let black people of Darfur and Sudan South have their own countries and AC130s to keep janjaweed thugs away from these areas.

If some Arab countries woold not be happy... ...one should pay no attention.

Posted by Victor at 07:46 PM

May 01, 2006

Taxes and families

In my previous post 15% I argued that tax system in Canada is biased against families with one earner. Except families with a filthy rich husband and socialite (former model) wife or a filthy rich wife and playboy husband, all others are average families: one spouse works and another is either a full-time student, or tenders young kids, or is infirm, or often works as a volunteer. However such families pay much more in taxes than the families with the same total income equally distributed among spouses.

Clearly this fits Liberal agenda: both spouses should work and young kids should attend subsidized day-care. But it does not fit Conservative agenda to provide a choice.

The best way would be to go the French model: first the number of family-parts is calculated:
husband=wife=1, child=1/2, so family of two with two kids has 3 parts (some adjacements for a single-parent family should be made with a first child counted as 1). Then income per-part is calculated and the tax rate is defined according to it.

However, if this is too sharp turn, the first approximation would be: convergence of tax rates in all brackets (so the reduction in the lower tax bracket is bad), making spouse tax exemption equal to one of the husband and introducing per-child tax exemption, increasing the limit of education/tuition amount which can be transferred from the child/spouse.

We need not forget about the poorest members of society, but they should be served not by decrease of the lower bracket tax rate but by increase of the personal exemption. The person who earns 15,000 per year gains very little from the former and much more from the latter.

Posted by Victor at 05:07 AM