JOHN DOWNS

How a Wikipedia Entry Changed My Life

Posted By: John Downs · 9/21/2012 6:12:00 PM

We've heard a lot of complaints about Dalton Mcguinty on Friendly Fire lately. Yes ... what else is new?

The chorus is generally sung along the same lines.

“Dalton McGunity is taking my money. Dalton McGuinty is wasting my money. Taxes are a waste of my money.” 

That conclusion is a bit of a leap. But let's take a closer look at this frustration, with a template as our guide.

Say what you want about Wikipedia, but I challenge every reader of this blog to have a look at the entry on positive psychology and not come away with a deeper understanding of what really matters in life.

The article states that almost all people agree that there is value in the following virtues and strengths:

Wisdom and knowledge: creativity, curiosity, open-mindedness, love of learning, perspective, innovation

Courage: bravery, persistence, integrity, vitality

Humanity: love, kindness, social intelligence

Justice: citizenship, fairness, leadership

Temperance: forgiveness and mercy, humility, prudence, self-control

Transcendence: appreciation of beauty and excellence, gratitude, hope, humor, spirituality

Now, let’s look at those initial statements of frustration, and discuss which are true and which are perceptions drawn out of our own sense of injustice. (Don't worry, we'll also look at where the Premier is falling well short of the above mentioned values and strengths.)

Yes, the government is taking your hard-earned cash with the purpose of paying our collective bills and redistributing the money with a goal of us collectively achieving some of the above-mentioned virtues and strengths – say, kindness, fairness, prudence and mercy.

Is Dalton McGuinty wasting our money? This talk-show host will declare that, without question, under McGuinty's leadership we have seen several examples of money being abused, wasted and misused for the purposes of re-election.

Any way you want to say it, McGuinty's leadership has lacked most of the virtues we have come to expect from a leader.

His job is to govern first and worry about re-election later. If he believed it to be other way around, he should have been more CREATIVE. He clearly has no PERSPECTIVE about what his role is. Because he lacked BRAVERY going into the last election, he took a route of little INTEGRITY by reversing a decision to kill a power plant mid-construction after originally telling us that building the plant was the right thing to do.

It was display of a lack of KINDNESS to the electorate, displaying little SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE on his part. It was also an UNFAIR strategy to win office again, as well as an abuse of his power as LEADER of the province.

One could argue that we should allow the Premier an opportunity for FORGIVENESS and MERCY. But that argument would surely fall on deaf ears, as we Ontarians can no longer hear, having been beaten repeatedly over the head with McGuinty's pathetic excuses for his misdoings. (The power plant is just one example.)

All that being said, there is no good argument that taxes as a whole are a waste of your money. When collected and spent properly, they get us closer to living in a society where all the goals and virtues we've talked about here can be met. Finding a leader who can execute that vision is up to us.

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  1. proton posted on 09/24/2012 09:41 AM
    Well written! Agree re taxes however the "us" you refer to seems to becoming more and more those who benefit from wasted taxes. It would be wonderful to find a leader that would make those people realize that wasted taxes are their enemy in the long run. It's the middle class that are working the hardest so that government can then waste their tax dollars.
  2. nick posted on 09/25/2012 01:57 PM
    Nice try - but unfortunately I must disagree.

    The best person to decide how to spend the money that I have earned through work is me. It yields the highest payback. All taxation is coercive unless it is voluntary. It is a method by which governments re-distribute the earned to the unearned and that is simply immoral. Governments should never meddle in the free market and that includes interest rates, money and over-regulation - which are more tacit forms of taxation. It only creates malinvestment, disincentives, cronyism, moral hazards, destruction of capital and chisels away at personal liberty.

    A small concession in a way - taxation is necessary to support basic functions of government, and I would venture to say that if there was demonstrated responsibility, accountability and respect for our tax dollars it CAN be voluntary if those roles are cemented in a tight limiting constitution.

    Say what you will but it never seems to be enough. Your words "when collected and spent properly" are delusional. It has never happened and never will. Taxes are indeed a waste of money.
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