Should the government of Canada continue to support the universality of social services by increasing the proportion of salaries given to income tax? This question hits a very touchy spot for all Canadians because some agree that a higher portion of an individual’s salary should go to income tax in order to improve the standard of living for all Canadians, instead of just the financially privileged class of society. They believe that by doing so, the Canadian government would limit the greed in our society and promote a better sense of equality. However, there are also Canadians who believe that the government should not increase the proportion of their salaries given to income tax because they believe the government should encourage Canadians to be more independent, instead of depending on the government for all of their basic needs and wants. They believe that when they earn their hard-earned money, they should be able to keep it instead of giving most of it away to people who sit at home all day, even though they are fully capable of getting a good job and have the same benefits as themselves.
My position on this issue would have to be with the Canadians who don’t believe in the government increasing the proportion of salaries to income tax. I believe every man should fend for himself. What an individual learns, they deserve because they worked hard for their pay. It’s not that I don’t agree with government intervention, I do, but I believe it should help its people become more independent instead of 100% dependent on the government. For almost sixty years, the Swedish economy was admired for its high standard of living. They had everything.
They had a system called the cradle-to-grave welfare system, which promised almost everybody employment. Everyone was guaranteed free post-secondary education, as well as health care and pension plans. People looking in on the country would be led to believe that Swedes didn’t have a care in the world. However, for the Swedish economy to work as well as it did, Swedes had to pay 70% of personal taxes, the highest rate for personal taxes in the industrial world. What seemed to be a flawless system became evident that it was “too good to be true.” The Swedish government had pampered its people so much that Swedes soon became dependent on the government rather than themselves. Four out of ten workers were employed by the government, absenteeism was high, low productivity was experienced in export industries, vacations and other allowance benefits were very costly, economic slumps were reducing the base tax the social programs needed to pay for, and the government deficit was increasing.
In the end, when the government tried to reduce government spending, Swedes weren’t able to deal with their newfound independence. High unemployment became one of many problems. Looking at Sweden as a case study, I think that’s enough to discourage the Canadian government from increasing the proportion of salaries given to income tax to support the universality of social services. If Canada were to do so, it would only promote Canadians to be dependent on their government and not on themselves. Instead of increasing income tax to support social services, the government should introduce programs to help Canadians budget their income to balance their wants and needs.
Through the case study on Sweden, we learned that the government’s decision to increase the proportion of salaries given to income tax to support the universality of social services does not benefit citizens in the long run. Instead, it sets them back and teaches them that they do not have to face the responsibilities that come with adulthood.