One man catches a leaflet and flips it over. It’s a map of Dunkirk.
WE SURROUND YOU.
SURRENDER + SURVIVE!
Propaganda works: Hopeless soldiers give up. Emotion plays a role in every fight.
I worry that many doctors cannot process attacks from government anymore. They can think, but they cannot feel.
The feds propose:
- 73% tax on retirement savings
- 93% tax on inheritance
- No income splitting, despite the risk that small businesses put on family members.
These proposals wipe out retirement, savings for children’s education and parental leave. It makes the extra cost and effort of incorporation a total waste.
Sometimes, governments tell voters something so outrageous, that people lose a frame of reference to check the facts. Small lies spark public protest. Big lies elicit shock but no action.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau painted doctors, and all small, incorporated businesses, as tax cheats, on July 18th.
He said doctors did not pay enough tax.
Salaried workers get to invest in a pension, tax free, and their employer matches contributions, also tax-free. And the pension grows tax free too.
But doctors were still cheaters. Doctors have no pension. Therefore, they invest after-tax dollars inside their corporation for retirement. That makes them cheaters.
Canada was built on the assumption that governments tend to grow, and that they tend to become tyrannical, as they grow and usurp power. Canada is a federation, because we believe that citizens suffer when government has too much power.
Government needs checks and balances. It needs to be divided into multiple levels of government, so that no level of government can become tyrannical. Concentration of power increases the probability of abuse.
Canada was founded on a healthy skepticism about power.
But over 150 years, we have fallen in love with big, powerful governments so that we can accomplish big, wonderful things for society. The founders knew better.
People smirk at the quaint and somewhat histrionic nature of old political writing:
When one with honeyed words but evil mind persuades the mob, great woes befall the state.
- Euripides, Orestes
Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.
If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch now and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.
Tyranny is the “cruel, unreasonable, or arbitrary use of power or control”. But tyrants are not thugs. Tyrants usually offer attractive reasons for what they propose.
CS Lewis said, “Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.”
And Hume said, “The heights of popularity and patriotism are still the beaten road to power and tyranny.”
No one can be anti-doctor and pro-patient. You cannot attack doctors without harming patients.
Attacking docs steals time from patient care. Minister Morneau is stealing time from patient care by making doctors waste days (and days and days and days) responding to government abuse.
This comes after 3 and half years of abuse from the provincial government. Docs in Ontario still do not have a contract.
Thankfully, the province is trying to rebuild a working relationship with doctors. We are cautiously optimistic.
Doctors cannot fight for patients when we spend so much time looking over our shoulder, for the next attack from government.
While we hate doing it, we must speak up early and often. People need 5 communications to hear one message. We must tell the truth no matter how banal or repetitive.
The wisest thing in the world is to cry out before you are hurt. It is no good to cry out after you are hurt; especially after you are mortally hurt. People talk about the impatience of the populace; but sound historians know that most tyrannies have been possible because men moved too late.
It is often essential to resist a tyranny before it exits.
Popular politicians often make big mistakes because they are popular. It does not have to be so.
Please talk to your friends, write to your MP and MPP, ask government to stop attacking doctors. Ask government to stop attacking all small business owners with this unfair, unbalanced and arbitrary tax grab. Get educated on the issues.
Dunkirk ends with civilians rescuing several hundred thousand soldiers. Despair turns to elation when the hopeless boys see little skiffs and tug boats coming to save them. Let’s hope the current war on small businesses ends soon, too. It might take a civilian army to rescue us.
Photo credit: rottentomatoes.com