Columnist Jim Hilton discusses politics in this installment of <em>Forest Ink.</em> (Wahkash Contracting Ltd. photo)

Columnist Jim Hilton discusses politics in this installment of Forest Ink. (Wahkash Contracting Ltd. photo)

FOREST INK: Support for the productive sectors of society

I was again reminded of people who do this for a living rather than just a retirement hobby

After spending an afternoon falling and skidding some of the dead fir trees on my property, I was again reminded of people who do this for a living rather than just a retirement hobby as in my case.

Broken chainsaws, frayed cables and near misses that could have been fatal are just part of the daily events in getting the logs to the mill site. I also appreciate the work involved with the produce that is for sale by the local business at the Friday markets.

I can also accept the business cost claims during tax time as part of making a profit but was annoyed by President Donald Trump during the recent debate about his justification of not filing his tax returns because of tax loopholes. But to be fair he is only one of many rich people that take advantage of capitalism as we have come to know it.

The politicians are providing many options of how to deal with the mounting debt resulting from the pandemic (stimulate the economy by reducing taxes) but I am leaning toward some suggestions by Rutger Bregman that deal with reducing tax havens, corporate take overs of small businesses, decreasing the size of financial institutions and eliminate jobs that promote the rich to become even richer.

After a quick Google query about tax havens I got the following: “The rich pay lower tax rates than the middle class because most of their income doesn’t come from wages, unlike most workers. Instead, the bulk of billionaires’ income stems from capital, such as investments like stocks and bonds, which enjoy a lower tax rate than income.”

“Tax havens harm the economy … that’s because they are not just about beating the tax system of other countries (which is harmful enough, and little short of an act of economic warfare) but they also have the specific aim of undermining the fair markets on which our local, national and international economies depend.”

Information is also provided about countries that have the highest rates of tax for the rich. In 2019, the highest income earners in Sweden paid 57.19 per cent, more than anywhere else in the world. This is significantly more than the OECD average of 41.65 per cent and in general, income taxes are higher in the Nordic countries.

So how else can we stimulate the economy? I have had a problem with cash handouts but some experiments seem to justify the approach. A recent handout took place in Vancouver as described by Jiaying Zhao.

The study as the first randomized control trial in developed countries examining the impact of unconditional cash transfers on homeless individuals. Specifically, a one-time unconditional cash grant of $7,500 to each of 50 homeless individuals in Vancouver, with another group as controls.

Preliminary data shows that the cash transfer results in significant improvements in housing stability, food security, savings, and cognitive function, with no increases in spending on temptation goods. Based on a cost-benefit analysis, the cash transfer results in net savings per person per month via reduced shelter use. Preliminary findings suggest that unconditional cash transfers can be an effective and cost-effective solution to reduce homelessness in developed countries.

READ MORE: Old growth forests under new management

Some other authors that have written on similar topics are the following: George Monbiot, the British writer for the Guardian in his most recent book, Out of the Wreckage. Canadian philosopher Todd Dufresne writes in The Democracy of Suffering Our collective future faces a now-or-never moment From climate change to pandemics: we can fix this mess together.

All of the authors mentioned above have some very severe warnings but have encouraged all the readers to take some time to consider some new ideas that may seem impossible but are similar to other issues that challenged past generations but have eventually prevailed like reducing slavery, suffrage for women, preventing some diseases and many others.

Jim Hilton is a professional agrologist and forester who has lived and worked in the Cariboo Chilcotin for the past 40 years. Now retired, Hilton still volunteers his skills with local community forests organizations.


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
editor@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

forestry

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mayor Walt Cobb waves from atop a tractor as he turns onto Oliver Street in the Daybreak Rotary’s annual Stampede Parade. Patrick Davies photo.
Lack of funding, volunteers has Daybreak Rotary bowing out of Williams Lake Stampede parade

Club learned this week it won’t be receiving local government funding, for the second year in a row

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

Williams Lake’s Brock Hoyer films a segment of the newly-released The Way Home in the city of Revelstoke. (Ryen Dunford photo)
Brock Hoyer stars in new snowbike film: The Way Home

The film is completely free and was released on YouTube on Jan. 22, 2021

The body of Kenneth Seymour Michell was discovered Jan. 14, 2021, behind a Williams Lake business a day after he was released by a judge on conditions. (Photo submitted)
Family looks for answers after Indigenous man dies by suicide following release from custody

System does not care about Indigenous peoples, says First Nations Leadership Council

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Interior Health officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon on Jan. 3, which was followed by the first death from the virus 10 days later. (Kaigo photo)
COVID outbreak over at Vernon care home

Creekside Landing cleared of coronavirus, despite additional death in last day

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

Most Read