CHARITABLE CAUSES AT THE EXPENSE OF LOW WAGES  INCREASES POVERTY OF SINGLES OVER WEALTHY AND MARRIED PERSONS

 

(These thoughts are purely the blunt, no nonsense personal opinions of the author about financial fairness and discrimination and are not intended to provide personal or financial advice – financialfairnessforsingles.ca).

Wages and taxes have been separated from and are considered to be less important than capitalistic wealth creation of rising housing prices, huge inheritances and the stock and bond markets.  The wealthy and married are more likely to achieve wealth because they are more likely to own all three wealth creators of owning homes/property, participating in stock and bond markets and receiving huge inheritances.

As stated previously singles don’t get to income split, pension split, etc. so they are forced to pay more taxes.   It is impossible for singles to save for retirement on a present day $50,000 income plus they are forced to live on very frugal wage incomes after taxes and EI/CPP deductions.  A single person with a 2019 $50,000 Alberta gross income ($25/hr. and 2,000 worked hours) and $11,000 tax, CPP and EI deductions results in a net income of $39,000 ($19.50/hr.).  When young millennial singles are faced with purchasing a used vehicle, trying to save for house purchase and retirement and possibly pay off student loans all at the same time these wages do not allow for accomplishment of all of these financial goals; they have to pick and choose.  Throughout their entire employment lives it will be difficult to maximize $9,000 RRSP and $6,000 TFSA contributions (35% of $39,000 with tax reductions for RRSP) even though many believe $50,000 is a good income for unattached individuals and single parents.  (Single parents do receive Canada Child Benefits until children reach the age of 18).  No median income family spends 35% of their income on savings and 10% for emergencies leaving 55% for living expenses.  As seniors these singles will likely be living only on CPP and OAS benefits.

Singles are not fortune tellers and, therefore, cannot forecast whether they will marry (excluding those who do not wish to marry ever) or if they will get divorced.  According to research, (see following articles from USA) at least 25 percent in mid-40s to mid-50s have never married, so why do society and governments continue to make them pay more and receive less than their married counterparts?

Liveable wages are being replaced by the graft and greed of capitalism which ensures the wealthy are becoming wealthier and married at the expense of keeping wages low for singles and the poor.

“Winners Take All-the elite charade of changing the world” book by Anand Giriharadas (HOW THE ELITE SABOTAGE) describes how the Marketworld and thought leaders of capitalism instead of addressing poverty believe poverty can be addressed by writing cheques.  ‘ “But inequality you can’t, because inequality is not about giving back, but how that money is made in the first place.”  To fight inequality means to change systems as a group of people.  With charity the elite work ALONE.

From behind private gates, schools, and jets the elite promote their private world-saving behind the backs of those to be saved through organized philanthropy while getting tax credits and maintaining their wealth.  For all the good they do they are marred by their own “narcissism.”   “When help is moved into private spheres, even when efficient, the helping context is a relationship of inequality:  giver and taker, donor and recipient”.

“Thought leaders” have permeated higher learning institutions by purposefully changing the language in which public spheres think and act.  Young people are taught to see social problems in a “zoom in” fashion by confining questioning to what socially minded businesses they can start up like “buy one, give one”, but not inequality.  Many right and left political leaders have bought into this ideology.’

Interestingly enough one presenter at the civil rights activist John Lewis funeral called the graft and greed of capitalistic wealth achieved at the feet of black slavery ‘plantation’ capitalism.  Today, it could be said that wages are being replaced by the charitable organizations of the capitalistic wealthy instead of increasing wages to liveable wages.  

Yes, it could be said that the “WE” charitable organization and its founders Marc and Craig Kielburger with head office in Toronto have had considerable success in their reduction of poverty goals.  But, when one researches the wages that the Kielburgers pay their employees, the lower salaries appear to begin at $30,000 to $31,000.  The minimum wage of Ontario is slightly higher than $14 per hour.  How does a single person with a $30,000 salary ($15 per hour and 2000 worked hours) begin to survive in the atrocious housing and rental prices of Toronto?  Meanwhile the Kielburgers appear to each receive $125,000 as the heads of the “WE” organization or four times more than the salaries of their lowest paid employees.

CONCLUSION

The Covid-19 pandemic crisis has highlighted how low minimum wages and lack of full time jobs have been detrimental to society as a whole.  One great example is nursing home wages where low paid employees were never allowed to be full time employees so that employers would not have to pay benefits  Suddenly with the crisis, these employees had to be reclassified as ‘essential’ employees and paid a higher wage so the Covid infections would not be spread between nursing homes.

In order to increase financial fairness and equality of low income persons, it is imperative that more value be placed on increasing wages instead of the wealthy increasing their wealthy through owning properties, stocks and bonds and huge inheritances and replacing wages with charitable causes.

 

https://time.com/3422624/report-millennials-marriage/ by Belinda Luscombe, 2014

‘Fewer young people are getting married and many are getting married later. About 20 percent of Americans older than 25 had always been single in 2012, up from 9 percent in 1960. In the black community, the numbers are even starker: 36 percent of black Americans older than 25 have never been married, a fourfold increase from 50 years ago.

PEW 2014 report authors Wendy Wang and Kim Parker state for each decade, the percentage of people of marriageable age who are single has grown. “When today’s young adults reach their mid-40s to mid-50s, a record high share (roughly 25 percent) is likely to have never been married,” they write. “This is not to say that adults in their mid-40s to mid-50s who still haven’t married will never marry, but our analysis suggests that the chance of getting married for the first time after age 54 is relatively small,” adds Parker….The three main reasons people give for their singleness are that they haven’t found the right person (30%), aren’t financially stable enough (27%) and are not ready to settle down (22%).’

 

https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2019/07/case-against-marriage/591973/ by Mandy Len Cantron, 2019

‘While marriage is often seen as an essential step in a successful life, the Pew Research Center reports that only about half of Americans over age 18 are married. This is down from 72 percent in 1960. One obvious reason for this shift is that, on average, people are getting married much later in life than they were just a few decades earlier. In the United States, the median age for first marriage rose to an all-time high in 2018: 30 for men and 28 for women. While a majority of Americans expect to marry eventually, 14 percent of never-married adults say they don’t plan to marry at all, and another 27 percent aren’t sure whether marriage is for them.’

 

(These thoughts are purely the blunt, no nonsense personal opinions of the author about financial fairness and discrimination and are not intended to provide personal or financial advice – financialfairnessforsingles.ca).

COVID CRISIS UNMASKS HOUSING DISCRIMINATION THAT SINGLES FACE EVERY DAY

(These thoughts are purely the blunt, no nonsense personal opinions of the author about financial fairness and discrimination and are not intended to provide personal or financial advice – financialfairnessforsingles.ca).

We have talked many times in the past about how singles are being forced out of the housing market.  Crises such as the Covid crisis further amplifies this issue.

Regardless of whether singles are in their younger years or seniors they are being forced into smaller and more expensive housing both from a rental and a purchasing perspective (affordable-housing-discrimination-for-singles-perpetuated-by-misinformation-and-lack-of-knowledge).

As children, social service agency rules generally dictate that when they reach a certain age they should have their own bedrooms.  When these same children reach the age of majority formulas such as living wage formulas generally imply that singles only need studio apartments  without a separate bedroom.

Apartments and condos for singles are becoming smaller in size, some with only bar fridges and microwaves with no laundry facilities or storage space.  There is little doubt that during crises such as the Covid crisis singles will experience claustrophobia and restricted space especially if they are forced to work from home in these spaces.

As seniors the Covid crisis further amplifies how crowded Canadian nursing home spaces increased the number of senior deaths as outlined in article “Hundreds of COVID-19 deaths could have been prevented by eliminating four-person nursing-home rooms: study” (multi-bed-rooms-in-nursing-homes-could-have-saved-many-lives-study)

As stated: ‘The study by University of Toronto, McMaster University and Public Health Ontario scientists, found a clear association between the degree of crowding in homes — how many people share a room and lavatory — and the virus’s spread.  Residents of the most tightly packed facilities were twice as likely to get infected and to die as those in the least-crowded homes, concluded their paper.  And yet, one in four long-term-care residents were in four-bed rooms when the pandemic hit, they say.’  ‘COVID-19’s disastrous toll on nursing homes has been the central story of the pandemic in Canada, accounting for about 80 per cent of the country’s 8,500 deaths.’

Some standards have been introduced that state new facilities should only have no more than two people per room.

The irony of the above is that while it is quite acceptable for couples to share a room, singles would still be forced to have a roommate even when they have for much of their lives always lived by themselves and do not wish to have a roommate.  As stated in the article, ‘past surveys indicate that 80 per cent of residents would choose to have a private room over a shared one’.  Senior singles are often forced to pay more per person than coupled persons, but singles only have one income.

CONCLUSION

It is high time that families, politicians and governments realize that singles are part of the family and deserve to live in the same reasonable housing spaces as the married and their children expect to live in.  Singles regardless of where they are in their life cycle should not always be the ‘losers’ in the setting of housing standards.  They should not be forced to have roommates when they don’t want roommates and their spaces should be of a reasonable size. Anything less is a violation of the civil rights and family values for singles.

(These thoughts are purely the blunt, no nonsense personal opinions of the author about financial fairness and discrimination and are not intended to provide personal or financial advice – financialfairnessforsingles.ca).

EVEN IN DEATH FINANCIAL FORMULAS (LIKE CPP) FINANCIALLY DISCRIMINATE AGAINST SINGLES

The Covid pandemic further amplifies the financial discrimination that singles never married, no children (also includes divorced/separated) face even in death (CPP death benefit) (CPP INCREASE FOR WIDOWS APRIL FOOL’S JOKE) One saving grace, if one can call it that, is that the young appear to be less afflicted by the Covid virus.

Canada Revenue Agency rules for receiving the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) death benefit reveal that the deceased must have made CPP contributions for at least: – one-third of the calendar years in their contributory period for the base CPP, but no less than 3 calendar years; or – 10 calendar years.  It is difficult to determine how this is calculated but it appears that the estates of deceased persons meeting these requirements will receive a one time $2,500 death benefit which doesn’t even cover the cost of a funeral.  Deceased persons with less than the equivalent of 10 CPP calendar years receive nothing? The $2,500 death benefit is not indexed to inflation.  (The maximum contribution to the base CPP for employees in 2019 was $2,748.90 based on an earnings ceiling of $57,400.  If singles contributed the maximum for ten years CPP contributions would total $27,489.00). 

Further analysis of rules shows that deceased singles (especially those with incomes under $50,000 before the age of 30 or 35) will likely not even receive the $2,500 even though they have been employed and contributed to CPP since some young CPP contributors will likely not meet the 10 calendar year CPP contribution requirement.  They also will likely not have been able to put aside money for savings (to cover their funeral costs)  since they are likely paying off student loans and spending income on establishing themselves as young adults.

Singles deceased after the age of 30 to 35 with over ten years employment may probably receive the $2,500 death benefit but this still doesn’t cover the cost of a funeral.

So how do singles, who have been personally responsible by being employed, pay for their funerals which can cost between $6,000 to $10,000?  Many immediate family members, especially those with low incomes, would have great difficulty paying for this.

The question then remains: what happens to the CPP contributions paid by singles above and beyond $2,500?  Answer: Contributions would remain in the CPP ‘pot’ to be probably primarily used by the married and widowed regardless of age.  Examination reveals that the widowed under the age of 35 now may be eligible for CPP survivor benefits since the rules have recently changed to include these individuals.  The amount they will receive depends on how much, and for how long, the deceased contributor has paid into CPP.  Dependent children  of the widowed are also eligible for CPP survivor benefits.

Over time with life span now decreasing instead of increasing, collapsing financial markets and the further increasing burden of CPP survivor benefits being placed on CPP resources, will the CPP plan be able to sustain itself?  Will widowed also possibly receive extra 25 per cent survivor CPP benefits because Trudeau has sent out a trial balloon re this intent while singles receive nothing equivalent to this amount?

Analysis of the obituaries reveals there are many individuals who expire before the age of 85 through illness – cancer, heart and stroke, autoimmune diseases, flu, dementia, etc. Covid deaths can now be added to the list.  Accidental deaths and homicides also need to be included.  Young adults may decease from diseases like asthma and Type 1 diabetes.

Young adults who are deceased deserve to benefit from their CPP contributions just like widowed over and under the age of 65.

To eliminate the gross financial abuse of singles’ CPP contributions by the married (including the wealthy married), the financial formulas should be changed so that CPP survivor benefits are replaced with mandatory life insurance for the married/coupled (some employees do receive life insurance benefits if employed by companies providing this benefit).  Since singles never married, no children can only be personally responsible to themselves they do not need life insurance.  (Singles may purchase life insurance on a voluntary basis if they wish to financially assist someone close to them).

Mandatory life insurance should make the private sector very happy since it would promote private sector insurance businesses and stocks markets for the insurance industry.  Mandatory life insurance for the married would mean they would take sole personal responsibility for their death benefits without robbing singles of their CPP contributions by ‘robbing from Peter to pay Paul’. This would mean that beyond the CPP death benefits CPP benefits would exclusively only be used for CPP retirement benefits.

It is a known fact that once benefits are introduced by politicians it is almost impossible to eliminate them for fear of loss of votes perpetuated by their own partisan greed (Liberal and Conservative).  It is a known fact that the married will usually financially win over singles since singles as a minority have no voice and have no one to speak for them.

SOLUTION:  Since we know the grifting of CPP survivor benefits where the married benefit the most will not change anytime soon it is imperative that financial abuse of singles CPP benefits be at least partially eliminated by increasing the CPP death benefit to at least $6,000 to cover the cost of funerals and be indexed just like widowed CPP survivor benefits are.  Life insurance should be mandatory for married and common-law households instead of increasing CPP survivor benefits by twenty five per cent as has been trial ballooned by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

(These thoughts are purely the blunt, no nonsense personal opinions of the author about financial fairness and discrimination and are not intended to provide personal or financial advice – financialfairnessforsingles.ca).

 

SINGLES NEED A FINANCIAL “RUTH BADER GINSBURG” TYPE HERO

(These thoughts are purely the blunt, no nonsense personal opinions of the author about financial fairness and discrimination and are not intended to provide personal or financial advice – financialfairnessforsingles.ca).

EXAMPLES OF RUTH BADER GINSBURG’S FIGHT AGAINST GENDER DISCRIMINATION

https://www.history.com/news/ruth-bader-ginsburgs-landmark-opinions-womens-rights-supreme-court

Brilliant judge and lawyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has built her career on the fight for women’s rights and gender discrimination.  Before her days as a judge, she acted as general counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), where she argued over 300 gender discrimination cases—six before the Supreme Court—and cofounded the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project. As a civilian, Ginsburg earned a reputation as a dogged advocate for gender equality. As a judge, first during 13 years as a U.S. Court of Appeals judge, then more than 25 years as a Supreme Court Justice, she’s built upon that legacy.

A case that hinged on gender discrimination and government benefits was Frontiero v. Richardson. The 1973 case was the first Ginsburg argued before the Supreme Court. When a woman in the U.S. Air Force applied for benefits for her dependent husband, she was told she’d have to prove he was a dependent, even though men in the Air Force didn’t have to prove that their wives were dependent on them.

https://time.com/5247283/ruth-bader-ginsburg-rbg/

She made her mark on gender discrimination jurisprudence with a male client.  In the case Weinberger v. Wiesenfeld (1975), Weisenfeld was a self-employed consultant and male homemaker, who was denied his late wife’s Social Security benefits to support their son because that money only went to mothers.  Stephen Weisenfeld brought a lawsuit, which Ginsburg argued, charging that this provision of the Social Security Act denied him equal protection and violated the due-process clause of the Fifth Amendment….“It is no less important for a child to be cared for by its sole surviving parent when that parent is male rather than female,” the court ruled. The unanimous decision in Wiesenfeld’s favor led to a new class of Social Security payments.

IT COULD BE ARGUED THAT RBG CASES ARGUED AS MUCH FOR MARTIAL STATUS RIGHTS AS FOR GENDER DISCRIMINATION

In the first case the person was married and female.  In the second case the person was widowed and male.

In the Frontiero v. Richardson case, the woman who applied for benefits for her dependent husband, she had to prove he was a dependent, even though men in the Air Force didn’t have to prove that their wives were dependent on them.  In this case the person was married and female.  As for single marital status persons, were the benefits that single persons received equivalent to married persons benefits where applicable?

In the Weinberger v. Weisenfeld case, Weisenfeld was a self-employed consultant and male homemaker, who was denied his late wife’s Social Security benefits to support their son because that money only went to mothers.  In this case, the person was widowed and male.

WHO WILL BE THE FINANCIAL HERO THAT WILL FIGHT FOR FINANCIAL DISCRIMINATION AGAINST SINGLES?

We have shown many times in this blog how singles are financially discriminated against in many different ways.

It has been shown that a single person with a 2019 $50,000 Alberta gross income ($25/hr. and 2,000 worked hours) and $11,000 tax, CPP and EI deductions results in a net income of $39,000 ($19.50/hr.).  This is a bare bones living wage that does not allow for savings, vacations or entertainment.   It is impossible to maximize $9,000 RRSP and $6,000 TFSA contributions (35% of $39,000 with tax reductions for RRSP) even though many believe $50,000 is a good income for unattached individuals and single parents.  As seniors these singles will likely be living only on CPP and OAS benefits.  There is no median income family that spends 35% of their income on savings and 10% for emergencies.

Some of these financial discrimination issues for singles have been submitted to the Canadian Human Rights Commission   (DISCRIMINATION OF SINGLES). They said they couldn’t help. If they can’t, who can and who will?  Who will be the financial hero?

(These thoughts are purely the blunt, no nonsense personal opinions of the author about financial fairness and discrimination and are not intended to provide personal or financial advice – financialfairnessforsingles.ca).

WEALTHY MARRIED AND FINANCIAL ADVISORS GASLIGHT ON ‘PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY

(These thoughts are purely the blunt, no nonsense personal opinions of the author about financial fairness and discrimination and are not intended to provide personal or financial advice – financialfairnessforsingles.ca).


Many espouse ‘personal responsibility’ but base it on gaslighting and entitlement (personal-responsibility).

Andrew Allentuck article “Couple with a big age gap forced to contemplate impact of early death” (couple-with-big-age-gap-worry-that-their-prosperity-is-fragile) states couple, aged 64 and 55, with grown children have financial assets of $1,741,500 including $650,000 house, TFSAs, RRSPs, non registered, GICs and cash.  At husband’s age 65 couple’s estimated income is $72,000 net income after eligible income splits, tax free TFSA distributions and reduced income tax to average 15 per cent. They spend $17,000 annually on travel and entertainment. Singles with similar income, should they be so lucky, could pay 25 per cent in taxes. This financial profile receives five out of five stars.

 If husband dies early, financial advisor estimates Lori could lose $17,008 gross annual income and potentially pay higher taxes.  Reduced income could result from 1) loss of husband’s OAS, 2) part his two work pensions, 3) most of his CPP benefits and 4) inability to split income, but 5) still have $650,000 house.  Most of these are not available to never married singles throughout entire senior lives. The advisor gaslights by over embellishing potential losses of surviving spouse which are far less than gains achieved as a couple.

How wealthy married abdicate their ‘personal responsibility’:  1) retire at age 55 with no acknowledgment that they haven’t fully contributed to EI/CPP even though they have used maternity/paternity EI benefits but possibly will receive extra 25 per cent survivor CPP benefits because Trudeau has sent out a trial balloon re this intent  2) complain that most of husband’s CPP benefits would be lost, but they haven’t contributed fully to CPP 3) spend $17,000 annually on travel and entertainment 4) calculations based on age 90 and 100 when 2018 average life expectancy is 82.8 years.

Lori could take ‘personal responsibility’ by working till age 65, reducing excessive spending and saving that money to be used if husband dies early.  How about paying fair share of taxes and Lori maintaining frugal standard of living that many singles never married have to live every day of their lives?

Even Ayn Rand betrayed her ‘personal responsibility’ philosophy by using social benefits in her elder years.

Gaslighting of ‘personal responsibility’ smacks of individualism and entitlement instead of betterment of society as a whole.

(This blog is of a general nature about financial discrimination of individuals/singles.  It is not intended to provide personal or financial advice).

CANADIAN SINGLES FACE TERRIBLE FINANCIAL FUTURE UNDER CONSERVATIVE AND LIBERAL PERSONAL FINANCIAL SYSTEMS

 

(These thoughts are purely the blunt, no nonsense personal opinions of the author about financial fairness and discrimination and are not intended to provide personal or financial advice – financialfairnessforsingles.ca).

For this discussion singles include millennials not yet married age 18 to 34, singles never married no children age 35 to 65, and early in life divorced persons with no children.  Early in life divorced persons are unable to accumulate the same wealth as married persons who have two incomes and benefits times two over many years.

First and foremost, governments, society and married people have no concept about how difficult it is for ‘singles’ to live decent respectful financial lives.  Canadian financial system has been setup to give benefits compounded on benefits to the wealthy and the married but leave ‘singles’ out of financial formulas and exclude them from the family definition.

SINGLES DO NOT BENEFIT FROM THEIR INCOMES IN THE SAME WAY AS THE MARRIED AND THE WEALTHY

Singles don’t get to income split, pension split, etc. so they are forced to pay more taxes.   It is impossible for singles to save for retirement on a present day $50,000 income plus they are forced to live on a very frugal bare bones living wage income.  A single person with a 2019 $50,000 Alberta gross income ($25/hr. and 2,000 worked hours) and $11,000 tax, CPP and EI deductions results in a net income of $39,000 ($19.50/hr.).  This bare bones living wage that does not allow for savings, vacations or entertainment.   It is impossible to maximize $9,000 RRSP and $6,000 TFSA contributions (35% of $39,000 with tax reductions for RRSP) even though many believe $50,000 is a good income for unattached individuals and single parents.  As seniors these singles will likely be living only on CPP and OAS benefits.   

Singles are only able to achieve full contributions to RRSP and TFSA with $80,000 income but only can do so while living on a bare bones living wage of $39,000, 18% RRSP of $14,400 and $6,000 TFSA contribution with RRSP tax savings of $4,400 or extra income of $366 per month.

This is completely unrealistic since both OECD and Canadian median income statistics show median incomes for unattached individuals is considerably lower than $80,000 and indeed even $50,000.  The OECD calculator (oecd) shows that the median income for Canadian one person households is between $32,621 and $43,495 and income for one person households begins at $86,990 for the top 10%.   Canadian median income by households in 2015 (vanierinstitute) shows the total median household income in Canada was approximately $70,300 before taxes ($61,300 after taxes), and $34,200 before taxes (just under $30,900 after taxes) for individuals.  The Canadian Market Basket Measure (MBM) or OECD equivalence scales (OECDEquivalenceScales) show that it costs more for singles to live than two person households – if singles have a value of 1.0, it is only 1.4 for two person households, not 2.0.

There are many other ways in which singles are forced by government, society and families to contribute to family financial formulas without being able to benefit themselves from these contributions.

SINGLES DO NOT RECEIVE SAME LEVEL OF BENEFITS AS MARRIED/WEALTHY

From the time a married or coupled with children family unit begins at marriage until death of one of the spouses, it is possible they will receive shower, wedding and baby gifts (there is no such thing as ‘singles showers’), maternity/paternity leaves, child benefits, TFSA benefits times two, RRSP benefits times two, RESP grants, reduced taxes, pension-splitting, no OAS clawback, Involuntary Separation payments and possible survivor pension benefits.  There also are probably a great number of years where they never pay full taxes while increasing wealth and many can retire early before the age of 65.  Singles are not able to achieve these same level of benefits and tax relief.

Married people fail to realize that they get two inheritances (it is quite funny watching married people struggle with this fact until you tell them one heritance comes from the wife’s side and the second from the husband’s side)  Singles get one inheritance.

EI CONTRIBUTIONS AND BENEFITS

Government, families and society fail to recognize or even realize that singles often contribute to EI without ever using these benefits in their employment lifetime.  Instead contributions (estimated $35,000 at $800 to $900 EI contributions over forty years – investment potential not included) are forfeited to be used by other persons particularly for maternity/paternity benefits.  Singles are forced to help pay for maternity/paternity benefits for not only one generation, but possibly two generations.  Question:  when do EI maternity/paternity benefit payouts outpace the contributions of two working parents, especially when they retire early at age 55 and not contribute their full share to EI?

CPP CONTRIBUTIONS AND BENEFITS

The CPP death benefit is maxed at $2,500, is not indexed and not increased for many years.  After forty years of employment with average $2,500 annual CPP contributions will total $100,000.  If a single person dies one day after the age of 65 the deceased single person’s estate will only receive $2,500 death benefit which doesn’t even cover funeral costs.  Total of $100,000 contribution is forfeited to be used by the survivors of married or coupled households.

And now Liberal Prime Minister Trudeau wants to increase surviving spousal CPP benefits by 25% while singles will not receive equivalent increase???  Conservative Party’s Motion 110 proposes investigation to ensure parents with early infant deaths do not suffer undue financial or emotional hardship due to government programming design, particularly from Employment Insurance Parental Benefits.  Both Conservatives and Liberals continue to implement financial death formulas that benefit only families and the married.

SINGLES AND EMPLOYERS PENALIZED FOR OVERCONTRIBUTIONS OF EI  AND CPP

When singles attempt to increase their financial worth by working multiple jobs, they will not be able to contribute to EI and CPP beyond the individual maximum limits.  Meanwhile, married persons with both spouses working can contribute to maximum limits time two.  This means singles will never be able to achieve the same EI and CPP benefits afforded to married households but Market Basket Measure shows it costs them more to live than two person households.

The irony of singles having to receive a rebate of EI and CPP contributions is that the rebate is paid to the employee, not the employer.  In other words, the employer will have also  made an overcontribution, but is not able to collect a rebate on the overcontribution.  Their overpayment will be forfeited and added to benefits pot.

(Caveat:  Uncertain how recent changes to CPP contributions will affect overpayment levels).

ENTREPRENEURS WHO HAVE A MARITAL STATUS OF ‘SINGLE’ WILL PROBABLY PAY MORE INCOME TAX SINCE THEY CAN’T “INCOME SPRINKLE”, etc.

Personal responsibility espoused by Conservatives equals gaslighting in its purest form.

Re small business earners, excerpt from a newspaper article states that “Small business owners, including incorporated professionals such as doctors, lawyers, accountants and others, will likely face a higher tax bill in the years ahead as a result of (Liberal) Finance Minister announcement this week targeting several common, and until now, perfectly legal, tax strategies used in conjunction with private corporations.

The strategies under attack can be categorized into three main areas: income sprinkling, earning passive investment income in a corporation and converting a corporation’s ordinary income into tax-preferred capital gains.

Among these changes, it’s the first one — income sprinkling — which is perhaps deemed the most offensive of the three and the one that will likely have the broadest financial impact on small business owners and incorporated professionals”.

What this newspaper article fails to recognize is that information is only talking about families.  It fails to show how entrepreneurs who are single cannot use these benefits since they can only be personally responsible only to themselves since they have no children or spouses.  They, therefore, will likely pay more taxes and will possibly be more likely to have business failures as entrepreneurs.

“Income sprinkling” describes how some families use private corporations to sprinkle income among family members. In a typical example, dividends that would have been received by the primary owner/manager of the private corporation, say, mom or dad, would instead be paid to the spouse, partner or kids of the primary shareholder, who are often in lower tax brackets than the primary owner/manager and thus the family’s total tax bill would be reduced.  When it comes to income sprinkling of salary income, this rule is meant to prevent a parent who owns a corporation from paying his spouse or child an annual salary when he or she doesn’t actually perform any work or provide services to the business.   In the past transferring dividends to children under the age of 18 was eliminated (this blog writer’s opinion – this was the right and fair thing to do as children would benefit from double dipping while using multiple combined medical and educational services and receiving concomitant tax free Canada Child Benefits). 

Conservatives in the recent election promised to reverse some of these entrepreneurship rules changed by the Liberals, however, the election resulted in Liberals winning a minority government (example of Conservatives doing the wrong thing that would increase financial discrimination of single marital status entrepreneurs).

Since singles never married no children, millennials not yet married and early in life divorced persons without children in their financial circles can only be basically financially responsible to themselves, ‘Income sprinkling’, distribute dividends to family members, etc. is of no benefit to these entrepreneurs so they will pay more taxes.  Why would singles and millennials not yet married even try entrepreneurship when they know from the get go that they will not have the same advantage, Alberta or otherwise, to married and wealthy entrepreneurs with spouses and children?  Singles are forced to be more personally responsible since they do not receive equivalent benefits in financial formulas.   Tax fairness needs to be ensured regardless of marital status and how income is earned.

Income, taxes and benefits, etc. define who employees are and how loyal they are to their employers.  Without change to where there is fairness and equality for single employees in pay, pension, taxes, benefits, etc. the trend where young single employees have no sense of loyalty to their employers (revolving door of quitting and applying for job after job after job) will only continue and get worse. This also applies to senior single employees who have tried lobbying and using righteous anger regarding financial discrimination and singlism in the workplace and in society but get nowhere because their employers, politicians and society choose to blatantly not listen.

THE FINANCIAL HYPOCRISY, GREED, SELFISHNESS OF THE MARRIED AND THE WEALTHY AS SHOWN IN FINANCIAL ANALYSTS EVALUATIONS WHERE IMPACT ON NEVER MARRIED SINGLES IS COMPLETELY ABSENT AND INVISIBLE

Financial Post article “Couple with a big age gap forced to contemplate impact of an early death” (alberta-couple-with-big-age-gap-worry)

Article states wife (Lori) could lose $17,000 a year in income if her husband dies first since there is a ten year age difference.  They have financial assets of $1,741,500 including a $650,000 house.  At age 65 couple is estimated to have income of $6,000 per month ($72,000 annual net income after splits of eligible income, no tax on TFSA distributions and reduced income tax to average 15 per cent.  How does single person ever only pay 15%?

 If husband dies early, the financial planner estimates that Lori could lose $17,008 in gross annual income per year and potentially pay a higher tax on her remaining income.  The reduced income could result from 1) loss of husband’s OAS, 2) part of two of his work pensions, 3) most of his CPP benefits and 4) the inability to split income, but 5) still have $650,000 house.  All of these are not available to singles throughout their entire senior lives.

It is distressing to never married singles that this couple should be worried when it appears they are spending over $15,000 annually on travel and entertainment.  If they are so worried that Lori’s standard of living will be reduced, why can’t they take personal responsibility,  work till age 65, reduce some of their excessive spending and save that money to be used if husband dies early?  How about paying fair share of taxes and maintaining lower standard of living that singles never married have to live every day of their lives?

It is also distressing to never married singles that Liberal Prime Minister Trudeau and other politicians are obsessing about benefits for surviving spouses.  He is talking about increasing CPP benefits for surviving spouses by 25%.  Twenty five percent!  Will never married singles get same equivalent amount?  Who is paying for this increase?  Lori retired at age 55 so why should she receive an extra 25% when she hasn’t contributed to the full amount of CPP?

Michael Lewis, author of “The Undoing Project” book, describes how a Nobel Prize-winning theory of the mind altered our perception of reality.   Two Israeli psychologists, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky’s work created the field of behavioral economics which revolutionized thinking of how the human mind works when forced to make judgements in uncertain situations.  An example is outcomes of surgery where there might be a 5% chance of death versus 95% chance of surviving the surgery.  When patients are presented with 95% chance of survival rather than 5% death rate, they are more likely to go through with the surgery.  The same judgement should apply to the hypocrisy of the wealthy.

For upper class and wealthy, please don’t ‘cry me a river’.  Wealthy need to look at what they have left after taxation instead of what is being taken from them in taxation.

EFFECTS OF LOW INCOME ON BRAIN AND MENTAL HEALTH ESPECIALLY THE YOUNG

Government, politicians and society need to educate themselves on the effects that low income has on the brain by reducing connective white matter and increasing worse structural integrity as outlined in first article listed below.  The second article outlines how Alberta university students are facing food insecurity and even homelessness.  One of the reasons in particular for increased university costs is the massive increase in textbook costs   – American data suggest textbook costs increased by more than 800 per cent between 1978 and 2013.

The information from the two articles has been submitted as an attachment.  

1) “UNPREDICTABLE EMPLOYMENT MAY BE BAD FOR BRAIN HEALTH” by Lisa Rapaport, October10, 2019 (unpredictable-income) and 2) “FINANCIAL AND MENTAL HEALTH PRESSURES MOUNT ON STUDENTS” by Joel Schlesinger (unable to attach link).

THE CANADIAN PERSONAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM IS FRAGMENTED AND BROKEN

There is a complete fragmentation of the Canadian personal financial system where politicians through upmanship throw money at certain populations, include the wealthy but exclude certain populations such as singles, the only reason being to get votes.

Conservatives continue to talk ad nauseum about socialism of the left, but are ‘brain dead’ to the selective privileged socialism they practise every day for the wealthy.

The wealthy often aren’t employed for as many years as singles, yet they believe they should be able to get full CPP benefits and even extend these to surviving spouses (Trudeau to increase by 25% for surviving spouses) some of whom haven’t even been employed for 75% of the employment lifetime of singles.

The Canadian financial  system for personal finances is broken.  Continuation of overspending for the wealthy and the married will lad to bankruptcy of the personal financial system.

Solutions:  

Instead of having a Minister for the Middle Class, a non partisan committee with participation by all political parties is needed to annually review financial formulas and  personal benefits based on application of MBM/OECD.  (See oecd for handy calculator by country and the number of persons in households).  More ‘zooming out’ and balance between ‘right and left brain thinking’ (see below for explanation) needs to replace the present narrow focus of only financially privileging the wealthy and the married.

To counterbalance the net income, tax avoidance and tax free selective socialistic privileging for the married and the wealthy, it is crucial that lifetime federal and provincial income tax be immediately and exclusively completely eliminated for singles and single parents with incomes under $50,000 so they also can save for their retirements.  (This change would be the equivalent of about $7,000 and would not exceed the many privileges such as CCB benefits and tax loopholes for the wealthy and the married).

Instead of singles subsidizing the married, the married should have to purchase mandatory term life insurance just like vehicle and house insurance.

The ‘financial pimping’ of singles and millennials not yet married by the married and the wealthy has to stop.   Singles are tired of being financially pimped by their own wealthy parents, wealthy married siblings and wealthy married fellow employees.  When singles are forced further into poverty to the point of homelessness, what will you do then?

The financial imbalance between the rich and the poor, singles and married only leads to populist anger, male millennial suicides (Alberta) and despair.  There already has been created a genocide of indigenous peoples.  We don’t need a financial genocide of singles.

TWO THEORIES ON WHY FINANCIAL SYSTEMS ARE FAILING AND INDEED MAY RESULT IN THE DEMISE OF CIVILIZATION

Governments, politicians, and society continue to manipulate the financial system so that selective socialistic benefits are given unequally to the married and the wealthy.  Some believe continued progression of this inequality will lead to the degradation of civilization and, indeed, may even the demise of civilization.  Indeed, even higher educational institutions of learning have migrated to teaching that is focused more to the narrowness of ‘left brain thinking’ (enormous capacity for denial and capacity to ignore things and keep them shut out – students specialize in narrow fields.  Theories, and categories become important) and ‘zooming in’ (think smaller by focusing on vulnerability of poverty, not the wage of inequality) without ‘zooming out’ (getting people to care about problems first by ‘zooming in’ on a vivid person and then getting them to care by ‘zooming out’ from persons to systems”.  To fight inequality means to change systems as a group of people).

‘Personal responsibility’ smacks of individualism instead of betterment of society as a whole.

Further explanation of the two theories outline why this may be happening.

The first is by Iain McGilchist and “The Divided Brain from the Documentary Channel.  He states that imbalance towards left brain hemisphere thinking gives narrow, sharply focused attention to detail without understanding the larger context resulting in bureaucracy, excessive concentration on money and wealth, bad politics and warped economic systems.  Reduced role of right brain hemisphere thinking results in decreased ability to relate to things and understand them as a whole.  

The second theory by Anand Giriharadas, “Winners Take All” says the same thing but in a different way.  He refers to ‘zooming in’ and ‘zooming out’.  ‘Zooming in’ causes us to think smaller by focusing on vulnerability of poverty, not the wage of inequality.  ‘Zooming out’ causes us to care by ‘zooming out’ from persons to systems”.   To fight inequality means to change systems as a group of people.

Both theories show how higher learning institutions have been affected by a narrowed focus on learning which then translates into a narrowed kind of thinking by politicians and society when these graduates get out into the real world.

Synopsis of Iain McGilchist and “The Divided Brain from the Documentary Channel

The two hemispheres of the brain have styles or takes on the world, they see things differently, have different values, prioritize differently.

The left hemisphere’s goal is to enable us to manipulate things (like a calculator) whereas the role of the right brain is to relate to things and understand them as a whole ( like a tree branches growing out of the ground and sprouting out and upwards).  Two ways of thinking about things are both needed but at the same time are compatible.

McGilchrist claims that the left hemisphere is gradually colonizing our experiences of the world with potentially disastrous implications.  The way of thinking which is too mechanistic has taken over our way of thinking.  We behave like we have right hemisphere damage.  Do we pay a price for being too left brain centered?   It has made us enormously powerful; it has enabled us to become wealthy, but it also means we have lost the means to understand the world.

Could the problems of the modern world be influenced by an imbalance of the human brain?  And what does that imply about our future?  For McGilchrist the problem is not only bad politics or a warped economic system.  The problem is inside our modern brain.

Experiments showed that each hemisphere had a different way of looking at the world.  The left talks and is analytical and the right pulls stuff together.  Each hemisphere engages in everything, so each hemisphere, right and left, is involved in reason and language and emotion but in crucially different ways.  

Why does the brain have two centres of consciousness, each capable of maintaining consciousness on its own but in a different way?  The left brain will recognize parts i.e. (picture of a human cut in pieces) of a body to recognize a human , but the right brain requires the correct position of  the human body to recognize it as a human.  Both hemispheres are doing an excellent job and both hemispheres can contribute and both hemispheres can decide human or non human but both do it with different cognitive strategies.

He observed that the left hemisphere gives narrow, sharply focused attention to detail without understanding the larger context.  It sees objects in relation to their usefulness.  It is in charge of the right hand which has the power to manipulate things such as tools and to technology. As it can’t make human connections it does not not understand relationships, humor and tone of voice.  Things and people are not unique and individual but groups that it can organize, sort and file in a system of rules and linear connections.  On its own it has no sense of the whole.  Even people are seen as body parts.  The world of the left hemisphere is lifeless.  It shatters the world into an assortment of bits without meaning.

The right hemisphere by contrast sees the broad view of the world.  It is the master of the brain.  It perceives an interconnected world.  It understands relationships, body language, facial expressions and implicit meaning.  The right hemisphere engages with life, understands movement, story and metaphor.  It perceives how humanity fits into the whole of creation.  

The divided brain give us two types of attention, two ways of engaging with the world.  It has made us the most powerful species on earth.

But the left hemisphere’s narrow kind of attention reminded McGilchrist of something else.  Our world!  I began thinking how everything in public life has become more regulated, more rule bound, more explicit.  For the last hundred years the way of thinking which is reduct to mechanistic has taken us over.  It has enabled us to manipulate the world, to use resources, to become wealthy, but it has also meant we have lost means to feel satisfaction and fulfillment through our place in the world. We have created outside ourselves a world which looks very much like the interior world of the left hemisphere, rigid lines of things that were rolled out mechanically and were non unique.  Bureaucracy is in its element.  It depends on qualities which the left hemisphere provides:  organizability, animity, standardization, uniformity, abstraction and so on.  Systems designed to maximize utility with loss of cohesion socially because the left hemisphere needs control.  There is a lack of trust and a lot of paranoia with the use of CCTVs and monitoring of all kinds .

The left hemisphere is the quick and dirty one because it has to make action.  It likes things to be black and white.  People think that, well, the left hemisphere surely is the basis for intelligence, it is the one that does all that analysis.  But that is not the case.  There is a lot of evidence that that the really critical one from the point of view of intelligence is the right hemisphere.   Another important difference, a very important difference, is that between fixity and flow.  Things in the left hemisphere are fixed whereas in the right hemisphere flow is what it sees and understands.  Now that is very profound.  That actually changes the whole nature of what life is.  Nothing is just isolated.  It is always part of a flow.  Things can only be understood in context when you take them out.  They change when you grab them and put them in the spotlight of attention and make them explicit.

“One of the primary features of the left hemisphere is that you find this enormous capacity for denial, this capacity to ignore things and keep them shut out. The left hemisphere that wants to slice and dice and execute quickly.  To make quick decisions the left hemisphere relies on abstractions, categories and models of the world.

Economics detached from a robust resourceful picture of human well-being is very dangerous and that is what we are living with in large parts of the globe.  We seem to take it as absolutely self evident that unlimited material growth is the best thing that we could hope for.  The biggest single task is thinking again through that question of growth and why it is so obvious and target why some kinds of growth are privileged over the notion of growth of real human well-being and understanding.

The school curriculum moves away from the right hemisphere resulting in an imbalance between right and left hemisphere learning.  In universities the learning becomes even more left hemisphere dominant.  The student specialize in narrow fields.  Theories, and categories become important. 

McGilchrist: (Consequences- riots, protests) What certainly would not happen is that things would be calm because the left hemisphere is emotional and one emotion that lateralizes particularly clearly is anger and it lateralizes to the left.  Discourse in public will become marked by anger and aggression.  But, according to the right hemisphere everything is connected to everything else.  It is about the relationships.

McGilchrist notes three periods where there was a flourishing of civilization in the west – Athens in the sixth century, the beginning of the empire in Rome, and early Renaissance.  The civilization in these three cases showed a marvellous balance in the right hemisphere and left hemisphere ways of thinking, but in each case it ended up with a movement further and further towards the left hemisphere after which the civilization collapsed.

What McGilchrist’s work can do is point us in the direction toward a solution.  If we can get better at seeing things more holistically, more specifically, more in context, if we can get better at systematically resisting attempts to turn things into algorithms, to always measure, to always quantify, if we can get better and more robust at doing that, the world will begin to steer towards a better place.

We need a better balance between the right and left hemisphere.  We need to look at the world in a different way.

Einstein said the rational mind is the faithful servant, but the intuitive mind is a priceless gift.  We live in a world that honors the servant that has forgotten the gift.  We do need a paradigm shift, it is not about little things here and there.  It is about the whole way we can see what a human being is, what the world is and what our relationship to it is.

Synopsis of “Winners Take All” by Anand Giriharadas (italics are blog author’s comments)

MarketWorld (capitalism) believes social change should be pursued through free market and voluntary actions without public life, law and reform of systems that people share in common.

MarketWorld “thought leader” thinkers (capitalists) promote so called ‘world-changing’ ideas with little risk to themselves.  Their ideas cause us to “zoom in” and think smaller by focusing on vulnerability of poverty, not the wage of inequality.   They don’t like “social justice” and “inequality” words, but rather use “poverty” and “fairness” while speaking of “opportunity”.

“Public intellectual” thinkers (conscious capitalists) counterbalance this thinking and change the trajectory of MarketWorld “by getting people to care about problems first by ‘zooming in’ on a vivid person and then getting them to care by ‘zooming out’ from persons to systems”.   To fight inequality means to change systems as a group of people.

“Thought leaders” have permeated higher learning institutions by purposefully changing the language in which public spheres think and act.  Young people are taught to see social problems in a “zoom in” fashion by confining questioning to what socially minded businesses they can start up like “buy one, give one”, but not inequality.

To counteract and provide balance to MarketWorld “our political institutions–laws, constitutions, regulations, taxes, shared infrastructure:  these million little pieces provide a counterbalance to help hold democratic capitalistic civilizations together.”

Blog author’s thoughts on this theory:  The one-sided financial hegemony of MarketWorlders has created the present day ‘graft and greed’ college financial scandal, FAA allowing Boeing to “self-inspect” and SNC Lavalin corruption.

One word comes to mind–brainwashing, or at the very least gaslighting.  MarketWorlders have done a very good job of gaslighting the political, financial and higher learning powers that be.

(This blog is of a general nature about financial discrimination of individuals/singles.  It is not intended to provide personal or financial advice).

 

TRUDEAU’S ‘MIDDLE CLASS TAX CUT’ BENEFITS MARRIED AND WEALTHY MOST

(These thoughts are purely the blunt, no nonsense personal opinions of the author about financial fairness and discrimination and are not intended to provide personal or financial advice – financialfairnessforsingles.ca).

Comment from blog author:  We have commented in past blog posts about the controversy surrounding the definition of ‘what is the middle class?’  

(WHO IS THE MIDDLE CLASS? AND FINANCIAL DISCRIMINATION OF SINGLES AND THE POOR)

This blog post shows that the Liberal Party has done nothing to resolve the financial struggles of the middle class.  If the Conservative Party had won the 2019 election their promises also would not have helped the middle class.  It is not difficult to understand why the anger of those in the bottom half contiues to increase when government and politicians continue to gaslight and lie about tax cuts that benefit the wealthy more than the poor and the married more than singles.  As outlined below critics of the proposal have said middle-to-high income earners will receive the highest sums of money from the measure and cutting taxes will put an increasing strain on federal finances already facing annual multi-billion dollar deficits.

The following post is divided into three parts:  1)  how Liberal ‘middle class tax cut’ will benefit married households more than single person households using OECD calculator.  2) excellent article by Andrew Coyne on “why the Liberal middle class tax cut is no tax cut at all” 3) details of the Liberal Middle Class Tax Cut (for additional information only).

1) OECD calculator shows how ‘middle class tax cut’ will benefit married more than single person households

OECD article states “Governments must act to help struggling middle class”

https://www.oecd.org/newsroom/governments-must-act-to-help-struggling-middle-class.htm

Across the OECD area, except for a few countries, middle incomes are barely higher today than they were ten years ago, increasing by just 0.3% per year, a third less than the average income of the richest 10%.

The link for this OECD article has an interesting application of OECD CALCULATOR (See where you belong by entering your details!  Which income class does your family income fit in?) where the reader can enter details of country, number of persons in household and net income amount after taxes and benefits.  (Caveat: Some might disagree with the OECD income ranges which are quite wide and high especially at the upper ranges of stated middle class incomes).

Explanations of the Calculator:

  • Lower-income class refers to households with income below 75% of the median national income
  • Middle-income class refers to households with income between 75% and 200% of the median national income
  • Upper-income class refers to households with income above 200% of the median national income

According to this OECD calculator in Canada 58% of the population is in the middle-income class, 32% are in the lower-income class and 10% are in the upper-income class. On average, across OECD countries, 61% are in the middle-income class, 30% are in the lower-income class and 9% are in the upper-income class.

Between mid-2000s and mid-2010s in Canada:

  • The share of the population in the middle-income class has decreased by -1.5 percentage points.
  • The upper-income class has increased by 0.7 percentage points.
  • The lower-income class has increased by 0.8 percentage points.

Example of single person household with $50,000 Alberta gross income or $39,000 after deductions

In the past we have shown that it is impossible for a single person household with a $50,000 gross income to save anything for retirement.  As stated a single person with a 2019 $50,000 Alberta gross income ($25/hr. and 2,000 worked hours) and $11,000 tax, CPP and EI deductions results in a net income of $39,000 ($19.50/hr.).    This is a bare bones living wage that does not allow for savings, vacations or entertainment. It is impossible to maximize $9,000 RRSP and $6,000 TFSA contributions (35% of $39,000 with tax reductions for RRSP) even though many believe $50,000 is a good income for unattached individuals and single parents.

When $39,000 net income is entered into the OECD calculator, it shows that the lower 32% of single person households have net incomes below $32,621, middle 58% have net income from $32,621 ($16 per hr.) to $86,990 ($43 per hr.) and upper 10% have income over $86,990.  The median income is $43,495.  The calculator further states:   In Canada, a 1-person household would need between $32,621 and $86,990 per year to be in the middle-income class.

Example of two person household with  Alberta gross income of $82,000 or $61,000 after deductions

(For this calculations we have used $61,000 median income for a two person household).

When $61,000 is entered into the OECD calculator, it shows that the lower 32% of a two person household have net incomes below $46,133, middle 58% have net income from $46,133 ($11 per hr. for two incomes dividided equally between two persons) to $123,022 ($31 per hr. for two incomes divided equally between two persons) and upper 10% have income over $123,022.  The median income is $61,511.  The calculator further states:   In Canada, a 2-person household would need between $46,133 and $123,022 per year to be in the middle-income class

ANALYSIS AND CONCLUSIONS

The Liberal plan states that for top income earners the increase in the basic personal amount would be gradually reduced for individuals with net incomes above $150,473 (or approx. $235,00 gross income) in 2020. Meanwhile, those with incomes over net $214,368 would continue to receive the existing basic personal amount, which is tied to inflation.

Liberal Gaslight #1:  The Liberal middle class tax cut goes beyond the middle class.  Review of online information including OECD and CRA shows that the middle class parameters do no come close to $150,473, yet those with net incomes under $150,473 will receive the full tax cut.

Liberal Gaslight #2: How many times can it be said that it costs more for single person households to live than two person households?(According to the OECD the median income for single person household is $43,495 and for two person households $61,511).  It costs more for singles to live than couples without children.  Using OECD equivalence scales or Canadian Market Basket Measure if a single person household has a value of 1.0, lone parent, one child or two adult household has a value of 1.4, one adult, two children 1.7 and two adult, two children 2.0.   The single person household will receive the tax cut benefits only for one basic personal amount, but two person households will receive double the basic personal amount benefits even with less income generated per person in the household.

When benefits are given equally to Canadians on an individual basis, the financial spread between single person households and two person households will become wider and wider with single person households being pushed further into poverty.  Single person households are damned tired of being pushed into financial poverty by their own governments, politicians and their own families who either do not understand or care about the financial ramifications for their single children.

2)“Liberals’ ‘middle class tax cut’ is not a tax cut at all” (EXCELLENT ARTICLE!)

Andrew Coyne, December 10, 2019, Source The Globe and Mail, https://spon.ca/liberals-middle-class-tax-cut-is-not-a-tax-cut-at-all/2019/12/11/

The new Minister of Middle Class Prosperity was unable, in her first week on the job, to define the middle class with much precision or syntax. It’s “where people feel that they can afford their way of life,” Mona Fortier told CBC Radio. “They have a quality of life, and they can have, you know, send their kids to play hockey or even have different activities.”

In fairness, if the minister cannot define the file for which she pretends to have responsibility, neither can the government in which she notionally serves. Four years and two elections after they first started droning on about it, the best guess as to what the Liberals mean by “middle class” is “most people,” or more particularly, “most voters.”

Consider the latest “middle class tax cut,” promised in the platform and announced this week – a tax cut that is not a tax cut, and that applies to people who are not remotely middle class. For that matter, the basic personal exemption, which would be increased from $12,298 today to $15,000 in 2023, is not an exemption, really. It’s a credit – money you get from the government, not money you earn that the government leaves alone.

Have a look at your tax form. It’s not even called an exemption: It’s called the basic personal amount. Nor do you get to deduct it from your income, like an exemption. If you could, your tax owing would be reduced by the amount of the deduction times the top rate of tax you would otherwise have to pay on that income. Instead, policy makers saw fit to turn it into a credit, redeemable only at the 15 per cent bottom rate of tax. Basically everyone, rich or poor, gets a flat $1,884 ($12,298 times 15 per cent).

In other words, it’s a spending program, by another name. And since it applies to nearly everyone, an expensive one. Just to enrich it will cost the government another $6-billion a year, when fully implemented. It might have cost more, had the Liberals not added a wrinkle: The increase in the credit is phased out, starting at $150,473 in income; at $214,368, it disappears altogether, allowing the Liberals to say they have excluded the “richest” – the fabled 1 per cent – from its benefits.

And so they have. They’ve just included everyone short of that: the near-rich, the pretty rich, the rich, even the filthy rich, relatively speaking. Those eligible may not think of themselves that way: Virtually everyone, according to the polls, defines themselves as “middle class,” and why not when there’s money in it? But to actually be middle class, you’d have to be earning somewhere around $35,000 – the median income, according to Statistics Canada. Even if you defined middle class as, improbably, the “middle” 80 per cent of the income distribution, you’d still be earning less than $96,000.

A policy that pays out to people making as much as $214,368 may be many things, but it is not a middle-class tax cut. If the richest are excluded, moreover, so are the poorest. The credit is “non-refundable,” meaning it applies against taxes owing. If you pay no taxes, you get no credit. And if you are below the existing BPA, you gain no benefit from raising it further.

What we are left with is a $6-billion handout to just about everybody except those who need it most. And all of it is borrowed. With the deficit already in excess of $20-billion and headed higher, the government is proposing to borrow another $6-billion annually, and give much of it to people in the top half of the social register.

It’s one thing to borrow for investment – for things that pay returns into the future, enough at least to cover the extra interest costs incurred. But this isn’t for investment: it’s for consumption. You don’t have to do anything productive to benefit from the Liberal “tax cut.” You get it just for being you.

Suppose instead the money had been used to cut marginal tax rates: the rate that applies to the next dollar earned. That really would be an investment – a permanent and much-needed improvement in incentives to work and invest, at a time when labour and especially capital are in short supply, relative to the demands of an aging population.

Of course, to get much bang for your buck, you’d have to cut the top rates, since it’s those in the upper brackets who have most of the wherewithal to invest. And it’s the top rates that have reached confiscatory levels: north of 50 per cent, federal and provincial combined, in much of Canada.

Unthinkable: Tax cuts for the rich! Maybe. But it sure beats handouts to the rich, doesn’t it?

3)Details of Trudeau’s middle tax cut

From:  https://ipolitics.ca/2019/12/09/liberals-move-to-enact-promised-tax-cut-for-middle-class/

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stated that the Liberal government will raise the basic personal income tax deduction to $15,000 for those earning under $147,000 — meaning would taxes would only be paid on income over that amount. Currently, the 2019 federal basic personal deduction is $12,069. The increase would be phased in, reaching $15,000 by 2023.  It is estimated this will save an individual just under $300 a year, while families would save $585.

For top income earners the increase in the basic personal amount would be gradually reduced for individuals with net incomes above $150,473 in 2020. Meanwhile, those with incomes over $214,368 would continue to receive the existing basic personal amount, which is tied to inflation.

Trudeau said the tax cut would lift 40,000 people out of poverty and encompass about 700,000 more Canadians.  It would cost $2.9 billion to start, increasing to $5.6 billion by 2023-2024.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the changes would mean 20 million Canadians will see a lower tax burden and 1.1 million more Canadians will pay no federal income tax at all and the average Canadian family would save close to $600 every year by the time it fully comes into effect.

Finance Canada projects the tax cut will leave federal coffers short $25 billion between now and 2024-25. By the time the changes are completed in 2023, the measure will cost more than $6 billion annually.

The independent parliamentary budget officer predicted the tax measures would cost nearly $24 billion in that timeframe. The analysis had assumed other Liberal proposals, such as an increase in the Canada Child Benefit, come into effect. It also did not consider changes to spouse or common law and dependent amounts.

Critics of the proposal have said middle-to-high income earners receive the highest sums of money from the measure and cutting taxes put an increasing strain on federal finances already facing annual multi-billion dollar deficits.

(This blog is of a general nature about financial discrimination of individuals/singles.  It is not intended to provide personal or financial advice).

EFFECTS OF LOW INCOME ON BRAIN AND MENTAL HEALTH

(These thoughts are purely the blunt, no nonsense personal opinions of the author about financial fairness and discrimination and are not intended to provide personal or financial advice – financialfairnessforsingles.ca).

Comment from blog author:  this blog post includes two articles regarding the effects that low income can have on young individuals and low income persons.  While it is entirely appropriate to provide government assistance to parents with children, more attention needs to be paid to singles and millennials particularly after they leave home and before marriage.

Shocking statistics show that in one of the richest provinces (Alberta) there were in January 2014, 33,000 Alberta Income Support program (excluding AISH) recipients of all ages.  Alberta Income Support program in January, 2017, had 54,374 recipients and in January, 2018, 57,003 recipients.  Makeup of claimants in 2017 and 2018 include individuals 69%, lone-parent families 24%, couples with children 5%, and couples alone 3%.  Totals do not say how many are turned away and do not include those who on verge of poverty.

 

UNPREDICTABLE EMPLOYMENT MAY BE BAD FOR BRAIN HEALTH by Lisa Rapaport, October10, 2019 (unpredictable-income)

(Reuters Health) – Young adults who don’t earn the same amount of money from year to year, or who weather substantial pay cuts, do worse on brain health assessments in midlife compared to those with steady income, a recent study suggests.

Researchers collected income data over two decades for 3,287 adults, starting in 1990 when they were 23 to 35 years old. They assessed income volatility based on how much earnings rose or fell from one year to the next, and also tallied how many times participants’ income dropped by at least 25%.

People who experienced greater income volatility and more pay cuts had worse scores for processing speed and executive functioning in cognitive tests in 2010. Brain scans that year also showed reduced connective white matter and worse structural integrity for people who experienced more income volatility and pay cuts.

“Overall, income volatility and unfavorable socioeconomic conditions may increase exposure to several risk factors of poor brain health,” said Adina Zeki Al Hazzouri, a researcher at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York City.

“Individuals who experience important income fluctuations may be more at risk for cardiovascular risk factors, depression or perceived stress, which are in turn associated with poor cognitive health,” Zeki Al Hazzouri said by email. “In addition, they may have lower access to high-quality healthcare, which may result in worse management of these risk factors, and potentiate their impact on brain health.”

Changes in cognitive test scores and brain scans didn’t appear to differ when researchers only looked at participants with the most education.

Almost half of the participants, 1,780 people, didn’t have any income drops of 25% or more during the study period. People in this group had average annual income of US$39,681.

Another 1,108 people experienced one major income decline during the study period, and this group had average annual income of US$32,253. And 399 individuals with average annual income of US$33,326 experienced two or more substantial income reductions.

Having multiple income drops appeared worse for brain health than having a single large drop during the study period.

The study wasn’t designed to prove whether earnings volatility directly impacts brain health.

However, economic struggles have been associated with unhealthy habits like smoking, drinking and inactivity that could in turn contribute to worse brain health, poor cognitive function and dementia, the study team writes in Neurology.

“It’s well established that lower socioeconomic status is linked with poorer health,” said Dr. Joel Salinas, an associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston who wrote an editorial accompanying the study.

“Factors like income volatility are especially significant when a recession looms,” Salinas said by email. “Times of individual and societal instability can have tremendous and enduring consequences – far beyond the economic, extending into the long term potential for entire communities to thrive.  SOURCE: https://bit.ly/35pNssA and https://bit.ly/2IERiV4 Neurology, online October 2, 2019.

FINANCIAL AND MENTAL HEALTH PRESSURES MOUNT ON STUDENTS by Joel Schlesinger (copied from written format, unable to find link)

It is supposed to be a time of learning, leading to a brighter future: a good career that contributes to society’s betterment while enriching their own lives.

Yet many Alberta post-secondary students are struggling to keep up with the costs of education and living.

And it’s affecting their mental health.

That’s the key message from student leaders at three of the largest post-secondary institutions in the province who were asked what are the biggest challenges facing students today.

And all indicated rising costs and mental health top the list.

“Not every student faces the same challenges, but there are very common threads that tie together their experience,” says Jessica Revington, president of the University of Calgary Students’ Union.

“Overall, I would say the costs of education and a lack of support are two big buckets many challenges fall into.”

Indeed, the difficulty paying for rising tuition, managing debt-loads and the growing cost of living are wearing on students, who are increasingly seeking support.

“Right now  there are challenges in connecting students to these supports,” Revington says.  “So while we may be talking about stress, we’re not providing supports for students to help them manage it in healthy ways.”

These challenges are echoed by the University of Alberta Students’ Union president Akanksha Bhatnagar.

“Research has shown a lot of the alarming rates of depression, anxiety and loneliness,” she says.

Another concern is sexual violence on campus, she adds.  “It’s hard to paint a completely picture of sexual violence, but we know that incidence of on-campus sexual violence is a top concern for students.”

The same holds true with other troubling issues including suicide, food bank use and even homelessness.

“At  the University of Alberta, student homelessness and food insecurity disproportionately impacts certain demographics on campuses such as LGBTQ2S+ and international students,” she says.

“Our campus food bank has seen a huge increase in clients, and we all believe our students shouldn’t have to worry about where their next meal is going to come from, or having a safe place to go home to at night.”

It’s not just university students who are under stress.  Those attending polytechnic and colleges in the province are also experiencing mental health challenges.

“Post-secondary education is a huge change in the lives for lots of students,” says Ryan Morstad, president of the SAIT Students’ Association.  “You may go to school in a new city; you have less structure with your classes; you’re meeting new friends, and you have to manage yourself and your budget.”

All  those can be in and of themselves stressful.  Then add in the fact that incidence of onset of mental illness is highest among 18- to 25-year olds,and it’s  easy to see why students might struggle without adequate support, he says.

Of course, managing costs of education are fuel to this fire.

“It’s just a whole bunch of things that are hitting you at the same time,” Morstad adds.

That just doesn’t include tuition.  It’s textbook costs, too – a top concern for SAIT students.  Indeed, American data suggest textbook costs increased by more than 800 per cent between 1978 and 2013.

“We find that students – if they buy all the textbooks for their courses – spend about $1,000 per semester”

What’s more, a recent study called the Hungry for Knowledge written by Meal Exchange, a national charity addressing food insecurity, found 50 per cent of surveyed students reported going without buying healthy food to pay for textbooks among other expenses.

“This is not something people like to talk about,”: Bhatnagar says, adding that the struggle students face isn’t an isolated problem.  “Students are having the same issues no matter what university or college they attend.”

(This blog is of a general nature about financial discrimination of individuals/singles.  It is not intended to provide personal or financial advice).

 

 

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY BY WHOM, FOR WHOM?

 

(These thoughts are purely the blunt, no nonsense personal opinions of the author about financial fairness and discrimination and are not intended to provide personal or financial advice – financialfairnessforsingles.ca).

(This blog post is in response to several opinion letters in local newspapers touting personal responsibility.  The question is personal responsibility by whom, and for whom when financial formulas consistently benefit the married and the wealthy over other segments of the population.)

Some Libertarians and right wing Conservatives continually opine about personal responsibility.

What is personal responsibility?  It is the willingness to both accept the importance of standards that society establishes for individual behavior and to make strenuous personal efforts to live by those standards. But personal responsibility also means that when individuals fail to meet expected standards, they do not look around for some factor outside themselves to blame. The problem with those who tout personal responsibility is that they are no different than everyone else.  They also place the blame for failures on everyone but themselves (the-sequence-of-personal-responsibility).

Quote from an opinion letter by a staunch Conservative in a local newspaper on personal responsibility: ‘A true Conservative is a citizen who believes in personal responsibility, self reliance and moral Christian behaviour in every aspect of his or her life, taxation rates as low as possible (necessary only for national support of healthcare, education, policing and military), market driven wage and salary growth, and total elimination of crown corporations’.   ‘Alberta is the only entrepreneurial province left in Canada, thus Albertans are more hardworking, aggressively self reliant and productive and feel personally responsible for their own welfare and future strength and success of their families’.

Quote by the same author states that the PPC is the only party that is remotely close to his interpretation of conservatism:  ‘There are no truly Conservative parties left in Canada.  The People’s Party of Canada party is the only true Conservative party.’

The PPC is a newly formed Canadian political party that has been referred to as conservative, libertarian, populist and classical  liberal, and is positioned on the right wing.   However, in the recent election the people spoke. PPC received zero seats.

Fact check:  Non Christians also can be moral.  Legal system supports excluded?  Even the Wild West had its judges.  Low income Canadians surviving on more than one job work just as hard as Alberta entrepreneurs.  Those who support far right political extremism like the PPC are in the minority.

This same opinion writer believes that entrepreneurship is superior to the public service sector because entrepreneurs create wealth, the public section does not.  He negatively views all social programs as socialism.

Regarding entrepreneurship all political parties have been responsible for introducing and implementing changes in entrepreneurship rules.  In recent years Liberals rightfully changed financial rules for family entrepreneurs on income sprinkling and earning passive investment income in corporations, etc.

 “Income sprinkling” (INCOME SPRINKLING)  describes how some families use private corporations to sprinkle income among family members. In a typical example, dividends that would have been received by the primary owner/manager of the private corporation, say, mom or dad, would instead be paid to the spouse, partner or kids of the primary shareholder, who are often in lower tax brackets than the primary owner/manager and thus the family’s total tax bill would be reduced.  When it comes to income sprinkling of salary income, this rule is meant to prevent a parent who owns a corporation from paying his spouse or child an annual salary when he or she doesn’t actually perform any work or provide services to the business.   In the past transferring dividends to children under the age of 18 was eliminated (this blog writer’s opinion – this was the right and fair thing to do as children would benefit from double dipping while using multiple combined medical and educational services and receiving concomitant tax free Canada Child Benefits). 

Conservatives in the recent election promised to reverse some of these entrepreneurship rules changed by the Liberals, however, the election resulted in Liberals winning a minority government.

Since singles never married no children, millennials not yet married and early in life divorced persons without children in their financial circles are basically financially responsible to themselves, ‘Income sprinkling’, etc. is of no benefit to these entrepreneurs so they will pay more taxes. Why would singles and millennials not yet married even try entrepreneurship when they know from the get go that they will not have the same advantage, Alberta or otherwise, to married and wealthy entrepreneurs with spouses and children?  Singles are forced to be more personally responsible since they do not receive equivalent benefits in financial formulas.   Tax fairness needs to be ensured regardless of marital status and how income is earned.

It would be interesting to have this question answered:  Which businesses are more likely to fail – those initiated by married/coupled with and without children or those initiated by singles never married/no children, millennials not yet married, and early in life divorced without children?

The above quoted Conservative opinion writer who touts personal responsibility also favours Ayn Randian principles.   However, he ought to educate himself on what happened to Sears.  In 2008, Sears CEO Eddie Lampert restructured Sears according to Randian principles (pbs.org).  He consistently bought back stocks, but made no effort to update and improve the Sears outlets. Executives and employees undermined each others units because they knew their bonuses were tied to individual unit performance.  Sears became a miserable place to work.  As a result, Sears went bankrupt, greed took over with upper executives receiving bonuses and employee pensions robbed.

When Ayn Rand (habitual user of amphetamines because she felt they kept her awake so she could write) died she was surviving on Medicare and Social Security benefits, aka ‘socialism’ so stated by the above Conservative opinion writer.

(This blog is of a general nature about financial discrimination of individuals/singles.  It is not intended to provide personal or financial advice).

TRUDEAU’S CPP INCREASE FOR WIDOWS MUST BE AN APRIL FOOL’S JOKE

 

TRUDEAU’S CPP INCREASE FOR WIDOWS MUST BE AN APRIL FOOL’S JOKE

(These thoughts are purely the blunt, no nonsense personal opinions of the author about financial fairness and discrimination and are not intended to provide personal or financial advice – financialfairnessforsingles.ca).

Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s CPP increase for widows must be an April Fool’s joke except it is not an April Fool’s day.

Justin Trudeau in one of his campaign promises has promised astounding 25 per cent increase to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) for widows or widowers and would receive up to $2,080 in additional benefits every year with the increased survivors’ benefits under the CPP and Quebec Pension Plan (QPP).  (Added November, 2019 Survivor benefits would see an increase of up to $2,080 under the Liberal proposal, which would need provincial approval.)

Trudeau said losing a partner is one of the hardest things to endure, and this added support will help during the period of grief.  “Seniors have built the Canada that we know and love today. And they deserve to enjoy their golden years to the fullest,” Trudeau said “Our parents have worked so hard and sacrificed so much to give us a good life,” Trudeau said.  “Once they get to retirement they shouldn’t have to worry about their savings running out.”

Apparently the only persons who experience grief and/or who have worked so hard  and therefore deserve more are the married and married parents.

Apparently this would take effect when person is widowed but at what age?  (Updated October 1, 2019)

(added November, 2019) Excerpt from article ‘The election promises that could affect your personal finances’ by a financial planner (election-promises): “The Liberals have also proposed an increase in Canada Pension Plan (CPP) survivor benefits payable to the surviving spouse of a deceased CPP contributor. This could be meaningful for many widows and widowers, who might otherwise receive only 60 per cent or less of the CPP pension of their deceased spouse. That said, those who already have high CPP pensions of their own may receive little to no CPP survivor benefits if they are already entitled to the maximum CPP or close to it based on their own contributions — a potential flaw in the CPP system.” (Comment by blog author:  A potential flaw, really?  Why is it many financial planners only take into consideration married persons while excluding singles from the household definition?  As of this date it is unknown whether this election promise will be kept and what form it will take.)

WHO IS INCLUDED AND WHO IS NOT

Included:

Married seniors with and without children who have deceased spouses and can check off that magic box ‘widow’ on their income tax forms.

Excluded:

Singles never married, no children

Singles who have adopted or are parents of children (sometimes willingly or unwillingly through horrible circumstances)

Divorced/separated persons with and without children

Common law persons with and without children – are they considered to be ‘widowed’ or just common law?

MOST PENSIONS BENEFIT MARRIED THE MOST

At present time, the CPP plan already benefits married the most.  Singles who have worked for forty years while contributing to CPP can die at one day after the age of 65 and receive only the flat rate death benefit of $2,500.  This amount has been in place for many years, is not indexed for inflation and doesn’t begin to cover funeral costs.  Their entire lifetime CPP contributions except $2500 will be forfeited without any benefit to the estates of single persons.

Combined survivor and retirement pension at age 65 in 2019 already equals $1,154.28 for both widowed and singles.  Why does Trudeau believe widowed should receive more CPP benefits and have better lifestyles than singles?  After all widowed are now ‘single’ and should have to live the same frugal lifestyle of many singles.

Public and private service pensions are taxed, but both spouses will be able to pension split and maybe receive less OAS clawback while one spouse or both spouses are receiving pensions.  There also is the possibility of receiving multiple pensions – surviving spouse of the deceased employee will receive pension to which he/she has not contributed as an employee plus receive his/her own pension.  With 25 per cent survivor CPP increase this is just another example of compounding of benefits on top of benefits for the wealthy and the married, both in married and widowed state (regressive tax expenditures).

Elizabeth May, Green Party applauds social justice but has lobbied to repeal legislation that denies pension benefits to spouses who have married after the age of 60 or retirement even though these newly married spouses haven’t contributed one dollar to that pension plan.  Now as widowers they will also receive a whopping additional 25 percent CPP bonus at age 75 after being married for only 15 years or less.  (Many pension plans have this clause for newly married elderly persons in their pension policies).

CONCLUSION

Where is the critical thinking on the part of politicians? Do they really think all Canadians are stupid and can’t do the math?  Which political party should one vote for when they all are like ‘pigs at the trough’ making unrealistic vote getting promises that benefit wealthy and married the most and don’t include Market Basket Measure and declaration of assets in financial formulas?  Where are the Elizabeth Warrens’ of the Canadian political world who have financial formulas that provide social and financial justice for all, not just the wealthy and the married?

Only the married at the time of being widowed would ever get an astounding 25 per cent CPP widow pension increase.  The Canadian senior population is not made up of just married/widowed persons.

Reader opinion letters in newspapers on this subject are interesting to read.  They are mostly slam Trudeau or present a sense of entitlement by the married with no critical thinking of how the rest of the population will be affected..  For example, one of the few very comments about persons not able to benefit like LGTB couples, the comment was “a spouse is a spouse is a spouse”.  In other words, everyone who is not married be damned.

Trudeau, who touts gender equality, indigenous people rights, etc., has flagrantly financially discriminating on the basis of marital status.

Selective socialistic privileging of election promises like this one only lead to the rise of anger and rising populism.

(Addendum:  Added November, 2019   It is yet unclear how the above policy if implemented will be carried out.  If implemented it is likely that widowed seniors will be the beneficiaries.  Singles never married and divorced persons will receive zero benefits since they do not have spouses.

CARP – Canadian Association for Retired Persons in past years has stated that older unattached women are especially vulnerable to poverty. In 2016 approximately 28 percent of single older women (widowed, single or divorced) lived in poverty.  CARP has advocated that the federal government support single seniors, with particular regard to older women, with an equivalent to spousal allowance for single seniors in financial need.

Why are politicians giving benefits only to widowed seniors?

 

(This blog is of a general nature about financial discrimination of individuals/singles.  It is not intended to provide personal or financial advice).