(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 –

(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 (  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).



(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.)

In preparation for the 2019 provincial election certain provincial Conservative candidates once again are proposing economic changes that target the most vulnerable – teenage entry level wage below minimum wage and flat taxes (tax-system).

Alberta Minimum Wage Profile (April 2017 – March, 2018) ‘Alberta Analysis (wage-profile)- At 28.8%, the 15 to 19 year old group  remained the largest group of minimum wage earners in Alberta, and the 20 to 24 year old group was the second largest at 20.5%.  Over one quarter or 28.3% of Alberta minimum wage earners were students’.

Fact check:

    • Some teens work to help support their families.
    • Some teens have already left home and are trying to establish themselves as hard working independent, self sufficient  and responsible individuals.
    • Some teens are emancipated minors who leave their families because of abuse and untenable living conditions at home.
    • Some unattached (and married) individuals are living at home because they can’t afford Alberta housing prices.  From the report:   During the current reference period, 39.5% of minimum wage earners were living with their parents.’
    • Households with children receive Canada Child Benefits, unattached individuals do not.
    • It costs more for unattached individuals (independent teens) to live than married without children (Market Basket Measure).  If one person (unattached) household has a value of 1.0, the value for a two person (married) household is 1.4, not 2.0.
    • Discrimination based on age is a violation of human rights.

Conservatives have referred to the Australian model for teenage entry level wages. Australia Minimum Wage Reduction for Teens in 2018 (based on $18.93 minimum wage):

  • <16 years 36.8% or $6.97
  • 16 years 47.3% or $8.95
  • 17 years 57.8% or $10.94
  • 18 years 68.3% or $12.93
  • 19 years 82.5% or $15.61
  • 20 years 97.7% or $18.49

Living wage Calgary is over $18 ($36,000/yr.) and very few living wages in Canada are below $15.00.  Alberta minimum wage of $15 ($30,000/yr.) is below the living wage, and now Conservatives want to decrease the minimum wage, for example if based on Australian model, an 18 year old to approx. 70% or $10.50/hr. ($21,000/yr.)?

It is difficult to draw statistics on specific youth ages, but from several sources and from Statistics Canada Census Profile 2016, statistics show approximate Alberta population age 15 – 19 to be 240,035, age 20 to 24 to be 261,830.  Approximately 13% to 15% of total Alberta employees are from age group 15 to 24. Do Conservatives really want to target the minority group of 13 to 15%?

In 2011 (profile-youth) the Services-Producing sector in Alberta comprised 77.9% of all youth employment.  In 2011, Alberta youth accounted for 37.7% of those employed in the Accommodation and Food Services industry.  The average hourly wage paid to youth was $9.57 less than the average hourly wage paid to all Albertans. Approximately 63% age 15 – 24 are full  time employees. In 2011 average hourly wage for all Albertans was $25.47 and for age 15-24 $15.90.

Premise that age 21 before 100% wage takes effect or five years to become skilled at a job is just plain discriminatory, a violation of human rights and a social justice failure.  At 18 years of age, these persons are adults, they can vote, and many have left home to work and become independent persons. Their parents no longer receive Canada Child Benefits.

Why would parents support a policy that is discriminatory?

If problems lie with small business then solve the small business problem instead of targeting vulnerable minorities to bear the brunt of failures of business.   Apparently politicians, businesses can’t see that they will pay one way or another-more welfare and food banks at one end and ability to live decent respectful lives at the other.

Jason Kenney needs to reveal his plan for teen minimum wage reduction in its entirety so voters can make informed choices on their candidates.


What is needed in this democratic country are centre left and right parties for balance and to challenge each other so right and fair decisions are made.  What is not needed are far right Conservatives (Jason Kenney – teen minimum wage reduction and flat taxes, Doug Ford who broke his promise by cancelling Ontario Liberal’s basic income pilot project, and Trump’s economic policies making the rich even richer).

Proper budgeting implies that if there is a problem with deficits, taxes should not be cut without reducing the “fat” or excesses.  Conservatives are also once again proposing bringing back the flat tax without cutting loopholes for the wealthy. Why is it that they always target the vulnerable, cut the revenue side by cutting taxes, but never cut regressive tax expenditures or loopholes for the wealthy?

Parkland Institute (things_to_know_about_a_15_minimum_wage_in_alberta) makes the following points:

  • Consumer spending power has more impact on employment than raising the minimum wage.

  • Raising the minimum wage by meaningful amounts helps put a dent in increasing income inequality.

  • Income inequality increases health care costs and slows economic growth.

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