Accountability, the true fabric of prosperity

 In Letters, Opinion


I was trying to find something worthy of watching on television tonight (unsuccessfully), when I happened upon TVO’s Agenda.

They were discussing the shrinking middle class and its effects on Toronto.

My first reaction, as always with TVO, is why is everything about Toronto? However, my second reaction was, why are we focussing on the results and not about the causes?

I always say to my children that everything is a balance.

It’s a bit Newtonian – “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”, but it’s also just common sense.

Look around our beautiful area and how nature works. It is all about balance.

When a government chooses to tax most of what its citizens earn (Ontario’s top rate is 53.3 per cent) and spend those funds on social programs, they are creating a balance where the middle class has no chance of surviving.

Immediately, I am sure that most of your readers are now boxing me into some sort of ultra-conservative Trump penalty box, but I hope that they keep an open mind.

Have a look at the Statscan records. They will tell you that the top one per cent of Canadians (i.e. 350,000) pay 25 per cent of the taxes. Those records will also tell you that 17,500,000 Canadians pay no taxes at all. If you look between the lines, what you will see is that no one is starving and the ultra-rich, that everyone loves to bash, are benefactors of much of the government largess. How can the middle class really compete with that and really who is complaining? It seems to me to be a pretty cozy arrangement.

But where does that leave individual initiative? Where does that leave the small family farm (yes, without government sponsored farm quotas)? Where does that leave the next generation that doesn’t want to fall into a pit at the top of Duntroon, or deal with some subsonic medical issues at Dundalk or Shelburne?

The “Balance”, as I see it, looks a bit grim. I don’t want the people in my community to simply live off of government handouts.

I also don’t want the people in my community to be victimized by back-room industrial deals.

I guess the first step is to shout out. Without voices, it is much tougher to speak up.

Second, we need to really exercise what it is to be tolerant.

Most of what I see today is window-dressing political correctness.

The high schools are a perfect example. Bully pulpiting, while turning an eye to real discipline reflective of true consequences.

If we are really open to debate and getting to the right answer, we need to throw away this political correctness, starting with the Kellie Leitch signs (oops, back into the penalty box).

I really do want to see us prosper as a community of individual free thinkers and doers. But if we are going to be realistic about that, we need to fight for our right to individual action and against group think.

We need to cultivate those ties that truly support family, whether that be by blood or by circumstance.

I want to be able to count on my neighbours here in Clearview (which I have done so many times) and I also want to be held accountable. That is the true fabric of prosperity. I hope we find our way to that prosperity, despite the outside pressures and debate over rich and poor. Materialism is truly a basis for failure.

Greg McNally,



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