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how we think about what our taxes pay for / a Canadian in America

Manhattan-20120315-00426Since arriving here in these 'United' States of America nearly thirteen years ago, we have been astounded and frankly, gobsmacked by seemingly well educated people who tell us that Canada is a socialist country because we all support health care (with taxes) Now please note well that at the same time,  these same folk don't seem to understand that services  called: Police, Fire and Library are paid with...wait for it ... taxes! 

We have since become inured to this particular American brainfreeze issue; we can't educate a whole country.  We just do our thing and try to spread the news that libraries are good for democracy.  And we explain what taxes do with examples like this one: that when Katrina destroyed a whole portion of a state that was uninsured because the insurance companies (calculatedly and intelligently) stopped insuring properties Medieval Private engravingin such a high risk area, it was the U.S. Government (i.e. taxes) that paid for FEMA payments and restoration and grants to states.

ER-LouisXVILibraryVersAll this to say...once, there was no way to pool our efforts and when the problems became too large in scale or too far away, we accepted and used taxes  to help ourselves in ways that today we take for granted.TianYige1 oldest private libary in China

I'm talking libraries here of course, but the same applies to myriad social and infrastructure supports that help get us through our sunfilled, free days or our darkest hours.

This article touches on this issue and reminds us of the history we may have forgotten about our most cherished civic institutions. 

Give it a scan:

How Private Services Became Public - Things we take for granted today -- public police, roads and libraries -- were only achieved through long, hard political battles that lasted decades and sometimes centuriesby BY: | October 2012

here's an exerpt of the central thesis ...

"...Things we utterly take for granted today -- things that the left, right and center agree on -- were only achieved through long hard political battles, always lasting decades, sometimes for more than a century. I’m talking about really basic stuff, like public water and sewers, policing, public education, public roads and public libraries, to mention just a few."

attribution, link to

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