Have a very merry, charitable Christmas, if you can
By Mischa Popoff
My daughter's Christmas concert was a vast improvement over last year's debacle. Gone were the chants of "Gung Hay Fat Choy!" for the Chinese New Year which doesn't even arrive for another six weeks. The Indian National Anthem was also happily absent, and our National Anthem was first instead of third on the program.
Also gone was that incredibly bizarre First Nation song, sung in a language that even First Nations people don't speak anymore. All in all, a welcome relief considering that other cultures – important as they no doubt are in the history of humankind – have absolutely nothing to do with the birth of Our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
So hats off to Principal Macfarlane and Vice-Principal Benoit who wished everyone a Merry Christmas! They adorned the walls with festive greetings, replacing all the multicultural paraphernalia of last year with Peace, Spread the Spirit, Kindness, Love, Laughter, and, of course, a hearty Merry Christmas. It was like your team making it to the playoffs after sitting in last place for the whole season. Spectacular!
There was even some political commentary in the play about the importance of giving. A Scrooge-type character said, "I can't donate to your Christmas charity because I have to pay the stupid Carbon Tax!" Another curmudgeonly character groused, "I can't donate because I have a huge cell phone bill this month!"
Of course, being characters in a school play, both eventually "wised up." But I was struck by how apropos their words were since every dollar the government taxes away from its citizens is a dollar less we can give. Likewise, Canada's public-private, overregulated communications monopolies that control our phone, cell phone and cable TV market, are free to charge us close to triple what our neighbours to the south pay for these basic services. This further diminishes the amount of money Canadians have left to give to those who need it most.
The statistics back this up. Americans give far more money to charity than Canadians do. In fact, per capita, and as a percentage of GDP, Americans are the most giving citizens in the world. And don't you think it might have something to do with the fact that they're taxed less than the rest of us? (So far at least.)
And please don't be fooled by those phony-baloney anti-American studies you can find online that purport to show "New Zealand, Australia and Ireland emerging as the three most charitable nations," and which list the United States tied with Switzerland for fifth place. These studies looked only at the percent of the population giving to charities, not the actual amount of money being given. And that's what matters when it comes to giving.
These liberal studies also looked at the percentage of the population who may have helped a stranger in the last month, important for sure, but something which is not verifiable through any objective means such as a tax return.
In any case, if there's one thing every experiment in socialism and communism proves, it's how easy it is to eliminate all three of the most important human aspirations, hope, peace and giving, through over-taxation and overregulation.
Will Canadians ever be free so we can choose whom to give our money to rather than being forced to give to liberal causes against our will through the federal tax code? For an answer to this most pressing question I defer to that most famous Republican, a card-varying member of the National Rifle Association, who on Christmas Eve 1967 famously said, "I still have a dream."
Anyone care to take a guess at who that was?
God bless you, one and all.
Mischa Popoff is a freelance political writer with a degree in history.