Everyone’s assumption is that flat-rate taxes can’t be progressive. That presumably bothers Alberta’s Conservatives, who, unlike Ottawa’s, are still at least nominally Progressive. But the assumption isn’t true, at least not in terms of average taxes. If some minimum amount of income is exempt from taxation — and in Alberta it can be over $18,000 — then the average rate of tax rises with income. For example, at a 10% rate the first $10 of income above $18,000 generates a $1 tax liability, which produces an average tax rate of $1/$18,010 or just 0.006%, a rate that rises — progressively — with every extra dollar of income and approaches, even if it never quite reaches 10%.
Some studies done by perfectly reputable economists, i.e., not “far-right” nutbars, suggest the best rate structure, even taking the interests of poor people into account, may by an umbrella, in which rates rise for a while but then, for the super-mobile highest earners, actually decline—though try selling that in the current inequality-obsessed political environment!The full article is embedded below, in an ingenious setup that Canada's National Post is using. When I selected the text to copy, I had a pop-up asking if I'd like a licence. I said yes, then saw I could embed the full article so long as I also embedded the paper's ads with it. And so it is below. Instead of yelling about bloggers being content thieves (while scraping their scoops without or with little attribution), the Post's making it easy. I like it.