August 14, 2014

Fraser Games 4: Repetition Wins

Business in Vancouver ran this story back in June:

Vancouver has the world’s second most competitive taxes for business: KPMG


Vancouver is the second most competitive major city – defined as those with a population of two million or more – when it comes to business taxes, according to a KPMG report released June 17.

Overall, Canada is the most competitive country in the world in terms of its business tax environment.

The country’s low effective corporate tax policy, moderate statutory labour costs and harmonized sales taxes nationwide contributed to its ranking.


Surprised?  Indeed, the story strikes a chord of dissonance: That can’t be true!  Canada, the most competitive?  Vancouver, second in the world?

And then it goes away.

But the Fraser Institute doesn’t.  Indeed, it’s right there on the same page, bottom right:


Fraer Games


It’s annual story on Tax Freedom Day, repeated and repeated, just keeps on giving, with the same message regardless of context:

“Governments across the country are partly to blame since many have raised taxes after the recent recession to make up for big spending increases and deficits.”

Message:  Taxes going up. Governments are to blame.

The effect is to change the frame of discussion, so that we share a set of assumptions that don’t need to be qualified or even discussed:  Taxes are bad, getting worse, and government spending is excessive.

It’s worked so well on senior governments that now the target in their sights are municipalities and regions.

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