Friday, 24 June 2011

Joining the Dots

So what's everyone talking about in beautiful British Columbia? The tax known as HST. Wow, how fab and fun. Yeah, no.
So here's what happened.
We start off, as you know, with a shit system. Yes, I know shit isn't an adjective, but bear with me. You never know the actual price of anything because it's always quoted before tax. Yeah, I know, don't ask.
Now, onto the goods and services, there used to be added two taxes, GST and PST, and between them, these added up to 12%. The Provincial Government decided to go for a new streamlined system which replaced these with just one tax called HST. HST was 12%. So, no biggie, you would THINK.
In comes rent-a-mob in the form of some clapped out old has-been who jumped up and down and told everyone they were being shafted. Instead of everyone just ignoring him, they get all aeriated and the leader of the Provincial government who introduced it, Mr Gordon Campbell, is forced to resign. Yep, that's what politicians fall on over here, people missing the point entirely, unlike in Britain, where they get ousted for more important reasons, like having ginger hair, or speaking with a Welsh or Scottish accent.

Still not getting it? Nope, it is incomprehensible. The new tax, being basically the same as the old tax, has caused us to have a referendum, and for people to start talking a load of old bollocks about how it's a bad tax. But these people are seriously confused.

Firstly, the leader of rent-a-mob, let's just call him BVZ, has been simply talking bullshit and pulling figures out of the air, also making them up. This YouTube video, which Gail pointed me at the other day, takes the stupidity apart.

But back to the simplicity about the whole nonsense, the HST is applied slightly differently on some goods and services from the previous two taxes. So what some people seem to be bizarrely unable to see, is that the tax itself is irrelevant. It is no different from the previous two taxes, it is the applications of that tax they should be focussing on. Application, not function.

But then, the same thing happened a couple of days ago. Kevin was reading an article which came up with the term 'benevolent sexism'. Utter stupidity, based on the same inability to take in and process information.
So where is the blockage?
Sexism is discrimination on grounds of gender, just as racism is discrimination on grounds of race.
So what is discrimination? Aha - here's the short circuit.
There are two dictionary definitions of the word.

From the OED:-




[no object]
  • 1 recognize a distinction; differentiate:babies can discriminate between different facial expressions
  • [with object] perceive or constitute the difference in or between:features that discriminate this species from other gastropods
  • 2 make an unjust or prejudicial distinction in the treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race , sex, or age:existing employment policies discriminate against women
Thus, somewhere, someone has failed to read to the end, someone has not noticed that one definition, is relevant in this context and one isn't. One does not end in an -ism, and one does.
You cannot have a benevolent prejudice in treatment in different categories of people.
Having made one almighty error, the writer apparently went on to list a couple of practices which were intensely sexist, with a bunch of others which were, in fact, not.

No joined-up thinking you see.


Gail said...

well, in defense of anti-HST, they've now got a full 12% on things that didn't have it before, such as restaurant bills. Restaurants are claiming this is hurting business but this sounds like the smoking ban argument a bit too. Plus, it might be good for society in general if we started going to restaurants less.
The argument on pro-HST tax is that as HST is not progressive, the restaurant isn't being taxed and therefore you aren't paying tax on something that's already being taxed. Therefore, the savings will eventually make their way down to the consumer. I can assure you prices did not go down when HST was brought in, but it may just be that prices won't go up as soon.
I've decided whatever we decide, people won't be happy, and changing it back will cause just as much work and expense of changing it to HST in the first place.

Karen said...

well -