Viewpoint: Communities are the new frontier

By Max Moore – 

2.1002260.bulletin-logoI believe nations are failing us, and that communities are the solution to our problems. When people ask if I’m a Communist, I say, no I’m a Communityist.

There’s a big difference between a Communist and a Communityist. In fact, they’re opposites.

A communityist is a community booster first, and a state supporter second. It’s the other way around for Communists. The history of communism is a history of state monopolies.

A Communityist believes that community government is as important as the federal government. And we believe that communities should receive a share of income tax revenues, as an equal partner with provincial and federal governments.

Regarding government budgets, the federal government currently spends 50% of all government expenditures. Nearly half of that is for safety, security and military defense.

By contrast, municipal spending amounts to only 20% of all government spending, and from this we receive a long list of municipal services, from health and education facilities to daycare and retirement homes.

When we live in a vibrant community, we receive more public services from municipal governments than from the federal government. Even though it’s under-funded, local government provides approximately 40% of all public services, while receiving only 20% of the funds available to do the job.

It’s good to be positive about what federal governments should be doing, but the fact is, the federal government doesn’t do much, and it never will. The federal government is an ivory tower institution that’s too far removed from the people to actually serve the people. Communities are picking up the slack and providing the public services that people want.

So, a Communityist asks, why are we paying half of our taxes to the federal government,  and only 20% of our taxes to community government. As a communityist, I’d rather vote to pay 50% of my taxes to local government, and 20% of my taxes to the feds.

Community Income Tax Credits are a solution for the problem of too much federal government, and insufficient municipal financing. Transferring federal income tax points to municipalities would improve government services, by giving municipalities the funding needed to provide the public services people want.

Communities are the new frontier. We have entered a new age of Communityism, and the world will never be the same.

Max Moore is a Harbourfront resident and one of the organizers of the Communityfest on Sept. 19.