Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Halloween: Candy, Hand-outs and Tax Policy

Elin and Lukas are going to mock me, but I have miniature chocolate bars to give out to the neighborhood kids tonight. When they were growing up, we gave out small boxes of raisins, and the rule was that the two of them could eat as much as they wanted on Halloween night, but the rest was trashed. My idea was that an occasional splurge doesn’t hurt but that weeks of eating candy was bad for teeth and bad for concentration.

But, as Emerson said, consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, and I decided to be inconsistent a couple of years ago. There will be candy for the little ones who come by, although I’ll turn off the front porch light and bring the jack o’lantern in about 7:30 p.m. when the big kids start roaming. Magic is one thing, gluttony is another.

Reading that back, I see that Lukas and Elin will laugh even harder if they read it, since in my indulgent inconsistency I still sound preachy. Fine thing to be on a pagan holiday!

I am, however, no more doctrine-driven than Stephen Harper’s Conservative government. To have huge surpluses and to put the lion’s share of that money into niggling little consumer tax cuts and paying down the debt is to ignore the real problems of Canada’s cities and Canada’s people. Better to provide more help for our aging infrastructure and for public transportation.

Note: Pumpkins at the Jean Talon market.

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