Since I am sitting in the house of my filthy rich uncle waiting for my flight to China, I've decided to node about him. It is an interesting story.
My grandparents lost it all. Fleeing the communists in the early 1950's, they swam (yes, swam) their way to Hong Kong and with their will scratched out a new existence there. My uncle, along with my mother and aunt, through sheer effort, all landed scholarships to colleges in Canada and America. Not the best universities, but hey, it beats the alternative.
To fund his living expenses, my uncle worked as a janitor. For four years, he cleaned dormitories and excelled in academics. Graduating near the top of his class, he entered medical school, finishing first while still working gruelling hours in a school laboratory. He was dirt poor the entire time. After internship and a brief stint as a GP (general practitioner), he returned to medical school to become a neurologist/brain surgeon.
Finishing his specialty training, he was finally able to set up a practice, get a house and live decently after 30 years of being poor. First paycheck. The Canadian government takes over 60%. You can imagine how pissed he was. Goodbye dreams. Hello 80 hour work week.
And so, after almost 20 years of busting his ass, he is now known as one of Canada's leading experts in the field of neurology. He has a nice big house. Two actually, one in Toronto, one in Sudbury. He runs two practices and has a pretty hectic schedule as a result. Guess how much the government takes now. Close to 70%. My uncle, as a result, is extremely bitter about the whole deal. Quote: "I had absolutely nothing, I built it all up by myself, and the fucking government decides to tax all of it. Fuck them."
Benefits you say? The Canadian healthcare system? Here is another quote: "As a member of the medical community, I can honestly say I would not trust myself, my family, or my patients into the hands of those amateurs. If they stopped taxing everyone, the people of Canada would be able to afford real, decent doctors." In addition, he quoted that the doctors in Canada are so pissed off with the whole tax deal that they all want to move to America. He also tells people who quote Canada's healthcare system as a good model for America to "grow the fuck up".
On a sidenote, one of my best friends from childhood in Hong Kong migrated to Canada about 12 years ago. His father, a qualified pediatrician in Hong Kong, had to retake the examination in Canada to legally practice medicine. While studying for this his family lived off their savings. Now a successful, established doctor, despite the fact that he doesn't earn as much as my uncle, he gets his ass taxed off by the Canadian government and as a result lives in a very modest home in Missisuaga, outside Toronto. He calculated that if the government taxed him an American rate, he would be living much better. He mourns about the fact that he should have trained in a more lucrative field and how most of Canada's medical community is very angry with the way things are right now.
There you have it. The making of a bitter conservative.