I am the one percent? Really?

no-money-2070384_1280Well I was glad to hear the prime minister describe me and my ilk as the one percent. However I was not as pleased to hear that meant he would be taxing the stuffing out of me, along with most lawyers in private practice, doctors, and small business owners. For the trust funded, private schooled teacher, who argued his point in both of our official languages, it may come as a surprise that many legal ditch diggers operate on a shoe string budget. I quote the great “Rumpole of the Baily”, by the equally great John Mortimer who talked of shopping after ‘exorbitant possessions such as dish detergent and pots and pans’. Ha!

True the earlier Prime Minister Trudeau was a lawyer who taught at Harvard in his youth, but even he was boosted up by the largesse of his own very wealthy father. It seems that for rich students, pursuing law is now a thing. Even the president’s daughter Tiffany Trump (Maples?) is slumming it at a law school somewhere.

The education is intense and the field can be challenging and occasionally rewarding, but rich? Like most professions it depends where you start from and what path you choose to take. I was in public law for almost 20 years. Like most public employees I saw the benefit of a medical plan and a pension. A way to riches however it was not.

I then opened my own office.

But since our region has a sad lack of wealthy movie stars divorcing their sports star spouses, I find family law doesn’t pay off the Lamborghini. It does keep my ten year old minivan in gas though, so that’s something.

Teacher Trudeau speaks of irritating wealthy Canadians when referring to small business owners and professionals. That is a low blow. By the time I trudged through an undergraduate degree; which most law schools require; obtained my law degree and then another year of articling and further law courses to get my provincial license; I was in serious debt and lacked the means to even buy some frames for my diplomas (gift from the wife!).

Those years of study kept me and many of my learned brethren mostly out of the work force and I did not save anything as a result. My friends in the financial planning trade remind me that as well as investing a reasonable amount of money, one should also start early. Warren Buffett did that, but most professionals cannot.

Doctors spend even more time in studies and even longer if they specialize. Then there my best friend. He is a teacher. He is my age and he will retire in less than 3 years. They don’t tell you that in school. So again while I like people to think I am lazily traipsing from a Trump resort to the golf links, it isn’t my reality. And the government should not be going after me and mine as if it were. It is an ill-considered tax grab, done to make people happy that the rich finally have to pay their share.

What it does to the real one percent I cannot say. The one or two actually rich people that I know can be hard to reach. Poor receptions on private jets you understand. I wish I did. Truly I do.

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