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21 Houses Demolished for Reason of Taxes

Written by Gilberte Côté-Mercier on Monday, 01 September 1958. Posted in Social Credit

An Entire Hamlet Deserted

Shown on those pages are some photographs taken in Kent County, 17 miles from Moncton. The locality is the parish of Notre Dame in the district of Poirier.

In 1950 there were 42 families living in these 42 houses. Do you know how many families are living there today? Not one! Not one single family. Of the 42 houses, 21 have been torn down. Alike fate awaits the remainder.

What could be the reason for this sudden, almost catastrophic turn of events?

The land is ideal in the district of Poirier. Then why, as in so many other places, does the land not support man? Why is it necessary for the man to seek work elsewhere in order to keep his land and work it? For it is a fact that the land no longer supports man. Man must support the land! This is common knowledge.

So it is, that 42 families, one after the other, have abandoned Poirier. The houses stand emptyed for the fantastic price of $3.00! That's right; $3.00. A house, a barn and a farm. Not $3,000.00 mind you, but $3.00.

And yet, nobody wants the house, either the barn, or the farm. Even if all the families have fled from Poirier, the taxes are still there, hanging over the empty-houses like an evil shadow. The house that is offered for $3.00 is penalized in taxes to the amount of $35.00 a year. The owner of a house not being able to pay the taxes of his house — which he isn't even living in; do you know what he has done? He has torn it down!

Take a look at the photo of a house in process of demolition. There's nothing left but a wall, a few pillars and a piece of the roofing. And the barn that is near it is to go the same way. It's to be wrecked during the summer.

21 of the 42 houses in the Poirier district have been destroyed, torn down by the same hands that şo lovingly erected them! A sacrilege, you say? Yes indeed. A sacrilege perpetrated by our financial system which forces men to abandon the little capital goods they own. A sacrilege brought about by this same financial system which taxes the property owners of the land, mortaging the goods of the very people who by their labor build and enrich our country.

21 out of 42 houses have disappeared in the Poirier district. And in short time the other 21 will disappear, demolished in order that the taxes may be abrogated.

But the two schools remain. You can see them in one of the photos. Although empty and useless for lack of children, they'll continue to stand until they fall apart from age. The reason: schools aren't taxed, why take the trouble of demolishing them?

A Mortal Sin

These pathetic pictures, inspire some very deep reflections. Whether you are rich or poor, living a life of ease or tramping the streets without a cent in your pockets — stop, stop and reflect a while on this misery.

In these pictures you have the story of proud proprietors now become wanderers, or leaseholders from others — almost strangers in the land their fathers settled and built.

You have the pitiful spectacle of these once proud lands now abandoned; the pathetic timbers standing gount and naked, pillars lifting their arms to heaven, and the gaping ruins which cry out to justice against the desertion and abandonment of this district, against the impoverishment of an entire district in a land so rich as Canada.

And underlying the striking wretchedness of this whole tableau is the more infamous outlines of a deeper and more terrible evil — the infamy of a society — which will permit the wrecking of such injustices against man. A society which will chase whole families from their homes, which will drive children and babes from the houses built by the patient toil of their fathers such a society is in a state of mortal şin. And its sin, dear readers, unless repented and amended, carries within it the seeds of the destruction of that very society.

Some there may be who, comfortable and complacent, reflect as follows: — 'Well, that's too bad. Thank heavens it isn't me!". Let them take heed. For if they are not the victim they are certainly guilty along with the rest of society.

Society is not just a vague abstraction, you know. It's made up of men and women. And there must be those who are responsible for the crimes of society.

Who are they? Everyone! Yes; you and I and the neighbor and all the rest who enjoy the advantages of living in community. And especially guilty are those who are more advantageously situated to rectify society's errant ways and yet do nothing about it. Those who are rich; those who are well educated; those enjoying prestige; those who hold the reins of power; it is they who are primarily responsible for the sins of society.

∗ ∗ ∗

Possibly your father was a landowner. Most certainly your grandfather was, for everyone owned their land in those times. And your great-great-grandfather? He was a landowner too — beyond any doubt. For it was your forefathers who opened up and possessed this land. They broke the soil and cultivated it and built their homes and from father to son and on down the line they enriched the land with their toil. And they left it as a heritage to their children.

Now, logically, you should be a proprietor — and to a greater degree than your forefathers. For after all, the land and property has been continually enriched by the work of generations. Is such the case? Most often, quite the contrary. You have become the renter of the land and property of which your forbears were the proprietors. More than that, you and yours are perhaps forced to move about, like wanderers, from town to town and from province to province in order to keep food in the mouths of your dependents. You are not even lodgers — you have become vagrants in this rich and abundant land of Canada.

The Financial System

Who has created such a debacle? Who is guilty over and above anyone or anything else? Who is the prime cause of this chaos?

Look to the financial system — that great robber, that first and most evil of thieves! In the same measure as men enrich the land, the financial system writes down as debts that very increase in wealth and those debts are thrust upon the backs of the very people who have produced this wealth. This is a fact! In the bankers' ledgers, the wealth produced by the country is written down as a debt for the people, and credit for the banker. Can you comprehend that our banking system is so arranged that every development in our country is turned against us. You, the workers and farmers produce the wealth of the land. And as you do so, the banker makes little figures in his ledger, inscribing a debt against you — little figures that are money, bank money, released only as a debt to be recuperated from the community for the banker's enrichment. For he reaps rich profits in interest. Your wealth, your riches, are turned by the banker into debts for you and profit for him. This is false accounting — a monstrous accounting lie, a financial system, operating in reverse. The financial system should inscribe the wealth we produce as our credit and not debit it against us. Thus the country would not go into debt in the measure that it creates wealth.

But as it is, the people are robbed of their credit by the financiers. Social Credit maintains and proves this fact. And Social Credit shows how to bring an end to this robbery. Our debts must disappear. Taxes must go. The dividend must take its place; a dividend for each and everyone. In this way, we shall all be able to hold on to the houses and homes we build and to the land we develop and cultivate.

Translated by EARL MASSECAR

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