Friday, 13 September 2013

Failure to Observe

The building blocks of a great society are right in front of Ontario.  Let’s adopt best practices and stop admiring the chimera that is America.
It’s inarguable that the most successfulhappiestcompetitive and most productive countries in the world are all socialist. Why would we not look to them for answers?

Europe is not a total mess, in Germany life has never been better despite the FIT program, abandoning of Nuclear power, and massive investment in wind. No the Germans take their 36 hour work week, 6 weeks of paid holidays, three years maternity leave, free University Education, full day kindergarten starting at age 3 and just keep on rolling. Oh and I should mention they are stupid enough to have a minimum wage of about $20 Canadian, and virtually everyone in the country is in a union. Oh the Horror they have a 20% HST and $2/liter gasoline. I ask Ayn Rand how is this possible ? They can’t just dig a hole in the ground and find money like Americans and Canadians can, they don’t have endless hectors of land to develop, could it be that socialism is superior because the money and resources are used much more productively? They do not believe any one man is worth 400 or 4000 times more than the lowest paid employee. Same goes for Norway, Sweden, Finland, Austria and Denmark. If Canada had copied their model instead of the USA, Canada would be by far the richest most prosperous country in the world, not Qtar. That is what the National Energy Program was all about, but instead of having a huge sovereign fund we have a sizable debt. Just look with horror how Alberta has bungled their lottery win.
Price of food in Canada. You may have noticed we only have one growing season in most of Canada, thus food is cheaper in the USA where about half the country has at least 3 crops per year. If the Milk subsidy in the USA Farm bill was eliminated Canadian milk would be the same price as the USA.  Crony capitalism for big Agra is not superior to a stable price for mom and pop farmers?  One hundred and three million Americans are on Food Stamps, and that’s something we should long for?
The Milk boards provide certainty to the farmer; they mean the farmer does not have to juice his cows like they do in the USA to make a living. You are what you eat and the chemical cocktail of hormones and GMO foods in the USA is already having a huge impact, and unfortunately we get some of the blowback. Some would consider feeding a baby American milk child abuse. Wages and benefits are better for Canadians and that leads to higher prices, however take a look a Buffalo, and then Toronto and ask yourself is that what low cost wage victory looks like.
The GST is the smartest tax.  First it’s hard for the 1% to avoid, and that's who has the money and those are the people that are holding back Canada and North America from having a just society like Germany. Here is a simple phrase cause  Tea Party people cant seem to understand anything with more than two elements. Tax what you want less of. Economics 101, if you want to build wealth, tax consumption not income, tax spending not saving. That’s why Harper cheap pandering GST cut combined with a rise in personal income tax reveals him to be an economic weasel. The GST tax credit acts as an efficient income redistribution system. GST properly applied allows the people in the lower income brackets to keep more of their income, and get tax credits for their expenditures, thus encouraging them to work instead of social assistance. The state should be doing social engineering to encourage people to be productive. My final point on this point Singapore, if its smart social engineering they are doing it, and they have a GST.

American gas taxes are irresponsibly low. That’s why the number one selling car in Canada is a Civic and in America it’s a pickup truck. Pickup trucks are stupid urban vehicles, but no politician in the USA has the courage to say so. In Canada and even more so in the rest of the world, you can be stupid in your choice of vehicles but your rightly going to pay through the nose for the privilege. Gas taxes are another wonderful means of income distribution with a very positive social engineering aspect. They are also one of the greatest tools available to fight global warming.

Why limit the examination of fraud waste and abuse to Ontario. Maybe we would like to have the nearly 200 lives and $20 billion dollars back that Harper recklessly poured into the sand in Afghanistan? The gas plant scandal has its roots in the ill-advised Harris scheme to privatize power. Look with horror at Alberta to see how that would have worked out. 
Just as an aside I ask conservatives to really ramp up your cognitive dissonance amplitude, try and explain why socialist booze in Ontario is significantly cheaper than private booze in Alberta.  Teabaggers did your head just explode , good thing we have socialized medicine in Canada and you can get it fixed without going bankrupt.

And now lets hear from the chorus saying you cant blame Mike Harris time has passed. Yes Mike Harris is to blame because we used to have this unwieldy, bureaucratic institution called Ontario Hydro that despite its woes kept the lights on and provided Ontario with some of the cheapest energy in the world. But free market Mike could not accept this, so he pushed Ontario Hydro off the wall and like Humpty dumpy there is no way to put it back together again. I am not saying it was corruption but the whole gas plant thing stinks. And yes Jerry it’s a free market solution that got us in this mess. So a company gets a contract to build a plant, they put it in the wrong place, way late in the game the government wakes up and cancels it. The cost maybe $30 to $40 million, but wait, the contract is a 407 like maze of chum deals and loans and cancellation charges and promises and rainbows for the private company, so unlike the old days where Hydro would never have backed down, and if some foolish pol had stopped them the only expense would be in money spent, no under the private label we have to pay $800 million.

Orange - was a Mike Harris initiative
Don't do semantics, the Liberals only changed the name. Same with e health. Now the liberals badly fumbled these land mines left by the cons, and I often wonder when the government is totally incompetent is it merely a beard for corruption? See Iran Contra, savings and loan, and 911.
The Federal conservative have wasted far more money, the economic action plan alone dwarfs any bumbles by Ontario. Harper's rush to make Canada a great 18th century economy will take decades to repair. His moves to create a structural deficient will once again force the Liberals to apply the tough medicine, just like Chretien had to do to bail us out of the Mulroney debacle. And for anyone interested in facts, despite the big lie the conservatives repeat over and over about being sound financial managers, in modern Canadian and American history that has not been correct, and Harper is proving this point with emphasis. 
In summary Jerry if you want to help not just the poor, but the middle class, adopt the socialist policies of Europe, stop giving away our resources, and subsidizing industries like banks and oil companies that need no help. Anyone with a rudimentary grasp of reality based economics knows proper distribution of wealth is the number one requirement for a healthy society. 

In an ideal world people like Paul Krugman would decide what is proper, but in our imperfect one, we can only seek answers in successful solutions, and America is not near the top of the class.

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