Sunday, September 20, 2015
Back in the salad days of mid-summer (i.e. before Mr. Harper kicked off this interminable election campaign), I was lying on the beach in the just-tucked-out-of-the-fog sun at Florencia Bay when I read the following, from Doug Saunders, in the dead-tree edition of the Globe purchased earlier that day at the Tofino Co-Op:
...Right-wing governments are simply not faring well as fiscal stewards.
Has the world turned upside down? Not really. It’s just more evidence of a well-established trend. Since the early 1980s, in much of the Western world, liberal and social-democratic parties have been entrusted to clean up the fiscal and spending messes created by conservative regimes.
In the United States, Mr. Reagan managed to increase debt, government spending and even (ironically) taxes; it took Bill Clinton’s less state-heavy economics to send debt plummeting, until Mr. Bush repeated the pattern.
In Britain, Conservative debt became a problem in the mid-1990s, when the Labour Party under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown used strict fiscal discipline to keep debt below 40 per cent of gross domestic product for a decade, until the 2008 crisis forced all governments to spend.
In Canada, Brian Mulroney’s Tories pushed spending and debt to record-breaking levels, precipitating a world-scale crisis that Liberals Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin finally faced down with aggressive program cuts. On top of this, analyses show that over the 30 years from 1981 to 2011, the Canadian governments most likely to have balanced budgets, and those with the lowest deficits, were provincial NDP regimes.
This has tangible effects: After analyzing 12 Western countries, economist Douglas A. Hibbs found that “the unemployment rate has been driven downward by Democratic and Labour administrations and upward by Republican and Conservative governments.”...
There's a lot of important, data-backed stuff in Mr. Saunders' piece that is impossible to argue with.
Having said that, what I don't agree with is Mr. Saunders' speculation about why, as he puts it, 'the left is repeatedly more fiscally sensible than the right'.
But I will leave my thoughts on that for another time.
For now, you should just go read Mr. Saunders' entire column so that you can use the facts within it to influence all your whackadoodle (and/or even just bamboozled) friends, uncles and aunties when they tell you that they are 'scared' to vote for Mr. Mulcair and friends because they are sure to mess things up like the NDP always do...blah...blah...blah.
Heckfire, if you really wanted to stretch this argument out...You could even make the case that nobody but the far left Syriza folks were willing to deal with the Greek debt thing in a rational, realistic way.
As the photo at the top of the post of the two E's in their wetsuits shows...If you're in the Tofino area and the big beaches are blanketed by fog, try heading south to Florencia/Wreck Bay and you just might find that the dangle of the headland above and the southward-facing curve of the beach below somehow manage to keep the fog at bay (especially when the weather is otherwise fine and there's a westerly blowing).
Posted by RossK at Sunday, September 20, 2015