Sunday, September 20, 2015

Your Sunday Morning Read...Which Party Will Be Canada's Best Fiscal Steward?


UpIsNotDown
LeftSideOfTheLegerVille


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 Chr├ętien 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.

OK?



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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).


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25 comments:

Anonymous said...

a pragmatic non partisan would help.audit everything and with a cost benefit analysis.progressive taxation,fair taxation,including royalties review and corp welfare review

RossK said...

Anon-Above--

Sorry - too cryptic for me. I can't figure out what you're actually trying to say. Can you explain? Thanks.

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JasonS said...

Yes shouldn't the opposition parties be touting this little fact ?
It`s kinda like Christy Clark driving around in a bus with "Debt free BC " while having doubled the debt and personally accrued more debt in 2 years then any other premier in BC history ? And the media and opposition let her do this. Kinda like the whole thing is fixed to happen this way. I'm not voting for Harper but i won`t be surprised when he wins yet again.

RossK said...

Jason--

I hear you.

But it's important that we don't allow ourselves to be paralyzed by our despair.

Instead, we've got to try our best to ensure that the will of the 70% succeeds at the ballot box.

Which is the real reason why, despite my support of the NDP, that I am a non-demoninational Strategic Voting enthusiast this time around.

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Anonymous said...

BC liberals will have doubled debt since 2001 to 68 billion dollars soon
thanks
Oh but we didnt raise taxes
P3 and ipp/ror? .money losing bridges etc?

http://www.debtclock.ca/provincial-debtclocks/british-columbia/british-columbia-s-debt/

RossK said...

Anon-Above--

Precisely.

And then, courtesy of Norm Farrell, there is.....


....This.


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Eleanor Gregory said...

For an objective view of the financial situation in B.C. under different Socred, Liberal and NDP governments, check out any of Will McMartin's articles on The Tyee. As he demonstrates with objective facts, there was no such thing as the so-called dismal decade in the 1990s when the NDP were in government.

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2010/11/08/CampbellPraise/

http://thetyee.ca/Views/2009/04/23/BCEcon/

karen said...

What if its not about fiscal sensibility? What if it is about doing the right thing? What if it is actually about the public good? What if making community easier, caring for each other, making life less stressful in myriad ways actually contributed to the economy? What if they have it all backward?

RossK said...

Thanks very much EG--

To the McMartin pieces I would also add...

...This.

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Karen--

Hey!

You stole my thunder.

Specifically, I was going to argue that, because they are reality (rather than folly)-focussed, progressives do their best to do the right thing in all realms (i.e. they institute public-good programs, try to be fiscally responsible, and they do not give away billions and billions to cronies that often makes things worse for the 99.999 percent).

Good to hear from you again - new Sunday Set music coming...Promise.

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karen said...

Well I am 110% behind your thunder!

I have been reading and listening, just not able to comment on the new gadget.

I was actually in your neck of the woods and was on Granville Island late in August. I didn't think to look on the nickel blog for a busking schedule and I actually missed seeing and hearing Bigger E by only a matter of yards!

Anonymous said...

Bc liberals say families first yet we have this
http://www.straight.com/news/530631/bcs-new-1045-minimum-wage-will-rank-among-lowest-canada

Take from the poor and give to the rich .?

RossK said...

karen--

You can can always post anonymously - I don't mind.

Sorry you missed Bigger E. doing her thing. She's actually on the Twittmachine and posts up her daily performance schedule pretty reguarly...

...Here.

(or just give me a shout next time!)

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Anon-Above--

Absolutely.

And, don't forget the need to convince the former group of folks that they're actually doing the opposite.

To mangle Coltrane it's 'A Straussianism Supreme'.

Or some such thing.

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James King, Victoria said...

Don't always see eye to eye with Mr Saunders but that WAS a good one. I do, almost always cherish the work of his lady wife though. Her absence (8 months at Ryerson) is going to be painful.

RossK said...

JK--

Well...Might give her the time and space to write a new book.

And 8 months will go like the blink of an eye.


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Anonymous said...

Remember when Fassbender stuffed the Saanich teachers who were making their own reporting system... and remember when Fassbender was recently swept out of the education business and into transportation?

Well, it looks like somebody had an advanced view of Fassbender's private proprietary education software and got him out of education in the nick of time

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/another+year+another+computer+foulup+affecting+teachers/11377567/story.html

RossK said...

Remember it well Anon-Above--

Thanks.

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RossK said...

Anon-Above (Again)--

Most interesting what is NOT in Ms. Sherlock's story in the VSun.

Here's hoping we will get the full story from Lindsay Kines in the VTC.

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Anonymous said...

I realize the Liberals made sure the BC Progress Board report was deleted from the web..... am I right or is there a link you're aware of Ross ?
I have the info but a link would be good.

Guy in Victoria

RossK said...

Guy--

The actual site has been disappeared (hijacked actually by somebody selling caravan holidays or something).

I've got a link to a jpeg of the final comparative table....Here.

Having said all that, I'm pretty sure NVG can dig something up on the Wayback machine.


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Anonymous said...

http://www.policynote.ca/fraser-institute-vastly-overstates-impact-of-regulatory-delays-in-developing-a-bc-lng-industry/

Hugh said...

Then there's this:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canada-needs-outside-election-observers-to-ensure-fairness-report-urges/article26485134/

Anonymous said...

UBCM votes 51% in favour of internet voting in municipal elections. Puts Fassbender in charge! Yes, it sadly is true.

C.J. Rhodes, a councillor from Osoyoos, presented the resolution. Really? Osoyoos would get a better turnout if they had ballot boxes at Tims and McDs... instead we'll get a billion dollar proprietary software/hardware solution that gets hacked before it gets installed.

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/metro/pursue+internet+voting+municipal+elections/11385601/story.html

Hopefully the provincial report on perverse software acquisition costs and malpractice will be done before they start implementing this asinine scheme.

RossK said...

Thanks Hugh!

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Anon-Above--

That long awaited Perverse Software Acquisition Costs And Malpractice Inquiry is up and running?

Who's the chair.....Cartman?


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Anonymous said...

not BCL

https://soundcloud.com/cknw/john-horgan-calls-for-cadieuxs-resignation-sept-24

families first

RossK said...

Thanks for the link Anon-Above.

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