Tag Archives: Canadian economy

Murray Dobbin: 6 Ways Harper is Wrecking Canada

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Murray Dobbin of The Tyee, posted this article on rabble.ca about how Harper is ruining Canada.

Here’s a snapshot summary, but please read the full article.  It’s worth it.

  1. Merging Canada with the US
  2. Eroding our infrastructure
  3. Destroying our surpluses
  4. Increasing risks by deregulating
  5. Giving in to big oil
  6. No planning for growth

Stephen Harper: Permanently Our of Touch

Stephen Harper constantly attacks schemes that are being made up on the fly, but is he really that much better?

Think about it.  His last two promises from our pocket books:

  1. Baby bonuses for breeders
  2. Housing bonuses to increase the number of suburbanites

These policies show that Harper is consistently out of touch with the general trends related to urban intensification, single or no-child families and a general dislike of the constant expansion of cities into good, arable farmland.

People don’t want more houses.  They want urban infrastructure.

People are concerned about population and are only have one child, if couples have one at all.  Breeders are a thing of the past.

People don’t want to level good farmland for more McMansions.  They want a reliable source of food and produce to feed themselves and those they love.

People want commitment to stability brought on by tough regulation and monitoring of what’s happening in the marketplace.  They don’t want to die because of bad meat and they don’t want to lose their homes because of deregulation.

In summary, I believe the people of Canada want commitment to green action.  Period.  It’s the dominant plank of all other parties in Canada and not with the Conservatives.  Local.  Prudent.  A helping hand rather than the invisible hand.

I guess it comes with mindset.  Republicans Conservatives are rooted in a belief structure that is centred around the notion of "what is here belongs to us and all resources should be used today to our benefit.  Today."  Go forth and multiply.  Etc etc.

What do you think?

I believe this weakness of the Republicans Conservatives (the fact that they’re out of touch) will be their downfall, but only if people stop falling for Steve’s sacharine ‘sacrifices’.

Tory Tax Cuts Increase Gap Between Oil-Rich Provinces and Rest of Canada

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The tax cuts recently advocated by Jim Flaherty and the Harper Government have done nothing to strengthen our economy. In fact, they are exaggerating the differences between oil-rich provinces and regions that rely on manufacturing.

Link to Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Study.

Here are details from the press release:

The study, by economist Jim Stanford, analyzes the distribution of corporate profits across Canada’s provinces and across 16 major industries. It finds that the big winners from Conservative corporate tax cuts will be Canada’s oil-producing provinces, and the oil and finance sectors. In contrast, industries and regions which are struggling will receive very little benefit.

“Despite what Finance Minister Flaherty says, corporate tax cuts are an especially uneven policy tool,” Stanford says. “These corporate tax cuts constitute a significant net fiscal shift in favour of Alberta, and away from Ontario and every other non-oil-producing province.”

According to the study, Canada’s three oil-producing provinces, which account for 15% of the population, generate 36% of corporate profits—and can be expected to reap a similarly large share of the benefits of corporate tax reductions. On a per capita basis, companies operating in the oil-producing provinces can be expected to receive three times as much benefit from the tax cuts as companies in the rest of the country.

“Finance Minister Flaherty is ‘picking winners’ as surely as any other Finance Minister—including Ontario’s,” says Stanford. “Surprisingly, the ‘winners’ he’s picking are the provinces and industries that are already doing very well indeed.”

The study also questions the economic impact of corporate tax cuts. Despite the dramatic decline in corporate tax rates this decade, business spending on capital equipment and R&D has been remarkably sluggish—even as Canadian companies are enjoying all-time record profits.

“Corporate tax cuts, as expensive as they have been and will continue to be, have had no visible impact on the broad pattern of business investment at all,” Stanford says.

“In addition to asking whether the regional and sectoral impacts of the Harper government’s $15 billion annual corporate tax cuts are fair and acceptable to the majority of Canadians, we should also ask whether they will have any beneficial impact on Canada’s economy at all,” concludes Stanford.

This is no way to enable a vision for Canada. Reducing $15 billion in tax revenue PER YEAR from those who are most capable of paying corporate income tax is nothing short of an abomination. To make things worse, the smokescreens being thrown around by the “our government” are unfortunate, because they are distracting Canadians from very real issues.

For example, the ongoing vitriolic attack by Flaherty and other Conservatives against the Government of Ontario are very unfortunate because they’re (a) an international embarassment, (b) potentially creating self-fulfilling prophecies and (c) no way to run a country.

Tax Breaks Don’t Work – See 1929

We’re being told by the Harpies that opposition parties – if we were stoopid enough to elect the Liberals or the NDP – would spend like crazy and increase our level of debt. Here’s just one of the empty threats from Steve.

Duh! If you’ve ever read an unbiased economics textbook, that’s what you do when you’re about to head into a recession.

What you don’t do is cut taxes and expect people to just spend their way out of economic misery because they’re too worried that they’re not going to have a job in two weeks. Let’s do the math: I can either spend to support the economy with ZERO income less a few percentage points or I can work because our government has invested in rebuilding programs to cushion the blow. The net effect with the treasury is the same, but the outcome is exceptionally different.

And you also don’t slash business taxes, at least not for big business. These days, the only corporations that are actually making profits in Canada are those that are not based here. As a result, they pay less here, but then turn all of their after-tax balances over to a foreign treasury.

Bravo!! Your tax-cutting package has just ensured that money evaporates from our economy and people resort to eating their pets because they don’t have jobs.

You think I’m ranting, don’t you? Well, check out what mainstream media has to say about tax stimulation packages:
MarketWatch Commentary on 2007/2008 Relief Package

And, if you think that’s bad, the dreaded comparison to 1929 is on its way:
Tax Relief Package Details from 1929

When you read this article, be sure to skim down to the bottom to review the list of “impartial” advisors to the relief package, including the likes of Ford, Standard Oil, GE, du Pont, Macy’s, etc.

It didn’t work then and it won’t work now. Please don’t let history repeat itself.