Ottawa to the rescue! Just not for you

I feel so much better now. The “Conservatives” are planning to launch a $20 billion stimulus for the economy. These various stimuli are very seductive to governments, especially those who are still in minority status and want to stave off an election as long as possible.

Think for a second, though–what creates wealth? Is it building a megaproject hydroelectric dam? Well, that could do it, producing energy which we can sell to the power-hungry US. Maybe a brand-new highway will improve transportation efficiency, getting us goods faster. Maybe even a few subsidies to mines or fisheries or what have you.

But that’s not how governments approach the people with such ideas. They don’t have any. Robert Reich seems to think that it’s a way to stimulate the economy–as long as no white men are involved, who are apparently removed from this economy somehow. Is apartheid going to be a policy of the Canadian government, too?

Here’s the thing–employing people to work on these projects will keep them alive, no doubt. But just barely. You would have to shower most of them with an indeterminate amount of money to make them save and invest their money. The people in the US (and Canada is following the pattern) are finally starting to save some money after a giant spending spree of their own. They’re tightening up a bit just because times are slow now, but so what? Won’t they just go into “deficit spending” again when the economy recovers? There’s no secret as to why the people are not concerned with government overspending, as none of them have any discipline of their own.

You wish to create new jobs in some sort of crazy spending scheme? Here’s my idea–if you want to start a new business, you pay no new licening fees, and your first three years of operation are entirely tax-free. No corporate tax, no contributions to CPP or EI, and no taxes on your property rent for a year. You wait and see what happens to this economy. I also guarantee that this will not cost $20 billion. People will be flocking like crazy from all over to create their own jobs.

This is the kind of unfettered, hyperkinetic free-market experiment that Canada needs. Bold new steps are necessary, and yet more government interference is not the answer. I hear about belt-tightening, but I am not seeing any of it from any government anywhere. Their default position is to grow. Even Alberta, a province with no debt whatsoever, saw an expansion of the government by almost 30 percent over the past two years. So, what slashing are they talking about? Does 15% growth per annum sound reasonable to anyone?

Naomi Klein likes to talk of disaster capitalism, but there’s no one discussing the power grab going on by governments right now, by excesses that governments created. It’s a sinister creep towards creating a dependency class, one that will be the “civilian national security force” willing to do what the provider government tells them to do.

They are not coming to the rescue–they are coming to get you.

5 Responses to “Ottawa to the rescue! Just not for you”

  1. The Mayor Says:

    Rocky–and as you point out, no one seems to mind, because most folk don’t any any discipline of their own.

    A bailout will only slow down the inevitable meltdown. But when the meltdown comes, which it certainly will, it will be deeper and near impossible to get out of.

    We need less gov’t, no bailouts. Start with getting rid of a bunch of ministries and go from there.

    When my household finances get tight, the first thing I think is where do I cut back, not where can I spend more.


  2. Sisyphus Says:

    We’d never ask a plumber to perform surgery on a poodle.

    But we’ll do exactly that when it comes to the economy.

    By the way, for ye of zero faith, it’s easy to maintain fulo employment. Just hire a bunch of unskilled hacks to dig holes. In the evening, bring in the new shift to fill the holes with the dirt that the morning shift dug.

    Easy! Then send them a paycheck with the funds that people gave you to dig and re-fill holes.

  3. Sisyphus Says:

    “When my household finances get tight, the first thing I think is where do I cut back, not where can I spend more.”

    Sir, you blaspheme! This “personal responsibility” stuff will never get you re-elected!

  4. cudgel Says:

    I will not cut back the beer budget and 6-49 quick-pik…say good-bye to the hotdog buns, the bung baloney, butter, Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn, Hane’s gonch, Michelin tires, razor blades, Happy meals, Heinz ketchup, Player’s lite-regular, spinach, Bick’s Hot Mix pickles and sundry other items to numerous to mention here, but I will not cut back the beer and 6-49 quick-pik…don’t tell me how to cut back because when the going gets tuff, the tuff get going.

  5. dinosaur Says:

    I think Harper needs to give every blog that starts with the letter M [sorry Kate] 1,500,000 dollars to stimulate the economy on the pretense that we spend it in Canada then we all meet in Melbourne because it starts with an M too. and it might Get Harper re elected course it might not but as long as it looks like you are doing something why spend money on the CBC vs Mitchieville.

    Heaven forbid that we cut hiring quotas and their enforcers at the HRC or immigration or the CBC, or handouts to the layabout welfare types who can’t be bothered to give to the NDP or Libs. or, or, or,

    Meanwhile my DC pension fund tanked 11k last yr.

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