Saltwire Network News Questions
Saltwire Network news placed invited answers by subscribers about the election campaign. The questions and my answers follow: Question: What are the top 3-5 expectations that you have for your Prime Minister ? My expectations from the party leaders is that they will all continue the failed neoliberal policies that have turned our economy into a financial oligarchy. Private debt and asset prices are at bigger bubbles than before the Great Depression. I expect that taxation policies will continue to penalise work and production and favour the wealthiest. They will continue to sell off Canadian productive assets to foreign interests in order to support trade deficits. The party leaders will continue to have government borrow from the private sector at interest instead of having the Bank of Canada create the money. The party leaders will continue to allow imports without tax while Canadian goods and services must bear all costs of our government and society. I expect that our elected representatives will remain economically illiterate. Question: What about the party platforms makes you uncomfortable or uncertain? I am uncomfortable with the platforms that merely tinker with failed policies instead of at least offering basic changes for consideration. I am uncomfortable to wonder if their failure to make basic change is lack of knowledge and ability or more nefarious reasons. Question:What is motivating you to vote on Oct. 21 ? My motivation to vote is the chance of a minority Government or, better yet, the defeat of the two parties who have performed so poorly for fifty years.
Letters to the Editor
A recent newspaper editorial asked WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO GIVE UP? In order to solve the “Climate Crisis” For 90% of Canadians -- very little needs to be given up. Have the 90% give up paying income tax on wages, on their work and production. Tax instead what is not beneficial to them or their country, like carbon, imports, and excessive consumption. Have the 5% of Canadians who speculate in the stock market, give up the building of harmful asset bubbles. Instead, restore productive investment in a green “real” economy. Have those with high incomes give up their tax loopholes and tax them to reflect the contribution of past and present Canadians to their good fortune. The shortcoming of the editorial is that is sees things as they are rather than they as they could be. Where you talk of “give up” something, I would talk about “making choices”. As when fighting World War, we may face immediate shortages, even leading to rationing, during the climate crisis war. But in war days, the sacrifices and resources were shared. During the last 50 years there has been little sharing. While productivity increased, that increase went to the wealthy few. I fear that the editors, and our legislators lack the experience of the “Golden Years”,of the 50’s, 60’s and 1970’s, and think in terms of the “failed neoliberal experiment” of the last 50 years. Another newspaper article stated that “Canada's Trade Deficit shrinks”. The article was a valiant effort to help Canadians feel better than they should about the disaster of Trade Deficit. Hooray ! We now have a trade surplus with one country, and only one. This thanks to a sudden increase in natural resources exports and unusual activity in our highly subsidized aircraft industry. Canadians should be told how we are able to have more imports than exports and why. HOW is by foreign investment in Canadian industry and housing. Investment that will have to be repaid, with profits, by our current and future generations, when exports may be even lower. The WHY is because of our taxation policies. We add the tax on wages, profits, real estate, electricity and much more to the price of goods and services produced in Canada. Not only does that make Canadian goods less competitive with imports, but also less competitive as exports. We can only have fair trade when imports bear equal taxes. This country was built on tariffs and now is being destroyed by trade deals.
THE APPLE SCORE
THE APPLE SCORE - CANADIANS 2 - FOREIGNERS 17
Living in apple farming country, occasionally when in the grocery chain store, I look at the apples on display. There are a few questions that come to mind when I see there are 17 varieties from other countries and only 2 Canadian. Why would these apples from several countries dominate our Canadian store only days before we start to harvest our own apple crop? There was a time when we only ate Canadian apples. Not only apples from other countries were on display in that store but raspberries from Chile were also enticingly laid out, in the very middle of our raspberry harvesting season. And those were wrapped in one use plastic. And, at the same time as we harvest peas there were attractive packages of snow peas, FROM CHINA". A further count was made of the fruit counters where 27 imported fruits were displayed and 6 from Canada.The economics of it is not rational. Our economy would be strengthened by producing all the apples we need in Canada. The money received for them would be spent in Canada. In fact it would be spent several times over, by the farmer, farm labour and farm expenses, would be spent to provide income to many other workers in Canada. They would in turn spend it again and again. The taxes required to pay our health and all other social services would be paid for, whereas it is not earned on imports. The cost, and polluting use of fossil fuels, spent in shipping from New Zealand, Chile and elsewhere would be avoided. The claim of a seasonal need for imported fruit is not a valid excuse. Controlled atmosphere storage, and other methods, will preserve perishable fruit year around. Local apples and other products could be available nearly year around. Instead of investing in foreign stocks, Canadian investment should be in building Canadian production. Instead of allowing money deposits in tax havens it should be invested in Canada. Instead of the banks’ creating money for speculation and consumer credit, money should only be created by the Bank of Canada, for productive investment in the real economy of Canada. Canada has a trade deficit with every country from which we import. The need to pay in USA dollars for the consumer goods we import are causing real problems for our country. We sell our natural resources and degrade our environment to pay for imports, taking away the wealth of our country from future generations. We allow foreign investment to own our industries and housing stock, for which we will pay them back for generations. And now we are encouraging foreigners to own or finance our common infrastructure. What we are eating today is not being paid for today, we are getting it on credit. What kind of a country is Canada, that does not even produce the food we need???
LOWER CARBON FUTURE
Three CEO’s of major petroleum corporations bought a full page in our provincial paper to claim “ A healthy Canadian oil and natural gas industry is vital in leading the way to a lower carbon future.” They may be quite right, but the production of oil and gas is not the main cause of the “ carbon present or future”. It is the consumption of goods and services that causes the consumption of oil and gas that causes the carbon problem. We must export oil and gas to provide foreign funds to pay for imports. We burn Canadian and foreign oil and gas to satisfy our transportation and other goods and services decisions. There are several ways to reduce consumption of oil and gas. We could ration it like we did during WW2. That war was a lower incentive to reduce consumption than the climate change we face today. And, we could increase the cost of oil and gas as an incentive to reduce the use of oil and gas. Just cease charging income tax on wages and replace it with a tax on carbon instead. The money required from taxation would still be met by taxpayers, but in ways that benefit our climate, and economy. We could impose foreign exchange controls and import taxes to create government revenue and to reduce imports and to reduce the necessity to export oil and gas. Also, shrinking the volume of oil and gas production would free up investment and labour for more green energy production. To prevent such policies, corporations, financial sector and the very rich of our population, will spend more to elect more puppets to Parliament who would continue to ignore the adverse plight of our earth. The alternative is for the 90% of us to vote for representatives that will focus on policies and regulations to benefit our climate here and worldwide.
Gross Domestic Product
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GDP may give the most misleading and irrational concept of the welfare of our country of all the statistics provided by Government. Its deficiencies were pointed out when it was developed in the 1930’s, but apparently ignored. It was more useful when our economy was industrial but in this financial economy it distorts the picture. It does not tell us if we, and our country, is doing better or worse. It does not indicate if we are adding to our national wealth or dissipating it. It does not even tell us if we are producing as much as we are consuming. It does not tell us if we are just living off borrowed money, Or, if we are living off the sale of our national assets. The truth of the saying “the bigger the lie, and the most frequently repeated, the more people will believe it” applies to GDP. GDP is repeated many times daily and leads us to assume a bigger number is good. Even when bad. GDP is calculated by adding together: private consumption + private sector investment + Government spending + Government investment + the excess of exports over imports. The cost of fighting fires, floods and natural disaster increases GDP, but adds nothing of value. And what about recognition of the value of forests, coastline and infrastructure that is lost. Should there not be a deduction from the GDP number for any decrease of wealth in the year. The private consumption and Government spending components of GDP reflects decrease of wealth. Since all consumption is causing environmental degradation and climate change, would it not be good for the nation if it decreased? Private sector investment is a figure that is very useful, it is certainly better to increase the productive wealth of our country than consume wealth. How great is the investment ,if twice that value has been depreciated or discarded is not recognized. Government spending and investment have the same effect on GDP of destroying and creating wealth. The numbers that we should be told is “How much has our common real wealth increased”? Or, how much are we going behind? The other number we should know to tell us how well we are doing is the total spent for imports. That amount now increases the GDP total but adds nothing to our economy and should be deducted. All that is deducted from GDP now is the excess of exports over imports. Well, what GDP does not tell us, but we deserve to know, is that Canada has a trade deficit with every country with which we trade. GDP does not tell us how we pay for all the stuff we import and consume. We pay by depleting our natural resources and by encouraging foreing investment to buy our properties or increase our national debt. Our politicians do not seem to understand the limitations of GDP and do not know the factors that really matter. Perhaps they don’t bother to. For 50 years they have been reelected although our country has gone downhill under their Governance. Working people are worse off while the unproductive financial sector has grown and produced nothing but financial bubbles and recessions. It is time that Gross Domestic Product is replaced by numbers that tell a true story. When we hear “Gross Domestic Product” ask instead are we increasing our wealth and living well or going behind?
RATIONAL POLICIES – WELCOME
This Web Site represents years of experience and, in recent years, over 10,000 hours of research and study. The mass media and social media provides an endless accumulation of opinions of what is wrong with Government economic and social policies of Western Democracies, including Canada. Much of what is wrong for most Canadians stems from policies that are quite irrational for the majority of Canadians but quite rational for the rich few. We do not need to be economists to realize the difference between the rational and irrational policies. Or between good and bad. Most Canadians do not remember the depression, World War II or the “Golden Years” that ended 50 years ago. That was when a financial economy replaced our industrial economy. That was when the pencil pushers took control from the producers and substituted “financial engineering” for real engineering. They increased the money supply to create financial bubbles without value. The financial sector which produces no real value, ended productive capitalism and directed economic growth to the top small percent of citizens. They reduced the income tax on the richest by 38% and raised the tax on the middle class by 18%. Canadians must be encouraged to read, and think about public policy concepts. Canadians must realize that 90% of them who have been economically weakened, have the majority power to vote for change. Those who read the material of this website should encourage all others to do the same. Before this crusade to understand our economic, taxation, monetary and fiscal policies the author, as was most Canadians, uninformed. We were not, and are not, provided the true facts. Readers are urged to comment, criticize, disagree, get angry, but mostly “think” about policy alternatives, and vote based on rational policies. And, do not forget, we are voting for our children and future generations, as well as ourselves. The creation of the material herein cost personal time and money, both of which are running low. To inform more Canadians will require much help to spread the word and make sure candidates and Members of Parliament know what has gone wrong and how to change the policies to rationality. Please make the effort to read, reply with comments and if you see fit offer to help publish and distribute the book. Also please contact and urge mass media reporters and editors to read and comment.