Author Topic: Ontario's economy  (Read 1208 times)

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Offline Thucydides

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Ontario's economy
« on: March 30, 2008, 18:58:11 »
Looks like one dose of Bob Rae wasn't enough, Dalton McGuinty is going to repeat the experiment all over again:

http://www.torontosun.com/News/Columnists/Persichilli_Angelo/2008/03/30/pf-5144016.html

Quote
Ontario must create jobs to prosper
By ANGELO PERSICHILLI

Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan is right. His budget is "balanced and pragmatic".

He is investing a lot of money for training and re-training workers for more lucrative jobs.

I only have one question. Where are they going to find those jobs?

I'm told Newfoundland had the same idea when the province lost traditional jobs in fisheries -- retrain workers.

They did, and now those workers are all over the country finding jobs their province was not able to create.

Ontario may be heading towards the same problem because the need for higher-educated manpower has to be combined with a plan to create higher-paid jobs.

Unfortunately, the plan presented by the Ontario government last week is, at best, at least 15 years too late.

As mentioned last Sunday, the early 1990s recession changed the dynamics of the global and Canadian economies.

In Ontario, we missed that opportunity to change our economic structure and adapt our manpower needs to the new realities, while people were still working.

Countries like Spain, New Zealand and Ireland did that, leading their people into the new millennium, while the so-called industrialized countries of the once-powerful G7 nations, including us, are now rapidly falling behind.
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Presumptuousness and internal politicking derailed the debate in most of those countries and now they (we) are grasping with fatigue and concern at the future.

True, Canada is the best among the G7, but the G7 is not the best example when it comes to developing new economies.

Sure, we're better at it than the U.S., Italy, France and the other members of that crowd. But that's not difficult.

Let me go back to Ontario's budget.

We had an opportunity to make changes in the early 1990s but we wasted time, intellectual resources and money on two issues: Education and health care.

Make no mistake, those are important. But if you want top-notch medicare, you need top-notch money, and that money comes from a top-notch economy.

Top-notch education is important for every individual and everyone has the right to it.

But if you don't create adequate jobs at the same time, you just create educated unemployed or educated emigrants.

PROTECTING PERKS

That's exactly what we are doing. For 10 years we spent billions of dollars not to improve education or medicare, but to protect the salaries and perks of the people working in those areas and we completely forgot about the dying manufacturing sector.

We forgot to invest money into research and development and to change our economic environment to attract new investments.

If we don't do something now, in a few years our economy will really deteriorate and the money needed to sustain medicare will evaporate.

Already we spend over $40 billion every year for medicare alone -- more than 45% of the total operational expenditure of the provincial government. Add in another $20 billion for education and we're talking about close to 70% of all operational spending.

Premier Dalton McGuinty a couple of years ago made this same point and asked himself a simple question: "How far can we go before we jeopardize our ability to invest in other sectors?"

I believe the answer is already here. We can't go any further. We have to care about our economy immediately -- not just creating skilled workers, but creating jobs those skilled workers can fill.

Canada, and Ontario, have to learn how to use their resources to create a real Canadian manufacturing sector.

Some examples? We produce wood but we export the raw material and import finished products like furniture. Sweden is a lot like Canada. So where is our Ikea?

We produce cereals, but we export them to Italy and then we import pasta.

Many of the manufacturing jobs we have depended on came from the foreign auto makers.

Where are the Canadian equivalents to Volvo, Fiat, Toyota?

This summer all of Chrysler will close for two weeks -- can we imagine the repercussions on our economy?

What about tourism? Canada and Ontario have unlimited potential, a bonanza for jobs and new revenue.

But we don't promote ourselves and it costs more to take a trip to Ottawa with Via Rail than for a week's holiday in the Bahamas.

We can do a lot because we have expertise, raw material and people ready to work.

What's missing is leadership and ingenuity. Last week's Ontario budget proved it.

The primary difficulty in this article is there is no differentiation in who the "we" doing the investment are. If the "we" is the government, then the end result will be a devastated economy, as the government pumps taxpayer's money into propping up the "winners" picked by clueless bureaucrats or political cronies while the "losers" (companies which were not able to secure State favors) die off or leave.

If the "we" is the private sector, then steep tax cuts are needed now to free up the resources investors need to start or recapitalize business of all sizes and in all sectors of the economy.

For people unclear on the metrics John Tory noted recently in the Post:

Quote
    ...Mr. McGuinty boasts that he has created new jobs in Ontario, but he fails to mention that almost half of the new jobs created are public sector jobs, paid for by taxpayers' dollars. Ontario is the only province in Canada where over the past five years the growth of public sector jobs has exceeded the growth of private sector jobs. Mr. McGuinty wrongly believes this is sustainable. It's not. We need private sector jobs to pay for those in the public sector...
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Zip

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Re: Ontario's economy
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2008, 11:43:02 »
Absolutely, and to add insult to injury Ontario's minimum wage is being increased today to $8.75 an hour an increase that would be absolutely unnecessary if taxes were reduced.
"I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man; nor ask another man to live for mine."
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