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Politics and Policies that affect private busines, the economy and impact on GDP

Spencer100

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Ok. As most likely the largest private employer on these boards. I say this not to brag or other such thing. I say this as to put my decades of being an employer in operations all over NA in some perspective.

As the Canadian government has grown faster than the economy supporting it has One crowding out resources of the private sector. And Two making every business move or decision much harder and more expensive.

Everything is just so much harder than 5, 10 years ago.

As most business owners I know look at moving as much money and capital out if the country as fast they can.

As an aside...It doesnt matter if you agree or not on the truckers.....the bank freezing the accounts on order of the government of the truckers has had a real crystalizing effect in the minds of many business people I know. It's very quiet and super secret but know that is it is real. Even now.
 

Brad Sallows

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We all enjoyed AB oil at the price it was offered based on the costs imposed to get it out of the ground. Companies will pass whatever costs they have onto consumers. I suppose everyone has to pay for what everyone enjoys at the party.
 

QV

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Ok. As most likely the largest private employer on these boards. I say this not to brag or other such thing. I say this as to put my decades of being an employer in operations all over NA in some perspective.

As the Canadian government has grown faster than the economy supporting it has One crowding out resources of the private sector. And Two making every business move or decision much harder and more expensive.

Everything is just so much harder than 5, 10 years ago.

As most business owners I know look at moving as much money and capital out if the country as fast they can.

As an aside...It doesnt matter if you agree or not on the truckers.....the bank freezing the accounts on order of the government of the truckers has had a real crystalizing effect in the minds of many business people I know. It's very quiet and super secret but know that is it is real. Even now.
This sentiment has been echoed in the handful of folks I know in private business, all of them are exploring ways to move capital and themselves out of Canada, some have sold businesses and already left.
 

Humphrey Bogart

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Ok. As most likely the largest private employer on these boards. I say this not to brag or other such thing. I say this as to put my decades of being an employer in operations all over NA in some perspective.

As the Canadian government has grown faster than the economy supporting it has One crowding out resources of the private sector. And Two making every business move or decision much harder and more expensive.

Everything is just so much harder than 5, 10 years ago.

As most business owners I know look at moving as much money and capital out if the country as fast they can.

As an aside...It doesnt matter if you agree or not on the truckers.....the bank freezing the accounts on order of the government of the truckers has had a real crystalizing effect in the minds of many business people I know. It's very quiet and super secret but know that is it is real. Even now.
I wish we still had milpoints, I would give you max value!
This sentiment has been echoed in the handful of folks I know in private business, all of them are exploring ways to move capital and themselves out of Canada, some have sold businesses and already left.
I am planning to move South. I've got a plan to GTFO of Canada in the next few years and am in late Phase 1 of my plan atm.

There are some opportunities that are emerging over the next year or two that will allow me to action this. It will be far better for my spouse and I to not live here, maximize our earning potential and seize the opportunities available South of the Border.
 

ArmyRick

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I wish we still had milpoints, I would give you max value!

I am planning to move South. I've got a plan to GTFO of Canada in the next few years and am in late Phase 1 of my plan atm.

There are some opportunities that are emerging over the next year or two that will allow me to action this. It will be far better for my spouse and I to not live here, maximize our earning potential and seize the opportunities available South of the Border.
I have seen several examples of this.

A fellow farmer in Grey County gave up and sold his farm and moved to Belize.

A recent immigrant to Canada who was a customer of mine was shattered by the illusion of living here and moved to another country. And has convinced her children to follow her.

I have a few friends who sold off their small trade equipment and business and moved to the USA.

And we have government employees on here telling us Justin is not to blame for what I see, many people leaving Canada.
 

ArmyRick

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@Navy_Pete I want to ask a direct question and try not to get upset.

Are you full time employed by the federal government? If so, your not worrying about where your income comes from, how your going to pay employees or trying to budget for the next year and hoping that your customers are still able to do business with you.

Yes, there are other factors that add to inflation. But Trudeau actions right now are like pouring gas onto a dumpster fire.
 

daftandbarmy

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@Navy_Pete I want to ask a direct question and try not to get upset.

Are you full time employed by the federal government? If so, your not worrying about where your income comes from, how your going to pay employees or trying to budget for the next year and hoping that your customers are still able to do business with you.

Yes, there are other factors that add to inflation. But Trudeau actions right now are like pouring gas onto a dumpster fire.

It's a zero sum game, beating up on the public service.

There are alot of uncertainties in any government workplace, well beyond the stresses a private sector workplace experiences, and many people give up alot to find and keep those jobs. Having a paycheque doesn't necessarily mean having peace of mind.

I've worked in both sectors, and do alot of work with the public service these days, and am always impressed by about 80% of the people I connect with. I'm always grateful that I'm not putting up with the crap that most of them have to.

The right targets are those at the political levels who hammer business with dumb policies that the public service must execute because that's their job.
 

Halifax Tar

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I can understand the angst some privately employed people have at public servants.

Our pay keeps going up while the private business types are barely scraping by if they are at all. And they are watching portions of their pay be automatically taken for others prosperity.

I'd like to see income tax ceased or lowered drastically and higher rates of consumption taxes imposed to make up the difference.
 

Halifax Tar

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I can understand the angst some privately employed people have at public servants.

Our pay keeps going up while the private business types are barely scraping by is they are at all. And they are watching portions of their pay be automatically taken for others prosperity.

I'd like to see income tax ceased or lowered drastically and higher rates of consumption taxes imposed to make up the difference.

Any public union going on strike in the current climate is completely out of touch with the temperature of the country. And is almost self destructive.
 

YZT580

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I can understand the angst some privately employed people have at public servants.

Our pay keeps going up while the private business types are barely scraping by is they are at all. And they are watching portions of their pay be automatically taken for others prosperity.

I'd like to see income tax ceased or lowered drastically and higher rates of consumption taxes imposed to make up the difference.

Any public union going on strike in the current climate is completely out of touch with the temperature of the country. And is almost self destructive.
So Ontario teachers will definitely go on strike again you say.:p But then again, nurses and other health care professionals have certainly demonstrated that they deserve an increase other than 1%.
What's wrong with a flat rate income tax on everyone starting at a prescribed minimum plus two times the flat tax on that amount.
 

Brad Sallows

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I suppose the stresses are different. Some of the things private sector employees deal with:
  • the next contract renewal (say, every 3 to 5 years) on which a bunch of jobs hinge
  • in a shop that services multiple contracts, the pressure is approximately constant
  • during recessions, there are layoffs and compensation increases tend to be around 0%
  • after recessions, there typically are not any comp increases to make up for freezes
  • there are very few agreements to index pay increases to inflation
  • there are very few agreements to index pensions and retirement savings plans to inflation
  • there are probably no private savings plans indexed to inflation

Mostly about money. Obviously people who get squeezed during every "bad" economy without give-aways after the fact gradually fall behind those who receive make-ups later.

A question for the psychologists is whether people who gravitate toward more secure employment have less emotional resilience than those who do not. What we know about stress is mostly self-reported, not objectively measured, and I would expect people used to dealing with stressful situations to not feel as bothered by it.
 

Remius

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I can understand the angst some privately employed people have at public servants.

Our pay keeps going up while the private business types are barely scraping by is they are at all. And they are watching portions of their pay be automatically taken for others prosperity.

I'd like to see income tax ceased or lowered drastically and higher rates of consumption taxes imposed to make up the difference.

Any public union going on strike in the current climate is completely out of touch with the temperature of the country. And is almost self destructive.
And yet we keep pointing to retention rates and how the private sector pays more.

It depends on the job or profession.
 

Navy_Pete

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@Navy_Pete I want to ask a direct question and try not to get upset.

Are you full time employed by the federal government? If so, your not worrying about where your income comes from, how your going to pay employees or trying to budget for the next year and hoping that your customers are still able to do business with you.

Yes, there are other factors that add to inflation. But Trudeau actions right now are like pouring gas onto a dumpster fire.
Yes, but previously had been self employed before joining have been there, and acutely how lucky I am to not have to worry about that direct impact on having a job tomorrow, and I've been laid off a few times due to economic downturns, softwood lumber tarriffs and some other external factors myself. And just because I don't deal with this at work right now, doesn't mean I don't see family members with these worries as they are business owners, self employed, or working for private companies.

I also remember in the 80s when I was a kid where people had to walk away from their houses when interest rates hit 18%, and that isn't something that ever really leaves you.

I don't agree with the policy of having the BoC driving up interest rates to 'check inflation' when it's a global issue, but increasing them directly drives up things like people's mortgage payments and indirectly increases everything else, will kicking the economy that's been built on cheap credit for the last 20 years. That's their only tool, so they are following their mandate to keep inflation at 2% by adjusting interest, which may actually do very little when it's something like this.

That's not a new mandate though, so calling it 'Trudeau's action' vice long standing Canadian economic policy just seems disingenuous. It's also not just our policy, every other comparable country has the same central bank direction AFAIK.

I think regardless of what actions Canada does or doesn't take we'd be sitting at around the 7-10% inflation rate though anyway. Rather than trying to somehow impact global market forces (when we are fairly insignificant) I think it would make more sense to look at things the GoC and provincial governments can do to lessen the impact, and fundamentally re-evaluate if having the BoC jacking around with interest rates during global events actually makes sense.

Pausing the carbon taxes, temporarily reducing GST, capping utility prices, getting rid of compounding taxes (ie taxing the overall pump charge, which includes tax), cutting administrative processing fees for various government services are all things that will leave more money in people's pockets to actually pay the bills.

Those are all real things we could be doing; some might be quick changes authorized by the Ministers or Cabinet, others may be be things that could get pushed through quickly with all party agreement. Instead we have witty hashtags and no actual plans on how to do things differently. PP can replace as many BoC presidents as he likes, but if the only tool they have is controlling interest, and the mandate remains to keep inflation at 2%, what else does anyone expect them to do? If this had happened when Harper was in power the BoC would have done the same thing.

I'm not happy with how things are going, I just don't see a suggestion for any real, effective changes that could be done now coming from PP, and we can't afford to wait until 2025 for them to figure out what they might do differently.

What I actually want is an effective opposition with a plan for now, that will work with the actual government to get things done now. F*ck the next election, the attack adds, hashtags, and soundbites, if they think they have a better idea, do their goddamn jobs in Parliament and make things better for Canadians now. That will take actually compromising, and might mean that they are less likely to form government next time, but if they really think things are so bad now, and are prepared to let the world burn for another few years waiting for their opportunity to form government, then they are opportunistic careerist assholes, not leaders in waiting, and makes them complicit in all of it.

In my mind, an actual leader who is genuinely concerned about the way the country is going right now would make those compromises for the benefit of the country, and that would be completely antithetical to how PP is building support. I could see Charest or Atchison both doing that, and maybe Lewis or Barber would as well, but with the impending PP coronation I expect we'll just get more pithy sloganeering about how bad the current guy is doing, while do f-all in reality to try and make it better now. They have 119 of the 338 seats in the HoC, and could have collaborated with the BQ and/or NDP to push things through if they couldn't stomach the LPC.

I think PP is saying the right things to get support, I think the CPC has been doing nothing for the last few years as opposition, and I don't see any actual plan from PP to do things differently. If the HoC can't collectively put aside their differences during a global health pandemic and Russia invading a friendly country, I wonder if a random draw of Canadians for the positions for 4 years wouldn't be more effective.
 

Brad Sallows

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Inflation reduces the value of savings and also of loans. Higher interest rates compensate for the loss of value of loans. To the extent that higher interest rates help reduce inflation, they help conserve the value of savings.

An economic situation in which savers are losing money and borrowers are gaining it - ie. just inflation - is untenable.
 

Navy_Pete

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I suppose the stresses are different. Some of the things private sector employees deal with:
  • the next contract renewal (say, every 3 to 5 years) on which a bunch of jobs hinge
  • in a shop that services multiple contracts, the pressure is approximately constant
  • during recessions, there are layoffs and compensation increases tend to be around 0%
  • after recessions, there typically are not any comp increases to make up for freezes
  • there are very few agreements to index pay increases to inflation
  • there are very few agreements to index pensions and retirement savings plans to inflation
  • there are probably no private savings plans indexed to inflation

Mostly about money. Obviously people who get squeezed during every "bad" economy without give-aways after the fact gradually fall behind those who receive make-ups later.

A question for the psychologists is whether people who gravitate toward more secure employment have less emotional resilience than those who do not. What we know about stress is mostly self-reported, not objectively measured, and I would expect people used to dealing with stressful situations to not feel as bothered by it.

On the GoC side, you deal with similar things from a different perspective;
  • renewing contracts every 3 to 5 years, or critical capabilities don't exist (with years of bureacratic delays, new processes, or things like elections shutting down)
  • constantly changing priorities, frequently driven by what's in the news vice what's critical
  • passive layoffs by not replacing people as they retire/quit (plus the huge losses of experience)
  • being undercut by other departments (TBS, FIN etc)
  • bureaucratic stupidity
I've done both, and honestly found both can be comparable, but at least in private industry the logic behind the decisions is usually pretty clear and predicatable, and the goals are understandable. When the last round of DRAP went around and people were worried about layoffs as well they broke a lot of people.

There are also a lot of people that genuinely care about what they are doing and see it as a service to Canadians, so moral injury is a real thing as well. When you have to fight through the system to get basic safety things potentially impacting hundreds of people it's can really wear you down. Within DND anyway a lot of people stick around specifically fbecause they care about supporting their wingers, so there is a lot of internal pressures and frustrations when they can't deliver something, because they know what that means for the pointy end of the spear.

Pretty much everyone I know that has jumped to the private sector is way less stressed now, but your mileage will vary from where they are coming from.
 

Brad Sallows

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Ah, changing priorities. Reorganizations every couple of years due to mergers or flavour-of-the-month management. We'll have "battling business units". No, wait, nothing internal will be charged to each other. No, wait, we'll realign functionally. No, wait, we'll realign geographically...

Attrition, yes, that too. Etc.

Most jobs provide something to Canadians, that's why a business exist. Everyone involved in delivering food has a job worth caring about. Energy. Raw resources that become tools and homes and appliances and all sorts of other conveniences. Help navigating the complexities of modern life. All sorts of health and welfare and QoL stuff. Etc. There aren't really any "moral advantages" for the kinds of work people do. It's OK to believe that one's job matters, but not to believe that one's job matters especially.

Anything else to add to my list?

Still not seeing the kind of wage and benefit protection public employees get, though. The problem is this: some kinds of jobs don't see much improvement in productive capacity over time. Compensation can't meaningfully rise unless productivity increases somewhere (increases in nominal wages matched by increases in nominal costs are no help). But everyone's demands and compensation get pulled up so long as someone, somewhere, is increasing productivity. So there are problems whenever productivity gains falter or fall back, unless movements both forward and backward are matched.
 

Navy_Pete

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So, yes, same stressors, different context. Working within the GoC is subject to far more restrictions though; no one buying things in private companies cares about things like 'fair, open and transparent procurements', is subject to things like the CITT or other trading agreements, or being exempt from meeting things like SOLAS, so it's completely voluntary.

My own job would 100% be far less stressful doing the same thing on the civvy side, and would come with a raise. That's not uncommon, but maybe it's because folks on the forum are lumping active service military folks with 'public servants'. I get the impression that folks working as random analysts or whatever in other departments have it a fair bit easier than a lot of DND, which is why people commonly pop smoke from DND and transfer to other departments to do jobs in the same classification..
 
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