Maybe I am naive, but if a person remains silent, then no one will know what they are thinking. And while some say, the more you keep quiet, the more people will only think you are a fool, but once you open your mouth, you’ll remove all doubt, I feel we cannot ignore the issues.
Politicians need to hear from us, otherwise they will continue doing what they do best, which is cater to the needs of Special Interest groups, and Political Campaign Contributors.
970 Blanshard Street,
Victoria, BC V8W 2H3
Email Submission : Budget & Economic Considerations
November 16, 2009
The topic is a huge one, and my apologizes for the length of this, but frankly, it is a subject that needs to be attended to, not swept under the rug, nor given the same old standard treatment. Our Nation, and many others across this Globe are under attack, from all sides. Children are left to fend for themselves, basic human rights are being ignored, when not being taken away, and through all this, comes the economic chaos, generated by the greed of a few, that impact the vast majority of people.
Government, has an obligation to the people, and yet today, under the Bush/Harper Doctrines, we are seeing a total disregard for the best interests of people, and are instead concentrating on what is best for Corporate Entities, and Union Associations. Health & Education are left to tangle in the ever changing winds, while Corporate Profits, Union Wage Levels become more important, than providing sufficient vaccines for those in need.
Our Prime Minister is off making trade deals with other countries, while the number of unemployed within this country rises, while our economy shrinks, and while the number of decent paying jobs dwindle, to foreign interests.
The job of My Government, is not to play Good Samaritan to the World, but to look after my best interests. We have today, a situation where the Opposition represents the Majority of people, and yet fails totally in providing that check & balance, that Canada has been noted for. Instead of dealing with issues, like the Economy, we instead spend our time worrying about how long a political leader worked outside the Country.
Instead of concentrating on how to improve our Industrial Complex, we spend more time propping up a government, that is deliberately dismantling that very complex, through its so called Free Trade accords, and through its importing of foreign workers. At the same time, it attends conferences telling us that climate change needs to be addressed, while the Natural Resources Minister grants mining companies the right to dump its toxic waste in our clean lakes and rivers. And through all this, ALL OPPOSITION PARTIES, stay silent, only squawking when they know it will generate a headline or two.
I am not rich, I don’t own a huge corporation, nor am I a union worker. I have owned a few small business, and yes, they have failed, but mainly due to being undercapitalized, and not properly managed. That is my fault, not anyone else’s, and I have paid for those mistakes. No Prime Minister or Finance Minister came rushing to my aid, with an open cheque book. No Government or Bank Official came running to my door, to let me off the hook on paying my taxes, and yet that is what they do, today, for failed businesses. No Union official came banging at the door, saying I could pay my staff less, or alter their benefits. I made my mistakes, and I paid for it. Yet today, we rush out, cheque book in hand, to pour out hundreds of billions of dollars, to the very people who have placed our economy in jeopardy.
I don’t know who, or if, this will be read, but frankly, Government has failed us, the people. It makes no difference if you are NDP, Liberal, Conservative, Bloc, or Undecided, the simple truth is, Government today has failed.
The obligation of my elected representative, is to protect me, to serve me, not the Corporate and/or Union entity. It is my RIGHTS that should be made safe, and secure, not disposed of behind closed doors, held in secret.
Slightly over a year ago, our Finance Minister & Prime Minister told us that our economy was bullet proof, that our expected budget would see a modest surplus and a negligible deficit at worst. Today that deficit is expected to total over ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY BILLION DOLLARS IN THE NEXT THREE TO FOUR YEARS. The opposition parties came together to force the Government to act, and since then, have abdicated their role, by allowing this wild spending spree, that does nothing but insure Corporate Profits, but does nothing to improve My Quality of Life, or My Economic Security.
It boggles the mind, to read about the billions being given, to help failed businesses. The support of Government to help Television Networks, rather than improve Canadian Content, is just one example, of how the current crop of politicians in Ottawa, is mismanaging out economy, and our money. I believe in a free market system, in Capitalism, but I also believe we have an obligation to help those in need. The two are not in competition, but I know this simple fact.
If you don’t provide people what they want, they won’t keep buying it.
Tens of Billions of our money has been given to corporations like GM, Chrysler, and for what? To protect jobs? That is a load of you know what, because the first thing these two giants did, was LAYOFF WORKERS and CLOSE PLANTS. Yet they got billions of our money, and no one has bothered to ask, why.
Toyota didn’t ask for money, Honda didn’t ask for money, nor did Volkswagen and others. The reason is simple, they provided the consumer with what they wanted, while GM & Chrysler continued to produce wasteful vehicles no one wanted, or needed. When a business does not provide what the consumer wants, they turn elsewhere to get it. The same holds true for our Television Networks like Global & CTV. They spend hundreds of millions on buying foreign productions, very little in the way of local programs, or Canadian Made programs, but we are being asked to bail them out, as well.
Our Economy suffered, not from the downturn in the USA housing market, but from the greed of Oil Companies, that saw gasoline go from 60 cents a litre, to a buck and a half. We saw food prices rise, and every other commodity rise, because it cost more to produce, to ship. That is where the trouble came from, because speculators on Wall Street got nervous, and saw a way to make a killing, That and unscrupulous business practices led to this downturn, this recession. AND GOVERNMENT HAS DONE NOTHING TO STOP THAT FROM CONTINUING.
Instead of tax cuts, instead of huge injections of cash into failed companies, with no plan to correct how they got into that situation, the solution would seem to be, to put the money where it can do the most good. If would have made more sense, to approach companies that do their job, to increase their presence here, to hire more people, rather than to prop up failed businesses.
It would make more sense to expand our infrastructure, to repair it, than to dismantle it by giving businesses more money, to pocket. Like in the 1930’s where huge massive public works programs were the order of the day, that too, should have been our program here. To rebuild our bridges, would have generated a lot more construction employment, than the ridiculous house renovation tax credit plan. That program only addresses the needs of those who own a home, who have sufficient resources to spend the money, or borrow it. It does nothing for the vast majority who cannot afford their own home.
As Mr. Duceppe said in the leaders debate last year, it is useless to give businesses a tax cut, when they have no profits to offset. And yet that is exactly what the Canada Economic Action Plan is. Giving tax credits, while increasing the debt load for people.
What happened in the USA is a sign, that unless we reign in credit, we are doomed to repeat this economic crisis. Too much credit, for those who shouldn’t have it, is at the cause. People rely on that credit, and I am one of them. It doesn’t make me work harder, but granted, it does let me survive. And that is wrong, and that is what needs changing.
Using taxpayer money wisely, such as rebuilding factories, bridges, roads, hospitals, schools, we provide steady work. Businesses will need to hire people, not pocket money or look for ways to make workers redundant. THAT is how you stimulate a economy, by securing employment in all areas, not just one low paying area, such as the hospitality industry. AND YES it does spur ancillary business, such as restaurants, hotels, and retail sales. When people are working, they are more likely to spend money, not hoard it.
When things are tight, we have a tendency to cut essential services, just when they are the most needed. How are people supposed to exist, to go about and seek new employment, if they are worrying about the family being covered for health, or that the education of their offspring is being stunted? People do desperate things, when they are desperate. Yet we cut law enforcement, we hogtie the hands of Judges, because politically it is easier to justify mandatory sentences, than to seek out the problem, and solve it. Yet only the Bloc dared question the government on that.
It is time to make business accountable, not just Government, but the entire business community. I know, that if I can buy something cheaper, the savings will NOT be passed on the consumer. My goal, as a business, is to make ME money, not provide a savings to the consumer. The business mantra is to CHARGE WHATEVER THE TRAFFIC WILL BEAR. That is simple business 101, and yet here is our government, doling out billions, in return for what? A HIGHER COST OF LIVING?
Energy Costs are the main cause of why our economy entered a recession. The high cost of fuel, in a nation that produces all the gas and oil it needs, has made manufacturing here untenable. It has driven up the cost to the farmer, to the retailer, and yet nothing is being done to corral that segment of our economy. Gas prices are still high, despite the drop of a penny here and there. If gas is selling at $50 a barrel, then the retail price should be exactly what it was, when it first reached that price. AND YET TODAY, it is double that.
If you want to keep the economy on track, then end the speculation and high profits of the Oil Companies, that caused this entire mess. It wasn’t the failed housing market, but the wild oil prices, that impacted the global economic world.
Start to spend our money, on projects that benefit US, not the profit margin for speculators on Wall Street and Bay Street. Spend the money on projects that will employ Canadians, and hold business accountable in their hiring practices. Insure they seek Canadians first, before opening up the flood gates, to allow in foreign workers.
STOP DE-REGULATION, because it does not help protect the people who have hired you, to serve. Self Regulation is simply a way for business to cut corners, in every aspect of their business. If we have learned anything from the Maple Leaf Food debacle, it is that BUSINESS CANNOT BE TRUSTED. We need to keep our industries in line, with our standards, not weaken those standards. While Private Business can do things more efficiently, in many cases, it doesn’t mean they will do them safely. That is why laws such as safety standards were enacted in the first place, because business could not be trusted.
BEGIN A STEADY INFRASTRUCTURE PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM, that encompasses all aspect of our society. From building hospitals, to airports, to improving highways, we can keep our economy alive. The more we do now, the less we’ll need to do later. In addition, it will put money DIRECTLY into our hands, which in turn will stimulate other aspects of our economy. PUTTING the cash in the hands of these Corporate Execs, has allowed for a weakening of our entire social economic system.
The Environment is at greater risk today, because we placed the trust in businesses, instead of elected officials. Our Health Care system is in disarray, because Drug Companies demand more profits, and because Labor wants more money, for doing less. The old adage of “GIVING AN HONEST DAY’S WORK FOR AN HONEST DAY’S WAGES” is long gone, but it needs to be brought back. No one should be looking at becoming a millionaire, through Nursing, or being a Doctor. That is just plain wrong, no matter your political stripe.
It is time to establish the principles that you earn what you can, based on what you do, not on how much money you contribute to a political campaign. We need to put the money where it helps the people who need it, not those who can afford it on their own. The idea of Universality is good, but with restrictions. Yes, the entire nation should benefit, but based on need, not on their political membership.
The idea of providing $1200 to any family using daycare is a nice fuzzy thought, but totally impractical. If someone earning a $100,000.00 can’t afford to pay $600 a month for their kid to be looked after by a stranger, why should my taxpayer money help them? The concept of universal daycare, is to provide a set of standards, for the care of children, and more importantly, to provide the low income, middle class, and single parent, the ability to have their children cared for, while they earn a living. That isn’t happening, because this Government does not believe in Social Programs that HELP. It isn’t communism, or socialism, it is common sense. You help the people who need it, so they can help themselves.
I don’t have children, but I know that I couldn’t work at a job, if I was worrying about the quality of care for my children. I wouldn’t be able to work efficiently, if I was worried that I couldn’t afford a Doctor for a child with a cough. And yet, that is what is happening here, which is also why even in the USA, they are moving towards a National Health Plan. However, the difference is that I don’t believe Health Care needs to make a profit, unlike what exists today.
Taxing gas at the pump is not going to help make the environment safe. The Oil Companies are not going to seek alternative fuel sources, as their profits aren’t impacted by these type of taxes. TAX THEIR PROFITS and perhaps then they will, but instead, these ‘energy taxes’ only add to my expenses. PUT MONEY INTO ALTERNATIVE SOUCES, instead of pouring billions into an environmental nightmare like the Tar Sands. REGULATE THEIR CORPORATE BEHINDS, because let’s be honest here, they are raping our wallets. If you honestly believe, that every single gas company has identical expenses, then you need a wakeup call. There is no way that Petro Canada has the same expenses as Chevron, yet both charge the consumer the same price. Wal-Mart sells many name brands cheaper, not because they make less money, but they buy in greater quantity. Yet many stores can compete, because they don’t have the expenses Wal-Mart does. So why are gas prices the same, no matter which company you deal with?
You want me to drive a new car, fine, make it worth my while. Right now I get as good mileage as any new car, because we keep our 1977 vehicle in good shape. And I don’t need to borrow money, to buy a vehicle that is designed to be replaced in a few years. We no longer build for the long term, but are in a disposable society, where everything is built to fail in short time spans. We need to encourage quality of manufacturing, rather than short term gains.
Provide real incentives to me, like they do in Germany. $500 rebate is pittance, given the cost of today’s vehicles. Energy saving appliances (not covered in the Harper Economic Action Plan) need real incentives, not a paltry $100 refund, when the cost is $1,000.00. MAKE IT WORTHWHILE, then you’ll see people buying more, and that means more will be produced. It is simple supply and demand economics, and the more they make, the cheaper the price, so that eventually refunds won’t be necessary.
You want to get people using public transit? Simple, instead of a stupid tax cut, subsidize the cost of gas needed to run the fleets of buses, and force the cost down, so people will WANT TO use the public system, to save money. The idea of forcing us to buy passes, that cost more than running a car, to maybe get a tax credit, is NOT going to make me use the bus. Make it cheaper to use, more convenient, and then I will use it, instead of today’s concept.
STOP THE INFLUX OF INFERIOR GOODS. There is nothing wrong with a company having goods made elsewhere, nor in trade accords that allow their goods to be sold here, and ours there. However, that should not be an excuse to just have cheaper labor nor should it mean a lowering of our standards. If something is being imported, IT MUST MEET OUR STANDARDS, NOT THE EXPORTING COUNTRIES STANDARDS. (unless their standards are higher, but come on, India has higher standards than we do, China does?)
The Government of Canada, is just that. It belongs to us, not to the worker in Somali, not to the farmer in Viet Nam, not to the fisherman in China. Therefore our Government should be insuring it BUYS CANADIAN FIRST. After all, it isn’t money received from the taxes of people in Columbia that is paying for the Drug Treatment facilities, or the cost of our Police to fight the drugs coming from there. IT IS MY MONEY and therefore the uniforms, the ships, the guns, the food, should come from CANADIAN PRODUCERS WHO PRODUCE IN CANADA.
That isn’t protectionism, that is simple economics. If our Government hires foreign nationals to run our affairs, to handle our medical records, to do our billing, then let those foreign citizens pay my taxes. They are earning the money, not me.
You asked, and I have answered, but will you listen
end of my submission to my MP.