Our finance minister and the Governor of the Bank of Canada appearto be hearing loud and clear from a lot of Canadians these days. Jim Flaherty and Mark Carney are also, quite rightly, being courtedby the movers and shakers at such international institutions as theInternational Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Canada’s financial health is relatively robust compared to oursouthern neighbours in the United States and most of Europe. As Ihave said before, neither prosperity nor poverty are accidents.
Inmost cases they are the consequence of certain time-testedprinciples being followed or ignored. This truism applies toindividuals, communities or nations. For example, if an individual or a nation continues to live beyondtheir means, borrowing without a vigorous, timely and realisticplan to pay off the debt, bankruptcy and impoverishment will be theeventual result. ‘Canada can best help ailing economies in other countries by askingthem to follow our example’ If people live in a jurisdiction that has highly punitive rates oftaxation, then individual and collective incentive will be stifled.
The consequence will be that the innovators, investors and jobcreators will leave for more liberal jurisdictions, resulting inincreased poverty levels for those who remain. If individualcitizens are confined by a regime that does not allow them tofreely buy and sell their own property, then they too will neverachieve true financial or social freedom. All that to say that the present enviable fiscal position in whichCanada finds itself is not mere happenstance: It is the result of aconcentrated effort on the part of the federal government and someprovincial governments to maintain relatively stable fiscalprograms. By that I mean there is a plan to keep government spending somewhatunder control, to have realistic deficit and debt reduction targetsand to keep taxes at competitive rates. However it should be noted that these types of policies are only inplace because somewhat of a majority of Canadians want them there.No government can maintain a platform like this unless there ispublic support for it. Android USB PC
So the real credit for Canada’s relativelyhealthy fiscal position goes to the citizens of Canada who supportit. Different directions It was only about three weeks ago that one of the most stark andgripping examples of the consequences of following or not followingprinciples that lead to prosperity was played out right before myeyes. I was on business in Seoul, South Korea. I witnessed all around methe effects of a robust market economy and a vibrant democracy.World-class cities, thriving rural areas and minimal unemploymentwere all evidences of a productive and free society. As a matter of coincidence, at precisely the same time that I wasin South Korea, my wife was in North Korea. Huawei WiFi Router
Its population is thesame genetic stock of good people who live south of the border. Yetpoverty, deprivation and despair was everywhere. People with the same history, the same geography and the same DNA.The only difference was the framework of government policies underwhich the two populations live. Supporters of Francois Hollande cheer his victory over NicholasSarkozy in France’s presidential elections this month. Kingston SD Memory Card
Hollande’svictory was seen as a rejection of Sarkozy’s austerity plan.(Francois Mori/Associated Press) With all due respect to our European friends, most workingCanadians differ from many of the citizens in places such asFrance, Greece and Spain. We still believe that a work-week of approximately 40 hours is notunreasonable. Unlike the majority of the citizens of France, we arenot ready to boot out the government because we don’t have theright to retire at the age of 60. Most of us do not enjoy orfitfully demand paid holidays of 12 to 16 weeks a year.
Most of usare not fooled by a government that tries to camouflage ongoingmassive deficit spending by calling it a policy of “growth.” In Canada most of us work hard, play hard and believe in a fairlyhigh level of personal responsibility. We try to help ourneighbours when we can and we don’t expect government to cough uptaxpayer dollars for every human problem that comes along. Thoughat times we flirt with the notion of cradle-to-grave governmentsupport, we haven’t yet totally married that idea as many of ourEuropean friends have. The main reason many European countries are now dealing without-of-control debt and deficits, high taxes, and increasinglyshabby credit ratings is their governments are refusing to rein inunsustainable spending. That is certainly their choice.
And it appears to be the choice ofthe people who vote them into office. Unfortunately, they are somehow of the misguided view thattaxpayers from other countries, including Canada, are going to bewilling to have our hard-earned dollars siphoned off to pay fortheir more extravagant spending practices. The message that I believe Jim Flaherty and Mark Carney are hearingfrom Canadians is that we want no part of that. The IMF and World Bank should be informed in no uncertain termsthat Canadian taxpayers and workers will not take kindly to our taxdollar dollars being put at risk supporting people who will nottake the necessary steps to bring their own spending under control. We must not give in to the false argument that unless we bail thesecountries out the world economy will crater.
Canada can best helpailing economies in other countries by asking them to follow ourexample. We have a proud record of helping others who get hit withcatastrophes that are beyond their control. That will continue. However, the catastrophe that some of these European countries arehurtling towards is actually not beyond their control. They simplydo not want to control it.
Minister Flaherty and Governor Carneyneed to pass the message along from most Canadians that our pocketshave limits. France and Spain and Greece will have to pick theirown.