Friday, January 09, 2009

I'll Take A Tax Cut... Just As Soon As You Find Me A Job!

It is ridiculous to assume that a "national bailout" based on tax cuts will help the economy.  If tax cuts are corporate, they won't produce any more jobs, because companies are right now engaging in "cocooning" and austerity measures not seen since before WW2.  If tax cuts are personal, they will only benefit the people who manage to hold onto their jobs... and that's becoming a shrinking part of the population all the time...  If the tax cuts are to the GST, then... Harper's an idiot...

What Canada needs right now is an immediate massive infrastructure program that employs 100s of 1000s of Canadians:

1) New railways - particularly to the North, and light rail connecting cities (to benefit the environment and public transit)

2) New bridges - to replace bridges and overpasses that are collapsing.  Bridges connecting the country (Van to Van Island, etc., etc.)

3) New transfers for health care to promote building of hospitals and health care research facilities.  Our Health Care system is a KEY part of our infrastructure.  It is one of the core reasons companies move to Canada.  If an employer doesn't have to pay an employee's healthcare, or even a portion of it, this is an immediate advantage to that employer.  We need to put MORE MONEY into the system that exists, rather than trying to change it to favor corporate healthcare (all the complaints about our healthcare system are just strategically placed battle-cries for the private health industry).  All our system needs is more money, spent in more strategic ways.  Now is the time for this.  A healthy population is a happy one, and a more productive one.

4) Universities - We are in the "knowledge economy" now, and need to make strides in the right kind of training, and becoming the best educated workforce in the world.  We can export our expertise...  Our knowledge sector can consult other nations, and companies around the world.  We can train and teach the world here - we have some of the world's most respected educational institutions, and we need to grow our schools and hire more professors

5) Northern Development.  Now is the time to tackle 3rd World conditions in Canada's North.  Better access to those communities won't just help the communities, but will help energy and mining companies and private developers wanting to go North.  Deep sea ports at the mouth of the MacKenzie River will consolidate our "ownership" of our North, and send a message to other nations who wish to claim the soon to be wide open "Northern Passage".  This is a key crossroads between Europe and Asia (and the Americans).  Better housing and community development is key up North.

6) Alternative Power facilities - Nuclear plants?  Solar power plants;  Wind farms; Cellulosic ethanol plants (to handle all the pine beetle infested trees in Canada which are contributing to greenhouse gases); 

7) Ship-building - We are darned good at this.  Time to stimulate the shipyards, and get Canadians on the coasts working (military contracts are good here)

8) Highway projects - with IMMEDIATE start dates (after initial planning):  Twin ALL of the Trans-Canada, and ensure EVERY city is by-passed properly, and there are no traffic stoppages across Canada (lights).  Traffic stoppages cause greenhouse gases AND are an impediment to intra-city and intra-provincial trade (infrastructure snarls).  Transport trucks having to stop at traffic lights in Golden BC, or Brandon MN simply hold up the inter-provincial trade.

9) Environmental "cleaning" projects.  Engage Canadian experts in cleaning up toxic messes WE have created - across Canada.  Fund proper recycling in all cities.  

There are many, many more great ideas which will put Canadians to work, and this is just a brief listing of some of them...  We need to engage our party, and our new leader in looking at these types of infrastructure projects to put Canadians back to work.  

Canadians will appreciate a JOB, more than they care about a deficit.  With the proper measures, we can create jobs, grow the government fiscal "base" (more jobs = more government income tax revenue), and modernize our workforce and infrastructure - which will continue the cycle of attracting more foreign business.

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The Mound of Sound said...

You've certainly thought this through and you're totally right. I'm particularly keen on the idea of a new, high-speed, twin-track transcontinental railway.

The latest locomotive technology means that trains are between 4-6 times cleaner in terms of carbon emissions than trucks for longhaul freight shipping.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. Man Iggy is turning into a real disappointment for prog libs. His call for tax cuts proves to me that he has every intention of supporting Harper's budget which won't come close to anything that you have outlined. Guess I will be looking more closely at the NDP and Layton. They seem to be focused more on stimulating jobs. Layton has also been pretty clear that he doesn't expect Harper to present the kind of budget we need in these difficult times.

WesternGrit said...

No need to look to the NDP... they're not in a position to change anything. There is room within our party for a solid discourse on the matters at hand. I think Mr. Ignatieff is pointing the the "meetings of the minds" that have been discussed as good places to begin an earnest discussion on where we need to go. Our policy platforms will emerge from these consultations. Mr. Ignatieff is a very consultative leader, and we all will have much input leading to the formulation of our national strategy...