September 30, 2017

Kathleen Wynne’s “War on Economics” is going great!

Filed under: Cancon, Economics, Politics — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

Giving people “free” stuff will always get you support from people who don’t understand TANSTAAFL (including the leader of the opposition), as Chris Selley explains:

Polls suggest Premier Kathleen Wynne’s ongoing war on economists is paying dividends. Fifty-three per cent approve of her Liberal government extending rent control to units built after 1991, according to a Forum Research poll conducted in May; only 25 per cent disapproved. In June, Forum found 53 per cent of Ontarians supported jacking up the minimum wage to $15 from $11.40 by Jan. 1, 2019, versus 38 per cent opposed. The move was hugely popular among Liberal voters (79 per cent) and NDP voters (28 per cent). Wynne’s approval rating is staggering back up toward, um, 20 per cent. But a Campaign Research poll released Sept. 13 had the Tories just five points ahead of the Liberals. That’s pretty great news for this beleaguered tribe.

The boffins still aren’t playing along, though.

Earlier this month, Queen’s Park’s Financial Accountability Office projected the hike would “result in a loss of approximately 50,000 jobs … with job losses concentrated among teens, young adults, and recent immigrants.” And it could be higher, the FAO cautioned, because there’s very little precedent for, and thus little evidence on which to judge, a hike as rapid as the one the Liberals propose — 32 per cent per cent in less than two years.

This week, TD Economics weighed in with a higher number: “a net reduction in jobs of about 80,000 to 90,000 positions by the end of the decade.” And the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis paints the grimmest picture: “We (expect) that the Act will, over two years, put 185,000 jobs at risk” — that’s jobs that already exist or that would otherwise have been created.

It’s easy to see why raising the minimum wage is popular. Governments like it because it doesn’t show up in the budget. We in the media can pretty easily find victims of an $11.40 minimum wage, and reasonably compassionate people quite rightly sympathize. Forty hours a week at $11.40 an hour for 50 weeks a year is $22,800. You can’t live on that.

Of course, these Liberal policies are flying in the face of mainstream economic theory, so you’d expect the Ontario Progressive Conservatives to have lots of arrows in the quiver to fight … oh, wait. Tory leader Patrick “I’m really a Liberal” Brown supports both the rent control and the minimum wage hike, just not quite as much at Wynne does. There’s Canadian “conservatism” in a nutshell for you: we also want to get on the express to Venezuelan economic conditions, just not quite as fast as the government wants. There’s a reason Kathleen Wynne isn’t as worried about getting re-elected as she used to be…


  1. Canadian conservatism is left of the American Democrats. But that stands to reason since we have 3 major parties and support for the Conservatives and Liberals are fairly split around 38% each. That leave the remaining 24% to the NDP and other left wing fringe loons like the Greenies (I lump Libertarians in with the Conservatives because I can’t imagine anyone who supports individual rights supporting the Liberal Party or the NDP, I mean, what choice do you have?). So, some 62% of Canadians identify as “left wing” really. Any realistic hope of power for “right wing” Canadians is left in the hands of Blue Liberals and Red Tories who waiver back and forth over the support divide. And any Canadian Conservative who does not realize this is doomed to be in opposition forever.

    I am a fan a realistic politics, not stiff necked ideology. There are many policies I would love to see Conservatives put in place, but I know it will never happen. I mean, look at how vilified Harper was at every turn, and his governing position was so far from a real “right wing” position it makes me laugh to here him called “far right” or “alt-right”. Those are media labels for “those people who don’t agree with our narrative”. And look at the love Trudeau and the Liberals still get from the media after two years of effing up the country and being caught in outright political lies.

    I would still for for a dead dog running for a PC seat than a Liberal, but then again, in BC I voted Liberal for the first time in my life because the PC party out here is non-existent and has/had no hope of winning a seat let alone an election. The Liberal candidate in my riding still lost. And that made me sad, because another 1000 or so strategic PC voters could have kept the NDP and Green coalition out of power here in BC.

    Comment by Dwayne — September 30, 2017 @ 14:02

  2. I largely agree with your characterization of the Canadian voting public, although the libertarians really do have to hold their noses if they choose to vote for the Conservative candidate in too many ridings. “Mad Max”‘s near-win against Andrew Scheer must have scared the pants off the Conservative establishment…

    What I find most frustrating about “conservatives” in Canada is their apparent willing acceptance of left-wing economic nostrums, and therefore unhealthy support for economic policies that can be shown to be hurting the country (supply management is a good example). A sensible policy would be to unilaterally adopt free trade among the provinces and territories … but try to find a federal Tory whose name isn’t “Bernier” to argue in favour.

    The political spectrum in Canada is tilted well to the left of centre, and as a result, the Overton Window for Canadian politics rarely stretches as far as actual centrist ideas, never mind radical notions like free trade, getting rid of supply management, or reducing the size and scope of government activity.

    Patrick “I’m really a Liberal” Brown is very likely to talk his way out of being elected by the time the next Ontario election rolls around, if only because what he’s offering is literally the same as Wynn, just a bit less and/or a bit slower than the Liberals offer. With those two choices, the NDP might yet get elected here if only as a “pox on both your houses” rejection of the two bigger parties. Ontario probably deserves another dose of NDP shock and awe, if only to induce the PCs to elect an actual conservative as leader next time.

    Comment by Nicholas — September 30, 2017 @ 16:48

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