Alberta’s Wildrose Party leader, Brian Jean is quoted in a CBC article as saying, “You can’t trust the New Democrats with the economy — we’ve seen that right across the country, whether it be in Ontario or otherwise …They destroy the economy.”
I want to point out a fallacy in this article: I’m surprised that reporters just stand there and nod knowingly while party leaders repeatedly spout this nonsense about the NDP. They could at least ask for an example, but they never do. It has become the slam dunk approach for other parties to win elections. Simply write off the NDP by saying that they can’t be trusted with the economy, and you’ll scare voters away. And somehow, news reporters just lap it all up.
In fact, the opposite is true about the NDP. Just as one example. in BC, the economy did far, far better with the NDP in the 1990s than it has done since with the Liberals. There were more jobs, there were more services to people, including health, education, and road maintenance. Hospitals and schools were in better repair and cleaner. There were fewer antibiotic resistant bacterial infection like C-difficile, there were far fewer homeless people.
But of course, the rich don’t care about these things, because these are issues they can afford to avoid. Who would drive across the province when you can fly. Who would send their kids to a public school when you can afford private?
The preferred economic model of the most recent governments, including the BC Liberals, and certainly the Harper Conservatives, has been trickle-down economics, which supposes that if you lighten the tax burden on big corporations, they will have more profit to reinvest, resulting in more jobs. This theory has proven to fail over and over in a global economy because profit gets squirrelled away in divestment outside the country, in capital investment, in savings plans for shareholders, and in huge bonuses for the C-suite crowd. Very little goes to produce more jobs or better wages. After all, what do a bunch of executive officers in say… Germany or the U.S. care about Canada’s health care or our roads or parks?
The NDP recognizes that the secret to securing jobs and services that benefit the public at home is to demand that multinationals, and wealthy individuals pay a reasonable amount of taxes.
Ever notice that the employment statistics are “stuck”? That’s because current governments have cut off their own revenue stream at the behest of the big corporations as they try to avoid paying taxes. These corporations get to live here at half the rent of citizens, so that they can secure massive profits that the middle and lower income Canadians will never see.
We need a little more NDP thinking. We need to ensure that the rich (including big corporations), who have enjoyed so much success in this country, are required to give back to the economy by paying their taxes. That’s what stimulates the real economy.
And I’ve yet to see a rich person suffer in such a system. Maybe he’d have to settle for a Volkswagen for his daughter’s grad gift, rather than an Audi. But this is hardly suffering.