August 20, 2006
Continual Bullshit and Crap
Hey Toronto, EAT THIS!!!
By: NIELS VELDHUIS
August 18, 2006; Page A15
From: The Wall Street Journal Online http://online.wsj.com/public/us
Ontario and Quebec once reigned supreme as the economic hub of Canada, but no more. The western provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan are quickly taking their place.
While strong commodity prices are part of the explanation, the impact of pro-growth tax policy cannot be ignored. Western Canadian governments of all political stripes -- from Progressive Conservatives in Alberta to Liberals in British Columbia to New Democrats (socialists) in Saskatchewan -- have reduced marginal personal income tax rates and overall business taxes. The tax policies pursued by western Canada over the past few years are quintessentially supply-side. That is, the tax relief is largely focused on improving incentives for work, savings, investment and entrepreneurship.
Alberta led the way in 2000 by creating Canada's only single-rate personal income tax -- 10%. British Columbia and Saskatchewan soon followed by substantially reducing their personal income tax rates. Top marginal rates in these two provinces were reduced to 14.7% and 15%. Compare that to Ontario's top marginal rate of 17.4% or Quebec's 19.2%. Canada's three western provinces now have the lowest top marginal rates in the country.
The changes to personal income taxes were matched, perhaps more importantly, by reductions in business taxes. All three governments pursued two broad measures: reductions in corporate income tax rates and the elimination of corporate capital taxes, a uniquely Canadian tax that severely punishes investment and development. A corporate capital tax is essentially a fixed tax on the value of a corporation's assets, and is calculated as a percentage of a company's debt and equity.
Again, Alberta was the catalyst for change. It completely eliminated the corporate capital tax and reduced corporate income tax rates by 35% from 2000-2006. British Columbia then eliminated its general corporate capital tax and reduced corporate income tax rates by nearly 30%.
More telling of the marked shift in tax ideology in western Canada is Saskatchewan's recent provincial budget in which it tabled a plan to significantly reduce business taxes over the next three years. Using the Alberta-British Columbia model, Saskatchewan will phase out the corporate capital tax for most firms and reduce corporate income tax rates by 30% over the next two years.
The economic results of tax reform based on improved incentives have been stunning. Over the past three years British Columbia has grown 3.4% a year on average; Alberta 4%; and Saskatchewan 3.5%, all easily outperforming the Canadian average of 2.6% a year over the same period.
Growth in the three provinces also outpaced the U.S. national average for the past two years. Among Canadian provinces and the 50 American states, Alberta ranked seventh in growth, British Columbia ninth, and Saskatchewan 17th. This strong performance occurred within a federal environment that is not as conducive to economic growth and development as that of the U.S.
Similar patterns of success hold for other economic indicators. Western Canada has led the nation in employment growth over the past two years and has outpaced the national averages in both Canada and the U.S. Perhaps most telling is the disproportionate levels of investment being attracted to the western provinces. On a per capita basis, western Canada is leading the country.
The gap between eastern and western growth rates has been facilitated by poor policies in Ontario and Quebec. While western Canada has been busy pursuing pro-growth tax policies, Ontario was busy raising business and personal taxes. Quebec also has continued on its path of timidity with very little change. The result has been sluggish economic performance in absolute terms and stellar underperformance when compared with western Canada.
More recently, British Columbia and Alberta added a second pillar to their foundation: free trade. Unlike the U.S. with its interstate commerce clause, Canada is riddled with provincial trade fiefdoms that use non-tariff barriers to impede the free flow of goods, services, investment and labor. British Columbia and Alberta recently signed the Trade, Investment and Labor Mobility Agreement to eliminate trade barriers (with a few exceptions) between the two provinces within three years.
This agreement will create the second largest economy in the country. One example of the benefits that will accrue to citizens of the two provinces relates to occupational certification. Similar to the U.S., occupations in Canada are certified at the sub-national level. British Columbia and Alberta have now adopted mutual recognition for all occupations. If you're a certified nurse in British Columbia, for example, you're now immediately recognized in Alberta and vice versa. At least two other provinces are reported to be considering joining the agreement.
British Columbia and Alberta, and to a lesser extent Saskatchewan, are establishing themselves as economic beacons in North America. And their growth goes well beyond the resource play. If growth were just about resources, then many of the world's poorest countries should be its wealthiest. As the western provinces are showing, institutions and policies matter.
Western Canada has created an environment within which all types of economic activity can flourish. This is why the region is benefiting from not only direct resource extraction, but also growth in downstream related industries such as manufacturing and processing as well as in the skilled service sector.
Perhaps the success of western Canada will entice other provinces, the Canadian federal government, and even some of the states to the south that have poor tax structures to join the bandwagon of prosperity by implementing incentive-based tax relief and freer trade.
Mr. Veldhuis is an economist with the Vancouver-based Fraser Institute.
Up yours Alexei Trudovsky!!!
The idiot son of an asshole...Alexandre Trudeau, recently wrote a "loving" piece on Fidel Castro that appeared in the Toronto Star. Here is my personal response to it, along with actual excerpts from this jerkoff's "essay" as first posted to the cyf-talk listserv.
Wow....really, wow. Christ, who needs state-run propaganda when you can have the Star.
Seriously, wow. Pierre himself was pretty good at [*insert any obscene sexual reference here*] on Fidel, but Alexandre takes it up a notch and really [*insert a more obscene sexual reference than the previous one here*] good.
Not only does Tru-deaupe manage to glorify a thug who has outright refused to allow his "privileged" children any say in the direction of their own future, he further refuses to accept just how real Cuba's involvement in aiding and abetting the "evil empire" was to our own security and safety. But, of course, that's okay because Castro was trying so hard to learn as much knowledge as he could, no doubt freeing his people from having to worry about such inconveniences such as governance. I'm sure Kim Jong Il has probably already arranged the kidnapping, and I'm sure Amadihnajad and aspiring "all-knowing patriarch" Hugo Chavez are preparing plans to offer ol' Alexei his very own foreign-based newspaper chain. Shit, if he can fool people in Toronto (...in the spirit of politeness to our listserv's "locationally challenged," I will refrain from the usual smart-ass Toronto comment that I would normally follow up with here...:) then certainly those suckers in Caracas and Tehran will be very excited to learn about how enlightened their own "Herculean" overseers are.
Hell the way things sound I wouldn't be surprised if Pierre himself would've allowed the Soviets some "silo space" if it weren't for those pesky, controlling, murdering, thieving, puppy-stomping Americans being so darn close. Seriously, wow. What the hell was wrong with voters in the 70's anyway??? It would be like a Liberal leader nowadays attending a celebration for an internationally recognized terrorist organiza.....oh never mind.
>SPECIAL TO THE STAR (...with omitted parts re-entered)
>Indeed, like my father, in private, Fidel is not a politician. He is
>more in the vein of a great adventurer or a great scientific mind.
>Fidel doesn't really do politics. He is a revolutionary.
...and a tyrant, just like my father.
>He lives to learn and to put his knowledge in the service of the
>revolution. For Fidel, revolution is really a work of reason. In his
>view, revolution, when rigorously adopted, cannot fail to lead
>humanity towards ever greater justice, towards an ever more perfect
...for those who lead the revolution.
>Fidel is also the most curious man that I have ever met. He wants to
>know all there is to be known. He is famous for not sleeping,
>instead spending the night studying and learning.
...and interrogating and plotting and jailing and...
>His intellect is one of the most broad and complete that can be
>found. He is an expert on genetics, on automobile combustion
>engines, on stock markets. On everything.
...just like every other collectivist, elitist asshole out there, including many Liberals.
>Combined with a Herculean physique and extraordinary personal
>courage, this monumental intellect makes Fidel the giant that he is.
...[*refer back to the more obscene sexual reference here*]
>Back on the surface, they feasted on the raw sea urchins, seasoned
>with lime juice.
...a typical meal for many proud Cubans.
>Fidel may seem an anachronism: a visionary statesman in a world
>where his kind have long since been replaced by mere managers, a
>20th-century icon still present in the 21st century.
...until he hits the next flight of stairs. (BTW - download the video, it's funny as hell.)
>Cubans remain very proud of Castro, even those who don't share his
>vision. They know that, among the world's many peoples, they have
>the most audacious and brilliant of leaders. They respect his
>intellectual machismo and rigour.
...not to mention his ability to immediately stifle any debate with his macho intellect.
>But Castro's leadership can be something of a burden, too. They do
>occasionally complain, often as an adolescent might complain about a
>too strict and demanding father. The Jefe (chief) sees all and knows
>all, they might say. In particular, young Cubans have told me that
>an outsider cannot ever really imagine what it is like to live in
>such a hermetic society, where everyone has an assigned spot and is
>watched and judged carefully. You can never really learn on your
>own, they might say. The Jefe always knows what is best for you. It
>can be suffocating, they say.
I just LOVE the parent-child metaphors between the people and the leadership. Here Alexei Trudovsky is openly acknowledging that only the ruler can know what is best for the ruled. Truly a Canadian-endorsed concept. [*take moment to weep in frustration over how this asshole's asshole father has completely tarnished our political and social culture, perhaps irrevocably*]
>Cuba under Castro is a remarkably literate and healthy country, but
>it is undeniably poor. Historians will note, however, that never in
>modern times has a small, peaceful country been more subjected to
>unfair and malicious treatment by a superpower than Cuba has by the
...especially after installing all those "peaceful" nuclear missile sites.
>From the very start, the United States never gave Castro's Cuba a
>choice. Either Castro had to submit himself and his people to
>America's will or he had to hold his ground against them.
...Hey, just like Castro's Cuba has never given Castro's children a choice and he had to hold his ground against them.
>With the possible exception of Nelson Mandela, already well into
>retirement, Fidel is the last of the global patriarchs. Reason,
>revolution and virtue are becoming more and more distant and
>abstract concepts. We will perhaps never see another patriarch.
GOOD. BECAUSE A PATRIARCH CAN NEVER BE HELD AS A REASONABLE OR VIRTUOUS CHOICE OVER INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM... OR THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE.
>We thus have to conceive of the departure of the last patriarch in
>psychoanalytical terms. The death of the father doesn't signal our
>liberation from him — quite the contrary. The death of a father so
>grand and present as Castro will, rather, immortalize him in the
>minds of his children.
...AND IN THE GUYS WHO DO OBSCENE SEXUAL FAVOURS FOR HIM IN PRIVATE WHILE BRAGGING ABOUT IT IN THE PAPERS. (Even though it is your constitutional right. Both.)
>It is true that Cubans may eventually cast away the communist
>orthodoxy of the revolution. They will become tempted by American
>capital and values as soon as the embargo against them is lifted,
>something that will surely follow in the not so distant future. They
>will have new opportunities for individual fulfilment and downfall.
>Without a doubt, Cuba without Castro will not remain unchanged.
...unfortunately for me and my elitist clique of fellow "knowledge-seekers."
>But Cubans will continue to be subjected to Castro's influence.
>Whether they like it or not, they will continue to be called out by
>his voice, by his questions, by his inescapable rationality, which,
>whether they heed its call or not, demands they defend the integrity
>of Cuba and urges them to seek justice and excellence in all things.
...which is cool, because he sure as hell never did anything like it when he was living.
>Cubans will always feel privileged that they, and they alone, had Fidel.
...and Canadians had, and they alone, had Pierre. Who continues to torture us to this day through the passing of genetic material to this douchebag suckup.
PS - I now have three things on my "to do" list if I ever go to Montreal.
1. Give P.E.T. gravestone the finger.
2. Offer Rene Levesque statue a cigarette, (and a light).
3. Kick Alexandre Trudeau square in the balls. Hard.
PPS - He really should take up snowboarding...yeah, I went there. (>:-P)