by Jane Gaffin
(This article, based on the policies emanating from the United Nations’ Agenda 21–a blueprint for engineering and transforming society into a New World Order of serfs in the 21st Century–is a relic from my scrapbook. It was originally published as Middle-Class Society: Hanging by a Hair in the Whitehorse Star on November 10, 2000.)
The Liberals had the mandate to call a federal election for November 27 (2000). But the Alliance set the campaign agenda.
Alliance Leader Stockwell Day’s drum-beating to take a machete to the taxes and reduce government spending is nothing new. Economists and public-policy watchdogs have harped on the subject for over 25 years.
But, most importantly, which of the two frontrunners has the political pluck to actually carry through with promises and put the beleaguered country back on the rails?
Prime Minister Jean Chretien and his disciples had seven years to correct the legacy bequeathed by former Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.
During the 1993 campaign, Mr. Chretien promised to abolish the seven-per-cent GST (Goods and Services Tax) introduced by Brian Mulroney’s Conservatives in January 1991. Once elected, Mr. Chretien read every excuse in the Red Book as to why he wouldn’t scrap the tax.
The burden of tax collection fell on the shoulders of the private sector. Business was forced to accept the complex, time-consuming task without any compensation.
It created an extra layer of work and an extra layer of cost to do business which had to be passed on to consumers.
Extra taxes, disguised as user fees, continue to be introduced at all levels of government to service Canadians’ rich taste for champagne on a poor-man’s beer budget.
In turn, the spending power of the dollar has shrunk while real wages for the average after-tax family income is nearly the same as in 1976.
Sane Canadians want a reasonable bang for their buck based on reasonable tax levels. The others don’t want to give up any social and subsidized programs.
For years, Canada has lived well beyond its means and is ranked as one of the most severely indebted industrialized countries (SIC).
The large deficit–still hovering near $600 billion despite the Liberal government’s feeble attempt to reduce it–keeps tax rates high. As a result, everybody has experienced a reduction in standard of living, Nesbitt Burns chief economist Sherry Cooper has noted repeatedly.
Unfortunately, the situation is so bad it would have been political suicide for the Chretien government to do any more hacking to put the country’s financial house in order.
Massive government subsidizations have to be curbed, say the economists, before the Maple Leaf glory train runs out of rail with everybody on board.
Furthermore, the economy is choked by old and new regulations at every level of government. At least 25 percent of those regulations were pushed through a Parliamentary assembly line without adequate debate to ensure the best possible laws for the whole populace. Now everybody is suffering the deficiency. (See specific example, Bypassing Legislative Process is Deadly to Democracy, https://janegaffin.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/bypassing-the-legislative-process-is-deadly-to-democracy/
The blizzard of junk legislation and contradictory law is a costly legal mess which economists believe is the most overlooked challenge to Canada’s economic competitiveness.
Every time a government agency attempts to protect the environment or save individuals from daily risks, another set of regulations is passed. To comply means higher operating costs. Companies pass on additional regulatory costs to consumers by raising the prices of products and services.
Natural resource companies can’t off-load costs. If the regulatory burden proves too great, companies will deem projects uneconomic and close operations. It puts people out of work.
The heart of Canada was once based on plenty of jobs in the woods, the sawmill, fisheries, plant lines, agriculture and mining.
Now, it is an insurmountable task for ordinary folks to find meaningful work in the resource sectors, or otherwise. The masses are losing faith of fulfilling personal dreams for their prosperous futures.
Middle-class Canadians always worked hard; did a good job building this country; paid their taxes; and had some money left over for themselves.
In the prime of life, they are feeling insecure and vulnerable. Whatever went wrong was not their fault. The system did a hatchet job on the middle class, who are upset with politicians, inefficient government and a busted economy.
By the end of 1998, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was on alert to bail Canada out of a crisis. Oblivious to lurking dangers and the creed that says ‘charity begins at home’, politicians dished out lavish increases on foreign aid.
The IMF endorsed the corrective measures suggested by the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation: put people and capital to work; improve productivity; eliminate interprovincial trade barriers; and LOWER THE TAXES.
Productivity is the difference between labour plus capital costs and economic output. The standard of living for every Canadian was sacrificed to subsidize productivity.
Exporters have been seduced into depending on the weak loonie that trades against the stronger American greenback in currency markets. Instead of improving productivity to increase sales and keep pace with the rest of the world, Canada turned into a currency junkie.
As long as there is a significant currency advantage of Canadian goods, it is easy to mask the chronically-low productivity. The sinking loonie lessens the pressure for Canada to want to increase productivity.
It comes with a cost. Ultimately, productivity is vital to living standards in Canada, Royal Bank chief economist John McCallum has observed. “It is probably the No. 1 challenge facing this country,” he said. (McCallum was elected as a Liberal member of Parliament in the November 27, 2000 federal election.)
When fewer Canadians paying higher taxes because fewer Canadians have meaningful employment, the middle class is squeezed to the limit.
It is poised for a tax revolt and will take a large part of the economy underground…unless the elected party has the nerve to slash taxes, clean-sweep the bureaucratic house, pay down the deficit, strike down cumbersome legislation, bring back confidence for international investors, and invite the resource industries to come home.
The middle class is the backbone of any healthy society. It is comprised of the hard-working, thinking folks who cannot afford the luxury of idleness. The middle class, however, is an endangered species.
If the middle class is crushed, the chasm will widen between the two class extremes: the ultra-rich and the very poor.
The middle class is being exterminated by the environmental movement which is determined to dismantle industrial civilization piece by piece.
Ron Arnold, heralded as America’s premiere investigative critic of organized environmentalism, is the executive vice-president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise.
He is author of some highly-recommended reading like Trashing the Economy: How Runaway Environmentalism is Wrecking America and EcoTerror: The Violent Agenda to Save Nature–The World of the Unabomber.
In a more recent release titled Undue Influence, he describes environmentalism as an extraordinary incestuous iron triangle of wealthy foundations, grant-driven green groups and zealous bureaucrats who control people’s future without their knowledge or permission.
Big foundations and big government give big bucks in grants to elitists green groups whose every effort hurts the average person’s economic future.
They cut off the flow of natural resources from American and Canadian federal lands, thus ending the necessary supply of timber, minerals, food and fiber.
These powerful groups have tightened their regulatory grip on private property. Real estate holders can’t use what they own–and can’t get compensation for what they lose.
Battered rural and northern communities are suffering the economic pain over banning of all forms of natural-resource production.
“Environmentalism comes with consequences,” warns Mr. Arnold.
Over 17,000 of these non-government organizations operate worldwide and make up the rampaging army of social engineers who are trampling people’s rights. (That number of government-operated, non-governmental organizations has now distended to over 40,000 GONGOs.)
“For the past several decades, politicians, bureaucrats and environmentalists have engaged in a country-wide effort to expand Canada’s network of parks and wilderness spaces,” wrote the editor in a recent issue of the Toronto-based Northern Miner.
“In British Columbia, where the ‘save-the-last-remaining-wilderness’ land grab reached mammoth proportions, forestry and mining were nearly drummed out of business,” continued Vivian Danielson.
“The economy went into a tumble, but we were told it was a small price to pay for the protection of millions of hectares of wildlife habitat.”
It turned out that the small price–a ravaged economy–was only a down payment, she advised. “The federal government now wants to extend the exercise of protecting habitat for endangered species (plant, toad, bird or insect) onto private land.”
The proposal is somewhere in the bowels of Ottawa. It is bushwackery to be committed against anybody who makes a living off the land, or a developer who creates badly-needed jobs for northern and rural residents.
Would any of these political candidates be able to stop the bureaucrats and environmentalists from assaulting people’s standard of living by laying waste to the economy?
Or does any candidate even know and care enough about the economy and humanity to effectively deal with the dilemma that leaves the destiny of the middle class hanging by a hair?