Now Christy Clark wants to create jobs. One wonders why the change of heart. After spending the first half year of her regime introducing a spate of NDP-inspired job-killing policies, now Clark believes she can somehow “create” jobs with a speech or two and a visit to the Far East.
Arbitrarily increasing minimum wages 23 per cent, continuing the evil carbon tax increases, floating a cap and trade scheme, punishing businesses and residents with a multitude of fees and regulations, “Families First” has created an environment that forces families to look first to Alberta for work. Fumbling the HST issue did little to build business confidence in the Clark regime.
Obamaesque in her economic ineptitude and general incompetence, Clark shares the commonly held Liberal belief that government creates jobs. In Clark’s economic fairy tale, the leviathan that is government, after consuming more of the confiscated fruits of private sector initiative, somehow coughs up a furball of green jobs and sustained economic activity.
B.C.’s current jobs challenge is the result of historic and moronic misallocation of resources on the part of successive administrations. Clark is just the latest captain of this ship of fools. The incompetence cuts across party lines and goes back prior to the Vander Zalm years.
Historically, tax dollars coerced from the hard-working private-sector workers were spent on defensible expenditures of highways, dams, schools and swimming pools — all areas that were the implicit responsibility of the government for “investment”. Those expenditures eventually delivered real benefit back to the private-sector taxpayers who funded the projects.
Public employees and others in the non-productive areas of the economy were also well served by the common infrastructure.
Sometime in the late ‘60s, B.C. began mis-spending the private sector’s tax contributions. Growing social programs, increasing the size of the public sector and funding a growing menu of medical and education choices diverted tax dollars to non-productive spending. Most recently, taxpayer funding of so-called green and health and safety programs have all but exhausted the private sector’s ability or willingness to continue paying the bill.
These expenditures provide no benefit for the general population, but maintain the public service unions and line the pockets of those friendly with the bureaucracy. One of the results of this misallocation of funds is that we can no longer build a bridge without a toll, or a hospital without creating a private partnership. Another result is an economic environment that discourages hiring and investment by the private sector.
If Clark were truly interested in growing jobs, her plan would put less emphasis on India and China, and more on B.C. Reducing taxes, rolling back the minimum wage increases, scrapping subsidies and incentives for green projects, streamlining or eliminating excessive environmental and health and safety regulations would have an immediate positive impact on hiring by the private sector.
Unfortunately for those looking for work in B.C., Clark’s “jobs plan” is meant to be a distraction from our neophyte premier’s shortcomings, and little to do with jobs. Creating an environment that encourages job growth would require real action that reduces government size, spending and interference.
It would also require vision and leadership. Clark and her government possess none of the pre-requisites, and her jobs plan will remain just that — another Liberal plan.
Mark Walker is the publisher of the Penticton Western News.