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Old 05-17-2002, 07:22 PM
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blackmercedes blackmercedes is offline
Just a guy
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
As a percentage of GDP, when we came out of World War Two, our National Debt was over 110%. (Today we're at about 85%)

We had debt financed the war effort, and were in what could only be called "sad shape" by fiscal hawk economists. However, we ceased deficit spending, but didn't worry about paying down the debt.

Instead, we outgrew it. Within 15 years, the debt hadn't been reduced by much, but GDP growth made the debt seem stupidly small.

I can show you a country that balances socialism (a political system) and capitalism (economic system) quite nicely. It's called Canada. And last time I checked, Canada was about 135 years old. Not bad. Contrary to what our southern neighbours would have you think, socialism and capitalism can co-exist.

I fail to understand how our country has gone "downhill" since Trudeau? Okay, the extreme deficit spending was not good policy, but we did it, and we can't go back in time. Our standard of living is very high, often ranked among the highest in the world. New Zealand underwent incredibly strict fiscal policy, under extreme right-wing style goverance over 10 years ago, after hitting what Eric Malling of W5 called "the debt wall." Their standard of living has fallen, and economic ruin has set in - seemingly for the long term. IMF goverence over their fiscal policy hasn't worked, not in the slightest.

Fiscal policy in Canada since Mulroney has been to curb inflation, and that is a policy designed to protect the asset base of the few wealthy. The fact of Canadian life is that most people are borrowers, not lenders. Low interest rates are more beneficial, even if moderate inflation is the consequence. (3-5%).

It is true that the interest payments on the national debt are a drain on our operational funds. But, low interest rates help that, saving taxpayers enormous sums. Okay, the dollar (with respect to the USD) will remain low, but so what? Imported goods rise in price, giving benefits to Canadian producers. It also helps our exports. Drop in foreign investment? Not really. The movements of our dollar have less to do with foreign investment than currency speculation. Let's stop deficit budgets, and concentrate on out-growing that debt. Foreign investment dollars still come, as we have one of the most stable economies on the planet. When was the last time our gov't defaulted on debt payments? Never. With a stable tax base, it's unlikely that will ever happen.

A true communist society is NOT possible. Human nature will not allow it. Competition is human nature. But, we can attempt to strike a balance between the all out "darwin style" personal competition of the US, and the non-functioning Marxism that the USSR failed so miserably at. However, Russia also knows that completely unregulated government-minimal capitalism doesn't work at that well, either. 13 years into it, theu have a TERRIBLE standard of living, and are no better off.

Left, right, center. There is no such thing in Canada. Our Liberal party actually has quite a right-wing agenda. They have cut taxes the most in the highest brackets. They have cut taxes for corporations. They have ignored social housing issues, and so on. But, that's pretty much the game here. As you pointed out, the NDP, when elected, so no different. They play shell games, cater to the highest-bidder, and allow corruption to run rampant.

Political change rarely comes from within government. Women were not magically given the vote by some generous government. They had to fight for it. Same for equal rights, and abolition of legal racism.

I vote. I vote for the best possible candidate, but I have no illusions. Party politics means little today. Unbridled greed seems to drive nearly every candidate, no matter the banner they wave. The true "souring" of Canada has taken place in that arena.
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K

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