Clark Writes Off Northern Families

October 6, 2012

While we can all sit back and snicker at the obvious banality of the Prem’s vacuous “Families First” mantra, the real-world impacts of her ineptness lays waste to the notion that she cares about anything more than pandering to misinformed voters.   By summoning Alberta Premier Redford to a high-level sit-down-cum-staredown and, offering nothing more to discuss than the chilly weather, Clark has left families and natives along the proposed Northern Gateway vulnerable to further economic turmoil.

By failing to provide constructive recommendations for dismantling the phoney impasse so crassly erected for political gain, Clark has not only sacrificed Northern family-supporting incomes on the alter of political expediency, she has also failed Canada and our Asian business partners.   Assuming British Columbia wishes to enjoy the profits of membership in the Canadian Confederation, there is an obligation to be a cooperative, risk-sharing partner.

Unfortunately,  this is a pattern of behavior we keep seeing over and over again.  If you’re not for the re-election of a (Liberal) party that is the modern political equivalent of the bubonic plague, you are destined for collateral damage.  Therefore, we should not expect to see any actual leadership demonstrated by this Premier.   The Battle of the Bitches has just begun.

 

 

 

Box? What Box?

June 6, 2012

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. You change things by making the existing reality obsolete’

- Buckminster Fuller

With Freedom Comes Responsibility

May 13, 2012

Much like fire, the Internet is a wonderful and powerful tool with the potential to help, hurt and heal.  In the right hands it can provide education, knowledge, culture and wealth. In the wrong hands it can cause heartbreak, pain and misery.   Such are the risks of modern living.   

Recently I befriended someone who needed help growing his vehicle export business by serving up a first class website built by Noncompare.com.     

What I did not realize is that this person was fracturing mentally. After the website was nicely built and hosted, and accepted, I endured another one of his episodic meltdowns.  Furthermore, he refused to pay me for all the work I had done on his behalf.  So, naturally, I withheld transfer of ownership. 

Subsequently, he withheld monies I was owed  for other services rendered.  Needless to say, a fight ensured wherein I eventually yielded ownership of the website to him in a fit of goodwill.  As a reward for my efforts, this “gentleman” engaged in a malicious slander and defamation campaign.

As of this time, the matter is wending it’s slow way through the legal system where, undoubted, he is in for a major spanking.  In the meantime, I invite any interested readers to contact the undersigned for more details. Or, better yet, drop by http://www.daleleier.ca or visit me on facebook.  

Regardless, it is incumbent upon all of us to weigh the facts and not fall into the age-old pitfall of believing everything one reads.   People have brains to help them divine the correct from the canard.   I am blessed to know so many great people who exercise theirs frequently.   However, we all need to be on guard against those who, despite all outward appearances, are burdened but damaged circuitry.

 

Very best wishes, 

Dale P. Leier

BC Liberals Seeking Scapegoat Should Look Elsewhere

January 8, 2012

As the BC Liberals under the tepid leadership of unelected Premier Christy Clark contine the slide into 3rd place, it is perhaps natural they should seek to blame someone. Sadly, this doesn’t change the fact that they once had the world on a strong – having beat the small “s” socialist NDP into near-extinction. Unfortunately, they alone must bear the responsibility for the recent disappointing numbers. The BCCP basically was created as a result of so many taxpayer fed up with both the Liberals and the NDP…. sort of a “None-of-the-Above” default selection.

Blaming the Conservatives for leaving the barn door open through which popular support escaped does not allow the Liberals an opportunity to cure what really ails them: a sense of self-serving entitlement. John Cummins has done very little,if anything, to try and convince voters they should support the BCCP other than to remind everyone that they are neitther the Liberals nor the NDP.

If the BC Conservatives truly wish to form the next governent, Cummns must do more to show the people that he has something truly valuable and uniqe to offer. The last thing BC needs is another grumpy old white man telliing everyone “what it is.” How about some creative new ideas that will help show BC’ers how we will rise back up to the top of the economic heap again?

Simply letting the other guys beat each other up, and reminding the public of their faux-pas’ only works for so long. Eventually, the BCCP must demonstrate that it alone has to solutions to truly cure what ails us. Oh, and an aversion to hubris wouldn’t hurt either.

What Cummins Can Do

January 1, 2012

The BC Liberals have taught us this much: Successful outcomes are derived as much by not repeating past mistakes, whether our own or others, as they are by doing completely new things.

Case in point: dumping an intelligent, charismatic, ideologically-constrained male for a leader from the polar opposite side of the palette did not turn out to be the magic bullet with which to kill the NDP. Putting a clueless muffin into the highest provincial office has only served to remind us how out-of-touch they have become. For this decision alone, John Cummins must be writing daily thank-you notes to the Liberal Caucus.

But there’s more to the performance equation than simply avoiding potholes. Successful leadership requires painting a vision of the future that most can agree upon as the best course to follow. Sustained leadership requires the masses to accept reasonable expectations instead of being wilfully seduced by irresponsible provinces.

If John Cummins wishes to turn the good ship British Columbia away from rocky self-destruction and towards smooth sailing, he would be well-advised to set an appropriate, achievable, believable set of expectations for BC Voters: That government cannot assure specific outcomes, but can work diligently to establish winning conditions.

Only by getting consensus on a reasonable level of expectations of what government can be expected to achieve will we succeed in building an economy. By amply rewarded those who are capable will be ensure the needs of the disadvantaged are met while preserving a future for all who have a stake.

Socialism and Opportunism are dead, so let’s hear it from the BC Conservatives and see what they will do when they finally hold office.

Wheels Falling Off the Liberal Engine

December 21, 2011

As far as engineers go, Christy Clark has a lot to learn about drivng a train. Not only has she thrown more coal on the fire as the BC economy begins to hit the skids, passengers and crew alike are jumping off at every station.

The only thing worse than an incompetent leader is one that embraces a sense of entitlement. On this note, both the BC Socialists (er, NDP) and the Liberals are cut from the same fabric. Both of these achaic life-forms feel they are entitled to your vote. They act as if voters are too stupid to make up their own minds and are locked into certain labels.

The fact is, British Columbians don’t give a toss what name a party decides to wear, but what policies and prinicples define the brand. Taxpayers only want one thing: Good Goverment. On this count, both of the former governing parties have lost the confidence of the electorate. At the rate things are going, the Greens are going to rank higher than the Liberals. Now there’s a failure the Liberals can’t pin on John Cummins.

So, what’s the problem with subsidies?

July 30, 2011

Who doesn’t like subsidies?  Every taxpayer has a pet service that deserves public support for which they demand assured continuance.   Meanwhile, politicians get to use taxpayer’s own money to buy popularity like so many party favours (pun intended).  Subsidies, in other words, appear to be the ultimate free lunch.

Consider for a moment however exactly what a subsidy really is: A transfer of purchasing power, to a user who is not paying the full price of a service, from a non-user who is not deriving the full benefit of a service.   That sounds simple, but the implications are complex and dangerous when expanded across the depth and breadth of a country.  It creates a situation of disassociation between production and consumption.  When this happens, the real cost of consumption is hidden and therefore unappreciated; supply and demand become disconnected as the pricing mechanism is unable to balance the allocation of resources.  As a result, wealthy consumers end up paying the exactly the same amount as those of lesser means for such services (especially during peak times).  Otherwise, supply of services exceeds actual requirements in order to ensure minimum levels are met during off peak
times.  This occurs whether we are talking about bus, postal, broadcasting or healthcare.

Currently, of all the countries of the OECD (a forum of 34 countries committed to democracy and the market economy) fully 27 of them are running a fiscal deficit.   Put simply, these countries consumption exceeds their production, and this shortfall is funded by increasing debt.   The problem with debt, of course, is that it comes with obligations to repay.   Meeting these obligations inevitably results in a loss of choices (i.e. freedom to make decisions) regarding their futures.   Failure to meet these obligations has even more dire consequences, as Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain are at the threshold of discovering.

One of the root causes of runaway deficits is government’s inability to yank subsidy needles from their financial arms.  No politician wants to go up against any segment of the society who risks the death of a sacred cow.  Meanwhile, the true cost of providing a subsidized service is lost on the consumers who favour the apparent discounted costs.   This, however, is a dangerous
illusion.  When users of a service do not pay the true cost,  demand rises beyond the taxpayer’s ability to fund.  Meanwhile,  all taxpayers growing increasing tired of watching their money disappear into government coffers without a proper accounting of where the money has been spent.

Blame it on Keynes, but many in our society who lack basic understanding of economics still fall under the misperception that someone government sits on a body of wealth apart from its citizens.  Government has no magic wand that can create wealth where the private sector has failed.  Instead, all governments have is the ability to tax and transfer wealth from one person to another.  Unfortunately, the process does not result in the total quantity of wealth being created.

The irony of the situation is this entire mess could have been avoided if:

a). Governments stuck to their role of governing the country rather than providing services that can be supplied by the private sector, and

b). Consumers actually paid for what they use, when they use it.

As governments face resistance from taxpayers over who should pay for publicly provided services,  a day of reckoning is all but inevitable. The problem with subsidies is that they destroy the foundation of our economy by disassociating the true cost of using service from those who benefit from the service.   To those who say “you can’t put a price on (fill in the public service here),”   my response is, “Great, than you can pay for it.”

Are Subsidies the Crack Cocaine of Politics?

July 27, 2011

Addiction is insidious, usually starting out as a small “free sample” that provides instant gratification,  gradually eating away at the soul to eventually dominating behaviour as all decision-making ability gives way to acquiring more.  

While we could be talking about the scourge of drug addiciton, the symptoms are no less severe on the body-politic when governments becomes hooked on subsidies.   Once started, subsidies become impossible to give up. 

Everyone has there favorite causes, be they taxpayers or politicians.   Just like a pusher supplying school children, politicans of all stripes – especially those who are “free enterprise” –  pander to the lowest common denominator.  Just as middle-level dealers caught between organized crime and the law,  we see governments turn themselves inside  out with subsidies in a transparent effort to secure votes.

Consider,  for a moment,  Federal Government subsidies to auto manufacturers.   Here we have the preposterous situation of taxpayers money being given to failed manufacturers when they couldn’ t get enough consumers to voluntarily buy their junk.

So, here we have GM, Ford, Chrysler, and now Toyota lined up at the trough for handouts,  refusing to give equitable pricing to the very Canadians who are susidizing them and their union jobs.    Why does a vehicle built in Ontario sell for 25%  less in California than in BC?   Because we choose to ignore the consequences of our addiction to subsidies.

And if you think those jobs are going to remain in Canada if the flow of subsidies ever dries up, you don’t really understand the similiarites between addiction and extortion. 

 

.  Political parties have their favoor

Subsidies poison the economy

July 17, 2011

Dear Mr. Quinn,

I am so overwhelmed by many of the statements in your op-ed that appeared in Saturday’s Globe and Mail titled “Gas-tax foes are blowing hot air” (http://tinyurl.com/6799aww) that at I hardly know where to begin.   To keep this  from snowballing into a 10,000 word essay, I’ll try to limit myself to the most salient points.

It seems that  you feel  taxpayers should have little or no say in regards to the grand schemes proposed by  social engineers visions.  That you make all kinds of unsubstantiated and unsupportable claims to support your position not only does a  disservice to both commuters and the rest of the public,  it is an affront to all the hard-working people in this province to whom public transportation is not now, nor ever will be, an option.

You claim that private auto use is heavily subsidized, but offer no numbers to back up your point.  You mention a 15-cents-a-litre tax on gasoline as only partially  off-setting the complete cost of operating the public highway system, when in  fact the total amount of taxes on gasoline in the lower mainland is 41 cents per litre.   You also conveniently overlook the fact that this must be paid by private motor vehicle drivers with taxed income, whereas commercial vehicle operators pay their expenses with pre-tax dollars.  Meanwhile, bicyclists continue to get a free-ride. 

Nevertheless, you completely fail to mention either the total cost of operating the public highway system,  nor mention the economic benefit of what that system delivers from the transportation of people and goods to the provision of safety and  emergency services and, yes, public transportation.  Which brings me to the main point of my response to your illogical diatribe:   With so many taxes, subsidies,  grants and  other transfers of wealth between individuals, businesses and governments,  nobody can say with any certainty what anything costs anymore.   For a central-planner such as yourself,  this is very convenient as it allows you to make the kinds of absurd assertions found in your writing.   For society, however, this kind of economic obfuscation leads to the kinds of grand infrastructure projects that consume interest and maintenance costs for generations – costs the majority must pay to benefit the few.

In your opinion,  subsidies for things you agree with are OK,  but subsidies for things you agree with are not OK.   In your utopia, only you would get to decide who pays for whatever.   That’s a nice dream if you can sell  the idea.   The reality of the situation, however, is that only a small percentage of the public can benefit from these massive transportation schemes as commercial shippers,  soccer moms,  contractors,  shippers and  others will always need a roads and cars to go about their lives in a timely manner.   Too bad you don’t place an economic value on the convenience, comfort and accessibility of private vehicles.

Here’s a radical idea:  How about letting users pay the full, complete and actual cost of what they consume?  That way, before someone digs into their pocket to purchase any  good or service,  based on their individual needs, priorities and ability to pay.   This would allow society to ditch the expensive overhead of central  planners  salaries , benefits  and office expenses, not to mention the endless conferences they jet across the world to attend.     Of course, this type of individual liberty is anathema to “they who know better than the rest of us” about how we should all be living.    Well, too bad for you, as we are in the majority and, as all true democracies recognize, the majority rules.

In conclusion, it must be nice to have the comfort and security of a tax-payer subsidized income in beautiful downtown Vancouver.    I suspect you not only fail to see the irony of the situation, I’m quite certain you fail to perceive how your circumstances bias you point of view.   My recommendation,  before you spend more subsidized time  contriving ways of  spending taxpayer’s dollars, that you take a position in the private sector where the value of your work is measure by what people are willing to pay for it.

Dale Leier

Gilles Duceppe – The Best of a Bad Bunch

March 9, 2011

The more I watch the gong show we call the Parliament of Canada,  the more Iam starting to admire Gilles Duceppe.     Not only does he not get into the mudslinging, histrionics and false shock and horror, he is the most intellectually honest.

Mr. Duceppe makes no bones about  who he is and what he is there for.  Compared to the rest of  the phonies runing as  False Socialists,  False Capitalists, and False Pragmatists,   the False Canadians are now the ones to watch.

If you love something,  set it free. Viva  Quebec!


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