Why the NDP Has to Move Left... (within reason)

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Erik Redburn
Why the NDP Has to Move Left... (within reason)

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Erik Redburn

Ok, I'd like to take a more positive approach to this issue here, but to do so I have to question some currently received wisdom that seems to have seeped all the way into the NDP's ranks. It has been repeated here as if its so so self evident that it doesn't need anymore than mere assertion to make the point.

First, I'll start with another view on the one issue of substance at the convention that received some coverage:
 
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2009/08/21/ndp-small-business-tax/

"Strangely, neither of the two most hyped issues at last weekend’s federal NDP convention reached the floor for debate. I have nothing to add to the discussion about changing the party’s name.
However, the proposal to not tax small-business profits compels me to elaborate the case I made when Nova Scotia Liberals promised to slash the provincial small-business tax to 1%. Eliminating the federal small-business tax would immediately reduce corporate tax revenues and probably also reduce personal tax revenues by facilitating avoidance."

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

What is a small business? Would my granny's cottage industry quitining business, three a year, constitute a small business?

janfromthebruce

You know Eric, I would like to have a good debate about this - as I am in support of reducing "small business" taxes, as small and medium size businesses drive local economies - hire local Canadians, and generally live in their communities - and support sustaining their communities. I read somewhere, that small and medium size businesses account for 75% of our economy, and personally I'd rather do that than those huge corporate tax give aways so that they can contract labour overseas and avoid investing in Canadian communities.

I make a point of shopping locally. At the same time, helping small business be viable, hire locals, and pay a living wage is all a part of the package. It would also create a wedge where by default, small business supports corporate business in which those with the most get more.

 

George Victor

The popularity of Nova Scotia and Manitoba parties demonstrate "Why the NDP has to move left"?  

Unionist

Cogent, sound analysis. If popularity is the measure, then the NDP should move to the right, in order to catch up in popularity with the Conservatives and Liberals. Thanks for the wake-up call.

Erik Redburn wrote:
I wouldn't necessarily use the same arguments as Stanford, mostly quoting him to show that even economists are not all in agreement on this over its likely effects. 

Umm Erik, the article you linked was not by Stanford. It's posted by Erin Weir, who is an economist for the Steelworkers - unless I misunderstood you.

 

 

Erik Redburn

Unionist wrote:

Erik Redburn wrote:
I wouldn't necessarily use the same arguments as Stanford, mostly quoting him to show that even economists are not all in agreement on this over its likely effects. 

Umm Erik, the article you linked was not by Stanford. It's posted by Erin Weir, who is an economist for the Steelworkers - unless I misunderstood you.

 

Woops, was thinking of Stanford's site when I posted.  Will change presently.

Erik Redburn

That's deep George.  The "popularity of the NS NDP" may only be because they've just gotten elected, wait till more meaningful action is required if not demanded.  Doer's "popularity" is only relative to two other competing parties, and may only be a reflection of "popularity among those who just happen to get the lions share of media coverage.  His legacy may not be remembered so fondly by others.  Not that this has much to do with the broader theme here, but thanks for admitting your essentially conservative bias.

Erik Redburn

Technically FM, I run a "small business" too but to avoid being laughed at by others I just call myself self-employed.  I wouldn't necessarily use the same arguments as Weir, mostly quoting him to show that even economists are not all in agreement on this over its likely effects.  

Hey Jan, we can debate this somemore sure, but right now I'm just using that as one example to lay out a larger argument -I hope.  I'm been a fairly consistent NDP supporter here, up until recently, and generally like to consider what Canada's "mainstream" left believes before assuming that A, B or C will lead to X, Y or Z, so I hope this won't just be dismissed offhand.  Meanwhile, I'll just add another one here and we can carry on from here:

 

This was posted here earlier.  Interestingly, the two views posted seem to revolve around one saying the last convention wentquite well and the other saying the NDp didn't move far enough...to the centre:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/the-ndp-talks-about-winning...

B.Topp: "Our party is now at least as coherent, reasonable and thoughtful about the way forward as the reds and blues.

The “name debate” was a helpful symbol to frame this discussion around. Rebranding is not a task to be lightly undertaken and it won't be in the NDP. But this opening discussion did get our party to think about the more fundamental issues."

L.Campbell:  "I think there are two ways forward but both start with genuinely changing the federal NDP to make it resemble its Manitoba and Nova Scotia counterparts. A renewed, pragmatic NDP with realistic economic and foreign policies can make a genuine play for Liberals on the left of the spectrum in Ontario while simultaneously competing for former NDP seats in Saskatchewan and British Columbia. A second, but related strategy is to pursue serious negotiations for a pre or post election progressive alliance.

Although I favour the progressive alliance idea, the traditional Liberal/NDP animosities may prevent its realization until the Liberals suffer another humiliating defeat or two."

 

More from the Globe later.

 

Erik Redburn

It is interesting (though hardly surprising) that the two views presented by the Globe amounted to saying the NDP is on the right track or should have gone further -right.  The other obvious option isn't even presented, even though this are supposedly solid observations.

KeyStone

I've never quite understood why the political parties seem to cast small businesses in the same untouchable group as single parents. The definition of a small business in Canada is a business with less than 100 employees. Sure, they provide a lot of jobs, but they also provide a lot of tax revenue. To throw that tax revenue away, simply because they provide a lot of jobs is absolutely ludicrous. Frankly, the same argument could be made for all businesses, not just small ones.

People, and parties like to talk about small business tax, as if it makes the difference between a company staying in business or closing up shop. THey seem to forget that the businesses being taxed are ones that are making money. So, after all the expenses are paid out, and after all the employees are paid, and after all the owners and their families withdraw a nice generous salary, then whatever is left is income. This isn't money going to shareholders - this is money going to the owners of these companies, often in addition to the money they have already earned through the salary they award themselves. On top of that, if they want to reinvest money, there are tons of loopholes and tax credits to enable them to do so. So, let's not pretend that taxes are hurting the growth of small business.

Small businesses already pay considerably less than large corporations, for no reason other than they are under the magic threshold of 100 employees, and because political parties have succesfully associated the term small business with a struggling mom and pop shop.

Lowering taxes is not going to make or break the business. The very fact that they are in a position to pay taxes means that the business is doing well. The companies that do need help aren't making a profit, in which case a tax decrease doesn't mean anything for them.

Instead, the focus should be on getting rid of all the fees and costs associated with the day to day operations of a business. Elimination payroll tax for small businesses makes a lot of sense, as does finding ways to reduce startup costs (administration), and WSIB/WCB premiums. These are the changes that will help businesses survive, as opposed to changes that will help only those businesses that are already thriving.

 

Fidel

The two big money Bay Street parties are about as far to the right as they go. And neither one of them won more than 22% of registered vote last October.

The NDP has the left and political centre all covered, thank you much. Wink <- winky face

All we need now is a war chest to fund a decent counter-propaganda machine. 80 percent of Canadians are not tied by membership to any political party. It's wide open since the neoliberal bs started falling down around their ears.

Aristotleded24

janfromthebruce wrote:
I would like to have a good debate about this - as I am in support of reducing "small business" taxes, as small and medium size businesses drive local economies - hire local Canadians, and generally live in their communities - and support sustaining their communities. I read somewhere, that small and medium size businesses account for 75% of our economy, and personally I'd rather do that than those huge corporate tax give aways so that they can contract labour overseas and avoid investing in Canadian communities.

I make a point of shopping locally. At the same time, helping small business be viable, hire locals, and pay a living wage is all a part of the package. It would also create a wedge where by default, small business supports corporate business in which those with the most get more.

Hey jan, you don't mind if I weigh in here?

I disagree with you. Business lobbies, of all sizes, have fought tooth and nail against any progressive changes that have benefitted ordinary people. The Canadian Federation Of Independent Businesses, the "voice of small business in Canada," is one of the most right-wing lobby groups out there. Small businesses have a great deal of social capital. This is because it conjures up the image of a businessman (I'm deliberately being gender specific here) who works very hard to provide products, services, and jobs and to whom the community owes a debt of gratitude. I've lived in places where local businessmen use this social capital to their advantages, and to me it's actually more dangerous than big business because big business don't carry this kind of social capital, everyone knows the big players are in it for themselves and they don't care about the wider communities. Additionally, in Manitoba, we have an NDP government that for years has bent over backwards to accomodate business lobbies of all sizes. Yet listening to some of the right-wing pro-business media in Manitoba, you'd think the Bolsheviks were on the verge of taking over any day now.

Advocating reduced business taxes is not politically sound because the business lobby will never support the NDP regardless of what the NDP does.

janfromthebruce

Aristotleded24, sure weigh in. I know what you are saying about their lobby groups that they often belong to. However, I am not looking for the business lobby to support the NDP but individual owners.

Small business owners make up different groups who all do not belong to chambers or business lobby groups. Eg. someone who provides a private service would be considered a "small business owner." Ditto for small farming businesses - they are small businesses.

Aristotleded24

I was referring to both individual business owners and their lobby groups, because I have seen that kind of thing happen. I'm sorry, but I just cannot feel for the "small businessman."

Unionist

Aristotleded24 wrote:

I was referring to both individual business owners and their lobby groups, because I have seen that kind of thing happen. I'm sorry, but I just cannot feel for the "small businessman."

Wow, do I ever agree with you. And with Keystone. I'll make an exception for small business owners that don't employ anyone. The others will be the second last group in society (and I'm being generous) to ever support anything forward-looking or selfless. The fact that they are crushed down and wiped out by their big siblings just isn't quite enough to turn them into allies. Besides their CFIB mentality, have a look at how they treat their employees.

If the NDP can manage to appeal to people who work for others, they can govern happily and then figure out how to appeal to the small employers.

 

janfromthebruce

So you are ok for those who work for themselves because they are small business owners.

Unionist

janfromthebruce wrote:

So you are ok for those who work for themselves because they are small business owners.

Of course I am. Those who work for themselves must be our allies, whether they're professionals or artists or writers or owner-operator truckdrivers or (some) cab drivers...

My problem is with employers.

It's employers who tend to get their heads screwed up over issues like increasing the minimum wage or health and safety or access to unionization or the like.

I have actually read posts on babble, by "small business people" who employ others, talking about how minimum wage increases will hurt them.

I have trouble explaining my feelings when I see that. I do, however, reflect that once we've got 75% of society on our side, we can start reaching out to such folks as well.

 

janfromthebruce

ok, and I agree with the group of self-employed you mentioned. Small business owners, well they fight progressive ideas - like raising the minimum wage because their take tends to be smaller than what corporations get.

Taxation could change here in ways that would benefit them rather than the big corporations. I do understand what you are saying unionist. Sometimes containment is best.

Erik Redburn

Examples:

"Poll shows governments lag behind citizens in readiness to tackle global warming"

http://www.desmogblog.com/poll-shows-governments-lag-behind-citizens-in-readiness-to-tackle-global-warming

 

"Ninety-one per cent of Canadians believe they should do their part to help fight global warming, even if they have to pay more to do it, two newly released polls suggest.

But they are less likely to expect their governments to shoulder responsibility for fixing environmental problems at 72 per cent, according to the two polls conducted by Ipsos-Reid for Sympatico/MSN."

http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2007/07/04/enviro-survey.html

 

Its interesting how these results are themselves slanted by confusing what Canadian "expect" from government to imply what they might want our government to do, but thats not a reflection on the average voting citizen.   The average citizen now rates the media as lowly as (most) politicians, lawyers and bankers.

 

Fidel

So if the NDP does move to the crowded political right with Harper and Iggy squabbling over something like 22-26 percent of the registered vote in Canada, which party would fill in on the centre-left?  Wink <--another winky face

Erik Redburn

The NDP -should.  Sorry for not having a more amusing comeback to that one.... 

Erik Redburn

Some agreement after all, true progress.   Sorry for another delay, been off island last coupla.

Next argument I'll make then:  We keep hearing that shifting back to the "left" again will only lose the NDP more support than it can possibly gain.  Only true if we're talking about a total revolutionary overhaul that I doubt anyone here really believes is possible in middleclass Canada --not unless poverty and state violence start to reach third-world colony levels.  Not true at all if we look at the gap between what our political elites insist is a consensus and what the average voter still wants and believes.    Linda McQuaig has repeatedly pointed out that all the deficit hystyeria of the past twenty years was mostly just that.  Most Canadians would still prefer to see better public services, but most Canadians aren't what is heard in the media and not what leaders like James and Layton hear, obviously.

 

Fidel

I think Iggy and Harper are so far to the political right, they've met themselves coming on the return trip.  I see nothing remotely similar between those two rightwing nutters and the leader of the NDP. I think it's a case that if Iggy and Harper were any dumber, there'd have to be four of them, theyre that dumb.

Erik Redburn

Its not how rightwing the others are Fidel, but how far much further the NDP can drift behind them before they too become irrelevant to the average progressive voter.  Which will be the subject my next installment plan...if noone objects to anything in my last.  

Erik Redburn

 

Good post BTW Keystone, I only averr slightly on the last lines on payroll taxes but that could just be a matter of details or how to build a better mouse trap...

 

KeyStone:  I've never quite understood why the political parties seem to cast small businesses in the same untouchable group as single parents. The definition of a small business in Canada is a business with less than 100 employees. Sure, they provide a lot of jobs, but they also provide a lot of tax revenue. To throw that tax revenue away, simply because they provide a lot of jobs is absolutely ludicrous. Frankly, the same argument could be made for all businesses, not just small ones.

People, and parties like to talk about small business tax, as if it makes the difference between a company staying in business or closing up shop. THey seem to forget that the businesses being taxed are ones that are making money. So, after all the expenses are paid out, and after all the employees are paid, and after all the owners and their families withdraw a nice generous salary, then whatever is left is income. This isn't money going to shareholders - this is money going to the owners of these companies, often in addition to the money they have already earned through the salary they award themselves. On top of that, if they want to reinvest money, there are tons of loopholes and tax credits to enable them to do so. So, let's not pretend that taxes are hurting the growth of small business.

Small businesses already pay considerably less than large corporations, for no reason other than they are under the magic threshold of 100 employees, and because political parties have succesfully associated the term small business with a struggling mom and pop shop.

Lowering taxes is not going to make or break the business. The very fact that they are in a position to pay taxes means that the business is doing well. The companies that do need help aren't making a profit, in which case a tax decrease doesn't mean anything for them.

Instead, the focus should be on getting rid of all the fees and costs associated with the day to day operations of a business. Elimination payroll tax for small businesses makes a lot of sense, as does finding ways to reduce startup costs (administration), and WSIB/WCB premiums. These are the changes that will help businesses survive, as opposed to changes that will help only those businesses that are already thriving.

Fidel

Erik Redburn wrote:

Its not how rightwing the others are Fidel, but how far much further the NDP can drift behind them before they too become irrelevant to the average progressive voter.  Which will be the subject my next installment plan...if noone objects to anything in my last.  

But the NDP is  doing really well under Layton while the other two hawkish parties have rarely been observed struggling for a phony majority like they are. Canadians don't really know the NDP. All they know is they don't want to trust either of the two same-same parties with a false majority and dictatorial power.

Most Canadians, I'd say a fair number of Canadians have no real idea of left and right. All they know is that their parents and aunts and uncles always bought either vanilla or chocolate ice cream every four years. It's tradition for so many Canadians. But I think now that the two old line parties will have to win over a whole new generation in order to maintain the status quo and phony majority ruke eluding them today while they govern and "oppose" on the political right.

The NDP is making some very basic promises to restore federal funding to social programs gutted by federal Liberals in 1995. Tens of billions of dollars were removed from social transfers to the provinces by federal Liberals in the 1990's. We can't move forward in this country until we regain ground lost under so many years of autocratic federal Liberal rule. Liberals sold the environment to Exxon-Imperial, and yet I've observed babblers who I thought would know better expounding on the virtues of a carbon tax. As if the Liberals are going to do anything to reduce Canada's CO2 emissions or get tough on corporate polluters. I really can't believe people could be so gullible after so many years of lies and betrayals and broken election promises under the Liberals. Their provincial counterparts in Ontario have dinged up somewhere over 50 broken election promises since 2003, and they are entirely unashamed about it. Don't look to the NDP to make wild election promises, because that's not the NDP's style.

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Small businesses are some of the most reactionary, conservative elements in society (see the CFIB that Aristotleded24 referred to above). They "create" jobs, but they are the worst-paid jobs, mainly part-time, with few (if any) benefits and no unions. The employees are disproportionately women, young adults, and students - traditional pools of cheap labour. Working conditions and hours are often abominable and in many cases illegal. These employers prey on immigrant workers who don't know their rights, and cheat them out of their wages. Small businesses are enclaves of underemployment, hiring overqualified people to do menial work because they can't get better jobs elsewhere that they are trained for, or giving part-time work to people who are willing and able to work full time.

"Creating jobs" is a phrase often thrown around to suggest that employers are bestowing some kind of benefit on workers by employing them. In fact, employers (big or small) only create jobs in order to derive profit from the exploitation of the employee's labour power; and employees of small businesses are among the most exploited segments of the working class. The worker may feel grateful that she has a job as opposed to being unemployed and starving, but the fact is that the employer has more reason to feel grateful than the employee, even if he doesn't actually feel gratitude at all.

Giving tax breaks to small business is a reactionary policy. The NDP should be ashamed for trying to cosy up to this economic class and offering them tax subsidies from the public purse.

Jacob Richter

Seconded.

The proliferation of small businesses is actually a result of consolidations at the top and the "shrinking middle," thus leaving a bigger labour pool for small businesses to exploit.  Another side effect of capital concentration is the proliferation of unproductive labour, such as self-employment.

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:
Giving tax breaks to small business is a reactionary policy. The NDP should be ashamed for trying to cosy up to this economic class and offering them tax subsidies from the public purse.

One of my in-laws came back from overseas in 45 and started a diner. He was a cook during the war. And that restaurant employed me for a few summers while I was growing up. Everybody worked hard. There were potatoes to be peeled, dishes to to be rounded up and washed, floors to be swept and mopped. Most years he averaged about $30K net income, and I was only vaguely aware of the supplies that needed to be bought, although I fetched and unloaded plenty. I was glad when the ice cream delivery truck came, and so were all the other kids. It didnt matter if some had no money for ice cream, because my father in-law would never see a kid go without ice cream. Everbody knew my father in law, from the wealthy American touritsts who stopped by for a weekend on their boats, to the locals who enjoyed good home cooked style meals. I think everybody in town worked at the diner at some point. It's not easy running a small business. It's a lot of work to keep them coming back.

Unionist

Awwww.

 

Fidel

And he used to joke about being a $30 thousand dollar a year capitalist. There was sweet bugger all happening in Canada after the war as far as jobs were concerned. The country was still on its ass economically. The feds told veterans like my father to look for land to buy that they could farm. SFA for decent housing then. Northern Ontario was littered with substandard housing and drafty shacks, and eight and nine people and up to two families living in 10 by 12 shacks was typical. No running water or sewers. Ditches that overflowed in spring with runoff and filth. The poverty was amazing for such a naturally wealthy country. A few war brides who came to Canada actually thought Canada had been bombed during the war, things were so run down looking.

Erik Redburn

Next installment: 

Another truism that's becoming received wisdom in the NDP (and used to justify the new more 'moderate' agenda): "The NDP is now a middle-class party" 

But is it?   Look at election map:  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canadavotes/

Others show pretty much the same pattern.

Most gains made by NDP recently are in rural resource based communities that once had strong industrial roots in the towns, particularly noticeable in Ontario.  Areas which coincidently have suffred most under successive neo-liberal/conservative regimes. The safest areas of support remain pretty much the same as always, ridings with higher levels of unionized labour, impoverished communities, areas with high numbers of civil servants etc.  Middleclass strongholds OTOH appear to be trending to the right more than they used to but the middleclasses too are in debt and in decline.   Complication is that classes aren't so distinct as they were in Marxes' time, sometimes reflecting cultural differences more than income levels, but upward social mobility is increasingly becoming more difficult again.

 

 

 

Erik Redburn

Jacob Richter wrote:

Seconded.

The proliferation of small businesses is actually a result of consolidations at the top and the "shrinking middle," thus leaving a bigger labour pool for small businesses to exploit.  Another side effect of capital concentration is the proliferation of unproductive labour, such as self-employment.

 

True enough, but please don't assume that the self employed are "unproductive".  The work I do is as productive as other jobs I've had and AFAIC has more utility than most well paying management positions.   Self emplyment is just another necessity for many of us in our new "service based" economy.

Erik Redburn

There are good employers in the small business sector, some being quite pr0gressive most ways, but as a group they're probably even more resistent than larger companies to concepts like minimum wage, overtime pay or the rights of the unempl0yed, because wages usually amount to a higher percentage of their operating costs.   Mega-corporations are more of a threat politically, and lower wages never stopped them from looking even further afield, but I doubt more than a minority of any business owners would ever support the NDP.   During the low point of Campbell's first term when he was first driving us into deficits again and still receiving negative press, there was a poll done which reported that as many as 25% of small business owners might consider voting NDP somday.  That would probably represent a high ceiling.  Lowering taxes on sector to zero isn't a smart precedent to set regardless. 

mybabble

Small business unlike big are more part of the community and often live in the neighborhood and can play a very postive role in the neighorhoods where owners set up shop.  Small business is the back bone of the country as little shops in small towns are there to fill the needs of the towns people.  Big, is just that and cold and calculatating as motivated by greed where human life, even if its the deaths of innocent babes has no significance if there is still a profit to be made.  And that is the bottom line. 

mybabble

Move left?  I do believe Jack Layton has left the arena, the political as he is working with government or so he says.  Does Jack know something I don't because Harper made it pretty clear he had nothing to say to Layton.  Canadians are hurting from coast to coast and there are so many issues from day care to the climbing deficit and growing unemployment and added taxes and reduced services, including health care and the growing gap between the rich and poor. 

So who is Jack making deals with?  Himself, because the Conservtives don't have the time of day for the working man's party leader and have made it quite clear to Layton.  As Harper puts together a package to help the economy that rings more like a weekly flyer with a coupons at the bottom fo the page  for Home Depo's supplies and electronics. Full time postions in Construction have been lost while gains in low paying part-time postions have Canada believe signs in a recovery. Women make the most gains in employment, part-time low paying dead end jobs while no affordable day care in sight  and without affordable place to rent.  Full time positions take a beating. 

Where is Jack coming from I'm not sure, working for the Canadian people he says by working with government.

Dosen't that take cooperation and not just a eager Layton, like a puppy eager to fetch a bone from the Conservatives but only Harper has said there are no treats in it for Layton who dosen't seem to be opposed?  Anyways Harper lies like a sidewalk, the very same sidewalk he has unemployed Canadians sleep on while unemployment continues to rise.  How does Layton work with that or better yet how do Canadian people live with that?

Who broke the economy?  America.  Then that is who is going to have to fix it.  Canada and the world will know full recovery once America has recovered.  All this recovery stuff could drive you to drink.  Alcohol consumption is way up so more money for cash crazed premiers. 

Its all nice that Jack is working it for the people but do you ever think Jack will figure out it takes TWO to work it out, if not as the opposition he just might want to be opposed.  Or do you think the people wanted Opposition not to Oppose?  Jack does.  Maybe thats it NDP dosen't need a new name just a different way of doing things as wants to just get along, for the people you know even if it means their futures and that of the country. 

And don't let Harper break the bank, as banks make record profits and Canadians tax payers 75 billion helps needy bankers out while Canadians record deficit continues to climb.

janfromthebruce

mybabble wrote:

"Dosen't that take cooperation and not just a eager Layton, like a puppy eager to fetch a bone from the Conservatives but only Harper has said there are no treats in it for Layton who dosen't seem to be opposed?  Anyways Harper lies like a sidewalk, the very same sidewalk he has unemployed Canadians sleep on while unemployment continues to rise.  How does Layton work with that or better yet how do Canadian people live with that?"

Hopefully my babble, you see the libs as big eager puppies because they kept the Harper agenda on track 79 times - LOL

"Who broke the economy?  America."

Wrong - greed global capitalism broke the global economy - that promoted neo-liberal ideology - calling for reduced govts, privitization of public institutions & space, taxcuts, de-regulation.

One could say that taxcuts, deregulation, and shrunken govts caused the global economy to tank - cause of more of the same is not working.

Its all nice that Jack is working it for the people but do you ever think Jack will figure out it takes TWO to work it out, if not as the opposition he just might want to be opposed.  Or do you think the people wanted Opposition not to Oppose?  Jack does.  Maybe thats it NDP dosen't need a new name just a different way of doing things as wants to just get along, for the people you know even if it means their futures and that of the country. 

I think you are missing the boat here - Layton is just saying let's see if Harper can work with the rest of parliamentarians and if not - let Harper show his "true face" and go from there.

Unionist

janfromthebruce wrote:
Layton is just saying let's see if Harper can work with the rest of parliamentarians and if not - let Harper show his "true face" and go from there.

Layton said this after the January 2006 election, when some people could still say they didn't understand Harper's full agenda or how coldbloodedly determined he might be to ram it through.

Why is Layton saying this in September 2009? Has Harper or Layton moved in the other's direction?

Which brings us back to the topic of this thread.

 

janfromthebruce

I'm with Eric on this one. I know my father in law who was a strong NDP supporter, and a trades person, started a small construction business - steel construction.

He could not afford the WC insurance. He paid good wages - going rate for boilermakers - after about 5 years, he had to sell the building and business, actually the business was worth nothing, and used the sell to ensure all debts were paid and so on.

Please do not lump all small business people as bad. And he kept voting NDP.

Unionist

janfromthebruce wrote:

Please do not lump all small business people as bad. And he kept voting NDP.

Jan, we're trying to make a point about which section of the population the NDP should or should not be pandering to, and you're telling us about your nice father-in-law? Apparently you simply don't get it.

Not all workers are nice people. Not all persons of colour are nice. Not all women are kind and courageous. Not all victims of NATO air strikes in Afghanistan are progressive minded souls. Yet, we shamelessly declare that we stand with and support them as a whole.

Some bankers are nice human beings. I once heard of a Conservative MP who gave a homeless person a quarter. Big deal.

So I'm happy about your nice father-in-law, but your argument is deeply flawed.

Conclusion: If the NDP bases any part of its policy on helping "small" businesses to flourish (as opposed to, for example, protecting Canadian industry as a whole against the "free" traders, or stimulating job creation in general, etc.), then it will have betrayed its natural constituency. Mind you, it has already done so when in power - witness Gary Doer's pledge to the chamber of commerce not to implement anti-scab legislation despite his own party's convention decisions.

janfromthebruce

That is your opinion - such as you believe. And gary doer is a red herring - that is not the federal NDP. You know where the fed party stands.

I am saying that we can do what we consider right, as you mention, and also help small business florish - it isn't one or the other - considering that large corporations have gone off, and that small and medium size businesses may need some help to help create all those jobs, than it would be better to think local and build community. And it is better for the environment.

And my father in law, con't to pay his union dues, work as a boilermaker, and run a business during the early 90s when there weren't any trades jobs in Ontario.

So yes, he could have used some help from govt. He was a guy wanting to stay true to ensuring his workers has a decent income and creating jobs.

That is the kind of ethnos you want business to operate - so create that environment rather than bash it.

And yes, you can do both.

remind remind's picture

I agree Jan!

Unionist

janfromthebruce wrote:

That is your opinion - such as you believe. And gary doer is a red herring - that is not the federal NDP. You know where the fed party stands.

Yeah I know where the federal NDP stands - they stand in the ranks of the Opposition, which is where the Manitoba NDP stood when the anti-scab decision was first made by convention. They stand in the land of promises which may never be kept. Let me know what they do if they ever achieve power - which they won't unless they get some backbone.

Quote:
I am saying that we can do what we consider right, as you mention, and also help small business florish - it isn't one or the other - considering that large corporations have gone off, and that small and medium size businesses may need some help to help create all those jobs, than it would be better to think local and build community. And it is better for the environment.

I disagree. We live in the era of large-scale production. Small businesses will either grow and become big rich greedy companies, or they will hang on for dear life for a while and die. No fiscal policy will change that reality. And the NDP's determination to cut small business taxes has nothing to do with any economic theory. It's shameless pandering to win some support, not just from the small business owners themselves, but from all those who think that the NDP is too "anti-business" and that it needs to move to the right.

Quote:
And my father in law, con't to pay his union dues, work as a boilermaker, and run a business during the early 90s when there weren't any trades jobs in Ontario.

So yes, he could have used some help from govt. He was a guy wanting to stay true to ensuring his workers has a decent income and creating jobs.

He's the exception that proves the rule. What would you like... a fiscal policy that applies a niceness test to the beneficiaries?

 

remind remind's picture

The era of large scale production needs to end, and I disagree with your other observations in this respect, unionist.

Unionist

remind wrote:
The era of large scale production needs to end,...

Good luck with that, remind.

Anyway, it won't end by helping small businesses get bigger.

 

remind remind's picture

Who said anything about making them bigger?

And why do you support hegemony of the few?

Sven Sven's picture

KeyStone wrote:

People, and parties like to talk about small business tax, as if it makes the difference between a company staying in business or closing up shop. THey seem to forget that the businesses being taxed are ones that are making money. So, after all the expenses are paid out, and after all the employees are paid, and after all the owners and their families withdraw a nice generous salary, then whatever is left is income. This isn't money going to shareholders - this is money going to the owners of these companies, often in addition to the money they have already earned through the salary they award themselves. On top of that, if they want to reinvest money, there are tons of loopholes and tax credits to enable them to do so. So, let's not pretend that taxes are hurting the growth of small business.

But, the decision to engage in a risky economic enterprise is determined before the end result is known.

Let me illustrate (I wish I knew how to insert a table on a babble post!!):

Let's say that an economic enterprise that you were considering engaging in had the following probabilities:

25% chance that you would lose $250,000

25% chance that you would lose $250,000

25% chance that you would earn $100,000

25% chance that you would earn $250,000

If you are making more than one dollar per year today, then you would avoid engaging in the risky economic activity because the "expectation value" of those probabilities would be zero (.25 x (250,000) PLUS .25 x (100,000) PLUS .25 x 100,000 PLUS .25 x 250,000 = ZERO).  In other words, the probabilities associated with engaging in the risking activity (getting $0) would be greater than what you are making today (your current $1).

Now, assume that the probabilities of the losses were the same but the probabilities of the gains were higher:

25% chance that you would lose $250,000

25% chance that you would lose $250,000

25% chance that you would earn $150,000

25% chance that you would earn $350,000

Here, the "expectation probability" is that you would earn $37,500 (.25 x (250,000) PLUS .25 x (100,000) PLUS .25 x 150,000 PLUS .25 x 350,000 = $37,500).  Here, the probable rewards exceed the probable risks, so engaging in the economic activity would be attractive.

But, let's say that you taxed the $150,000 at a 30% tax rate (leaving a net profit of $105,000) and you taxed the $350,000 at a 40% tax rate (leaving a net profit of $210,000):

25% chance that you would lose $250,000

25% chance that you would lose $250,000

25% chance that you would earn $105,000

25% chance that you would earn $210,000

Here, the "expectation probability" is that you would lose $8,750 (.25 x (250,000) PLUS .25 x (100,000) PLUS .25 x 1500,000 PLUS .25 x 350,000 = $37,500).  Here, the probable risks exceed the probable rewards, so engaging in the economic activity would not be attractive -- and a rational person would avoid engaging in that economic activity simply because of the taxes (even though, economically, nothing else has changed between the second and third scenario -- creation of other jobs, etc.).

 

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Unionist

remind wrote:
Who said anything about making them bigger? And why do you support hegemony of the few?

The NDP should gear its policies to working people - not owners and employers of businesses. This is as basic as it gets. M. Spector put it in more educated language than I can. Sometimes in life, you have to make choices.

 

Fidel

Unionist wrote:

Yeah I know where the federal NDP stands - they stand in the ranks of the Opposition, which is where the Manitoba NDP stood when the anti-scab decision was first made by convention. They stand in the land of promises which may never be kept. Let me know what they do if they ever achieve power - which they won't unless they get some backbone

The Liberals are a party founded by invertebrates. And one of Mike Harris' proudest moments was when he reversed the NDP's anti-scab legislation in Canada's largest province. Unionist cracks corn, and we don't care. 

 

 

Unionist

It's simple. The thread topic poses a question. Some of us say yes, others say no. Life marches on, but the NDP never will unless it stops looking like this:

[url=Layton">http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/layton-strikes-conciliatory... strikes conciliatory tone amid looming showdown[/url]

Quote:
NDP Leader ratchets down election rhetoric with soothing words about making Parliament work

 

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