"Bold" economic policies for the ONDP

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genstrike

Lord Palmerston wrote:

Paul Martin, arguably the most rightwing Finance Minister in Canadian history, made the tax system much more regressive and massively gutted social programs.  The NDP, including Layton, has rightly blasted the Liberals (and the Tories) for that.  So if the tax system was so unfair, why wouldn't the NDP support an increase in taxes on corporations and the wealthy?  

Because the NDP loves to cry about what the right does at the time, but doesn't actually oppose what they do to the point of wanting to reverse them when they get the chance.

It has to be either a lack of principle or a lack of courage.

Fidel

genstrike wrote:
Okay, so you support essentially keeping tuition fees at the whatever level that Mike Harris and Dalton McGuinty left them at.  Ergo, you essentially support Harris and McGuinty's policies on tuition

I know student loan debtors dont need constant reminding of it, but dont forget the federal Liberals who gutted and ransacked and pillaged and raided several billion dollars from PSE funding in the 1990s.

Lost in Bruce County

I agree with GenStrike that PSE should be free. Most middle class students can't afford PSE and either take on huge loans or fall through the cracks because they are not poor enough to qualify for bursaries and grants targeted at low income families and they are not wealthy enough to get a loan. While it is true that the cost of living exceeds the cost of tuition, every bit helps. Besides, whose to say a universal PSE program wouldn't also include some funding for living expenses. Additionally, PSE institutions could invest in all programs equally if they relied completely on government funding and were no longer driven out of necessity to get private funding for research and development.

Fidel

janfromthebruce wrote:

Fidel, I agree with you here and your proposal was rationally stated. I am glad you moved beyond glib commentary. Bravo!

If the NDP decided to campaign for an all secular public school system tomorrow, I would still vote NDP no question about it. I'm just worried that it would lose what support we've gained in Northern Ontario since Rae's government. I know of one couple who were long-time NDP supporters who were put off the NDP over the SSM issue. I tried to reason with them, but he's an old line Catholic. Good people but very rigid in their beliefs.

janfromthebruce

Well Fidel, one should not think of the north as a monolithic catholic area. I can tell you that if you talk to any Public school trustee from the north, they are very strong "one school system supporters." This goes for both English and French speaking public school trustees. In fact, French speaking public school trustees are even more "vocal" than their English counterparts. 

I understand your concerns and appreciate your honesty here. 

______________________________________________________________________________________ Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

PSE should not be free.  Means tested grants is a start.

Michelle

Really?  What's your reasoning? 

George Victor

 LP:

"Paul Martin, arguably the most rightwing Finance Minister in Canadian history, made the tax system much more regressive and massively gutted social programs.  The NDP, including Layton, has rightly blasted the Liberals (and the Tories) for that.  So if the tax system was so unfair, why wouldn't the NDP support an increase in taxes on corporations and the wealthy?"  

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Unfortunately, New Democrat leaders do not explain to followers that with "Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life" (Robert B.Reich) came the ability of the corporation to move to wherever grass was greenest. It was the single most powerful finding of the Chicago School  allowing the neo-conservatives to achieve power.

Since Ronnie Raygun, lower taxes has been the winning mantra for conservatives...and of course, Paul Martin had to keep ahead of the crowd rising up in the West.All small c ers were acting from the same economic reasoning, not out of hatred for other classes.

Unfortunately, if taxes are raised anywhere, these days, the corporation or the individual voter hunts elsewhere. Sometimes hand in hand, because the individual whose savings are dependent on the health of that corporation, can suffer. Look at the fallout in the economic collapse we're experiencing. Twenty or 30 per cent declines across the board.

The corporate and financial world has us by the short one, LP.  That's where we have to break free. Natiionalization. Starting with the banks. And at this very moment when we should be putting that forward, in revolutionary financial terms, we talk about raising taxes???? 

And the virtues of a single school system?

Well, people read fantasy to escape the real world too.

 

 

Lost in Bruce County

Fidel wrote:

If the NDP decided to campaign for an all secular public school system tomorrow, I would still vote NDP no question about it. I'm just worried that it would lose what support we've gained in Northern Ontario since Rae's government. I know of one couple who were long-time NDP supporters who were put off the NDP over the SSM issue. I tried to reason with them, but he's an old line Catholic. Good people but very rigid in their beliefs.

Many of our supporters, indeed many of our "old line" Catholic supporters were against equal rights for same sex couples. Sometimes a sacrifice in our principles and sacrificing the quality of life of the most vulnerable groups in our support base (ie children & youth) is not worth the votes we get in return. I've met many same-sex couples who refuse to vote for the NDP - they blame us and Mr. Rae for the 1994 defeat of bill 167 - a bill that would have given spousal rights to same-sex couples. So I guess you win some and you lose some, what's important is that you never lose sight of yourself and your principles.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

I should have said 100% free for everybody.  Ideally, it might be good but that is too large a shift at once.  I'd like to begin with it being free for the neediest students who might otherwise choose not to attend and those that do choose to attend but are faced with horrible debt obligations after versus those that don't.

genstrike

RevolutionPlease wrote:
I should have said 100% free for everybody.  Ideally, it might be good but that is too large a shift at once.  I'd like to begin with it being free for the neediest students who might otherwise choose not to attend and those that do choose to attend but are faced with horrible debt obligations after versus those that don't.

So, "bold"ly speaking, how long do you think it would take to phase in?

saga saga's picture

Free tuition for everyone!

A few years ago I reviewed the research and free tuition is the way to go: Students who entered on free tuition, who would not have been able to go otherwise, were doing quite well. The research is clear that's  the way to go. However, economic constraints have been allowed to dictate otherwise.

 

 

Unionist

Fidel wrote:

I know of one couple who were long-time NDP supporters who were put off the NDP over the SSM issue. I tried to reason with them, but he's an old line Catholic.

When you say "I tried to reason with them" - what do you mean? That they should continue supporting the NDP? Or that they should accept SSM?

wage zombie

Lost in Bruce County wrote:

Here's a bold policy: NDP provincial governments should team up and introduce their very own trade & investment management agreement (TILMA) only these inter-provincial agreements will focus on labour rights and job generation. Such agreements will make the provincial labour force more competitive and secure rather than trade and investment. The underlying philosophy will be that if you invest in the skills, abilities, and security of a work force, the stability and enhanced quality of the workforce will provide the secure base needed for new business to flourish and jobs to be created. As such, NDP interprovincial agreements will further entrench labour rights because they will be locked into interprovincial agreements. The agreements will also secure made in Canada (or involved provinces) legislation as such policy lends stability and predictability in the local economies. Contrary to TILMA, these agreements will promote protection and investment in environmental and healthcare legislation because workers are more desirable and productive when they are healthy and live in healthy, sustainable environments. These agreements will entrench greater investment in our education systems and will hopefully lead to free post-secondary education and a universal childcare system. I think it would be very bold of provincial NDP parties to offer an interprovincial plan to boost job creation and to enhance and entrench labour rights.

That sounds like a great idea to me. 

wage zombie

Lord Palmerston wrote:

Doug wrote:
Ontario doesn't have the money to eliminate (or hugely reduce) tuition without raising taxes by a good chunk.

And what's wrong with raising taxes (on corporations and the wealthy)?  Don't social democrats believe in a more progressive tax system?

It's hard to sell to the public when you're trying to win an election.

I'd like to see free PSE too, and clearly we'd need to raise taxes to do so.  So how do we sell this idea to a public who is resistant to raising taxes?

Babblers ask "what's wrong with raising taxes?" or "what's the case for continued funding of a Catholic system?"  I feel like it would be a lot more useful and productive to outline "here's how we can successfully pitch raising taxes (for free PSE) in an election" or, "here's how to pitch one public school system without having our unfree press make the whole election about school funding to the detriment of all the other issues".  Asking "what's wrong with doing this?" or "why not do this?" is not the same as making the case for doing it.

If you can't understand that raising taxes is going to be a hard sell (and plan accordingly in order to make the sale) then you're not going to get very far in pitching free PSE.

wage zombie

genstrike wrote:
I have proposed a means to pay for it.  Reverse a small fraction of Mike Harris' tax cuts.  Raise taxes on the rich.  It's really not as expensive as a lot of people think it is.  Tons of other countries can pull it off, even countries with fractions of our GDP per capita.  Cuba can do it, and they have what, 1/8, 1/10 of our per capita GDP?

Cuba's not a puppet state of the empire.  So they can do stuff in ways that we can't.  Our media is controlled by people who want low taxes (on corporations and on the wealthy) and they're the ones who tell us who we should vote for (red or blue). 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

genstrike wrote:

RevolutionPlease wrote:
I should have said 100% free for everybody.  Ideally, it might be good but that is too large a shift at once.  I'd like to begin with it being free for the neediest students who might otherwise choose not to attend and those that do choose to attend but are faced with horrible debt obligations after versus those that don't.

So, "bold"ly speaking, how long do you think it would take to phase in?

As long as it will take for Canadians to learn that taxes aren't the boogeyman.

 

eta: I see you're of the same mind but that tax increase is the hard sell not free PSE.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

What wage zombie said.

Lord Palmerston

With Andrea Horwath as the new leader, and with Ontarians "needing us now more than ever" (Howard Hampton), what kind of bold dynamic progressive economic policies should we be expecting?

Fidel

Lord Palmerston wrote:

Doug wrote:
Ontario doesn't have the money to eliminate (or hugely reduce) tuition without raising taxes by a good chunk.

And what's wrong with raising taxes (on corporations and the wealthy)?  Don't social democrats believe in a more progressive tax system?

You won't be getting any progressive and encompassing job creation programs without increasing taxes.

Or are you of the belief that we should try to lure investment with "competitive" taxes, etc.?

And what about the "race to the bottom" competition between provinces for lower corporate taxes? Obviously if one province has higher corporate taxes than the one next to it, guess where businesses move to? Smaller provincial economies cant set the tax pace, and larger provinces like Ontario have been hemorrhaging jobs since turn of the decade. And with the national economy tanking the way it is, I dont think any province is about to put themselves at a disadvantage.

What we need are higher overall federal tax revenues, including across the board corporate taxation - and raised to at least the OECD average as a percentage of GDP. Interprovincial competition for maintaining and keeping jobs is avoided in this way. Raising overall federal tax revenues in concert should mean $35 billion more every year for program spending. We need strong central government - something that's been really lacking over the last three decades.

Fidel

Richter and genstrike are basically saying the race to the bottom doesnt exist, and they couldnt be more wrong. One can only assume that as far as those two are concerned, twelve years of federal Liberal rule were wonderful years filled with very neoliberal trade deals with associated restrictions on provincial authority to expand public sector economy and social transfers to provinces gutted to the tune of tens of billions of dollars.

Jacob Richter

You don't seem to get the fact that the NDP is one of the left fronts of the bourgeois-capitalist state order.  There are two kinds of progressive reforms: ones that buy out the working class, and ones that strengthen their opposition to the system.  "Social-democrats" are always for the former, with unintended help from wavering class-strugglists; consistent class-strugglists are always for the latter.

Jacob Richter

genstrike wrote:
This is what I hate about pretty much every parliamentary leftist in the country.  All our demands are too much and too risky for them, but they still think they are entitled to our support.  So it's no surprise that whenever someone comes along with a reasonable, socialist demand that is a reality in many other countries (If Cuba can do it, there's no reason why a country with 8-10 times the per capita GDP can't), the "left" is just as quick to shoot it down as the right.  Meanwhile, while the "left" is afraid to move the province more than a quarter of an inch to the left, whenever the right gets in they shove it a foot to the right.

Here's a bold policy:  Don't be Gary Doer or Bob Rae.

 

I couldn't have expressed your exposure of Fidel's "social-democratic" leanings more succinctly.  BTW, you forgot cost of living adjustments for all non-executive jobs. Tongue outWink

 

Quote:
All right, I might give you that one, provided these credit unions have policies in place to benefit start-up worker co-ops

 

Why these private organizations and not the state?

Fidel

Jacob Richter wrote:
You don't seem to get the fact that the NDP is one of the left fronts of the bourgeois-capitalist state order.  There are two kinds of progressive reforms: ones that buy out the working class, and ones that strengthen their opposition to the system.

So what are you trying to say, really? You dont seem to understand how NAFTA works, or that Canada's,  as in federal government, spending on social programs is ranked 25th out of 30 capitalist countries. All of those capitalist countries spending more than us on social programs have strong central governments with social democrats either in strong opposition or in federal power for long stretches at a time. They arent niggling with federal Liberal governments over enough funding for daycare or PSE or a bloody national drug plan.

I'm curious to know at what point do either of genstrike or Richter dare lay blame on Canada's rightwing federal Liberals effin things up in their colonial adminstrative role in Ottawa over twelve years? What does it take to weaken their resolve not to criticize federal Liberals, those Libranos and LIEberals for having governed so far to the right, and having inserted themselves so far in corporate America's pockets for twelve years that they had ta have air pumped to 'em!

G. Babbitt

I know this is late, but just a quick comment on TIMLA, and I hate to bring it up but frequently interprovincial agreements are lobbied against by building trade unions.  In the construction world Quebec has higher health and safety and training standards so when Ontario contractors weren't allowed to bid on Quebec projects unless their workers were trained to the same level, the builidng trades did not clamour for more training, they just complained about unfair trade and essentially supported a run to the bottom.

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