Unintended Consequences: Charity Salary Caps

Globe & Mail: Salary caps would cripple Canada’s charities

“Bill C-470, a private member’s bill introduced by Albina Guarnieri, would impose a suffocating $250,000 cap on executive salaries at charities. The bill, which has gone through second reading, is nothing short of ridiculous. If it ever passed, the leadership exodus that would eventually ensue would cripple Canada’s charitable sector. So much for being charitable. Our whole outlook on compensation in charity is in need of a serious re-imagination.”

If a private charity was to pay its management more than $250,000, or any arbitrary limit for the matter, it is up to them.  The author is correct, the law of unintended consequences would kick in.  There are some smart people out there, and like any other company that is trying to create a product to sell or in this case attract donations for a worthy cause, to do that you need these smart people in charge.  The charities are competing with the private sector which offers stock option etc. which simply can’t be matched by charities.  If you are concerned about these salaries pass a law requiring full disclosure of the salaries and total compensation but setting an arbitrary limit will have a negative net impact in the long run.

Posted in Free Markets, Government Intervention | Tagged | Comments Off on Unintended Consequences: Charity Salary Caps

Student Loans

Globe & Mail: Ottawa raises cap at eleventh hour to keep student loans flowing

“Without the last-minute boost for the cap on total student debt, the federal government estimated, 50,000 students would have been denied about $300-million worth of loans”

I will admit that I took a student loan but it was for the last year of my degree in Engineering however I do feel its high time that the government get out of the student loan business once and for all.  Do we really need more debt ridden liberal arts degree graduates that do not have jobs in their chosen field of education?  The mainstream post-secondary education system in Canada has no reason to cut costs and provide a cost effective alternative because it has a guaranteed revenue stream from student loans.  No student loans would mean less people enrolled (initially) but that would drive down costs as the schools compete for the students who either have saved to fund their own tuition, borrowed from family / friends  or qualified for a private loan.  These people will also be more likely to finish school and repay the loan as apposed to the government to whom default is an easy choice for most.

Posted in Free Markets, Personal Responsibility, Small Government | Tagged , | Comments Off on Student Loans

Vancouver Smoking Ban

Globe & Mail: Vancouver parks smoking ban takes effect

“The Vancouver Parks Board has brought down the ban as a way to eliminate second-hand smoke and protect the health of park-goers. It also hopes to eliminate some of the 367,000 cigarette butts found in beach and shore cleanups last year.”

This actually makes some sense.  Most anti-smoking laws target private property such as bars etc. which should actually be allowed to permit smoking.  In this case we have public property which should be free from the associated second-hand smoke and litter nuisance.

Posted in Liberty & Freedom | Tagged | Comments Off on Vancouver Smoking Ban

Ignatieff’s Priorities

CBC: PM’s priorities ‘prisons and planes’: Ignatieff

“We think Canadians’ priorities right now are child care, retirement security, post-secondary education. Basic things that are going to guarantee economic security and defence of our public health-care system,” said Ignatieff.”
Prisons and plans sounds about right to me rather than “child care, retirement security, post-secondary education” which should all be provincial or even personal matters.  Spending money on putting bad guys in jail and fighter jets to chase away the Russians sounds like a pretty high priority to me.
Posted in Law & Order, Personal Responsibility, Small Government | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Ignatieff’s Priorities

CBC: Most Toronto renters lack insurance

CBC: Most Toronto renters lack insurance: fire captain

“Toronto’s fire captain, said he estimates at least 80 per cent of renters in Toronto do not have contents insurance. Most renters wrongly assume they’re covered under their landlord’s insurance”

It’s called ‘personal responsibility’.  The landlord is not your mommy who needs to require you to get insurance.  If you required landlords to provide it it would just raise rental rates for everyone.  You are an adult – determine how much insurance you need and shop around for the best rate.  Stop making everything someone else’s problem.

Posted in Personal Responsibility | Comments Off on CBC: Most Toronto renters lack insurance

Ralph Klein: Miss Me Yet?

National Post: Alcohol and gambling top oil and gas revenues in Alberta

“Observers believe the province — facing a record $4.8-billion deficit this year — should get accustomed to a reduced royalty take in the coming years from conventional oil and gas”

Perhaps the province should get accustomed to cutting spending and setting competitive royalties rather than looking for the oil & gas industry to pay ‘it’s fair share’.

Posted in Free Markets, Small Government | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Governments Shouldn’t Pick Winers & Losers

Globe & Mail: Atlantic R&D loans remain largely unpaid

“About 90 per cent of federal loans given to the first group of Atlantic technology firms under a highly touted assistance program announced a decade ago are unpaid.”

Governments should not be in the business of picking winners and losers (in this case mainly losers) in the market place.  If the Government is the only one willing to invest in these businesses it is a clear sign that these are at a high risk to fail and tax dollars should not be put at certain risk.  We have many of these types of wasteful assistance programs and I would guess that the track record is the same for most of them.  Cut them all and then cut taxes accordingly.

Posted in Free Markets, Small Government | Tagged | Comments Off on Governments Shouldn’t Pick Winers & Losers

Bankrupt Health Care System

Globe & Mail: Survey finds most fear boomers will cripple health-care system

“Four in every five Canadians believe that the demands placed on the health system by aging Baby Boomers will result in reduced access and lower quality care, a poll commissioned by the Canadian Medical Association reveals.”

The health care system is crippled and is already bankrupt but no one will admit it.  In little more than a decade our elderly population will double and the policies of the past (and present) Governments are driving down the birth rate.  There are too few productive people to pay to maintain the current level of entitlements that we have.

You can blame overpaid doctors, unions etc. all you want but the reality is that the Government monopoly over health care is what is driving up costs and creating shortages.  We need a private system along side the public system where individuals with the means can pay out of pocket or purchase private insurance to provide their own coverage.  We can then focus the public system on those who cannot provide for their own coverage.

Posted in Free Markets, Small Government | Tagged | 1 Comment

Ontario $200 Billion Debt

CBC: Ontario debt tops $200B

“Ontario’s Liberal government ran a smaller deficit in 2009-2010 than predicted, but its debt is still well over $200 billion.

The province’s finance ministry said the numbers are mainly due to spending cuts and better-than-expected economic growth.

However, tax revenues were $6.4 billion below budget forecasts, reflecting the lagging impact of the recession and a weaker-than-expected economic performance.

Overall, the province’s debt grew by $35 billion to a record $212.1 billion in 2009-10.”

So which is it “better-than-expected economic growth” or “weaker-than-expected economic performance”?  You can’t have it both ways (hint: it’s the later).  Ontario’s debt is roughly 33% of it’s GDP!  With Ontario holding the balance of power in every single Federal election is it no surprise that the same tax & spend politicians are running the Country into the ground as well?

Further Reading: http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2010/03/california-usa-vs-ontario-canada-which_29.html

Posted in Small Government | Tagged , | Comments Off on Ontario $200 Billion Debt

Nanny Health Inspectors

Globe & Mail: Food regulations put small vendors in a pickle

“Anyone selling low-risk, home-prepared items, including baked goods, dried fruit, fresh produce, fudge or honey in a public place has to fill out a form listing the ingredients, the preparation process, how and where it was packaged, and a sample of the product label.

Health inspectors can then test the recipes to ensure the pH levels and water content are low enough to prevent food-borne diseases such as salmonella and E. coli. After the recipe is tested once, it can be used in perpetuity as long as it isn’t changed.”

The health inspectors resources could be better spent investigating actual complaints or known offenders.  The public interests could just as well be served with a simple requirements to the effect that a notice is posted stating “the products offered for sale have not been inspected by the heath department”.  The potential buyer then can make an informed decision regarding their purchase rather than the state deciding it for them.

Posted in Free Markets, Government Intervention, Nanny State | Tagged , | Comments Off on Nanny Health Inspectors