Saturday, July 14, 2007

Stealing our Children's Future

I live in BC. Our news papers this week boasted that tax cuts work because we had a record win fall in a revenue surplus this past year, and it was significant.

But, here's the truth as I see it. BC's economy was strong in the past because of our commodity based economy. It died a painful death as mines were closed due to poor commodity prices beginning in the 80s.

Commodity prices have been exceptionally strong and the commodity sector has been booming beyond people's wildest expectations. Check out the venture exchange commodity based businesses and read the line-up of Vancouver addresses.

Through this boom that is unmatched in our economic history our provincial debt has increased by $13 billion dollars, from $20 to $33 billion dollars. I am a teacher and I know our wage increases are far below inflation through these boom years. Relative funding for something as important as education has grossly declined through these boom years. Indeed, if you were to contrast our wages to Ontario you would find that BC teachers have a 17% higher workload and a %17 smaller wage, and we have the highest housing costs in Canada. It is enormously scary to see that massive increase in debt and to know we are have stressed important services pretty close to a breaking point, certainly beyond my breaking point as I work towards removing myself from the education sector. It makes me sick to think "what happens in a recession?"

They take credit for their policies for being responsible for our booming economy. $1 copper prices to $3.50 copper has nothing to do with it, it is about their tax cuts. We ought all shudder in our sleep at their inability to assess what has happened beyond their living in box the size of an atom with black hole walls that expand the universe.

So, this year we will see $1.3 billion paying down debt, debt that there was zero excuse to allow to increase in the first place, making us $12 billion further in debt in a booming world economy unprecedented in history.

Furthermore, people ought to know and check out Mr. Campbell's record on debt while mayor of the City of Vancouver.

Debt simply transfers this generations economic responsibility to the next generation and this government has stolen from children at unprecedented levels.

1 comment :

Jay Walker said...

Yes, our premier's seem to get both too much blame, and too much credit, for things going right and wrong in the province.

A lot of it is tied to commodity prices - especially when prices change dramatically from what they were over the past one to two decades. It takes a while to adjust the spending/slash the taxes to adjust to the "new paradigm".