All the recent polls in the Alberta election seem to indicate that the NDP (i.e. socialists) under Rachel Notley will form the next government of our fine province. Ms. Notley has vowed to fix the regulatory environment for the oilsands, to withdraw funding from “independent” schools, to spend more on infrastructure, roll back cuts to health care and education and raising the minimum wage to $15. This all sounds good, except:
- The planned regulatory re-evaluation will consist of “science-based” rules that will make “environmentally acceptable development” impossible because no one will be able to afford the level of investment her “scientists” will come up with to protect the environment. It will be an impossible task.
- The planned regulatory re-evaluation will consist of demanding local upgrading and refining, which is uneconomic when there is excess capacity in the rest of North America. the NDP also do not understand that pipeline crude oil is easy. Pipelining final refined products is hard because you have to ensure no contamination. This probably means more pipelines, not less. Government demands to couple upgrading to production will mean reduced investment in production because no one will want to waste money on upgraders when they can drill shale oil wells in the USA or Saskatchewan, or drill offshore Africa.
- Withdrawing funding from independent schools means no more charter schools and no more government money for private schools. Tuition at private schools will skyrocket, reducing the number of people who choose to go that route. It will force people back into the public system, which has been declining in quality for years because the Alberta Teachers Association, friends of the NDP, think teacher’s pensions and benefits are more important than educational outcomes.
- Spending more on infrastructure sounds good, until you realize that Ms. Notley plans to continue the PC’s method of not counting capital expenditures in the annual budget deficit, but still adding it to the debt. They will increase Alberta’s debt by $31 Billion by 2018, all while claiming they will “balance the books”.
- Rolling back cuts to health care and education, and other public servants is foolishness because Alberta already spends far more per capita for the public service than any other province. We need to CUT SPENDING and CUT THE NUMBER of public servants. We need REAL wealth creators, which is business, not government.
- Raising the minimum wage by 50% means the businesses that employ such low-cost and low-value added staff will need to reduce staff by 33%. If a worker cannot provide in excess of the minimum wage in equivalent value for that work, they will not be employed. Alternatively, businesses will need to raise prices for their goods and services to cover this extra cost. This means everyone who buys goods and services in Alberta will be poorer, and those who are suddenly making 50% more will not be better off at all, and a third of them will make nothing because they will be unemployed.
The attraction of the NDP is that they promise the impossible – money for nothing. They will spend without understanding money comes from economic development and that the state is a leach on the economy. Part of me is shocked that Albertans are foolish enough to vote NDP. Having watched the NDP run the economies of BC, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario in the ground over the last 40 years, I can’t imagine why anyone thinks the NDP are competent enough to run a government. Perhaps it is because Albertan’s have been insulated from that – except I know that many such Albertans came to this great province to ESCAPE the ravages of the NDP in those other jurisdictions. Perhaps Albertan’s need to know the pain of NDP government to understand what a disaster it will really be.
A few years ago, the Saskatchewan Party under Brad Wall correctly labelled the NDP and their platform in an election “The Job Killing Machine”. That is exactly what the NDP will be in Alberta. Saskatchewan should prepare for an influx of economic refugees and an dramatic increase in oil industry spending in your province. The tables are about to be turned in your favour.
To the Albertan’s who think voting NDP will be good for them, remember the wisdom of Frederic Bastiat, some 165 years ago:
The State is the great fiction through which everyone endeavours to live at the expense of everyone else.
Legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole — with their common aim of legal plunder — constitute socialism.
Prepare to be plundered by the government of Alberta.