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johnm





Joined: 05 Dec 2008
Posts: 86
Reputation: 117.6
votes: 2
Location: North Vancouver

PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:01 pm    Post subject: Canadian competitiveness and the future - customs union? Reply with quote

There was some noise a few weeks ago about getting Canada to be more competitive, and about lifting some foreign ownership rules that no doubt coddle a handful of companies at the expense of the Canadian consumer. Good first steps but more needs to be done. I recently got back from California and aside from better weather, had some more inspiration on the free market, which seems to be alive and well despite the downturn. That bustling free market gets choked right at the border - free trade agreement or not.

I can't help but think that the 40+ years or so of Liberal "natural governing party" attempts at building a national identity have given us nothing to show for it but a trifecta of labour, business, and government with its head up its ass and consumers left with higher costs of living and taxes to prop everyone else up. I count the current minority government in with the Liberal years because the Conservatives can't do much more than play defense, and not rise above the default Liberal agenda. To a large extent, Canadians get what they deserve for putting up with it and letting politicians try to define the national character.

Loosening the trade barriers and regulations, as well as improving labour mobility would be logical extensions to NAFTA but any such talk seems to be taboo and immediately the media and left wing think tanks conjure up the usual paranoid delusions. Has Canada grown up enough to shed its insecurities and be able to compete, integrate and prosper within its natural North American market?
kwlafayette





Joined: 03 Sep 2006
Posts: 6155
Reputation: 156.2Reputation: 156.2
votes: 28
Location: Saskatoon Saskatchewan

PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Umm, California is about the farthest thing from a free market that exists in the US. Are you sure you have the state right?

http://blogs.laweekly.com/lada.....-on-taxes/

They are pretty much out of prospects, and businesses and people have been upping stakes in high numbers. The rush to get out of California is on.

PS. http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_.....ck_check=1

Quote:
State Controller John Chiang issued a stern warning Friday about California's cash reserves, telling legislative leaders and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger they must act on nearly $9 billion in budget cuts the governor is seeking by March or the state will run out of cash to pay its bills.

Without making those cuts which Chiang says will pump $1.3 billion into the state's checking account California would be broke by April 1, no fooling.
johnm





Joined: 05 Dec 2008
Posts: 86
Reputation: 117.6
votes: 2
Location: North Vancouver

PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kwlafayette wrote:
Umm, California is about the farthest thing from a free market that exists in the US. Are you sure you have the state right?


It's all relative - BC is Cuba in comparison
FF_Canuck





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 3360
Reputation: 73.4
votes: 17
Location: Southern Alberta

PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnm wrote:
Loosening the trade barriers and regulations, as well as improving labour mobility would be logical extensions to NAFTA but any such talk seems to be taboo and immediately the media and left wing think tanks conjure up the usual paranoid delusions. Has Canada grown up enough to shed its insecurities and be able to compete, integrate and prosper within its natural North American market?

While I totally agree with the sentiment, one of the least acknowledged actual good moves in this budget is the dropping of all tariffs on over 1500 different items, mostly manufacturing inputs and machinery & equipment. I'd like to see a lot more 'unilateral free trade', but this is a good start.
Bugs





Joined: 16 Dec 2009
Posts: 5144
Reputation: 266.5
votes: 8

PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem with loosening trade barriers is that most of the world, right now, is erecting sets of non-tariff barriers to trade, and lowering their currencies., trying to get rid of their own surpluses for something, anything. Other country will be glad to sell to us, but will they buy from us? Anything but certain.

If we were smart, we would be preparing ourselves to be a haven for the waves of American technical manpower that could be leaving that country in the next few years -- if they have an alternative.

If we were willing to decrease the size of government rather than raise taxes, it would say something.
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