Both the Tories and the Grits have their full platform online and I was looking through it on the weekend. I could critique it, but there's nothing that exactly stands out as complete nonsense. Of course it's all nonsense, but it's not complete nonsense... the NDP on the other hand... Well I enjoy ripping apart their socialist ramblings so much that I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to critique their new platform. Here's the detailed version of how Jack Layton would turn Canada into a third-world communist nation.
There's 1.0 Give your family a break, 2.0 Reward the job creators, 3.0 Improve your family’s health services, 4.0 Tackle climate change, 5.0 Leadership in Canada, 6.0 Leadership on the world stage, 7.0 Fix Ottawa
Today we'll just focus on “Give your family a break”
1.1 Strengthening Pensions and Retirement Security
We will work with the provinces to bring about increases to your Canada/Quebec Pension Plan benefit, with the eventual goal to double the benefits you receive;
There ain't no such thing as a free lunch, Jack (TANSTAAFL!) Unless we're coerced into contributing more than there seems little possibility that our “benefits” will double. Of course, this section is aimed towards older generations. They could see their CPP benefits triple while younger generations are paying through the nose for a ponzi scheme we'll never benefit from.
We will work with the provinces to build-in the flexibility for you and your employer to make voluntary contributions to your individual public pension account;
Anything the State does is usually mandatory. I don't buy this “voluntary” shit anymore than the idea that the US income tax is “voluntary.” I'm going to need more information, Jack.
We will amend federal bankruptcy legislation to move pensioners and long-term disability recipients to the front of the line of creditors when their employers enter court protection or declare bankruptcy;
And thus create an incentive for employers to offer less or nothing at all in terms of pensions or disability perks. Not to mention blatant political influence of the judicial system, but we've come to expect that from all governments, NDP included.
We will increase the annual Guaranteed Income Supplement to a sufficient level in the first budget to lift every senior in Canada out of poverty immediately.
How do I even begin with something like this? I'll meet the NDP halfway – let's say this works and seniors are lifted out of poverty immediately. The only way to finance this is through wealth redistribution, so essentially the rich are subsidizing the poor. The rich (and by rich I mean anyone who is paying taxes and not receiving GIS) now have less to spend on productive sectors in the economy making everyone poorer as a result. These wealth redistribution schemes have been tried time after time in various countries throughout history. It never works.
1.2 Improving Family and Maternity Leave Benefits
We will provide a more flexible and generous Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefit to permit family members to take up to six months leave from work to tend to relatives near the end of their lives, up from the current six weeks;
Just like the Liberal proposal, this won't work. It's wealth destruction masquerading as an insurance policy. Allow private insurance companies to provide this and no one loses money and no guns are needed.
We will introduce a new Caregiver Benefit, modelled after the Child Tax Benefit, to assist low and middle-income families in tackling the costs of everyday needs while caring for elderly or dependant family members. Eligible family members will include children, spouses, parents and other family members, and will be able to receive up to $1,500 per year;
Again, wealth destruction. All these initiatives could be provided by private insurance companies where money is voluntarily invested into a pool where... do I really need to explain the basics of insurance? How economically illiterate are the NDP?
We will provide a more flexible and generous Employment Insurance benefit to permit family members to take leave from work to tend to relatives at home at the end of life;
If EI was privatized there'd be no limit to what it can offer. Consumer demands are unlimited, and as the economy grows these demands can be met. Government insurance schemes are a form of wealth destruction as governments cannot invest money; the State only consumes.
We will ensure that new parents who have taken maternity and parental leave are not penalized on Employment Insurance benefits once they return to work.
Good for you, Jack. My last few points should indicate how ineffective a proposal like this is.
1.3 Improving Access to Child Care and Post-Secondary Education
We will work with the provinces and territories to establish and fund a Canada-wide child care and early learning program, enshrined in law, with the following goals:
The creation of 25,000 new child care spaces per year for the next four years;
Don't forget your other obligations for health-care, senior care, housing, etc. etc. Don't put too much on your plate, Jack. Remember the State is just a giant bureaucratic apparatus – extremely inefficient and not very effective.
Improvements to community infrastructure to support the growth of child care spaces;
All paid for by violating private property rights and initiating force. Wanna give my family a break, Jack? Stop using violence to support children.
The creation of integrated, community-based, child-centred early learning and education centres that provide parents with a “one-stop shop” for family services.
Hey that sounds like a great idea, Jack! Why don't you take the honest route and raise money voluntarily for investment into this sort of thing?... Or you could force payment at gunpoint and set up these bureaucratic education centres where children are indoctrinated from an early age... Yeah, that sounds better.
We will make post-secondary education more affordable by directly attacking skyrocketing tuition costs with a designated $800 million transfer to the provinces and territories to lower tuition fees, as per the NDP’s Post Secondary Education Act;
Are the NDP fucking retarded? Any attempt to throw money at the problem of high tuition will only increase tuition. Subsidizing something only creates more of what is being subsidized. If the NDP want lower tuition costs, then they need to get government out of student loan programs and cut off all funding to post-secondary schools.
We will increase the funding in the Canada Student Grants Program by $200 million a year, targeting accessibility for Aboriginal, disabled and low-income students, in particular;
And watch the price of school skyrocket. There are a lot of private voluntarily-funded grant programs. Let's leave it at that.
We will raise the education tax credit from $4,800 per year to $5,760 per year to help with increasing education costs.
This is bound to have some sort of unintended consequence by perverting incentives. Plus $960 doesn't seem like a lot when most students are graduating $10,000 or more in debt.
1.4 Delivering Affordable Housing to Canadians
We will enact the NDP’s legislation to ensure secure, adequate, accessible and affordable housing for Canadians;
“Affordable housing” or “public housing?” Regarding the former, we're in the midst of a real estate bubble precisely because governments want to make everyone a homeowner. Regarding the latter, these public housing bureaucracies end up corrupt and costing the taxpayer more and more every year. In Toronto there's talk of privatizing public housing. I've written about how to do this logically.
We will restore funding for the homeowners Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP), and the Affordable Housing Initiative to increase the supply of affordable housing, in partnership with the provinces and territories;
This is how not to make housing affordable. All this does is create an underclass of subsidized Canadians. A better method is to remove all regulations on landlords and rents.
We will provide significant new funding for affordable and social housing.
The point of providing affordable housing for the poor is that someday they're supposed to raise themselves out of poverty and purchase their own home. This won't happen precisely because the more you subsidize something, the higher the costs. The higher the costs, the more likely it is to get subsidized.
1.5 Lowering Household Costs on Energy Bills and Renovations
We will introduce a home heating federal sales tax rebate to give your household budget a break;
Or just eliminate the sales tax altogether. Why mess with the tax code and make it more complicated? Cut spending and cut taxes: It's easy and it's effective.
We will introduce a permanent Eco-energy retrofit program to cut your home heating bills, reduce greenhouse gases and create jobs;
Make your house eco-friendly and get money from the government (or keep more of your own). It certainly sounds like a good idea, but in the long-run this makes us all poorer as it's a market intervention creating incentives that aren't naturally there. I could explain more, but I'm either preaching to the choir or I'm offending socialists that won't take any of my objections seriously.
We will provide an inter-generational Home Retrofit Program to help families retrofit their homes to accommodate senior family members.
What a stupid idea.
1.6 Cracking Down on Excessive Credit Card Rates and Bank Card Fees
We will ensure Canadians have access to credit cards with interest rates no higher than 5 per cent above prime;
Better idea: deregulate the credit card industry, the banking sector and other monetary institutions. Dismantle the Bank of Canada, recognize fractional reserve banking as fraudulent and legalize competing currencies. Get at the core of the problem, Jack. Stop reacting to the effects.
We will give federal financial regulators new powers to identify and ban excessive interest rates on credit cards, payday loans, store cards and other forms of consumer credit;
Bankers and financiers will find ways around the regulators – it's what they do. See above.
We will oblige lenders to provide clearer, easy-to-understand disclosure of the real costs of credit cards, store cards and payday loans;
“We will oblige lenders” is doublespeak for “We will force lenders at gunpoint”
We will end unfair bank and credit card transaction charges for both consumers and small businesses.
Reread the first point, Jack. Stop reacting to the effects and get at the core of the problem: monopolized fiat currency.
1.7 Re-instating the Federal Minimum Wage
We will re-introduce the federal minimum wage law, which was scrapped by the Liberal Party of Canada in 1996, to set a national standard of earning for those who make the lowest wages in our workforce.
The NDP support unemployment! ...how's that for a campaign slogan?
1.8 Helping Lift Children and Families out of Poverty
As a practical first step to eliminate child poverty, we will combine existing supports like the Child Tax Benefit to create a non-taxable Child Benefit and increase the support steadily by up to $700 per child over the next four years. This will be in addition to the current Universal Child Care Benefit;
A practical step to eliminate child poverty is to end these coercive programs that only exasperate the problem. Then we can allow market forces to do what it does best – raise living standards for all. In the event that there still is child poverty that's just sickening and terrible and evil and blah blah blah – let private charities raise funds voluntarily to help those in need. Profit-motive will weed out the bad and reward the good. No one will donate to a program that's failing to meet its objective. Under these government programs, payment isn't a choice.
We will table legislation that will set goals and targets for poverty reduction in consultation with the provincial, territorial, municipal and Aboriginal governments and with non-governmental organizations.
Pass all the legislation you want. Laws don't alleviate poverty.
1.9 Ensuring your Employment Insurance Benefits are There When You Need Them
We will extend Employment Insurance stimulus measures until unemployment falls to pre-recession levels;
You're going to be waiting a long time.
In practical steps and as finances permit, we will restore the integrity of the Employment Insurance program by amending the Employment Insurance Act to:
Eliminate the two-week waiting period;
Return the qualifying period to a minimum of 360 hours of work, regardless of the regional rate of unemployment;
Raise the rate of benefits to 60 per cent and basing benefits on the best 12 weeks in the qualifying period;
And improving the quality and monitoring of training and re-training.
Privatize that shit. It's the only path to prosperity.
And that's part one of the seven part series examining the NDP's lunacy. Come back soon, and bring your friends! Particularly your NDP friends. Show the world how anti-social socialism really is.