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The Progressive Economics Forum

Tim Hudak: Scott Walker wannabe

Tim Hudak is sounding — and looking — even more like Scott Walker these days.

The Ontario Conservative leader’s pledge to create one million new jobs sounds like a direct rip-off of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s promise to create 250,000 new jobs in his four year term.   Only the state, er province and numbers are different.

And how is the Koch brother-funded, union-busting Scott Walker’s promise shaping up?

Not too well.   With only a year to go, three quarters of the way into his term and he’s nowhere close, with only 42% of the promised 250,000 private sector jobs created.    Wisconsin was tracking well below average at 37th among American states in terms of private sector job creation last year.

Walker is already backtracking on his jobs pledge.  And he’s also blaming other factors for his lack  of achievement, including his recall election, the status of the Obamacare bill, and apparently the problems in Syria for the lack of jobs in Wisconsin.

Can we expect anything different from Hudak?

To see more resemblances and more on Hudak’s plans, it really is worth checking out OPSEU’s Made in the USA movie.

 

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Comments

Comment from the fris
Time: January 14, 2014, 5:54 pm

How does the Ontario Province lose 39,000 thousand jobs but hires 19,000 Government jobs.This is sad and sick.The Ontario Government spends 65 billion $ on government payroll.Half of there budget.THIS SUCKING SOUND of more unemployment is a result of to many unproductive people called Government.Tim Hudak has my vote if can cut government employment and allow the real economy grow.

Comment from Paul Tulloch
Time: January 14, 2014, 7:03 pm

Never in the history of Ontario have we created 1 million jobs in 4 years- or even that proportion prorated back over the population. And this during the great recession. So either he is thinking about some massive government intervention- which I would say is contrary to his destroy public service jobs mantra or he is going to reduce the length of the work week dramatically- which again is a pro- worker policy.

Or potentially he will make all full time jobs part-time? Or perhaps he will encourage even more precarious work dramatically increasing the current amount of several hundred thousand workers holding two or jobs- that could also work.

What a claim to make- which I hope gets trounced in the media as it is just irresponsible to make such estimates in this economic climate. Now if it were a left leaning party I could maybe believe such a policy.

Comment from Toby Sanger
Time: January 15, 2014, 12:12 am

To “the fris”:

Sir:

Thank you for your comments because they give me an opportunity to clarify some things and hopefully correct some misunderstandings.

Do you walk or drive on city streets or highways? Do you drink water from the tap or flush things down the drain? Do you use electricity from the grid? Did you or anyone in your family go to public school? Have you ever used Ontario’s health system? Do you receive mail? How about libraries, community recreation facilities or parks? Do you use money or banks that are regulated in Canada? Any sort of government assistance or public pensions?

Have you ever thought we have reasonably clean air, safe food, buildings etc. because of government regulations and enforcement? Do you rely on the police and justice system to keep our streets safe? Have you told your insurance company (if you have one) you’re going to fight any potential fires and threats without ever relying on fire, police or ambulance protection? Were you born in a hospital or with the assistance of any medical knowledge?

Are any of these things any less real than what you buy in a shopping mall?

These all involve what you call “unproductive people in Government”. While people like Hudak may try and demonize the government workers and the public sector, we all rely on them constantly to live our lives, to maintain a decent quality of life, to survive and hopefully also to thrive. They are just as essential and ultimately “productive” as what the private sector produces — and in mnay cases, moreso.

Much of what the Government does may seem invisible, and that’s because a lot of it is there to help in times of need, when people get sick, are unemployed or are beset with problems that can afflict any one of us.

The only thing I actually know about you is that you use the Internet and statistics. You may not know that the Internet was originally developed by the (U.S.) government. And those statistics? They come from “the Government” as well.

But may want to delve a bit deeper to understand what those statistics really mean. First of all, don’t rely on one month’s data of the Labour Force Survey to be reliable. Unfortunately previous government cutbacks (of the sort Hudak is preaching and Harper enacting) mean that the monthly jobs figures are no longer really reliable indicators of change, especially at a more derailed level. It says it in the finer print but few media outlets heed that because their job is to sell news and advertising.

If you look at the annual figures, you will see that public sector employment as a share of the economy was the same (19.6%) in 2013 as in 2012, lower than it was in 2011, and similar to the long-term average all the way back from 1976.

Despite increasing demands on our health care system, education, etc etc., our governments and public sector workers are doing more with the same or less.

They aren’t the reason business isn’t investing and creating jobs — far from it. The services government provides enables businesses to survive and grow, just as they do for people.

The problem is that a number of businesses/ corporations and wealthier individuals have too much extra money and they aren’t investing it in the economy to create jobs.

It’s not just me saying this. See my article published in The Toronto Star on Tuesday.

You should also read wehat experts have to say, and that is that we need more demand, more government spending and less austerity in order to make our economy more productive, such as “Explaining Slower Productivity Growth: The Role of Weak Demand Growth” in the International Productivity Monitor.

or other references or other posts on this blog, or listen to the former Governor of the Bank of Canada, or various Finance ministers expressing frustration that despite all they’ve done for them, businesses aren’t investing.

And Hudak isn’t going to make this situation any better. Instead, he’ll make it worse, far worse.

And next time you make use of or rely on one of those many services mentioned above, you may want to consider how fortunate we are to have them, maybe even give a little thanks and work to protect them, instead of demonizing them.

Comment from Charles
Time: January 15, 2014, 10:21 am

I must agree with the Author here. No government can create jobs by cutting jobs in the provincial or federal levels. Everyone talks about privatization of government owned corporations but no one looks at the downside of all this. For example: Let’s sell the LCBO!! Really, why would anyone think this is a good move to sell off a money making venture? Would prices on liquor really drop? Would we still be able to get the same variety of goods? Again, why sell the goose that lays the golden eggs for a couple of golden eggs?

Perhaps Mr Hudak is/was thinking that in the next 10 years about a million people will retire and therefore “he” will have created a million jobs.

Maybe if the government wanted to reduce our public debt they could eliminate the ridiculous green energy money sucking policy which is in place right now. How does selling energy at 1/10th the cost make money? Who is making money on the taxpayers’ backs here? You want to produce green energy, we will pay you 3 or 4 cents per kW hour so that we are not losing a fortune on this program.

What would happen if we started buying more Canadian goods? Would this not create more and better jobs? What if we invested in re-training people instead of hiring from outside our borders or sending jobs overseas? (Like the banks, telecommunications companies, etc. are currently doing)

I believe it is time for Canadians to stand up to our governments and tell them this is no longer acceptable. This needs to be done before we become a Third World country.

Comment from the fris
Time: January 15, 2014, 6:20 pm

Please don’t lecture me on the public service employment and there usefullness.There is a pandemic of ontario government employees.The bureaucracy built into this government is wrong. For example why do we have 75 school boards? Why does Ontario Hydro lay off line worker but can increase upper management jobs. Why do we continue to cut services but not this bloated government by at least 10%.This could free up around 6 billion $ . The problem is that the tail is wagging the dog.Also the majority of Ontario Unionized Workers are government workers.This must be resolved because ontario is BROKE and BROKEN.Also a footnote There are many many bad bad decisions made everyday.Does it ever cross government mind that they are bad at what they do.MAKING GOOD DECISIONS.

Comment from Erin Weir
Time: January 18, 2014, 1:55 pm

I noted the parallels between Hudak and Walker just past the 10-minute mark in this radio interview with Dale Goldhawk and just before the 23-minute mark in this TVO panel hosted by Steve Paikin.

Paul, Hudak’s promise is to create a million jobs over eight years (not four years).

Comment from Paul Tulloch
Time: January 18, 2014, 2:55 pm

I figured out it was 8 years- which is a bit of a strange election plank- did I miss something about election terms? Even the parameters of the election promise is a bit stretched- which is highly significant.

Sorry folks for the blunder- got caught in the double talk of Hudak, it will undoubtedly not be the last time given the stealth.

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