Perfection

CAR PAINT modified

Before we return to this pathetic blog’s regular program of bikes, babes and balanced portfolios, it’s time for a few words about Utopia. That, of course, is where we’ll be after the coming election if all the Dippers who’ve targeted this site in the last few days have their way. It will be delivered by their leader – a man who remortgaged his house on 11 occasions, increasing the debt each time, and now lives in a free mansion provided by the taxpayers.  If only, Mr. Mulcair says, we could be like Norway.

The N-argument loomed large during the recent election in Alberta, wherein the Tory government was handed its collective ass. The successful NDP told folks that Alberta – now staggering as global commodity prices have collapsed and oil has halved – the province had squandered its resources, succumbed to cronyism and profiteering, and should have been like run that Scandinavian country which gave us Vikings and pillage. But not Abba.

The Norwegians, people here keep saying, are happy little fjord-jumpers with cradle-to-grave social services, free education and a giant heritage fund because their nation has embraced socialism and rejected private enterprise. In short, it’s perfecton. Therefore it’s absolutely cool for the new Alberta premier to increase corporate taxation by 20% (from ten points to twelve), and ratchet in higher personal tax rates on those making over $150,000.

In fairness, it’s not just the NDP spreading this meme. The Trudeau Libs are at it, too. “The first thing we will do is raise taxation on the wealthy,” their young leader says, “so we can drop taxes for the middle class.” This stuff sells. Everybody hates 1%ers and corporations. Beating on them – those who usually start companies or create employment – is how to get elected these days.

But, back to Norway, where it’s true there is a big, fat sovereign wealth fund built through a nationalization of the oil industry. In fact, Norway turns out to be pretty much a one-trick pony. Its economy is dominated by a single industry – energy extraction – which is currently making paradise nervous. The commodity rout which shows no sign of ending is taking a serious toll on troll-land, just like Alberta.

NORWAY CRUDE

No wonder. Norway’s social spending is so extreme that taxes alone – even withering ones – are unable to sustain it. Oil has tanked in price while new investment in the industry (as in Alberta) has fallen sharply. Meanwhile, spending on the five million people who live there is so high the government is on the verge of dipping into its wealth fund (intended for when the black stuff runs out) in order to make ends meet. If it does not, some of those storied social programs will be kaput. Spending is now outstripping oil income – something that was not supposed to happen for a generation.

NORWAY FUNDS

Now this would all be mildly interesting – that the deities running Norway are hitting into the same wall as the cowboys in Alberta  – if the two treated their citizens similarly. But they don’t. Norway is one of the most heavily-taxed countries in the world, with the total burden equal to 45% of the economy. Personal income taxes are in the 55% range, even higher than the wealthiest Ontarians now fork over. Corporate profits range from 28% to more than 70%.

Worse, Norway has a 25% HST, which includes a 15% value-added tax on groceries. There are also local taxes and social security levies. Plus, Norway has a 1.1% wealth tax – which clicks in at the $130,000 mark – on top of income and sales taxes. In total, the average middle-class Norwegian family (there are no other kinds, of course) pays about $70,000 a year to the state. For that they get Canadian-style health care, free education and subsidized child care.

Norwegians also surrender privacy. The state publishes everyone’s tax return online in a searchable database, complete with birth dates and place of residence. This database also includes the net worth of all citizens, which must be real handy if you are into fraud.

So, here’s a place where the work week has dwindled to just 31 hours because, after all, why would you want to knock yourself out? To be taxed more and gain little reward? This is a country where eight of ten companies are state-owned, yet the current oil woes have pushed unemployment to an 11-year high.

The government says this: “The Norwegian tax system is based on the principle that everybody should pay tax according to their means, and receive services according to their needs.” So much for talent, or guts.

There are those who laud this. A bunch of them have come to visit us in the last few days. This is the world they seek, now quietly being constructed in Alberta. Maybe soon in Canada. If you want it, you know how.

336 comments ↓

#1 Unhinged Loon on 08.10.15 at 6:59 pm

Still voting NDP, lol.

#2 Randy on 08.10.15 at 6:59 pm

Great Post Garth …very enlightening !

#3 ILoveCharts on 08.10.15 at 7:03 pm

We’re in trouble folks. Vote Conservative.

#4 Love my Kia on 08.10.15 at 7:04 pm

Our dear leader PMSH has no one to blame but himself for the rebellion to the left.

#5 Tu, felix Austria on 08.10.15 at 7:05 pm

Garth, you obviously are not fond of Norway’s political and economic structure.
How about Austria’s?

#6 alex k on 08.10.15 at 7:08 pm

F–K

#7 Andrew on 08.10.15 at 7:08 pm

You’re exaggerating. The NDP would be committing political suicide if they raised the HST to 25%. If the NDP actually wins (I suspect that the polls are wrong) they will be a minority government and will be short lived. The polls are a fluke because of the Alberta NDP’s election win. I think that the Conservatives have a better chance of winning than the polls suggest. In Toronto the federal NDP seems to be unpopular outside their traditional downtown strongholds and the Conservatives seem to be winning the sign war right now.

#8 alex k on 08.10.15 at 7:09 pm

Garth, double space between F and K

#9 zedgt87 on 08.10.15 at 7:10 pm

Its unfortunate that advocates for a truly limited government are far and few between.

The monstrosity you just depicted can’t be any worse than what Harper has got going now.

#10 Jake Swanzla on 08.10.15 at 7:11 pm

Social programs should be capped at no more than 30% of the economy.

This is being quite generous. If they don’t do that then you might as burn the whole country to the ground.

#11 Smartalox on 08.10.15 at 7:11 pm

Stephen Harper’s government’s tax policies are probably the best thing he’s got going for him. Except when he manipulates the tax code to hoodwink voters, like cutting the Child tax benefit while simultaneously introducing the (fully taxable) UCCB.

If it weren’t for the sliminess, the duplicity, the secrecy, the perversion of values in the name of dogma, or the fact that Stephen Harper in Parliament is like the guest star on the Muppet show – the one live actor surrounded by a cast of comical puppets – then I might consider voting for his party.

But then again, my (Conservative) MP is so terrible, that practically any other candidate could be ‘the best man/woman for the job’, so I won’t.

Stephen Harper: #nobodybelievesyou

#12 Rainclouds on 08.10.15 at 7:11 pm

Pretty Simple:

The Cons grow a set and turf the psychopathic thug that leads them.

Given the entire country reviles Tubby (aside from the bible thumping idiots who believe in imaginary friends and the rapture)

The deep pool of Conservative talent that Harper has developed in the 9 years of rule leaves them in great shape. Oh Wait………..Moore is gone.

Minority Govt this time, Herr Harper dethroned, A human with ethics next perhaps?

#13 ed on 08.10.15 at 7:11 pm

Hmmmm, Norway sounds like a plot for “Greece II”; the Canadian version due late 2015.

By the way, is the Rhino party still around? They seem like a healthy alternative. I think their mandate was to declare war on Belgium for publishing a comic book wherin a rhino as killed. Or, the levitating Natural Law Party; at least they are honest about their delusions…

Hey Garth, who do you favor this election?

#14 Zed on 08.10.15 at 7:12 pm

I will stay away from the comments section until November. I can’t stand cry babies and victims.

I will stay diversified.

#15 Love my Kia on 08.10.15 at 7:13 pm

And back to regularly scheduled programming, renting isn’t all that its cracked up to be either, even if the strategy is to put more $ into investments.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/real-estate-dreams-dashed-priced-out-and-resigned-to-renting-1.3180437

#16 Frank on 08.10.15 at 7:14 pm

I’m no fan of the social paradise dream being pushed but you totally fail to back up why this is wrong.

I would pay a 99.9% tax rate if I got a free mansion and Ferrari from the government. I wouldn’t pay a 5% tax rate if I had no hospitals or road available and had to have a thick wall to prevent poor people from trying to rob me. So obviously tax rate is just a number that only means something in comparison to what you get for it.

Norwegians pay a lot of tax but like you said they have free school and child care. What’s the difference in end? How’s their discretionary spending compared to ours? Crime rates? Vacation time?

We all agree that spending time with loved ones, scotch and pets are the greatest things in the world so are the Norwegians doing more or less of it than us? Instead of anything throwing out of context numbers around lets do a proper analysis.

#17 4 AM Sunrise on 08.10.15 at 7:15 pm

Does anybody want these stats? An inactive realtard posted one link to social media so I extrapolated the other URL’s from that one. And sorry, Surrey fans, I couldn’t figure out that one URL for the life of me:

http://members.rebgv.org/realtorlink/rebgv/statscentrereports/vancouver-west.pdf
http://members.rebgv.org/realtorlink/rebgv/statscentrereports/vancouver-east.pdf
http://members.rebgv.org/realtorlink/rebgv/statscentrereports/richmond.pdf
http://members.rebgv.org/realtorlink/rebgv/statscentrereports/ladner.pdf
http://members.rebgv.org/realtorlink/rebgv/statscentrereports/burnaby-north.pdf
http://members.rebgv.org/realtorlink/rebgv/statscentrereports/burnaby-south.pdf
http://members.rebgv.org/realtorlink/rebgv/statscentrereports/new-westminster.pdf
http://members.rebgv.org/realtorlink/rebgv/statscentrereports/north-vancouver.pdf
http://members.rebgv.org/realtorlink/rebgv/statscentrereports/west-vancouver.pdf
http://members.rebgv.org/realtorlink/rebgv/statscentrereports/sunshine-coast.pdf
http://members.rebgv.org/realtorlink/rebgv/statscentrereports/coquitlam.pdf
http://members.rebgv.org/realtorlink/rebgv/statscentrereports/port-coquitlam.pdf
http://members.rebgv.org/realtorlink/rebgv/statscentrereports/port-moody.pdf
http://members.rebgv.org/realtorlink/rebgv/statscentrereports/maple-ridge.pdf

#18 Julie K. on 08.10.15 at 7:16 pm

No, er, way!?!

#19 pinstripe on 08.10.15 at 7:17 pm

harpo is practicing what he plans for Canada.

The same practices were applied to alberta politics.

Many Albertans said ethat enough is ENOUGH. What will most Canadians say?

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/News/politics/Tories+order+people+attend+Stephen+Harper+events/11279696/story.html

#20 DH on 08.10.15 at 7:17 pm

Rising consumer debt is a sign of confidence in the economy, with little evidence to suggest it’s reaching a crisis point, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said.

Harper Says Canada’s Consumer Debt Shows Confidence Not Crisis

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-29/harper-says-canada-s-consumer-debt-shows-confidence-not-crisis

#21 Emma Zaun - GreaterFool Unpaid Intern #007 on 08.10.15 at 7:18 pm

Oh Garth, you are such a prick!

We’re still cleaning out the inbox from yesterday’s post, with over 300 postings so far, plus the usual threats to Bandit, this time all involving NDP re-education camps for puppies.

And now you go and poke the bear, again!!!

WHY!!???

We DO have lives, you know, places to go, attractive clean-shaven men to buy us dinner and the like.

All that is off for tonight, with yet another likely flood of editing duties and CSIS referrals for your hate mail.

And you “promised” us that it would be a “nice relaxing August, socialist European style” where everyone takes the month off and we might only have to worry about a hundred letters a day, plus wiping the spittle off your chin occasionally when you read Mark.

All that’s off until when – after the election, now that you have become a political provocateur once again?

Next posting, stick with balanced investing, ETFs, CREA lies and puppies, you dumbass, so we can get some bloody rest!

You can be such a jerk :(

#22 Ken Nash on 08.10.15 at 7:19 pm

I always though Norway had some huge diversified invested fund. Utopia ruined. This whole election thing is getting too confusing. I’m going to keep it simple and shallow: The New Blue is Green

#23 Don Santilli on 08.10.15 at 7:21 pm

Ask Kevin Sorbo’s father why he left Norway to come live in the U.S. ?

Maybe it was because he did not like to be treated as equally poor.

#24 observer on 08.10.15 at 7:23 pm

So single people will help pay for other people’s child care according to the opposition parties….how about a bachelor/ette subsidy to make up for lack of income splitting etc. They can shove it….I’m voting Conservative.

#25 John on 08.10.15 at 7:24 pm

Eh, Chill. Norway’s ways are the least of our worries. It’s over and Canada’s Cons were riding shotgun not the NDP nor the Libs. As Gartho pointed out, what Dief did to Libs when an election was held during a recession is very much on the table this time out. Remember, it was the Con high rollers who jumped into the 40 year mortgage fantasy and who opened up the low/no interest rate spigots.

#26 Freedom First on 08.10.15 at 7:24 pm

Learn something new every day. Knew a lot about Norway, but I didn’t know about their surrender of privacy. OMG.

I was just thinking about the Russian workers and what they said before the so called fall of the iron curtain years ago. The Russian workers back then, said: “They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work.”

I have, and will, always put my own Freedom First.

#27 smallybells on 08.10.15 at 7:27 pm

Does Norway getting taxed so heavily really matter? They are the happiest country on earth (http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mef45ejmi/01-norway/)

Maybe happiness comes from people knowing they earn roughly the same as their neighbours. Perhaps unhappiness results from people knowing that some CEOs earn hundreds of multiples their own salary.

#28 Steerage Bilge on 08.10.15 at 7:28 pm

Well that will froth up the steerage section.

It’s all Harpo’s fault of course for being such a nasty small minded piece of work.

#29 Property Accountant on 08.10.15 at 7:28 pm

Hi Garth,

Great summary on Norway. Just wanna add few facts to put things into perspective.
– 11 year high unemployment stands at 4.4% (ouch)
– Entire Population 5.17 million

I do not think they are hurting that much.

(source : http://www.tradingeconomics.com/norway/unemployment-rate)

#30 X on 08.10.15 at 7:29 pm

I would far rather have the option to work more, to earn more. Or study for a higher education level to get a better job and income.

No American Dream for the NDP is there…..

Earn more, get taxed more, receive no more. No Thanks.

Oh wait, you offered universal child care, why should my neighbour subsidize my child care costs….

#31 saskatoon on 08.10.15 at 7:30 pm

“The Norwegian tax system is based on the principle that everybody should pay tax according to their means, and receive services according to their needs.”

mitigated code for:

“The Norwegian tax system is based on violence: FORCING everybody to pay the maximum amount of tax it can manage–with this stolen money, the state will create propaganda (like this) and provide special interest services according to ITS needs.”

socialism/poli-sci 101 :

don’t use clear language!

obfuscate!

obfuscate!

#32 Smoking Man on 08.10.15 at 7:30 pm

I’m going to add a candidate to my ballot.
Penciling in DONALD TRUMP with a little square box and carefully place my X within it.

Then what the hell.. ROB FORD as running mate…

#33 stage1dave on 08.10.15 at 7:34 pm

Great pic, Mr. Turner! I’ve actually done that, but in a 2 door; & by some strange coincidence the blue basecoat matched the blue seat material…wife still wasn’t impressed. Don’t leave solvent base paint in direct sunlight! haha

I appreciate the info on Norway as well; but I’m not certain to many dipper supporters here are that extreme…I know I’m certainly not. I am a large fan of “socialism” for those who need it, permanently or (hopefully) temporarily, & believe that a civilized society should organize it’s resources intelligently enuff that the funding is there to pay for it.

(and not categorically exclude individuals or groups from participating because of ideological-or any-belief systems)

There’s a large segment of the population who doesn’t require much “help”, however; due to talent, luck, hard work, inheritance, great physical beauty, or winning of the DNA lottery. (I’m in this group, because of some talent, a bit of hard work, & some luck…we all need a bit of that)

Not “rich” but not poor, OK with sometimes giving up a bit of my “fortune” so someone else has a decent chance, & I enjoy the freedom to be able to make those decisions, based on my experience. (sometimes CRA makes those decisions for me, btw)

I think most of the discussion here about Norway has been over their dilligent collection of taxes to fill that resource fund; & why AB hasn’t pursued some form of the same; and NOT about organizing Canadian society along the same lines as they have. This is not a “zero sum – either or” decision.

Surely some accommodation can be reached between the socialists & the wealth addicts BEFORE my pathetic CRA return gets posted on the interweb, or I wind up as a middle-management trainee at the XYZ corporation?

Not sure which would be worse…

#34 Linda on 08.10.15 at 7:35 pm

An average 31 hour work week – so, does that mean just over 6 hours per day Monday through Friday, or does that mean most Norwegians work a 4 day work week? Have to say, working less & enjoying life more (one hopes) is not an unattractive proposition. Work has value beyond a paycheck – there are social & health related benefits due to having an established routine – but taking time out to smell the roses isn’t a bad idea. Last I heard, those Norwegians rock when it comes to healthy lifestyles. Or is that data no longer relevant?

#35 Canadian on 08.10.15 at 7:35 pm

The politics of resentment and jealousy find fertile ground in Canada. Resentment of the rich, of the powerful (US), whatever it is.

#36 MSM-Free Zone on 08.10.15 at 7:37 pm

Just think, if the Harper ReformaCons had stuck to their 2006 campaign promises of openness, transparency, democracy and free markets, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now.

Which means they were never (c)onservative to begin with; only pirates pillaging the country under a stolen flag of convenience.

They need to be plank-walked to make room for the real thing.

#37 Rainclouds on 08.10.15 at 7:37 pm

#14 Zed

You are making an assumption that anyone cares. They don’t.

#38 Steve French on 08.10.15 at 7:38 pm

Norway– yeah that place is a real hell on earth.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/23/swiss-reign-supreme-in-world-happiness-ranks

#39 El Gartho Magnifico on 08.10.15 at 7:41 pm

You’re making it sound like raising taxes on rich corporations from a measly 10% to an equally-measly 12% is the second coming of Stalin or something.

I don’t get it, dude. You’re a multi-millionaire, and as far as I know all you have is dogs to leave it to. Why are you so concerned with money all the time, why are you so obsessed with hoarding? I mean this as beyond the profession you do, obviously you deal with financial matters. But I mean this constant obsession with money, taxes, and private mine-mine-mine accumulation of money, endlessly, beyond what is reasonably required.

So what in the world are you saving up for? I thought the Hummers Harleys and babes were a running joke, do you really have a million-dollar lifestyle? It sounds like you have everything you could ever want. A loving partner that’s been with you forever. A nice home, rented or not doesn’t matter. A hella-cushy job where noone micromanages you and which I’m sure pays very very well. I don’t get it. Are you legitimately afraid you’ll live to be 200 or something, and you need 100 million dollars to maintain the hummers and hoes lifestyle, as you like to joke? You think the ooga booga “socialists” are coming for your retirement money, or what? I mean you write like a man genuinely TERRIFIED, and I can’t figure out why. After so many years on this earth, after so much experience, you still think corporations exist out of altruism, just to create jobs? Still think we need to worship rich people like gods because all prosperity springs out of their assholes or something? I mean, really now…

I’ve been reading your stuff for years and I still can’t figure you out, like what your schtick is, your motivation when it comes to this dogma stuff. You can’t just seem to let it go, every jab you can take, you take. Just like Harper. But unlike Harper, I can’t figure out what you gain out of it. I see you insult your readers every day for holding a different opinion. Why? You have an audience larger than anybody you’ve ever worked with. Why shit on them? Why preach to them so dogmatically, so harshly? I get it, tough love is needed sometimes to get people to save money, because God knows you can’t live on the measly CPP payment of 600 a month, a social program from an era where everyone could make coin if they wanted to, and corporate pensions and unions were everywhere.

The only constant theme behind this dogma, and all this drama, is money. More for me, less for everyone else seems to be the order of the day. Greed is good. Gordon Gekko. Nothing is wrong if it makes money. Nothing is worthwhile if it doesn’t. Oh, you studied art? How worthless is that? Should have gone and been a plumber! Who cares if you’re a frail girl with an 80 pound frame, construction work is our savior! A nation of carpenters and CEOs.

This stuff is some real disturbing type of hyper-selfish modern social darwinism where money is good, taxes are bad, and by extension anyone (even a non-living entity like a corporation) must certainly be doing something right if they have it, and by extension wrong if they don’t. Just world fallacy. Passing judgement so very easily. So strongly convinced of things for which there is little evidence.

Money may not be evil, but the love of money sure is.

It’s a financial blog. Deal with it. — Garth

#40 TurnerNation on 08.10.15 at 7:42 pm

Want free cash? Sign up for a cut (legal graft?) when shaking at front doors:

“The successful applicant will be required to approach each home in a designated area of the Town, to register dog owners and provide a license for each dog. We require a commitment to have the work completed by the end of August. Collectors will be compensated by being paid 40% of the fees they collect.”

#41 saskatoon on 08.10.15 at 7:43 pm

#16 Frank

“I would pay a 99.9% tax rate if I got a free mansion and Ferrari from the government.

why would you surrender your freedom like this? do you have no self-respect? is a ferrari worth the massive governmental brutality it would take to achieve such a tax rate?

let me guess: you don’t have enough money to buy these things yourself: SOOOOO…you are A-OK using government violence to rationalize your own lack of skill/success and steal from those who have more than you?

but who cares , right? your cruisin’ around in your new “free” car…looking like “everybody” else.

“Norwegians pay a lot of tax but like you said they have free school and child care. ”

it’s NOT FREE dinglenut! let me repeat:

N. O. T. F. R. E. E.

“We all agree that spending time with loved ones, scotch and pets are the greatest things in the world”

many do. but many don’t. typical anti-logic. who are YOU to say what “we” likes? WHY do you think in these sociopathic terms?

#42 alph on 08.10.15 at 7:43 pm

the sky is not going to fall in Alberta because people voted NDP. A lot of Albertans watch Norways’s $900 Billion (US) sovereign fund in envy. The sky fell for the tired Alberta conservatives like it did for the former Socreds. One can only hope it will for Harper as well- not so much for the economy, but because of his flagrant abuse of democracy – from Omnibus bills to Supreme Court fights. From my point of view, I’d rather be less rich and be happy. Money is certainly not everything.

#43 Gulf Breeze on 08.10.15 at 7:44 pm

I would be fine with being taxed at 55%. My income is around 100,000. per year. My house is nearly paid off and I have a home down South.

I rarely shop, read a lot, don’t drive a car and don’t have kids. Why do I need more than 45,000. per year to live on? I’m serious. If I had cradle to grave security it would be all the sweeter.

As long as the tax dollars are intelligently distributed, I am happy to be taxed more. I don’t get why people get bent out of shape about it.

The consummate consumers, who have lots of ‘stuff’ that will end up in a land fill one day anyway and who bitch about how high their taxes are, amuse me. They seem, more than anything, profoundly immature.

Homeless sleep on storm grates. The mentally ill can’t get proper care. Far too many struggle on minimum wage and an entire generation of younger people are disenfranchised.

I will be voting for Mulcair and praying we do become more socialist, while others cross their fingers and pray for a coach purse, new Mercedes, or an RV.

I know I am not alone. Many people in my demographic feel the same way and don’t mind the hit to their wallet. We want a kinder, less mean, less Americanized way of life.

#44 nonplused on 08.10.15 at 7:45 pm

The Norwegian miracle was always based on revenues from oil exports. Without that they would be a very poor country with none of those services.

The problem with any type of socialism is that there must be a vast source of wealth to fund it.

Let’s go back to Adam Smith for a second to recap economics 101.

There are 3 main drivers of wealth or prosperity:
1 – Human labor and ingenuity
2 – Natural resources both renewable and non-renewable
3 – Investment of 1&2 in productive equipment, other improvements or innovation

Norway has for a long time only had number 2. They sold excess resources to fund their dream and never did invest in 1&3. Without all 3, an economy must rely on trade with a stronger economy that has 1&3 but is short 2. This is what Norway did. Now that they can’t get a bid on their oil, they are in trouble.

Canada is not far behind because that has been the game plan across most of the nation for a long time too. Sure we have some manufacturing but the bulk of it goes in to building equipment for extractive industries. The rest of it is consumer products owned by foreign companies think the auto industry. Oh sure, the odd company like RIM comes along with their Blackberry but look what happens when global competition takes an interest in their market. Apple got famous (and saved itself) making media players. They stuck a phone chip in their media player and blam! RIM was on the rocks.

This is an example of why I think “research and innovation” is such a dumb hope. Sure, we can and have done it, but so does everybody else who has access to #1 above. It’s a challenging field. If you have resources, it makes sense to sell them first.

I read a mainstream article today claiming TELSA is loosing about $4,000 on every car they sell. So even innovators in the electric car area have a tough go. If they ever get market share sufficient to raise the price by $8,000 and make a profit on every car they sell, guess who else has electric car prototypes and have been playing around long enough to know how they work? GM, Ford, Nissan, Toyota, etc. But somebody will have to sell them lithium for the batteries so there will be mines. Oh and coal to run the power plants to charge the batteries. Or maybe they can charge the batteries using solar panels but then you still need mines to get the materials to make the panels.

Canada could become a technical center like California but only if we can do it cheaper and better. If not, we need to sell them raw materials for their products.

#45 H on 08.10.15 at 7:46 pm

Last week all the talking heads were on the demise of the commodities on how the usdollar was going to the moon.

Funny how one weekend changed things. You might want to read up Garth.

The winds have shifted….

#46 BobC on 08.10.15 at 7:47 pm

I’ve been reading this blog for well over 3 years. The last couple of days have blown me away. I’m just now figuring out who the Canadian people really are.

#47 El Gartho Magnifico on 08.10.15 at 7:48 pm

I forgot to add, regarding corporate taxes in Alberta going from 10% to 12%. This doesn’t even take Alberta to where they used to be less than 15 years ago in terms of corporate taxation, and you’re acting like the NDP are a bunch of wildcat lenin-worshippers who are doing unstable untested crazy things. This doesn’t even take Alberta to the taxes it used to charge corporations in 2000. Are we supposed to forget? Like in Orwell’s 1984, where the past is scrubbed to make the present look less shitty.

I really resent how you paint everyone with hope as cray utopians and marxist cultists, when they’re only guided by the kind of capitalism we used to have a few decades ago, when widespread prosperity was possible and thus we know for certain that it’s possible to have it again.

Yesterday you told a commenter not to lecture you about political bravery. Touche. You certainly have balls the size of watermelons for how you stood up to our pudgy wannabe-Napoleon. But where is your bravery now, if you’re afraid to even roll back the clock on taxation policy by a mere 10 years? You really think things are so much better now than 10 years ago that it’s not going back on any policies?

#48 raisemyrent on 08.10.15 at 7:50 pm

my other half isn’t here (she lived there), but don’t forget it actually is quite grey in Norway. In every sense of the word (think Edmonton in the… just Edmonton). Tough to pay all those taxes for that. Sort of like the BC sunshine tax. except here it all goes to government scum and unions.
We have a double mentality here, we want social programmes european style because we value them as a society. But we don’t want high taxes, american style, because every one for their own. not one system is perfect. except communism. that went over well.

btw our canadian style healthcare includes not covering prescription drugs? didn’t think so. aren’t we just about the only developed country that doesn’t?

also, don’t you mean Corporate TAXES range from 28% to more than 70%.

#49 james on 08.10.15 at 7:50 pm

” everybody should pay tax according to their means, and receive services according to their needs”

What a terrible deal for those with means and few needs.

A great deal for those with many needs.

I was recently over in Eastern Europe, where you can see the splendour created by economic policies that are heavily redistributionist. As in Venezuela, the presence of oil is the only thing keeping Norway in the black. Take that away and you see that it is a poorly diversified economy.

One thing people fail to understand is that governments do not deliver ‘services’ in the way a private sector entity does. If your mechanic fails to fix a problem, UPS does not deliver a package or your cosmetic surgeon messes up, you have a recourse against them.

If your universities are lousy, your police services are incompetent and corrupt, and your GP is lousy, you have no recourse. Your contributions are involuntary, and you have no way of seeking redress.

We have seen in Canadian healthcare that having physicians bill the government for patient care creates perverse incentives that encourage fraud and discourage customer service. Why anyone would want this replicated throughout the entire economy is beyond me.

#50 pinstripe on 08.10.15 at 7:51 pm

I live in the alberta heartland industrial area and am witness to the good and bad things the big corp industries have done to the area.

since the peter lougheed days I have been a strong advocate for conservative values and the need for the private sector to be stewards of the land, water, and air. job creation was strongly reinforced. all that changed for me in the last alberta election. I did not vote conservative because the pc policies will screw many of the young generations down the line.

since the global economy took root and harpo as pm, the conservative values and steward label have gone done the drain. take a good look at the O&G performance in alberta. there is a big gap between what the big corps say in private and what they say in public. the truth is flooded with political correctness. the citizens of alberta have been betrayed by the ;policies of the ab pc’s.

Many Albertans said that enough is ENOUGH.

In alberta the pc’s party is DEAD. the WRA is maintaining a low profile but they are the same old, same old. the ctf is no where to be found.

Rachel will have her hands full dealing wieth the mess left behind. the corruption left behind by dthe pc’s will be a challenge.

at this stage anyone will be better than the pc’s.

#51 calgaryPhantom on 08.10.15 at 7:52 pm

Canada’s real problem is being stuck in the neutral gear. Neither socialist nor capitalist. Ultimately, we will have to pick a path and just go with it.

#52 Grooby on 08.10.15 at 7:52 pm

Norway has nearly 1 trillion in the oil fund, for a population of 5 million. The fund is diversified. Apparently the fund owns 1.3% of ALL globally listed companies.

Dipping into it for the bad times is what it is for as well. They are no where near in a problematic state (or as some ignoramus mentioned, “Greece II”.

They also have the happiest population of any western country. They work 31 hours a week because that provides work life balance.

NDP would never be able to do that here. If only we could be so lucky (and happy).

http://m.huffpost.com/ca/entry/4576887

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/27/norway-sovereign-fund-reduce-coal-assets

#53 Van Isle Renter on 08.10.15 at 7:52 pm

I’d vote Green Party if only they’d give up on the anal fixation that they have about CO2. There is absolutely no real world data that CO2 is anything other than plant food.

And computer simulations of IMPENDING DOOOMMM!!! are as scientifically meaningful as a computer simulation of the next winning 6/49 numbers.

Sorry Elizabeth May, I can’t stand Harper, but I can stand politicians who can’t tell science from fraud even less. And that goes for Trudeau and Mulcair too.

Harper gets my vote. Not because he earned it through good goveranace, but because he can tell that Obama is lying and doesn’t want Canadians to contribute to the Obama Legacy.

#54 Smudgekin on 08.10.15 at 7:53 pm

I know who’s got the cutest butt and it’s got to be the Trudeau boy.

And ya know Norways got mountain trolls and those giant invasive king crabs from the Soviet era. Denmark had Vikings but their modern day hyyge ain’t that great. Did you know only Danish born can buy coastal cottages? No foreigners or Norwegian.

#55 sideline sitter on 08.10.15 at 7:53 pm

There has got to be a middle ground. I will not accept the status quo or Norway as the only two options.

With us or against us is poison

#56 Canadian on 08.10.15 at 7:54 pm

#16 Frank on 08.10.15 at 7:14 pm

I’m guessing your job is something like lower-middle manager or software monkey or something. I can’t imagine too many brain surgeons are just excited as heck to work their ass off and spend a decade in school to be taxed at 99.9%.

For the desk jockeys and gas station attendants it probably sounds like a pretty good deal. They can coast in their low stress job and have big daddy gov pick up the slack.

But I doubt a society like that has much in the way of innovation, and probably serious brain drain. Why bother?

#57 weedeater on 08.10.15 at 7:54 pm

omg Garth, if there were actually a conservative government or rational alternative rather than Mulcair or Trudeau, you think people would choose these two? If NDP gets in the blame is 100% on Harper for being a total dipshit. Voters have little choice, given the devil and the deep, they’re choosing the deep. Having seen the devil:Harper.

#58 james on 08.10.15 at 7:54 pm

#39 saskatoon

Agreed. ‘Free health care’ is preposterous. It is only ‘free’ for those who pay no net tax (e.g., grandparents of immigrants who are brought over in ‘family reunification’, extremely low income people, students, etc). For the rest of us, there is certainly a cost, and one we do not control.

Given that the Canadian health care system is ranked near the bottom of public health care systems, we hardly get value for the dollar compared to switzerland, singapore, the UK, etc.

#59 grey swam on 08.10.15 at 8:00 pm

It wasn`t so-called socialism that created the finanicial
problems of the world….95% of the debt that could not be paid back was private….who needs glass-steagle act??
With more money lent out by the banks through effective lobby in Washington….
We see big money-business being a big play with conservatives by increasing the election campaign dates!!
The greed still continues!!
By the way Norway was not wealthy before oil was discovered, but they have made the most of their good fortune!!

#60 TJM on 08.10.15 at 8:03 pm

I’ve been waiting for Garth to explain why the Norwegian economic model is so awful. But this is pretty thin soup.

It seems to me that, even if Norway’s tax burden were some kind of nightmare, there’s a lot of room between where we’re at and where they are.

If anything this post illustrates that we have a lot of room to raise taxes and to keep a bigger share of the proceeds from the resource that we own in the first place.

Plus, Garth doesn’t seem to count a 31-hour work week as one of the benefits alongside health care and free school and daycare. Seems to me that’s a benefit… indeed high marginal tax rates are arguably a manifestation of diminishing returns and a signal to stop working so much.

I lived in Denmark for a semester, a place with a similar tax regime (and not even any oil, by the way.) People seemed pretty happy there.

I’m open to hearing why this actually doesn’t work, but this post doesn’t do it.

#61 Boombust on 08.10.15 at 8:03 pm

#1,

I’m voting NDP, too!

Time for a change!

#62 Timmy on 08.10.15 at 8:05 pm

How much is in the Heritage Trust Fund that the Cons pissed away and neglected? How much is in Norway’s fund? Funny you neglected to mention this.
What did the Cons do to diversify the economy beyond sucking resources out of the ground, given we all know things go in cycles?

#63 dontcallmeshirley on 08.10.15 at 8:10 pm

Garth mentioned “talent” and “guts”. Remember when living in glass houses…

List for yourself the most significant and substantial Canadian companies that started up in the last 25 years.

Pretty pathetic list isn’t it? Any talent or guts there?

#64 jess on 08.10.15 at 8:10 pm

http://www.nbim.no/en/the-fund/
Strategic allocation norway

Guidelines are set for the fund to hold 60 percent of its assets in equities, 35 percent to 40 percent in fixed income and up to 5 percent in real estate.

The fund’s market value 7 223 billion nok
1 US Dollar equals
8.20 Norwegian Krone

5.084 million (2013)
Norway, Population

#65 Nicehair on 08.10.15 at 8:11 pm

The more i read about harper vs mulclair debate on this blog, the more i like Justin. Maybe he’s not ready but his party at least has some experience and he will not take decisions alone.
Harper and cons are not able to balance the budget, Tom and his unions are going to give free shit on our next generation ‘s moneyz, Justin seems to be in between at least to me, correct me if I’m wrong

#66 Bby604 on 08.10.15 at 8:13 pm

Oh no! Never here in canada , there’s nothing to be learned from those crazy blonde northern euros. Have you seen the condition of our First Nations reserves or the child poverty rate ? But hey they raised corp tax to 12 percent how dare they ….The horror…..get a grip

#67 Lee on 08.10.15 at 8:13 pm

No. 17,

It appears it has reached the level of insanity in Vancouver.

#68 Mike Macklezone on 08.10.15 at 8:18 pm

Garth, what is the “sweet spot” income to get the absolute most from the Govt (NDP) and pay the least amount in taxes? This is my new goal now, the new way to the best life!! Anything more is working too hard, anything less is not working hard enough..but the dial is moving toward the former with these political winds of change. I’m going to enjoy riding that tailwind!

#69 Leo Trollstroy on 08.10.15 at 8:18 pm

Still don’t know who I’m voting for.

Kind of hoping NDP get into power and take the full brunt of the collapsing Canadian economy.

The next party in power is guaranteed to be ruined.

Not sure who I want it to be. Yet.

#70 Ray Skunk on 08.10.15 at 8:19 pm

My riding, both provincially and federally, is as orange as you can get. Much to my surprise, in the last provincial election (Ontario, btw), the Liberal candidate came within a couple of hundred votes of taking it.

I must tactically vote NDP to prevent the possibility of the Liberals taking the win. If Trudeau gets in and inflicts the Gerald Butts brand of corrupt Liberalism we’ve experienced in Ontario, the nation is absolutely, completely and utterly doomed.

#71 Alberta wing-nuts on 08.10.15 at 8:23 pm

It’s CANADA or it’s harper……. Who, you gonna voe for???

#72 Hawk on 08.10.15 at 8:24 pm

I’m dead against socialism, but in fairness the Vikings are right that the oil wealth of a land belongs to all its people, not private parties and kudos to them for establishing their sovreign wealth fund.

But while corporations and entrepreneurs don’t create natural resources but they certainly do create and develop of technology and processes.

Shale oil can for example be considered the wealth of the American people, but the algorithem of google, was created by google, not the American people.

Good luck to Norway and their sharing their God given natural resource wealth (as they should), but their situation isn’t analgous to other lands and will not work out elsewhere.

#73 NDP man on 08.10.15 at 8:24 pm

CONservatives will get a beating worse then the NDP. As an NDP man I am voting for real democracy and a real chance for a strong middle class. I am voting LIberals. Harper is an evil CON sellout who has done so much damage to Canada via one sided mostly secret cough cough free trade agreements that will be felt for years. Muclair is a conservative Wolf in NDP clothing.

#74 Lauren on 08.10.15 at 8:27 pm

Oh NDP… if they get in I’ll quit my job and live off of the people who want to work.

#75 NDP man on 08.10.15 at 8:27 pm

Btw Liberals balance the budget and in fact left Harper billions in surplus and what did the CONs do? Spend spend spend it all by handed it to their corporate buddies. Vote deficit Harper? No thank you

#76 gut check on 08.10.15 at 8:27 pm

A few people mentioned Norway.

I most certainly didn’t – just to be fair to myself. :)

Norway is going through mayhem caused by a politically correct, socialist nanny state that loves censorship.

The only difference between Norway and Canada is that Canada is a politically correct socialist nanny state that loves censorship MORE than Norway, hence we can’t get the data to prove it.

#77 gut check on 08.10.15 at 8:29 pm

#67 Troll – you keep riding that pony. maybe it’ll work.

#78 Lorne on 08.10.15 at 8:34 pm

#33 Linda on 08.10.15 at 7:35 pm
An average 31 hour work week – so, does that mean just over 6 hours per day Monday through Friday, or does that mean most Norwegians work a 4 day work week? Have to say, working less & enjoying life more (one hopes) is not an unattractive proposition. Work has value beyond a paycheck – there are social & health related benefits due to having an established routine – but taking time out to smell the roses isn’t a bad idea. Last I heard, those Norwegians rock when it comes to healthy lifestyles. Or is that data no longer relevant?
…….
I have Norwegian relatives who work on the oil rigs off the Norwegian coast…they work 2 weeks on, 4 WEEKS OFF. Not a bad schedule, they make decent money and are quite content living in Norway.

#79 W T F ???!? on 08.10.15 at 8:36 pm

You only have to clean paint from a back seat ONCE to understand why it is better to put the cans in the trunk on the way home.

and leave them wrapped in a plastic bag.

tightly knotted.

#80 gut check on 08.10.15 at 8:37 pm

@ #48 james on 08.10.15 at 7:50 pm

great post – I agree but not with the implied conclusion that making more service the domain of the private sector is the answer.

There is another way, which would be to keep major social programs like healthcare, education, the postal service, utilities, highways, etc in the public sector but increase transparency (for real, not the way Harper promised to) and open them up to proper redress.

The idea that the private sector can be held accountable is fading fast – I give you Bell Canada as a prime example and any of the banks as a backup.

#81 Dee on 08.10.15 at 8:38 pm

I don’t know. If the NDP were actually advocating for Norwegian socialism, it might be worth giving it a try.

Instead, all the parties seem to be advocating for some halfway nonsense. The Conservatives claim to hate socialism but give half-witted tax credits and handouts to every group they think they can even get half a vote from. Home reno tax credit? How is that in any way conservative?

Mulcair took some good stands on civil liberties at the debates, but his economic policy doesn’t hold up nearly as well, either. A $15 minimum wage for federal workers isn’t exactly going to have us in the streets singing L’Internationale.

And I can’t figure out what the Liberals stand for because I’m pretty sure they have yet to decide, or at least stop changing their minds every hour.

Norwegian socialism isn’t on the table from any party. Nor is anything even vaguely resembling a free market. Just three different types of half-witted nonsense.

#82 saskatoon on 08.10.15 at 8:41 pm

#42 Gulf Breeze

morally, it has nothing to do with what you are “fine with”.

what you are REALLY saying is:

i’m okay with using state violence to force OTHER people to pay what I am willing to pay.

but YOU represent the kinder, nicer way! right?

of COURSE you DO!

“We want a kinder, less mean, less Americanized way of life.”

dude…this may be too much for you to comprehend…but taxation is NOT charity…it is THEFT.

TAXATION. IS. THEFT.

what does theft require? you got it:

VIOLENCE.

the more taxation exists in a society…the more VIOLENCE necessarily exists in said society.

but i guess for you, increased state violence and brutality is the “kinder, less mean” way to go…

right?

#83 31, married and renting on 08.10.15 at 8:42 pm

Let the housing bubble blow! Free money isn’t really free. Anyone in VAN buying a million dollar shed, is downright insane for thinking it will be worth more in 3 years time. The only winner is the fat bank with an insured mortgage on a home that isn’t worth half what was paid. Save your money. Diversify your investments. Stop thinking you deserve to start where your parents left off. If it costs to much to own, rent. If it costs too much to rent, move!

#84 the Jaguar on 08.10.15 at 8:43 pm

Holy Doodle! Albertans really “unsettled” the rest of the country with our recent election results. Everything that was safe and predictable in this country has now come into question because those HEE HAW folks out in that redneck province shook everyone’s tree by voting NDP. MERCY! Calm down, people. Let me assure you of one certainty in this equation. Whether you love, hate, or fear the NDP or any other party, you should never count Albertans out. Never. This is a province of highly resourceful people who don’t wait around for direction from other people, provinces or governments to tell us how to fix any problem. Commodity prices have an ebb and flow. If the NDP doesn’t deliver they will be out on their ass, and maybe an entirely new party will spring up. This is where Reform was born. And we used to have something called Social Credit. With each temporary downturn (call it a bust if it makes you feel a little schadenfreude), the investment in infrastructure, diversification, reinvestment in other provincial riches (never forget the huge role that agriculture plays in Alberta) continues… There are always casualties in a downturn and that happens anywhere, especially for the greedy and the unprepared. It’s universal.
If you want to know how Albertans handle a disaster think no further than the Calgary and southern Alberta flood of 2013. Albertans dig in during a crisis and come out stronger. In that respect it really is ‘different here’. Ask our neighbours in British Columbia. They know us well. Not always in a favourable way given we are slowly buying up all the good real estate in their province. ‘Invasion of the Albertans”. Surprised they haven’t made a movie about it with all the featured locales of the eastern British Columbia, the Okanagan, and of course Vancouver Island. Their province, our playground. Go ahead and pile on for that remark. We Albertans can ‘take it’. HEE HAW!

#85 Herb on 08.10.15 at 8:44 pm

#21 Emma Z …,

I second your motion in the second last para, and affirm your last.

#86 Daisy Mae on 08.10.15 at 8:44 pm

#59: “#1, I’m voting NDP, too! Time for a change.

***************

Your ignorance is showing….

#87 Sergiy on 08.10.15 at 8:44 pm

>the current oil woes have pushed unemployment to an 11-year high

from 3,7% (2010) it went to 4,3% (May 2015) – still very low in comparison with current Canadian 6.80%

#88 mark on 08.10.15 at 8:44 pm

There’s always that other point – at least they saved something along the way.

#89 Vanecdotal on 08.10.15 at 8:45 pm

#53 sideline sitter

“There has got to be a middle ground. I will not accept the status quo or Norway as the only two options.”

Well said, agree. More than TWO political belief systems to choose from on planet Earth. Perhaps a sacred commerce-leaning future party, government and economy? (Capitalist meritocracy firmly rooted in compassion for others) … one day. That would be nice. Kumbaya.

In the mean time, a fresh new minority govn’t maybe the best to hope for given the rather uninspiring options imho. Greenish or strategic (slippery slope) voting may be in the cards, (polishes off scotch and holds nose).

#90 OttawaMike on 08.10.15 at 8:45 pm

Sorry. Your little diatribe today did nothing to convince me otherwise.

~Norway’s(and Sweden’s) tax returns are in the public searchable domain to other resident tax filers. The records are not available to the press and the tax filer gets to see who accessed his or her information via the secure login similar to the secure login system CRA uses.

~Norway has the most Tesla’s after America. In the plug in electric category, they lead the world in having the largest fleet. I guess the govt. even buys you a Tesla there.

~Large pleasure craft imports are the highest in europe and total boat imports inc. sail boats are in the top 3.

~31 hour work weeks, the horror. I’m surprised you didn’t refer to them as “Herring Eating Surrender Monkeys” in true Fox News fashion. Harper loves the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. If our capitalist utopia is so wonderful under his regime, why do we need to bring foreigners in to work when we are at nearly 7% UE?

Nice try on your spin. Voting for a party led by a fundi right of centre agenda is a vote against my own self interest. Voters are fed up with the status quo.

Even the right wing voters are revolting, hence the rise of Trump, Cruz and other so called un-electables down south.

#91 The Canadian Fund on 08.10.15 at 8:45 pm

Garth, where is the Canadian Fund – the equivalent of what Norway set up?

#92 Exurban on 08.10.15 at 8:52 pm

Surprising no one has mentioned this yet, but according to the fish-farm-hating greens of British Columbia — a group that very much includes NDP evangelists like Alexandra Morton and many others — Norway is the locus of evil because of its salmon farming and offshore oil drilling, satanic activities that threaten the pristine B.C. coast. Or at least it was the locus of evil the last couple of times the B.C. NDP ran election campaigns. Those campaigns portrayed the Dippers as desperate defenders of Gaia and the B.C. Liberals as minions of Big Aquaculture and Big Oil (and of course totally ignored the anti-salmon-farming funding coming from the Alaska fishing industry). This is quite a flip-flop, really — at least as big as the backflips politicians have done on gay marriage or transsexuals.

How exactly does Norway get petroleum from the seabed to refineries? Can you say pipelines and tankers, boys and girls? I knew you could … but don’t say it around west coast Dippers.

#93 Mocha on 08.10.15 at 8:53 pm

DELETED (anti-immigrant)

#94 BG on 08.10.15 at 8:53 pm

Garth, you didn’t make a point, only stated a very subjective preference.

And to be honest the whole post kind of promotes the Norwegian way.

#95 nnso on 08.10.15 at 8:58 pm

One of my relative from Norway visited me few years back. A family with two teenage boys. I took them to Muskoka, Niagara falls, Montreal then to Ottawa. On the way back from Ottawa to Toronto, they saw the Terry Fox Drive. They asked me about Terry Fox, I told them all about Terry Fox.
Then they question me why this poor amputee has to do all this to raise money for cancer research. What your elected official at the Ottawa doing. I was speechless somehow managed to say “They are there to reduce our taxes” I don’t given up my Canadian Pride.

#96 S.Bby on 08.10.15 at 8:59 pm

#17 4 AM Sunrise:
Thanks for posting those links. Truly eye-popping increases this year.

#97 Llewelyn on 08.10.15 at 8:59 pm

Last time checked Norway was still a democracy and I am sure if a majority of citizens felt oppressed or victimized they could initiate a change in government. I understand the aversion to taxation but criticism without an evaluation of what the citizens of another country are receiving in return is rather pointless. I am sure many right wing politicians in the United States view the political system in Canada as a form of socialism. Like we care!

I happened to be in Alberta during the last election and one thing that was hard to miss was the above average turnout of young voters. Every time a person under the age of 25 was interviewed by news media they expressed their desire for change.

Calling Canadians that are seeking change ‘dippers’ is not only pejorative but appears rather arrogant. The last twenty-five years have been very rewarding for millions of Canadians and I get their resitance to change.

However the future of millions of younger Canadians is not looking quite so rosy and they have a right to be heard.

When Chief Executive Officers of major energy corporations based in Alberta received 100 times the compensation of the average worker it was bound to attract a measure of criticism. I am not passing judgement only observing that a majority of Alberta citizens wanted change and are expecting to see change.

I have made no secret of my belief that benefits generated by the ‘common wealth’ of Canadian citizens should be shared more equitably. I fully support the concept of rewarding investors with a reasonable rate of return on their investment but providing compensation that is 100 times the wages paid to the average Canadian worker is just plain greedy.

Our reliance of multi-national corporations to expand our economy requires adjustment. Attacking every attempt to initiate a change in direction looks short sighted to me.

I am fully aware that I am aiming my concerns at the wrong audience but the Don Quixote in me never could resist a good windmill.

#98 Ray Skunk on 08.10.15 at 9:00 pm

All these Norway arguments and comparisons can be made until the cows come home.

Fact of the matter is that Norway doesn’t border – and therefore do most of its trade with – the most capitalist country on the planet.

You can attempt to replicate the Norwegian model with expensive green energy, cradle-to-grave nannying and a well-compensated and secure public sector, but trying to fund it off the back of a private sector that needs to compete for investment with our neighbours to the south is never going to work.

Again, look to Ontario for an example of how trying to fit a square peg into a round hole results in a two-tier society with huge amounts of unsustainable debt.

#99 Bondgirl on 08.10.15 at 9:07 pm

Talk about desperation. Norway’s SWF has now resorted to buying expensive real estate to juice yields.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/norway-fund-bulks-up-on-real-estate-1424795145

As for us, this could be a net positive:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-china-sign-currency-deal-aimed-at-boosting-trade-1.2828707

I think we need to forge new partnerships and reduce our reliance on the US. It likely won’t happen fast enough to stop a mini-recession & housing correction here, but at least we can be hopeful of our long-term economic prospects …

#100 Some Other Mark on 08.10.15 at 9:07 pm

Garth, this election is about more than just the economy. It’s about civil liberties, government corruption, suppression of science and statistics, and suppression of democracy. All governments, regardless of their political stripe, become decadent if they’re in power too long. The current federal government needs replacing.

I’m not naive enough to think any of the other parties is going to take us to Utopia, but the Conservatives are taking Canada to Hell. You’d be the first to admit that they’ve screwed the economy. It’s some other party’s turn to run this country. No doubt they will screw up certain portfolios, but they will repair some of Harper’s malevolence. That is as important to me and to many of your commenters as whatever tax rates are brought in.

#101 JO on 08.10.15 at 9:08 pm

i give Norway credit for saving their oil revenue smartly and enjoying the fruits of one of the great pools of money in the world
But they are a one trick pony
At least they have 800 billion to support a small population for many years to come

If it were not for their oil fund Norway would have collapsed like all socialist and interventionist gives
While the financial illiterates want to blame all but themselves for stupid financial decisions and therefore will elect an even more corrupt NDP govt, it will not matter
The interest charges will eventually wipe out all govt budgets within the next 10 years. The massive and rapidly growing number of govt zombies will be treated very similar to the zombies in Greece, Spain, etc

While most will cry and scream, it is just time for the reset

It would have happened with any political party in power. Nothing can nor will stop what is going to happen

The bond market rules the world folks. We have the greatest debt bubble in history with the lowest rates in history

Much of the GDP/ income we have generated over the last 15 years was from junk mispriced credit being spent by speculators and financial illiterates on houses

Now, with phantom asset prices and a crushing debt load and GDP struggling to stay positive and wanting to contract ( it will) stock, bond, RE prices have no where to go but collapse hard over the next 5 years

Stocks in the U.S. Might have one more upward wild ride in 2016-2″17 after a temporary 10-20% correction this fall but all assets will eventually get crushed into 2020

Imagine a hard core socialist govt overseeing the worst collapse in Canadian history

If u think your taxes are high now just wait.

#102 Nora Lenderby on 08.10.15 at 9:13 pm

#173 Nagraj on 08.09.15 at 10:41 pm
Did you know that the secret service guys WALKED the corpse of Mary Vetsera out of Mayerling to the train station – with a BROOMSTICK shoved up between her dress and her spine?

It just goes to show that wearing a corset is unexpectedly useful. Perhaps we should be more aware of the important role of foundation garments in the history of the world.

Canadian history is just so devoid of good cloak&dagger stuff. What if Mrs. Harper’s two little caged pet vampire bats get loose and . . . there’s potential . . .

Now don’t be unkind about Mr. H.’s family, you naughty man.

As for cloak and dagger, Canada’s a young country. Give it time to develop more flavour.

And, incidentally, who did kill D’Arcy McGee?

#103 NoName on 08.10.15 at 9:17 pm

this country is in some serious $#!7 !!!
if she runs I am voting for her, can be any worse that those 3 clowns…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsrW7bkQ1dE

#Do[some]DogasHaveBrains #WhatHapensWhenWoldEnds
#SirieouslyWantToKnow
#_______________________

#104 Dude Duderson on 08.10.15 at 9:18 pm

Hey Garth,

Keep your facts and reason to yourself, they have no place in utopia!

#105 Victor V on 08.10.15 at 9:21 pm

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/27/scandinavian-miracle-brutal-truth-denmark-norway-sweden

The dignity and resolve of the Norwegian people in the wake of the attacks by Anders Behring Breivik in July 2011 was deeply impressive, but in September the rightwing, anti-Islamist Progress party – of which Breivik had been an active member for many years – won 16.3% of the vote in the general election, enough to elevate it into coalition government for the first time in its history. There remains a disturbing Islamophobic sub-subculture in Norway. Ask the Danes, and they will tell you that the Norwegians are the most insular and xenophobic of all the Scandinavians, and it is true that since they came into a bit of money in the 1970s the Norwegians have become increasingly Scrooge-like, hoarding their gold, fearful of outsiders.

Though 2013 saw a record number of asylum applications to Norway, it granted asylum to fewer than half of them (around 5,000 people), a third of the number that less wealthy Sweden admits (Sweden accepted over 9,000 from Syria alone). In his book Petromania, journalist Simon Sætre warns that the powerful oil lobby is “isolating us and making the country asocial”. According to him, his countrymen have been corrupted by their oil money, are working less, retiring earlier, and calling in sick more frequently. And while previous governments have controlled the spending of oil revenues, the new bunch are threatening a splurge which many warn could lead to full-blown Dutch disease.

Like the dealer who never touches his own supply, those dirty frackers the Norwegians boast of using only renewable energy sources, all the while amassing the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund selling fossil fuels to the rest of us. As Norwegian anthropologist Thomas Hylland Eriksen put it to me when I visited his office in Oslo University: “We’ve always been used to thinking of ourselves as part of the solution, and with the oil we suddenly became part of the problem. Most people are really in denial.”

#106 Alberta Ed on 08.10.15 at 9:27 pm

Not to mention, Norway has lutefisk, too.

#107 BS on 08.10.15 at 9:27 pm

1. 11 year high unemployment stands at 4.4%
2. Average 31 hour work week

A 31 hour work week factoring in 4.4% unemployment would work out to over 20% unemployment if people worked a regular work week like in Canada. When you have a government that controls everything they just cut the hours (and pay) to keep the unemployment number artificially low. Soon people will be working 20 hour weeks.

You will also find that a free university education is not worth much in Norway. There you will find engineers pulling wrenches on the oil rigs and PhDs doing janitorial work in government offices. Everyone having a university education does not make more or better jobs. Especially when your only industry is oil and it is government run.

In reality Norway has massive underemployment and is a disaster waiting to implode.

#108 Nora Lenderby on 08.10.15 at 9:28 pm

I have visited Norway. It is very much like Canada (BC or Nova Scotia) in parts, except with considerably better design taste and older real estate. Very expensive – the exchange rate was crippling, so our host basically paid for everything.

Every party has to end. Probably the Norwegians will eventually have serious problems. Perhaps not. However every person I met spoke English, including in tiny west coast towns, which says something about their education system.

And there were no people living homeless on the streets, which is more than you can say about contemporary Canada.

Incidentally, I came to Canada in the early ’80’s and did not see homeless people living outdoors then either. We have turned all the mentally ill people out to wander the streets and “medicate” themselves with dangerous substances.

Time to legalize drugs. Tax them. And get help for the mentally ill.

#109 45north on 08.10.15 at 9:33 pm

a man who remortgaged his house on 11 occasions, increasing the debt each time

so it’s in his interest is to maintain house prices where they are

Harper, Trudeau and Mulcair are all engaged in maintaining the illusion ( of high house prices ). This illusion will be dashed when the US Fed raises rates to 1%.

It’s early in the game.

#110 kommykim on 08.10.15 at 9:34 pm

RE:So, here’s a place where the work week has dwindled to just 31 hours because, after all, why would you want to knock yourself out?

That’s terrible! Those poor people with all that time off. What will they do with themselves? They must feel useless and depressed.

RE:Personal income taxes are in the 55% range, even higher than the wealthiest Ontarians now fork over.

But just like Canada/Ontario, Norway has a progressive tax system so it is only on income over a certain amount that the 55% rate apples. Nice try.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Average_tax_rates_on_wage_income_in_Norway_2010.JPG

#111 Musty Basement Dweller on 08.10.15 at 9:34 pm

Very interesting post Garth.
Wow how times have changed.
Although I’m not suggesting it was better, it wasn’t long ago that the automatic ticket to getting re-elected most places in Canada was just to beat up on the public sector in various ways.

#112 Randy Randerson on 08.10.15 at 9:34 pm

All the comments are a reminder of why communism took over China. Most Chinese were peasants and farmers before the revolution, and as such, are easily swayed by the Utopian teaching of Mao Ze Dong, since there would be no land owners, and everyone is equal. In theory it sounds great, but not in practice. When everyone is equal and earning equal wage, there is no drive to work hard, innovate and produce. Everyone just sits around pretending to work whilst earning the same wage. Can you imagine a menial labourer making the same as a physician? My father lived through the cultural revolution, and he hated communism and socialism for it. Everyone needs to work for and depend on themselves, whilst the government should provide a basic level of safety net.

#113 Paul on 08.10.15 at 9:38 pm

Well at least it was interior paint!

#114 Freddie on 08.10.15 at 9:38 pm

I have been to Norway a couple of times on business trips. Cost of living unbelievably high. Not my definition of paradise. I will take Canada any day!

Government is not the solution to happiness. Role of government is to provide infrastructure and services for the greater good. We can (and should) debate just what services and infrastructure we think we need in the context how much we can afford. I was once told that economics is about the allocation of scare resources. It is all about choice, collective choice in the context of government. However, no one is talking what service or infrastructure to give-up in exchange for promise X. So promise X can only be funded with greater tax revenue or increased debt, yet everyone claims that everything is revenue neutral and budgets will be balanced.

Tax the rich (and keep things revenue neutral by reducing the middle class’s taxes) is not likely a tenable long term solution. As past brain drains can attest too, the richer are more mobile, so in the long run, such a policy will result in reduced tax revenue. As a country that needs immigration to survive, a tax a the rich policy will only direct the brainer immigrant elsewhere.

As Garth suggests vote for something, not against something. However, understand what you are voting for. Demand answers. Understand the hard choices. Then pick the one that closest to the choice you would make if it were you. It is complex world, there are very few good solutions, mostly less worse ones.

#115 BS on 08.10.15 at 9:39 pm

A lot of Albertans watch Norways’s $900 Billion (US) sovereign fund in envy.

That fund works out to about $175K per person in Norway. That won’t last long at Norway’s burn rate if oil stays low. Anyone with a work ethic in Canada can save that with the tax advantage we have over Norway in 10 years and have their very own wealth fund largely invested in tax sheltered accounts growing each year.

#116 The Utopia TFSA of the N- on 08.10.15 at 9:40 pm

Garth, I was taking a look at this “N- Utopia Fund”.

(Really… after calling Canadian voters the sheeple yesterday, now you are invoking N- ? How low can this get by the time the votes are counted).

The funny thing about this Utopia Fund, set up by the “N- Vikings” is that it looks like … a huge, well balanced TFSA account, set up for an entire country.

It looks like what you preach to everyone, day after day here, from the land of bikes, babes.

And the land of deficits, even from the government that was running and got elected on the platform on balanced budget.

Take a look for yourself, straight off the “Viking N”-site…

Those closet Capitalist N- Commies have stolen your idea and implemented it for everyone, completely transparently, pretty much making sure that no future governments can threaten to roll it back, with the ridiculous claim that it is just for the few lucky ones.

If you like TFSA, I can’t imagine not loving this financial prudent responsibility. Enjoy!

“The Government Pension Fund Global is saving for future generations in Norway. One day the oil will run out, but the return on the fund will continue to benefit the Norwegian population.

The fund’s market value
7 214billion nok

Facts about the fund:
75countries
9,000 companies
1.3% of the world’s listed companies
2.4% of europe’s listed companies

Investment strategy:

60% Equities
35% Fixed income
5% Real estate

We aim to invest in a wide range of countries, companies and assets to obtain the highest possible return with moderate risk as laid down by the Ministry of Finance. The fund cannot be invested in Norway.”

#117 kommykim on 08.10.15 at 9:42 pm

RE:#28 Property Accountant on 08.10.15 at 7:28 pm
Great summary on Norway. Just wanna add few facts to put things into perspective.
– 11 year high unemployment stands at 4.4% (ouch)

So much for high taxes being a disincentive to work.

#118 kommykim on 08.10.15 at 9:48 pm

RE: #30 saskatoon on 08.10.15 at 7:30 pm
FORCING everybody to pay the maximum amount of tax it can manage–with this stolen money, the state will create propaganda

Your country makes the laws including tax law. Taxes are not stealing. Not paying taxes owed is illegal. Get it straight. Or leave.

#119 BS on 08.10.15 at 9:48 pm

I would be fine with being taxed at 55%. My income is around 100,000. per year. My house is nearly paid off and I have a home down South.

I rarely shop, read a lot, don’t drive a car and don’t have kids. Why do I need more than 45,000. per year to live on? I’m serious. If I had cradle to grave security it would be all the sweeter.

The part you miss is you wouldn’t have the nearly paid off house, the home down south and the 100K per year (private sector?) job if we had Norway’s policies. The government would have taken most of your earnings to date. Also, do not assume Norway’s money will last until everyone there is in their grave. It won’t. Then what do you do when you have nothing and the government has nothing?

#120 Godth on 08.10.15 at 9:48 pm

Utopia? Why talk about utopia when dystopia has arrived?

Living in Canada isn’t half bad but the way Harperland is shaping up isn’t for me. If I wanted to live in a right wing police state that was led by a religious fundamentalist I’d move to Israel or Iran…or I’m sure I could feel at home in various states in the US too (religious fundamentalist aspect fulfilled as well).

#121 Tiger1960 on 08.10.15 at 9:51 pm

58 TJM
Stop smoking weed,
99% of people are stupid!
Why!
Sheep!
Buffalo!
Human, correct:)

#122 IM in C on 08.10.15 at 9:52 pm

Based on your posting I can make 3 observations about Norwegians:
1. They are a nation of tax evaders
2. There is a flourishing underground economy in Norway
3. the best and the brightest Norwegians are leaving Norway to help build other countries’ economies

#123 Garth you are sooo wrong on this! on 08.10.15 at 9:55 pm

What’s more, if it weren’t for Norway you would have problems slicing your cheese. What could possibly be worse than that?

#124 Figmund Sreaud on 08.10.15 at 9:56 pm

Let’s be real: … if the best one can offer the lumpen is an electoral choice between what they enjoy presently and something bit, bit worse, … and what they enjoy presently is already quite wretched, you’re not likely to get much, much traction! Harper’s present gamble, …

Look, like in Alberta these days, pretty well all the policies of the last 44 years will be kept in tact – with all bunch of but most minute adjustments, simply because any other choice would risk pulling the plug on monumentally failing existing system!

Anyway, … on October 19th go and vote, … and vote often [… if you can get away with it! :) ]. Rest assured, however, that your vote – whatever it is! – will not matter much, …

F.S. – Calgary, Alberta.

#125 Frank on 08.10.15 at 9:57 pm

Ask Kevin Sorbo’s father why he left Norway to come live in the U.S. ?

Ah yes, the arbiter of all political system assessment. The father of a C-list TV actor.

why would you surrender your freedom like this? do you have no self-respect? is a ferrari worth the massive governmental brutality it would take to achieve such a tax rate?

Who said anything about brutality?

let me guess: you don’t have enough money to buy these things yourself: SOOOOO…you are A-OK using government violence to rationalize your own lack of skill/success and steal from those who have more than you?

Who said stealing or violence? Oh I see, you subscribe to the ‘government is evil and every act they do is aggression’ and ‘all cops are jack booted thugs’ newsletter. I can’t rationalize with you, go jack off to an Ayn Rand novel.

but who cares , right? your cruisin’ around in your new “free” car…looking like “everybody” else.

Yeah Ferrari’s are all about image, no one could possible appreciate the craftmanship. Anyways, the point was missed on you. It’s not about a super car or any object. The point is that a specific tax rate (be it 1% or 100%) isn’t good or bad without context. It’s simply an agreement you have with the country you freely choose to live in that you’ll be provided some services in exchange for a portion on your income. If that number is high and yet you don’t get much for it then you’re not very well off. However if you’re paying 55% and lead an excellent quality of life that may be better than 25% and living hand to mouth.

Sure you could argue that the government isn’t robbing your ‘freedom blah blah blah’ but at the end of the day economic freedom is pretty important. Tell me, does your average American with a net worth of $35,000 have a lot of freedom because America? More so than an Norwegian who is subject to tyrannical tax rates? Not if that aberage Norwegian is spending more time with their kids and living a happier life. Sure the absolute ceiling on wealth there is probably lower than here but that’s a carrot that many people just chase. I don’t know the answer, if Norwegians are better off. That’s why I asked. I do know that posting tax rates and using the word ‘freedom’ carelessly is stupid.

it’s NOT FREE dinglenut! let me repeat:

You know damn well what I mean. If you are provided a government service that doesn’t cost anything from your net income that’s colloqially known as ‘free’. Ireland has free university. Canada has free healthcare. Britain has free dental care. No rational person would assume they have a magic unicorn that provides those services, it’s understood they’re provided from the tax base.

many do. but many don’t. typical anti-logic. who are YOU to say what “we” likes? WHY do you think in these sociopathic terms?

I was making a lighthearted comment to point out that tax rates and economic systems are not what most (if any) people find joy from in this world. Therefore they’re means to an end and their efficacy can be measured by how close they bring most people to what does bring them joy. You’re an idiot so I’ll spell it out for you in crayon: when comparing Canada and Norway the system that works best is the one that produces the happiest people.

#126 Freddie on 08.10.15 at 10:04 pm

“Then they question me why this poor amputee has to do all this to raise money for cancer research. What your elected official at the Ottawa doing.”

Terry Fox is a Canadian folk hero because of the courage over adversity he displayed. In my view that is one of the quintessential Canada characteristics that allowed us to make this country great over the last 400 years.

#127 Garth you are sooo wrong on this! on 08.10.15 at 10:05 pm

Furthermore, more seriously, regarding that 1.1% wealth tax in Norway: many northern-european countries have this tax too although rates vary a tad. It was/is intended to replace the system of capital gains tax that countries like Canada still have; instead of everyone having to calculate and prove their gains, the revenue authorities simply state that everyone should be able to gain, say, a four percent annual return on total assets (wealth). Applying cap gains inclusief rate and tax bracket averaging, one arrives at about 1% in taxes on wealth. Now, that was great when economies were booming and people were making more than 4% on their wealth; however, in bad times such as now, this wealth tax feels terribly unfair. As a Canadian I am happy we decided to stick with the old system here of reporting your own actual gains!

#128 Garth you are sooo wrong on this! on 08.10.15 at 10:05 pm

Inclusief –> inclusion

#129 Karl Marx on 08.10.15 at 10:14 pm

— The government says this: “The Norwegian tax system is based on the principle that everybody should pay tax according to their means, and receive services according to their needs.” —

And I, well over a 100 years ago, said this: “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.”

It is such a pleasure to see I still inspire whole countries!

– dein Karlchen

#130 Tiger1960 on 08.10.15 at 10:16 pm

A lot of pot heads on here the last few dayz!99%
This new Jen are to stoned to make it happen, keep it up girls and boys, more opertunity for the 1% ha ha !

#131 Bottoms_Up on 08.10.15 at 10:17 pm

And yet Norway has close to 900 billion in cash, enough to wipe out all canadian federal and ontario debt.

#132 LuckyRenter on 08.10.15 at 10:19 pm

Biggest union “Unifor” is voting NDP or LIBERAL. Nobody will vote for Conservatives.

#133 gut check on 08.10.15 at 10:19 pm

#106 Nora Lenderby on 08.10.15 at 9:28 pm
I have visited Norway. …… Very expensive – the exchange rate was crippling, so our host basically paid for everything.

*****************************

HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

But I guess your name isn’t Neithera Borrower. Who says you paid him back, anyway?

ha ha ha.. still laughing.

#134 Retired Boomer - WI on 08.10.15 at 10:20 pm

No dog in this fight, so goodnight all!

#135 Leo Trollstoy on 08.10.15 at 10:21 pm

Tax the rich (and keep things revenue neutral by reducing the middle class’s taxes) is not likely a tenable long term solution. As past brain drains can attest too, the richer are more mobile, so in the long run, such a policy will result in reduced tax revenue.

Right on the money.

It never occurs to the middle class that wealthy individuals and corporations would just leave leaving them to hold the bag.

Static solution for a dynamic problem.

#136 Leo Trollstoy on 08.10.15 at 10:22 pm

That’s terrible! Those poor people with all that time off. What will they do with themselves? They must feel useless and depressed.

“We do and we are.” – Greece

#137 Godth on 08.10.15 at 10:24 pm

#99 JO on 08.10.15 at 9:08 pm
Imagine a hard core socialist govt overseeing the worst collapse in Canadian history

Imagine a far right government overseeing it. You don’t have to imagine too hard as South America (and many other places) have demonstrated what life looks like when 5% own everything. Good times if you’re a corrupt elite, not so much in the favela.

#138 Smoking Man on 08.10.15 at 10:24 pm

DELETED

#139 Godth on 08.10.15 at 10:25 pm

Polemics are fun!

#140 Leo Trollstoy on 08.10.15 at 10:27 pm

Last time checked Norway was still a democracy and I am sure if a majority of citizens felt oppressed or victimized they could initiate a change in government.

You mean like Canada? Let’s just switch these deck chairs around again. Maybe it’ll work this time…

#141 Craig on 08.10.15 at 10:27 pm

Re: Ray Skunk #96

“Fact of the matter is that Norway doesn’t border – and therefore do most of its trade with – the most capitalist country on the planet.

You can attempt to replicate the Norwegian model with expensive green energy, cradle-to-grave nannying and a well-compensated and secure public sector, but trying to fund it off the back of a private sector that needs to compete for investment with our neighbours to the south is never going to work.”

Over the past two days there have been more than 400 comments posted about our political choices and the post above by Ray Skunk is probably the most important in my opinion. Everyone seems to be on the NDP bandwagon . Canada is not surrounded by socialist countries as is the case of the Scandinavian region for example. The United States (by far our largest trading partner) repels socialism . I fear that our dollar will fall further and what’s left of our manufacturing sector amongst others will further erode when corporate taxes rise. If only Harper would’ve give his ego a break, stepped aside and gave someone else a crack at the party throne then the Conservative option would not be so reviled as it presently appears to be.

#142 gut check on 08.10.15 at 10:31 pm

So.. this “career politician” thing bothers me, too. I don’t like it. People are saying that that’s what Mulcair is but I see that he worked as a lawyer for many years, working his way up in Legislative Affairs (Quebec.)

Harper, on the other hand, appears to have only ever worked in the mail room at an Oil Company. Other than that he was either a student, a lobbyist (in his own lobby group) or a politician.

Harper = career politician.
The other candidates have worked for a living.

#143 Steerage Bilge on 08.10.15 at 10:37 pm

Well the real communist party of canada ain’t that impressed with comrade muclair

“As the Communist party puts it on its website, the NDP is merely “better administrators of capitalism ‘with a human face’.”

#144 debtified on 08.10.15 at 10:37 pm

Since it is now apparent that we are stuck in this political theme, I wonder if it helps provide more clarity to the debate if we focus more on specific party platforms and candidates history and qualifications. There is a lot of noise revolving around ideological generalization (i.e. socialist vs. capitalist) and irrelevant comparisons (i.e. Norway).

Canada will never become a true socialist society even with an NDP government. Try as they might to get us as close to a true socialist society as they possibly can they will simply ruin the country before they get there. The transition is simply fraught with perils that a novice NDP government that has never governed before will never survive. The society will run out of patience or money (whichever comes first) before we get there. Even the NDP knows this.

We also do not have the people and sensibility of becoming Norway. Let us be more realistic.

The system that we have in Canada is great as it is. We are a capitalist society with a big heart. We incentivize people to achieve greater success if they are willing to put in the effort while providing basic support to those who are down on their luck. We are neither a true capitalist nor are we a true socialist – we are in between and the best people in government are those who can resist the temptation of going to one side all the way.

#145 Bottoms_Up on 08.10.15 at 10:39 pm

#51 Van Isle Renter on 08.10.15 at 7:52 pm
—————————————-
Actually, CO2 is a greenhouse gas, this has been confirmed by US EPA and UN scientists.

And computer models do carry weight. Are you saying you never check the weather forecast, don’t believe NASA can predict future events and stock chart technical analysis tells you nothing?

Come on get real and please stop your verbal diarrhea.

#146 Parksville Senior on 08.10.15 at 10:42 pm

Garth, you seem to have trouble staying focused. Deep down you seem to be aware that medieval economics of Steven Harper has cast us into the pit, but you positively shudder at the thought of the possibility of an HONEST govt, sans Duffy, sans Wright, sans Steven!

Buck up, accentuate the possibilities and say goodby to yesterday’s fables.

#147 Doug in London on 08.10.15 at 10:44 pm

Often on this blog the subject comes up of how they do things in Norway. The good news about the Nordic countries is they are quite civilized in the way they run their society and it’s often said we should copy some of their ideas. However, as Garth has said here and I’ve heard from many other sources, they pay for it all with taxation levels we wouldn’t find tolerable here, period. It’s like the laws of thermodynamics, where you don’t get something for nothing. Our society here evolved differently and that’s not about to change.

@Ray Skunk, post #96:
You’re right, having a high taxation society like Norway just wouldn’t work here when you are trying to compete with the much lower taxation United States.

#148 will on 08.10.15 at 10:46 pm

Hey Van Isle Renter #51

Forget about the CO2 stuff. That’s just political stuff. The Green Party is actually pro-business. They love business. So does Mulcair. mister harper on the other hand has such disdain for Canadians he thinks all we care about is RE and the only industry we are capable of is construction.

mister harper is more interested in global politics than the Canadian economy and Canadians’ experience of it.

so you will vote for mister harper even though you can’t stand him? sounds like you are voting Against something, rather than For. stick with Garth. Garth advises voting FOR something. and I agree. thanx again Garth for the distinction.

#149 Bottoms_Up on 08.10.15 at 10:47 pm

#48 james on 08.10.15 at 7:50 pm
————————————-
Actually no, socialism buys the rich safety and security (go ahead, take your money bags to the congo).

And there are many cons to private companies as it is profit typically at all costs. In the olden days firefighters were private, and if you hadn’t paid your bills your house burns down. How about private medical coverage denying people based on ‘pre-existing’ conditions, or failure to disclose a condition? Or how about trying to collect on an insurance claim, fighting tooth and nail to get your fair share back?

#150 Nagraj on 08.10.15 at 10:49 pm

#100 NORA LENDERBY

Who killed Thomas D’Arcy McGee, you ask? I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Ebenezer Vining Bodwell.

AND OH YOU ARE SO RIGHT ABOUT CORSETS!
When the most beautiful woman in Europe, Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary [where the heck is this Norway place everybody’s yakkin about] was stabbed as she was walking to the boat (early afternoon 10/9/1898, Geneva) by Luigi Lucheni, she got up and kept on walking as if nothing had happened (for diplomatic reasons) got on the boat, and the boat was actually moving when she finally fainted. THE REASON, NORA, she didn’t kick the bucket right off is that her CORSET was on so damn tight it actually stanched the deadly internal bleeding. One of the autopsy conclusions was that if the blade hadn’t been removed she would’ve stayed alive longer. What with the CORSET and the blade in the wound, deadly internal blood flow had been reduced to a trickle.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program, “Song of Norway”, 1970, Panavision, starring Toralv Maurstadt as Grieg. Critical commentary provided by Ebenezer IV.

#151 wardmj45 on 08.10.15 at 10:49 pm

Naturally when Garth wants to bring forth some issue he does so in a completely unbalanced way. My sense is that the majority of 20-40 year-olds in our major city would prefer a system that more closely emulates the Norwegian
model than the model of unbridled capitalism that sets a 2.3M price tag for crappy 90 year-old house in Kitsilano and comparable ones in Toronto to the highest bidder from Beijing. Look at MLS listing V1124042 at http://www.realtylink.org in Kitsilano. (However, as Garth has said on many occasions that we are all simply delusional and xenophobic to suspect that unchecked foreign buyers have had any influence on Toronto and Vancouver. So I guess a 2.3M price tag on such a palace is indeed reasonable. Silly me.).

I am sure that I am not the only one who very much welcomes Canada making a significant step towards a more egalitarian society such as the one enjoyed by our Norwegian counterparts.

A lot of people posting here are seriously delusional. Good luck to whomever wins, dealing with this load of unbridled expectations. — Garth

#152 Waterloo Resident on 08.10.15 at 10:49 pm

Quote: ( “the province had squandered its resources, – – – – – and profiteering, and should have been like run that Scandinavian country – – – – ” )

Did ANYONE in Alberta follow that popular slogan, the one they even put on thousands of bumper stickers saying:

“Dear God, give us another oil boom and, this time, we promise we won’t piss it away.”

WELL GUESS WHAT; YOU PISSED IT AWAY !!!

Some people just never learn, do they?

#153 Steerage Bilge on 08.10.15 at 10:59 pm

#132 Waterloo Resident on 08.10.15 at 10:49 pm

Quote: ( “the province had squandered its resources, – – – – – and profiteering, and should have been like run that Scandinavian country – – – – ” )

Did ANYONE in Alberta follow that popular slogan, the one they even put on thousands of bumper stickers saying:

“Dear God, give us another oil boom and, this time, we promise we won’t piss it away.”

WELL GUESS WHAT; YOU PISSED IT AWAY !!!

Some people just never learn, do they?
——————————————

Not I.

#154 Ponzius Pilatus on 08.10.15 at 11:00 pm

#84 Daisy Mae on 08.10.15 at 8:44 pm
#59: “#1, I’m voting NDP, too! Time for a change.

***************

Your ignorance is showing….
———————
And so is your’s.
Grow up.

#155 Nora Lenderby on 08.10.15 at 11:00 pm

#40 saskatoon on 08.10.15 at 7:43 pm
@#16 Frank

who are YOU to say what “we” likes? WHY do you think in these sociopathic terms?

A troll calling someone a sociopath? Now we’re certain you’re just projecting, dear.

#156 Ponzius Pilatus on 08.10.15 at 11:08 pm

#112 Freddie on 08.10.15 at 9:38 pm
I have been to Norway a couple of times on business trips. Cost of living unbelievably high. Not my definition of paradise. I will take Canada any day!
————-
Freddie, please be more specific.
Otherwise you’re just a troll.

#157 Steerage Bilge on 08.10.15 at 11:12 pm

#135 Smoking Man on 08.10.15 at 10:24 pm

DELETED
———————-
Day 10 of retirement – get totally smashed.

#158 Peter on 08.10.15 at 11:14 pm

So why didn’t Alberta have a public oil revenue fund like the Norwegians?

#159 Stuart on 08.10.15 at 11:14 pm

well when is tax free day in Canada ? 6 months into the year and rising..
http://business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/taxes/tax-freedom-day-comes-a-day-later-this-year-as-canadians-tax-burden-rises

It was not the NDP who did it and the so called conservatives and liberals did it are making it worse with all the debt they piled up and the services they cut.

#160 Mark on 08.10.15 at 11:15 pm

So, really, who to vote for:

Conservative — responsible for most of the housing bubble by letting the CMHC run rampant with subprime lending. Have failed to promote a diversified economy outside of FIRE and O&G.

Liberals — Premier Wynne’s endorsement of them, and the record of Liberal mismanagement in Ontario scares me to death. Plus the federal Liberals created much of the mess in the federal public service in the first place.

NDP — Not credible on the economy. A lot of policy seems to be outright anti-business, at a time when business needs the help of government more than ever to get back on its feet and revive the Canadian economy after the past 10-15 year of relative malaise.

““Dear God, give us another oil boom and, this time, we promise we won’t piss it away.”

WELL GUESS WHAT; YOU PISSED IT AWAY !!!

I disagree here. The oilsands projects have reserve lifes on the order of 30-50 years, so we’re not talking about projects or resources that will deplete out before the next up-cycle in oil and gas occurs (unlike the US-based frackers who are basically dead meat if current prices persist due to the high depletion rates). Liquidity is decent, and debt is relatively low in the large cap oil and gas firms. The next 5 years might not be as jubilant as the past 5 years, but to say that Alberta has ‘pissed away’ the gains of heavy investment in its industry just isn’t accurate.

#161 roial1 on 08.10.15 at 11:18 pm

You can bad mouth the Norwegians all you want. By actual test and survey. They are rated the happiest people in the world.

Could that be a result of their system?????

Just asking.

#162 Godth on 08.10.15 at 11:28 pm

#141 debtified on 08.10.15 at 10:37 pm

I don’t think we’re capitalist country (not sure where one actually exists). I think a variation on this theme is a more appropriate description:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_democracy

Of course it varies over time.

#163 Love my Kia on 08.10.15 at 11:28 pm

#80 saskatoon
——————————
Give up. You’re obviously greatly outnumbered

#164 Millmech on 08.10.15 at 11:31 pm

Interesting tonight on the blog again.I wonder who is going to be looking after us in the hospital when our best and brightest surgeons and specialists go to a lower tax jurisdiction with better pay.They will not stay around to be hammered and vilified,they will just pack up and be received with open arms somewhere else and we will be left holding the bag so to speak.Hard enough now to see a specialist,so I guess when you really need to see one you can cross the border and pay cash for your procedure,probably by a Canadian trained doctor to boot.

#165 Gulf Breeze on 08.10.15 at 11:35 pm

Saskatoon,

When I read your response to my post I was a bit irritated until I realized you were imitating a Fox News buffoon. Love it! Your rendition is perfect. Stephen Colbert has nothing on you!

You know, we all have to kick back, take a deep breath and remember to laugh. Hooo boy… Still chuckling. Thanks for the much needed levity.

#166 Victor V on 08.10.15 at 11:36 pm

Alberta is not Norway

http://www.albertaoilmagazine.com/2015/03/alberta-is-not-norway/

#167 Top 5 countries with the lowest unemployment on 08.10.15 at 11:43 pm

http://www.worldfinance.com/home/top-5/top-5-countries-with-the-lowest-unemployment

#168 Jeff on 08.10.15 at 11:46 pm

Garth, I always liked your talk of portfolios and the fundamentals of the real estate market, but all this “The wealthy create jobs” bullshit is really disappointing. Most economic activity comes from the middle class, and stuff like the Liberal tax plan is actually a decent way to put more money into the hands of the types of people who will use it and generate economic activity at a time when that’s pretty damn helpful.

#169 The times they are a'changing on 08.10.15 at 11:48 pm

Looks like the young ones want change.
Time for the old farts to get out of the way.

#170 will on 08.10.15 at 11:52 pm

a few ideas on Norway:

seems to me Norway is, culturally, fairly homogeneous compared to Canada. so that makes it a wet dream for canadians who think of Canada as a culturally homogeneous (and probably white) entity, which it is not.

i’m thinking that Norway has achieved what it has because it possesses a fairly homogeneous society. that is to say it has not the distractions of a society such as ours. they are not bothered by ______, or by _______, or by _______. feel free to fill in the blanks.

no doubt someone here will refute this. it doesn’t matter.

Norway, by the sounds of it is behaving like a conservative company where all the (five million) citizens are shareholders. the “company” retains a ton of its earnings as a hedge against future uncertainties while paying out continuous dividends (sorta like R&D). as for the taxes – maybe that’s sorta like a continuous form of capital. Norwegians are perfectly willing to supply this type of financing because they are ok with the outcome. again, maybe this can only happen in a culturally homogeneous nation.

so it all sounds like a nice conservative situation, which it is. but I have to say it and I know someone here – perhaps someone in charge – will accuse me of wearing – or of having worn – a tinfoil hat: where would Norway be today if they chose to sell all those resources in a currency other than the US$ – perhaps to have tried to sell them for Euros?

am I begging the question? well of course I am!

#171 saskatoon on 08.10.15 at 11:55 pm

#122 Frank

“I don’t believe I’ll ever see again a people as happy and content as were the great majority of Germans under Hitler.”

“We German patriots were truly free and happy people under the National Socialists. In fact we felt euphoric as a big family, as a community that delighted in: Gemeinnutz geht vor Eigennutz (common good before self-interest)!”

Ernst Kriesner, German citizen, Born 1929, 11 years old when Poland was invaded

http://www.germanvictims.com/2013/05/18/living-under-hitler/

can you “rationalize” this, frank?

do you still believe, as you said, that the “system that works best is the one that produces the happiest people?”

#172 Van real on 08.11.15 at 12:01 am

If people are planning on voting in the socialist hoarde, I’m praying for a minority government so the NDP can be kept in check. I have to say I’m astonished by some of these posters.

#173 RR on 08.11.15 at 12:03 am

Agree 100% with Ell Gartho’s comments. Kudos to Garth for letting him post it. Yes Garth, this is your blog…. I’ve come here for many years, and check it daily. I have grown to accept some of your old crotchety views, because when you aren’t being a cranky boomer – you make some great points, supported (mostly) but facts. You have a solid following, perhaps instead of belittling your readers when you disagree, maybe open a dialogue once in a while – hell a reddit AMA would be great…….. I’m not sure if you’re aware, but lately you’ve come across as a “f*Kc you I got mine…”, acting as if we are lucky to get your wisdom (maybe we are). Could be you don’t have the time or inclination to bother responding with more than a one liner….. but the lack of discourse is very…. conservative/harperISF. You are better than this.

#174 CP on 08.11.15 at 12:05 am

Piketty has explained that since the 1970s wealth has accumulated more from investing and inheritance than from hard work or merit. The myth you support that the rich are risk takers and brave human beings is just false. A wealth tax is a fair way to see who can really work to stay rich. Some of us free market capitalists would love to see a wealth tax to replace middle and low income tax, or keep corporate taxes low and competitive, but any discussion of a more egalitarian taxation system often means one is a communist. The born wealthy certainly get defensive about having to compete to keep their dough. Many are not nearly as confident that they can maintain their wealth if they know they have to compete with people who have really worked their asses off to succeed all their lives.

#175 Shortymac on 08.11.15 at 12:07 am

To all the people complaining about universal childcare.

You want the death of the middle class, have your children pay $1,500/month to put a kid in daycare. (1) Because of this so many of my peers are either completely opting out of having kids or having 1 kid.

This plus the lusty housing market and stagnate wages are the chief barriers to middle class wealth accumulation for my generation. Child care soaks up any potential investments and purchases (that stimulate the economy).

That means no one to pay your CPP, health care, and other social benefits well into your old age. The economy needs more future tax payers and buyers to keep it moving.

Hell, Quebec’s makes a 4% return on it’s childcare program (2), now a PROFITABLE government program is one everyone should be behind. This study doesn’t include the fringe benefits of daycare for kids, especially poor kids, as they grow older such as better grades in school and better social skills. (3)

While I think the Quebec system is far from perfect with it’s flat universal rate putting a limit on available spots and Quebecois stubborness whenever they need to raise the rate. I’m a fan of a sliding scale based on parental income and attaching increases to the inflation rate. Ideally I would like daycare to become a part of the school system, with lesson plans and kids graduating to kindergarten or first grade when ready.

I’m FAR from a socialist but I ain’t afraid of SOME government spending. I like my roads, schools, police, and fire departments.

Also, “staying home with the kid for 5 years” ends up being a worse financial decision in the long run. It’s career suicide and you’ll never make that money back.

(1) Source: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2014/11/10/gta_childcare_costs_tops_in_national_study.html

(2) Source: http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/atkinson/UserFiles/File/News/Fortin-Godbout-St_Cerny_eng.pdf

(3) Source: http://healthland.time.com/2012/02/15/day-care-when-its-good-it-benefits-kids-up-to-30-years-later-and-moms-too/

#176 chapter 9 on 08.11.15 at 12:11 am

#155 Peter
So why didn’t Alberta have an oil revenue fund like the Norwegians?

The cost to Alberta by the National Energy Program introduced by Justin Trudeau’s late father set this province back about $100 Billion. The economic and social damage was felt for years. It was the conservative government in 1984 that finally revamped the bulk of this damaging legislation.

#177 Josh in Calgary on 08.11.15 at 12:12 am

Recently Norway’s energy minister recommended we get a lesson … From ourselves, like they did. When lougheed set up the heritage fund Norway thought it was such a good idea they copied it. Only they kept up with the program and we did not. When you’re in the commodities business and things run on a boom and bust cycle (and are non-renewable), then you simply must have the will power to save your excess money for the lean years, not spend it on frivolous things like over generous social programs and “Ralph Bucks”. This is no different than what Garth preaches for personal finance.

#178 Scandy-lous on 08.11.15 at 12:14 am

“The N-argument loomed large during the recent election in Alberta”

Garth,

Who knew the letter N would spawn so many disgraced N-word expressions, NDP, Norway, etc. I think it should be removed from the alphabet and replaced with M which is much nicer…the NDP becomes Mew Democratic party and Norway becomes….yeah you got it…Moreway, the land of plenty!

Now you forgot to mention the worst thing about those Scandies which is a poor attempt to copy one of Canada’s sacred icon’s Neil Young….(or Meal Young in the new alphabet)….The Norwegians have a group called Young Nils who copy and replicate everything our sacred icon croons…the horror, the horror
Here, see for yourself….

https://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Neils

#179 earlybird on 08.11.15 at 12:16 am

Corporations have way to much power now….aside from a few, most jobs that they “Create” are CRAP.
Nothing is paying, and people have to work a ridiculous amount of hours to squeak by. I can tell by the reaction of the commenters on a 31 hour workweek, 31 should be enough for a balanced life. Maybe someone has to step in demand that our labour not be devalued anymore. People with money create corporations which are sitting on a ton of money…looks like government will have step in to redistribute it for them. No wonder so much money is flowing to RE…its everyone’s retirement plan. Trickle down does not work…I think people are finally waking up in Canada…I cant believe how I’m forced to vote this year..never would of thought in a million years.

#180 Rural Rick on 08.11.15 at 12:16 am

Conservatives have screwed up so bad they are going to throw the election to the NDP and blame everything on them. Ole Bob Rae got the same end of the stick. Best thing a failed government can do is lose the election then blame it on the new guys in office then when the shit hits the fan. Hey vote conservative next time and we will fix it.
Rinse repeat.

#181 Cd on 08.11.15 at 12:35 am

Garth, you forgot about norways men’s curling team… Particularly their pants. Can’t really trust someone who has an outfit like theirs.

https://m.facebook.com/NOCTP?refsrc=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FNOCTP

#182 Guy Willoughby on 08.11.15 at 12:44 am

Good article. Have you ever read “Human Action” by Ludwig Von Mises? He predicted the collapse of socialism, communism and a few other isms because it kill human creativity and an instinct for improving our condition. History has proven him correct. Yet, we still like to say it will not happen to us.

#183 dtmgo on 08.11.15 at 12:51 am

The state has to be more powerful than the private sector to control it effectively. Otherwise, you get the corruption that happens now in Washington and was happening in Alberta, where corporations were directing the government. Where is all the oil money , the windfall profits? Gone into private pockets, now we have deficits in Alberta. Norway did save for the rainy day, and is in many ways more advanced than Canada, in gender equality for starters………

#184 Gulf Breeze on 08.11.15 at 12:52 am

#117 BS

I would have a house nearly paid off and a place down South under a higher tax regime. I was able to buy decades ago. I am lucky that way, as are many boomers.

It’s people who have been born at the right time in the right place telling younger generations to “suck it up” that make me ill. This has to be the first generation in a very long time whose kids work twice as hard at el stinko jobs and have to endure their parent’s generation lamenting how hard THEY had it!!! LOL.

My advice to anyone getting this kind of stern lecture is to get up and walk away.

#185 Steve French on 08.11.15 at 1:19 am

I think Sir-Garths-A-Lot photo needs to go with these guys!

Steve O

———

https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7172/6441771481_29ced837c9.jpg

http://i.qkme.me/3rddai.jpg

http://www.politicususa.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Ryan-Trickle-Down.jpg?cdn=no

http://www.quickmeme.com/img/65/6562eace3c6139ec9aa96d89b99254c9de2f74c550bc5815dd9692cd296561d2.jpg

#186 liquidincalgary on 08.11.15 at 1:25 am

#73 NDP man on 08.10.15 at 8:27 pm

Btw Liberals balance the budget and in fact left Harper billions in surplus and what did the CONs do? Spend spend spend it all

=============================================

remember WHY they went on a spending spree? opposition parties told them to. the US was already in a death spiral, we were slowing down “shovel ready projects” was where they were ordered to start spending.

#187 Adam Smith on 08.11.15 at 1:27 am

Trudeau is the best choice of the election. Mulcair and the NDP will be indebted to the public-sector unions and we can’t afford them to gain power. Harper has played into the Dutch disease and done literally nothing to dampen this housing bubble, instead actually doing the opposite. The Conservatives would likely be worth a go with a less secretive, divisive leader that was willing to try new things and address real problems but Harper has decided he’d rather the party goes down in flame before he gets out of the driver’s chair.

Trudeau is a rookie who will make many gaffes but there is some real talent in the Liberal pool, Garneau being a prime example. Harper and Mulcair will be guided by ideology. The Liberals have always been pragmatists and Trudeau hasn’t show any inclination that he won’t follow the advice of those wiser than himself.

#188 Keith on 08.11.15 at 1:28 am

Delusional indeed; like the right wing fanatics posting here who claim that our tax rates are uncompetitive in a “global economy” and our social programs are unaffordable in a “global economy.” Norway, an economy built on exporting a single resource, priced in the “global economy” gets away with socialist policies in a global economy because it’s surrounded by four or five socialist countries. Oh My! ROTFLMAO! Right wing economic arguments, all fail all the time. It’s a global economy, except for what your next door neighbour does. Ha!

#189 Protea on 08.11.15 at 1:30 am

Observing the US politics from Canada I feel that if you could you should seriously think about voting for Trump, and here is why. I firmly believe that largely that most government systems are deeply flawed, if not completely broken. Yet we all still keep voting for the same type of people. Trump who does talk a whole bunch of nonsense at times is at least honest, and isn’t really into bullshitting people. A lot of the criticism about Trump is taken out of context Besides, who wants a third Bush or a second Clinton in office anyway. The Presidency should not be a hereditary monarchy.

If Trump wins, there’s a good chance the whole thing will collapse from his absurdity. Then maybe we could start over and build something better that works. A vote for trump is a vote for full system breakdown, which I believe is exactly what the USA and the vast majority of the world needs. We do want a healthy financially strong USA in the global sphere, its vital to our well being. Anyway just some of my thoughts and the reason I would seriously consider voting for Trump if I could.

#190 Vanecdotal on 08.11.15 at 1:34 am

#17 4 AM Sunrise

Thanks for links. Fyi Surrey falls under jurisdiction of FVREB, not REBGV.

Something to keep in mind these are yoy stats, the longer term sfh trend still outpacing inflation, but considerably less ‘shock & awe” increases when you stand farther back, in all but the few primo areas. Attached continues to be predominantly flat or declining in most regions after adjusting for inflation. (excluding prime areas which have modestly outpaced inflation).

Latest Surrey stats: http://www.fvreb.bc.ca/statistics/Package%20201507.pdf

5 year attached trend continues to be flat or down down down across all regions S. of the Fraser. Sfh trending up, generally outpacing inflation with more substantial gains in the prime areas.

#191 Rosemary on 08.11.15 at 1:45 am

You’re really off your stride in this post, which is usually somewhat intelligent and logical. To say that the NDP’s efforts to raise corporate taxes in Alberta (which have been chopped in half since the year 2000) and personal taxes for those earning greater than $150k, is going to make the province like Norway is ridiculous. The reason people want to vote NDP is that reducing taxes on corporations in the hopes that they will someday spend their extra money on creating new, high quality, enduring jobs is NOT working. Trickle down has been dead since sometime in the early 1990s. So there needs a new negotiation with corporations; one that clearly say that Canada is not such a wimp to just give away its resources and oil for next to nothing. And the same goes for housing. If we are so incredibly popular as a place to buy real estate, then non-residents should pay a premium for the right to do so and the funds can be used for public education and health, affordable housing and so on. It’s time for Canada to get some “balls” and learn how to negotiate versus just caving in.

#192 jane 24 on 08.11.15 at 1:49 am

The problem with over-taxing the 1% is that in a global context they will simply move to a lower taxed country. The same is true of all business. You can’t keep them prisoners in Canada. It is a free world. Money is welcome anywhere.

France found this was true recently. The French govt decided to try to raise income tax on the wealthy to a 75% shocker and surprise surprise, the rich moved out. Some London suburbs are now very French indeed with their own French private schools and we English don’t even like anything French!!

Daughter was in Finland for a business conference in the Spring and was stunned by the prices. A pint of beer was £11 that is $22 Cdn, and it was English real ale too and not a Finnish beer. Avoid Scandinavian owned cruise ships for the same reason. The on-board prices will make your eyes water.

#193 Henry Simpson on 08.11.15 at 2:26 am

To the poster about Norway having $900 billion but I believe it is $800 billion in Norway’s reserve fund, what are Norwegian’s savings, investments?

In Canada, just total Canadians RRSP’s are $750 billion the last time I heard. This is not even including $118 billion in TFSA’s Canadian have. Also, This does not include RESP’s, LIRA’s, LIF’s, LRIF’s, non-registered accounts etc.

I bet you Norwegians have almost no or not much in savings, investments because they have all their money taken away from them in taxes up the wazoo.

#194 Sally Mander on 08.11.15 at 2:29 am

” a man who remortgaged his house on 11 occasions, increasing the debt each time, and now lives in a free mansion provided by the taxpayers. ”

No kidding….Mulcair couldn’t live on a public service salary….so he leapt at going full trough. Seriously….is someone so completely financially inept going to convince enough people he can lead this country…if so….we’re hooped for sure. The first this the Dips have done when they get in is give the civil servants and unions a fat raise and tax everyone else to pay for it.

And Trudy….and guy who’s never known a working day away from his huge coal mining inheritance. C’mon.

Meanwhile China devalues it’s currency 2%. But does that help Canadians…not really. Since the Yuan is pegged to the USD it has still meant a big fat raise to Chinese nationals wanting to buy Canadian real estate. A One Million dollar house only costs the foreigners $700,000…cheap. US citizens and Euro-Trash get the same bargain….Brits….even cheaper as they get $2 dollars for every $C.

We’re the laughing stock of the developed world…..paying huge tax for the social and commercial infrastructure but getting less for the investment than a Mexican national.

But…it’s OK for seniors to be starving due to the skyrocketing food prices….POLOZ has caused every Canadian to suffer….to sell our homes to foreigners on the cheap…and to pay them a premium in our health care and education for their trouble of coming here and spitting on us for the serfs that Poloz would have us be.

#195 Vanecdotal on 08.11.15 at 2:43 am

#104 Alberta Ed

True. Horrid stuff. Although they also have fattigman buckles and lefse. So, hmmm. Pros & cons.

#196 Kreditanstalt on 08.11.15 at 2:45 am

When I find a candidate who will cut “programs”, reduce “services” and rein in SPENDING instead of taxing more and more money out of the real economy into governments who only spend more and more, THEN I’ll put on a smiley face.

#197 Vanecdotal on 08.11.15 at 2:51 am

.. and aquavit! Filing that under “pro”.

#198 benchwarmer on 08.11.15 at 3:05 am

Your anti Democrat rant, labelling them socialists, sounds like the same crap we’ve been hearing out of the U.S. from the right wing and their propaganda machine Fox News for the last 7 years.

I’m voting NDP.

#199 BC Guy on 08.11.15 at 4:02 am

Harpo and his Cons cut OAS, forcing us poor slobs to work until 67 before collecting, meanwhile, the Boomers get their OAS at 65.

Oh, and they also cut corporate taxes while allowing large corps to outsource jobs to 3rd world countries (remember when the 6 Canadian Big Banks brought in cheap IT staff from India and Pakistan, forced the Canadian IT staff to train their replacements, then fired their Canadian IT staff? Remember that?!

Same thing happened with minimum wage service staff being fired and replaced with Temporary Foreign Workers.

I don’t want Utopia. I just want a decent job that is not under threat of being outsourced so the CEO and his cronies can get bigger stock options.

Time for a revolution in this country. Time for the NDP.

#200 Leo Trollstoy on 08.11.15 at 4:53 am

#158 roial1 on 08.10.15 at 11:18 pm

When are you moving to Norway?

Just asking.

#201 Leo Trollstoy on 08.11.15 at 4:58 am

You know that Canada is doomed when the sheeple start making comparisons to Norway. Lol

Don’t quit your day job guys!

(not like you can anyway)

#202 Leo Trollstoy on 08.11.15 at 5:16 am

U.S. oil isn’t going anywhere. Saudi Arabia is going to buckle first.

The problem for the Saudis is that US shale frackers are not high-cost. They are mostly mid-cost, and as I reported from the CERAWeek energy forum in Houston, experts at IHS think shale companies may be able to shave those costs by 45 per cent this year – and not only by switching tactically to high-yielding wells.

http://m.smh.com.au/business/comment-and-analysis/saudi-arabia-may-go-broke-before-the-us-oil-industry-buckles-20150805-gism05.html

#203 I'm stupid on 08.11.15 at 6:40 am

Realestate bubbles have a tendency to create extreme thinking because wages don’t keep up so the majority of citizens feel left out. Heads will definitely roll in this election and the consequences will be far worse than letting the current asset bubble collapse.

#204 I'm stupid on 08.11.15 at 6:41 am

Think of Bob Rae circa 1990. Ontario was in a housing bubble then too.

#205 Llewelyn on 08.11.15 at 7:05 am

The divergent opinions being expressed on this blog lately confirms that Canada not only allows free speech but promotes it. We have a much wider poltical spectrum than our neighbours to the south and as a result our economy has become an interesting mix of socialism. liberalism and capitalism. We should be proud of our eclectic differences and should not be in too big a hurry to emulate our neighour to the south.

It was not too long ago that our neighbours actually waged a bitter war over their right to keep slaves. After slavery was abolished a number of states actually passed legislation to segregate their population by colour.

If history has taught us one thing it is that change is inevitable and societies like Canada that addressed change in a responsible manner managed to avoid civil unrest.

In the United States 3.0% of their population is either incarcerated or covered by a probation order. In Canada less than 1.0% of our population is currently incarcerated or covered by a probation order. I am not 100% sure of why this discrepency has occured but I am certainly glad it exists.

Capitalism certainly generates wealth but without some form of redistribution to the general population it will not remain popular for long. Using democracy to initiate change is preferable to anarchy, a military dictatorship or a civil war.

#206 maxx on 08.11.15 at 7:28 am

#11 Smartalox on 08.10.15 at 7:11 pm

Stephen Harper: #nobodybelievesyou

Is Harper the most despised PM Canada has ever had?

#207 jess on 08.11.15 at 7:31 am

compare norway and alaska fund

http://www.arcticgas.gov/norway%E2%80%99s-different-approach-to-oil-and-gas-development

The nation relies almost entirely on hydroelectric power for its lights and heat. The national energy policy essentially is to sell its oil and gas at the best price it can to foreign buyers, while letting its hydro power projects run the country and saving its oil and gas wealth for the future. So much so that many of Norway’s offshore oil and gas production platforms run on hydro power brought to the platform via undersea cables, rather than burning even a molecule of natural gas.

Norway’s different approach to oil and gas development

Larry Persily
Federal Coordinator
Release Date:
September 7, 2011

#208 jess on 08.11.15 at 7:33 am

…”The biggest class of investment funds are ‘private wealth funds’. Though top hats have gone out of style, we are not very far from the old image of capitalists here. $42 trillion is just part of the wealth of the global 0.1%: funds managed on behalf of 11 million rich people, aka the ‘high net worth individuals (HNWI)”

http://www.corporatewatch.org/news/2014/dec/08/energy-rail-and-water-privatisation-costs-uk-households-%C2%A3250-year

#209 OIM on 08.11.15 at 7:36 am

Hmmm…..
Thinking out loud; I wonder what would happen if Garth ran as an Idependant in Harpers Riding?

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

#210 The real Kip on 08.11.15 at 7:40 am

Hey, didn’t we already have a kick at the can on nationalizing the oil industry? Also by a fellow named Trudeau? Remember the National Energy Program? Remember Fina? Didn’t think so.

Those Norwegians are so far behind us!

#211 Sheane Wallace on 08.11.15 at 7:50 am

#190 Henry Simpson

Norway is 5 millions, we are 34 millions.
They have net savings, we have net debt.
Education and health care are absolutely free.
Weather sucks as here.
Don’t worry about Europe or Norway.

#212 Sparky on 08.11.15 at 7:59 am

At the end of the day, I would rather live in the bush and fend for myself than live in a socialist government ‘utopia’.

What is the matter with Canadians these days, have you lost your balls?

We sit back and whine and cry and blame everyone else but ourselves. As long as you believe all the crap about which political party is best for us. None of them are, and as long as they keep us divided into camps based on jacket colour (blue, red, orange, or green), they will keep playing us for the fools we have become.

We need to get away from partisan politics. We need to start thinking about what values we want in our elected officials, and if we don’t like it, throw the bums out. If we ALL voted and voiced our opinions (and not act like rabid dogs toward others with different opinions), then we can make Canada and even better place than it is (and it is still the best country on Earth).

More government is not the answer, more personal responsibility is.

#213 Incubus on 08.11.15 at 8:00 am

“So much for talent, or guts.”

That is why socialism fail.

Talent and guts are abased while the incompetents are rewarded.

#214 Estrella on 08.11.15 at 8:07 am

Garth, have you ever thought of having a thumbs up/down button on comments. I would love to have the option to rate some people opinions.

I can say one thing, if taxes go much higher regardless of which party wins, there is no reason to work to hard. I’ll be dammed if I will work to pay for someone else’s child care!

Taxes go up, means time to rebalance my P/L . Work less, and enjoy some ice tea on the deck as we watch economy crumble. Or else move back to the us. Hopefully somewhere warmer than ohio this time.

#215 mark on 08.11.15 at 8:11 am

Norway’s biggest problem – no truck nuts.

#216 Millmech on 08.11.15 at 8:18 am

Norway is a country,Alberta is a province,this is a federal election and the oil issue has nothing to do with it.This sounds like greed because if we had a big cash reserve everyone would be clamouring for the big piece of the pie.As for the balanced budgets under the Liberals as I recall they raided the UIC coffers for billions and cut transfer payments.Imagine how big that fund would have been by now if it was left alone.Give Norway a couple of years of low oil and see how far that $175,000 per person fund goes with a one trick pony economy.

#217 mishuko on 08.11.15 at 8:27 am

i have a friend who wants to canvas for ndp and been asking the group if we want to help out.

then looked at me and said well i know you’re a blue jacket but you sould jump suit like AB.

i laughed and said i voted liberal last election but as of right now this is what all the political parties have in common:

they will bold face lie to your face, flip you round, take out a grossly oversized ‘pleasure toy’ and ram it up your behind.

now only if we could take the best aspects of each party and put them together.

oh wait the NDP and PC haven’t released their platforms yet either

#218 Turtle on 08.11.15 at 8:35 am

The thing about socialism and communism is very simple to understand: the more taxes government takes the more the nation is closer to communism … or slavery in terms of language of past centuries.

0% taxes – freedom
100% taxes – slavery

You can vote for slavery all day long. Not my choice.

#219 Holy Crap Wheres The Tylenol on 08.11.15 at 8:59 am

Socialism hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……..
Trudeau believed in a state-led economy, and the longer he lasted in office, the more statist he became. The Foreign Investment Review Agency was succeeded by Petro-Canada. Petro-Canada was succeeded by wage and price controls. Wage and price controls were succeeded by the single worst economic decision of Canada’s 20th century: the National Energy Program.

#220 Happiness on 08.11.15 at 9:02 am

A lot of people posting here are seriously delusional. Good luck to whomever wins, dealing with this load of unbridled expectations. — Garth

Happiness = Reality minus Expectations

#221 Holy Crap Wheres The Tylenol on 08.11.15 at 9:07 am

Had canvassers come around last night and tout about their policy and local candidate. I listened to them for a while, some good ideas, some meh ideas and some crappy ideas (all the parties are the same). Anyway I asked who was their party leader, then came the answer Justin Trudeau. I said is there anyone else besides him that you could have a as a leader? They were speechless and the look on their faces was priceless. They really didn’t know what to say. I said if you consider replacing him I would perhaps think about your party! They said we can’t do that, hes our leader. I said good luck with that and have a nice evening!

#222 John on 08.11.15 at 9:10 am

#38 El Gartho Magnifico
Wow, I can only assume that this guy is trolling because this is the most pathetic thing I’ve seen written on this blog before. I think I detect quite a bit of jealousy in the tone as well. You really think higher taxes and bigger government are going to save you? Higher taxes, whether personal or corporate are bad for the economy. Period. Corporations and jobs build an economy, not Government. Garth doesn’t need a job so how is it greedy for him to want what’s best for the economy? In 5 minutes he can reduce his Canadian equity exposure to zero so I don’t think his personal wealth is affected by the corporate tax rate. You on the other hand need money and a job. I can only assume by your tone. I’m sorry but funneling more money into government coffers is not going to save you. There is no socialist utopia coming. It has never existed anywhere.

#223 Chris on 08.11.15 at 9:11 am

How to I emigrate to Norway? All those things sound great.

#224 George S on 08.11.15 at 9:14 am

An earlier comment:
“Garth, where is the Canadian Fund – the equivalent of what Norway set up?”

The equivalent would most likely be the CPP.

Also, you can’t really compare Norway to Canada. You could compare some sort of fictional country made up of 10 countries from Norway down to Greece topped with a big swath of Siberia, all with a crappy climate like Siberia. Norway is a tiny little country in a good place to be at this moment in time on the surface of the earth. Alberta was and still is in a similar position on the surface of the earth but it is part of Canada so the economic position is way different.

Norway’s economic downturn buffer fund is only $170k per person and they have a really high lifestyle to fund when their oil dries up.
If Canada were to have a similar fund we would need to find something to invest $6 Trillion into. The US would need to find something to invest $60 T into… on and on … some kind of monstrous scale Ponzi scheme??

When you raise taxes on businesses (most wealthy people are business owners or the equivalent) they simply pass the increase on down in the form of higher prices so the middle class down pays it anyway.

What happened to Smoking Man today?

#225 crowdedelevatorfartz on 08.11.15 at 9:15 am

@#200 maxx

“Is Harper the most despised PM Canada has ever had?”

Well we will have to wait and see the election results but I would say Brian Mulroney( Harpers friend and confidant) takes THAT dubious “honor” what with the election campaign he was too gutless to run in so he pushed Kim Campbell to the chopping block.
The Conservative were reduced to two seats in Parliament.
Note to Harper.
Dont piss off the voters.

#226 TurnerNation on 08.11.15 at 9:19 am

I didn’t listen to those Currency Wars talkers.
Or those saying currencies will be messed with until we are all begging for a One World Currency.

Ps all this ‘isis’ talk is total mind control so you’ll run into H (is) arms. Over there they are being beaten off their land and into sweatshop cites. See: Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam after war of communism.

#227 crowdedelevatorfartz on 08.11.15 at 9:21 am

@#38 El gartho magnifico

Without the word “dogma” you’d have very little to say.
Ironically, still lots to “whine” about…..but very little to say.

#228 gut check on 08.11.15 at 9:25 am

#202
Llewellyn,
free speech in Canada is PROMOTED? I think you’re under an illusion created by the absolute clamp down on free speech that we have here. You don’t know what you’re missing – you have to look outside of the Canadian sandbox and then come back in in order to tell what isn’t being said in Canada and why.

#229 april on 08.11.15 at 9:38 am

According to a local radio station Canadian real estate is an “incredible bargain due to low dollar”????

#230 TheDude on 08.11.15 at 9:47 am

Yeah sorry Garth, but you’re out to lunch this one. Comparing an NDP corporate tax hike to Norwegian socialism is totally apples to oranges. We know the wealth divide has increased since 2008. We know corporations are sitting on cash, while the government is running a deficit. It’s clear that since 2008 wealth has trickled up, not down. I’m no socialist, but I wouldn’t want to be a 24-year old potential-worker in today’s economy, and I think that a slight adjustment in the balance of wealth is justified.

To be correct, I made no comparison between the Dippers and the Norwegian deities. The Alberta NDP did that, loudly trumpeted by their supporters who showed up here. Make your own comparisons. — Garth

#231 Axehead on 08.11.15 at 9:49 am

A few things to consider:

Norway: their whole economy and wealth depends on OIL. Without the black stuff, they are a poor, socialist, northern country – sort of like what Alberta may be like for the next 4 years. Sad that the Alberta NDP see bureaucracy expansion and taxation as the answer instead of ecouraging private enterprise.

E Hastings: just came back from a road trip to the coast and was surprised by the ruin and depravity of Vacouver’s city streets where the homeless, meth heads, and crack ho’s lounge on blankets in the city sidewalks housing their life possessions, whilst others wait in line for free methodone, needles or whatever they need to continue their deprived existance. Our social programs are a disaster if this is what it breeds.

I don’t trust governments to spend my tax dollars responsibly; that’s why I vote for the least government , the least taxation, the least control.

#232 Broke Dick on 08.11.15 at 9:50 am

Re photo of the day.
Good thing it was interior paint.

#233 Fiddly Bee on 08.11.15 at 9:54 am

In Norway there are ski trails between towns. You can actually ski to get places. There are 90 km of lit ski trails just in Oslo. (Important when your country has very short days). I’d pay 50% income tax for that alone.

The people are healthier than in Canada. They go outside to have fun a lot more. Norwegians seem happy, adventurous,and a little bit on the wild side.
Whatever they are doing, it seems to be working.

#234 nobody on 08.11.15 at 9:54 am

#171 CP on 08.11.15 at 12:05 am
Piketty has explained that since the 1970s wealth has accumulated more from investing and inheritance than from hard work or merit.
______________________________

Correct, but you missed the pivotal point of Piketty’s book. It is this: his work is probably the first to use a massive amount of data, from numerous countries over several centuries to come to the conclusions that he arrived at. This is an important point because most of the Friedman, Chicago School of Economics right wing, trickle down claims are completely unsupported in data and facts. Capitalist claims spouted by our host and the likes of Margaret Thacher and Ronald Reagan have done more damage to societies than almost any other idea in recent human history. One only needs to look at the incredible pain and suffering caused by Friedman’s economic theories on the people of Chile and Argentina both of whom used right wing death squads to enforce economic policies of Friedmanite, Chicago School trained economists … read Naomi Klein.

It really is time for a change.

#235 Living in YVR on 08.11.15 at 10:10 am

So many posts yikes
Cannot remember them all
Yes the Rhino party was a great party first resolution after being elected was to dissolve the parliamentary system.
Someone said Albertas tax increase is still less than ten years ago. Has anyone wondered what would happen if government spending was capped back to ten years ago.
Why does everyone go on about the leaders? Should we not vote for the best candidate in our riding who shall represent us.
Does anyone know the true meaning of Prime Minister? Look it up should he not be voted for after the election?
Why are you comparing Canada to Norway? Why not Japan, or England our heritage or France our second heritage.
Here’s one solution for you lefties and righties no industry should not be allowed to lay off workers. Really didn’t one of the big banks lay off workers and yet made billions?
And finally maybe be like Australia and make not voting illegal,

#236 Suzie Q on 08.11.15 at 10:17 am

# 98 – Some Other Mark

What you said. For me, this election is about far more than the economy, and for all the reasons you mentioned, I will be voting strategically in my riding for ABC.

It’s highly debatable whether Harper is the best option economically, but for certain his policies have not shaped a country that makes me feel proud to be Canadian. Is hoping for better naive? Sure it is. But it’s still better than throwing away your principles for a tax break…

#237 Dominoes Lining Up on 08.11.15 at 10:18 am

A sign of the times, and likely cause of more air coming out of the housing bubble, according to this article and book telling millennials to stay home with their parents.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/millennials-should-move-in-with-parents-to-prosper-say-financial-experts-1.3183511

More intergenerational living and co-housing is coming for sure, and will actually have many benefits, based on how humans have lived for centuries before the last one.

But how this will do anything but weaken the existing housing market escapes me.

#238 Brad on 08.11.15 at 10:20 am

Norway’s also consistently rated as one of the best places in the world to live – it’s citizens are rated as the 2nd happiest in the world, and it has one of the lowest crime rates in the world: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/31/norway-greatest-place-on-earth_n_4550413.html

#239 Broke Dick on 08.11.15 at 10:27 am

” a man who remortgaged his house on 11 occasions, increasing the debt each time, and now lives in a free mansion provided by the taxpayers. ”

Maybe Muclair’s wife has a gamblin problem?
Just sayin??

#240 Don Derc on 08.11.15 at 10:48 am

Who cares about Norway….they have big bucks in the bank….Canada doesn’t. No comparison here folks. It’s all about the debt….whether you’re a house hunting millennial, or a provincial gov’t. If you have debt then you are not the master of your domain (unless house is a rental with a positive cash flow). Look at Alberta – “market forces of supply and demand” didn’t drive down oil prices….the Saudis and yanks fixed that one.

This will not end well…

#241 JimH on 08.11.15 at 10:57 am

This is a terrible time to be raising taxes; corporate or otherwise. Granted, there is nothing outlandish about a corporate tax rate of 12%. But the timing is ridiculous!

I’m surprised that none of the pro-corporate tax increase supporters have pointed to the USA and our corporate tax rate.

Yes, the USA has the highest nominal corporate tax rate amongst the industrialized countries of the world at 35%.

However, the actual corporate tax rate runs about 12.1% through depreciation, deferrals, deductions and legitimate shelters.

The effective tax rate (corporate taxes/surplus) runs about 13.1%

Most importantly, no matter how you look at it, actual and effective corporate taxation in the USA has been trending lower, and has been doing so generally since the end of WWII.

American corporate taxes have also been trending lower relative to corporate profits; especially since 2009.

Generally speaking, the USA is in much better economic shape than the rest of the industrialized world.

I seriously doubt that we would be in this enviable position had US corporate taxes been bumped by 20% back in 2009.

To bump corporate taxes 20% in a contracting economy would be crippling. It would postpone recovery, castrate expansion, and exacerbate recession.

Insanity is not too strong a term.

#242 Realitybytes on 08.11.15 at 10:59 am

There is a middle ground.

Canada is a centrist country, and a successful one. It’s the hard core Harper Right Wing Swing that’s driving a reaction to the left.

It sucks.

#243 Rhino Party on 08.11.15 at 10:59 am

Had to change my name
Rhinoceros Party of Canada (1963–93) Won more votes in some ridings in the 1980 election than the Conservatives and NDP combined!

Just in case your to lazy to look up their platform
Pay attention to What took place after declaring war on Belgium, you cannot make this stuff up!

Other platform promises of the Rhinoceros Party included:
Repealing the law of gravity[18][19]
Providing higher education by building taller schools[10]
Instituting English, French and illiteracy as Canada’s three official languages[10]
Tearing down the Rocky Mountains so that Albertans could see the Pacific sunset[19]
Making Montreal the Venice of North America by damming the St. Lawrence River[20]
Abolishing the environment because it’s too hard to keep clean and it takes up so much space[10]
Annexing the United States, which would take its place as the third territory in Canada’s backyard (after the Yukon and the Northwest Territories—Nunavut did not yet exist), in order to eliminate foreign control of Canada’s natural resources[21]
Ending crime by abolishing all laws[22]
To provide more parking in the Maritimes and to create the world’s largest parking lot respectively, paving the Bay of Fundy and the province of Manitoba [10][19]
Turning Montreal’s Saint Catherine Street into the world’s longest bowling alley[10]
Amending Canada’s Freedom of Information Act: “Nothing is free anymore; Canadians should have to pay for their information”.[23]
Making the Canadian climate more temperate by tapping into the natural resource of hot air in Ottawa.[23]
Storing nuclear waste in the Senate: “After all, we’ve been storing political waste there for years”.[23]
Adopting the British system of driving on the left; this was to be gradually phased in over five years with large trucks and tractors first, then buses, eventually including small cars, and bicycles and wheelchairs last.[12]
Selling the Canadian Senate at an antique auction in California[19][21]
Putting the national debt on Visa[24]
Declaring war on Belgium because a Belgian cartoon character, Tintin, killed a rhinoceros in one of the cartoons[25]
Offering to call off the proposed Belgium-Canada war if Belgium delivered a case of mussels and a case of Belgian beer to Rhinoceros “Hindquarters” in Montreal (the Belgian Embassy in Ottawa did, in fact, do this)[25]
Painting Canada’s coastal sea limits in watercolour so that Canadian fish would know where they were at all times[20]
Banning guns and butter, since both kill[20]
Banning lousy Canadian winters[10]
Building a bridge spanning the country, from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland.[26]
Making the Trans-Canada Highway one way only.[26]
Changing Canada’s currency to bubble gum, so it could be inflated or deflated at will.[27]
Donating a free rhinoceros to every aspiring artist in Canada[21]
Counting the Thousand Islands to see if the Americans have stolen any[8]

#244 Bottom_Up on 08.11.15 at 11:03 am

#215 Turtle on 08.11.15 at 8:35 am
————————————-
Don’t mistake freedom from complete taxation as a good thing.

There is 0% tax in certain regions of Somalia…

#245 Bottom_Up on 08.11.15 at 11:06 am

#209 Sparky on 08.11.15 at 7:59 am
———————————
Ok, what’s stopping you from moving to the bush then? Let me guess, all the good things that come from beimg part of a community right?

#246 GreenEyes on 08.11.15 at 11:07 am

In regards to Norway’s success in managing their oil wealth, everyone is ignoring the elephant in the room; the feds have little to no control over resources, it’s provincial jurisdiction.

If the Feds want to decide how resources are managed, all they have to do is open up the constitution, and then you can say goodbye to Canada as you know it. I’m not convinced this would be a bad thing.

#247 Drill Baby Drill on 08.11.15 at 11:08 am

It is very entertaining watching the leader of the Kommie Pinko Party tap dance around the oilsands expansion issue.

#248 Steerage Bilge on 08.11.15 at 11:13 am

#236 Broke Dick on 08.11.15 at 10:27 am

” a man who remortgaged his house on 11 occasions, increasing the debt each time, and now lives in a free mansion provided by the taxpayers. ”

Maybe Muclair’s wife has a gamblin problem?
Just sayin??
———————————–
Maybe Muclair has the gambling problem.

#249 Nora Lenderby on 08.11.15 at 11:13 am

#168 saskatoon on 08.10.15 at 11:55 pm
A troll and a Godwin! Excellent! I just completed another card at Bullshit Bingo!

#250 Mike S on 08.11.15 at 11:14 am

Garth

Do you really expect Harper Government, if reelected to reduce taxes?

I don’t. In fact I see taxes rising, as money would be needed to cover the future deficit (oil is still down), and shortly after the CMHC and probably the EI claims

At least Mulcair and Trudeau are honest about it …

Moreover,
I see the CMHC as a wealth transfer scheme. Am I wrong?

#251 tkid on 08.11.15 at 11:16 am

To all those nincompoop nitwits who think the greatest thing is Norway’s oil fund and wouldn’t it be groovy if we had the same thing:

http://www.finance.alberta.ca/business/ahstf/faqs.html

It’s called Alberta’s Heritage Fund in Alberta. In Ontario it’ll be called the ORPP. I don’t know what the other provinces/territories call theirs.

#252 Nora Lenderby on 08.11.15 at 11:20 am

#236 El Gartho Magnifico on 08.10.15 at 9:50 am
Garth, pardon my abruptness, but let’s cut through the crap, okay? Who do you suggest if not Mulcair?

So get to the point Garth, if Mulcair is a deplorable choice, then who do you suggest? Harper, or Trudeau? Just own up already and state your opinion explicitly. You should, after all, be able to defend it.

Oh, come on EGM. This is a suspense story. A serial. You know, we have to wait for the big reveal just-in* time for the election.

We await the Great Man’s words daily and he explains how to finally stifle our emotional qualms, swallow our pride, and vote for the least worst option. For the sake of the country.

Be patient, this is performance art wrung from the life of a man with both wisdom and experience.

*My guess.

#253 Paul on 08.11.15 at 11:21 am

Great news Kathleen just saved all of Canada’s young workers. She is pushing ahead with thr Ontario pension plan plus she is going to keep the management fees very very low but without giving a number.

#254 gut check on 08.11.15 at 11:26 am

interesting audio discussion that might elucidate a vision of a society with a happy marriage of socialism and capitalism (if you can stand the couple’s voices/interaction) Also might give some of the older folks a vision of how younger people might be thinking. You only need to listen to the first 5 or ten minutes, really
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zImULYJ5Vg8

#255 neo on 08.11.15 at 11:27 am

Garth,

China still “fixed”? I’m sure the government will get the manipulation right soon.

#256 Sheane Wallace on 08.11.15 at 11:33 am

#235 Brad

Agree,

And Norway definitely does not spend 20 millions yearly on their prime minister security alone as Canada:
http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/annual-cost-for-harpers-rcmp-security-detail-has-doubled-to-19-6-million-since-he-became-pm-in-2006
————————–

Sir GT is picking the wrong tree for barking with Norway, I would not worry about them, definitely much happier nation than us, Scandinavia is text book example on how socialism actually works – both Sweden, Finland and Norway.
The next one is Germany.

—————————————————

Loonie diving again.
https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/canadian-dollar-down-ahead-north-american-stock-market-113620317.html

#257 Lies, damned lies... and statistics on 08.11.15 at 11:33 am

Poor, poor Norway with a single horse economy (oil) and big bad government where the people feel they should work only 31 hours/week since there is no point to work more as the government will take it anyway and with a record breaking unemployment of 4.3% (and participation rate of 68.2%)

And on the other hand that shiny star Canada – a real ray of light in the gloomy G7 / OECD world – where under the glorious PM Harper (a real middle-class tax cutter) our budget is balanced, the economy and the exports are booming and unemployment is low.

And these are the results:

https://www.ssb.no/en/utenriksokonomi/statistikker/muh/maaned/2015-07-15?fane=tabell&sort=nummer&tabell=234159

The link above is directly from Statistics Norway with details regarding the Norway export numbers.
The export so far in 2015 (Jan to June) is around 424.4 Billion NOK. It is down 8.6% compared to the last year but on the other hand this is equal to around C$67.43 Billion for the year.

Given that the Norway population is the paltry 5.17 million people and this is 1/7 of the Canadian population one can assume that a “big” Norway with the same population as of Canada could potentially have exported C$472 Billion for the six months of 2015.

And yet the Canadian export so far have been C$42.6B (Jan) + C$43.5B(Feb) + C$42.2B(Mar-rev) + C$42.3B(Apr-rev) + C$42.0B(May) + C$44.6B(June)
This is equal to C$257.2 Billion for the first half of 2015.

Conclusion – the “hard-working” Canadians export 54.5% less on a per capita basis than the “lazy” Norwegians. And they do that by working 31 hours/week. Damn socialists!

#258 Nora Lenderby on 08.11.15 at 11:38 am

#114 The Utopia TFSA of the N- on 08.10.15 at 9:40 pm
…(Really… after calling Canadian voters the sheeple yesterday, now you are invoking N- ? How low can this get by the time the votes are counted)…

Mr. T. wrote an excellent autobiographical book about the rise and fall of his political career, called Sheeple. The title referred, if I remember rightly, to the words of a certain former cabinet minister inquiring, in a jocular fashion, about the mood of the public.

We, the people, are the sheeple. Following the herd, seeking safety under the guidance of shepherds who promise us that we will only lie down in green pastures, etc.

Our difficulty perhaps is, when confronted with a cliff, sheep will turn and panic. (Pigs will jump, goats will climb down).

#259 Nora Lenderby on 08.11.15 at 11:41 am

…and no-one’s perfect :-)

Highly recommend that you borrow the book from your local library, that most socialist of institutions…

#260 Paul on 08.11.15 at 12:02 pm

This is how mandatory wage increases help the low end jobs, They evaporate!
http://www.wsj.com/articles/another-minimum-wage-backfire-1439249236

#261 Sheane Wallace on 08.11.15 at 12:02 pm

#247 Mike S

CMHC is a wealth stealing scheme. They socialize the losses by taking huge liabilities at inappropriate cost on taxpayers behalf (if the cost was appropriate that ‘insurance’ business would have been privatized) while completely off-loading risks from the banks. Banks package pretty much all new high ratio mortgages as Mortgage Backed Securities (insured by CMHC so no risk) and sell them immediately for nice profit to institutional investors while keeping only low ratio and more lucrative mortgages on their book against the savers deposits.

As a result of that and with the zero interest rates (unlimited liquidity provided by BOC) banks have no incentives whatsoever to keep you deposits or to compete for deposits with higher rates (other then to invest them in the sock market with the new ‘marked performance matched GICs’ scheme), on top of that there are no deposit reserves requirements for Canadian banks yet (only capital reserves).

With these schemes your cash is reduced to crap, all market forces are overridden and the cost of capital skewed.
We are talking about coupons and confetti here folks, not money.

#262 Mike in Toronto on 08.11.15 at 12:04 pm

You make “dippers” sound like a bad thing.

The Harper dictatorship couldn’t even stimulate business in a roaring oil market. End result were resource-dependent businesses which packed up shop when Canada’s overpriced oil got too costly to extract.

Wait until we decide we don’t need more houses. Lots of vacancies where I’m living now. Seems taxpayers are subsidizing empty units everywhere.

Yet somehow the Conservative brand is one of fiscal prudence.

It’s sound financial management to save for lean times. Saving could have been kept for some “make work” projects like building the transit lines in Toronto and fixing the Gardiner while all those construction workers are desperate for jobs. Shame nobody saved any money to pay them.

It’s too late to pay back your debts and start saving money when you don’t have any.

What’s so wrong with Mulcair? Between a tyrant, a celebrity and Mulcair, he’s the best federal candidate. I would vote conservative if Garth was the leader and my local representative wasn’t a highball twit… but that’s not the reality, and the Harper government has made it very clear — They do not appreciate Garth.

My local Liberal isn’t too bad. If the NDP doesn’t screw up, he’ll get my vote. I have to ask him what his position is on his ability to stand up to Justin though…. *cough*

Garth, why don’t you form a Federal PC? :-)

#263 cowtown on 08.11.15 at 12:17 pm

well Canada is just a second choice for most folks who cant make it to the USA.
quality of labour reflects that.
we get second class brains and guts, and our lower productivity reflects that.
couple that with things like wheat cartels, dairy cartels, uneconomic subsidization of manufacturing in Onratio and Quebec; mainly to get election funding and votes, we just cant be competitive.
importing weapons rather than developing them in country and exporting to reasonable counteries like india and australia can be a great revenue source but we just please and follow USA to no gain.
i much prefer canada of upto the 90s which at least stood up for principles rather than USA.

#264 dontcallmeshirley on 08.11.15 at 12:17 pm

Norway’s fund is Garth’s “balanced portfolio” schtick on the grandest scale. The Norwegians are living the retiree life Garth promises if you follow his lead. Yet he doesn’t like the nationalizing angle.

A wee bit too dogmatic.

You gotta admit when you’re wrong. State ownership of oil works for Saudi and for Norway. Prove that it doesn’t.

#265 TurnerNation on 08.11.15 at 12:31 pm

The final sickening, unimaginable plunge for Oil prices is upon us. Et tu, GS?

Buying op.

#266 Blacksheep on 08.11.15 at 12:42 pm

Bottoms #142,

#51 Van Isle Renter on 08.10.15 at 7:52 pm
———————————————
“Actually, CO2 is a greenhouse gas, this has been confirmed by US EPA and UN scientists. And computer models do carry weight. Are you saying you never check the weather forecast, don’t believe NASA can predict future events and stock chart technical analysis tells you nothing?

Come on get real and please stop your verbal diarrhea.”
—————————————————–
Did you notice Vancouver is enjoying a record warm, dry summer?

As a life long resident of Van, I had finally had enough of the endless rain.

You know the slogan “be the change you want to see in the world”, well I decided it was time to for me to stop just bitching about my situation and take, positive action.

So on Oct/1/2014, I launched my own ‘Co2 distribution program’.

In the beginning, my neighbours would complain about the lawn mower, Cummings and Harley, idling all day in the drive way, but by early spring they began to recognize the undeniable awesome change in our weather that was occurring.

Before I knew it, word had spread and every body in the hood was idling their vehicles, all day long, too. At this rate, I don’t think it gonna rain till December.

Ya….your welcome Vancouver.

#267 Slim on 08.11.15 at 1:02 pm

It’s worth a look at how Alaska manages it’s oil and gas royalties. I think its around 12.5% average, for on shore production.

#268 Smoking Man on 08.11.15 at 1:06 pm

#250 Paul on 08.11.15 at 11:21 am
Great news Kathleen just saved all of Canada’s young workers. She is pushing ahead with thr Ontario pension plan plus she is going to keep the management fees very very low but without giving a number.
……….

Talk about putting sugar in the gas tank of an engine that is spewing black smoke from the exhaust.

She is certified insane and should be locked up. Zero concept of business.

I’ll bet company managing the fund will be heavily loaded with members of LGBT.

Not that there is anything wrong with that.

#269 Herb on 08.11.15 at 1:06 pm

On Mulcair’s remortgaging –

So someone went to the trouble of digging up a bit of dirt that, according to Garth and some blog dogs, disqualifies him from being PM and running the country’s finances.

Mulcair indeed might be a financial nincompoop, but other “spins” are possible. For instance, he might have a competent financial advisor and is using his house as an ATM for tax-deductible investment loans.

Or he is using the accrued capital in his house for other purposes. Sadly, these purposes are not disclosed in the public real estate record, and unless someone asks Mulcair to explain his personal finances (and he becomes the first politician to do so), everyone is free to speculate to suit their political purpose.

As a “socialist” in the Confucian-Christian-rational-humanist tradition, I take some comfort in Mulcair’s lack of wealth, if such there be. It could be evidence that he is an honest man. No doubt he could have made a bundle as a lawyer, prosecutor and Minister of the Environment in a province with a bit of a reputation for interesting dealings.

Besides, anyone can be Prime Minister. Harper proved at least that much.

Excellent rationalization. Why would personal behavior or financial accomplishment matter when you’re running for prime minister? — Garth

#270 Sheane Wallace on 08.11.15 at 1:13 pm

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/dailybrew/the-most-expensive-parking-in-canada-200403498.html

$45K parking space a relative bargain in Canada’s competitive parking market.

Parking spot in To/Van at the cost of an apartment in Spain (amlost no maintenance) or Greece.
Is that insurable by CMHC as well?
—————————-
#262 TurnerNation

Oil on route to under 40 this week, will it get under 30? Could it be this year? If FED really increases interest rates just watch out.

#271 LOL Canada on 08.11.15 at 1:14 pm

We are screwed no matter which way you vote, nothing to see here…The right answer is Colorado.

#272 Frank on 08.11.15 at 1:18 pm

China devalues it’s currency. Could make the Fed blink. On the up side it’ll slow down all those foreign millionaires buying Vancouver property that people are worried about.

#273 jess on 08.11.15 at 1:19 pm

Home Bank of Canada’s failure is a study in whistleblowers and cooking the books. The manager of the Winnipeg Branch, William Machaffie, told directors in 1914 that adding unpaid interest to a principal, calculating the interest as profit, then using it to pay dividends to major shareholders comprised “cooking the books.” The bank fired him for speaking up.

Nine years later, amidst an economic crisis, investors ran on the bank, and it closed. Canadian officials arrested ten Home Bank executives for fraud and “concurring with false returns,” a.k.a. cooking the books. According to Wikipedia, 60,000 prairie farmers permanently lost their savings after the bank’s collapse.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_Bank

galt then rose
http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-120612208.html

“History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.”

#274 Holy Crap Wheres The Tylenol on 08.11.15 at 1:22 pm

#252 neo on 08.11.15 at 11:27 am

Garth,
China still “fixed”? I’m sure the government will get the manipulation right soon.
_____________________________________________
Currency war come first then the real war.
USA is in trouble now big!

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/12/upshot/why-did-china-devalue-its-currency-two-big-reasons.html?_r=0&abt=0002&abg=1

#275 Leo Trollstoy on 08.11.15 at 1:23 pm

To be correct, I made no comparison between the Dippers and the Norwegian deities. The Alberta NDP did that, loudly trumpeted by their supporters who showed up here.

That’s sheeple for ya.

Can’t use their own brains. Must be told what to think.

Easily led.

#276 Rational Optimist on 08.11.15 at 1:30 pm

Thanks to Scott Andrews, the Tories likely get at least the one seat in Newfoundland: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/scott-andrews-to-run-as-an-independent-in-avalon-1.3186302

#277 crossbordershopper on 08.11.15 at 1:38 pm

the real scam is ccpc tax rates going to 9% fed and in sask, where i work and reside 2% so 11% maximum taxable on first 500,000. dividend out so the owners pay no tax. what they really only need about 50K for me and my wife.
so 500 big ones and 11% tax, yes there are minor quirks on rdtoh etc, but 500K net income after all write off’s and 11% tax rate, is quite a super low deal.
Hamilton will vote NDP, as long as the cheques still come every month, why would anynone disrupt that gravy train, yes its low income but 20-40% of everyone works for cash there, i know all my friends work for cash, and collect a govermenmt cheque.
in saskatchewan, wow, everyone declares everything and pays taxes. taxes are completely up to the individual to pay. and structure their affairs to pay the least. be it legal or otherwise, inconsequential. the ethnics will kill canada.

#278 Washed Up Lawyer on 08.11.15 at 1:42 pm

I appreciate that the 1% ers that dominate the readers of Garth’s blog will recoil at the mere mention of the CBC but there were two thought provoking and (to my deluded mind) largely correct, back to back interviews on CBC radio this morning (The Current). I hope they are available on the website.

Stifle your contempt for that public broadcaster for 30 minutes and give them an open minded listen.

The first was on the future development of the oil sands and the potential of a stranded asset. The second was with a bright author on the need for a non-violent revolution in the US to rid the nation of the corporate control of the government. Both food for thought.

I will check for the link.

#279 roial1 on 08.11.15 at 1:46 pm

#173 chapter 9 on 08.11.15 at 12:11 am

155 Peter
So why didn’t Alberta have an oil revenue fund like the Norwegians?

The cost to Alberta by the National Energy Program introduced by Justin Trudeau’s late father set this province back about $100 Billion. The economic and social damage was felt for years. It was the conservative government in 1984 that finally revamped the bulk of this damaging legislation.

Yup! you are right.

Now it “ALL” goes to Dallas

#280 saskatoon on 08.11.15 at 1:47 pm

#241 Bottom_Up
#215 Turtle

MANY aspects of stateless (i.e, taxless) somalia GREATLY improved.

here are just a few:

extreme poverty went from 60% to 43.2%
access to health care went from 28% to 54.8%
life expectancy went from 46 to 48.47

#281 ronh on 08.11.15 at 1:47 pm

And now, back to finances. Interesting read about interest rates.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-08-11/why-fed-bind-scotiabank-explains

#282 Sponge on 08.11.15 at 1:52 pm

Well, here we are… Lefties and Righties! Looking at polls and adding the lefty groups makes Canadians leaning North of 60 Percent socially bound!
http://www.cbc.ca/news2/interactives/poll-tracker/2015/index.html
We need the middle. (that’s a certainty for Democracy) but yet one side fears the other as extreme…
What fate do we have in front of us?
1) neo-con leading minority with a left leaning population…
2) inexperienced with good hair but his party a solid slightly left group…
3) the unknown backed by large Union groups…

It’ll soon be time to choose. My two cents are we need answers to the current mismanagement. I’ll say it again. We need the middle.
Here’s one idea I’ll throw out! If the Left gets in, let’s lobby to give manufacturing and service corporations a by on the 20 percent tax increase! A somewhat easy way for the federal gov to get more out of the O&G sector without the scary NEP.. :/

#283 That Guy on 08.11.15 at 1:52 pm

Maybe they should start a motor company there, a 20th Century Motor Company.

#284 Washed Up Lawyer on 08.11.15 at 1:58 pm

The links:

Oil Sands:

http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-august-11-2015-1.3186670/drilling-for-the-truth-about-oilsands-environmental-impact-1.3186679

The R word:

http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-august-11-2015-1.3186670/america-s-revolutionary-moment-chris-hedges-on-rebellion-and-revolt-1.3186698

#285 TRT on 08.11.15 at 2:03 pm

Oil at $42.

China slowing.

Loonie crashing.

Brain Drain.

Only growth industry left is Immigration.

#286 TRT on 08.11.15 at 2:04 pm

Each 1% devaluation of the Yuan triggers $40B usd fleeing China. Where to put it? YVR RE.

#287 Daisy Mae on 08.11.15 at 2:05 pm

#3: “We’re in trouble folks. Vote Conservative.”

**************************

Only if we get a new leader….and I believe Garth suggested this earlier. I don’t think most of us feel the PCs are a bad party. We’ve just got to get rid of a bad leader. No time for that this time ’round, however….

#288 Retired Boomer - WI on 08.11.15 at 2:12 pm

Debts, Deficits, and Taxes. We have Federal Taxes, provincial (or state) taxes, local taxes, property taxes and who knows what else!!

Let us break them down huh?

Federal Income Taxes (rates vary usually by income)
(Prov. or) State Income Taxes (rate varies by income)
(Prov. or) Sales Taxes (rate generally fixed, exclusions)
City or local income & sales taxes rate usually fixed
Property Taxes (set locally to fund local govt, schools, universities, tech schools and other stuff)

In the US we have fixed “other taxes” like a federal petrol tax, utility, tyre tax. phone tax,…called ‘user fees’ then their are ‘sin taxes’ alcohol, tobacco, gaming,

States apply the same kinds of embedded taxes, and ‘sin taxes’ usually MUCH higher rates, too.

We have just added a new 3% “dead-beat utility tax” to our electric bills… called ‘low-income assistance’ what bullshit! For YEARS our family added $5.00 a month as a ‘gift’ as we knew there were needy. Now, it is mandatory!
so, now no more gift…
I like helping, but not necessarily when FORCED to help!

I also pay a good accountant to squeeze every dam, last tax deduction I am entitled to! Even as a retired Boomer, I see there ‘may’ be too many $$ squirreled away that MUST be taken out beginning at 70.5 years of age. To avoid hitting that higher tax bracket then, we have started to convert some of that every year at the current 15% rate, into our respective ROTH (TFSA like tax free) accounts, rather than risk that some will be forced out as a minimum distribution at 70.5 years old at the 25% tax rate.

No TAX evasion mind you, but TAX AVOIDANCE!

That problem begins at about $740,000 US for those who are US taxpayers and have tax deferred 401K type savings. Yeah, I know it sucks to have such problems.

TAX AVOIDANCE also means avoiding the parties which have a bad record on taxation policies. The thought here is the leopard rarely changes its spots.

Here in the US the record shows clearly which party has acted BEST on taxation / deficit & debts over the years, and it is probably NOT the one most would suspect from the rhetoric.

Just check your country’s TAX facts history yourself before you decide!

#289 Alex Greene on 08.11.15 at 2:13 pm

The irony here is that NDP would be considered an extreme right-wing party in Norway or Sweden. :)

#290 Nemesis on 08.11.15 at 2:14 pm

#MyTraktorIsNikita?,Or… #GT’sWorstFearsCoalesce…

https://youtu.be/gqZGBawsg8k

#291 Steerage Bilge on 08.11.15 at 2:21 pm

#277 saskatoon on 08.11.15 at 1:47 pm

#241 Bottom_Up
#215 Turtle

MANY aspects of stateless (i.e, taxless) somalia GREATLY improved.

here are just a few:

extreme poverty went from 60% to 43.2%
access to health care went from 28% to 54.8%
life expectancy went from 46 to 48.47
———————————–
Go for it.

#292 Nosty, etc. on 08.11.15 at 2:22 pm

#31 Smoking Man on 08.10.15 at 7:30 pm — Rob Ford as VEEP? The US couldn’t do any worse! What about Wynne? Is she good at making tea?

Of note, ignore all the horseshit this world spews forth daily, which is gleefully reported as news by the corrupt m$m — FOX News(!) has lost all credibility. Having Megyn on board is a major liability.

After I posted that quote from a retired US military man, about 9-11 clearly being an inside job a week or so ago, and that if TROTW ever found out, zionism would be toast, here are 14 further facts to support his statement. Yet sheeple continue to believe the m$m. Check with Megyn!

#223 TurnerNation on 08.11.15 at 9:19 am — “I didn’t listen to those Currency Wars talkers.” — Good thinking!

#293 Sparky on 08.11.15 at 2:27 pm

#242 Bottom_Up
#209 Sparky on 08.11.15 at 7:59 am
———————————
Ok, what’s stopping you from moving to the bush then? Let me guess, all the good things that come from beimg part of a community right?

Actually, i have spent half of my adult life living in the remote parts of Canada, out in the bush (NWT, Yukon) and was quite happy there. Moved back to civilization so my kids could be near extended family and become socialized. But, have taught them how to take care of themselves, and when they no longer need me on a daily basis (which is in the next 6-10 yrs), I will be moving back to the sticks. As it is now, I do live far enough out in the country that I can see starts at night and deer drinking from my pond.

I find the closer to the city I get, the more complaining I hear. The further away from the city I get, the more people I see that take full responsibility for themselves. So, if you have a point or counter point to make, make it. Don’t just give me some snide comment without explanation.

#294 Axehead on 08.11.15 at 2:38 pm

Today’s Pic is fitting in that the bucket is China’s bank and the paint is their currency. I think the car represents the world in that China has no concern for the effect on anyone else. The good thing is that the car looks like a KIA so it probably has no effect on resale value.

#295 Danger Dan on 08.11.15 at 2:38 pm

I wouldn’t worry about the pro-NDP rhetoric, when the polls open we’ll be voting pragmatically as always. Liberal for the illiterates and Cons for everyone who actually manages to save enough cash to stuff their TFSA and NDP will just be for the few people especially concerned about C-51. Harper just needs to keep the shed unlocked so the NDP can pilfer all the rope they’ll need to hang from.

#296 Herb on 08.11.15 at 2:39 pm

Excellent rationalization. Why would personal behavior or financial accomplishment matter when you’re running for prime minister? — Garth

(at #266)

In all the elections I was old enough to be alive to (from 1957 on), “personal behavior or financial accomplishment” were never raised for or against a prime ministerial contender.

If you know something about Mulcair’s “personal behaviour or financial accomplishment” beyond the bare fact that he has remortgaged his house for ever- increasing amounts 11 times, let’s have it.

Isn’t that enough? I’d wonder. — Garth

#297 Vundo on 08.11.15 at 2:44 pm

#247 Mike S: from my limited understanding of how CMHC insurance works, the only wealth transfer is to the banks who are making risky mortgage loans. Someone smarter than me can correct me if I am wrong, but it is anything but a wealth transfer to indebted homeowners (if that is what you were thinking).

That being said, does anyone else think that a future government eager to pander will try some scheme to directly bail out underwater home owners? I can imagine this happening under any party. Maybe it starts as “helping seniors stay in their homes”, but if there are as many people headed for ruin as this blog suggests, that bloc of people will not be ignored.

#298 devore on 08.11.15 at 2:50 pm

#24 observer

So single people will help pay for other people’s child care according to the opposition parties….how about a bachelor/ette subsidy to make up for lack of income splitting etc.

How about the same kind of tax breaks home owners are getting also get applied to renters too? There is some serious money throw their way, from property taxes on up.

Well, tax policy is supposed to be unfair. It is unfairly skewed to advance the social and political goals of the government. Monetary incentives always work in the end, to some degree. And the government clearly wants it’s citizenry mortgaged and pregnant.

#299 gut check on 08.11.15 at 2:50 pm

@ #282 TRT on 08.11.15 at 2:03 pm
Oil at $42.

China slowing.

Loonie crashing.

Brain Drain.

Only growth industry left is Immigration.”

**************************

I wish that were true.
My hunch is that they are looking at us all as profitable, chronically ill patients nowadays.

they don’t want GMO labeling and there must be a reason for that.
they don’t seem to care about fresh water, and there must be a reason for that.
they want to hide evidence against vaccinations, there must be a reason for that
they don’t want to expand our definition of Healthcare in terms of services offered, there must be a reason for that.

yep, we’re worth more sick.

#300 Llewelyn on 08.11.15 at 2:59 pm

#281 Washed up lawyer

Thank you for bring those links to my attention. I memtioned earlier today about the high ratio of American citizens that are incarcerated or on probation. I see this as an indicator of a possible citizen backlash against a status quo that continues to discriminate against the poor and minorities.

Concern over inequality within our society should not be labelled as left wing ideology when the consequences might affect everyone.

The belief that big business is not influencing the way all governments are operating is naive.

The main reason I visit this site each day is to expand my view of the world. You input helped. Once again thank you.

#301 Keith in Calgary on 08.11.15 at 2:59 pm

I am actually sitting in my condo in Rio de Janeiro right now…….my handle is a bit of a misnomer.

Just spent the past few hours with my banker and investment advisor, getting ready for the havoc that is about to hit Brasil in the coming months.

Made a killing on forex bets against the real these last 6 months……and with the coming economic collapse comes great profit potential……..just like Canada, except it is warmer here, all the time.

Dilma (the leftist president) signed some R$50 billion of contracts with China a few months ago, and now that Pandoras box is opened and the Chinese cannot hide the problem anymore in their state aparatus, they have cancelled some R$5 billion of contracts already which will put about 15,000 skilled workers out of work. Desemprego as they say down here……..and this is just the start for the leftist government and the central bank has no ammo left to fight the currency war.

There is going to be a huge nationwide demonstration on Aug 16 which, in Copacabana where we live, means there should be some 1-2 million people on the street calling for her head. The last time this happened a few months ago much was made of the numerous signs in the street calling for the military to stage a coup and protect the population.

Too bad Canadians are a bunch of bow legged sheep.

#302 Bottoms_Up on 08.11.15 at 3:18 pm

#250 Paul on 08.11.15 at 11:21 am
———————————-
Yes, this is a great news story that mitigates some of the capitalist problems we have been seeing over the past couple decades including:
-abolishing company pension and rrsp matching plans
-hiring part-time and foreign workers
-stagnant wages
-reduced benefits

#303 Mister Obvious on 08.11.15 at 3:20 pm

If he had re-mortgaged two or maybe three times it probably wouldn’t mean much to me. But 11 times? That does seem a bit excessive.

Yes, I’m aware it’s none of my business but still…

11 times? I don’t know anyone whose done it more than twice.

#304 Transplant on 08.11.15 at 3:23 pm

#238
This is a terrible time to be raising taxes; corporate or otherwise.

The most rational post today, concise and to the point without any histrionics. I believe this is the point Garth was trying to make, namely that an increase from 10% to 12% percent is not the main issue but the timing makes no sense. Also, making reference to the fact that this increase only brings it up to a previous level is irrelevant.

Your explanation of the “real” corporate tax rate in the US I hope will also clear up invalid comparisons between the “nominal” rates between it and Canada.

#305 Short & Nasty on 08.11.15 at 3:27 pm

” Personal income taxes are in the 55% range, even higher than the wealthiest Ontarians now fork over. Corporate profits range from 28% to more than 70%.

Worse, Norway has a 25% HST, which includes a 15% value-added tax on groceries. There are also local taxes and social security levies. Plus, Norway has a 1.1% wealth tax – which clicks in at the $130,000 mark – on top of income and sales taxes. In total, the average middle-class Norwegian family (there are no other kinds, of course) pays about $70,000 a year to the state. For that they get Canadian-style health care, free education and subsidized child care.”

New Brunswick is already there…and Ontario is set to pass them when the cash grab…pension plan….starts sucking the cash out of peoples wallets. And remember folks…..the Ontario is a play as you go plan….the cash they take in will all be disbursed to fat salaries and wage hikes……the ‘Pension’ part of it is a Ponzi Scheme.as there will be zero money to back up claims….only new money coming in.

#306 Canadian on 08.11.15 at 3:58 pm

I for one can’t stop laughing at someone posting with all seriousness, that they are a “As a “socialist” in the Confucian-Christian-rational-humanist tradition”

Some people really need to read over what they write. Better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.

“Confucian-Christian-rational-humanist tradition”

Oh God my sides hurt.

#307 rosie "moving forward" in the knowledge that, "this won't end well" on 08.11.15 at 3:58 pm

All this talk of Norway being some kind of Nirvana. This chart shows the truth. Will know one think of the sheeple?

http://www.statista.com/statistics/274326/big-mac-index-global-prices-for-a-big-mac/

#308 Renter's Revenge! on 08.11.15 at 4:00 pm

@290 Sparky

“I find the closer to the city I get, the more complaining I hear. The further away from the city I get, the more people I see that take full responsibility for themselves.”

It’s like those studies that find that 98% of drivers think that other people should use public transportation more.

#309 Smoking Man on 08.11.15 at 4:05 pm

#289 Nosty, etc. on 08.11.15 at 2:22 pm
#31 Smoking Man on 08.10.15 at 7:30 pm — Rob Ford as VEEP? The US couldn’t do any worse! What about Wynne? Is she good at making tea?

Of note, ignore all the horseshit this world spews forth daily, which is gleefully reported as news by the corrupt m$m — FOX News(!) has lost all credibility. Having Megyn on board is a major liability.

After I posted that quote from a retired US military man, about 9-11 clearly being an inside job a week or so ago, and that if TROTW ever found out, zionism would be toast, here are 14 further facts to support his statement. Yet sheeple continue to believe the m$m. Check with Megyn!

#223 TurnerNation on 08.11.15 at 9:19 am — “I didn’t listen to those Currency Wars talkers.” — Good thinking!
……….

Great links again… The beast is shown again
MSM treatment of Trump proves.. The machine picks the candidates, not the people.

Re currency wars. I’ve been calling it since Jan. With China’s move today. Absolutely little chance of a Fed Fund rate hike.

On a lighter not, USDCAD went from 1.3 to 1.31 adding another 100+K to my book.

Told everyone on here to do it.. But most are to pre occupied with communism. Wages for the middle class. When it takes very little brain to make a shit load of loot with very little effort..

That’s capitalism, I don’t care who calls me stupid..

#310 Blacksheep on 08.11.15 at 4:07 pm

#250 Paul on 08.11.15 at 11:21 am
———————————-
Yes, this is a great news story that mitigates some of the capitalist problems we have been seeing over the past couple decades including:
-abolishing company pension and rrsp matching plans
-hiring part-time and foreign workers
-stagnant wages
-reduced benefits
————————————————–
Ha..ha..Smoking man, you guys are just fracked with queen Kathleen.

#311 cramar on 08.11.15 at 4:25 pm

#148 wardmj45 on 08.10.15 at 10:49 pm

A lot of people posting here are seriously delusional. Good luck to whomever wins, dealing with this load of unbridled expectations. — Garth

I cannot forget the black woman interviewed just after Obama won his first term. She was jumping for joy and telling the reporter, “Obama is going to pay off my mortgage!”

Delusional is too mild a word!

#312 Smoking Man on 08.11.15 at 4:47 pm

Tom Mulcair just emailed me looking for support. This was my response.

Dear Tom.

I think your a great guy

I hate Harper, especially because he puts another country first before Canada. I cringe at bill C51

Justin is a teacher. I hate teachers. No concept of business, how we entrepreneurs struggle in the beginning to feed those ungrateful morons. Plus I can’t trust a man who speaks with such a high Octave in his voice.

Your a nice guy but we are in a global market, the machine behind this drive will punish socialist countries severely.

How are you going to attract business investment in a global market flying the commie flag. You’re not.

Business can move money and operations anywhere.

We are doomed in Canada. And Christ, we have retarded Wynne in Ontario. Chasing businesses away in record numbers.

I’m voting for Donald Trump… Yes I know he’s not on the ballot so I will pencil him in. And hope for the best.

Cheers and Good luck.

P’s, you’re my favourite out of all the leaders. You’re just in the wrong party.

Dr Smoking Man
PhD Herdonomics.

#313 Canadian on 08.11.15 at 4:49 pm

garth: Eagerly anticipating your response to China’s massive declaration of currency war today. I think the Fed Raise is off the table for the year personally.

I don’t. — Garth

#314 april on 08.11.15 at 5:01 pm

#226 April. I think this post needs clarification. Foreign investors think “Canadian Real Estate is an incredible bargain due to low dollar” according to Vancouver radio station. Since American real estate is so much cheaper can there be any truth in this statement, or is it the cartel pumping as usual???

#315 Rexx Rock on 08.11.15 at 5:04 pm

What will happen next for Canada?There will be a rate cut 0.25%.,a 68 cent dollar,lower fixed rate mortgages and higher unemployment.Canada will let in more immigrants,refugees and raise taxes like you’ve never seen before.
We may see 40 year mortgage rates again to keep the Ponzi scheme going.I hate to be negative but its all pre planned.

#316 debtified on 08.11.15 at 5:08 pm

A more fitting title for today’s post should have been: Delusional.

#317 ALFRED E. NEUMAN on 08.11.15 at 5:16 pm

Yes, we do worry.

Without question, our Garth would serve his country well and proud. But tell me, why would he?

LIKE HE, similar better-brained folk pass on the political arena. Its an ugly gong-show that more often than not proves out to be unrewarding, thankless and abject.

AND, the more principled, truthful and sincere one is, the worse it pans.

THUS, lessers possessed of huger egos, slick/salesy pandering skills and goldfish level consciences apply.

WE, then choose from the available dregs and we get all we deserve from them.

UNTIL, we put real effort into our election process that enables us to separate the sizzle from the steak, it’ll continue as it is.

AS a start, sound-bite attack ads should be outlawed and would in my view, represent a good beginning.

“Nice hair though ..” Sheesh. Please. Say goodbye to that crap. Permanently.

#318 Davy on 08.11.15 at 5:32 pm

If you can make it on your own = capitalist
If you can’t make it on your own = socialist

#319 Kilby on 08.11.15 at 5:33 pm

A lot of people don’t like Mulcair and his dodgy past financial history (which nobody seems to be able to explain or back up) They don’t like Trudeau and his seemingly lack of conviction on anything But they all seem to dislike Harper intensely as he is so right wing it scares people from all walks of life and income brackets. A lot of “Stop Harper” signs and “Heave Steve” sentiment, even from self employed business people. Interesting times.

#320 Getting old on 08.11.15 at 5:34 pm

http://business.financialpost.com/news/fp-street/scotia-capital-to-pay-500000-penalty-cover-clients-losses-and-fine-own-advisors-after-exempt-funds-sold-wrong-investors

Scotia Capital to pay $500,000 penalty, cover clients’ losses and fine own advisers after exempt funds sold to ineligible investors

Can a tiger change its stripes?

#321 Godth on 08.11.15 at 5:35 pm

#308 Smoking Man on 08.11.15 at 4:47 pm

Swan Song for the Donald? GOP Party Bosses Plan to “Take Out” Trump
http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/08/10/swan-song-for-the-donald-gop-party-bosses-plan-to-take-out-trump/

#322 Shawn on 08.11.15 at 5:37 pm

Speaking of Delusional….

#309 Canadian on 08.11.15 at 4:49 pm said:

garth: Eagerly anticipating your response to China’s massive declaration of currency war today.

************************************
It was a 2% devaluation! 2%! which given that the Yuan is pegged to the U.S. dollar comes after a big increase in the U.S. dollar / yuan against almost all currencies except the U.S. dollar.

2%… massive declaration of currency war my a$$…

#323 MF on 08.11.15 at 5:40 pm

#313 Kilby on 08.11.15 at 5:33 pm

Opposition members and those people with strong opinions are always more vocal than the quiet majority.

We heard all that last time and Harper was re elected.

Means nothing until election day.

MF

#324 Leo Trollstoy on 08.11.15 at 5:40 pm

#308 Smoking Man on 08.11.15 at 4:47 pm

Lol! Awesome letter.

You da man smokin man

#325 Shawn on 08.11.15 at 5:43 pm

You Did it All Yourself… Delusional

#310 Davy on 08.11.15 at 5:32 pm said:

If you can make it on your own = capitalist
If you can’t make it on your own = socialist

*******************************************
No one has made it all on their own in this county in at least a 100 years. We are all mere cogs in a giant machine. Think of the extent of the economic and legal system upon which we are ALL dependent.

Get back to us when you are self educated and live totally off the grid someplace with no interaction with the outside world.

#326 amazon girl on 08.11.15 at 5:44 pm

Amazon girl

@smoking man #305

I was the only one who did it, my regret was not put
more money , thanks to the hub…oh smoky where were your rotten teeth 15 years ago….

#327 Smartalox on 08.11.15 at 5:55 pm

@ Maxx: I agree that Mulroney is still the most hated PM in Canadian history; Harper is maybe 2nd, with Diefenbaker and Trudeau close behind.

Personal behaviour and financial acumen haven’t been criteria for rating leaders before, but perhaps they should be:

– Before Mulroney ‘walked away’ with his party’s nomination, he came from very humble beginnings
– Jean Chretien positively revelled in his persona as a poor young lad growing up on the streets of Shawinigan

Conversely, Paul Martin once recounted the ‘best piece of advice’ his father ever gave him, about entering politics: (before you do) make enough money for yourself that you can’t be bought. It’s the only way you’ll stay true to yourself. I read that Paul Martin’s net worth was estimated at $100M when he was Liberal leader. But even he had his limits; faced with an intractable party and Parliament, he realized that he didn’t owe anybody anything, and walked away.

#328 waiting on the westcoast on 08.11.15 at 6:09 pm

#261 dontcallmeshirley on 08.11.15 at 12:17 pm
“Norway’s fund is Garth’s “balanced portfolio” schtick on the grandest scale. The Norwegians are living the retiree life Garth promises if you follow his lead. Yet he doesn’t like the nationalizing angle. A wee bit too dogmatic. You gotta admit when you’re wrong. State ownership of oil works for Saudi and for Norway. Prove that it doesn’t.”

I don’t know if you have been keeping up on SA and Norway but they are in a heap of trouble if oil stays low for another year or two. There have been some good articles lately on the positional failure for both of these countries.

When government control industry, they fail to innovate and expand into other markets. The same thing happens to large companies…. The best thing is to let the market do it’s thing. Big companies get usurped… Governments have their economies decline. Better to let individual companies blow up than the entire sector due to malinvestment.

#329 NDP man on 08.11.15 at 6:28 pm

Holy Crap Wheres The Tylenol on 08.11.15 at 8:59 am
Socialism hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……..
Trudeau believed in a state-led economy, and the longer he lasted in office, the more statist he became. The Foreign Investment Review Agency was succeeded by Petro-Canada. Petro-Canada was succeeded by wage and price controls. Wage and price controls were succeeded by the single worst economic decision of Canada’s 20th century: the National Energy Program.
____________________________________

Petro-Canada was a brilliant move by Trudeau. How horrible our own refinery owned by the tax payers. Cheap gas for canadians. Your propaganda is weak.
Read it and weep CON

http://www.pressprogress.ca/6_charts_show_stephen_harper_has_the_worst_economic_record_of_any_prime_minister_since_world_war_ii

#330 family beagle on 08.11.15 at 6:29 pm

Various blah: One thing is apparent, neither Norway nor Canada have a plan.
I don’t think a balanced and diversified portfoolio is a plan either. That’s just spreading it around with charts and projections for fertilizer. B&D is a decent backup plan, but it’s not going to keep up with Baron Von Moneybags as consumption ebbs and the superfluous whither.

“We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun…” Terry Jacks.

#331 maxx on 08.11.15 at 7:14 pm

#327 Smartalox on 08.11.15 at 5:55 pm

“@ Maxx: I agree that Mulroney is still the most hated PM in Canadian history; Harper is maybe 2nd, with Diefenbaker and Trudeau close behind.
………..Conversely, Paul Martin once recounted the ‘best piece of advice’ his father ever gave him, about entering politics: (before you do) make enough money for yourself that you can’t be bought. It’s the only way you’ll stay true to yourself. I read that Paul Martin’s net worth was estimated at $100M when he was Liberal leader. But even he had his limits; faced with an intractable party and Parliament, he realized that he didn’t owe anybody anything, and walked away.””

Great post….and therein lies one of the great powers of money. That is, owning your life. Sweet Freedom.

#332 maxx on 08.11.15 at 7:22 pm

#330 family beagle on 08.11.15 at 6:29 pm

“Various blah:” – cute.
“balanced and diversified portfoolio” – tragically funny.
“That’s just spreading it around with charts and projections for fertilizer.” – True and very funny.
“…the superfluous whither.” – scary funny, in a crystal ball kind of way.

“We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun…” Terry Jacks.

Clever.

#333 Tron on 08.11.15 at 8:33 pm

Garth,
I’ve commented before that your I value your advice on personal financial management immensely. But your comments on politics and social democracy borders on a kind of hyperbole that is unbecoming.
There is a big grey middle that leaves room for both individual liberty and government with a public purpose. You can make space for the entrepreneur while protecting those who lives are disrupted by the kind of “creative destruction” that all advanced economies sorely need to evolve. Schumpeter and Polanyi, Hayek and Keynes, are not incompatible–unless we lack the imagination to overcome our ideological blinders.
I think that you are better than that.
Anyway, while these columns annoy me, I have nevertheless benefited from your advice at an individual level and for that I am thankful.
Best,
Tron

When you stand for office, get elected, sit in a legislature and are push for principled change regardless of the personal consequences, you can come back and lecture me as an equal. — Garth

#334 Estrella on 08.11.15 at 10:41 pm

So now ontario will have an Ont Pension. Great, employees will have to deduct more money from take home pay, on top of more taxes on the horizon (depending which white knight takes up the scabbard, and the possibility of rate hikes.

Can you see a problem? Oh and someone yesterday said that child care costs forces people to have fewer children, which then won’t be there to support CPP in the future.

Fewer children in the populace is probably due to the lack of the core family support. I know that it takes a village to raise children and we are not doing enough to encourage that support. I raise 2 puppies that now contribute to the work force. It was not easy, and daycare cost a lot of money, but if you keep your other expenses reasonable ( aka mortgage ) then it is feasible, just hard. But nothing is easy anymore.

And who in there 40’s now is going to rely on CPP for income? There’s gonna be a few deflated loonies in that pension plan and not much else. So you take care of your children, and I’ll take care of my pension. Deal?

#335 Paul on 08.12.15 at 11:22 am

You can never tell where your life will lead you?

Tyrone—————
Because of his stupidity and clumsiness, his teacher, was always yelling at him, “You’re driving me crazy, Tyrone.”
One day Tyrone’s mama came to school to check on how he was doing.
The teacher told his mama honestly, that her son was simply a disaster, getting very low marks, and that she had never seen such a stupid boy in her entire teaching career.
The mom was so shocked at the feedback that she withdrew her son from school and moved out of Calgary, relocating to Edmonton.
25 years later, the teacher was diagnosed with an almost incurable cardiac disease.
All the doctors strongly advised her to have open heart surgery, which only one surgeon at the Edmonton Clinic could perform.
Left with no other options, the teacher decided to have the operation, which was successful.
When she opened her eyes after the surgery she saw a handsome young doctor smiling down at her. She wanted to thank him, but could not talk. Her face started to turn blue, she raised her hand, trying to tell him something but quickly died.
The doctor was shocked, wondering what went wrong so suddenly. Then he turned around and saw our friend Tyrone, a janitor in the Clinic, who had unplugged the life-support equipment in order to connect his vacuum cleaner.
If you thought Tyrone had become a heart-surgeon, there is a high likelihood that you voted NDP.

#336 SI2K on 08.12.15 at 4:22 pm

Your neighbour should subsidize your child care costs so that when they need you to perform their open heart surgery you’ll be well-educated, rested and ready. Did you buy groceries today? How many low paid workers who cultivated, transported, and sold you that food are using child care to do so? How many of those low paid workers wouldn’t be in the labour force at all without child (or elder or disabled) care subsidy? Claiming you don’t use child care because you don’t have children is like turning off the lights and claiming you don’t use energy.

And don’t give me the thing about poor people closing their legs. I don’t know where that comes from, but it’s a bizarre argument that reeks of creepy mid-20th-century eugenics. Child care is an economic priority. This is a great group of Canadian kids coming up: motivated, entrepreneurial. Investing in their health, well being, and education is crucial to the Canadian economic growth so many of the people in these comments appear to crave. Yet we constantly see children characterized as a luxury item or a nuisance. Well, if having an economy at all in thirty years is a luxury item, I guess. If you don’t think Canada needs children, then good luck.