Polls Details

23 SAFETY AND REGULATION

If there is one sure way for the bureaucrats to increase their power and control, it is the call for safety. There has probably been nothing to increase the cost of doing business and cost of living more than safety regulations over every aspect of life. Can politicians not have enough faith in the people they represent to realize that safety is a personal concern and responsibility. Government will never be able to, nor can be expected to, protect everyone from the cradle to the grave. There are hazards of many kinds from many sources, and always will be. In trying to regulate for the few, the government is putting a burden on the many.

The Minister of Agriculture's concern about small meat processors sounds very much like he is representing the bureaucracy, not the people he represents. These small butchers will build their business to attract customers. The customers will be satisfied with them or they will not buy from them. The ones we should be concerned with are the big supermarkets and big food processors. Even with great levels of regulations and bureaucratic inspectors, the big processors are where problems with food quality have been experienced.

Many people are seeking local sources of meat and fish. The stuff in the supermarkets can no longer be fried. It has been so injected with water (and heaven knows what else) that it boils instead of fries. Better we can buy from local people that we can trust instead of from big, and big foreign, producers. If something does go wrong we at least have recourse against someone we can deal with. The big corporations would rather spend big dollars in advertising and legal fees than be responsible to people.

One unfortunate aspect of the so called safety regulations is their rigidity. Instead of inspectors being allowed some leeway in assuring safety, they are given strict rules to apply wether the circumstances warrant or not. I once had a client in Nova Scotia who started a business making fish patties of various flavours. One flavour contained “bacon bits”. The zealous inspector came and filed a report that he was processing meat and needed a meat processing license or would be shut down. There are hundreds of stories of such stupidity.

I have always suggested that regulations be considered as guidelines which would allow the bureaucrats and inspectors to exercise their expertise to determine if the spirit of the regulation was satisfied. Most regulations are written in some office with the view that every conceivable circumstance be covered. Often the inspector tries to find as many violations as possible to report, in order to make themselves look good. Seldom does an employee of Government have the experience of actually doing the things they hold supervision over.

As far as water and food safety goes, there has been increasing concern that the escalating safety standards are decreasing the ability of the body to cope with even lower levels of hazards.

24 10 GENERATIONS

The life of Societies or Empires over the last 3,000 years have been approximately 250 years. The Western societies have recently experienced faster technological changes and lifestyles than those of the past, which may have been accelerating their own demise.There have been six similar stages in the life of all empires of the past. 

Pioneering , characterized by an extraordinary common display of energy and courage.

Conquest, developing individual risk taking, enterprise, and hardihood.

Commerce, emphasizing geographical expansion of transport and trade.

Affluence, when money, and conspicuous consumption, replaces morals and effort

Intellectualism, with mental cleverness, without unselfishness or human self-dedication

Decadence, evidenced by a lowering of moral standards, cynicism, pessimism and frivolity

As US President Harry S Trueman said “ There is nothing new in this world, except the history you do not know.” Read the history of the rise and fall of past empires and compare it to our own at “http://www.newworlnatural peopledeconomics.com/archives/2014/092814_files/TheFateofEmpiresbySirJohnGlubb.pdf

 

Canada with its natural, and that of its young people, resources, may be able to reverse its decline. But only if the standards of morality, energy, courage, sacrifice and hard work portrayed by past generations is restored.

I would also direct you to the documentary “ The 4 Horsemen” the name associated with describing the causes of our current economic Apocalypse. A documentary that counters the financial interests whose power has caused the economic disparity we suffer. And a documentary which gives hope that our youth, with self education, knowledge and responsibility can pursue the Great Cause of restoring our politics and government to dominance over the destructive powers of the financiers.

Go to You Tube and look for the 98 minute documentary.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj6Suv2bsP0

 

25 FAMILY SUCCESSION

In some of my reading lately there has been reference to the importance of tax planning in passing on family assets to future generations. These tax problems all stem from the choice of the wrong tax base, that of income, and more particularly the complications that have been caused in trying to correct its damaging effects on the economy of our country. The very idea of Government taxes removing productive wealth from our economy to have it disappear as current account expenditure of Government in a fiscal year is unconscionable. Many small and medium businesses have been closed or been sold and lost from the productive sector of our country due to taxation. Many would continue and grow if passed to the next generations. This trend is particularly harmful to the rural and less prosperous areas where the big corporations buy them and just shut them down.

We should encourage the passing of wealth to the next generation. Much of the reason for entrepreneurs to continue their wealth creation is to be able to pass it to the future generation. If the inheriting generation is as smart as the last, or had been trained by them to carry on, the wealth would continue to grow the countries' economy and productive wealth. If the producers spend instead of accumulate or beneficiaries spend the inheritance on personal consumption, that is when the taxation should take place.

There should be no tax on capital gains as long as the value received is reinvested in productive assets. The receiver of the gains gets no use from the gain until they spend / consume. What they do not consume stays in our economy for the use of the rest of us. Tax what is taken out of our economy, not what is produced. Only by taxing what is consumed can there be fairness between the individuals in our society. Any other tax than on what is consumed decreases the productive assets in society to be spent by government and be gone forever.

In spite of claims that consumption is good for the economy, it can not be so. Consumption makes work for someone. But not for our young people, the work is done elsewhere, or by robots. Better that the work be to strengthen our economy, to create something lasting. What is the good of work that is unnecessary, for consumption that is unnecessary?

Governments have been discouraging production and saving, and encouraging consumption. Our personal and Governmental volume of debt has been enabling the importation of goods that should be produced in our country. At some point in time we, or our following generation, will no longer be able to go further in debt. Better we get rid of the Party Political system that is ruining our country, concentrating wealth in the hands of a few and encouraging excessive debt..

26 CONSTITUENCY OFFICES

Elected Representatives are employees of the taxpayers. They are paid to write and administer legislation. The legislation should, first of all, assure fairness between all members of the society. IT should be protective of the long term interests of the society and of the present and future generations of its members. All legislation takes away freedom of the many for the benefit of the few. Most humans will take all that they can from Government, even to the detriment of others, especially of the future members of the society.

Once elected a legislators only duties are in respect of Legislation and its administration. The members should dedicate his full time and effort to those duties. As must other employees, 40 hours a week should be spent at their work place. It is hard work, legislation and its effectiveness must be studied and understood. How much of this work can be done at a constituency office? Almost none. The time spent in a constituency office is political time. Too often it is time spent with political party members discussing reelection or favours for party members. Constituents concerns about Laws and Administration is better provided to the member by letter, email or even telephone. The concerns would be more clear and the member would have greater opportunity to give serious consideration. With all of our modern communication technology the member can be easily contacted.

A constituency office is a political office. Politics is not what the member is being paid for. Social interaction is not necessary to enable the electorate to judge the member. And to listen to many members, is a disagreeable effort for them. Reelection should be based on the quality of the work that has been done by a member. Taxpayers should not be paying for party politics, nor should they be paying for an office in the constituency or for someone to be employed there.

A constituency office is a distraction from the true duties of a member. A member should spend their work week at the center of Government. Members, with other members, should be constantly considering legislation and assuring that it is being administered in a manner intended. When concerns are submitted by constituents, or other members of the public, there usually must be interaction with the administrative branch.

Government expenditures should not include costs which are not necessary and beneficial to taxpayers. Constituency Offices are certainly not beneficial to other than political parties.

27 SCHOOL BOARDS

Government should never do for people what they can do for themselves. Government should make the laws and prosecute criminal infractions. It should also level the financial playing field by levying taxes and paying for services. In the case of education, to provide basics enough to enable its young citizens to learn. As Mark twain said “ I have never let my schooling interfere with my education”.

Oh course the school boards are failing. They, like the rest of Government, are two big and impersonal. We must return to the system where schools cost less and the graduates came out responsible individuals able to utilize whatever learning they were able to master. The old saying “You can not make a silk purse out of a sows ear” can be applied to students. The intellectual elite who now administer our schools, and most everything else in Government, “see people as they wish they were rather than as they really are”. They see teachers and students and parents as if they were each all alike. As in most things, our politicians and administrators deal with “THE EDUCATION SYSTEM” rather than the people.

We can not go back to the old one room schools with one teacher and 9 grades. Many, including myself, capable and successful adults, developed from that start in life. Those schools were close to the people they served, run by those who were parents and community leaders in the area served by the school. We can go back to having each school run by the stakeholders in each school, the parents, the teachers and the students. Have a school board for each school, parent members elected by the parents, teacher members elected by the teachers and student members elected by the students. Have the board hire the Principal. Give the principal appropriate responsibilities and powers to manage, and, give the board appropriate responsibility over policy and administration. Let the boards compete with each other, let the good become an example to the bad. Let the stakeholders be the ones responsible to make their school part of the community of which they can share responsibility and pride. Something they can never have with people from some distant Provincial and County Capital running their school. 

Schools are a good place for our elected representatives to start doing what is best for the people they serve, rather than doing what is political.

28 TRAGEDY IN THE COMMONS

Any Canadian, especially elected representatives, should read this book by Alison Loat and Michael MacMillan. The book which is based on interviews with former Members of Parliament states that MPs “too were victims of the tragedy of the commons – facing too many reasons not to speak up as they sat in Parliament and watched the slow degradation of our democracy”. They also state “Canadians see the effects of this tragedy in the declining voter rates and the erosion of trust in Governments”.

My greatest sadness is to see and think about the lack of any initiative and action by the citizens of our country, especially my peers in Politics, past and present, to force change. I greatly fear that even the unfortunate young generations, who will inherit the mess from us, will join the ranks of the intellectually elite who talk but do not act. The longer that the political, economic and moral deterioration continues, the greater will be the pain to restore our democracy. And there will be pain. The excesses of debt and consumption must be reversed. Their reversal will require massive cuts in consumption and standard of living. The correction of the inequities of accumulation of wealth by those who do not create it, will face fierce opposition by those with financial control over the political parties. But, as I have said before, it can be done with ballots instead of AK 47s. But it will take just as much work and dedication.

Lets face it, the majority of Canadians, as with citizens of most countries, fail to participate, fail to make the effort to become informed, fail to think, fail to take responsibility for the deterioration of democracy that they have allowed and fail to make any effort whatsoever. The essay “Tragedy of the Commons” by Garret Hardin discusses the challenge of managing common resources and how short term interests result in long term tragedy.

The short term interests of political parties and their financial masters, and of politicians serving for their personal financial and social gain, is reelection. The result has frequently been stated in the oft quoted “"A Democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only last until the citizens discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that the Democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy.”

The tragedy in our Democracy is that the majority votes, not because of the benefits, but because of the advertising paid for by the few who have received most of the largess out of the public treasury. The largess goes to the rich, and to the overpaid politicians and bureaucracy, those who produce no wealth, and it comes from those producers who are being pushed from the middle class to the working poor.

Our country must return to true Capitalism where reward and wealth results from production, not financial paper pushing. Production resulting from savings, risk and work, from production of goods and services that actually benefit our fellow citizens. Let us not forget, that change will only come from the work and dedication needed to elect good people who will return control from the political parties to elected representatives who will again serve all of the people.

29 CANADA HEALTH CARE SYSTEM

Especially in regards to this system, our Governments serve the system rather than the people. Only a politician or other person in denial would claim that we have “Free” health care. Anything that one is entitled to without bearing a direct cost, can neither be appreciated nor conserved. What designer of the system could be unrealistic enough to deliver the services without assuring that the recipient is aware of what is being paid on their behalf? Medicare in the USA advises the patient the amount of the bill being paid to Doctors, hospitals and other providers. This is a way of checking to see that the services are as being properly charged for, as well as indicating the value provided.

If Government were serving people instead of “systems” and they wanted to assure the provision of Universal Health care, their function would be a simple health insurance to meet the costs that people were unable to pay themselves. Every person should, and should be able to, use at least some percentage of their annual income for health care. A little bit of effort and sacrifice would assure appreciation for the health services that they receive. Those on social assistance or with borderline resources could have their social services entitlement increased to allow for their health cost. People might be more inclined to maintain better personal health if they were paying something of the cost they incurred. They would also be less inclined to seek unnecessary services.

The very thought of Public Administration of personal services in a Capitalistic, or any other, society, is a challenge to common sense. Monopolies for the supply of services always results in excess cost and lack of service to the consumer. The elected representatives have been irresponsible in failing to control monopolistic trends in the corporate world and in their creation of a bureaucratic monopoly in delivering health and other services. The big public hospitals have been able to prevent competition from clinics and services providers that could provide some treatments more efficiently, and at lower cost. It is almost evil that the bureaucrats can dictate what services or medications are to be used by patients and providers. They should only set the maximum amount that would be paid for by health care, and leave choices to the patient.

I follow the postings to “ www.helphealthcare.ca “. I recommend that all Nova Scotians follow this site to stay informed about the failures of our health services in Nova Scotia.

It seems to be shortsighted to talk about the problems in the system without facing the fact that it is the system itself that is at fault. It is people that we should be thinking of, not system. Until our politicians have Government concentrate on helping people instead of building bureaucracy, good health care will not be achieved. Just provide the resources and let people, doctors, nurses and line staff, care for the people and keep the bureaucrats from getting in the way and diverting resources.

30 THE FREELOADERS

Income Tax is the current base on which Government collects money to finance the amounts which they expend for the services they provide, for the support of those less fortunate in our society and for all of their other expenditures (worthwhile or not). Income Tax is so detrimental to our economy, and so unfair to taxpayers, that extensive complications have been added in attempts to overcome its faults. Even with all of its complicated amendments, there are still many freeloaders in our society. Many sources of income, including the two below, are simply excluded from taxation.

Consumer debt ! Purchasers made, or cash advances, on Credit Cards, that becomes debt, are income that can add to ones standard of living.. Those amounts, like amounts received as wages, are amounts received and can be spent. They are used for “out go”. If they are “out go” they must also be “in come”. If the credit card balance is never repaid, then, like wages, it is untaxed income to the person who has spent it. If it is never repaid to the credit card company, by the person who spent it, then it is being repaid by those who pay the 22% + fees charged to others who have credit cards. The credit card companies say that their high interest and fees are the result of those “Freeloaders”, not the result of the companies giving credit where they should not. So those “Freeloaders” not only have others pay for the income they have received from their credit card, but they have also avoided paying income tax on that income.

Capital Gains ! Cash received is income. Cash not received is not income. If it can not be spent it is not “in come” because it can not be “out go”. But because our Government uses the wrong tax base, special treatment has been given to “potential income” accumulated over a long term. AH! But what about inflation? Those of our society who do not have assets to grow through inflation, suffer from it even more than those who do have assets. With technology, and efficiency of production, prices should be going down, not up. Wages should be buying more. But they don't. Who are the “Freeloaders” benefiting from “income” that is not “income”, income that is “Capital Gains”? Mainly those 1% or 2% of the population accumulating 90% of the wealth. But who votes in selecting the Government who provide this exemption for the rich. All those people in the declining middle class who believe the advertising, and vote for, the Political Parties.

If the tax base was “standard of living” (consumption) these items would be correctly recognized as “income” but would not be taxed, unless they became consumption. A just society should be able “to each according to their needs”. It should also encourage “from each according to their abilities”. Without resources the abilities of each can not fully utilized. Wealth, unconsumed income, are those resources, that, left with those with ability, benefit all other members of the society. Left with those who produce, rather than paid to Government, who produce nothing, benefits all society. It is a common trait of those with ability, to defer consumption, in favour of producing more wealth.

TO LIMIN AND ERIK ON THEIR WEDDING DAY

TO LIMIN AND ERIK ON THEIR WEDDING DAY

There are so many people that I have heard say
How happy they are for you on your wedding day
And I am so pleased to have been there to see
How very happy a couple you both seem to be
I was walking behind you and it made me feel grand
To see you walking before me arm in arm and hand in hand
One would think that you had  long been a pair together
So natural you talked and laughed it is hard to tell whether
Two people in countries and cultures an ocean apart
Could have nurtured a freindship that caused love to start
The distance and language differences that bothered you some
Must have seemed very difficult for you each to overcome
You both seem so suited to be lovers and friends
To be companions to each other from now to the end
Erik is so special and dear to our family we can tell
That Min will be special and dear to us as well
You both want and need someone with whom to live
And together both have so much closeness to give
That we all hope you can overcome the government red tape
To have a Canadian home as quick as you can make
So best wishes and love I and for all the family can say
You make us happy to see you celebrate your wedding day

 

DOUG'S 40TH

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DOUG   

Doug's forty years of the journey run
All might not have been, but a lot was fun
In the west was skiing the mountain tops
And working the heavy equipment lots
The laughter and parties and pranks
Were   suffered or enjoyed with thanks
The west was Douglas's time to roam
Then came the time for him to come home
Where his grandad was proud of the boy
Who followed him and gave such joy
He would be even more proud today
To see that the boy turned out this way
We all thank Doug for helpful things
He has done for relatives and siblings
For me, I thank him for nautical skills
That saved me from sinking  or other ills
Though fourty years has passed him by
He has yet many important things to try
His busy brain has created a new machine
Of which lesser mortals could only dream
If, or not, wealth and fortune come to him
As always, he will face things with a grin
There are many more good things to say
But now is time to wish Happy Birthday

 

 

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