Losers and winners in economic policy - Macleans.ca

Losers and winners in economic policy

What the dispute between Ottawa and Newfoundland says about touting the benefits of economic policy

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Paul Davis

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Paul Davis

Newfoundland is rattling its sabre again. This time it is refusing to enforce the terms of the Canada-EU trade agreement (CETA) regarding government procurement unless the federal government pays the compensation Newfoundland claims it was promised.

But wait a second. Isn’t the CETA good for Canada? Aren’t federal ministers and business lobby groups trumpeting its advantages? In reality, when it comes to economic policy changes, there is no such thing as “good for Canada” or even a “good for Newfoundland.” There are just groups of individuals with different interests. When an economist tells you some economic policy change is good for Canada or Ontario or Calgary, they are forgetting some basic undergraduate economic theory.

In undergraduate courses, economics students discover that theory gives them few tools to compare the well-being of different individuals. Economists usually fall back on the concept of “Pareto improving” policy changes. Named after 19th-century engineer and economist Vilfredo Pareto, the concept denotes a reallocation of resources that makes at least one individual better off while making no one else worse off. Needless to say, there are few policy changes that leave absolutely nobody worse off.

Some policy changes have the effect of increasing the total amount of resources available. These changes are often labelled “good” by economists because, in theory, the losers could be fully compensated with resources left over to make the winners better off. The problem is, in reality, losers are rarely, if ever, fully compensated. This is why dairy farmers oppose a Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement that would spell the end of marketing boards. It’s why automakers worry that free trade will give Korean automakers greater access to Canada without Canadians gaining greater access to Korea. It’s the reason that Newfoundland is currently rattling its sabre over CETA.

This is not to say that governments should never make policy choices that create winners and losers. Rather, we should be honest that losers have good reason to believe they will end up with the short end of the stick. Governments need to work harder at ensuring the losers won’t be left high and dry. They could also be a little more modest in touting the benefits of their policy choices.

Paul Boothe is professor and director of the Lawrence National Centre for Policy and Management at Western’s Ivey Business School

Filed under:

Losers and winners in economic policy

  1. Nfld/Lab Demand corpCan & Feds Prepay $280-$400 Million for All of CETA’s Secret (‘Death-Star-Chamber) Tribunals’ Punitive Damages to Protect Prov. Taxpayers; other Provs., Municipalities, et al, “…(we) need to control corpCan’s ‘Contributions'”.

    Quebec to Sell its Right to Sue Global Corporate Economy (CETA) for Port Repairs? NEXT…
    Corp.’USA’ to Follow China?

    New ‘Savvy’ Head, Matt Salmon (R), May Demand corp’USA’ & Feds Prepay $Billions for All of TTIP’s Secret Tribunals’ Punitive Damages to Protect Home State’s Taxpayers; other States, Municipalities, et al, “…(we) need to control corpUSA’s ‘Contributions'”.

    Obama may release full text of Submission to The Supreme Court to ‘Tear Down that Wall’ of ‘Death-Star-Chamber’ Secret Tribunals in Hope of Quick Passage Thu. Congress & Assuage harmless, Global NON shareholders?

    But, If Not PUTIN; ‘The WHITE KNIGHT’, then Who Do YOU Want to Save the harmless NON shareholders from Fast Tracking CHINA – CANADA Investment Treaty’s (C-CIT), TPP’s, CETA’s Secret ‘Death-Star-Chamber’ Tribunal Penalties? Will China, Iran, the Muslim World, et al, Support Putin in Suits?

    It will be good for, not only the NON shareholders of the enterprises that can be generated by the on-going global “cooperation” of corporate treaties, agreements, partnerships, et al, including the Trans Pacific Partnership, the EU – Canada CETA, the China – Canada Investment Treaty, et al,
    for the potential shareholders, as well,
    who are quite interested to know if President Xi Jinping (China) will support Russia as a co-member of B.R.I.C.S. when President Putin uses his potential role as “The White Knight”.

    And, while President Putin’s potential support as “The WHITE KNIGHT” in the development of the CETAgreement, et al, litigation below can dramatically off-set the hundreds of billions of dollars due to the present & future sanctions levelled by American led, et al, corporations & financial institutions via their governments’ signing their global corporate economic treaties/”arrangements”,
    and the potential for making trillions of dollars for the Russian economy over the next 30 – 40 years & beyond,
    are the citizens (SHAREHOLDERS & NON shareholders) of Germany & JAPAN just being prudent in wanting to wait for the outcome of:
    1) The Submission to The SUPREME COURT of CANADA & the highest court in Germany, et al, to make their findings regarding “The Submission”:
    ‘The SHAREHOLDERS & Corporations of AMERICA, Australia, Canada, et al
    the harmless Canadian NON shareholders, both; Native & non Native, et al’?
    (see; davidehsmith.wordpress.com)

    2) ‘The MERKEL (Chancellor of Germany) Letter; To Sue, or, Be Sued?’
    (see; davidehsmith.wordpress.com)

    Have the federal representatives of the nations that are the potential signatories of CETA, TPP, et al, willingly provided the NON shareholders of China, Canada, Europe, the Trans Pacific nations, et al, with the aforementioned information? Are the federal representatives, et al, depriving the NON shareholders of Canada, et al, of the due diligence information that enables the family of the NON shareholders of Canada, et al, to make informed decisions regarding their financial planning?

    And, would a reasonable person conclude by a preponderance of the evidence, &/or, beyond a reasonable doubt, that these documents, et al, demonstrate that the SHAREHOLDERS of AMERICA, CANADA , the EU & Trans Pacific nations, et al, really do not care which NON shareholders pay them the punitive penalties, etc., by way of their secret (“Death-Star Chamber”) TRIBUNALS, as long as its not the SHAREHOLDERS who pay & not their corporations regardless of which country the corporations:
    1) operating from,
    2) maintain their headquarters,
    3) use to do their cyber banking, accounting, “taxation”, etc.
    4) et al?

    And, re; the CHINA – Canada Investment Treaty, is it understandable why the “coveted” Hong Kong investor & his associates are “concerned” with the aforementioned findings of The SUPREME COURT of CANADA, et al, & the effects of the potential findings, et al, on the EU, AMERICA, the Trans Pacific nations, et al, treaties with CHINA, et al?

    In regard to arms sales; how about the sale of arms (non nuclear) in general in regard to the “trade” treaties that are continuing to be secretly negotiated and how will the Tribunals, both; B.R.I.C.S. & non BRICS, adjudicate, decide & penalize the NON SHAREHOLDERS for the sale of legitimate, semi- legitimate & “illegal” sales of arms within the signatories nations & the those of others, &/or, unaligned? Of particular, interest is China, which does have an treaty with Canada, which puts China “at odds” with other arms manufacturing & nuclear powers that it (China) does not have any “arrangements” with.
    Are these types of questions that your politicians & the corporate lobbyists calls “forget-me-nots” (“Buyer Beware”) that will be (maybe) worked out after the fast tracked signatures are obtained?

    And, what do you think is the significance of the line in The Submission to The Supreme Court of Canada ‘…And, lest one forgets that the revelation of the present perilous international treaties/’arrangements’ began with the regard for the rights of Native Canadians as per the Treaties/”arrangements” that corporate Canada & the Government of Canada have ‘foisted’ upon Native Canadians…’? What are the various ways that this line will cost the SHAREHOLDERS, et al?

    On the other hand, it may be worth repeating yet again,
    ‘What the TREATY of VERSAILLES was to the 20th century PALES in COMPARISON to the TPP, CETA, C-CIT, NAFTA, et al, in the 21st’.

    And, how will YOUR submission to YOUR highest court IMPROVE upon The Submission that is presently before The Supreme Court of Canada?

    David E.H. Smith
    – Researcher
    – ‘Qui tam…’
    Please consider sharing the enclosed information & questions with 10 members of your family, friends, associates in order that they can use the due diligence info to make more informed decision about their families’ financial planning, & then they can share it with 10 others…
    For more Information & Questions re; The Relationship between Human (Nature) Rights & Economics by way of the C-CI Treaty, the CET Agreement, TPP, et al, and The WAD Accord
    see; davidehsmith.wordpress.com