Policy alert - Macleans.ca
 

Policy alert


 

Over the weekend, Stephen Harper promised to continue to uphold supply management.

Canada insulates the supply-managed sector – eggs, dairy and poultry – from most international competition with high tariff walls. Ottawa is resisting taking down these trade barriers in global trade talks as well as free trade negotiations with the European Union. Mr. Harper pledged Sunday that this won’t change and that he would “continue to resolutely defend supply management in current and future trade agreements.”

This pits Mr. Harper directly against the hypothetical Canadian Economists Party.


 

Policy alert

  1. Of course, the Liberals also support supply management, as do all the other major parties.

    Ignatieff is also pitted against hypothetical Canadian Economists Party, to a much greater extent than Harper, because of his attempt to raise corporate taxes.

    Notable economist Stephen Gordon has put together a reading list that shows just how much Ignatieff's corporate tax hike conflicts with economic consensus.
    http://worthwhile.typepad.com/worthwhile_canadian

  2. Of course, the Liberals also support supply management, as do all the other major parties.

    Ignatieff is also pitted against hypothetical Canadian Economists Party, to a much greater extent than Harper, because of his attempt to raise corporate taxes.

    Notable economist Stephen Gordon has put together a reading list that shows just how much Ignatieff's corporate tax hike conflicts with economic consensus.
    http://worthwhile.typepad.com/worthwhile_canadian

    • Yep. Wayne Easter (@WayneEaster) on Twitter this morning:

      Let me be very clear on Supply Management. The Liberal Party is the Party of supply management. We support SM, pursue SM and defend SM

      • Ah, Wayne Easter … his past association with the National Farmers Union renders him
        immediately suspect. But then, being an actual farmer , he's probably not conversant with
        the concept of man as a unit of economic activity.

    • a return tot he rate of 13 months ago is a "much" greater extent? their words or yours, here?

    • You seem pretty informed on the issue, despite the hyperbole, CR.

      Can you tell me when the Liberals have strongly argued against protecting the agricultural sector as Harper has, before they flip flopped on yet another core value and argued in favour of protecting the agricultural sector as Harper has?

      Seems to me the one who was a friend and abandoned a principle for a vote would be the one pitted against the CEP "to a much greater extent", no?

      • You seem to be confusing the issue, Ted, by making it about supposed hypocrisy, rather than which party's platform conflicts the most with economic opinion.

        The Liberals want to hike the corporate tax rate to help pay for their 1970s-lite new social programs, yet the CEP has debunked the Liberal tax hikes at every turn. If you've been following economic opinion during this election, it's clear that the Conservatives are more closely aligned with the CEP than the Liberals.

        You're trying to accuse Harper of hypocrisy on supply management, without evidence (he may well have strongly argued against protecting the agricultural sector, but I don't see any links to support this). Even if it's true that Harper changed his mind on this issue, the fact remains that:

        a) The Liberals are "the party of supply management", as per Moffatt's Wayne Easter link above,

        b) The Liberals are way more out of tune with mainstream economists than Harper is, because they continue to ignore expert opinion on corporate income taxes in addition to their enthusiastic support of supply management.

        • Sorry, but you seem to be confusing things and deliberately so, I would imagine.

          The Liberals are for tax cuts when they are appropriate and they have cut more corporate tax cuts than the Conservatives. We are already the lowest corporate tax regime in the G8 and we have to deal with the Harper deficit. This is not the time for a corporate tax cut.

          But it is sooooo interesting the selective use of experts by Conservatives. When experts say Conservative criminal policy is dumb and ineffective and damaging and wasteful, they ignore it. When experts say Conservative policy on census is dumb and wasteful and damaging, they ignore it. When experts say Conservative tax policy is dumb and ineffective – like cutting GST, or dozens and dozens of micro-cuts/credits for micro-behaviour – they ignore it. When experts say Conservative policy on stimulus spending is ineffective and doesn't produce jobs, they ignore it. When experts warn of a coming economic tsunami, they ignore it. Experts say the gun registry is effective and useful, and they ignore it.

          Even funnier, they claim – as it turns out in almost every single case – that the expert opinion doesn't matter because Canadians disagree. Yet here, Canadians overwhelmingly agree with the Liberals.

          And it's not just about Harper's amazing consistency at being the biggest hypocrite. It's his trustworthiness. He has proven time and time again with fundamental campaign promises that he will say anything, absolutely anything, to get support and feel not one teeny tiny bit of obligation to keep that promise.

          • Sorry, but you seem to be confusing things and deliberately so, I would imagine.

            Yeesh. "I'm rubber, you're glue, everything you say to me sticks right back to you". Enough said, my friend!

            This is not the time for a corporate tax cut.

            Corporate taxes have already been cut. Liberals are proposing to increase taxes from current levels. That's what we call a "tax hike". You claim that we have to deal with the deficit, but that's not why Liberals want to hike taxes. Liberals want to hike taxes because they need the revenue to help pay for all their expensive new promises, as outlined in the Liberal platform.

            But it is sooooo interesting the selective use of experts by Conservatives.

            All parties everywhere use experts selectively, or so it seems. Case in point: the Liberal corporate tax hikes, which I believe is the subject of this conversation. Just ask Stephen Gordon or any other reputable economist. The Liberals pretend to care what the experts have to say, but as soon as it's politically expedient they throw those experts under the bus, just like they're doing in this election.

            Man, I'm having fun writing this, but I should probably stop now. Ted, have you checked out the economists' many arguments against raising corporate taxes? Do you disagree with them? Also, in your opinion, is Bay Street cool with the Liberal tax hikes? :)

          • Bay Street is not talking about the corporate tax hikes/elimination of the most recent tax cut. We know it's only a big deal one way or another to political types. No one is clammoring for them, and no one really thinks the few point drops from 18% make that much of a difference in reality to anyone's business, but of course businesses love them. Any penny saved is a penny that can be put into cash reserves to shore up the bank statements and get a better loan rate. Maybe even put a bit of that back into the economy.

            But on the point of experts, you are mistaken. The Liberals don't disagree with the general point of the experts here. They've cut more taxes than the Conservatives have for pete's sake. They've never said no. They've said not right now. Not before families certainly.

          • Bay Street is not talking about the corporate tax hikes/elimination of the most recent tax cut. We know it's only a big deal one way or another to political types.

            What a laugh. This is one of those contradictory statements. If it is so important to raise corporate taxes, then it must be a lot of money. If it's a lot of money, of course people care.

            But it's good to see you are so tuned into Bay street that you can tell us what they think without the slightest bit of evidence to back your claim.

          • Well, I'm on Bay St. and it's just not what people are talking about. What can I say.

            In the aggregate it is a lot. For any particular company, not so much at all in real numbers and pretty irrelevant in relative numbers to bigger budget decisions.

            The thing about corporate tax cuts is businesses may make long term calculations based on them which will be one small factor in the decision making process. But it is not immediate and it is less important than, say, exchange or interest rate changes.

            But what can I say. I deal with this stuff every day. Deal with huge banks and small sole owner start-ups all day every single day of the week. So what the heck do I know, eh?

  3. I wonder what we'd have to do to get the Canadian Economists Party in the debates.

  4. I wonder what we'd have to do to get the Canadian Economists Party in the debates.

    • Also, who would lead the party?

      • I was joking with a friend that it'd be the most bitter leadership contest in the history of Canadian politics.

        I've resigned myself to being the John Baird of the CEP.

        • "Academic politics are so vicious precisely because the stakes are so low" H Kissinger (?)

          • Precisely. Ever been to a grad seminar in economics? UGLY. (and not just the people, but them too)

    • Apparently it's all done by "consensus". Kinda like the endearing "Canadians know" and
      "all the media".

  5. Harper changes policies more often than he changes his shirt. LOL

  6. Also, who would lead the party?

  7. Harper changes policies more often than he changes his shirt. LOL

  8. Yep. Wayne Easter (@WayneEaster) on Twitter this morning:

    Let me be very clear on Supply Management. The Liberal Party is the Party of supply management. We support SM, pursue SM and defend SM

  9. This will make their pledge to wrap up EU trade talks by 2012 very unlikely.

  10. I was joking with a friend that it'd be the most bitter leadership contest in the history of Canadian politics.

    I've resigned myself to being the John Baird of the CEP.

  11. This will make their pledge to wrap up EU trade talks by 2012 very unlikely.

    • Oh it will change again….why do you think Harper wants a majority?

    • "This will make their pledge to wrap up EU trade talks by 2012 very unlikely. "

      Why? EU has Common Agricultural Policy which dwarfs anything Canada does in manipulating market.

      • Well that would be the purpose of negotiations wouldn't it…

        Supply management keeps us out of the Pacific agreement as well.

  12. Oh it will change again….why do you think Harper wants a majority?

  13. a return tot he rate of 13 months ago is a "much" greater extent? their words or yours, here?

  14. "“Anybody who says that you can't find money in Ottawa without cutting vital services to people, simply is living in a fantasy world,” Mr. Harper continued. “That's not how government works. There are inefficiencies, and it is your job to constantly find them."

    I wish the Mr Harper who is looking for inefficiencies to balance budget would would have a talk with Mr Harper, the one promising to 'resolutely defend' supply mgmt, and explain why protectionist Harper is a schmuck.

  15. "“Anybody who says that you can%E2%80%99t find money in Ottawa without cutting vital services to people, simply is living in a fantasy world,” Mr. Harper continued. “That%E2%80%99s not how government works. There are inefficiencies, and it is your job to constantly find them."

    I wish the Mr Harper who is looking for inefficiencies to balance budget would would have a talk with Mr Harper, the one promising to 'resolutely defend' supply mgmt, and explain why protectionist Harper is a schmuck.

  16. "“Anybody who says that you can't find money in Ottawa without cutting vital services to people, simply is living in a fantasy world,” Mr. Harper continued. “That's not how government works. There are inefficiencies, and it is your job to constantly find them."

    I wish the Mr Harper who is looking for inefficiencies to balance budget would would have a talk with Mr Harper, the one promising to 'resolutely defend' supply mgmt, and explain why protectionist Harper is a schmuck.

  17. Oooooh! So much for that free market thing. Statist conservatives- whoduthunkit.

  18. Oooooh! So much for that free market thing. Statist conservatives- whoduthunkit.

    • Look on the bright side Dave. It wont likely slow them down, even for a moment, from claiming to also be the party of free trade.

      • It sure didn't slow Clement down, when, about one, maybe two sentences after extolling the virtues of free trade, he made the announcement of his SK-potash decision.

    • I was expecting them to scratch that section out and replace it with 'what MYL said.'

      • I know, eh? It's like they didn't even read it or something…

  19. Look on the bright side Dave. It wont likely slow them down, even for a moment, from claiming to also be the party of free trade.

  20. I was expecting them to scratch that section out and replace it with 'what MYL said.'

  21. You seem pretty informed on the issue, despite the hyperbole, CR.

    Can you tell me when the Liberals have strongly argued against protecting the agricultural sector as Harper has, before they flip flopped on yet another core value and argued in favour of protecting the agricultural sector as Harper has?

    Seems to me the one who was a friend and abandoned a principle for a vote would be the one pitted against the CEP "to a much greater extent", no?

  22. LOL thank you….I hadn't seen that one before. Perfect!

  23. LOL thank you….I hadn't seen that one before. Perfect!

  24. "This will make their pledge to wrap up EU trade talks by 2012 very unlikely. "

    Why? EU has Common Agricultural Policy which dwarfs anything Canada does in manipulating market.

  25. If you understand that being able to feed your own population is important, supply management is a small concession to make to free market orthodoxy. Becoming a good farmer isn't somethig taught in school, it is passed from generation to generation…or not if there is no future in it. Sustaining family farms is important to all of us, if we want to be able to continue to eat.

  26. Supply Mgmt is not popular out west.

    Very popular in the east.

    The CPC at a convention, had a very close vote on this issue.

    Party policy is to support SM.

  27. If you understand that being able to feed your own population is important, supply management is a small concession to make to free market orthodoxy. Becoming a good farmer isn't somethig taught in school, it is passed from generation to generation…or not if there is no future in it. Sustaining family farms is important to all of us, if we want to be able to continue to eat.

    • Actually, you take it at university.

      And family farms are disappearing anyway, in favour of agri-business.

      • One again you demonstrate your total and utter ignorance emily. Have you ever even met a famer? Have you ever spent time with a farmer? Did you notice that Canadian farms were feeding the world long befor they taught "agribusiness" at the Universities? Gee I wonder how those poor stubble jumpers were able to get by before they had the benefit of wisdom such as yours?

        • I grew up in farming, and am currently living in a rural area.

          You were saying?

          • I hate to parse your words because it is painful, but "grew up in farming" differs greatly from "grew up on a farm". As to Jim's comments around here and your snarky responses to him, I was at the same policy convention and it was a divisive issue. BTW living in a rural area of BC does not make me knowlegeable about mining or forestry ,growing up in Saskatchewan as the child of woman born on the family farm and having half of my relatives still in the business and spending my summers on the family farm at least qualifies me as a holder of informed opinion. and ps btw, not many Phds in politics (At least none of the dozens I've met) have much of a clue about governmet as it really is, or how it actually works.

          • Ohfergawdsakes….I have milked cows, tractored fields and baled hay….okay? It was the life I grew up in, and gladly left. The rural area I am currently in is full of farmers, so I am well aware of the problems in farming.

            And many of them here graduated from the University of Guelph…known locally as 'cow college'.

            If somebody is still farming the same way their granddad did….they won't be around for much longer.

    • Family farms? mega farms in California and Mexico is where we get the majority of our food. Monsanto controls farming not the poor farmer.

  28. Supply Mgmt is not popular out west.

    Very popular in the east.

    The CPC at a convention, had a very close vote on this issue.

    Party policy is to support SM.

    • CPC party policy is to get voters…whatever that takes.

      • You can read into whatever you like Emily. But the fact is that there was a Policy Convention, it was hotly debated, and it passed by a close one.

        • So the Cons immediately announced that they were no longer a pro-free market party eh?

          • The Liberal's are for Supply Management. Are the Liberals anti-Free Market?

          • I dunno….ask one.

          • I'm one and i'm anti free market on some things for sure. The main one being health care.

  29. "Academic politics are so vicious precisely because the stakes are so low" H Kissinger (?)

  30. Well that would be the purpose of negotiations wouldn't it…

    Supply management keeps us out of the Pacific agreement as well.

  31. You seem to be confusing the issue, Ted, by making it about supposed hypocrisy, rather than which party's platform conflicts the most with economic opinion.

    The Liberals want to hike the corporate tax rate to help pay for their 1970s-lite new social programs, yet the CEP has debunked the Liberal tax hikes at every turn. If you've been following economic opinion during this election, it's clear that the Conservatives are more closely aligned with the CEP than the Liberals.

    You're trying to accuse Harper of hypocrisy on supply management, without evidence (he may well have strongly argued against protecting the agricultural sector, but I don't see any links to support this). Even if it's true that Harper changed his mind on this issue, the fact remains that:

    a) The Liberals are "the party of supply management", as per Moffatt's Wayne Easter link above,

    b) The Liberals are way more out of tune with mainstream economists than Harper is, because they continue to ignore expert opinion on corporate income taxes in addition to their enthusiastic support of supply management.

  32. Actually, you take it at university.

    And family farms are disappearing anyway, in favour of agri-business.

  33. CPC party policy is to get voters…whatever that takes.

  34. Precisely. Ever been to a grad seminar in economics? UGLY. (and not just the people, but them too)

  35. You can read into whatever you like Emily. But the fact is that there was a Policy Convention, it was hotly debated, and it passed by a close one.

  36. Boo.

    SM needs to die already.

    A pox on all the parties' houses.

  37. Boo.

    SM needs to die already.

    A pox on all the parties' houses.

  38. So the Cons immediately announced that they were no longer a pro-free market party eh?

  39. I know, eh? It's like they didn't even read it or something…

  40. It sure didn't slow Clement down, when, about one, maybe two sentences after extolling the virtues of free trade, he made the announcement of his SK-potash decision.

  41. One again you demonstrate your total and utter ignorance emily. Have you ever even met a famer? Have you ever spent time with a farmer? Did you notice that Canadian farms were feeding the world long befor they taught "agribusiness" at the Universities? Gee I wonder how those poor stubble jumpers were able to get by before they had the benefit of wisdom such as yours?

  42. I grew up in farming, and am currently living in a rural area.

    You were saying?

  43. I hate to parse your words because it is painful, but "grew up in farming" differs greatly from "grew up on a farm". As to Jim's comments around here and your snarky responses to him, I was at the same policy convention and it was a divisive issue. BTW living in a rural area of BC does not make me knowlegeable about mining or forestry ,growing up in Saskatchewan as the child of woman born on the family farm and having half of my relatives still in the business and spending my summers on the family farm at least qualifies me as a holder of informed opinion. and ps btw, not many Phds in politics (At least none of the dozens I've met) have much of a clue about governmet as it really is, or how it actually works.

  44. Apparently it's all done by "consensus". Kinda like the endearing "Canadians know" and
    "all the media".

  45. Ohfergawdsakes….I have milked cows, tractored fields and baled hay….okay? It was the life I grew up in, and gladly left. The rural area I am currently in is full of farmers, so I am well aware of the problems in farming.

    And many of them here graduated from the University of Guelph…known locally as 'cow college'.

    If somebody is still farming the same way their granddad did….they won't be around for much longer.

  46. Ah, Wayne Easter … his past association with the National Farmers Union renders him
    immediately suspect. But then, being an actual farmer , he's probably not conversant with
    the concept of man as a unit of economic activity.

  47. The Liberal's are for Supply Management. Are the Liberals anti-Free Market?

  48. I dunno….ask one.

  49. Family farms? mega farms in California and Mexico is where we get the majority of our food. Monsanto controls farming not the poor farmer.

  50. I'm one and i'm anti free market on some things for sure. The main one being health care.

  51. Sorry, but you seem to be confusing things and deliberately so, I would imagine.

    The Liberals are for tax cuts when they are appropriate and they have cut more corporate tax cuts than the Conservatives. We are already the lowest corporate tax regime in the G8 and we have to deal with the Harper deficit. This is not the time for a corporate tax cut.

    But it is sooooo interesting the selective use of experts by Conservatives. When experts say Conservative criminal policy is dumb and ineffective and damaging and wasteful, they ignore it. When experts say Conservative policy on census is dumb and wasteful and damaging, they ignore it. When experts say Conservative tax policy is dumb and ineffective – like cutting GST, or dozens and dozens of micro-cuts/credits for micro-behaviour – they ignore it. When experts say Conservative policy on stimulus spending is ineffective and doesn't produce jobs, they ignore it. When experts warn of a coming economic tsunami, they ignore it. Experts say the gun registry is effective and useful, and they ignore it.

    Even funnier, they claim – as it turns out in almost every single case – that the expert opinion doesn't matter because Canadians disagree. Yet here, Canadians overwhelmingly agree with the Liberals.

    And it's not just about Harper's amazing consistency at being the biggest hypocrite. It's his trustworthiness. He has proven time and time again with fundamental campaign promises that he will say anything, absolutely anything, to get support and feel not one teeny tiny bit of obligation to keep that promise.

  52. "This pits Mr. Harper directly against the hypothetical Canadian Economists Party."

    Every promise you hear from a politician in an election pits the politician promising against the average Canadian over 30 with a not so damaged long term memory.

  53. "This pits Mr. Harper directly against the hypothetical Canadian Economists Party."

    Every promise you hear from a politician in an election pits the politician promising against the average Canadian over 30 with a not so damaged long term memory.

  54. Sorry, but you seem to be confusing things and deliberately so, I would imagine.

    Yeesh. "I'm rubber, you're glue, everything you say to me sticks right back to you". Enough said, my friend!

    This is not the time for a corporate tax cut.

    Corporate taxes have already been cut. Liberals are proposing to increase taxes from current levels. That's what we call a "tax hike". You claim that we have to deal with the deficit, but that's not why Liberals want to hike taxes. Liberals want to hike taxes because they need the revenue to help pay for all their expensive new promises, as outlined in the Liberal platform.

    But it is sooooo interesting the selective use of experts by Conservatives.

    All parties everywhere use experts selectively, or so it seems. Case in point: the Liberal corporate tax hikes, which I believe is the subject of this conversation. Just ask Stephen Gordon or any other reputable economist. The Liberals pretend to care what the experts have to say, but as soon as it's politically expedient they throw those experts under the bus, just like they're doing in this election.

    Man, I'm having fun writing this, but I should probably stop now. Ted, have you checked out the economists' many arguments against raising corporate taxes? Do you disagree with them? Also, in your opinion, is Bay Street cool with the Liberal tax hikes? :)

  55. Bay Street is not talking about the corporate tax hikes/elimination of the most recent tax cut. We know it's only a big deal one way or another to political types. No one is clammoring for them, and no one really thinks the few point drops from 18% make that much of a difference in reality to anyone's business, but of course businesses love them. Any penny saved is a penny that can be put into cash reserves to shore up the bank statements and get a better loan rate. Maybe even put a bit of that back into the economy.

    But on the point of experts, you are mistaken. The Liberals don't disagree with the general point of the experts here. They've cut more taxes than the Conservatives have for pete's sake. They've never said no. They've said not right now. Not before families certainly.

  56. The Canadian Economists Party: Our only campaign promise is that none of our ideas will lead to the outcomes we are aiming for.

  57. The Canadian Economists Party: Our only campaign promise is that none of our ideas will lead to the outcomes we are aiming for.

    • "…but don't hold us to that."

  58. "…but don't hold us to that."

  59. Bay Street is not talking about the corporate tax hikes/elimination of the most recent tax cut. We know it's only a big deal one way or another to political types.

    What a laugh. This is one of those contradictory statements. If it is so important to raise corporate taxes, then it must be a lot of money. If it's a lot of money, of course people care.

    But it's good to see you are so tuned into Bay street that you can tell us what they think without the slightest bit of evidence to back your claim.

  60. Well, I'm on Bay St. and it's just not what people are talking about. What can I say.

    In the aggregate it is a lot. For any particular company, not so much at all in real numbers and pretty irrelevant in relative numbers to bigger budget decisions.

    The thing about corporate tax cuts is businesses may make long term calculations based on them which will be one small factor in the decision making process. But it is not immediate and it is less important than, say, exchange or interest rate changes.

    But what can I say. I deal with this stuff every day. Deal with huge banks and small sole owner start-ups all day every single day of the week. So what the heck do I know, eh?