Monday, November 5, 2007

Supply and Demand

Dan Leger writes a worthy column in today's Chronicle Herald. I hope Nova Scotians are paying attention. His message is that we've got to back out of the "private financing" is bad mentality, something that New Brunswick is easing out of and now gives them success.

Leger is right to lampoon this province for having no evident economic growth principle beyond demanding more money from Ottawa. Do we have no shame? Even if it was our money that seeded the growth of the West, where's the pride in taking money off them now with no end in sight?

Increased equalization may give us a fleeting sense of triumph when in the long run it really only solidifies in our souls a "can't do it but for them" mindset. In fact to answer Leger's question, I fear that has become the defining principle of economic growth in our fair province. We must shake it loose.

Where is the spirit of those of our ancestors who founded Canada? They didn't demand money from government, either local or European as if it were an entitlement. Individuals built up the economy on their own in one of the toughest locations on the continent. And now, we've grown so dependent on the state that we've forgotten that.

I take issue with Leger's statement that government should partner with business though, because that's a recipe for corruption and disaster. Government should in fact be a bystander. It should get out of the hair of businesses who are working to create wealth by keeping taxes low and regulations to a minimum.

Enterprise oriented individuals may complain about Rodney MacDonald's equalization pandering and old style business subsidizing, but he will only stake out so much political capital on taking the province where it doesn't want to go. Unless we get more demands like Leger's, the Premier won't free the market.