There is not one day lately that we do not hear an angry anchorman/woman on TV or radio in Quebec (the land of the compassionates…) complaining about the problems in health care, education, infrastructures, transport, corruption, etc. On one hand, the thing that amazes me is that they complain and get into arguments with ministers and bureaucrats (they have a lot of patience to even entertain a conversation with these people) and on the other hand, they will go and advocate asking more money from the mining industry because “it’s OUR resources”. They just had an argument with a minister …Read More
Category ‘The Welfare State’
And this is after a 2 full years into a “recovery”! I think we don’t fully appreciate how much this “recovery” is on government life support since March 2009.
In effect, according to TrimTabs, an economic research firm, payments of social security, Medicare, Medicaid and unemployment insurance account for more than one third of all private and public wages and salaries as of January of this year. This is up 10% from 1960 and 21% from 2000.
You can imagine now with the states and cities being force to seriously cut back (they can’t print their way out like in DC!), …Read More
It was good while it last. In the Western democracies, there are so many groups of looters (who vote on top of it so it makes it legitimate), one has difficulty to know where to start. Well of course, the big guys (yes Goldman Sachs, GM, GE, Bombardier, Royal Bank…) want some “help” from the Treasury (other’s people money) and “appropriate” regulations so the little guy can’t come in and make a mess of what those guys worked so hard to build. The poor people too – well let me rephrase that – the organizations “fighting” for the poor – …Read More
How much more of central planning can one take? Well it seems that at some point one has had enough. Of course, bad ideas can go on for a long time but after what was once called “a long train of abuses” by Thomas Jefferson, the state has more and more difficulty clinging to power. If we take the case of Egypt, it was a disaster waiting to happen as all the ingredients were there:
2/3 of the Egyptian population is under 30 and suffering high unemployment – not good to have young men idled…
Egypt once could feed itself until the …Read More
What are those careless Quebecers been up to? Oh yes those careless citizens are not saving enough for their retirement so the province should do something about it. Indeed, this new idea is to force Quebecers to save – say 5% – of their income because, oh horror, most of them do not have a penny when it’s time to retire. This is what is now being discussed in our dear Province of Québec. There are so many things to say on the subject as to why this is such a bad idea but let’s just begin with some obvious …Read More
Many think that developed countries are somehow “better” than the rest because they provide for the needy through the welfare state. Nowhere is this idea more alive than in Québec. We’re more caring. Americans are ruthless cutthroat capitalists (if only!).
Few people, especially the intellectuals, understand that it has nothing to do with our good “ethos” but more with printing money and going off the gold exchange standard. Indeed, the welfare state going into full throttle coincides with the US going off the gold standard at the beginning of the 1970s. No backstop – baby boomers partied like it was …Read More
According to a report by BNY Mellon Asset Management, the US Corporate Pension deficits widen in June, falling by 6 percentage points to 74%. Unfortunately this is going to become front and center news sooner than we think.
Public and corporate pension plans (defined benefits especially) are an accident waiting to happen. Here is a little overview. Most pension plans operate in a perfect storm: most assume 8% returns (not going to happen); low interest rates (can’t have your cake and eat it too!); horrible demographics. How big is the problem? In the US, the states public pensions are underfunded …Read More