I’ve spliced together two clips from yesterday afternoon’s session of the Legislative Assembly proceedings to contrast the essential difference in how Liberals and Conservatives understand the role of government in ensuring a vibrant and just economy: one from the Premier and one from Brad Trivers. They were both speaking to a self-serving Motion by the Liberal government to “Recognize the Strength of the Provincial Economy.”
The Premier boasted at one point that the PEI economy is “RED” hot because of Liberal policy, but he neglected to mention how our red hot economy is also structurally unfair and “burning” a whole lot of hard-working Islanders.
Brad Trivers did a great job of explaining how it may be true that the economy appears to be doing well, but unfortunately, much of the wealth being generated by our booming economy is not benefiting an increasing number of Islanders, but demanding that they work longer and harder only to become poorer than they were before.
A PEI Progressive Conservative approach to governance would stimulate the economy by encouraging the growth of small businesses, but at the same time ensure a more equitable distribution of wealth through higher wages to workers, which would lift thousands of Islanders out of poverty and not just further enrich a handful of the wealthiest Island families who are currently the preferred (and all–too frequent) recipients of multi-million dollar loans and grants from the Liberal government.
Trivers explains how we can have an “economy on a tear” that – as he put it – “..rips the fabric of society apart,” creating a widening gap between a growing number of poor Islanders, and a shrinking number of people who are getting richer and more powerful.
A Progressive Conservative approach to governance would stimulate economic activity with lower taxes for small businesses – as well as higher wages for workers – which businesses would be able to pay by not having to give so much tax to government.
Wealth shouldn’t be siphoned from workers by government in the form of constantly increasing fees and taxes,only to be then funnelled into the hands of the most powerful – simply because they are the most powerful, and can hire people to work at wage rates that don’t allow those workers to even afford their basic needs from month to month!
Premier MacLauchlan loves to talk about the “Debt–to-GDP” ratio, but as I explained in plain language in my Guardian Guest Opinion published on December 11, 2017 titled “Relying on the GDP is Unethical,” [https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/…/opinion-why-relying-on-gdp-…] the Debt to GDP method of measuring the health of an economy is not only seriously flawed, but flawed in favour of benefiting the economic elite, e.g., banks and corporations, not ordinary citizens.
The premier really has to start acknowledging how his use of those economic indicators is both misleading and deceptive and start addressing the “Wealthy-to-Poor” ratio which Liberal economic policies are worsening within PEI.