The Ontario economy and political ideology: the very basics

If you’ve been following the news or witnessed any heated debates on Facebook lately, you probably know that there is a provincial election in Ontario and that we vote on June 12. Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals wants to keep power. Andrea Horwath’s NDP hopes to form government, as does Tim Hudak’s PC party.

Lately, Hudak has been making headlines with his sensational claims about the economy and his proposed job cuts, yet of course and he and others from his party innocently claim that healthcare will be better under a Conservative government. Just like the Harris days, right?

It is easy for politicians to drum up fear and create voter confusion by talking about the economy. So let’s get some things straight:

  1. The economy is complicated. Jobs, taxes, spending, budget deficits, investment, inflation, growth, currency, consumption, supply, demand: these are all important but complicated things that politicians like to pretend they can control more than is realistically possible.
  2. There is no connection between economic growth and public sector job cuts.
  3. Conservative parties in North America aim to shrink the public sector so politicians can privatize services and allow their corporate allies to profit.
  4. Corporations in Ontario are generally doing well. They are not investing more right now because we have been in a slow economic recovery since 2008.
  5. Lost corporate tax revenues of $3.4 billion a year would be the real financial scandal under Hudak’s plan to slash the corporate tax rate in addition to firing 100,000 public sector workers.

Hudak’s language on the economy is misleading: it tries to oversimplify complicated issues, repeats a huge math error, and doesn’t address true motives for shrinking the public sector.


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