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Alberta Politics Daveberta Podcast

Episode 38: Students get a pay cut and big corporations get a tax cut

The cut to minimum wage for Alberta students under the age of 18 and cuts to corporate income taxes are the big topics discussed by Dave Cournoyer and guest co-host Brad Lafortune on this episode of the Daveberta Podcast.

We also discuss Attorney General Doug Schweitzer’s decision to appoint a special prosecutor to advise police investigating allegations of voter fraud in the 2017 United Conservative Party leadership race. And we answer some great questions shared by our listeners.

The Daveberta Podcast is a member of the Alberta Podcast Network powered by ATB Financial. The APN is asking podcast listeners to participate in their annual listener survey, so please do so if you are so inclined.

You can listen and subscribe to the Daveberta Podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlaySpotifyStitcher, or wherever you find podcasts online. We always love to feedback from our listeners, so let us know what you think of this episode and leave a review where you download.

You can also comment on the blogFacebook or Twitter or send us an email at podcast@daveberta.ca.

Thanks again to our talented producer, Adam Rozenhart, for making us sound so great.

Thanks for listening!

Note: The Daveberta Podcast will be taking a break for the next few weeks as Dave and Adam go on vacation with their families. We will be back on July 15!

Recommended Reading/Listening

7 replies on “Episode 38: Students get a pay cut and big corporations get a tax cut”

So, listened to the podcast this week, and I wanted to respond to the mailbag discussion about the role of private members, aka backbenchers, especially those on the government side, as well as the discussion of communications strategy and “talking points”, which in my view are both symptomatic of a larger weakness in our democracy.

Politics today is intensely focused on “message discipline”, which is intended to suppress external evidence of dissent within a political party, a party caucus, or a Cabinet. Any disagreements on either policy or implementation can only be aired behind closed doors; out in the public arena, everyone is expected to “sing from the same song sheet”, on pain of demotion, loss of position and perks, or even expulsion from the caucus. Some of this tendency is media-driven: journalists jump on any cracks in Cabinet or caucus solidarity like hyenas on a decomposing wildebeest. If the media were more accepting of differences of opinion in a party, perhaps parties would not have to be so top-down in their messaging.

Some of the message discipline also arises out of how parties develop policy. If a political party that prides itself on member-driven policy has a strong position on a particular issue—for instance, women’s rights to control their own bodies, which is a firm stance for the NDP—then individual MLAs/MPs ought not to stray from that position. On the other hand, if the party has no firm position on an issue, there is more leeway for its elected representatives to chart their own path.

Finally, there is the power of the Leader. Once upon a time, the Leader was chosen either by the party caucus, or by delegated conventions in which long-time party activists and sitting elected representatives had far more influence than the “instant members” signed up during a Leadership campaign. Now, with “one member, one vote” the norm in most party Leadership campaigns at both the provincial & federal levels, this is no longer the case, and a shiny new face can get him- or herself elected Leader with no caucus support, just by “selling memberships”—man, I hate that phrase—as we saw when Alison Redford was elected Alberta PC Leader, or Jagmeet Singh as federal NDP Leader. This means that one of the unwritten “checks & balances” of the Westminster system—Cabinet Ministers & Party caucus members with their own power bases and a degree of independence—has been lost. The Leader controls Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet appointments, Committee memberships and caucus governance posts, which gives him or her untrammelled authority with which to bring recalcitrant party members to heel. We will rarely see a UK- or Australian-style caucus revolt in this country, although the departure of Sky Princess Alison Redford may have been one rare exception.
(Also posted to FB).

Mr Corunoyer.

I Finally listened to Podcast 38. I found it dull though Mr. Lafortune is realistic at times. If a person wants to listen to a couple of socialists preach to the converted 38 is for them. I then checked out your recommended listening list and got as far as How To Create a Job. I’d say you enjoy snark.

For a realistic summary of how not to create a job you could read the link below which starts: “ The environmentalists have really gutted Alberta which was an economy based upon commodities. . . “ I suspect many Albertans, yourself included, do not understand or care about the underlying anger the gutting of the provincial economy is causing. You, along with other socialists, would rather rattle on about tax cuts for big corporations or like Mr. Eggen and Ms. Hoffman politicize junior and senior high students. Creepy when you think about it.

FYI Mark Milke’s latest book Ralph vs. Rachel points compares job creation between the two eras. In the Klein era (1993-96) 121,000 jobs were created – 89,000 were in the private sector and 31,000 were self employed, 0 were public sector. The Notley era (2015 – 18) produced 24,000 new jobs – 37,000 were public sector, 42,000 were self employed and the private sector lost 54,000 jobs. Mr. Milke goes on to explain why Klein’s Alberta Advantage wasn’t luck. The book also quotes Calgary Herald columnist Don Braid who said: “The NDP’s broad goal is to reshape Alberta society and economics.”

If you can find the time in your next podcast your listeners might appreciate your evaluation of Mr. Armstrong’s summary on Calgary’s economy. Your analysis of why Alberta is a better place to live after NDP efforts to create a socialist utopia, especially in Calgary, would also be of interest to some listeners.

https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/international-news/canada/calgary-vacancy-rate-still-near-record-highs-sorry-calgary-is-closing/

No, cousin Al, I want to listen to some fascists preach to the converted about how great the 44 year PC dictatorship was in Alberta, and how it totally diversified and modernized our economy and made life so much better for everyone!! And now it is rising again in the form of a facile, overweight blowhard with earbuds and his merry band of smug conservatives. Also, please go on about how great trickle-down economics is and why tax cuts to your rich friends is really how jobs get created. I just can’t wait to hear all about it, because it’s such a fresh, original and exciting message that no one has heard about before. Oh and please address my $400 bribery cheque to the following address…..

Cousin Al: Fraser Institute fellows have no credibility, as they are Koch Brothers sock puppets. The Alberta PCs, since Peter Lougheed was not the premier, did scandals that outdid others. Ralph Klein also gave pink slips to nurses and teachers. Infrastructure was left in a shambles. Then, since Ralph Klein was in charge, oil companies were allowed to get away with not cleaning up whatever messes they made. Albertans were left with a $260 billion bill to deal with this. A poor legacy.

As Cousin Al mentioned, it’s extremely uninteresting to listen to two socialists who agree with each other on everything. I can go the CBC or a million other podcasts to listen to that if that’s what a person seeks.

The gold that you struck on before was the knowledgeable, good-natured disagreement and sharing of perspectives between the left and the right sides of the political spectrum which is why I became hooked on your show. Unfortunately if this episode is an example of the future of this show, you will be losing myself as a listener…and I have a feeling many more who also feel this way.

Here’s to hoping this was a “one-off” episode!

Mr. Franks, here is my reply to your request.

Franks: No, cousin Al, I want to listen to some fascists preach to the converted about how great the 44 year PC dictatorship was in Alberta, and how it totally diversified and modernized our economy and made life so much better for everyone!!

Al: PC dictatorship? Yes, if you’re a socialist.

Franks: Diversified and modernized the economy?

Al: Search these boondoggles: Nova Tel – $600 Million, Magcan $200 Million, Millar Western $100 Million (at least) – and much more. Socialists are not smarter than conservatives. If you’re not good at picking winning businesses – and governments never are – how do you diversify and modernize your economy? They’ve learned their lesson and are creating a framework that attracts diversity and modernization and then getting out of the way.

Franks: And now it is rising again in the form of a facile, overweight . . .

Al: Facile and overweight? Compared to who? Not lately.

Franks: . . . blowhard with ear buds and his merry band of smug conservatives.

Al: Good point on the ear buds. I agree. Hubris is what created Wild Rose and gave us a taste of a socialist dictatorship. Trust me, Mr. Kenney was immediately taken behind the woodshed by UCP supporters Martha and Henry then enlightened about acceptable decorum and PC hubris.

Franks: Also, please go on about how great trickle-down economics is and why tax cuts to your rich friends is really how jobs get created. I just can’t wait to hear all about it, because it’s such a fresh, original and exciting message that no one has heard about before.

Al: Socialist trickle-down economics – more staff on government payrolls doesn’t work. It means other workers have a smaller take-home in order to support those defined benefit, inflation adjusted pensions – when 69% of all Alberta workers have no pension.

Your issue here seems to be cuts for rich friends. Let me see.

33% of working Canadians pay no income tax.

67% of all tax filers paid all federal and provincial tax.

23% of tax filers paid 35% of all federal income tax (50,000 – 99,000 income).

Guess who pays most of the rest? The top 8.4% of all tax filers pay 52% of all federal income tax (over 100,000 income per Canadian Taxpayers Association).

A recent Financial Post article stated Trudeau is correct in saying tax reductions wouldn’t help 40% of low income taxpayers because they don’t pay taxes. Same article stated the top 20% likely pay 70% of taxes. Perhaps the 20% should pay a bigger portion? Yes?

Compare current provincial tax rates to where Alberta is headed and ask anyone: Where do you want to set up a small business and hire one or two employees? Search “KPMG Personal Tax Rates Federal Provincial Territorial Income Tax Rates and Brackets for 2018”.

Then pick: a) Quebec b) Maritimes c) Alberta.

Socialists like Ms. Notley pick a) or b) because taxes are higher but inter-provincial migration patterns show socialists are not moving east of Ontario in great numbers. By the way, have you noticed huddled masses are not rushing to countries ruled by socialist governments?

Franks: Oh and please address my $400 bribery cheque to the following address…..

Al: As for your $400 bribery cheque it was a one off I don’t know what to make of but I can tell you: If you’re a low income wage earner with mouths to feed $400 less in taxes and in your pocket goes much further than through government coffers.

As Martin Armstrong said: “Taxes lower your standard of living because you will never get your money’s worth in return.”
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