Sunday, March 01, 2015

Misleading MP: Pierrefonds-Dollard's NDP Rep Playing Head Games

Knowledge Is Power - Sir Francis Bacon

This week, in everyone's mailbox, in the riding of Pierrefonds-Dollard, Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe, the NDP MP supposedly representing us, distributed the above pamphlet entitled "2014 Tax Guide". I'd like to point out - not just to my fellow residents in the riding, but to everyone - just how misleading this pamphlet is, and how she has tried to misrepresent her party while attempting to discredit the Conservative Party of Canada.

Let me go through the pamphlet's more insidious points, as I'm sure many people either tossed it without reading, or read through it without questioning some of the language.

The personal message right at the beginning contains some of the more underhanded methods one can see if one knows how to look deeper.

For example - the first paragraph draws attention to the closing of Target stores in Canada, and the shifting of Avon Canada jobs to the USA. The very next line suggests the government (meaning Prime Minister Harper's Conservatives) is "turning a blind eye" toward the loss of jobs and mentions a phantom - and unsubstantiated - "record high" household debt.

Regarding household debt - 80% of Canadians are not worried about higher debt and 85% are taking actions to reduce it.

As for jobs lost by Target's exodus and government, let me delve into that. I recently had the honor of attending an evening with Minister of International Trade, Ed Fast, who talked about the misconception that government creates jobs. It does not. The government's job is to help create a strong economy conducive to thriving businesses. When businesses thrive, they can hire more employees, and that helps the business to thrive. Stephen Harper is not in the business of hiring you. Nor was he in the business of managing Target stores or its Canadian HQ.

Target failed for many reasons; besides not being as competitive, price-wise, as stores like Wal-Mart, one major complaint of shoppers was the empty shelves. There were even photos posted online which substantiated the complaints; and without fully stocked shelves, how is a business supposed to thrive? Target was its own worst enemy here in Canada; empty shelves and not living up to its previously known brand were reasons for its failure, and it was not - contrary to what this pamphlet would have you believe - because Stephen Harper didn't run it properly, nor is our Prime Minister uncaring toward those 17,000 people whose jobs were lost due to the exit of Target.

Moreover, Ms. Blanchette-Lamothe states: "I am proud to work with the NDP to offer concrete solutions for a more affordable living."

You know, I shook this pamphlet out several times and there were no concrete solutions anywhere within its 8-page span. These are feel-good words that are designed to endear the Party to readers of this brochure. Back it up with actions, and then you'll have some credibility. But without actions, pretty words are meaningless.
I should correct that: there was one initiative mentioned as an NDP idea, and that is to raise the minimum wage. This is a long-standing issue that remains tragically simplified by those who simply do not understand it and it is that unawareness that allows politicians to prey upon the uninformed.

Bottom line: minimum wage raised to $15/hour is not designed to help "those families who need our help the most". Let me help explain this:

Companies paying higher wages have to get the money from somewhere. Generating revenue in order to pay higher wages is not as easy as it sounds. Either they will have to raise their prices, or they will be forced to lay off enough employees to make the payroll work against profits. Is the NDP promoting unemployment? If they are touting a higher minimum wage, they seem to be going that way, to be sure.

Minimum wage is designed for low-skilled or inexperienced workers, not for those whose education or skill levels earn them higher wages. Most families do not rely upon minimum-wage earners to support them.

I like to look to well-respected American economist, Thomas Sowell, for his wisdom on issues such as these. He states it as eloquently as anyone can:

Unfortunately, the real minimum wage is always zero, regardless of the laws, and that is the wage that many workers receive in the wake of the creation or escalation of a government-mandated minimum wage, because they lose their jobs or fail to find jobs when they enter the labor force. Making it illegal to pay less than a given amount does not make a worker’s productivity worth that amount—and, if it is not, that worker is unlikely to be employed.
Think about it - he makes sense, and the NDP representative for my riding doesn't seem to have a grasp on that concept. Or perhaps she does. She's just keeping that common-sense fact from her blissfully ignorant constituents who don't seek facts and figures for themselves.

Born in 1930, Thomas Sowell has the years as well as the wisdom to comment on economic matters. He made this statement in a recent column:

Life was tough when all I could get were low-paying jobs. But it would have been a lot tougher if I couldn’t get any job at all. And a tough life made me go get some skills and knowledge.

Ms. Blanchette-Lamothe's pamphlet is a dangerous and irresponsible piece of propaganda.

In politics, it is almost the accepted norm to be misleading in order to benefit one's own Party/career. However, it should never be acceptable to those of us who are critical thinkers, those of us who want to be a part of the process instead of the beneficiaries or victims of government leaders.

Was there anything good in the pamphlet? You bet there was. Read on...

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