Scaremongers abound

Why is it that economists with all thier education and study can be so narrow minded?

An Atlantic Institute for Market Studies report grades Nova Scotia the lowest financial grade in Atlantic Canada. The report gave New Brunswick the highest grade with a C plus, while Newfoundland and Labrador jumped from last year’s D to a C/C plus and Prince Edward Island also improved from a D plus/C minus to a C.

The release said per-capita spending and government size are lower than the rest of the country “but interest payments on the province’s debt continue to rise as it is spending at too high a rate.

Now, here’s the galling thing. AIMS, the bastion of free market ideology, craps on Nova Scotia and gives New Brunswick the best ‘financial score’.

Funny stuff. Nova Scotia has significantly reduced its dependency on Equalization while New Brunswick has significantly increased its dependency on Equalization. Nova Scotia’s population growth over the past 10 years is nothing to write home about but certainly better than New Brunswick’s population decline and Nova Scotia has had a considerably higher rate of private sector job creation over the past 10 years.

So, here’s what pisses me off. Nova Scotia politicians and taxpayers start reading this stuff and the catcalls start and Nova Scotia Business Inc. ends up getting cut. Or some other incredibly important program related to economic development.

AIMS, it seems, would like Nova Scotia to reduce its ‘debt’ and raise its dependence on Equalization like New Brunswick.

This is just madness. Maybe AIMS’ ‘hidden agenda’ is to completely snuff out any innovative attempts to stimulate economic development. Maybe they would like Jeannot Volpe as Premier of Atlantica – shaving tax rates and raising Equalization for all.

Sure, a large provincial debt is a challenge and needs to be addressed. But scaring governments into cutting spending that is directed at growth-oriented activities is not the solution.

Isn’t that funny. Let this d-i-g-e-s-t slowly. AIMS is applauding the province with the highest level of dependence on Equalization (and increasing) and slamming the province that has reduced its level of dependence.

Did AIMS hire Maude Barlow as it’s new CEO?