Saturday, March 1, 2008

unlucky man with Edmonton Journal

You'll have to excuse my complaining tonight; I've been beating the hustings until 9 pm today and am physically exhausted. Back to it tomorrow!

When the Edmonton Journal asked me for my 3 priorities, I said my first was "reduce government spending that is raising the cost of living". If you've been following my campaign, you'd know that a crucial issue for me is the fact that Stelmach's injection of fiscal stimulus (17% spending increase in the last budget, to per person levels almost 40% greater than 'big government' Quebec) is the worst possible remedy to our shortages. It exacerbates the demand pressures instead of solving them.

Yet Thursday's Journal says that my number 1 priority is "Reduce government spending." thus creating a period where none existed. Presumably the extra 7 words had to be elided for space reasons. After all, how could the Green candidate get her 22 word answer for her #1 in if I was quoted in full? I mean, she is for both "affordable and accessible" housing, and cutting that back to either "affordable" or "accessible" would do unspeakable violence to her meaning! But perhaps I'm too harsh: the supplied photo for Ms Pivot indicates that the Greens take Beverly - Clareview's cutest contender prize in a landslide. But how necessary was it to have the Social Credit candidate's "Words of Wisdom" that "One person can make a difference - BELIEVE in yourself"? I could get through one more day sans that exhortation, but perhaps I'm a freak.

I cannot fault any reader of the Journal for thinking I have no political sense: my second priority, "cut taxes", obviously implies the alleged first, "cut spending", so why would any politician LEAD with what is, for the voters, the necessary but negative corollary of cutting taxes? My critical "crowding out" point bounces right over the public policy debate to land on the Journal's cutting room floor.

From Wikipedia's "crowding out" article:

Crowding out is most serious when an economy is already at potential output or full employment. Then the government's expansionary fiscal policy encourages increased prices, which lead to an increased demand for money. ... At potential output, businesses are in no need of markets, so that there is no room for an accelerator effect. More directly, if the economy stays at full employment gross domestic product, any increase in government purchases shifts resources away the private sector. This phenomenon is sometimes called "real" crowding out.

On the bright side, were it not for the redoubtable Journal, the good citizens of River City would remain in woeful ignorance of my "Favourite Song"...

God's given me a pretty fair hand
got a house and a piece of land
a few dollars in a coffee can;
my old truck's still running good
my ticker's tickin like they say it should
I've got supper in the oven
a good woman's lovin
and one more day to be my little kid's dad,
Lord knows Im a lucky man.
- Montgomery Gentry

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