Thursday, February 7, 2008

Government Subsidies

We still see too many government subsidies out there.

1) Athletes - if you are good at sports you qualify for government welfare, but only some sports. If you are a hockey player you do not get it. There is no public policy benefit from giving money for elite athletes.

2) Crop insurance - government run crop insurance does not raise as much money as it needs for pay outs.

3) Government underwritten low interest or no interest loans - they distort the market as it supports businesses that are less viable than others.

4) Ferries - here is a controversial one. Why do we make it cheaper for people to live on islands? Get rid of the cheap ferries and property prices on the islands will drop to a level where regular people can afford to live there again.

5) Government international trade missions - Trudeau was right, it is not the job of government to sell products.

6) Telefilm Canada and the Canadian Television Fund - so the public is expected to pay a tax to produce television and movies that we are not watching. There are no shortage of countries willing to sell us their television products for next to nothing. Why do we need to pay to produce more? Let their taxpayers pay to give us cheap TV.

At the end of the day, each dollar we spend on subsidies makes our economy less productive, reduces our competitiveness and reduces choice. There is no upside to subsidies.

If we

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