RE: Beware the fall-out of increased poverty
Jim Taggart> I’m a long-time fan of John Risley’s column. His commentaries are typically bang-on and no-holds-barred when it comes to addressing the serious economic challenges facing the Atlantic provinces. His recent column is both relevant and, for the most part, correct on the innovation challenge facing Canada (it’s not just an Atlantic Canada problem). Where I part company with Mr. Risley is in reference to his statement: “No society, or state, has ever ridden to glory or success on the back of socialism.”
I’m no über left-winger, but I understand the intertwined relationship between socialism and capitalism and its variants in different countries. It’s ironic that Americans point to Canada as some form of far-left socialist state, when in fact Canada has built its society and economy on the ever present tension between socialism and capitalism. Witness the World Economic Forum’s June 2016 press release that Canada was ranked as the second-best country in the world in which to live (behind Germany).
Sure, when it comes to competitiveness, innovation, technology adoption, productivity and so forth, Canada has much room for improvement. And indeed, the Atlantic provinces are weaker than the country as a whole. Canada places 13th in the World Economic Forum’s 2015-16 competitiveness rankings, while the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark rank higher (5th, 8th, 9th and 11th and 12th, respectively). On innovation, Bloomberg BusinessWeek places Sweden (3rd), Finland (7th), and Denmark (9th) among the more innovative economies. It is indeed curious that these socialist northern European countries have been so successful over numerous decades.
Mr. Risley’s concern with the stagnating middle class, the growing distortion of wealth distribution, and the future impact of technology on job creation (and the quality of jobs) is to be commended. I point to the controversial commentaries written by Nick Hanauer, part of the .01 per cent club, who warns that the “pitchforks are coming” for the wealthy. Hanauer’s views have been labelled leftist by fellow rich capitalists, yet his argument is two-pronged: the distribution of wealth needs to be addressed in the U.S. (and by extension Canada, though to a lesser degree), or the rich will face rebellion by the masses (as in the 1800s in France), and by addressing this, the wealthy will then maintain their position in society.
Mr. Risley would do well to rethink his anti-socialist mantra, instead reflecting on the realities of an ever-changing geo-political global economy, where traditionally labelled “communist China” has exhibited a particular skill at managing state-run capitalism.
RE: Back to the future for Canada
Boyd Anderson I have read Mr. Bruce’s columns in several publications over the years, including Atlantic Business Magazine. I have often wondered if he was affiliated with a political party. He often trashed the governing Conservatives federally and whenever a PC government was in power provincially, he trashed them too. It was a rare article that spoke against a Liberal government. Mind you, until recently it was hard to find Liberal governments. But his latest columns confirmed what I have often thought: that Mr. Bruce is full-fledged capital “L” Liberal Party supporter. His use of the first person plural “we are back” confirms this. If not he should have used “they”. From now on, perhaps Mr. Bruce can just declare his Liberal bias in his small print bio and the end of every column. Regards, Boyd Anderson, Moncton, N.B., Member of Conservative and PC Parties (see, not that hard Mr. Bruce).
Patrick Lynch This article is nothing more than biased tripe; a thin gruel of non-factual, unsubstantiated opinions that pass for nothing more than blatant cheer-leading for the Trudeau Liberals. Mr. Bruce is accredited as an award-winning journalist. However this article falls far short of that lofty standard. Instead it appears nothing more than obvious pimping on behalf of the Liberals.