Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I agree with Prof Flanagan

That's probably not a big surprise. I generally do on most issues. In this case he is quite right. Corporate welfare is bad, foreign aid has generally been an abysmal failure and funding cultural events is probably a bad idea. I do support giving aid in the form of massive tariff cuts. We should also get rid of supply management systems and agricultural subsidies.

Down with big government

If the Conservatives had held to this principle, Rahim Jaffer, abortion and the Gay Pride parade wouldn’t have become issues

Tom Flanagan
Globe and Mail

Rahim Jaffer, abortion, the Toronto Gay Pride parade – these three issues have recently involved the Conservative government in heated debate. There is a common thread to these seemingly unrelated issues. They all illustrate what happens to a conservative government when it increases, rather than decreases, the size of the state.

Attention on Mr. Jaffer has focused on whether he violated the regulations for lobbying when he attempted to find subsidies for “green” businesses. But that question has little practical importance, given that he did not facilitate any grants and did not make any money. The much more important question is why has a conservative government created a $1-billion Green Infrastructure Fund? Such discretionary granting programs are an irresistible attraction to would-be middlemen of all types. Indeed, advisers and representatives are indispensable if ordinary businessmen are to find their way through the maze of government rules.

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