Comment 27913

By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted December 15, 2008 at 23:36:42

Mr.Meister, why is it that government officials seem to be the only people who can help poor people. People in Hamilton have wealth of their own, so if you see a problem with poverty, there is nothing stopping you from donating to charity.

I believe the reason why people like leaving it to the government, is because it gives them the freedom to blame someone else for the problem. Of course it was Mike Harris' greed that screwed over the poor during his tenure, not the fact that wealthy people living in Toronto (who tend to vote NDP and Liberal) didn't want to forgo some of their Starbucks, or vacations to Cuba. If poverty is such an important issue to you personally, then you should sell off all but the most basic staples of life and give it to the poor. If you are unwilling to do this, then your calls for bigger government welfare programs are nothing more than rhetoric. I have a feeling that you will not give away your material possessions and are as self interested as the rest of us.

That being said, at least at 2% unemployment, there would be less need for welfare checks in the first place. As a result, current charitable donations would likely go 2-3x as far as they do today.

As to your question about how effective city managers can be in bringing well paying jobs into Hamilton, I would argue they could be extremely effective. If they stood to take a percentage of the added wealth the city produced, their focus would be like a laser beam on that very goal.

However, even if performance based incentives did nothing to help our economy, they can't do any harm. Take median disposable income for example, if this number went down, politicians would only collect their basic pay, nothing more. If real wages for the average person went up, however, the city managers would be in line for a cut of the new wealth. As it stands today, even if politicians do a great job in bringing jobs to the city, they only get paid their basic salary. How is that fair? Furthermore, why should we be surprised that politicians don't go the extra mile to help the residents of Hamilton, if their efforts won't be rewarded.

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