Comment 55811

By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2011 at 21:06:44

goin'downtown >> an investment towards a national sports team could be deemed an investment in marketing the city for business attraction and retention.

Taking money away from people and giving it to government to spend, decreases consumer spending, decreases business investment and leads to distorted incentives.

Instead of telling businesses to compete with good products, it tells them to make the right political donations. If you want an economy that can build stuff that people want to buy, not just in Hamilton, then you want to promote an economy based on free and voluntary exchange/competition.

However, if you want an economy based on politics and who you know, then you shouldn't expect to create world leading companies or world class careers. I think it's obvious how Hamilton's economy has been moving the past fifty years. We have traded competition and freedom for security and stability.

Ask yourself this, why has Hamilton lost almost all of our good manufacturing jobs? Just look at our fastest growing industries, government funded healthcare and education. Do either of these industries promote competition? Not so much. In either of these industries can smart people sell directly to the public at prices they choose? Not so much. So where is the incentive to innovate? If I do save costs delivering health care, how am I rewarded? By having my budget reduced by the health care minister.

Switzerland is a nation of 7.78M people that embraces personal freedom and limited government. It has 15 companies on the Fortune Global 500 list. Canada is a nation of 34.3M people that touts government health care as our biggest accomplishment and we have 11 companies on the same list. On a per capita basis, Switzerland's economy is more than 6x better at producing world class companies than we are.

Perhaps the lesson here is more government spending does not equal more business success.

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