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September 25, 2015 | Think Big

A best-selling Canadian author of 14 books on economic trends, real estate, the financial crisis, personal finance strategies, taxation and politics. Nationally-known speaker and lecturer on macroeconomics, the housing market and investment techniques. He is a licensed Investment Advisor with a fee-based, no-commission Toronto-based practice serving clients across Canada.

Well, that was fun. When I proposed a poll on voting intentions and questions on economic platforms, I didn’t expect seven thousand people to respond in a day. Nor did I anticipate 45% of them would support the Cons. But as web master Bill Stratas and I watched the results roll in, high up in our election coverage gondola, I did imagine the leftie howlers who set up camp in the comment section would have a cow.

In fact, we got a herd. Big one. Hundreds of posts have attacked the methodology of the poll, or dismissed as a useless sampling of the overlord class.

As I said in presenting the results, that could well be true. There’s probably not a lot of cross-over between this pathetic site, for example, and Naomi Klein’s social justice blog. While GreaterFool gets a lot of hits (over six million a year) and seems to have a diverse readership of sad, strange people who favour dogs and ridicule HGTV, they also like money. But we all knew that. Thus the poll questions were centred on the economic issues this election’s been about – which were somewhat lost in the who-ya-gonna-vote-for results.

So, while enough people seem ready to hold their nose and give Mr. Harper a new government, there’s a lesson in here for the opposition guys. Don’t mess with the TFSA. Don’t create new, special taxes on successful people. Don’t risk jobs by raising corporate taxes. Don’t open the door to minimum wages that will kill small biz. It sure makes you wonder how the NDP – espousing exactly that agenda – got elected in a small-c, cowboy place like Alberta.

Arnie sent me this note the other day. Worth a read:

I guess I’m one of the 1%. I have worked hard. I’ve come from a very modest background. I shared a bedroom with my sisters in an 800-ft house until I moved out at 18.

Smart, but school wasn’t important. So at 24 I had to reboot and get serious. Went to college and applied myself. I have made all the sacrifices and have a great wife that facilitated my absences to get ahead in the corporate world. Paid for daycare, my wife has always worked, never collected EI or any of the handouts from the government.

So here I am, President of a manufacturing company in Alberta. I now make a little over $200K/yr. Two years ago I got the call. Someone was hurt at the plant. Fatality. I got the first call from the mother. He was 24. I was devastated.

I’m responsible for 60 employees. 40 of them likely voted for Notley. When I get taxed another 3-5-7% or more than half, I think it’s time to ask for another position. It’s just not worth it.

The NDP government in Alberta has already increased corporate taxation by 20% and introduced serious new taxes on high-income earners, like Arnie. The province’s budget will contain an historic deficit, significant new spending initiatives and (probably) a sales tax. Some people applaud that. Others think this is a helluva price to pay for just wanting to boot out the old guys.

It’s probably true that people who come to a site like this, yakking incessantly as it does about real estate and investment strategies, actually have money to spend or invest. So why would they support greater personal taxes or the curtailing of a vehicle like the TFSA? No surprise there. But to assume the average Canadian wants stiffer levies on corporations or another string of federal deficits is equally flawed. Same with a tax-free account that eleven million people own – which they know can be maxed out at any time in their lives.

The NDP is a dogmatic, iconoclastic, populist movement with broad support from those who feel on the margins. We need a party like that. But not in power. The Liberals, on the other hand, have lost their way. So long as they chase the NDP’s voter base, punishing the ‘wealthy’, leading the country into more debt and raising taxes on job-creating outfits like Arnie’s company, they’ll fail. This is miles off the Chertien-Martin model of fiscal conservativism and social progress which, in fact, was the mantle of the old Progressive Conservatives.

So our poll of economically-advataged readers, many of whom are 1%ers or wannabes, showing 55% non-support for the Conservatives and only 25% backing for the Libs was actually shocking. Mr. Harper has managed to turn off vast numbers of his core supporters while Mr. Trudeau has squandered the best opportunity he’ll likely ever be handed.

Interestingly, the last couple of major political polls are trending towards the results of this one. The Dippers are starting to crater. The Cons are stiffening. The Libs are drifting. And the Greens or BQ will sop up much of the ‘none-of-the-above’ vote. Once again we could have a majority government that two-thirds of voters didn’t ask for.

Well, that ends Democracy Week here. Back to hormones and mortgages, and babes like Janet Yellen. By the way, if I were running for office right now, getting 300 comments yesterday telling me I sucked might have an impact.

But, nope.

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September 25th, 2015

Posted In: The Greater Fool

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