10 December 2009

How does that song go?

"I believe solar panels are our future..."

-- COPENHAGEN -- National aid budgets dedicated to reducing global poverty would be raided to establish a “climate fund” to help developing countries to adapt to climate change, under a British plan tabled yesterday in Copenhagen.

Money earmarked for education or health would be diverted into projects such as solar panels and wind farms.
But hey... that's just the way the infanticidal polar bear bounces, right Al?
Oxfam estimates that diverting aid to the climate fund will mean at least 75 million fewer children attending school in developing countries and 8.6 million fewer people having access to HIV/Aids treatment.
Oh.

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RELATED: Enough is enough
"All industry and therefore work should stop. We should also ban fire. Fire is bad. And the wheel. (Especially the wheel. It might get people thinking about working, and thus, polluting)."

"Besides, people weren't meant to live in cities. Humans, in their natural habitat, lived in caves. And hunted mammoths. Which is ok as long as you act noble and sad about it and don't use guns."
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17 comments:

Anonymous said...

There are also many other foreign aid programs that could be diverted to "SAVE THE PLANET" It would likely produce a fund of 400 billion that China thinks is fair.

Rob C

Neo Conservative said...

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"i'd like to buy the world a coke..."

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JA Goneaux said...

Well, as Bjorn Lomborg says: the most pessimistic warmist prediction of increased malaria is 30%. But there are places on the earth now that have a 100% chance of malaria. Why spend billions to fight a chance of an increase, when you can spend less than that to help those who are exposed to it NOW?

Nope, budgeting and liberals have never quite gone together. If you spend $1 million on trying to solve a problem and it still exists, its your fault for not spending $2 million...

syncrodox said...

Population control thy name is environmentalism.

Syncro

Neo Conservative said...

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how many millions of third world children die from a simple lack of potable water?

never mind... more windmills it is.

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Anonymous said...

"[B]udgeting and liberals have never quite gone together."

I feel the need to point out that it was the liberals under Chretien who eliminated the deficit and produced surplus after surplus. The deficit returned under a Conservative government.

-Anon1152

syncrodox said...

152

And transfer payments were never slashed to the provinces for federally mandated healthcare?

Idiot

Syncro

Anonymous said...

Synchro:

I wouldn't (and didn't) say that spending wasn't cut and responsibilities downloaded. Nor am I saying I was happy with the policies. But I hardly think I'm an "idiot" for pointing out the the federal liberals have had a better record balancing the budget than the federal conservatives for the last 30 years or so.

-Anon1152

Neo Conservative said...

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"anon says...the federal liberals have had a better record balancing the budget"

nonny, let's be fair... why was it, that when mike harris took similar budgetary measures... it was always about brutalising the poor? because that's a constant, ongoing theme in the pinko-sphere.

funny how, if it's a liberal initiative it's always a benign "balancing of the budget".

gotta love that little doddle.

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Anonymous said...

"nonny, let's be fair... "

1. That's HAY, nonny nonny.

2. I mentioned Harris along with Chretien in an early draft of my comment, but decided to delete it for the sake of brevity. Brevity is something I need to work on. And my point was limited more or less to the federal level.

3. I don't recall accusing or excusing anyone of brutalizing the poor. I saw a comment suggesting that "liberals" or "the left" were bad budgeters, prone to overspending. That is something repeated often. And I don't think recent history (at least in Canada and the USA) bears that out.

Take this graph I came across on bloggingtories.ca a while ago:

http://fildebrandt.ca/2009/11/stop-digging-the-size-of-the-debt-is-only-half-the-story-it’s-the-rate-of-its-growth-and-the-inability-of-government-to-reverse-it-that-will-bury-us-report-magazine/

Much could be said about why it's not a good measure compared to others (it doesn't take into account government spending, debt as a % of GDP might be more fair, whatever).

But I think it is interesting to look at the graph and see the number of times it dips below 0 [ie., the number of times we're in the black]. Similar graphs could be produced for the USA: compare Clinton and his predecessors and successors.

There are all sorts of explanations and counter explanations for the times when liberals or conservatives drive up the debt. But I don't think there is evidence to say that liberals are worse at managing money than conservatives.

I wanted to put that out there. And I don't think that makes me an idiot. (Notwithstanding a dozen or so other reasons why I am or may be an idiot).

So when you say "nonny, lets be fair"...I thought that was what I was trying to do...

-Anon1152

syncrodox said...

1152

It was me that called you an idiot...I stand corrected, you are an educated idiot.

Back up a decade and tell me the iconic PET didn't create the tab we all now pay.

Syncro

Anonymous said...

Syncro:

Not educated enough it seems. What is "the iconic PET"? I tried looking it up by I got lost in a sea of acronyms (e.g., positron emission tomography) and products for dogs and cats.

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You don't mean Trudeau, do you? I'd have to back up 3 or more decades to get to him. I don't think it's particularly accurate (or helpful) to blame the entire tab on him. And it was not until the liberals returned to power that the federal government eliminated deficits. They were paying back the tab. So to speak.

I thought it was strange, recently, when the federal government started taking on a lot of debt, that they were accused (in the news) of "spending liberally" [ha ha ha]. A strange claim given that deficits like this hadn't been seen since... a Conservative government was in charge.

I realize I should have let this go earlier... But I don't get the continued objections to what I thought was a limited/banal point.

My point was NOT that liberals are good and conservatives are bad or vice versa. I merely wanted to deny that liberals qua liberals borrow/spend/tax money recklessly and that conservatives qua conservatives do not.

This is an empirical question with an empirical answer. If there is evidence contradicting anything I say, I'd want to know about it... lest I continue making a fool of myself. (Which I do often enough).

But if we can't agree (in round numbers) on things like what the budget/debt/deficit etc were 5 or 10 or 100 years ago... I don't see how we could even begin to talk about more important questions...like the proper role of government in healthcare or education; the legitimacy of laws limiting gun ownership/use; how the government and economy should be related, etc...

But I digress.

Apologies for being so irksome,
-Anon1152.

syncrodox said...

152...Before Trudeau (BT) we as in Canada ran a surplus, Post Trudeau (PT) not so much.

It's not really that hard to follow.

Syncro

Neo Conservative said...

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didn't trudeau take the national deficit from 28 billion to over 300 billion?

the very least paul martin could do was chip away at that.

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Anonymous said...

Syncro:

"Before Trudeau (BT) we as in Canada ran a surplus, Post Trudeau (PT) not so much.
It's not really that hard to follow."

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Though I've wanted better data, you seem to be ignoring the chart put up by firebrandt.ca* Is that because you reject it? If you have more debt/spending info (that I might consider credible), please point me in the right direction.

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This is what I've gleaned from you over the last few hours:

If debt increases under the liberals' watch, the liberals are responsible. (I more or less agree with that).

If debt increases under the conservatives' watch, it's the liberals' fault. (Hm...).

If the debt decreases under the liberals' watch (over a decade in power), it doesn't warrant mention, except to blame them for cutting spending.

I find this strange since I always thought that to reduce debt, you need to increase your income or decrease your spending. (I'd think differently if I listened to the current government, in which case I'd think that the solution to financial problems was to decrease one's source of revenue and increase spending.

[I'm serious. If there is a secret, I could use it. I'm even willing to start switching my vote. Though I warn you it won't affect your position much. No matter where I am, I always seem to vote for (one of) the loser(s). Yes, feel free to laugh at me here].

Finally: if all else fails, blame the liberals. Especially Trudeau. I actually like this strategy. I think I'll start blaming him for my any personal debt or bad haircut.

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Would you be insulted if I asked your (approximate) age?

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And no, I've never had any love for Chretien. (Except an appreciation of his ability to get away with saying things that make little sense).

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Neo:

"didn't trudeau take the national deficit from 28 billion to over 300 billion?"

I don't doubt it. [But I've had some trouble confirming it. And I'd also want numbers relating to other governments (e.g.,Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Thatcher) and debt to GDP ratio. I also don't doubt that the oil crisis and [the related] stagflation of the 1970s had something to do with the jump in debt.

I've been looking for data on the national debt on federal government websites--which as a rule I trust, but my trust of any given site, regardless of who is in power, is inversely proportional to the number of pictures of current politicians displayed on said given site.

Anyway. Strangely, on the government websites I've seen, I can't find any debt info before 1995. Which is frustrating but also amusing, since, as Jean Chretien said a few months ago, the current conservatives were running on the liberal record.

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I suspect you may have no love for John Ralston Saul. But I am influenced by a line from his book Voltaire's Bastards. (The best book of his I've read thus far). I've not seen anything that contradicts the following statement. [Though if you know something that does, please let me know. And yes, that's a real question]:

"For example, during the 1970s and 1980s, economic policies said to be of the left in the United States, Canada, England and Germany led to the defeat of existing governments and the election of new governments said to be of the Right. At the same time, IDENTICAL policies in France, Spain, Australia and Italy were said to be of the Right and led to the replacement of their governments of those said to be on the left." [Emphasis added].

That factoid, plus a general grouchy-ness, contributes to what might be considered non-partisan-ness.

-Anon1152




*http://fildebrandt.ca/2009/11/stop-digging-the-size-of-the-debt-is-only-half-the-story-it’s-the-rate-of-its-growth-and-the-inability-of-government-to-reverse-it-that-will-bury-us-report-magazine/

Neo Conservative said...

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anon... i'm no economist... but saint pierre increasing the national debt tenfold... that verges on criminal to my mind.

and chretien... between shawinigate & adscam... say no more. or, how about the unelected liberal-dominated senate... holding up legislatiion that has been passed by even their own party... just not acceptable.

it cuts across party lines, of course... witness brian mulroney & "bags-o-cash" schrieber.

that doesn't mean that people don't, as you have pointed out, follow their own prejudices regardless. that, i'm afraid, is the human condition.

finally... it isn't just individuals you have to consider here. just look at the nightly moonbattery that passes for news on canadian television. it's an insult to anyone's intelligence.

anyway... i happen to believe that stephen harper is an honourable man in a too-often-rigged game. this scandal a day thing the liberals are currently trying on... is reprehensible & hypocritical.

just my two cents.

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Anonymous said...

Since my last post, I have been trying to find more reliable and complete historical data on the national debt. I have been very disappointed in myself, given the resources at my disposal. But I have finally found something satisfactory (and publicly available through the OECD's website).

My source:
http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?datasetcode=GOV_DEBT

To get the information I am about to relate, I changed the chart somewhat (hiding and revealing data/variables to suit my purposes) by changing the "Country" selection and "Time Period" selection (located directly below the title "Central Government Debt"). I triple checked it. But sometimes that's not enough for me. So feel free to manipulate the displayed data yourself. If you're into that sort of thing.

***

If I were to redo my original post, I would say:

The Tories had majority-government power in Canada from 1984 - 1993. Nine Years.

When the Liberals came to power in the Fall of 1993, Canada (i.e., the federal government) had the second highest debt level (as a % of GDP) of the G7.

Nine years later (the same amount of time the Tories held power previously), it had the 6th highest debt level (as a % of GDP).

By 2006, when the liberals lost power completely, it had the lowest debt level (as a % of GDP) of all the G7 countries.

***

The OECD statistics bear this out. And I have no reason to believe that the OECD has any motivation to distort data to suit canadian domestic political interests.

Is this not strong support my original claim contra JA Goneaux that liberals are not, qua liberals worse managers of money than conservatives qua conservatives? (I suppose I should add that I haven't even tried to make anything resembling a satisfactory argument to the effect that conservatives qua conservatives are bad money managers... I don't think the evidence is there).

Doesn't the OECD data suggest, perhaps, that the time-traveling Pierre Trudeau of Syncro's comment didn't have such long lasting and negative impact on Canada's finances (at least relative to her peers?)

I can't get over the previous comment:

"Before Trudeau (BT) we as in Canada ran a surplus, Post Trudeau (PT) not so much. It's not really that hard to follow."

Three claims. Only one of which is true: It's not hard to follow at all. But as far as I can tell, following it takes me out of the real world where people can rely on generally accepted, empirically verifiable facts, and into a world where anything can be said on the spot without regard for either the real world, or even what one said previously in the conversation.

Of course if I don't like that... perhaps I should stay off the internet... and lose my interest in politics...

Anyway. I'm glad I found the OECD data satisfying... I can now move on (and no doubt get distracted by something else).

Best,
-Anon1152