Weaning Canadians from government intervention

On Friday, I wrote about the ability of comparitive statistics to be misleading. The National Post began a series of articles this past weekend, Swaddled in Nanny Nation. The first article speaks of the damage to Canadian consumers caused by government intervention in the marketplace, with comments aimed specifically at banking, air transport, telecommunications and agriculture.

One of the most flagrant ways Canadian industry is being coddled is through corporate subsidies.

The Saturday article points out billions in dollars in aid to Pratt & Whitney, Bombardier, GM and Ford.

Proponents of government subsidies argue that they create jobs, encourage research and development and spur economic growth. But often, the opposite happens.

Unintended consequences of artificial incentives.

This morning’s final installment of the Post series focusses on foreign investment restrictions in telecom: Not Upwardly Mobile. Writer Peter Nowak concludes:

The only way to solve a Canadian-created problem, therefore, is to bring foreigners in to fix it. Canadian politicians will first have to rid themselves of their cultural and economic xenophobia

A truly level playing field, with no handouts to try to pick winners, will work best for consumers and business alike. For sustainable competition, the lesson would appear to be that consumers will win if government will just get out of the way.

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