News & Opinion

Does Mayor Ford even understand his own ideology?

In The Maven on March 20, 2011 at 9:19 AM

Stop the press: Robdoug isn’t what he appears to be!

1:49PM | And thank god for that. Nope,  our ‘stop the gravy train’, ‘cut councillors spending’, ‘I don’t need my councilor’s salary’ mayor, it has just been revealed (Toronto Star, Globe and Mail) is still doing business for his family firm.

Now, not only does this explain why Rob cannot be reached by the press for interviews (he doesn’t feel the job of mayor is full-time) but also why he can afford to forgo some of the financial benefits of his job (he’s got his own private gravy train).

Yep, great gig if you can get it. Keep riding high, Mr. Mayor. You’re setting a great example for the kids.

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By The Maven | Mayor Robdoug is an ultraconservative right wing politician. That would make him an adherent of the right’s favourite economic theory, trickle-down economics. The theory, simply put, is to lower taxes to allow the rich to keep more of their money. In doing so, the rich will spend more on goods and services which will increase economic activity across the board and thereby trickle down to us all.

Never mind that whether practiced by Ronald Reagan, George Bush I or II, Margaret Thatcher or Brian Mulroney, all left behind massive government debt when they exited office. Low taxes have been shown everywhere to be a disaster. Why do politicians continue to espouse these policies and this discredited economic theory? Well it really has nothing to do with economics. It is all ideological. Conservatives believe in less government. Reducing taxes decreases the government’s capacity to provide services, and therefore reduces the size of government. And not incidentally, with lower taxes the rich get to keep more of their money. Yeah, it’s really a gravy train for the better off.

Well now that Robdoug has begun his destruction of Toronto’s economy with his simple-minded approach, we face a massive debt for 2012 (just like right-wing politicians always leave us). His approach of cutting taxes will lead to layoffs in the civil service and privatization of services. That can only mean large pay cuts for thousands of employees. This can only lead to lower disposable incomes for many Torontonians, and–follow the logic here–less spending and less economic activity.

So it seems to me, if you are really a believer in trickle-down economics you should want more people earning more money so there is more money to stimulate economic activity thereby enriching us all. So what we have here is indeed one of those few hidden agenda unhidden moments. Ford’s agenda isn’t about saving money by making the provision of services more efficient. It’s about reducing services, period.

And that is cool with me. As long as Robdoug admits his agenda, we can have an open debate about the issues. No more gravy train stuff. Let’s have the real debate, about whether we think there is a role for government in society.

And lets see those centrist councillors get off their butts and declare where they stand. Do they support civil society or are they in the camp of simply protecting privilege?

That’s a debate I welcome.

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Read last week’s article by the Maven:

For other articles by this author, visit The Maven archive.

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