Worried about Oil Spills?

It’s becoming less and less of a problem as the years go by.



The Equalization Scam: Ontario the “Have” Province Gets $963M

The School for Public Policy published a useful review of the 2018-2019 equalization payments.

Let’s take a look.


Looks pretty typical in a lot of ways. West (+Newfoundland) pays East.

Also, while Quebec gets a lot of flak for getting the biggest payment, they are far from the biggest recipient on a per capita basis.


But wait a second, didn’t Ontario just become a “have” province? Why are they getting a big cheque?

And that leads to the most interesting part of this year’s equalization:

This brings us to Ontario. The $963 million it will receive in equalization is entirely composed of adjustment payments. Absent these payments, the total equalization program would cost $17.2 billion and Ontario would receive nothing. But at $70 per person for receiving provinces, the adjustment payments add $1.76 billion, which brings the total cost of the program to the $18.96 billion dollars paid in 2018/19.

A Costly Quirk?

Why should adjustment payments be made at all? And why should they be paid to Ontario, a “have” province prior to this stage of the formula? The limit was put in place by the previous government in 2009 to keep costs under control and limit uncertainty. But why does it also act as a floor? And… must it? The Fiscal-Arrangements Act is somewhat ambiguous on this point.

Nope, this doesn’t appear to be a redistributive scam at all. It’s not like Canada already has the federal health and social transfers, or that the federal government already spends money in provinces at different rates.

central canada equalize


Kids Love Happy Meals

So naturally Ottawa needs to put an end to that.

Equalization 2018

King Trudeau?



What if Justin Trudeau became the King of Canada?

I recently reread an old Hans-Hermann Hoppe essay entitled “On Theory and History. Reply to Benegas-Lynch, Jr.”

To summarize briefly, it responds to criticisms leveled against Hoppe’s innovative argument that absolute monarchy should, all things being equal, be less exploitative than democracy. The original paper in which this argument appeared and to which B-L directs his response is quite brilliant and is enough to make most people at least contemplate their long held prejudices (“democracy is bad but everything else is worse”). That paper is available here — it was used as the first chapter of Democracy: The God That Failed. 

Hoppe’s reply is very worth reading as it provides a helpful overview of how one should use economic or ‘praxeologic’ theorems to analyze history — and how one must take care when using history to evaluate such theorems.

It’s a shame this reply was not included as an appendix to Democracy: The God That Failed like Hoppe’s “Four Replies”  in The Economics and Ethics of Private Property.  It is classic Hoppe.

In his original critique, B-L attempts to score a rhetorical headshot against Hoppe by asking, basically, what would happen if Bill Clinton became King of America (remember, this exchange is from the 90s). Clearly, he thinks, that would be much worse than the status quo of America’s democratic system.

Unfazed, Hoppe describes why this would represent a huge improvement.

Just for fun, I thought I would adapt this section of Hoppe’s response to political milieu of the True North. Read on:

What if Justin Trudeau were to become hereditary king of Canada; wouldn’t this make matters worse than they are now with him as prime minister?

The answer is a decisive No.

First off, given Trudeau’s obviously high degree of time preference, by making him owner rather than caretaker of Canada, his effective rate of time preference would fall (as high as it might still be). More profoundly and importantly, however, the transition from a Trudeau prime ministership to Trudeau kingship would require substantial institutional changes (for instance, the abolition of Parliament and parliamentary elections, the elimination of the Supreme Court, and the abandonment of the Constitution), and these changes could not possibly be implemented without King Trudeau losing thereby most of his current power as prime minister.

For with everyone except Trudeau and the Trudeaupians barred from politics and political participation, and with Trudeau installed as the personal owner of all formerly public (federal) lands and properties as well as the ultimate judge and legislator for the entire territory of Canada, popular opposition against his and his clan’s excessive wealth and power would bring his kingship to an end before it had even begun.

Thus, if Trudeau really wanted to hold onto his royal position, he would d have to give up most of the current – democratic-republican – government’s property, tax revenue, and legislative powers. Even then, in light of Trudeau’s less than exemplary and shining personal history and family background, his United Kingdom of Canada would almost certainly be faced with an immediate upsurge of secessionist forces all across the country and quickly disintegrate, and Trudeau, at the very best, would end up as King Justin of Ottawa.


Wind Power Is a Joke

Every now and then you should check out the Alberta Electric System Operator’s “Current Supply Demand Report” page.

This handy little page shows us the total net generation of power from different sources. It is constantly being updated.

Wind power sucks. It’s hellishly cold in Alberta right now and wind power contributes nothing to make our lives better. LITERALLY NOTHING. 

wind power sucks.JPG

You see that? Despite 1445 MW max capacity with wind power, and total net generation is zero. On one of the coldest days of the year.

Just look at all those wind farms and all the magical wind power generated!


Oh wait. Zero. Zero. Zero. Zero. Zero. Zero. Zero. Zero.

You get the idea.

You can build all you want for capacity, but it doesn’t mean you get much actual electricity out of it.

Natural gas is reliable, cheap, clean, and plentiful. Wind power is unreliable, expensive, and requires back up from something you can count on (i.e. fossil fuel based energy that just works).

Wind power is a joke.

Anyone who thinks the government should tax perfectly good and reliable fossil fuel energy production & use to subsidize pathetically inefficient wind power is a fool or a knave.

Even the Communist Chinese Think Canada’s Socialist Healthcare Is Dumb

So some Chinese government officials wanted to learn a bit about Canadian healthcare. It seems they were baffled by the stupidity of our system.

Becky Akers writes:

Ah, Canadian medicine! Single-payer, socialist paradise, totally “free” (sic for “paid for by others”)! As American communists continue their attempts to nationalize the entire medical industry, not just the insurance companies that pay for it, they insist that Canada’s method is the world’s best.

Alas, “Chinese government officials” who know a thing or two about totalitarianism disagree. A group of them visited our northern neighbors because they were “interested in learning about Canada’s health care system.” “…[O]ne of British Columbia’s regional health authorities … had only begun outlining” how things work there, yet “already his guests seemed confused.”

He started explaining the basic principles again, in even simpler terms: The government decides what are medically necessary procedures and those procedures are covered by universal health insurance, free at the point of delivery.

…Residents cannot go outside the system and pay for their own medically-necessary treatments, unless they want to travel to another country.

“Stop there,” the translator said. “It’s that last part that is confusing the delegation. They think you’re saying that Canadians cannot spend their own money on medically-necessary health care.”

Yes, he assured them, that’s right.

The translator pressed him: “You mean to say that if you’re sick and want to pay for treatment, that you aren’t allowed to? Even though it’s your own money and there is a doctor willing to accept it?”

Yes, that’s right.

There was a pause as the translator relayed the answer to the delegation and the delegation conferred among themselves. Finally, the translator spoke up: “They say that even the Chinese communist system is not this restrictive!”

And this potentially fatal authoritarianism is many Americans’ ideal, the scheme they hope to inflict here.

— Thanks to LRC

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