Macleans published an article by Mike Moffat on Monday, January 13th, 2014 suggesting that ONPC Leader Tim Hudak’s one million jobs plan, while ambitious and not impossible, will need a great deal of luck to become a reality. To prove that point, Moffat uses employment data for Ontario from Statistics Canada for the period 1977 to 2013.
In my opinion, what the Stats Canada tables and data prove is just the opposite to what Moffat is suggesting, that it doesn’t take luck, it takes good government policies — policies that create a climate for investment and spending. In actual fact, what Moffat writes proves my point, not his. For example, he writes:
“One million jobs over eight years means that the Ontario economy would need to average 125,000 jobs a year over this period (which is represented by the “target” line on our graph). Since 1976 the Ontario economy has averaged only 85,000 net new jobs a year, though there have been many years that have exceeded the 125,000 threshold (1979, 1981, 1983-1988, 1997-2000 and 2003).”
I will repeat part of the last line of Moffat’s quotation. “…there have been many years that have exceeded the 125,000 threshold.” So, what is his point? That the Ontario economy would need to average 125,000 a year when the job numbers for the years 1997-2000 and 2003 were even higher. And, who was in power then? The Ontario Progressive Conservative Governments of Mike Harris and Ernie Eves.
Now, I may not be an economist like Moffat, but I can read tables. So, let’s verify his Statistics Canada numbers, keeping in mind that the red line is the annual 125,000 job target line he is talking about. The easiest way to do this analysis is to hold a short ruler sideways above the year. Here is what you will get — recognizing that the numbers are approximate:
- 1995 – 75,000 jobs were created in Ontario
- 1996 – 65,000
- 1997 – 100,000
- 1998 – 150,000
- 1999 – 185,000
- 2000 – 185,000
- 2001 – 105,000
- 2002 – 125,000
- 2003 – 185,000
So, the grand total of jobs created over 8 years from 1995 to 2003 is 1,175,000.
Which means, that without a shadow of a doubt, with the right pro-business and investment policies in place, an ONPC Tim Hudak government can indeed create one million jobs.
How will they do that? Certainly not by depending “on luck.” According to what Hudak has said, they will lower both personal and corporate taxes. They will also loosen or reduce red tape for businesses because regulation compliance costs employee time and money.
And, anyone who doubts (as some commenters under the Moffat article do) there are rules and regulations on the Ontario Government’s books that impede entrepreneurship, has never been in business for themselves.
Anyway, the result is that when Ontarians have more money in their pockets, they buy products and services. And, when businesses have more money because they are selling more of their products or services, that increase in purchasing power results in a booming economy. And, with more demand, businesses hire more people and new businesses are created.
Of course, when more people are working, more tax revenues flow into the Ontario government’s coffers — which is exactly what happened between 1995 and 2003.
Yet, how often do we hear complaints from the Ontario Liberals and Liberal supporters that Mike Harris somehow “destroyed” Ontario. Well, the proof is in these statistics. What is also obvious in these statistics is, apart from the Liberal Peterson years from 1985 to 1989, how NDP and Liberal governments mean the death of jobs, huge deficits and “have not” status.
I mean, look at that Stats Can table again and note the two Death Valley drops in jobs during both the Bob Rae 1990-1994 NDP years and the Dalton McGuinty 2007 to 2009 years — when between 150,000 to 185,000 jobs were lost a year!
As well, note that job growth was at a peak when the Ontario Liberals took over from the PCs in mid 2003, a peak that disappeared very quickly after Ontarians were hit with the biggest tax grab ever — the health care premium — followed by the devastating effect of the Ontario Green Energy Act and the resulting FIT Program and its job killing energy costs.
The crux of the matter is, then, that ONPC Leader Tim Hudak’s plan to create a million jobs in Ontario over eight years CAN work. Can he guarantee it will work? Of course not. But, what is the alternative? As Moffat has written about Kathleen Wynne’s job plan, it wouldn’t create a single job!!
Endnote: I have listened to Mike Moffat (whose day job is as an economics professor at the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario), several times on various TV news programs, including Sun TV, and he always seems politically balanced and fair. Kudos to him for that!!!