Thursday, August 31, 2017

Supply & Demand - DRUG POLICY - CLIMATE CHANGE


When setting about the task of developing government policy Supply and Demand plays a role. The law of "Supply and Demand" is in no way at an economic theory; the affects of Supply and Demand are as profound and real as gravity. It is a simple reality that the more people value something, the more they will pay for it and if the supply of that valued item increases, price falls. This was true in Soviet Russia, this was true before the first clay tablets were used as currency in Mesopotamia.


Supply and Demand dictate that the better police do their job with the war on drugs, the worse the problem gets. When the police constrain the supply of drugs, the price goes up, people are often addicted to drugs so their demand for drugs is “inelastic”, they have to have them – so they pay more. As the product becomes more valuable, the greater lengths drug pushers will go to provide them, so violence grows. Further, as drugs become more valuable drug pushers look for new ways to get drugs to markets in the more difficult environment police have created for the drug pushers to operate – so now highly potent drugs that are easier to smuggle become required – now the Fentanyl crisis if born. This is just reality, a reality we have to accept – and then build a policy that addresses this reality. We have watched this reality be ignored and we have watched too many of our young people affected by the ravages of drug abuse.

Supply and Demand plays a role in climate policy. The carbon tax as a deterrent to use fails to work. There are years of price sensitivity analysis from all the oil majors that support this statement. The reason, the demand for fossil fuels is inelastic – inelastic because there are presently no viable substitutes for fossil fuels, and there is nothing on the horizon to offer a viable alternative. This is supported by more or less consistent oil consumption over any given time frame, regardless of price fluctuation.

Supply and Demand play a role in supply management, a process whereby government regulation restricts the volume of a given commodity’s production to elevate price. This causes the affected products’ to increase in price and the consumer pays more.


Too often policy makers choose for political reasons to ignore this reality. Ignoring this reality in drug policy has resulted in an escalation in violence, an escalation in the amount and types of street drugs used and to a degree, the Fentanyl crisis. By ignoring the realities of Supply and Demand in climate policy a massive distortion in the public perception of the challenge has given rise to carbon policy that effects regional disadvantage, offers no value in a transition away from damaging carbon emissions, no avenue to developing the safe use of fossil fuels or no reduction in carbon emissions.  Ignoring this reality in food policy means a Canadian family pays an estimated $275 more per year for dairy products than they would otherwise, a single parent or the most affluent among us.  No amount of political spin will change these cold mechanics, they are as elemental as gravity or any other force of nature.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

BC Liberal Leader - Job 7


Environmental Policy

Finally, an aggressive environmental policy that is rationalized to realistic time lines, realistic assessment of risk versus reward, considers honestly where provincial policy can effect difference and is founded on science. It is my observation that much environmental policy or rather, obstruction to certain types of industrial activity, is founded on an errant map of reality. It is also the case the much environmental policy is corrupted by interested parties wanting to forward certain social agendas. There is a lot to be done in the way of conservation that government can help encourage, as well as, in the energy alternatives space and safe fossil fuel use space.

BC Liberal Leader - Job 6


Rural Revitalization

One is forced to accept there is a trend taking people away from rural areas to urban centres, one should never accept the many of our rural communities are mere shadows of their former selves. So rural revitalization will be pursued through improved utilization of crown land, high capacity internet infrastructure for remote areas and the productive cooperation of the First Nation Peoples. There is much opportunity in forest tenure reform, tourism, agriculture, crown land utilization reform and new industry to build out the rural regions of the province.


BC Liberal Leader - Job 5

Fiscal Policy

I will seek to move the provincial growth to the top performing region in the G20 by aggressive use of region specific stimulative policies that seed entrepreneurialism and build the economy from the ground up. In British Columbia, like many western economies, we are ageing and with an ageing population comes economic stagnation. We are lucky as this is being mitigated to a degree by immigration, the fact remains, however, that many people are moving into retirement taking their productive capacity with them and they are seeking a safe place for their retirement funds. There is a massive amount of latent capital sitting in RRSPs generating very little good for their holders and failing to find their way to the people that really need capital, entrepreneurs.  This reality provides an opportunity to engage in a form of quantitative easing that benefits in a significant way the existing middle class and builds out a new group of good income earners.  If the government moves to the aggressive use of partially subsidized bonds to generate a localized increase in the velocity of the flow capital to startup companies and critical infrastructure initiatives, it will facilitate an immediate increase in economic activity and the medium and long term economic performance will be improved as well.    

BC Liberal Leader - Job 4


Family Policy and Support

I will promote policy that generates family centred funding, gives priority to families having time together and supports them interfacing with society in a manner that is optimal for their specific needs. The British Columbian Family as an institution is quaking under the strain of post war societal trends and contemporary economic realities. I used to say, I paid to raise my children, this generation should pay to raise theirs. When I reflect, I could have used a culture of support and promotion of family from government and it was absent.

There is an alarming trend is society whereby, every aspect of our existence is institutionalized. We are born in government institutions, we are educated by government institutions, every aspect of our life is affected by government institutions and we die in government institutions. In this heavily institutionalized environment, the individual and the family are withering, and they are being replaced by a monoculture. Proper support of families is one policy initiative that can protect against the industrialization of child rearing, the destruction of the family and the social ills that fall out of it. 


BC Liberal Leadership - Job 3


Education

Human Capital is the sub straight of the human endeavour, we all know it, we all say it, but the truth is, this value fails to find complete expression in our present governance. In order for British Columbia to excel relative to other jurisdictions, the development of Human Capital must be the primary focus of Government. I believe it is the case that, jurisdictions that facilitate the conversion of new knowledge into useable products and services are the jurisdictions that will prosper. We can readily quantify the benefit of the application of knowledge, that is to say,  we know the increased tax revenue garnered from dentist relative the norm for example. Government tax revenue is a direct product of any given jurisdiction’s population’s ability to generate income. Increase aggregated intellectual capacity and you increase government revenue.  Education should be accounted for under a WIP account as opposed to an expense account and a graduate student should be viewed as a capital asset - education is infrastructure spending of the greatest significance. We can afford to be generous here, the fact is, we would be remiss if we failed to invest heavily in education.

In many of our institutions, more money just means more spending – this is true to a degree with our educational complex. We have failed to take complete advantage of self-directed and technology driven delivery platforms for education.  Our educations systems are constrained by present structures and credentialization processes.  There needs be a focus on an increased velocity in the distribution of knowledge, so as to facilitate the province's prominence in the conversion of latent technology to marketable products and services,and perhaps most importantly, to compete with jurisdictions like China, India and others which are generating massive volumes of trained professionals every day.

New Liberal Leadership - Job 2



Institutional Reform

It is the case that many of our institutions have lost the ability to adjust to the realities of the modern world as they have evolved into existence, in some cases they have evolved over hundreds of years – we need organizations that are DESIGNED to deal with the reality that we exist in, an environment where technologies morph daily. Institutions need to be adroit and have the absorptive capacity to utilize the mass of new technologies available now and technologies that are on the horizon. The majority of our government institutions are just too big and the institutional inertia they are experiencing is preventing them from responding to demands; efforts will be directed toward their long term financial sustainability, more adroit response to change, greater focus in their mandate, a drive to increase absorptive capacity, and better and more productive working environments for the people employed. Reforms will be effected by reducing the mass of large institutions, reconfiguring their organizational structures and introducing more opportunity for heuristics to come into play in the development of government organization. Stagnation is always a bad thing in an organization, there needs to be disruption to effect progress and improvement in the functionality of government organizations; this is especially true given the dynamics of the modern operational environment.   

New Liberal Leadership - Job 1



Accountability

I have watched politics and its outcomes for years; I can hardly remember a circumstance where the political process has generated a completely rational outcome. One recognizes the need for compromise among various constituents in the making of law, there should be no compromise in its functionality once it is put into practice. Accountability is sorely lacking, we must have clear and concise reporting on the outcomes of laws made, that is to say, every law must have a clearly stated mission, there must be a set of metrics established, they must be monitored and clearly reported to the public by an arm’s length actor. Until we do that, we will see public opinion swayed by constant exposure to smoke and mirrors rather than rationalized to real outcomes. 




Saturday, August 19, 2017

NAFTA YES - LABOUR DISPLACEMENT NO

NAFTA has been a clear win nationally for Canada and the other the two trading partners. There are elements of the NAFTA that have challenged us, however, most prominent of which was the displacement of some labour sectors at the outset of the agreement and to a lesser degree as the trade process evolved and affected our economy. As an avid advocate for NAFTA, and trade generally, I am always concerned when displacing labour effects pain and is left unaddressed, as, in addition to being unfair, it excites opposition from some labour sectors against trade in general.



When there is a large asymmetry in labour law which generates inter-jurisdictional variation in labour remuneration, between trading partners, that creates a labour rate arbitrage in favour of a single trading partner, workers in the elevated partner's jurisdiction can be negatively affected. The goal of trade is to improve mutual and relative living circumstances in the trading jurisdictions by having all parties exercising themselves in areas where they have a comparative advantage. Regulatory arbitrage, the most pernicious of which is a labour rate arbitrage created by regulatory misalignment between partners is a fair agenda item in retooling NAFTA.

The "production distortions" caused by regulatory generated arbitrage need to be addressed, and given the history of NAFTA, they are readily identifiable and quantifiable. The labour rate arbitrage can be readily addressed by a "labour rate tariff" imposed on jurisdictions who are distorting trade by allowing lax or exploitive labour policy. The tariff should be calculated on a "purchasing power parity" basis - that is to say, that the labour assessment would be calculated against a given wage's capacity to purchase a given basket of goods in the jurisdictions of concern. If the tariff is calculated in this way, the "production distortions" are eliminated and the benefit of "true" comparative advantage is realized.

Trade agreements properly designed are a tide that raises all boats; this is one means to address labour concerns and maintain enthusiasm for "free" trade and support our export sector.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

BC Liberal Leadership Platform Briefing





Scroll Down to Review Briefing





Accountability

I have watched politics and its outcomes for years; I can hardly remember a circumstance where the political process has generated a completely rational outcome. One recognizes the need for compromise among various constituents in the making of law, there should be no compromise in its functionality once it is put into practice. Accountability is sorely lacking, we must have clear and concise reporting on the outcomes of laws made, that is to say, every law must have a clearly stated mission, there must be a set of metrics established, they must be monitored and clearly reported to the public by an arm’s length actor. Until we do that, we will see public opinion swayed by constant exposure to smoke and mirrors rather than rationalized to real outcomes. 



Institutional Reform

It is the case that many of our institutions have lost the ability to adjust to the realities of the modern world as they have evolved into existence, in some cases they have evolved over hundreds of years – we need organizations that are DESIGNED to deal with the reality that we exist in, an environment where technologies morph daily. Institutions need to be adroit and have the absorptive capacity to utilize the mass of new technologies available now and technologies that are on the horizon. The majority of our government institutions are just too big and the institutional inertia they are experiencing is preventing them from responding to demands; efforts will be directed toward their long term financial sustainability, more adroit response to change, greater focus in their mandate, a drive to increase absorptive capacity, and better and more productive working environments for the people employed. Reforms will be effected by reducing the mass of large institutions, reconfiguring their organizational structures and introducing more opportunity for heuristics to come into play in the development of government organization. Stagnation is always a bad thing in an organization, there needs to be disruption to effect progress and improvement in the functionality of government organizations; this is especially true given the dynamics of the modern operational environment.   

Human Capital is the sub straight of the human endeavour, we all know it, we all say it, but the truth is, this value fails to find complete expression in our present governance. In order for British Columbia to excel relative to other jurisdictions, the development of Human Capital must be the primary focus of Government. I believe it is the case that, jurisdictions that facilitate the conversion of new knowledge into useable products and services are the jurisdictions that will prosper. We can readily quantify the benefit of the application of knowledge, that is to say,  we know the increased tax revenue garnered from dentist relative the norm for example. Government tax revenue is a direct product of any given jurisdiction’s population’s ability to generate income. Increase aggregated intellectual capacity and you increase government revenue.  Education should be accounted for under a WIP account as opposed to an expense account and a graduate student should be viewed as a capital asset - education is infrastructure spending of the greatest significance. We can afford to be generous here, the fact is, we would be remiss if we failed to invest heavily in education.

In many of our institutions, more money just means more spending – this is true to a degree with our educational complex. We have failed to take complete advantage of self-directed and technology driven delivery platforms for education.  Our educations systems are constrained by present structures and credentialization processes.  There needs be a focus on an increased velocity in the distribution of knowledge, so as to facilitate the province's prominence in the conversion of latent technology to marketable products and services, and perhaps most importantly, to compete with jurisdictions like China, India and others which are generating massive volumes of trained professionals every day.



Family Policy and Support

I will promote policy that generates family centred funding, gives priority to families having time together and supports them interfacing with society in a manner that is optimal for their specific needs. The British Columbian Family as an institution is quaking under the strain of post war societal trends and contemporary economic realities. I used to say, I paid to raise my children, this generation should pay to raise theirs. When I reflect, I could have used a culture of support and promotion of family from government and it was absent.

There is an alarming trend is society whereby, every aspect of our existence is institutionalized. We are born in government institutions, we are educated by government institutions, every aspect of our life is affected by government institutions and we die in government institutions. In this heavily institutionalized environment, the individual and the family are withering, and they are being replaced by a monoculture. Proper support of families is one policy initiative that can protect against the industrialization of child rearing, the destruction of the family and the social ills that fall out of it.


Fiscal Policy

I will seek to move the provincial growth to the top performing region in the G20 by aggressive use of region specific stimulative policies that seed entrepreneurialism and build the economy from the ground up. In British Columbia, like many western economies, we are ageing and with an ageing population comes economic stagnation. We are lucky as this is being mitigated to a degree by immigration, the fact remains, however, that many people are moving into retirement taking their productive capacity with them and they are seeking a safe place for their retirement funds. There is a massive amount of latent capital sitting in RRSPs generating very little good for their holders and failing to find their way to the people that really need capital, entrepreneurs.  This reality provides an opportunity to engage in a form of quantitative easing that benefits in a significant way the existing middle class and builds out a new group of good income earners.  If the government moves to the aggressive use of partially subsidized bonds to generate a localized increase in the velocity of the flow capital to startup companies and critical infrastructure initiatives, it will facilitate an immediate increase in economic activity and the medium and long term economic performance will be improved as well.    




Rural Revitalization

One is forced to accept there is a trend taking people away from rural areas to urban centres, one should never accept the many of our rural communities are mere shadows of their former selves. So rural revitalization will be pursued through improved utilization of crown land, high capacity internet infrastructure for remote areas and the productive cooperation of the First Nation Peoples. There is much opportunity in forest tenure reform, tourism, agriculture, crown land utilization reform and new industry to build out the rural regions of the province.



Environmental Policy

Finally, an aggressive environmental policy that is rationalized to realistic time lines, realistic assessment of risk versus reward, considers honestly where provincial policy can effect difference and is founded on science. It is my observation that much environmental policy or rather, obstruction to certain types of industrial activity, is founded on an errant map of reality. It is also the case the much environmental policy is corrupted by interested parties wanting to forward certain social agendas. There is a lot to be done in the way of conservation that government can help encourage, as well as, in the energy alternatives space and safe fossil fuel use space.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

BC Liberal leadership bid

My name is Neil Thomson and I was born in White Rock, British Columbia and have called this province my home since. I had the privilege of being raised on a farm and then due to my father’s passing my family left the farm. Again another privilege came my way, we bought home on Kalamalka Lake in Vernon, so summers were spent swimming and winters skiing at Silver Star.  As a young man, I lived in Revelstoke, Dawson Creek, Logan Lake and then moved to Kamloops in 1984 and raised my family.



Over the past years, the Liberal Party leadership has taken a rational middle of the road approach, much of which I find accord with. My self-imposed mandate will be to stay the course with the rational middle. I will drive enhanced accountability measures by the appointment of an independent nonpartisan Accountability Officer who will be tasked with the objective assessment of government policy outcomes and provided with a communication channel to the public. I will bring focus to institutional reforms across government, including but not limited to, medical system reforms and education system reforms.  Specific to Education there will be a focus on an increased velocity in the distribution of knowledge, so as to facilitate the province's prominence in the conversion of latent technology to marketable products and services - this will be funded as an infrastructure investment and costed against the longer term substantiated tax revenue increases the policy will generate. Institutional reforms will be focused on breaking the present inertia our institutions are experiencing that is preventing them from responding to demands; efforts will be directed toward long term financial sustainability, more adroit response to change, greater absorptive capacity, and better and more productive working environments for the people employed. I will promote policy that generates family centred funding, gives priority to families having time together and supports them interfacing with society in a manner that is optimal for their specific needs.  I will seek to move the provincial growth to the top performing region in the G20 by aggressive use of region specific simulative policies that seed entrepreneurialism and build the economy from the ground up. One accepts that there is a trend taking people to urban centres, one can never accept that many of our rural communities are but mere shadows of their former selves – so focus will be brought to rural revitalization through improved utilization of crown land, high capacity internet infrastructure for remote areas and the productive cooperation of the First Nation Peoples.  Finally, an aggressive environmental policy that is rationalized to realistic time lines, realistic assessment of risk versus reward, considers honestly where provincial policy can effect difference and is founded on science.

"Jurisdictions that facilitate the conversion of new knowledge into usable products and services are the jurisdictions that will prosper."

I am advocating substantive change in the structure of many of our institutions, I am advocating this change because I know our potential and I can see what is holding us back. People fear change, they will speak against it out of fear. People want security and so in the “change process” efforts to assure people garner an enhanced circumstance will be sought, or at least, their livelihoods will be maintained.

I am eager to bring a generalized state of prosperity to the Province, to seed the economy from the ground up and to effect a more equitable circumstance absent redistributionist action – let people keep what they’ve earned.

To prevail in this race I will need a lot of help, with funds and political expertise. The established players in the leadership race hold a small amount functional advantage, as they are incumbent actors. I believe I can prevail by presenting a clear vision to British Columbians and letting them see the kinds of reforms that will make it happen. I hold a deep and abiding passion for the betterment of my province, forged by a love for the place where I've spent my life at work and play. There truly is no better place on earth, no place with more natural wealth, no place with stronger people, no place with more compassionate people; all that is needed is the right direction.

If what you've read makes sense to you and you have expertise or funding you can offer to the cause, please call or reply by return email. One understands the nature of the undertaking and the dynamics of the process - it is a big commitment and one I am happy to make. I know I can do it and I am confident if provisioned with the right support I can win. I am eager to turn British Columbia away from economic stagnation, to get in front of the money that will be running from the province under the present leadership - AND, most importantly, I am eager to make British Columbia the most prosperous jurisdiction in the G20. 

Free Enterprise with a heart
Make BC the best jurisdiction in the G20
Generosity Works 

Thank You
Neil E. Thomson
250-819-6950
nthomson20@gmail.com