Saturday, May 17, 2014

A Province of Inequality

Our country is in a state of high inequality.  Why?

To all those who would cut government spending or otherwise further reduce government…we need to realize that the viability of our entire economy, depends heavily on a well-performing public sector.

“There are creative entrepreneurs all over the world.  What makes a difference – whether they are able to bring their ideas to fruition and products to market – is ... the government.

“For one thing, the government sets the basic rules of the game.  It enforces laws.  More generally, it provides the soft and hard infrastructure that enables a society, and an economy, to function.  If the government doesn’t provide roads, ports, education, or basic research – or see to it that someone else does, or at least provide the conditions under which someone else could – then ordinary business cannot flourish."  (Emphasis is mine.)

“Whenever we diminish equality of opportunity, we are not using one of our most valuable assets – our people – in the most productive way.”  With notes from the book “The Price of Inequality”, by Joseph E Stiglitz.

With respect to the above we've seen what happens when cuts are made to education.  Youth unemployment has never fully recovered from the slash and burn days of Mike Harris.  And in all the years since, the Liberals have shown that they can't be trusted with continuing to improve our education system, focusing on sick days instead of improving our classrooms.

Hudak’s Conservatives support service cuts to public schools; including cuts to maintenance staff, guidance counselors and librarians.
Tim Hudak's plan to go back to a Mike Harris 1995 policy, and fire education workers, will put our kids 20 years behind.

In the Ontario school system today:
•    35,000 elementary and secondary students are stuck on waiting lists for special education services.
•    Schools across the province are losing qualified music teachers and librarians.
•    Student activity fees have increased 200 % [twenty times] since 2001 and parents are expected to fundraise more and more to pay for school programs and supplies.
•    For every one secondary school special education assistant, there are 66 students.
•    In some areas there is one special education teacher for 52 students.

"When little money is invested in education, for lack for tax revenues, schools do not produce the bright graduates that companies need to prosper."

We must ensure that the province’s schools are adequately funded to provide students with the programs and services they need.

Andrea Horwath: A Leader who Makes Sense, will…
•    Stand up for adequately funded public schools.
•    Ensure schools become community hubs, review the Accommodation Review Committee process, and ensure school closure is only a last resort.
•    Conduct a complete review of the education funding formula.

We can do more but we must not do less.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Jan. Congratulations on your new blog. You are probably aware of growing pressure in Europe to reduce inequality. Although Switzerland rejected a proposal to limit CEO income to 12 x that of employees there is now a proposal for a minimum wage equivalent to about $25 per hour ( summary todays BBC). Economists may disagree on how best to reduce inequality but at least there is growing recognition of the problem and debate about it.