Author: Luke Stibbs

The British Columbian Teacher Walkout and the Power of Government Sector Unions

Tweet This year, my younger brothers haven’t had a report card. This year, they had an extra 3 days for Spring Break because the teachers walked out the week before. This year, the British Columbia Teacher’s Federation is threatening a full-scale walkout that could derail the graduation plans of this year’s 12th Grade students, but that is just the beginning. On March 31st, over 100,000 Government and Service Union workers will be without a contract. The BC Teacher’s Federation is setting the stage for a massive hike in government wages prior to the provincial election. The socialist New Democratic Party...

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Kissing this Newt Won’t Make Him the Conservative Prince We’ve All Been Waiting For

Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House, is running for President. He’s got a good shot of winning the nomination, and a decent chance of beating Obama if he gets the nomination. His last name isn’t Romney, which means that much of the Republican electorate is comfortable voting for him.  He isn’t basing his candidacy on social issues, which means the media will have less of a cudgel to beat him with.  He’s got a quick tongue, debates well, and easily shows the contemptible media narratives for what they are.  Newt has a history of ushering in conservative government, and helped bring the Contract With America into effect.  His time as Speaker was seen as the spiritual successor to the Reagan revolution, and it restrained the Clinton administration until the budgetary crisis.  Newt is a big ideas guy, with a plethora of obscure policy specialities. He’s the consummate insider, who can quickly peel apart the layers of bureaucracy in Washington. If you’re giving the issues a quick once-over, Newt looks like a viable solution. Newt’s stance on Obamacare looks good.  He’d repeal it.  Newt wants to implement an optional flat tax, a huge improvement over the current tax code.  His website says that his stance on foreign policy is based on Reaganesque principles of ‘Peace through Strength.’  Newt supports a border fence, and I really like his path to easier legal immigration (I’m...

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The Obama Administration and the Deliberate Undermining of the American Constitution

This isn’t easy to write. Over the last week, the Obama Administration successfully disregarded the Constitution. Again. Before, on most issues, Democrats could argue that it was all a philosophical disagreement. A different interpretation of the wording, or basing a case off of an admittedly shaky (but ultimately sound) precedent. But there is no question now that the Obama Administration is knowingly working against the Constitution. Obama has appointed his nominees to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau and the National Labour Relations Board without Senate confirmation. The Senate is legally in session, yet they were not consulted. The Executive branch does not have the power to unilaterally appoint bureaucrats to positions of power without the approval of the Senate. Exceptions are made when the Senate is not in session; so as not to leave a major opening empty for several months, but even those appointments (known as “recess appointments”) are fraught with political hazards. While the President says this is no different, and that “…when Congress refuses to act, and as a result, hurts our economy and puts our people at risk, then I have an obligation as President to do what I can without them.”[1], he is seizing a power that was never his. The Separation of Powers is clear. The Legislative branch confirms the appointees proposed by the Executive Branch. The Senate debates with the nominees, questions...

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When the Government Picks, Everyone Loses

I began today writing about sound bites and the terrible decline of voter knowledge. And then I was called in to work, where I had the privilege of telling over 40 people that the government rebates they wanted to redeem had expired on December 31st. This government rebate program was actually a very good way to test my hypothesis (I live in Canada), which was based on how environmentally friendly newly purchased appliances were. Essentially, the rebate ensured that, if you decided to buy a very efficient appliance, you would get a $75 rebate; if you bought a cheap, inefficient model, you wouldn’t get a rebate at all.  There are several other levels of rebate in between, but overall, the idea is pretty simple.  While the rebate program ended on December 31st, this short story is a just a microcosm of a much larger problem, shown in both the (outrageously overlooked) Solyndra scandal and the (ongoing, currently being overlooked) LightSquared scandal: the government doesn’t belong in the free market. Let’s examine the top three flaws in the philosophy of government intervention in the marketplace. #1: It’s the government’s job to decide what products should succeed. Let’s start with establishing this basic premise.  Government has many duties that its citizens expect it to fulfill. However, none of them involve choosing which companies are allowed to succeed.  When the government seizes this power, it...

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A Curious Case Study on the Minimum Wage

As liberal ideas go, the minimum wage sounds (on the surface) better than most.  We have all been told that it protects those working at the bottom of the work ladder, without influencing the wages of the more experienced workers.  All minimum wage does is ensure that manual labourers, new immigrants, and those without a high-school education are able to provide some level of support for a family.   The assumption our society has accepted is that living on a minimum wage income won’t be comfortable, but it is possible. Liberal academics [read: Socialists] argue that we need a living wage — a wage that enable people to live at least a middle class lifestyle, as the minimum wage. And if we accept the premise that raising the minimum wage has no consequences, they’re right. Today, I’ll show you the impact that the minimum wage has on employment, and the direct correlation between a high minimum wage and unemployment. Let’s begin with recent history of the minimum wage in British Columbia, Canada (That’s where I live, so it’s where I have the most familiarity. The same principles apply to any society with a minimum wage). In March 2011, British Columbia released a structured plan to raise the minimum wage from $8.75/hr to 10.25/hr by May 2012. Christy Clark, the Premier of BC (the Canadian equivalent to a governor), said her reasoning...

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