Comment 29681

By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted March 23, 2009 at 21:33:18

Brandon >> What's wrong with requiring a minimum percentage of local ownership?

What is good about it? Just because a business is owned by Canadian citizens, doesn't mean that a business will be profitable. No profits = no jobs. Lots of profits = much better chance of producing well paying jobs. Therefore, if Hamilton wants to give it's citizens great opportunities for work, it needs to increase the total amount of profits being made in the private sector.

>> Does US Steel give a damn about Hamilton and the effect shutting the plant down will have? I'm guessing no.

Let's see, the people of Hamilton pay 1.6% of their property value in taxes, commercial businesses pay 4.6% and industry pays 6.4%. Does the city (and the people) give a damn about the fact that business have to pay 3-4 times more in taxes, simply because they are a business? How is this fair? If you expect investors to care about the workers of Hamilton, perhaps the workers and the citizens of Hamilton should return the favour by lowering the business tax rate. Unless of course you believe that investors owe the people of Hamilton a living?

>> If the workers were more invested in the process, they'd be less likely to have an adversarial relationship with management and would be able to contribute to keeping the plant alive.

Exactly. If you can make it easier for business to make lots of profits, then it gives businesses a great reason to invest in the community. By working to make businesses as successful as possible, the citizens of Hamilton end up helping themselves over the long run. It's as simple as the Golden Rule, treat others as you want to be treated. It's simple and it works.

>> We've seen the results of unfettered capitalism on the financial markets, even the dimmest of us should realize that it may not be the best approach.

In a free market, you wouldn't have taxpayers funding trillion dollar bailouts. Instead, you would have banks fail and investors in those banks (the depositors) lose money. Furthermore, the banks that didn't make stupid decisions, would end up buying their assets on the cheap and there would be a massive transfer of wealth from the stupid to the smart. Moreover, the banks that made good decisions would be given a larger role in the economy and over time, the economy would benefit from their smarter investment decisions.

All regulation does is stop businesses from taking risk. However, by limiting failure, you also limit new discoveries. If you want to live in a safe world, where every business decision is signed off by a government employee, don't expect many great victories. In life, without some risk and pain, you simply will not be successful over the long term.

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