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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Stephen Harper, Free Market Economist?

We've all heard the conservative talking point - vote for Harper, he's an economist who understands how markets work.

If you think there might still be some truth in that statement, check out this CTV clip of Harper defending his bold new policy of regulating the cost of text messages. When asked by a reporter whether we shouldn't just open up the telephone market to foreign competition, our free market hero says . . . no!

Just when you thought Harper couldn't shed any more principles, he ups the ante.

Kinda makes you wish there was a 'hidden agenda.'

Posted by Craig Yirush on October 1, 2008 | Permalink


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It's not even about free market principles - it's about what's best for Canadians vs. what's expedient when dealing with the lobbyists and special interests that have so much political influence.

In this case, Harper makes it surprisingly explicit: yes, there's a problem with competition and yes, more competition could help consumers, but we need to make sure we protect Canadian companies from being bought out, so no, we won't liberalize the market.

Nonsense. Who cares who owns the phone companies? Most Canadians might have an affinity for dealing with domestic companies, but most also have no idea how sub-par our cell phone services are compared to the rest of the world.

Incoming text message charges were just a wake-up call to what regulation has done to our market, and Harper's text message pricing legislation is just hitting the snooze button.

Posted by: Janet | 2008-10-01 8:10:54 AM

Want to see unregulated capitalism?

Go to China. People's lifespans are being cut short and babies are sick and dying of melamine poisoning due to an absent, corrupt or ineffective regulatory environment. Melamine is the popular manifestation right now but virtually the entire productive Chinese urban and agricultural ecosystem is now unfit for human health.

This will only result in an unparalleled upcoming cancer epsidemic the likes of which this planet has ever seen. In fact, is is likely already starting but the CCP is covering up the numbers.

Llibertarians will say that this is the market establishing equilibrium once again. What heartless bastards.


Posted by: epsilon | 2008-10-01 8:46:38 AM

Uh, Epsilon, not sure if you have been around the past, um, hundred years or so, but, well, sorry to break you the news, but, China is a Communist Country with strong central control over the economy.


Posted by: Q | 2008-10-01 9:00:18 AM

libertarians would not stand for a company that is harmful to people. you could sue for fraud and damages.

Posted by: bugsy | 2008-10-01 9:03:19 AM

Q - not sure how long you've been around but the CCP party has ruled for the last 60 years not the last hundred years or so as you say.

And the current regime in China is not Communist. It is a dictatorship.


Posted by: epsilon | 2008-10-01 9:31:47 AM

Someone who believed in free markets wouldn't have Bombardier and Southern Ontario on the public teats.

Posted by: Faramir | 2008-10-01 3:56:51 PM

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