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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Most Canadians think an auto bailout is unwise: poll

Struggling North American automakers are looking for bailouts, and the U.S. and Canadian federal governments have committed $14 billion and $4 billion respectively so far.

But a new Ipsos Reid poll shows that a majority of Canadians (58%) think it's unwise for the federal government to provide this assistance because it would set a precedent for other protectionist measures and industry bailouts, and there is no guarantee the auto companies will survive even with this support.

Canadians are right to be skeptical, according to a recent report by the Fraser Institute:

“While corporate begging has become even more blatant this year, the fundamental truth has not changed. Business subsidies, bailouts, or loans are all forms of corporate welfare that transfer tax dollars and employment from healthy businesses to risky businesses,” said Mark Milke, author of the report, Corporate Welfare: Now a $182 Billion Addiction. “Government intervention only delays the day of reckoning and often at the expense of other businesses and a healthy industry and economy.”

Posted by Matthew Johnston

Posted by westernstandard on December 23, 2008 in Economic freedom | Permalink


You mean to tell me that most Canadians are against proping up diseased, mismanaged, over-unionized car companies? They're against handing out golden parachutes to bankers and CEO's. They're against helping corporate behemoths while responsible, well managed businesses have to make due without government loans and a bankruptcy safety-net. They see through the socialist lies and rhetoric about "status quo employment levels" knowing that the sudden decrease in labour costs, coupled with low gas and commodity prices will aid good businesses. That 8% is the latest hope I've seen for this country in a long time, but I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: Cid the Cidious | 2008-12-23 4:04:01 PM

Wow Cid, I don't believe I can add anything to that. Bang on!

Posted by: JC | 2008-12-23 4:41:31 PM

Cid, I fear the Canadians you describe are not in the majority. The election results indicate to me that this is the case. I completely agree with you otherwise and only wish most Canadians thought the same.

Posted by: Alain | 2008-12-23 5:12:21 PM

Regrettably, we still get the governments we deserve reflecting our ignorance and/or apathy. The majority of poll respondents are in favour of a lot of things which never become law (such as capital punishment; preventing auto bailouts; et al.....)

Posted by: Kent Douglas | 2008-12-23 5:20:16 PM

Every country in the free world is bailing out their auto industry. We are so tied in with the states that whatever they do , we will follow.
Take the auto industry out of Ontario and there's nothing left.

Posted by: peterj | 2008-12-23 6:46:49 PM

peterj, I know what you mean about there being "nothing left" in Ontario if the auto industry goes. And that would actually be a very good thing for everyone. The reason is that the factories and most of the people wouldn't really go. They would just be redeployed, and and much more competitive business environment would emerge. That we don't know exactly what it would look like is partly why the government won't let it happen. We know exactly what will be lost but can't imagine what will replace it, so we hold on to a dying industry.

Posted by: TM | 2008-12-23 8:18:49 PM

Maybe we are getting through to the masses. Both North and South of the 49th, people aren't buying the Keynesian line anymore.



Posted by: Mike Vine | 2008-12-24 11:51:02 AM

Is it really that dire? Why do Ontarions support bailing out one industry? That is what I don't understand. Surely there is more to Ontario than just making cars?

Harper I seem to remember hated corporate welfare. A good nap in Ottawa changes things I guess

Posted by: Faramir | 2008-12-24 12:28:20 PM

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