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Thread: Ralph Klein

  1. #101

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    Well, demonised by people who are advanced enough to realise:
    • Cut back on construction when it's cheapest
    • Cut back on debt when it's cheapest
    • Let's all hold hands with the untreated mentally ill in libraries, gutters, and every public place in between


    is not exactly brilliant, for sure.

    We sure are haters!
    Let's make Edmonton better.

  2. #102
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    Action: Sell off assets at a loss that were providing taxpayers with a stable, long-term source of income.

    Reaction from the wanna-be conservatives: "We got 1000 ralphbucks, so let's call it a "hard decision" and pretend it never happened."

  3. #103

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    Pretty much.
    Let's make Edmonton better.

  4. #104
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    Top_Dawg loves Ralphbucks.



    But all joking aside, what made the Ralphbucks politically significant is that it implicitly admitted that all governments have a spending problem - not a revenue problem.

    Instead of keeping the money and squandering it like all other monies that governments generally waste, they actually gave it back to the ratepayers.

    And hey .

    If anyone was ideologically opposed to it, they could donate it to the homeless industry themselves.

    Win-win for everybody !


    But that sort of thing drives the leftwing nuts crazy.

    Cause they always know how to spend your money better than you do.

  5. #105

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    Oh yeah! Let's try to catch up on 15 years of road neglect during hyperinflated boom years 'b-cuz' yew kno haw to manege munny!

    Yee-haw! Pure brane power dawg!

    Let's make Edmonton better.

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Dawg View Post
    Top_Dawg loves Ralphbucks.



    But all joking aside, what made the Ralphbucks politically significant is that it implicitly admitted that all governments have a spending problem - not a revenue problem.

    Instead of keeping the money and squandering it like all other monies that governments generally waste, they actually gave it back to the ratepayers.

    And hey .

    If anyone was ideologically opposed to it, they could donate it to the homeless industry themselves.

    Win-win for everybody !


    But that sort of thing drives the leftwing nuts crazy.

    Cause they always know how to spend your money better than you do.

    Oh yes, we did have a spending problem. We had a big corporate subsidy spending problem. Ralph could have eliminated the deficit in a single year by simply cutting subsidies.

    Instead he sold off revenue generating programs at a loss and deferred basic infrastructure maintenance (I'll say maintenance because moahunter can't mental gymnastics his way into pretending that didn't need to be done. Engineering reports prove it necessary.)

    At some point you guys are just going to have to face the fact that your dear leader was a drunk buffoon that set us up for failure.

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Dawg View Post
    Top_Dawg loves Ralphbucks.



    But all joking aside, what made the Ralphbucks politically significant is that it implicitly admitted that all governments have a spending problem - not a revenue problem.

    Instead of keeping the money and squandering it like all other monies that governments generally waste, they actually gave it back to the ratepayers.

    And hey .

    If anyone was ideologically opposed to it, they could donate it to the homeless industry themselves.

    Win-win for everybody !


    But that sort of thing drives the leftwing nuts crazy.

    Cause they always know how to spend your money better than you do.
    Then why not just abolish ALL taxes, including those that pay for things like police and military? Then, people who support the police and the military can just donate money to those institutions.

    After all, if people know how to spend money better than governments do, there is no reason not to take that idea to its logical concusion.

  8. #108

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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Dawg View Post
    But all joking aside, what made the Ralphbucks politically significant is that it implicitly admitted that all governments have a spending problem - not a revenue problem.

    Instead of keeping the money and squandering it like all other monies that governments generally waste, they actually gave it back to the ratepayers.
    Yup. We put ours in an RESP account for our daughter.

    I'd rather have that than a completed ring road around Calgary or whatever people imagine this "infrastructure deficit" to be.

  9. #109

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    Quote Originally Posted by overoceans View Post

    Then why not just abolish ALL taxes, including those that pay for things like police and military? Then, people who support the police and the military can just donate money to those institutions.

    After all, if people know how to spend money better than governments do, there is no reason not to take that idea to its logical concusion.
    You do realize don't you, that the military and police, are federal and city jurisdictions, so even if they wanted to, the Province had no business funding them? What Klein did was cut public spending, and get us in budget, everything was funded fully, everything was in surplus (not by asset sales), when he returned money to taxpayers, by way of the Ralph bucks. Rather than wasting Ralph bucks, from an unexpected royalty windfall (gas revenues), on levels of service we didn't need (i.e. new government departments, civil service bonuses, un-needed hospitals, etc.), he gave it back to us to save for ourselves. It was a reward for being willing to accept a more modest level of government service, a level of service we would be better served by today. Big brother doesn't always know best, sometimes its ok to let people make their own decisions, Klein understood that, most Albertans do as well. The PC's lost the plot post Klein (its why they lost power, and its why there is a half empty billion dollar hospital in south Calgary, and an incomplete penthouse in the Federal building). The NDP will be gone soon, the mood is ripe for a new leader who can say no, and cut spending to more appropriate levels. Prentice perhaps understood that, but there was too much squandered baggage from his two predecessors for the message to be believed.
    Last edited by moahunter; 02-08-2016 at 03:07 PM.

  10. #110

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    Ralph's failing was basically very short-term thinking.

    People who just happened to meet the criteria for ralphbucks did nothing more to raise gas price or to put the gas there in the first place than alberta citizens who had shortly before had their mental health beds or homecare and died as a result, or the new albertans since (especially children) who will likely be left with a declining province in substantial part because of the unsustainable growth incentivized by ralph's royalty give-away.

    Ralphbucks weren't an admission that government has a spending problem, they were simply an indication of a government that was seemingly unable to understand the concept of a future.
    There can only be one.

  11. #111

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    Quote Originally Posted by Highlander II View Post
    Ralphbucks weren't an admission that government has a spending problem, they were simply an indication of a government that was seemingly unable to understand the concept of a future.
    No, they were an acceptance that oil / gas royalty revenues from high prices were a "windfall", and could be returned to everyone in Alberta. After Klein, instead of being windfall, such revenues became a necessity just keep up with the endless spending of Stelmac and Redford, who couldn't say no to pointless projects and constant civil service and union demands, which is why we now are, where we are. There was a real opportunity to keep spending in check, to run a mean lean world class and efficient civil service post Klein, to take time with projects and earn the money first, but the PC's blew much of the hard work Klein did. Now the NDP is doing even worse, and there will be another Kleinesque reckoning. I just hope we don't blow it after the next one, and learn from it. I'm not looking for a grand plan, or worried about an infrastructure deficit, I just want a government that lives within its means, and creates and Albertan advantage so that all of us who want it, can go out and succeed.
    Last edited by moahunter; 02-08-2016 at 03:27 PM.

  12. #112
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    No, they were a sign that Ralph Klein was a buffoon unfit to even walk in the Legislature, let alone lead it.

    The first hint should have been selling off sustainable, revenue generating programs at a loss and maintaining the mass subsidy structure that was sinking the province's books.

    But guess what?! Ralphbucks! A masterful illusion that blinds all the lemmings to the King's incompetence and rewrites history with his name in gold!

  13. #113

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    The first hint should have been selling off sustainable, revenue generating programs at a loss and maintaining the mass subsidy structure that was sinking the province's books.
    Care to elaborate? While you might like government to go out and borrow on your behalf and speculate on business interests, like the former Soviet Union, or Saudi Arabia, I don't, it makes no sense for a government to be borrowing to invest in revenue generating activities, that's for the private sector, not politicians or civil servants who have no expertise in that, no accountability, and no business gambling with my money. To the extent Klein sold assets to eliminate debt, that was smart. The dumb thing were the idiotic premiers who followed / couldn't say no / keep their grubby hands out of the money jar.
    Last edited by moahunter; 02-08-2016 at 04:13 PM.

  14. #114

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    ^^^ Previous, smarter PC governments also recognised windfalls, and used the windfall to start the Heritage Fund, something that if maintained would have benefitted all Albertans in perpetuity.

    Selling off a non-renewable asset (oil and gas) and turning it into a perpetual revenue source would be geed management. Selling the asset for cash and blowing it, isn't. Whether some of us put it to good use is immaterial.
    There can only be one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    No, they were a sign that Ralph Klein was a buffoon unfit to even walk in the Legislature, let alone lead it.

    The first hint should have been selling off sustainable, revenue generating programs at a loss and maintaining the mass subsidy structure that was sinking the province's books.

    But guess what?! Ralphbucks! A masterful illusion that blinds all the lemmings to the King's incompetence and rewrites history with his name in gold!



    You make it sound like Ralphbucks were issued at the same time as the right-sizing of government and MUSH.

    King Ralph became premier of Alberta in 1992.

    To Top_Dawg's recollection Ralphbucks weren't issued until 2005.

    After Klein won four - yes four - elections.

    If he was that incompetent wouldn't you think that voters would have turfed him ?

    Klein had no reason to rewrite history.

    The severely normal were more than happy to judge him favorably four times in a row.

  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by overoceans View Post

    Then why not just abolish ALL taxes, including those that pay for things like police and military? Then, people who support the police and the military can just donate money to those institutions.

    After all, if people know how to spend money better than governments do, there is no reason not to take that idea to its logical concusion.
    You do realize don't you, that the military and police, are federal and city jurisdictions, so even if they wanted to, the Province had no business funding them? What Klein did was cut public spending, and get us in budget, everything was funded fully, everything was in surplus (not by asset sales), when he returned money to taxpayers, by way of the Ralph bucks. Rather than wasting Ralph bucks, from an unexpected royalty windfall (gas revenues), on levels of service we didn't need (i.e. new government departments, civil service bonuses, un-needed hospitals, etc.), he gave it back to us to save for ourselves. It was a reward for being willing to accept a more modest level of government service, a level of service we would be better served by today. Big brother doesn't always know best, sometimes its ok to let people make their own decisions, Klein understood that, most Albertans do as well. The PC's lost the plot post Klein (its why they lost power, and its why there is a half empty billion dollar hospital in south Calgary, and an incomplete penthouse in the Federal building). The NDP will be gone soon, the mood is ripe for a new leader who can say no, and cut spending to more appropriate levels. Prentice perhaps understood that, but there was too much squandered baggage from his two predecessors for the message to be believed.
    Yes, I realize that police and army are municipal and federal. But, if Top Dawg's voluntary model for funding homeless shelters works at the provincial level, why not apply it to everything that needs funding, at ALL levels of government? In other words, no taxation, and everyone just sends money to whatever they want to send money to?

  17. #117

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post


    ... Rather than wasting Ralph bucks, from an unexpected royalty windfall (gas revenues), on levels of service we didn't need (i.e. new government departments, civil service bonuses, un-needed hospitals, etc.), he gave it back to us to save for ourselves....
    Highway 63 puts a lie to this type of hogwash.

  18. #118

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    ^That cost 1.2b, about the price of the half empty hospital built in Calgary. Easily affordable if we didn't have one of the most expensive civil service in Canada per capita, something that rapidly grew post Klein.
    Last edited by moahunter; 03-08-2016 at 10:50 AM.

  19. #119

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^That cost 1.2b, about the price of the half empty hospital built in Calgary. Easily affordable if we didn't have one of the most expensive civil service in Canada per capita, something that rapidly grew post Klein.
    The secret of being in a hole is to stop digging.

  20. #120

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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Dawg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    No, they were a sign that Ralph Klein was a buffoon unfit to even walk in the Legislature, let alone lead it.

    The first hint should have been selling off sustainable, revenue generating programs at a loss and maintaining the mass subsidy structure that was sinking the province's books.

    But guess what?! Ralphbucks! A masterful illusion that blinds all the lemmings to the King's incompetence and rewrites history with his name in gold!



    You make it sound like Ralphbucks were issued at the same time as the right-sizing of government and MUSH.

    King Ralph became premier of Alberta in 1992.

    To Top_Dawg's recollection Ralphbucks weren't issued until 2005.

    After Klein won four - yes four - elections.

    If he was that incompetent wouldn't you think that voters would have turfed him ?

    Klein had no reason to rewrite history.

    The severely normal were more than happy to judge him favorably four times in a row.
    Saying that Top Dawg... Prior to Redford, if you put a donkey as the PC's candidate for premier of Alberta it still would've won.

  21. #121

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    ^Redford and Stelmac before her disproved that, both were disasters, and resulted in the end of the PC reign.

  22. #122

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    Stelmach still would've won but yes the aura of the PC's was finally coming off later in his term.

  23. #123

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^Redford and Stelmac before her disproved that, both were disasters, and resulted in the end of the PC reign.
    Ralph was the disaster that went on and on. Even the insiders had enough and pushed him out. Or do you not remember when it is convenient?

    Ed Stelmach was at least a decent fellow.
    Last edited by The Man From YEG; 03-08-2016 at 12:39 PM.

  24. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Man From YEG View Post

    Ralph was the disaster that went on and on. Even the insiders had enough and pushed him out. Or do you not remember when it is convenient?
    That happens to many leaders eventually.

    Fatigue, others' ambition, complacency etc. set in.

    However winning four consecutive majorities is a rare feat in Canadian politics.

    Provincially or federally.

    And the last three were resounding majorities.

    Especially the landslide in 2001.


    ' Welcome to Ralph's world...'


    How sweet it is.

  25. #125

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    ^a little bit of alcohol induced dementia at the end as well perhaps. Klein was flawed in his personal life, but we all are.

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    Ralph was an unmitigated disaster who survived his terms first by surrounding himself with other unmitigated disasters as henchmen, then by riding the wave of "let the good times roll, let's go get a new duelly, buds" Alberta as royalty income increased. If royalties hadn't started flowing in, he would have been gone after 2. Anyone remember what happened to nat gas royalties in 01'?

    If the 10 years of free funny money didn't happen in the 2000s, we would ALL remember Ralph as the man who ruined Alberta.

  27. #127

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    ^despite the best efforts of Notley, Stelmac, and Redford, who have were all spending like drunken sailors, I don't think Alberta is ruined, in large part because we had a Premier who was able to say no before them. I'm looking forward to another premier who believes in fiscal discipline.

  28. #128
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    You say that, but in reality the only reason you like Ralph and probably the only reason you're in Alberta is that we DID enjoy blowing through billions upon billions like it would never end.

    If royalties hadn't gone up in 01', Alberta would be a very different place. It also didn't help that Ralph gutted the rest of our economy so that the only thing we COULD rely on was royalties. He sold off our other revenue generating programs at a loss. He also created a system where we couldn't sustainably expand our resource extraction without overspending.

    You always gripe about Stelmach and Redford, but I know you wouldn't accept the alternative which is a slow, steady, and well planned expansion of our natural resource exploitation. A massive explosion of resource exploitation requires a massive explosion in spending to keep up with growth. There just isn't any way around it. And like it or not, Ralph set us up for that.

  29. #129
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    Classic.

  31. #131
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    Excellent piece from Rick Bell about King Ralph in The Sunday Sun.

    http://www.calgarysun.com/2016/08/06...er-ralph-klein

    Shows where we once were and how the current and last two premiers have lost their way.

  32. #132

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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Dawg View Post
    Excellent piece from Rick Bell about King Ralph in The Sunday Sun.

    http://www.calgarysun.com/2016/08/06...er-ralph-klein

    Shows where we once were and how the current and last two premiers have lost their way.
    A younger more naive me would have thought that years ago. However I lived here through the whole experience and saw how people turned on Klein as soon as the good times arrived, saying; "Where's the plan?" The media, citizens and politicians essentially forced an undoing of Klein fiscal achievements, pushed through massive spending increases, the adoption of "smart debt" and then post 2008 even more debt all 'prettied up' and called "fiscal stimulus". They didn't lose their way, they caved in or acted opportunistically to all the widspread pressure to spend, spend, spend. Now today, with borrowing costs at intergenerational lows and a reasonable attempt to create a "soft landing", the current government is borrowing more. It is also doing exactly what was considered the greatest failing of the Klein era austerity measures, and that's dealing with infrastructure issues rather than kicking the can further down the road for the next generation to deal with, all just to create a nice fuzzy feeling and cliches like "Alberta Advantage" that did very little for Alberta. Rising oil prices created the boom, and no business greatly expanded or relocated here due to any Alberta Advantage.
    Last edited by KC; 08-08-2016 at 09:07 AM.

  33. #133

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    ^what chokes me up, is the same people complaining that we didn't save and build up our fund like Norway, are the same people who were complaining that there was an infrastructure deficit, and hence, we had to spend more during the boom. I'm sorry, but if we wanted a fund, we would have had to have kept spending in check post Klein, and continue to run with a lean infrastructure. Like it or not, that wasn't what was done.

  34. #134

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    You say that, but in reality the only reason you like Ralph and probably the only reason you're in Alberta is that we DID enjoy blowing through billions upon billions like it would never end.

    If royalties hadn't gone up in 01', Alberta would be a very different place. It also didn't help that Ralph gutted the rest of our economy so that the only thing we COULD rely on was royalties. He sold off our other revenue generating programs at a loss. He also created a system where we couldn't sustainably expand our resource extraction without overspending.

    You always gripe about Stelmach and Redford, but I know you wouldn't accept the alternative which is a slow, steady, and well planned expansion of our natural resource exploitation. A massive explosion of resource exploitation requires a massive explosion in spending to keep up with growth. There just isn't any way around it. And like it or not, Ralph set us up for that.
    Good points. We encouraged rapid development and got it along with outrageous cost increases and rapidly rising labour costs which in turn drove up capital development costs and priced the last developments out of the market and the boom increased population growth and all the commensurate infrastructure and legacy costs boom time population increases bring with them (such as shortages of schools, etc plus debt) and then leave behind for the survivors to pay for.Alberta power contract lawsuit: Emails point to cozy Enron connection | Edmonton Journal
    http://edmontonjournal.com/news/poli...nship-with-pcs

    Alberta essentially diluted it's wealth amongst far more people, attracted people that push up public costs, then many of those same people move away, sticking us with overcapacity and or infrastructure in all the wrong places. (Note the symbolic irony of Prentice flying in for the opportunity and then flying out the moment the opportunity was gone.)
    Last edited by KC; 08-08-2016 at 09:19 AM.

  35. #135

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^what chokes me up, is the same people complaining that we didn't save and build up our fund like Norway, are the same people who were complaining that there was an infrastructure deficit, and hence, we had to spend more during the boom. I'm sorry, but if we wanted a fund, we would have had to have kept spending in check post Klein, and continue to run with a lean infrastructure. Like it or not, that wasn't what was done.
    In the 1990s it was widely recognized that our infrastructure needed a lot of work. At the same time news article after news article complained about the smallest of property tax increases. So we got deferrals of work. Provincially it was all discussion of interest costs, government waste and inefficiency, etc. So we got austerity and downsizing, offloading, etc

    The sad reality is that we will never have great foresight to save for the future, spend and borrow opportunistically, etc. We will only ever get everyone reacting to the times with the odd time that plain old luck, looks like foresight.

  36. #136
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    In the 90s everyone with half a brain knew Ralph was off his rocker. He was slashing effective and revenue-generating programs left and right while completely ignoring waste and overspending so long as it helped his buddies. Why did he sell off billions worth of revenue positive assets at a loss instead of cutting subsidies?

    Yet today all the lemmings still worship him because they got 10 years of oil boom funded excess. Ironically, half of you probably wouldn't even be here if Ralph didn't set us up for binge spending and growth without a plan.

    I'm not even sure some of you know how bad it was. Do you know some of the things he cut? How about regional planning, for one. He went out of his way to make it MORE difficult for cities and towns to work together, share resources, and plan for the future. He did this so he could transfer power to his buddies in the counties that have ever since ran their domains like little fiefdoms, racking up millions in cash bank accounts off of exploitative linear property tax rates.

    How can people honestly look at ralph klein and call him a fiscal conservative? He was the most wasteful, disorganized, and incompetent leader in modern Canadian history.

  37. #137

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    How can people honestly look at ralph klein and call him a fiscal conservative? He was the most wasteful, disorganized, and incompetent leader in modern Canadian history.
    But that sentence sums you up in a nutshell. He was the only leader we have had who spent less than revenues, and created a surplus, out of operations, even in times when oil and gas wasn't great. That is a fiscial conservative, it means though that you have to cut spending below revenues, which a tough thing for those with sensitive stomachs to handel. So yes, you can scream as loud as you want "he cut the wrong spending", "he left an infrastructure deficit", or whatever, but he left 0 debt for future premiers, he left a clean slate. If that isn't a fiscal conservative, then nothing by your rants ever will be. I'm looking forward to our next premier being similar, there is a lot of government fat to be chopped, and because Notley has refused to face up to, it is going to hurt just like it did under Klein, I expect whole government departments will be disbanded, and many will face 20 or 30 percent cuts to their budgets. And no doubt you will scream again this new premier isn't a "fiscal conservative". The same sort of reality in the private sector we are all facing / have faced over the last year, when revenues drop, you can't just gamble they will come back, because history tells us that can take a decade or more.
    Last edited by moahunter; 08-08-2016 at 10:02 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    But that sentence sums you up in a nutshell. He was the only leader we have had who spent less than revenues, and created a surplus, out of operations, even in times when oil and gas wasn't great. That is a fiscial conservative, it means though that you have to cut spending below revenues, which a tough thing for those with sensitive stomachs to handel.
    He didn't create a surplus out of operations. That is a straight up lie. He sold revenue-positive assets at a loss. I'm remembering now from when Harper did this that you have a very difficult time understanding the difference between one-time assets sales and operational income, but they are very different.

    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    So yes, you can scream as loud as you want "he cut the wrong spending", "he left an infrastructure deficit", or whatever
    Indeed I will, because those are two monumentally incompetent decisions that set us up for decades of failure in the future. Moreover, they are proof that he was not a true fiscal conservative. He didn't balance the books, he just shifted around our debt to make it difficult to see.



    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    , but he left 0 debt for future premiers, he left a clean slate.
    He left zero ability to cope with the impending boom in oil prices. Worse, he set up a subsidy and regulatory system that resulted in an explosion of uncontrollable growth which REQUIRED excessive spending to keep up. If Ralph had set up a tight regulatory system that enabled us to slow down and control growth to a level that fit within his austerity level spending and taxes, then perhaps we would be having a different conversation.

  39. #139

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    ^we had zero debt, and net assets. Its all been downhill since then. Looking forward to getting back to some fiscal discipline, but I am sure you will be mad when the cuts come, even though that's what happens when a fiscal conservative is in power.

  40. #140
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    ^ So no response to his massive shortcomings? Guess the truth doesn't fit your narrative.

  41. #141

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    ^no truth is going to change your imagination Jaredo, we had zero debt and assets when he left, whereas when he came in we had debt, and this was during a time of low oil prices. You can make up stories of revenue generating assets, or infrastructure deficits, or whatever nonsense you want, people make that stuff up when they are angry at a politician who had the courage to be a fiscal conservative / make cuts. When we get another leader with the courage to slash government departments, I am sure you will be just as angry and also accuse them of not being what they are, a fiscal conservative.

    But no one can dispute his government balanced the province’s books, rid the province of debt, lowered taxes and got out of the business of pouring taxpayer dollars into white elephant schemes.

    No one can challenge the resolve of his government in tackling the financial mess in the early days while admitting mistakes and reversing course when Albertans made their voices heard.

    No one can argue Ralph didn’t connect with people.

    He could and he did and he sold his simple, direct plan, and when people did not like something he did you would hear them say: “At least he’s doing what he said he’d do.”

    Then there was the Alberta Advantage, a slogan cooked up in a bar over a bottle or two of Chianti and not by a smarty-pants ad agency cashing a big, fat government cheque.

    Warts and all, Alberta had an advantage.
    No one except Jaredo...

    http://www.calgarysun.com/2016/08/06...er-ralph-klein
    Last edited by moahunter; 08-08-2016 at 11:55 AM.

  42. #142
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    Your mental gymnastics are astounding. You will warp reality in whatever way possible to satiate your crushing cognitive dissonance on this issue.

    - Selling assets at a loss is not fiscally conservative.

    - One time asset sales are not operational income.

    - Debt has not been reduced if basic maintenance of public infrastructure has been deferred.

    - Cutting effective programs and maintaining wasteful ones is the epitome of government waste.

    - Ralph Klein was not fiscally conservative, he was a faker. And you ate his populist demagoguery right up.

  43. #143

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    Whatever.

    - Selling assets at a loss is not fiscally conservative. MAINTAINING SPECULATION ON BUSINESS VENTURES WHEN IN DEBT IS NOT FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE

    - One time asset sales are not operational income. MAINTAING SPELCULATION ON BUSINESS VENTURES WHEN IN DEBT IS NOT FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE

    - Debt has not been reduced if basic maintenance of public infrastructure has been deferred. WHEN YOU EARN LESS MONEY YOU HAVE TO SURVIVE WITH A LESS FANCY INFRASTRUCTURE. LIVING WITHIN YOUR MEANS IS FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE.

    - Cutting effective programs and maintaining wasteful ones is the epitome of government waste. CUTTING GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURES IS FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE, PERIOD.

    - Ralph Klein was not fiscally conservative, he was a faker. And you ate his populist demagoguery right up. FISCAL CONSERVATIVES THREATEN YOU, HENCE YOUR HATE OF THE ONLY ONE WE HAVE HAD

    People might not like Kleins policies, they might not like fiscal conservatism (because it means making some tough decisions, just like cutting your household budget) but he was what he said he was, and he did what he said he would do, as Kenney correctly points out.

    Ralph did this. We can do it again,” he proclaims, on social media.

    Three days ago the Kenney campaign posted a picture of Ralph holding up a Paid in Full sign when he announced Alberta was debt free.

    A picture is worth a thousand words.

    On Saturday, Kenney points to Ralph’s political courage in turning things around and how Ralph wasn’t afraid to take advice and turn it into government policy and how he never lost touch with the Albertans paying the bills.

    “He was the real deal,” says Kenney.

    “We miss him.”
    Last edited by moahunter; 08-08-2016 at 12:25 PM.

  44. #144
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    ^ Excellent spotlight into the mind of a warped neoliberal.

    "Cutting anything is fiscally conservative". That kind of infantile ultimatum typed thinking is what makes you neoliberals so worthy of ridicule.

    How about cutting wasteful programs, and keeping the effective ones? Oh no, that would require difficult things like critical thinking and rationality. Completely unbecoming of the proper neoliberal. And how nice it would be to have a mind that lets you label basic maintenance like ensuring the structural integrity of a bridge as "needless luxuries". Your first two points are not even responses to mine, they are completely different. You just refused to address them at all. It's pretty obvious that your ideology requires completely asinine thinking and lies to be even basically coherent.

    I like that you bring up cutting the household budget, because Klein's cuts were the direct opposite of what a household would do. Klein stopped paying the power bill and refused to fix the foundation, but kept on spending money on flat screen TVs and booze. He fueled government waste, and cut the things that worked.

    Keep calling yourself a fiscal conservative all you want, the truth is blatantly out there in your post. You aren't a fiscal conservative, you're a neoliberal. Fiscal conservatives want an effective and efficient government. You just want to destroy the government. That isn't the same thing at all.
    Last edited by Jaerdo; 08-08-2016 at 12:40 PM.

  45. #145

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    ^
    How about cutting wasteful programs, and keeping the effective ones?
    Who defines what is wasteful and what is efficient? You have conveniently, based on your personal bias, decided Klein cut efficient programs, and kept wasteful ones. Klein was in power, he had ministers for every department, and they made tough decisions to bring costs down. No matter what those programs they had cut had been, and which they had retained there had been, you would have written this same sentence. Its a self reinforcing philosophy - Klein = doing bad stuff. That's not my memory of his government at all, I remember it being lean, efficient, and supportive of business. But then, I was in the private sector, so I don't have a beef about losing my buddies in the next government department over. I voted for him, he won four elections, fourteen years in power, Notley will win only one despite all her efforts to try and please everyone.
    Last edited by moahunter; 08-08-2016 at 01:31 PM.

  46. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    ^
    How about cutting wasteful programs, and keeping the effective ones?
    Who defines what is wasteful and what is efficient? You have conveniently, based on your personal bias, decided Klein cut efficient programs, and kept wasteful ones. Klein was in power, he had ministers for every department, and they made tough decisions to bring costs down. No matter what those programs they had cut had been, and which they had retained there had been, you would have written this same sentence. Its a self reinforcing philosophy - Klein = doing bad stuff. That's not my memory of his government at all, I remember it being lean, efficient, and supportive of business. But then, I was in the private sector, so I don't have a beef about losing my buddies in the next government department over. I voted for him, he won four elections, fourteen years in power, Notley will win only one despite all her efforts to try and please everyone.
    So, platitudes in response? I define what is wasteful and what is efficient based on the effect/utility of the program, and the cost of the program. It is especially easy to call something a wasteful cut if it was previously generating revenue.

  47. #147

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    So, platitudes in response? I define what is wasteful and what is efficient based on the effect/utility of the program, and the cost of the program. It is especially easy to call something a wasteful cut if it was previously generating revenue.
    No, that's not it at all. Just because something generates revenue for government, doesn't mean government should be doing it. By that logic, government should control every business, and invest in every business, because it will "generate revenue", but that's not the case because government is inherently inefficient as bureaucrats have no skin in the game. There is a role for government (providing a fair market), and there is a role for the private sector (taking the risks in that market). When one interferes in the other, it damages the economy. When one gets out of the way for the other, the economy grows, and revenues go up for both the private and public sectors. That is what happened under Klein, and we all benefited, salaries and wages grew to become the highest in Canada. That's a good thing, when you make your money from your work, not your government hand out.
    Last edited by moahunter; 08-08-2016 at 01:43 PM.

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    That isn't how it works. You need to make the argument as to why government should not be doing it if they already have an effective system in place. As it stood, programs were generating revenue for the taxpayer and delivering a service. I think a few of Klein's moves could be justified, such as privatizing the liquor system. The license system is up in the air as to the benefit of privatization. Privatizing AGT on the other hand was complete government waste of taxpayer owned assets. We would have been way better off with a provincial system now, just as both Saskatchewan and Manitoba are.

    Another boondoggle, one which in my opinion had way worse of a long term impact, was the destruction of our provincial planning system. Klein wanted to cut spending somewhere easy, so he destroyed the planning commissions and ended regional planning. This had a disastrous impact on both Edmonton and Calgary's ability to project themselves as metro regions. It literally set them back 30 years with regard to planning. Neither region recovered. The regional planning system established unified goals for growth, and guided development in a way that was fiscally sustainable. Outside of Edmonton and Calgary, planning ended entirely. Municipalities that previously had regional planning commission access (something which paid extreme dividends) suddenly had no plans at all. Even today a disturbing number of municipalities have zero concrete land use planning efforts, and no resources to make it happen.

    A further mess was the dismantling of Alberta's mental health care system. This had direct and long lasting impacts on provincial revenues. As we know, and as we knew then, mental health care pays off in the long run. The cost of treating someone and housing them is much, much less than the cost of revolving door acute health care usage. Klein destroyed the first line of mental health care and literally put people out on the street to become chronic, routine emergency room users.

    Speaking of direct waste, how about Klein's ventures into direct subsidies? He blew hundreds of millions supporting a private pulp mill that catastrophically failed. He blew countless billions on oil and gas subsidies, never to be recovered.
    Last edited by Jaerdo; 08-08-2016 at 02:05 PM.

  49. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    In the 90s everyone with half a brain knew Ralph was off his rocker.

    How can people honestly look at ralph klein and call him a fiscal conservative? He was the most wasteful, disorganized, and incompetent leader in modern Canadian history.



    Top_Dawg absolutely loves how the mere mention of King Ralph sends the cornholios into vitriolic seizures.

    “You can call me every rotten, stinking name under the sun, but I ain’t going to blink.”



  50. #150

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    ^agreed. Its funny how most Albertan's supposedly didn't have half a brain back then, I guess its why we became the wealthiest province (until it all got ****** away). Nothing Jaredo mentioned in his last post had anything to do with fiscal conservatism, just a bunch of revisionist issues he has different views on. For example, mental health was stuffed up by every provincial government in Canada, what happened in Alberta is not unique, the left wing governments elsewhere did the same, all a bit of PC backlash against the horrors of mental hospitals following "one flew over the cuckoos nest". Development planning has nothing to do with fiscal conservatism. He is basically criticizing Ralph for not being a left winger, which is the reason though, he was our best premier.
    Last edited by moahunter; 08-08-2016 at 03:38 PM.

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    I don't see how Jaerdo is wrong about AGT.

    I also don't think that the public benefits by electric system being privatized. Now I get to pay someone to build a transmission line that someone else owns and profits from.

    How differently do large corporations operate compared to government? Look at how much office space big oil companies in Calgary consumed. The more opulent the better. Wasting shareholders money. Paying welders 250 grand a year and driving up salaries throughout the province.

  52. #152

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    Klein privatized AGT? I seem to recall Getty saying that every Albertan should own a pice of the company

  53. #153

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Klein privatized AGT? I seem to recall Getty saying that every Albertan should own a pice of the company
    Agreed, it pre-dates Klein. And thank god it was privatized, do people really want to have had us invest the billions needed to build the cell phone network and their optic system out of our tax dollars, only to be a tiny player in Alberta for that investment? I doubt it, that's why we have equity markets and public companies. If you like TELUS or AGT, you can/could go out and buy their stock, no need for government to do it for us.

  54. #154

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Klein privatized AGT? I seem to recall Getty saying that every Albertan should own a pice of the company
    Agreed, it pre-dates Klein. And thank god it was privatized, do people really want to have had us invest the billions needed to build the cell phone network and their optic system out of our tax dollars, only to be a tiny player in Alberta for that investment? I doubt it, that's why we have equity markets and public companies. If you like TELUS or AGT, you can/could go out and buy their stock, no need for government to do it for us.
    The taxpayer funded the original buildout (at a time of much less access to capital) so I don't see a problem with financing another buildout. It's public utility economics with a considerable assurance of full recovery of funds. However, since they may have foreseen other competitive or efficiency pressures then for some reason privatization may make sense. That said, why not retain a large chunk of ownership to capitalize on the benefits of privatization. The Feds privatized CN and then Allegheny and later Bill Gates Cascadia came in and made many multiples on the price. Canadian taxpayers lost out on these gains.

    At a minimum gains from privatized assets should be put into indexed funds. Unfortunately, proceeds from sound public utility assets usually get ploughed into paying for other non-income-generating assets.

    As for going out and buying the stock, not everyone can do this.

    As for the government never owning or retaining profitable assets and only owning money losers - well, you can see where that goes with the heads I win, tails you lose ideologs out there.
    Last edited by KC; 09-08-2016 at 08:38 AM.

  55. #155

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    At a minimum gains from privatized assets should be put into indexed funds. Unfortunately, proceeds from sound public utility assets usually get ploughed into paying for other non-income-generating assets.
    When you are in debt, you pay off the debt first. And for all we know, a portion may have gone into heritage fund.

  56. #156

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    At a minimum gains from privatized assets should be put into indexed funds. Unfortunately, proceeds from sound public utility assets usually get ploughed into paying for other non-income-generating assets.
    When you are in debt, you pay off the debt first. And for all we know, a portion may have gone into heritage fund.
    Not necessarily. In fact much of the corporate and government world prefers to run long term leverage, forever rolling it.
    If the interest is likely to be less than the income generated why divest?

    Note: I've always had an aversion to debt and my largest equity investments are essentially debt free. This can hurt one's returns and lifestyle though.

  57. #157

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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Dawg View Post
    Top_Dawg loves Ralphbucks.



    But all joking aside, what made the Ralphbucks politically significant is that it implicitly admitted that all governments have a spending problem - not a revenue problem.

    Instead of keeping the money and squandering it like all other monies that governments generally waste, they actually gave it back to the ratepayers.

    And hey .

    If anyone was ideologically opposed to it, they could donate it to the homeless industry themselves.

    Win-win for everybody !


    But that sort of thing drives the leftwing nuts crazy.

    Cause they always know how to spend your money better than you do.
    And unlike a tax cut or spending increase, an equal amount went to every citizen. Yet it was lampooned. And since there are far more poor than rich, far more poor people received the payment. And, since a dollar in a poor person's wallet provides much more utility than an other dollar in a rich persons wallet, the benefit was highly biased towards the low income population. And...
    Last edited by KC; 09-08-2016 at 09:35 AM.

  58. #158

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    ^By your logic government should go out tomorrow, borrow to the max, and invest it all in the stock market index funds, and "hope" that the return beats the interest rate (which would rapidly rise when investors saw what government was doing). That's the sort of thing the Soviet union used to do, albeit into businesses it owned. It didn't turn out very well, because its not what government is for, which is to set the rules. A government isn't a business, I don't want it borrowing to speculate on my behalf in competition against the private sector. That is for private citizens / individuals to do, as they choose.
    Last edited by moahunter; 09-08-2016 at 09:41 AM.

  59. #159

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^By your logic government should go out tomorrow, borrow to the max, and invest it all in the stock market index funds, and "hope" that the return beats the interest rate (which would rapidly rise when investors saw what government was doing). That's the sort of thing the Soviet union used to do, albeit into businesses it owned. It didn't turn out very well, because its not what government is for, which is to set the rules. A government isn't a business, I don't want it borrowing to speculate on my behalf in competition against the private sector. That is for private citizens / individuals to do, as they choose.
    No. I said much of the world does use debt and doesn't try to get to a zero debt position. Even under Klein we had zero net debt not zero debt. Of course,many fix obligations present risk in worst case scenarios. The ability to survive a liquidity crisis is the key factor. That's why many individuals should not borrow to invest and some should not even invest in equity markets since an 80-90% tumble could occur thus forcing them to sell low.

    As for governments owning positions in equities I think that is fine. It provides a means to stabilize taxes and reduce impacts of potential volatility in tax receipts, etc. It also inserts some political influence into businesses that the vast majority of citizens use (such as roads, power, communications, etc.) which offsets some of the private sector objectives. Additionally, over long periods of time equity markets have historically outperformed debt markets so systemic bias favours equity market returns. A government, having taxing powers is probably one of the best suited entities to accumulate net positive equity positions using debt. (Ie borrow a bit every year for a 100 years and they would likely come out ahead despite periods of taking on high cost debt to buy low return equities. And taxing powers mean that they can ride out depressions better than can individuals and businesses. Plus government can borrow at a lower rate, thus improving their odds. ) However, converting existing assets into diversified equity baskets (EdTel proceeds) may make the most sense in terms of safely diversifying for the future.

    Here in Alberta the government owns the majority of the mineral rights. I've suggested that some portion (or slice) of those rights could be privatized to get the benefits of market pricing into the remaining government owned portion. I would hope any proceeds would be retained as debt or equity investments and not put into operational spending.

    With government owned public utilities and resources, there is often a long track record of sustainability, though maybe not profitability. If government seeks to privatize those assets one has to wonder who would buy a loosing enterprise unless they feel they can make it profitable or more profitable. If so, why not side with the private sector as Lougheed did with Alberta Energy and retain some ownership for the long run?
    Last edited by KC; 09-08-2016 at 10:35 AM.

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