To the Editor,
Re: Business owners lack confidence in politicians’ will, Guest Comment, April 9.
Why is it difficult to sympathize with the reported 80 per cent of small business owners in the province who fear their concerns will not be addressed by either party elected in the upcoming election?
Partly because individual citizens don’t feel represented either.
We listen to talk of continued support for public services, upgraded infrastructure, renewed efforts to protect the environment, fair wages and shared tax contributions to help us all survive and thrive and we too consider it to be so much blather because we too doubt any serious commitment.
The reported priorities of the small business community: balanced budgets and debt repayment, earning equality between the private and public sector, decreased business taxes, less regulation/red tape reveals a growing chasm between what business wants and the needs of the general population.
While it may be true small business provides more than half the private sector jobs in the province, due to pressure for a “flexible work force” from this same sector many of these jobs are poorly paid, insecure and unsatisfactory.
Continued downward pressure on wages means demand for goods continually shrinks. The golden goose called the consumer is being cooked by the very sector that now complains of fewer customers.
Instead, look at those countries whose economies and living standards always come out on top: Norway, Finland, Sweden, the ones who weathered the financial crisis better than Canada, where unions are strong enough to balance the interests of workers with those of business.
Where taxes are relatively high so public services are strong and the country is not full of U-Store warehouses full of unnecessary consumer junk while individual lives become less satisfactory, and decide on the facts rather than ideology what is needed to produce a truly vibrant economy for business and individual citizens.