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"...Ontario needs to improve workforce skills and demand high performance standards of its schools, colleges and universities."

It would help untold numbers of Ontarians that are in school, or trying to choose career paths, or even trying to gain new skills if employers would simply offer some guidance about the kinds of skills they would most like to see. As it stands most people are forced to guess. Why the secrecy?

Bill Bell is basically right here, although it's sort of anecdotal my experience as a university graduate looking for a job in Ontario vs. looking for a job in the USA has left me with the opinion that Ontario companies (even big ones) are very VERY poorly managed at least with respect to the hiring of new workers. The vast majority of people from my school who got anywhere went to the US (even during the recession). You can strengthen Ontario schools and universities but Ontario employers have absolutely zero interest in hiring the graduates of these institutions and offer little to no training even for talented prospects.

The phrase "desired level of public services" is a real winner. What is this level? Are voters/taxpayers monitoring a set of dials? I suspect the 39-versus-11 percent growth stories would surprise most people.

People don't vote for a level of public services. If quality of government is a variable, people respond to political scandals (or not, depending on partisanship), personal experience of the health care system, and a small menu of services that vary from person to person (schools, roads, daycare, arts funding). And the economy probably mediates those responses significantly. Assuming there is some policy move to be made based on responses to anecdotal events is not the basis for a "comprehensive strategy".

One vote each for Bill, CBBB, Shangwen. Really, I've never thought that the government provides services. I thought it it collects taxes and distributes to a set of monopolistic sectors. Each sector's share seems to be decided by a political calculation or arbitrary growth path that is now the status quo.

Between the extremes of government providing defence and law or the government providing everything from cradle to grave I'm not sure how each nation decides on the level of service, like Shangwen says, there are no dials.

At the extreme case its looks like I would be working to support other people's habits, if those habits are rich and taxation needs to increase to fund them, why not drop out and become a net consumer of those government services.

Almost seems like a threat, if you don't work hard enough we are going to raise your taxes ...until you do? Spending cuts seem taboo but the thing is they aren't spending cuts, they are spending brakes to slow spending to a sustainable growth rate. 39% vs 11% OMG!

" However, expanding public sector employment faster than private sector employment and then implicitly threatening tax increases to pay for it if productivity does not go up seems to not be an optimal growth strategy. "

Interesting times for the university sector...


"... companies (even big ones) are very VERY poorly managed"

On the contrary, they are doing a great job dumping human capital development costs on the taxpayer. Great for the bonuses. Not so good for the firm in the long run. And given that taxing corporations is easier said than done, I don't see an obvious fix. We either pay the ransom or risk the well-being of the hostages.

"Interesting times for the university sector"

Seems the machine is only going to get bigger. But all the pissing and moaning and the refusal to hire new grads by so many firms (at least the ones I've worked for) raises the question: why bother? They don't like the armies of graduates as it is, and they want everyone to pay for MORE? It's mental. At least among tech firms. they individually believe that they can and will only hire the most productive workers. The plan is to let the cream rise to the top and skim it off. Of course, they've forgotten to feed the cow.

At this point I'm tempted to rant more than I have already, but I'll spare everyone and just shut-up instead.

It would be nice if Ontario had some representation. I wonder what the crown is up to? Imo 20% may be a bit too high, to avoid conflict of interest in a 3 party fptp, system.

Patrick and CBBB are right on the money. As a person who wants to stay near his family, it is very hard to find work in Ontario.

The dishonesty that employers use in hiring is staggering. It plays into the lack of investment that Carney and Flaherty have bemoaned. And while I'm on it, Stephen Gordon was flat wrong in his arguments that corporate savings were rational and good. Keynes demolished that argument back in his General Theory; Stephen unfortunately put forth a zombie argument.

On dishonesty, I have personally experienced not-so-hidden racism at one interview (directed at me, and I'm a snowflake for clarity) and another company who cancelled the job right at the interview, I don't know why I even bothered nor why I wasn't called that morning.

Add to this our dysfunctional immigration system. It is dysfunctional because it chronically cannot match immigrants to available positions and makes promises about opportunity it cannot deliver to those immigrants. Engineering is a poster-child for this nonsense It is a cruel joke to immigrants and exacerbates a poor job market. It has caused Engineering in particular to develop an unhealthy rivalry between immigrants and domestic entrants which leads to racism and discrimination in the workplace by dividing Engineering into cliques. Nobody is gaining from this, it has to stop. I do not want to promise gratuitous lies to prospective Canadian citizens, it is just wrong.

Government need to stop listening to corporate cries for talent, that's a false siren. What seems lost to me is the admission that it is the job of the company to train its employees in the specifics of its business. You cannot take anyone off the street and expect them to know your systems perfectly, if they can then you don't have any actual comparative advantage in methods or technology. If it's specific to you then you have to train people to use it. But that's lost on management.

What can I say except that it turned me from a person who voted Tory in 2008 into a paid-up NDP member in 2012.

Livio:"A strong private sector generates the wealth and activity needed to support the public sector activities that Ontarians want."
An effective public education system generates wealth as much as an effective private one and an ineffective private education destroys wealth as fast as a public one. An effecetive health system does the maintenance job on the human capital. What matters is efficiency and whether public or private does it best. It is not a matter of bankers produce wealth,teachers consume it. A teacher, whether private or public, produces far more than an Assassin's credd programmer...
We're bizarelly threading into Mitt Romney territory...

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