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So here is the next liberal excuse for the crisis -- it's the (external) fault of "poor people"!

What a sick joke, as if the thirty year war on wages and unions in the United States (and globally) by capital isn't the class foundation to ALL this bs. The financial crisis is merely amplifying the structural contradictions in American capitalism and world imperialism. The "fundamentals" are working fine; capitalism just f'n sucks.

But, "economists" wouldn't get this because it doesn't fit into their hypothetical deductive world.

The solution is socialized housing, democratic planning of production, workers control, and expropriation of the expropriators.

Stephen, if you want to help low-income families, don't take their money in the first place.


Actually, low-income families pay very little in taxes, so tax cuts help them hardly at all. And what they pay is more than compensated by the transfers they receive.

So Stephen and Travis help me out here. I’m not an economist, but I’m not exactly Joe Six-pack either. The Tories $100 per month Universal Child-Care Benefit is nice, but I’m not sure why they had to setup a new process and add bureaucrats to give taxpayers back their money. Why not just give a tax credit?

But that’s not my point. $100 doesn’t begin to cover child-care costs, especially in a city like Toronto (where I live – benefits like this need to be indexed in some way to the cost of living in different locales). Further, this hasn’t seemed to create any more daycare spots (though my observations are anecdotal and not scientific). Wait times are just as long as before. Now maybe there’s a time-lag here, and maybe it takes time for the market to react to demand, but I’m not so sure. I think Travis has a point that the infrastructure just doesn’t exist. There are barriers to entry for good quality daycare since standards for them are quite stringent (and so they should be). There are no shortage of unlicensed home daycares (I suppose this is the market’s solution), but they are hit and miss – many of the people running them have no training, no emergency procedures etc. My wife and I have the money, and we’re willing to pay for top quality daycare, but the shortest wait we have is well over a year. We’ll probably go with a nanny, despite reservations (I guess that’s another one of the market’s solutions).

So, I feel the Liberals and NDP may do some good augmenting existing offerings with additional daycare spaces. Is the point of the program to help the poor or to meet a shortage of daycare spaces? Their programs would create the additional physical infrastructure, though they would also have to expand school programs for early childhood education to ensure there are enough workers to meet the demand. Such a program should be progressively carried out (unlike the Quebec system, as Stephen noted), with a sliding scale of fees depending on the income of the parents. The new program doesn’t have to be completely universal (and not free), all it has to do is help supply meet the demand.

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