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  #1  
Old Posted May 10, 2020, 7:27 PM
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Stimulus money

With covid taking a bite out of every sector of our economy, and experts saying we are definitely in a recession, possibly even a depression, it is most likely that a stimulus package will be offered by the various governments.

So, for some fun discussion, if you were in charge, what 5 things do you think would be good things to spend the stimulus fund on? Why did you choose those?
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Old Posted May 10, 2020, 8:03 PM
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Originally Posted by swimmer_spe View Post
With covid taking a bite out of every sector of our economy, and experts saying we are definitely in a recession, possibly even a depression, it is most likely that a stimulus package will be offered by the various governments.

So, for some fun discussion, if you were in charge, what 5 things do you think would be good things to spend the stimulus fund on? Why did you choose those?
1. COV-19 testing stations at every border and airport with open borders to nations with low infection rates. Charge $100 per a use and likely we will see a payback in a couple weeks. Sure someone may come in who is infected but its unlikely and we already have a ton of our own infected.

2. Masks, I'd mail every Canadian a re-usable mask and make them mandatory to wear when outside in public or at work with co-workers.

3. Part-time jobs. Forget mailing people money, hire them to cleanup beaches/roads or plant trees while they are out of work. As its outdoor work its easy to maintain distancing and you'd be required to wear a mask.

4. Infrastructure upgrades such as roads that can be upgraded quickly so that travel between cities/provinces is improved after lockdown.

5. Reducing sales tax to 0% for 3 months and reducing capital gains tax by 30% of the total for 3 months. Boost transactions and give people a reason to participate in our economy.
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  #3  
Old Posted May 10, 2020, 8:08 PM
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Originally Posted by misher View Post
1. COV-19 testing stations at every border and airport with open borders to nations with low infection rates. Charge $100 per a use and likely we will see a payback in a couple weeks. Sure someone may come in who is infected but its unlikely and we already have a ton of our own infected.

2. Masks, I'd mail every Canadian a re-usable mask and make them mandatory to wear when outside in public or at work with co-workers.

3. Part-time jobs. Forget mailing people money, hire them to cleanup beaches/roads or plant trees while they are out of work. As its outdoor work its easy to maintain distancing and you'd be required to wear a mask.

4. Infrastructure upgrades such as roads that can be upgraded quickly so that travel between cities/provinces is improved after lockdown.

5. Reducing sales tax to 0% for 3 months and reducing capital gains tax by 30% of the total for 3 months. Boost transactions and give people a reason to participate in our economy.

Wow, you have my vote
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  #4  
Old Posted May 10, 2020, 8:25 PM
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Conventional wisdom suggests investments in green energy.
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  #5  
Old Posted May 10, 2020, 10:25 PM
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The smartest stimulus play is projects that would make us more competitive in the long run. This has to be balanced against the need to get people to work. I would break into three timeframes:

Immediate funding. Projects already in the pipeline and/or deferred due to funding. There's a shocking amount of simple stuff. Upgrading an elevator. Replacing a backup generator. Etc

Medium term. Projects that can get shovels into the ground in 6-12 months. I would think this could be more substantial capital works. But also a lot of energy efficiency and safety upgrades would fall in this category. Think of upgrading plumbing and HVAC in a rec centre or putting solar panels on an elementary school. Or runway resurfacing at a major airport.

Long term. Projects that will get shovels in the ground in 12-24 months. These should mostly be focused on strategic projects that are of national significance. East-West grid connection. VIA's HFR plan. Accelerating airport infrastructure plans where possible through loans and some grants. The massive GTAA hub concept, for example, could be accelerated through loans. I'd also add a long term infrastructure plan to electrify Canada Post and infrastructure plans to enable transit authorities to electrify bus depots in this category.

There needs to be some strategy and focus beyond just employment. Because otherwise we end up projects that metaphorically fill holes we dug up.

No financial stimulus. EI fulfills this need for the most part. Extend it if required.
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Old Posted May 10, 2020, 10:29 PM
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Here's an article of what East-West grid connections would do:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/eas...erta-1.3444318

Really helps the paririe provinces in particular to cut emissions.
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  #7  
Old Posted May 10, 2020, 10:31 PM
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God this is so stupid, global economy in ruins all because we overreacted to what has turned out to be a 1957 asian flu style pandemic.

What would I do if I were in charge? I'd end the lockdowns immediately and get everyone back to work, I would permanently replace EI with the CERB program under a different name.

Otherwise I'd let failing companies die, thats what the market does.
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  #8  
Old Posted May 10, 2020, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Bcasey25raptor View Post
God this is so stupid, global economy in ruins all because we overreacted to what has turned out to be a 1957 asian flu style pandemic.

What would I do if I were in charge? I'd end the lockdowns immediately and get everyone back to work, I would permanently replace EI with the CERB program under a different name.

Otherwise I'd let failing companies die, thats what the market does.
Ha, weren’t you the one that said the recession is a lie a few months back? Just wondering.
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  #9  
Old Posted May 10, 2020, 10:37 PM
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Ha, weren’t you the one that said the recession is a lie a few months back? Just wondering.
I don't believe so, I haven't posted much on this site in the past 4 months.

If I did mention a recession being a lie it predates these shutdowns back when the Wexiters were whining about Trudeau last fall.
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  #10  
Old Posted May 10, 2020, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Truenorth00 View Post
No financial stimulus. EI fulfills this need for the most part. Extend it if required.
I take it you're talking money for individuals. No financial stimulus would be one of the worst things that we could do. Millions of people do not qualify for EI because they are either self-employed, contractors, students, etc. Why would we repeat the same mistake we just finished somewhat correcting?
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  #11  
Old Posted May 10, 2020, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Bcasey25raptor View Post
God this is so stupid, global economy in ruins all because we overreacted to what has turned out to be a 1957 asian flu style pandemic.

What would I do if I were in charge? I'd end the lockdowns immediately and get everyone back to work, I would permanently replace EI with the CERB program under a different name.

Otherwise I'd let failing companies die, thats what the market does.
We definitely reacted too late and put way too much faith in the WHO.

I would do more than just replace EI with the CERB. I would implement a UBI as the costs in the long run would be less than what it costs to deal with homeless people, health issues caused due to poverty, etc.

You can't let companies die that were forced to close due to lockdowns. That would totally destroy any trust foreign companies have in Canada. It's bad enough as it is.
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Old Posted May 10, 2020, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by misher View Post
1. COV-19 testing stations at every border and airport with open borders to nations with low infection rates. Charge $100 per a use and likely we will see a payback in a couple weeks. Sure someone may come in who is infected but its unlikely and we already have a ton of our own infected.

2. Masks, I'd mail every Canadian a re-usable mask and make them mandatory to wear when outside in public or at work with co-workers.

3. Part-time jobs. Forget mailing people money, hire them to cleanup beaches/roads or plant trees while they are out of work. As its outdoor work its easy to maintain distancing and you'd be required to wear a mask.

4. Infrastructure upgrades such as roads that can be upgraded quickly so that travel between cities/provinces is improved after lockdown.

5. Reducing sales tax to 0% for 3 months and reducing capital gains tax by 30% of the total for 3 months. Boost transactions and give people a reason to participate in our economy.
So for #3. By "forgetting mailing people money" I assume we're talking about people with the physical capabilities to perform manual labour and without children to look after (considering many schools and daycares are also closed) and their own transportation to get to/from the sites so that they're not exposed to mass transit, and a travel allowance for those with farther to travel?
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  #13  
Old Posted May 10, 2020, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Corndogger View Post
I take it you're talking money for individuals. No financial stimulus would be one of the worst things that we could do. Millions of people do not qualify for EI because they are either self-employed, contractors, students, etc. Why would we repeat the same mistake we just finished somewhat correcting?
All the groups mentioned are getting some form of support through EI/CERB. In a post-opening scenario what more support would they need? I understand extending EI and some of these other supports a bit longer (as unemployment dictates). But why is broad direct financial support required? And how does it stimulate any more than taking up the slack in the construction sector with public works (purpose of infrastructure projects during recessions)?

Running up the deficit to cut everyone cheques, even those who don't need it, is highly irresponsible.
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Old Posted May 10, 2020, 11:36 PM
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  #15  
Old Posted May 10, 2020, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Truenorth00 View Post
All the groups mentioned are getting some form of support through EI/CERB. In a post-opening scenario what more support would they need? I understand extending EI and some of these other supports a bit longer (as unemployment dictates). But why is broad direct financial support required? And how does it stimulate any more than taking up the slack in the construction sector with public works (purpose of infrastructure projects during recessions)?

Running up the deficit to cut everyone cheques, even those who don't need it, is highly irresponsible.
I'm not saying we shouldn't be investing in infrastructure projects, etc. We know or should know that not everyone can work and that leaving them with no means of supporting themselves results in very expensive social programs, higher health costs, etc. Most if not all of this money would end up back in the economy so it would be another forum of stimulus. The exact details can be modified so that those who don't need it don't get it or so that most of it's taxes away. If this can be done for OAS there's no reason it can't be done for UBI.
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Old Posted May 11, 2020, 12:07 AM
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3. Part-time jobs. Forget mailing people money, hire them to cleanup beaches/roads or plant trees while they are out of work. As its outdoor work its easy to maintain distancing and you'd be required to wear a mask.

Whoa, easy there, that sounds like Communism.
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Old Posted May 11, 2020, 1:43 AM
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So for #3. By "forgetting mailing people money" I assume we're talking about people with the physical capabilities to perform manual labour and without children to look after (considering many schools and daycares are also closed) and their own transportation to get to/from the sites so that they're not exposed to mass transit, and a travel allowance for those with farther to travel?
#1-Unless there too young bring the kids to pickup trash too. If they are then yeah my plan isn't perfect maybe one parent stays home.

#2-They don't need to travel garbage to cleanup is less than a block away. Everyone can post an area they are going to clean up online and random checks can occur. Sure a lot of people will slack but they'll get fined which helps pay for the enforcement. People live near beaches, they live downtown, they live near highways, probably they'll be a lot more encouraged if they are cleaning up their own area they care about. My point is that people are encouraged to keep working rather than slack. Helps keep people healthy too. The point was that we have a huge pool of labour of whom many are staying home and collecting cheques. We should get them doing something as long as distancing is maintained. You know what many are doing while collecting CERB? Checkout the long lines outside liquor stores, the packed beaches, and the busy home rennovation stores.

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Whoa, easy there, that sounds like Communism.
Where did you think you were living? We've been going more left every year. Time for the good parts.
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Old Posted May 11, 2020, 1:45 AM
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^ Ok, but how long will it really take for the thousands of unemployed people to clean up their local areas? Most of Canada is already fairly clean in a global context so I can't see it taking more than a few days.

I do think it's a great idea for people to be encouraged to do volunteering for activities that can be done while socially distancing though.
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  #19  
Old Posted May 11, 2020, 1:48 AM
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^ Ok, but how long will it really take for the thousands of unemployed people to clean up their local areas? Most of Canada is already fairly clean in a global context so I can't see it taking more than a few days.

I do think it's a great idea for people to be encouraged to do volunteering for activities that can be done while socially distancing though.
Then so be it? Wouldn't it be great if downtown Vancouver was clean without trash?

We can always stop the program if we can't thinkup any more jobs.

I can already think up some makework. For instance personal planning in BC. Make people submit plans for how they will use this time to better themselves. Or what they will spend some time learning to improve themselves.

I just don't like the idea of giving people money. Gets them into bad habits. Look at all those rich kids who never work, they tend to have awful attitudes. Even if its make work, we should have our population do something.

Hell maybe have an informercial session on TV everyday that people have to watch. 1 hour courses on Canadian law, or paying taxes.
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Old Posted May 11, 2020, 2:10 AM
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Employment insurance (the name should be a hint) is not a handout. It's something that all tax paying Canadians have contributed to and are therefore entitled to receive when needed. No further conditions required beyond being unemployed. Even moreso under the current circumstances where most people are unemployed on government orders to shut their workplaces.

The sheer amount of beauracratic organization and oversight that would be necessary to organize and enforce 3 million+ unemployed Canadians to fulfill their non-essential make-work projects would far exceed the value generated by making our already-clean streets slightly more clean.
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