ORR: Alberta needs better household management

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Household management.

Two words.

English words have deep roots in many languages. Often words combine and change to create new words. In ancient Greek, “household” and “management” combined to create one word: “oikonomia.”

Adopted into English, “oikonomia” becomes “economy” – household management.

All economy eventually comes down to the household.

When the Alberta economy is well managed, household do well. In return, since nearly 60 per cent of Alberta’s GDP is consumer/household spending, the prosperity of families is the province’s largest economic driver.

How would a conservative government fix Alberta’s current economic mess of a deficit, debt and extreme overspending?

We need to put in place policies that enhance business investment so that businesses flourish, household then prosper with good jobs, the economy grows and public revenue increases.

If we grow the economy by three per cent annually, it grows revenues for all – families government and businesses.

This begins with messaging that builds investment trust and confidence; business is a valued partner, not the enemy. The next government must institute sound fiscal administration and abandon the socialist agenda of the current regime.

We need to reject the current philosophy of centralization and return decision making to the lowest reasonable level. The 1950 business model that focused on centralized power and control may produce efficiencies of scale, but it does not produce effective government for people.

We must reform and renew our civil service. Many civil servants are good people with good ideas but they, too, are frustrated by the system we have created. They are the hands and face of all government; we need them. We need to make the system work for them and the taxpayer. This does not mean massive layoffs. It does mean rebuilding moral, listening to frontline workers and giving them permission to do things better.

Reduce the big government machine that steam-rolls people. It is not the solution to everything. Let people solve their own problems. They are not helpless. They thrive when allowed to solve their own problems.

We must reduce government spending in a measured way. If we don’t, we will be slaves to interest debt.

We need to aggressively challenge the equalization formula and Ottawa bleeding the west of the resources we need for essential services.

We must do whatever it takes to get fair access to markets for our products. Western Canadian Select Oil today is trading at a $53.45 discount to West Texas Intermediate. $18.17 versus $71.62 (Oilprice.com). We must fight for this instead of making lame deals with Trudeau and then getting nothing but disdain.

We must work toward positive trade relationships with our neighbouring state and provincial governments. Much of our trade is with near neighbours and we must reach out to them for our mutual benefit. In the U.S., it is state governments that influence Washington and they can be our friends.

We must reduce the tsunami of red tape, bureaucracy and regulation that has bound up all of Alberta, making us one of the most impossible places to get things done. The costs of regulation are massive and growing. It takes months and years to get simple approvals. Stonewalling and gate keeping must turn into progress and approvals. This will be like giving wings to our province.

These are some of the components of good provincial household management.

I want to see people working here, not in Oklahoma or Texas. I want to see our GDP growing because people are working and able to spend.

I want to see sound fiscal administration and capable management of Alberta’s household.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this or any issue, feel free to contact my constituency office at (403)782-7725 or email Lacombe.ponoka@assembly.ab.ca or drop by/mail 101, 4892 46 Street, Lacombe, AB T4L 2B4.