Thursday, June 12, 2014

Hudak And Zycher

One of the "bright lights" behind Tim Hudak's one million jobs plan is Benjamin Zycher. Linda McQuaig writes:

His sensibilities are closer to the Old South than Ontario; he once described Michelle Obama as a product of “lifelong affirmative-action coddling,” suggesting she only got her Princeton degree “because of her skin color.”

Zycher’s jobs prediction assumes that Hudak would introduce ‘right to work’ legislation in Ontario — even though Zycher’s analysis was released by the Hudak team as a backgrounder months after Hudak announced he wouldn’t implement such laws.

When Hudak suggested that he'd introduce such legislation, there was a backlash  -- even within his own party.  And, so, he took Right To Work out of the party platform. But the Zycher assumption is still there:

At the root of Zycher’s analysis is the belief that the anti-union legislation increases “economic freedom.” (True, getting rid of unions does give corporations a freer hand to keep wages low, while denying workers the economic freedom to organize collectively). Zycher tries to establish that “economic freedom” (the kind favouring corporations) increases GDP per capita.

He does this by pointing to an index of “economic freedom” prepared by the right-wing Fraser Institute, which shows that GDP per capita is about $2,000 higher in U.S. states in the third quartile of the index (including Arkansas and Mississippi) than in states in the fourth quartile.

He then makes the wild leap that if Ontario were to increase its “economic freedom” to the level of third quartile U.S. states, it could increase its GDP per capita by about $2,000.

The central idea behind the Hudak plan is that economic freedom will create jobs the way Arkansas and Mississippi have created jobs:

But, as [Jim] Stanford notes, this completely ignores the fact that Ontario already has a higher GDP per capita than states in the third quartile, despite our lack of “economic freedom.”

Having made the utterly baseless assumption that increasing our “economic freedom” would lead to a gain of $2,000 in Ontario’s GDP per capita, Zycher then calculates that this would translate into 10,600 jobs.

The Hudak team then takes this fabricated number and multiplies it by eight (because Hudak’s jobs plan spans eight years), despite the fact that even Zycher assumed it would be a one-time jobs gain.

  Anyway you look at it, Hudak's plan is bogus, y'all.


mogs moglio said...

It is very interesting to view the Ontariario (not [sic] my word) elections from afar.

And I am wondering if it will come down a mud flinging match at the end like it did in BC.

The crusty libs threw more mud than the opposition and won for that one simple reason.

Sounds like Harper, he is very good at flinging mud to dirty the political spectrum in Canada.

Owen Gray said...

From here it looks like it comes down to turnout, Mogs. Voters appear to be turned off. So turnout may be down.

mogs moglio said...

"It's a brilliant strategy when you think about it - getting people in a province with under 50% voter turnout in the last provincial election to think they will be making a difference this time by refusing to vote."

---from Alison's blog it means to me that strategy and common sense blend.

Owen Gray said...

Today's results should make Conservatives stop and think, Mogs. But we'll see what they do.

Beijing York said...

The voter turn out inched above 50% - an improvement over the 2011 election. And the LPC won a majority, mostly at the expense of the Hudak Teabag Conservatives.

Hopefully, we get rid of Harper next.

Anonymous said...

Liberal's win!

Owen Gray said...

Perhaps it's dawning on the Conservatives that all that Republican advice wasn't a good idea, Anon.

Owen Gray said...

Perhaps -- but only perhaps -- Stephen Harper is re-evaluating his political future, Bejiing.