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Stimulus Spending - Urban vs. Rural


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A lot of smoke has been raised about more stimulus money - on average - going to Tory ridings. While the Conservatives have made inroads into urban ridings, they are the dominant party in Rural Canada. Here's an interesting article that puts things in perspective:

This is not primarily about Conservatives versus Liberal. It's about urban versus rural. Rural and small-town ridings, for the first time that anyone can remember, have gotten a fair shake from government. And the Liberals' Toronto caucus, which is the heart and soul of the party now, is screaming bloody murder.
Has it occurred to any of the folks complaining about disproportionate stimulus spending in Tory ridings that these ridings tend to be badly underserved in most areas of infrastructure? Not likely.

They don't get out of the city enough to know.

Link: http://www.torontosun.com/comment/columnis...510176-sun.html

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A lot of smoke has been raised about more stimulus money - on average - going to Tory ridings. While the Conservatives have made inroads into urban ridings, they are the dominant party in Rural Canada. Here's an interesting article that puts things in perspective:

I think this comes into the category: To the party in power go the spoils of power.

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Which area gives more bang for the buck?

Which REALLY makes more sense?

Economically, I'd be hard pressed to think that spending less in the urban areas will act efficiently as a stimulus.

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If an equal share of the stimulus money were spent in each riding, Toronto would be so clogged with construction projects that it would be virtually shut down.

The projects themselves may be in rural areas, but the benefits are not limited to those areas. The projects use equipment that is obtained from and serviced in larger centers. The workers are not people who live right by the highway, they live in nearby communities and do their shopping in larger centers.

Here in BC, a lot of the people working on these highway jobs in remote areas are probably forestry workers who've seen that industry decimated by the economic downturn and mill closures. One could say "well what about Ontario factory workers?" but a ton of money has already been provided to keep southern Ontario manufacturing from going under.

-k

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Actually, the LAST thing people should be complaining about is getting too little "stimulus" money. This kind of government largesse only makes the economy worse. Just as welfare creates dependencies, and destroys the character, this government spending only causes local private industries to atrophy.

Run away from stimulus spending (and projects) as fast as you can!

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Economically, I'd be hard pressed to think that spending less in the urban areas will act efficiently as a stimulus.

It's a tough call and I don't have all the answers.....but I think that urban areas, with their concentrated tax base, typically have more access to tax dollars for infrastructure - if they choose to use them - problem is that they have SO much tax money that the bureaucracy gets bloated, unions get a foothold, and "advocacy" groups start pandering for money. Rural ridings just don't have the tax base, so building or refurbishing a bridge, road or rink is a big deal. I would also think that unemployment in rural areas might be a bit higher so getting some of them back to work on construction projects would also be helpful and more equitable. Here in Ontario, the Provincial government has decided that rural Ontario needs a bit more cash than urban Ontario. It just happens that Conservatives hold more rural ridings.

Edited by Keepitsimple
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I agree that the stimulus money is a case of rural ridings getting more than urban ridings.

However, I disagree that this is anything new. I'd be interested in seeing some figures, but I suspect that more government money has always gone to rural ridings per capita than urban ridings.

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Economically, I'd be hard pressed to think that spending less in the urban areas will act efficiently as a stimulus.

Thousands who work in urban centres commute from outside the city. Traffic going into the city in the morning and leaving in the evening attest to this. Thousands are leaving the city centres each year for the more civilized and relative crime free(when compared to city centres) outskirts.

I don't remember hearing dobbin whining about where the money was spent when The Liberals were in power. Of coarse the Liberals had bigger fish to fry namely scandal and AdScam after another. If this is the best dirt hte Liberals can dig up on the Tories I'd have to say the government is doing a great job!

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Rural ridings just don't have the tax base, so building or refurbishing a bridge, road or rink is a big deal.

I live in a rural riding and we're getting a few roads and bridges refurbished and its no big deal to me. I think some refurbishing of our tax system would have been a bigger deal that would have provided a bang that people everywhere could see and feel. They should have reduced or eliminated most income taxes and raised consumption taxes to compensate.

I suppose somewhere in the future I can look forward to shaving a few minutes off my travel time due to improved roads but compared to the amount of time I've lost idling in a construction zone it'll be years before I ever get it back. By the time I do it'll be time for another economic meltdown and another round of highways improvement projects.

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Actually, the LAST thing people should be complaining about is getting too little "stimulus" money. This kind of government largesse only makes the economy worse. Just as welfare creates dependencies, and destroys the character, this government spending only causes local private industries to atrophy.

Run away from stimulus spending (and projects) as fast as you can!

Huh? The track record of stimulus spending isn't always perfect, but I think one could argue, for instance, that the infrastructure projects that FDR and Congress instituted in the 1930s, while not delivering the immediate impact on the economy that was hoped for, lead to vast improvements in infrastructure that greatly benefited the United States as it ramped up industrial capacity during WWII and beyond that.

It strikes me that infrastructure spending, while it does hit the taxpayer in the short and medium term, can have long term benefits, providing the projects are a little more ambitious than simply pot-hole filling. I know a number of cities are using the money to upgrade sewer and water systems, and that's the sort of spending that will benefit local taxpayers for decades.

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Here is probably one of the most up to date mapping of the stimulus package.

http://maps.webfoot.com/demos/CanadianStim...anStimulus.html

Conservatives represent 46% of the ridings, but 51% of the projects are in Conservative ridings. Also, Ontario has 39% of the population but 53% of the projects; Qu├ębec has about 24% of the population, yet only 8.2% of the projects.
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I have followed the stimulus spending bonanza.

Communities had many of these projects underway and in the works. The biggest barrier to their implementation was the current CPC government. However, once the CPC opened up the floodgates, and the LPC said SPEND AND SPEND FAST, the municipalities who already had the Province MPPs and government bodies on board, where able to go ahead quickly with programs that were approved.

It wouldn't matter the stripe of the riding, more the activities of the municipalties and how deep they wanted to go in debt. Many didn't want to go in debt as covering their 1/3 is a big price tag. However some Counties and municipalities, looked at the federal stimulus monies as a now or never option and went for the now and worry about paying for it later.

Also in the last 15 years, infrastructure spending was weak. I know of a county regarding a massive expenditure on bridge reconstruction. And while the county council is made up of CPC and LPC members, it wouldn't have mattered whether the MP was an LPC or a CPC, because they were ready to go and had made it a local election issue in the federal campaign. I recall their enthusiam when the CPC went from frugal to spendthrifts.

Regardless, rural communities like other city municipalities have to come up with their share. And while I see that they often get to the first 50% of their funding pretty easily, it is the final 20% that is the hardest to get.

I don't see this as an Urban/Rural issue.

I see it as those willing to go into debt to get some things accomplished while the monies there to be had.

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