This UNB prof is partially right. He is right to warn about the debt load but I still think that a 2 percentage point rise in the HST would be better than re-raising personal income tax. We can debate that but I did notice the UK VAT is being upped to 20%. We can argue this all day but in my research on the subject – and I have done quite a bit of it – consumption taxes are better than income taxes.
But the broader point is that it is good to see UNB profs discussing this stuff in the papers. There seems to be a few more weighing in lately other than Passaris and Desserud and Desjardin which is good. There are a pile of economists and social policy researchers in the universities – I’d like to seem more of them putting some mind share towards economic development in the province.
They typically don’t like to spend time worrying about the real world. When they do (economists) weigh in it tends to be on macro-economic issues such as fiscal policy, monetary policy or at a provincial level on debt, deficits, taxation, spending ratios, etc. I’d like to seem them put their intellectual capacity against the problem of under-investment here. Maybe if 20 economists actually studied and reported on how places like NB around the world were able to bring in new investment and jobs, maybe the public and the media would report it.
I’ve had this debate with a few economists. An economist views economic development (the practice) as a Phd in hair research views a barber. They study hair all day long but would be slumming to talk about cutting hair.
We need better barbers in New Brunswick and the Phds in hair research can help.