Defenders of government policy suggest the industry is contributing much economic value to BC through jobs. Yet, government statistics show that only about 3,000 people are directly employed in oil and gas extraction. Education and manufacturing each provide more than 50 times as many jobs. Retailing, almost 100 times as many.
In 2013, Christy Clark’s government resisted calls from the motion picture and sound recording industry for subsidy increases, yet this non-polluting, non-depleting industry provides four times as many jobs as oil and gas extraction. It stimulates cultural and tourism activities and costs a fraction of the subsidies flowing to oil and gas production.
As Premier, Clark pays little attention to forestry, the traditional engine of our economy. The only part of the industry that remains busy is logging, a function that cannot be moved out of province.
So questions arise. What influences a government to offer special treatment to one particular economic sector that provides scant economic return and relatively little employment?
Who and where are the real beneficiaries? In what jurisdiction, if any, is corporate income tax paid on profits of gas production and sales?
Were decisions to provide public funds and public assets fairly determined or were they improperly influenced by the flow of cash from industry to the holders of political power?
I think the answers are self-evident. British Columbia is governed by captives of industry.
|Crony capitalism is a term describing an economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between business people and government officials. It may be exhibited by favoritism in the distribution of legal permits, government grants, special tax breaks, or other forms of state interventionism. Crony capitalism is believed to arise when business cronyism and related self-serving behavior by businesses or businesspeople spills over into politics and government, or when self-serving friendships and family ties between businessmen and the government influence the economy and society to the extent that it corrupts public-serving economic and political ideals. – WikipediA|