Are equalization payments a good thing? I'm not sure; maybe if Alberta's government funded more money for the education system instead of giving it away I might know the answer. Sure this province has lots of money right? Yet every penny is still being pinched by Ralph Klein We could be using this money to better the education and health system but instead it's being taken from us and given to provinces that did nothing to earn it. Would it be greedy of Alberta to keep its rightful money? Or are the real greedy ones the provinces stealing our wealth? What did they do for us? Why should we sit back and baby sit the other provinces, when we could use this money for our own needed funding? The idea of equalization has been sold and re-sold to Canadians by their politicians as a basic "Canadian value." It is fairness, it is helping the regions which need help, and on and on.
Welfare should be a lifeboat not a houseboat. With equalization we haven't made it easy for people from less fortunate provinces to live well - what we have done is taken away the incentive to do much better. We've clung to the sentimental notion that everyone is entitled to stay put, even though there simply isn't enough work and never will be. We have, in short, created a welfare mentality where the income isn't enough to live well on but is enough to keep you from making a big effort to do better for yourself and your family. Is this cruel talk? I suppose it is unless, like me, you don't think it's your patriotic duty to support those who could well support themselves if they went where the work is.
Virtually no one analyzed equalization from the point of view of how it might trap poorer jurisdictions in dependence and actually act as a barrier to escaping the own poverty and becoming able to pay their own way. Even though the intentions are good we may be harming them in the long run.
There's no rule saying they can't migrate, many of them already have. Ontario and Alberta have more job opportunities and lower taxes, if there really in dire need to of money they can do it for themselves. They should not be treated like children, the Atlantic Provinces are quite capable of doing things for themselves, if they want money they can earn it just as we have.
Eventually the leeches mutate into lethargic slugs. Why work when someone else can do it for you? No country has a better understanding of this than the former Soviet Union. Kick away the crutch and let the provinces find their feet. Governments would be forced to size-back and the productive sectors would be free to grow without political meddling.
If anyone is guilty of the charge of being lazy or lethargic it is the politicians who fish for more equalization payments and pillage their subjects with taxes for redistribution. It's not our job to look out for them; we shouldn't treat the lesser provinces like charity.