In a more efficient economy, people would be moving westward to fill jobs. But Mr. McGuinty’s solution has always been to subsidize dying industries, a process which necessitates taking capital away from more productive uses. Perhaps that lesson was taught in Economics 102 — a course the Ontario Liberals would surely fail.
What we have here is politicians looking out for their own interests, instead of thinking about what is best for the country as a whole. It would be better for Ontario, in the longer run, if weak manufacturers were allowed to go out of business and the economy could shift those resources to more productive uses. But Mr. McGuinty is thinking about his own electoral success: The Liberals derive a huge amount of support from the manufacturing industry and its unions. Of course, these types of things are to be expected when we put important decisions in the hands of the economically-illiterate political class.
This argument is deranged. The Premier of Ontario is not elected to send jobs West to Fort Mac so as to fulfill the tenants of some Econ 101 textbook. That, surely, is the job of the Alberta Premier, a position Dalton McGuinty was not running for last time I looked. And it is surely ironic to see yet another paean to unrestrained Capitalism being preached from the pages of a newspaper that has not turned one red cent of profit in its 15 years of existence.
Furthermore, the last time anyone played this "national interest" tune in Canada was during the creation of a little scheme known as the "National Energy Program". I don't recall the folks in Alberta bowing before the "common good" back then; The West shouldn't expect anybody from Ontario to do it now.