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Time for PST in Alberta

Re: Alberta tables first $1B in flood-recovery cash (June 25). While many citizens in the rest of the country are and should be willing to assist Alberta in their flood-disaster recovery through their personal donations as well as tax dollars, it may be time for Alberta to consider implementing a provincial sales tax in line with the rest of the provinces to recoup some of the tremendous costs involved in the restoration process.

In a similar effort, Manitobans hope that our deteriorating roads will benefit from our one-percentage-point sales-tax increase.

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It's about 'people wealth'

Re: Dividends of a higher minimum wage (June 24). Finally, a venture capitalist who understands how the economy should work.

I've always said that capitalism is bad for the economy because it increases wealth disparity, where more money in fewer hands actually cripples economic growth. The status of an economy is not defined by business wealth; it's defined by people wealth.

In the same vein, the collapse of the U.S. economy in 2008 was caused by decades of American jobs being outsourced, which also increases wealth disparity. The middle class saw their wealth stagnate or even reduced, so many defaulted on their mortgages, triggering the banking-system collapse.

I am astounded at the ignorance corporate executives have of how the economy works. They obviously don't understand that you should never fire your customer. Remind me again why they earn millions of dollars?




Nick Hanauer discusses the subject of higher minimum wages as if it were some new and esoteric idea. It may be new to North American businessmen but it has been standard practice in Scandinavia for 100 years.

The minimum wage in Sweden and Denmark, for instance, is currently US$20 per hour. In addition, workers in those countries have five weeks of paid holiday and 24 sick days. The result of these punitive impositions upon businessmen is that they have managed to develop companies that are competitive worldwide. We are buying windmills from Denmark, for instance, which are competitive in terms of both quality and price with anything available in North America.

The Swedish government has had a long-standing policy of setting people up in business. Some of the companies established in this manner are Ericsson, Electrolux, Frigidaire, Volvo, Saab and, of course, IKEA.

The result of all this mollycoddling of workers is that these countries have higher per capita GDPs than the U. S. or Canada, a higher standard of living and higher quality of life.




A place for hiding

Re: 'There's an awful lot of grief' after Mennonite children seized (June 22). I agree that excessive corporal punishment is not in order, and certainly not by pacifist Mennonites, of whom I am one.

Having said so, I maintain that a good hiding behind the woodshed is in order when properly administered by a reasonable hand for unreasonable behaviour.


New Bothwell


Our stewardship needs work

Gordon Fritzsche has it so right (Humanity's magical hierarchy, Letters, June 22). We must be stewards instead of the worst beasts on this Earth, us. We kill every insect, animal, fish, bird and don't stop there -- we kill each other.

Just watch your own yard for evidence of what's happening. Bees, birds, butterflies, even houseflies, were in abundance when we moved here, a block from the Red, 49 years ago.

This year I have seen just three single wasps, a few types of bees, no hummingbirds and no dragonflies. And birds? No blue jays, robins, orioles or wrens... the list goes on and on.

We're on the way to finishing everything off, and it's the human animal that is causing this. If that's hegemony and there is a God, then we'd better let him know his experiment didn't work.

Hopefully, "he" also is evolving and somewhere out there is a new and improved model Earth with a better system.




Just a pussy cat

Re: Angered by vulgar synonym (Letters, June 24). While I am sure that Briony Haig was upset by what she read in Gordon Sinclair's June 20 column, 'Soap opera out of control' closes bar, she also illustrates what happens when a person with an agenda misses the message.

The term "pussy" in this case does not refer to a part of the female anatomy but rather to being a pussycat as opposed to a tiger.

This term was used when I was in single digits, more than 50 years ago. People should not use today's thinking on yesterday's sayings. It can lead to misunderstanding.




Bible reference irrelevant

Gordon Sinclair Jr.'s June 18 column, Bible Belt's bogeyman still haunts town, is, as always, well-written and informative. And we agree that Earl Giesbrecht should never be released.

I would like to ask, however, why the Free Press and other Winnipeg media seemingly cannot cover a story originating in Winkler, Altona or Steinbach without invoking the term "Bible Belt." Could I ask what the Bible has to do with this story? The story is about an Altona murder and in no way is it faith-based.

Had this crime occurred on Wellington Crescent, would the media refer to that area as the Synagogue Belt? Had it been at Sandy Bay, would that be the Indian Belt? If it happened at Notre Dame or St. Claude, would the media refer to that area as the French-Catholic Belt?



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 26, 2013 A8

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