Here is Why We ( Canada) Fail

The following is a segment an  of article by John MCArthur of the Brookings Institute and UN Advisor in today’s Vancouver Sun . He addresses how can can become exceptional . But what  this learned gentlemean says is peaches and cream –wonderful stuff in and of itself.

But this is why we fail .

We have scholars musing concepts like this without ever mentioning taxes, budgets , regulations , entrepreneurship , excellence , research and development/innovation.

These are the  big things that have to come first !

Balanced budgets

Globally competitive Productivity. And how do you get that? By:

Globally competitive taxes ( Federal/Provincial/Municipal )

Globally competitive Regulations( Federal/Provincial/Municipally

Increased Private Sector Research and Development

Specifically targeted Public Sector Research and Development

And developing a culture of excellence /entrepreneurship  from the elementary school level through University/College.

Without these things what McArthur says won’t cut it.

And while I am at it :

We need free trade inside the country.

We need a press that  celebrates success instead of demonizing  private enterprise.

We need teachers who do not just espouse a leftist , socialist agenda .

We need Universities that teach the importance of the rule of law and openness to all points of view.

Now here is McAthur’s solutions:

First, where will our own domestic actions make disproportionate global contributions? For instance, Canada has the world’s longest ocean coastline and 10 per cent of overall forest cover. Good decisions at home in these realms will have outsized effects on world outcomes.

Second, what domestic actions are essential to fostering legitimacy abroad? Humbly confronting the gaps with our indigenous peoples, for example, will only garner respect among emerging powers facing their own problems of inclusion.

Third, what are the global issues in which Canadians have unique aptitudes? Our universities and companies have eminent expertise on challenges ranging from food systems to water management to responsible mining practice. The relevant assets and knowledge networks need to be elevated to high-level, global policy-making.

Fourth, what are Canada’s values or political interests on which its voice can provide unique leadership? Advancing women’s rights, for example, is a widespread Canadian value. It is natural for Canada to be a global trailblazer on priorities like investing in girls’ secondary education, reproductive health and women’s legal protections.

Fifth, where does Canada carry a global swing vote? International negotiations on climate change offered a vivid recent example. Canada was crucial in forging the coalition leading to the historic 2015 Paris climate agreement. Canadians need to double down when they can play a decisive role toward international consensus.

These are five big questions. Robust answers will only be found through active local and national debate. Today’s political, business and scientific leaders have a special responsibility to foster the conversations. Many Canadians, especially young Canadians, seem eager to engage. In the face of the world’s starkest challenges, Canada can be much more than an exception to the global norm. Our contributions can be fully exceptional, in the very best sense of the term.

John W. McArthur, a Vancouver native, is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a senior adviser to the UN Foundation. Follow him on twitter @mcarthur.


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