In response to A refreshed social contract
David Campbell - It's the Economy, Stupid.
January 22nd, 2010
It’s a broad topic and I won’t cover it in detail today but I have been thinking lately that we need a new social contract between the business community and government. You will excuse me if I seem a bit incoherent but this is a work in progress in terms of my thinking.
I am in a pretty interesting position in that I get to interact with all sides - government, industry large and small, universities and NGOs in the Atlantic Canadian context and I see a widening gap between them and it is increasing friction.
I’d like the business community to come out strongly and say we don’t mind paying taxes - we realize that we need strong community and social infrastructure for us to have successful businesses so we do not mind paying taxes at all - as long as they are reasonably similar to other similar jursidictions.
I’d also like the business community to be more explicit about corporate social responsibility. A lot of big companies have CSR policies but I’d like to see it far more pervasive. Specific to New Brunswick, I’d like to see our companies (and many do) be far more engaged in broader community objectives. What is the point of having a wildly successful business if the community around it is crumbling?
Dan Fitzgerald wrote:
"I’d like the business community to come out strongly and say we don’t mind paying taxes"
I just wish certain ones would actually follow through on that.
Maybe then we'd be able to afford socialized electricity not just for the Bermudans' monopoly factories and gas-bars. With all the social nets that were discarded for the sake of big business, you'd think they could at least turn a buck without firing everyone - but nope.
Indeed, a few have made money - billions have been offshored - NB's economy has been corporatized by faceless, unaccountable behemoths and fly-by night call-centers. The workforce drained and abused decade by decade so that now the concessions are like bleeding a stone.
Still they want more bailout and sellouts, and sometimes even free taxpayer money isn't enough - they demand we turn over our resources paid for by the ingenuity, hard work and tax dollars of previous generations.
This legacy infrastructure is thrown into the perpetually stoked flames of global corporations - the rich get richer while small (honest) taxpayers feel the pain of constantly bailing their 'betters' out.
Of course, despite the uneven playing field dictated by the unaccountable elite, some local businesses continue to serve their communities honorably and with convivial spirit. Although I doubt that sort of entrepreneur needs to explain (spin) him or herself to the community.