Greece’s Challenges are Structural not Financial

Greece's Challenges are structural, not financial
Greece’s challenges are structural, not financial

Greece’s challenges are structural, not financial. Fiscal signs are symptoms. More money won’t solve Greece’s major structural challenges.

Greece has been here before. It was bailed out in 2010. In fact, the accompanying austerity measures has contributed to the current financial strain. Undoubtedly, a difficult journey lies ahead. But let’s be clear. The current crisis can’t be solved by loans with conditions to make further cuts.

The real choice in the recent referendum was between accepting loans with known austerity measures, or receiving loans later with conditions unknown. Indeed, the referendum means future lenders will impose worse requirements than those existing when the referendum was called. Already, Greece defaulted on 1.6 billion euros owing to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Do Greeks accept that despite the “no” victory, significant lifestyle adjustments lie ahead? This is a significant issue today.

Greece’s Challenges Show up in it’s Economic Performance

Let’s look at the Greek economy and some structural challenges: (more…)

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Corporate Taxes and Corporate Welfare Destroy Jobs

Corporate taxes and corporate welfare destroy jobs long-term. Governments should lower taxes and stop picking specific firms to give hand-outs. This is a flawed strategy.

Burger King and Tim Hortons’ proposed merger ignited calls for more government involvement in failed corporate welfare programs. Happily, a few voices, mainly Republicans, pointed to the real issue that needs addressing: ineffective corporate taxation policies that’s nudging companies to relocate abroad, and causing them to retain significant cash outside the USA. Corporate taxes reduces retained earnings needed to create jobs. Government do not create jobs. They should provide the conditions for job creation.

Eliminate Corporate Taxes and Corporate Welfare
Eliminate Corporate Taxes and Corporate Welfare

Corporate Taxes and Corporate Welfare Destroy Jobs

Corporate taxes and corporate welfare detract from effective business performance. Long term they destroy jobs. Naive politicians want to boycott Burger King. They claim this transaction will shelter income from the USA’s corporate taxes. But they have mentioned the oppressively high US corporate tax rate of 35%. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine the US has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. Go figure!

Burger King’s management has a responsibility to look after its shareholders’ best interests. This present decision is good stewardship. However, liberals will disagree because they wear anti business blinkers.

Politicians, particularly tax and spend liberals like President Obama, want more job creation and more taxes from corporations. These goals conflict. Sustained job creation won’t happen under current conditions in one of the highest global tax locations. (more…)

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Wynne’s Mandatory Pension Plan Will Die Like Socialism

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has the solution to ensure Ontarians retire with decent pensions…force them to join an Ontario government designed plan! This liberal government has a track record of waste, incompetence, accumulating debt, lying, and general ineffectiveness. Yet, Wynne believes she and her government know what’s best for the people. Go figure! Wynne’s mandatory pension plan will die like socialism.

This idea is so preposterous, I checked several sources to ensure she made it. She did, to boot! Here is what Wynne said:

“We believe that we need to set up a structure so that people can save their own money, and they can make investments along with their employers in their future.”

Clearly Wynne believes she knows better than individuals. Maybe she forgot the Soviet Union died, and similar socialist policies failed wherever governments tried them.

Wynne’s Mandatory Pension Plan Is Another Tax On Business

Wynne's mandatory pension plan is another business tax
Wynne’s mandatory pension plan is another business tax

Wynne’s mandatory pension plan is another tax on business. Employers will have to divert funds away from legitimate business costs to pay this tax.

Let’s look at the issue objectively. Wynne is unhappy people are not saving enough for retirement. Does she know that taking money from people stuck in the consumer spending frame of mind will drive them to more debt. It will offset possible benefits from forced savings? Does she believe merely setting up a pension plan will provide enough funds to retire? Who will decide how to invest these funds? Will Wynne guarantee returns on these forced savings?

Has Wynne looked at consumer spending lately? Does she understand that even if she gave people more money the probability they will save is remote? The solution is not to compel people to save while hiking the burden on businesses. No, Wynne needs to shrink government, eliminate taxes on businesses so they can create jobs. Most of all, she needs to lower personal taxes so people have more available funds, not less. Let’s understand that firms, not government, create productive jobs and do not need more indirect taxation. Governments generate waste.

Wynne says the people came up with this proposal. Why don’t these people take full advantage of their existing individual retirement savings? They have a choice, she says, and they decided not to save, but to spend. That’s why she proposes, as a good comrade, to force people to save for their retirement.

Wynne goes on to expand on this bad solution by telling us the government will not operate the scheme. What a reassuring thought! Does Wynne need evidence that governments squander funds directly and indirectly? The liberal government spent a billion dollars (indirectly) on a failed project to automate medical records. It frittered away almost a billion dollars to relocate hydro plants to get votes in the last elections. Come on Kathleen Wynne, what has the Liberal government managed well, directly, or indirectly?

Politicians spend people’s funds recklessly because only a few of us care enough to call them to account regularly. They forget that firms create jobs and do not need extra costs. Wynne and her like-minded cronies will add more expenses to firms as they grab money from the people. And they will find more creative ways to waste our funds.

I pray this sad proposal will disgust and outrage enough of us so these politicians quash it.

© 2014, Michel A. Bell


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Toronto City Hall Waste $75,000 for 30 Chairs

Toronto City Hall Waste $75,000 for 30 Chairs
Toronto City Hall Waste $75,000 for 30 Chairs

Toronto city hall spent $75,000 on 30 chairs! How could a responsible individual or group justify using taxpayers’ funds to buy 30 chairs at $2,500 each? Type of chairs, history, ambience, are irrelevant. The only concern must be the source of funding–we, the people. Firing the person responsible does not deal adequately with the underlying cause: a toxic system, a prodigal mindset, disregard for people’s finances.

Mayor Rob Ford does not condone this decision. That’s refreshing. However, can he change the embedded intrepid bureaucratic culture? I don’t think so. The system thrives on complexities and ineffectiveness. Canadian government folks get good wages and benefits, including outstanding pensions, yet they perform ineffectively. Where is their incentive to become more value conscious?

Toronto city hall did what governments do

Toronto city hall is government. And governments waste money, among other reasons, because they look at the ‘top line’ and are not accountable for waste. When they want money they tax, or borrow, and then tax to cover the borrowing. With funds they get, they spend without regard to value received. Sometimes they are embarrassed by stupid behavior, and someone might resign with a great severance package. Where is the accountability?

Unlike a ‘top line’ organization–Toronto city hall– a firm must look at  its “bottom-line” to ensure its income covers its expenses. It does not have a captive nonchalant group of citizens from whom to extract taxes at will. Sadly, several charities operate like governments. They spend irresponsibly. Then they appeal to people’s emotions for more ‘top line’ funds, and get more, to boot!

I do not know anyone who believes governments can be responsible stewards of tax collected. Do you? We accept the status quo. Meanwhile, governments spend large sums with total disregard for the public.

Will someone be held accountable for former Ontario premier McGuinty’s politically motivated irresponsible decision to cancel projects at a cost that might end at around one billion dollars? Politicians will talk, get reports, but nothing to like private sector’s accountability standards will be implemented.

‘Top line’ focussed organizations, governments and charities, coerce or demand more funds from their target groups with impunity, and without fiscal accountability. Besides, governments create complex survival systems. That’s why we have no choice but to accept embedded governmental waste.

We must demand that they stop providing non essential services. When they refuse, we must insist that they outsource these non-essentials to the private sector, with private sector workforces for better accountability.

People need to become informed and realize less government is our best alternative. There is no evidence to suggest governments or committee’s controlled by governments can perform as effective stewards of taxpayers’ funds. Let’s stop demonizing businesses, hold politicians on short leashes, and demand personal consequences for government employees who show outrageous incompetence and ineffectiveness.

© Copyright 2013, Michel A. Bell

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Harper Government Want Better Public Sector’s Performance

Minister Clements
Minister Clements

Recently, the Harper government woke up to realize the public sector’s performance needs improving. What about politicians’ accomplishments? Public servants, like government ministers, don’t get fired for incompetence and waste; indeed, some get rewarded with fat severances and pensions. The current poster child of waste and ineffectiveness is former Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty who along with his rogues slapped a half billion dollar bill on taxpayers to win seats in Ontario’s recent elections. In the process they broke the law by deleting emails.

Will McGuinty and his gang suffer consequences? Of course not; he prorogued parliament, akin to rebooting his computers and wiping out ‘unsaved files.’ He rode into the sunset to draw his pension with his legacy of lying, cheating, driving up debt, taxes, and budget deficits firmly entrenched. Where is the accountability? It does not exist in the public sector.

It took seven years in office, expanding government, and wasting billions, for the Harper government to start talking performance improvement in the public sector. How many government departments operate effectively and efficiently if judged by the private sector’s performance criteria? How many government ministers would be tolerated by efficient and effective private sector organizations?

The public do not associate efficacy with governments. No doubt, that’s why we tolerate so much waste and asinine decisions from elected officials. Public service unions have been able to secure pay and benefits hike because unlike the private sector, governments have access to unlimited funds…they tax, spend, borrow, tax, and repeat the cycle. Unions press for more, some do less, and many governments accede. To be sure, higher public service wages will deflect from overpayments to ministers and other politicians.

Canada’s public servants are the highest paid group with the best pensions in the country. Yet, they do not create value; instead, many destroy value. In Ontario in 2012, 88,412 public sector workers were paid $100,000 or more! Did these folks have to account to anyone for their accomplishments? How did society benefit from these jobs? At what cost?

When will society wake up and realize that governments do not create productive jobs? When will folks start to demand accountability from politicians? Our country cannot continue to pay civil servants at current levels, especially with their defined benefits pension plans. Many companies realized years ago that defined benefits plans are unsustainable in the long term.

Minister Clements needs to realize that providing an edict about performance appraisal in itself achieves nothing. Who sets the standards? Who monitors whom? Is this a charade as depicted by the famous British TV series Yes Minister?

Will unions and bureaucrats decide to invest time in performance appraisals procedures rather than in doing their jobs well? What’s the incentive for public sector unions to get their workers to be more effective? Will any Canadian government challenge unions, eliminate all closed shop arrangements in the country, and downsize the public sector substantially? Governments should sell areas it has no right to be in such as Canada Post and the CBC. As well, it should contract out needed government activities to carefully screened effective private sector firms.

I close with this positive experience and pray it will snowball. This morning, I visited Service Ontario, Woodlawn, Guelph branch to renew my health card and driver’s licence. As I observed the operations, and from the service I received, apologetically, I commented to the person serving me that I was surprized a government department operated so effectively. The employee smiled and said the office was outsourced and employees were not part of the public sector.

Copyright © 2013, Michel A. Bell

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Will Harper Government’s Lost $3.1 Billon Cause Voters to Act?

Will the missing $3.1 billion irritate Canadians so much they start demanding effective performance from provincial and federal governments? The auditor general says the Canadian government was unable to account for 3.1 billion Canadian dollars of anti-terrorism funding. Instead of being outraged, Prime Minister Stephen Harper retorted that the report had nothing to do with the improper use of money, but rather ‘how the spent money is categorized.’ What a pathetic reaction! Does Harper thinks his view minimizes the issue?


Miss-allocating $3.1 billion is serious. Was it redirected to politicians? Corporations? Political parties? A combination? Where? Harper does not know, neither does his minister responsible for the treasury; neither do auditors who examined the books. I am a professional accountant; If I looked through a business’ accounts and couldn’t find where funds were allocated, that would be a huge deal! Don’t go there Prime Minister; accept the basic incompetence and find out what happened. Only then can you comment intelligently.

I am saddened the conservatives have turned out to be such spendthrifts; I expect this from liberals and the left. Since Harper assumed office in 2006, he helped bail out auto companies, expanded government, and created deficits. He inherited a surplus and intends to preside over annual deficits for a couple more years.

Certainly, we had the Great Recession and the economy slowed; however, instead of less government, and so less incompetence in the economy, he increased government’s size. Immediately preceding liberal regimes seem to be more competent fiscally than these conservatives, to boot.

To be sure, Harper’s group eased the tax burden, created savings incentives, eliminated the wasteful long gun register; however, they have had their wasteful spending escapades like liberals. Harper’s conservatives continue to fund the left wing liberal Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). This group, the epitome of political correctness, recently advertised a job opening seeking anyone but a white person; they want to ensure the organization reflect diversity. After an outcry, they retracted and their advertising agency took the fall.

The government continues to fund the outmoded and ineffectual post office, too. Why? Why not sell both groups. The reasons for taxpayer’s support vanished; get rid of them!

Decision Process
Decision Process

Canadians of all political persuasions need to realize that if we do not speak up, these politicians will continue to treat us as imbeciles and do as they please. That’s what former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty did. Shortly before elections, blatantly, he cancelled two gas plants to appease electorates. He knew voters are naive, ignorant, fickle, and would not think about cancellation costs; instead, he knew they would listen to his rhetoric and vote for him. Hello voters; guess who will pay the more than half billion dollar cancellation costs?

Wake up Canadians, these incompetent politicians have no respect for our intelligence. Let’s vote the inept out, and keep those who remain on short leashes.

Copyright 2013, Michel A. Bell


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Do Government Budgets Matter? They Print, Borrow, Waste

Government budgets are meaningless. Governments ignore them and do as they please. Governments do not account for budget over runs, like businesses.

Imagine a business operating without a strategy, annual budget, and long term plan. Yearly, it pulls together a list of its executives’ favorite spending ideas for its CEO’s approval. The CEO endorses the plan because she knows the business needs a funding rationale to continue borrowing.

How does this business plan to lower its debts? To become effective and competitive? How does it do projects needing two or more years planning? It does none of these; it merely limps along from one crisis to another, until it fails.


What about governments? They don’t collapse without potent strategies, plans and budgets; they have access to unlimited funds. The US Federal government thrives on so-called “continuing resolutions” that fund the government, program by program. It does not commit to an overall broad vision to implement needed changes to virulent programs; it hobbles along confident it can tax, borrow, and spend at will.

President Barack Obama on 26 March signed into law a bill to fund the US government to the end of the fiscal year, September 2013. This stopgap spending estimate is meant to leave in place $85 billion spending cuts. However, it merely creates the illusion of savings until the next ‘continuing resolution’; It does not deal with the real issues of effective management, optimal funding of government programs, and tackling government waste.

Identifying $100 billion and more of government waste is simple. Senator Tom Coburn’s investigative reports are a good place to start. We don’t need to be forensic accountants to see the waste and stupidity the senator unearthed. In page two of the Senator’s WASTEBOOK 2012 he writes:

Perhaps nothing demonstrates just how out of touch Washington is more than the $300,000 USDA is spending to tell Americans to eat caviar, one of the world’s most expensive delicacies, at a time when millions of Americans are struggling just to put the basics on the family dinner table.

How do governments get away with this? Two reasons; first, an ignorant electorate that’s usually moved by the latest charismatic speech promising them benefits. Second, governments have the power to tax, spend, print money, without accounting for their ineptitude.

The world was appalled at the Cyprus government’s plan to tap certain people’s savings to raise funds. This is a repugnant proposal; however, apart from the cosmetics, it is similar to governments’ imposing income and other taxes on its citizens. Think about it?

A budget is supposed to help a family, business, or government ration scarce resources to achieve specific goals. Programs and other activities funded in the budget need active management to realize their goals. Yet, the USA Federal government has been without a formal budget for years; it survives on emergency funding, so called ‘continuing resolutions,’ that feed partisan desires.

It is time the electorate realize we must demand an end to governments’ blatant wasteful spending, and insist governments start to apply proper budgeting and budgetary control practices. Perhaps the US and Canada need a Cyprus-type tax invasion to spur electorates to action!

Copyright (c) 2013, Michel A. Bell

Michel A. Bell is a Christian, an author, speaker, founder and president of, former senior business executive devoted to provide free Christian financial advice to help folks live debt free lifestyles. If you want to use an ultra simple, free interactive affordability pre-spending tool to help you get out of debt and live debt free, try this.



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Governments’ Role fulfilling Individual Needs


Recently, an acquaintance remarked that traditional personal wants versus needs’ distinctions do not apply today. He said society define needs, not people; to advance and function effectively, society depends on technology. That’s why technology drives needs, particularly in developed countries. Since poor people can’t afford modern technology, governments must provide them, he stated emphatically.

Stunned, I asked, where do you draw the line for personal responsibility?

He insisted that to survive poverty, tornados, storms, tsunamis, earthquakes, people had a right to jobs, properly built homes, affordable medical help, cell phones, computers, and TVs. These are every North Americans’ needs, he said. Indeed, cell phones, internet access, digital cameras have been a key to many people’s survival when disaster struck, he assured me.

Previously, he said, communications were simple and slow. Folks could not react quickly to influence outcomes from disasters. Storms and tornadoes devastated people who were improperly housed and inadequately organized to compel governments to fix their conditions. Today’s better communications should force governments to respond quickly and effectively to people’s situations.

Continuing, he said governments must shelter disadvantaged people from these disasters and similar occurrences’ effects. Besides, poor people must have facilities to communicate their needs and help-requests speedily to government. Rich people can take care of themselves.

Where are you going with this reasoning? I asked. It’s obvious; he replied. Government must ensure people have jobs, basic communications, housing, and medical benefits.

This is merely socialist dependency ideology, I replied, and then outlined my views.

Certainly, conditions in society influence needs; nevertheless, each person is responsible to fulfill his and her needs, not governments. Many developed countries’ governments, like Canada’s, provide programs to help the ‘poor’ and disadvantaged. Sadly, empirical evidence shows these programs are costly, poorly managed; people abuse them, and some deserving folks get no help.

Society must teach folks to take responsibility for their situations, and give them incentives to move off government subsidies. As well, when relevant, society must find ways for charities and other private groups to deliver help to the population, instead of governments.

moneydownthedrainGovernments have spent billions to help the poor and disadvantaged but their conditions merely deteriorate; governments’ so-called help creates dependencies and wastes billions—that’s not the answer.

Countries should strive for minimum government and maximum private-sector involvement in their economies. Definitely, the private sector has its warts, but combined stakeholders and public pressure can influence businesses easier than electorates can rein in out-of-control governments. Most significant, eventually, business leaders will account; some, though not enough, even have gone to jail for their misdeeds.

Contrast incompetent business leaders with inept government ministers. Government ministers’ waste billions and when they leave government they get significant benefits and pensions regardless of performance; former Ontario premiers Dalton McGuinty and Bob Rae in different decades wrecked the Ontario economy, but have not accounted or been penalized for their disastrous legacies.

I believe the broader issue is personal responsibility, not definition or identification of wants and needs. Before folks rush to demand more government involvement in developed economies, I think they should mull over these matters:

  1. Sufficient empirical evidence exists to show unequivocally that governments are wasteful, ineffective, and do not create productive jobs. Generally, governments should minimize their involvement in economies.
  2. Governments create and grow personal dependencies; society should help people move away from these bondages.
  3. Governments should live within declining budgets and provide specific public assistance always with incentives to wean off recipients.
  4. Governments must distinguish between people’s temporary setbacks and their sustained endemic dependencies, such as life on welfare.
  5. People will define wants and needs differently; however, each person must accept that his or her income is a spending ceiling that affects lifestyle choices.
  6. People must live within their budgets; that’s where their needs and wants must fit. Living within budget might mean cutting back on eating out, entertainment; getting rid of cable, the Internet, cell phones; renting instead of buying homes.
  7. Governments and individuals must realize that government-imposed burdens–debts, deficits, excessive taxation—constrain economic growth.

Is there empirical evidence that governments’ welfare, housing, or other similar programs to help solve targeted problems improved people’s conditions over the long haul? We need more effective approaches.

Michel A. Bell is author of the The New Managing God’s Money-The Basics, teacher, preacher, founder and president of Managing God’s Money, and a former senior business executive. For Christian financial advice, biblical stewardship advice, and advice on personal effectiveness improvement, and other leadership matters, visit: Managing God’s Money.

Copyright © 2012, Michel A. Bell

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President Obama’s Debt-Sentence Crush the economy

Imagine your college-age son returning home after four years away and pressuring you for a loan because he maxed out his credit card, line of credit, and overdraft limits. He tells you he needs more funds as his debts are for past bills, including dinners charged on his credit card.

He tries unsuccessfully to convince you that because his debts are for earlier bills, you must advance him more funds now; nevertheless, you are not impressed. You know generally debts are for previous spending, so that fact is not an issue. Besides, you want your son to become responsible, that’s why you insist that before prescribing a solution, he understands his spending habits that caused his debt-mountain.

Wrong Directions!
Wrong Directions!

Essentially, President Obama’s debt-ceiling views coincide with your son’s: Congress must hike the debt ceiling or prior bills will not be paid. After the hike, they must raise taxes to lower debts. No doubt, everyone will live happily ever after, until the next round of debt ceiling discussion. What a fatalistic perspective that resigns the Nation to a steady rising debt! Implicit in this approach are two wrong assumptions. First, present spending is acceptable; second, the country has unlimited taxation capacity.

Does the president believe the country’s taxation levels are competitive internationally? Does he realize raising taxes will reduce needed cash for businesses, which are the only productive job-creating entities in the economy? Does the president believe current government spending is acceptable and effective? When last did he look at the extent of government waste?

Instead of focusing on raising revenues, government must shrink. That’s how you lower debt; fewer government people thereby reducing the possibility of waste. Benjamin Franklin said: Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.

Flushed Money
Flushed Money

Reality is President Obama and his party’s attitude to the debt ceiling is unsustainable. They believe they must feed continually, this massive government spending machine; they ignore the fact that allocating dollars to yesterday’s debt without stopping the cause of those debts, merely provides a platform for more debts.

Back to your son; how do you teach him that his attitude to money is irresponsible and will leave him destitute? Certainly, you must not give him more funds; you must focus on his attitude to debt, and his behavior that drives spending. You must teach him not to borrow; teach him to spend just when funds are available, and for needed items alone. However, most important, you must counsel him to develop a spending decision procedure which first settles the need, second, establishes how to pay for items without borrowing, and third, figures out the right time to act, given competing priorities.

Bills are not expense categories; they result from choices, good and bad. That’s why it is essential we look behind these bills to reasons for spending. Merely claiming that bills must be paid is irresponsible; we must establish the need for items that lead to those bills. As well, we must accept that there is a limit to borrowing, and most significantly, we must learn to live in that limit!

President Obama’s current approach which focuses on yesterday’s bills and raising taxes, instead of shrink government, is a recipe for a lasting debt-sentence for the American people; it will stifle economic progress.

Copyright © 2013, Michel A. Bell

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The Fiscal Cliff: A Disguised Blessing?

Article first published as The Fiscal Cliff: A Disguised Blessing? on Technorati.

The so-called “fiscal cliff” seems to be everybody’s focus today. The goal of any agreement to avert going over this cliff to automatic tax increases and spending cuts should be to ensure, by a fixed date, future budgets are controllable and balanced. There must be a focus on the effective use of funds and away from programmed spending increases. As well, government debt must be lowered continually; anything less will be the status quo.

FiscalCliff Does anyone not want a balanced budget and reducing debt? No; the issue is philosophy, which will affect timing and method. The president’s approach will include tax increases on business, will stifle business activity, and lower economic growth. Doing nothing will cause cuts to future increases in many government programs. This too, will hamper short-term economic activity. So will a compromise, which inevitably will result in tax increases.

Suppose the president and Congress work out a deal before the year’s end? Does anyone think the USA’s economic problems will be over? The economy is structurally unsound. If an individual managed her affairs like the federal government, she would not survive.

The government does not create wealth; it generates expenses. Which household could decide a budget this year and then guarantee it will rise perpetually? Essentially, that’s what government does. To fund this irresponsible attitude, it borrows to pay for its expenses, and borrows to pay the interest, to boot. Solving the fiscal cliff is relatively insignificant. Indeed, the cuts are spread over 10 years. For a private business, this would be a great opportunity to look to improving effectiveness.

Governments are inherently inefficient and ineffective. I came across a recent example at home in Canada, where the federal government spent about $1.2 million to answer written questions ($4000 each) from opposition parties. Instead of working to lower this cost, government wants questions to stop.

The public must realize it is responsible for government’s out of control spending approach. Each demand for a public service is an excuse for government to continue its irresponsible wasteful spending practice. We must demand less government and more accountability. People need to keep more funds. Churches and charities need to take over more of government’s social welfare activities. We must encourage more charitable donations while ensuring greater accountability from these organizations.

Business needs greater leeway to generate economic activity and employ people. Shareholders need more rights to reign in out of control executives; however, we do not need more government regulations. We must implement and enforce sensible controls over business. It’s vital government provides a business-friendly environment because business is the only wealth generator and productive jobs’ creator in society.

As well, government should remove closed shop union practices to allow people to opt out of union arrangements and stop being forced to pay dues to unions they do not wish to join.

As we start a New Year, perhaps we need to go over the fiscal cliff for public outrage to cause a detailed scrutiny of government spending practices, and by God’s grace, real behavior change might begin.

God help us.

Michel A. Bell is author of the The New Managing God’s Money-The Basics, teacher, preacher, founder and president of Managing God’s Money, and a former senior business executive. For Christian financial advice, biblical stewardship advice, and advice on personal effectiveness improvement, and other leadership matters, visit: Managing God’s Money.

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