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Politics and Policies that affect private busines, the economy and impact on GDP

Brad Sallows

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Private companies are concerned with competition law rather than procurement, and can't cut themselves a break when there's a major environmental f*ckup or some such. Politicians are good at howling for blood from the private sector while protecting public agencies and enterprises.

Most people changing jobs move sideways and/or up. I'm sure it's stressful having to do yet another review of something when government changes its mind, or changes hands. But some government decisions at worst result in full-stop employment for people on the outside, and at best "achieve X by Y or else" mandates generate a lot of churn. Government rarely takes itself to court when it misses something, or covers private losses during downturns with the same enthusiasm shown for taking "windfalls" during upturns. I don't miss wondering what f*ckery the politicians - particularly the NDP - were going to dream up next that would f*ck with my employer and thus my paycheque. Now I just have to tolerate whatever they do that erodes my retirement.
 

Navy_Pete

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Not arguing it's worse then private industry, just that the stresses are just coming from different things but similarly difficult, so it's just a different flavour of the same kind of suck.

Do take exception to your suggestion that public servants are basically mentally weaker; I think that's some BS. Things get done in the PS despite the bureaucracy, not because of the business processes, and getting through 20 odd approval gates takes a certain stubbornness and refusal to let the system beat you down.
 

Brad Sallows

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I don't think it's BS. People less tolerant of uncertainty and change seek more certainty and security. Not being stress tolerant, or as I put it "emotionally resilient", is not a moral failing any more than lacking physical strength.
 

Eaglelord17

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Exploitation of the abundant oil and gas resources lead to impressive growth. Also to 10,000 plus orphan wells that require clean up, with a lot more coming, which Alberta has been looking for federal funding for.

Alberta has definitely been an economic powerhouse, and contributed a lot to the country. Could have been an absolute unit with actual planning, and if they had banked moderate amounts over the last 25 years they would have really built up into a large nest egg. Because of the lack of planning and regulation of the oil producers, the butchers bill is coming due for the cleanup, well after the oil is gone and the companies have gone 'bankrupt' with the profits long gone.

Not against extracting the oil, but if the companies benefitting aren't going to cover the cost of the clean up, the province is being used and abused. If you are going to enjoy the party you should stick around to help pick up the empties.
By the same regard Canada as a nation should be in a zero debt situation but due to poor economic management over the last 50 years (since roughly Trudeau Sr.) we aren't.
I can understand the angst some privately employed people have at public servants.

Our pay keeps going up while the private business types are barely scraping by if they are at all. And they are watching portions of their pay be automatically taken for others prosperity.

I'd like to see income tax ceased or lowered drastically and higher rates of consumption taxes imposed to make up the difference.
Biggest thing which made me mad at the public sector over private sector was when everyone in the private sector was being laid off due to the Pandemic, they got to sit at home earning full wages doing nothing. Why is it EI is good enough for us plebs when our private sector jobs go into bad times, or there is a Pandemic, but not good enough for the public sector?

I suppose the stresses are different. Some of the things private sector employees deal with:
  • the next contract renewal (say, every 3 to 5 years) on which a bunch of jobs hinge
  • in a shop that services multiple contracts, the pressure is approximately constant
  • during recessions, there are layoffs and compensation increases tend to be around 0%
  • after recessions, there typically are not any comp increases to make up for freezes
  • there are very few agreements to index pay increases to inflation
  • there are very few agreements to index pensions and retirement savings plans to inflation
  • there are probably no private savings plans indexed to inflation

Mostly about money. Obviously people who get squeezed during every "bad" economy without give-aways after the fact gradually fall behind those who receive make-ups later.

A question for the psychologists is whether people who gravitate toward more secure employment have less emotional resilience than those who do not. What we know about stress is mostly self-reported, not objectively measured, and I would expect people used to dealing with stressful situations to not feel as bothered by it.
Most pensions now have moved to direct contribution instead of direct benefit. In my workplace the older guys are on a direct benefit pension well the newer employees are direct contribution. I would estimate their pension is at least double if not triple the value being put in on my direct contribution pension. Even then their direct benefit pension is still much worse than even the most average government pension. This also doesn't include things such as lack of vacation time (usually substantially less than government employees) and other benefits.
On the GoC side, you deal with similar things from a different perspective;
  • renewing contracts every 3 to 5 years, or critical capabilities don't exist (with years of bureacratic delays, new processes, or things like elections shutting down)
  • constantly changing priorities, frequently driven by what's in the news vice what's critical
  • passive layoffs by not replacing people as they retire/quit (plus the huge losses of experience)
  • being undercut by other departments (TBS, FIN etc)
  • bureaucratic stupidity
I've done both, and honestly found both can be comparable, but at least in private industry the logic behind the decisions is usually pretty clear and predicatable, and the goals are understandable. When the last round of DRAP went around and people were worried about layoffs as well they broke a lot of people.

There are also a lot of people that genuinely care about what they are doing and see it as a service to Canadians, so moral injury is a real thing as well. When you have to fight through the system to get basic safety things potentially impacting hundreds of people it's can really wear you down. Within DND anyway a lot of people stick around specifically fbecause they care about supporting their wingers, so there is a lot of internal pressures and frustrations when they can't deliver something, because they know what that means for the pointy end of the spear.

Pretty much everyone I know that has jumped to the private sector is way less stressed now, but your mileage will vary from where they are coming from.
Passive layoffs exist in the civilian side too, if anything they are much more extreme than the government. Very hard to find jobs that could seize to exist on the private side as they have all been cut, but I have met many people just stealing oxygen on the government side. To put in perspective my workplace has cut roughly 400 jobs in the last couple years (and has the audacity to blame the employees when there isn't enough coverage), and in the next five is going to cut about 400-800 more. Most of those will be jobs lost through attrition, but there maybe some permanent layoffs as well.

So, yes, same stressors, different context. Working within the GoC is subject to far more restrictions though; no one buying things in private companies cares about things like 'fair, open and transparent procurements', is subject to things like the CITT or other trading agreements, or being exempt from meeting things like SOLAS, so it's completely voluntary.

My own job would 100% be far less stressful doing the same thing on the civvy side, and would come with a raise. That's not uncommon, but maybe it's because folks on the forum are lumping active service military folks with 'public servants'. I get the impression that folks working as random analysts or whatever in other departments have it a fair bit easier than a lot of DND, which is why people commonly pop smoke from DND and transfer to other departments to do jobs in the same classification..
1000% that being said in the private sector there tends to be a lot more consequences if you fail to perform (especially at higher levels). Fail to procure? Well better go find another job. If you fail to perform in the government it just seems to lead to a higher place in the ladder.
 

Remius

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By the same regard Canada as a nation should be in a zero debt situation but due to poor economic management over the last 50 years (since roughly Trudeau Sr.) we aren't.

Biggest thing which made me mad at the public sector over private sector was when everyone in the private sector was being laid off due to the Pandemic, they got to sit at home earning full wages doing nothing. Why is it EI is good enough for us plebs when our private sector jobs go into bad times, or there is a Pandemic, but not good enough for the public sector?
Um…I kept working throughout the pandemic. I didn’t sit at home earning full wages doing nothing. None of my team did. We did spend some time pivoting to online and adapting to that new reality though. My brother in law got CERB and he literally did nothing. And refused to go back to work when his job came calling.
Most pensions now have moved to direct contribution instead of direct benefit. In my workplace the older guys are on a direct benefit pension well the newer employees are direct contribution. I would estimate their pension is at least double if not triple the value being put in on my direct contribution pension. Even then their direct benefit pension is still much worse than even the most average government pension. This also doesn't include things such as lack of vacation time (usually substantially less than government employees) and other benefits.
None of that is the Public sector’s fault.
Passive layoffs exist in the civilian side too, if anything they are much more extreme than the government. Very hard to find jobs that could seize to exist on the private side as they have all been cut, but I have met many people just stealing oxygen on the government side. To put in perspective my workplace has cut roughly 400 jobs in the last couple years (and has the audacity to blame the employees when there isn't enough coverage), and in the next five is going to cut about 400-800 more. Most of those will be jobs lost through attrition, but there maybe some permanent layoffs as well.
DRAP was an extreme version of passive layoffs on a large scale. What you describe happened between 2010 and 2015 in the public sector.
1000% that being said in the private sector there tends to be a lot more consequences if you fail to perform (especially at higher levels). Fail to procure? Well better go find another job. If you fail to perform in the government it just seems to lead to a higher place in the ladder.
Agreed. The public sector as i know it is very much process based and not performance based. I would have jailed the clowns that came up and implemented Phoenix and SSC. But remember that these things were politically directed by the government of its day. They set the rules and conditions for a lot of things that fail to happen in the public sector. Sometimes it’s a case of working with what you have and try to get through.
 

daftandbarmy

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Agreed. The public sector as i know it is very much process based and not performance based. I would have jailed the clowns that came up and implemented Phoenix and SSC. But remember that these things were politically directed by the government of its day. They set the rules and conditions for a lot of things that fail to happen in the public sector. Sometimes it’s a case of working with what you have and try to get through.

I run a consulting business that helps big organizations, like the Public Service, improve their performance levels e.g., increase service quality, reduce processing times, improve customer experience, increase staff engagement levels etc.

Almost always, we have been successful. This is mainly because all the people we've worked with are committed to improving, try to do a better job at measuring performance, and have a genuine desire to make things better. Viz: We asked 10 Senior Executives "What is your Vision for the BC Public Service?". Here’s what they told us…

Public, private or other sector we can't help everyone, of course. Where senior leaders clearly aren't open to having an honest look at their current performance levels and empowering their staff to get on and fix it, there's seldom a chance of success no matter how much money you throw at a project.
 

daftandbarmy

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The public and private gap is the problem

Well, if you just want to work in restaurants your whole life the public-private gap will always be a problem.

Having said that.... minimum wage plus tips can be annualized out to much more than some public service wages.
 

dapaterson

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I would love to do some longitudinal studies before and after COVID, of tipping. With so much commerce moved from cash to electronic (and thus leaving a trail), the estimates of how much tip money was never declared promises to be an interesting study.

(Restaurants have traditionally been an excellent tool for converting cash of dubious provenance into "clean" business revenue...)
 

Brad Sallows

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Wages are not all of compensation. Consider what it would cost to buy 70% of your income at retirement.
 

Humphrey Bogart

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Season 3 Laughing GIF by The Simpsons


I'm hoping for further price depreciation over the next year or so 😎
 

daftandbarmy

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Some Stats Canada survey results from last month:

Canadian Survey on Business Conditions, third quarter 2022​


Over two-thirds (69.4%) of businesses reported being either very optimistic or somewhat optimistic about their future outlook over the next 12 months. The businesses most likely to be optimistic about their future outlook were those in arts, entertainment and recreation (80.9%) and health care and social assistance (80.0%).

 

Halifax Tar

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Season 3 Laughing GIF by The Simpsons


I'm hoping for further price depreciation over the next year or so 😎

Me too. I finally convinced 9er Dom to leave the city!

It only took some gang banger gun shots, a prostitute on one side of us; and a whack-o who is living in his trees and talking about shooting people on the other side.
 

daftandbarmy

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Me too. I finally convinced 9er Dom to leave the city!

It only took some gang banger gun shots, a prostitute on one side of us; and a whack-o who is living in his trees and talking about shooting people on the other side.

After the second dead hooker turned up on the side of the road near our last place, it was pretty easy to convince my 9erD we should probably move to our current place. ;)
 

Kirkhill

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Saw a Brit article telling Britain they can be as successful as California....

Got me looking - And Canada's most productive people are in the Northwest Territories - Nova Scotia trails the pack. Most of Canada is less productive than America's least productive State.

GDP Per Capita - USD
District of Columbia*$ 239,861.00
New York *$ 102,587.00
Massachusetts *$ 97,239.00
North Dakota *$ 96,570.00
Washington *$ 92,703.00
California *$ 90,696.00
Connecticut *$ 88,185.00
Alaska *$ 87,782.00
Delaware *$ 86,413.00
Wyoming *$ 83,121.00
Colorado *$ 82,730.00
Minnesota *$ 82,344.00
Nebraska *$ 82,149.00
Illinois *$ 80,812.00
Texas *$ 79,736.00
New Jersey *$ 79,594.00
United States *$ 76,074.00
Maryland *$ 75,528.00
South Dakota *$ 75,406.00
New Hampshire *$ 74,998.00
Virginia *$ 74,375.00
Utah *$ 73,995.00
Northwest Territories$ 73,635.83
Iowa *$ 72,065.00
Kansas *$ 71,326.00
Pennsylvania *$ 70,612.00
Nunavut$ 69,740.55
Ohio *$ 69,408.00
Oregon *$ 69,318.00
Georgia *$ 69,222.00
North Carolina *$ 68,539.00
Nevada *$ 67,895.00
Wisconsin *$ 67,659.00
Tennessee *$ 67,374.00
Hawaii *$ 67,299.00
Indiana *$ 66,483.00
Rhode Island *$ 64,620.00
Florida *$ 62,965.00
Missouri *$ 62,645.00
Vermont *$ 62,401.00
Arizona *$ 62,342.00
Michigan *$ 61,234.00
Maine *$ 60,870.00
Oklahoma *$ 60,788.00
Louisiana *$ 60,780.00
Alberta$ 59,060.65
Montana *$ 58,656.00
New Mexico *$ 57,852.00
Kentucky *$ 57,283.00
Idaho *$ 57,072.00
South Carolina *$ 56,441.00
Yukon$ 55,563.22
Alabama *$ 54,652.00
West Virginia *$ 54,278.00
Arkansas *$ 54,141.00
Saskatchewan$ 51,632.90
Newfoundland and Labrador$ 49,294.71
Mississippi *$ 46,848.00
Canada$ 44,870.18
Ontario$ 44,759.95
British Columbia$ 44,316.11
Quebec$ 39,528.77
Manitoba$ 39,344.81
New Brunswick$ 35,929.14
Prince Edward Island$ 35,068.47
Nova Scotia$ 34,921.01
 

mariomike

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Time to move to Mississippi. Better standard of living, and warmer weather. :)
 
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