Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: John Basso, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Glenn Rossman, Elizabeth White

News Feed Item

The Fraser Institute: Ontario's Debt Load Larger Than California's Thanks to Big-Spending Ways; Is the Province Heading for a Greek-Style Financial Meltdown?

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 01/31/13 -- Ontario's debt load is higher than that of California, America's most-indebted state, and could reach 66 per cent of GDP by 2019 unless the provincial government musters the courage to rein in spending, says a new report released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

"California has been roundly criticized by news media and the financial markets for its inability to control spending and reduce deficits. Yet Ontario, with a fraction of California's population and a significantly smaller economy, is carrying a debt load almost two-thirds larger than California," said Jason Clemens, Fraser Institute executive vice-president and co-editor of The State of Ontario's Indebtedness.

"The first priority for incoming Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has to be taking action on the province's precarious financial situation. Ontario simply cannot continue spending money it doesn't have; otherwise it will soon be compared to Greece, not California."

The State of Ontario's Indebtedness examines Ontario's deficit and debt from three perspectives: a comparison to California, the future of Ontario's debt if current spending trends continue, and a comparison of Ontario's debt load and spending outlook to that of Greece. Combined, the three chapters detail the extent of the problem facing Ontario and paint a cautionary tale of what could happen if the Ontario government delays taking action.

"Comparisons to Greece may seem farfetched but Ontario's net debt to GDP currently sits at 37 per cent, the same as Greece in 1984," said Niels Veldhuis, Fraser Institute president and co-editor of the report.

"The 2012 Drummond report should have been a wake-up call for the Ontario government, yet the response was a collective yawn and a figurative shrug of the shoulders. Ontario's debt problem is real and unsustainable."

University of Calgary economist Ron Kneebone contributes a chapter to The State of Ontario's Indebtedness calculating that Ontario's net debt will balloon to 66 per cent of GDP by 2019-20 if it maintains the status quo in terms of spending and revenues.

"The failure of past Ontario governments to control spending has added significantly to the province's debt load and today saddles Ontario taxpayers with more than $10 billion in annual interest payments. That's money that isn't available for health care, education or other social services," Veldhuis said.

Kneebone concludes that the Ontario government could hold the debt-to-GDP ratio at roughly 40 per cent by 2019-20 if the province can dramatically slow the growth in spending in both health care and education to match the growth in the economy.

"Health and education spending grew at an average annual rate of seven per cent in the decade prior to the recession, compared to GDP growth of 4.3 per cent. Limiting the rate of growth in health and education spending will not be easy and requires significant reform of both programs," Veldhuis said.

To help put Ontario's debt in context, a second chapter in the report compares Ontario to California, which in 2009 made international headlines as a "fiscal train wreck" and appeared headed for bankruptcy. Ontario and California are measured against one another using a slightly different indicator than is normal: bonded debt. The reason for the alternative measure is that California doesn't publish data on net debt, which is the normally used measure in Canada and elsewhere.

On any comparative measure of bonded debt, Ontario fares much worse than California. Ontario's debt is almost two-thirds larger than California's even though California is much larger in both the size of its economy and its population. As a share of the economy, Ontario's debt (38.6 per cent) is more than five times larger than California's (7.7 per cent). Ontario's per-capita debt ($17,921) is more than four-and-a-half times that of California ($3,833) and Ontario spends more than three times the amount of revenues on interest costs as California.

"The frightening aspect of Ontario's debt is the lack of attention it receives, not just from politicians, but from the media, organized labour, businesses, and just about every single Ontarian," Clemens said.

"Ontario is in a worse situation than California and it will only get worse unless the provincial government finds a way to reduce spending."

The report concludes with a chapter by Lakehead University economist Livio Di Matteo comparing Ontario's fiscal situation to Greece. Di Matteo points out that Greece's net debt to GDP stood at 37 per cent in 1984, the same level as Ontario's today and increased to 66 per cent over the next decade. Since then, Greece's net public debt has spun out of control, reaching 163 per cent of GDP in 2011.

Di Matteo explains that Ontario and Greece share a common trait over the past 30 years: trends in spending and revenues diverged, meaning the long-term trend is towards larger deficits and debt accumulation rather than smaller deficits or even surpluses.

"If Ontario continues spending at its current rate, its net debt will increase to 66 per cent from 37 per cent in just seven years. It took Greece 10 years to experience a similar increase. This highlights the unsustainability of Ontario's current spending trends," Veldhuis said.

Inaction or insufficient spending reforms could mean that somewhere down the road, Ontario could experience a fiscal crisis of Greek proportions. While not there yet, the pain and severity of reform needed in Greece serves as an example to Ontarians about the benefits of proactive reform now before a crisis evolves.

"Neither Ontario nor Greece has been responsible in managing their fiscal situations. Fortunately, Ontario is in a position where it can still restore its public finances to good health without the type of fiscal trauma currently underway in Greece," Clemens said.

Follow the Fraser Institute on Twitter

Become a fan on Facebook

The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of 86 think-tanks. Its mission is to measure, study, and communicate the impact of competitive markets and government intervention on the welfare of individuals. To protect the Institute's independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit www.fraserinstitute.org.

Niels Veldhuis (President, Fraser Institute) will be in Toronto Jan. 31 and available for media interviews.

Contacts:
The Fraser Institute - Media Contact
Niels Veldhuis
President
(416) 363-6575 ext. 546 or Mobile: (604) 505-6408
[email protected]

The Fraser Institute - Media Contact
Jason Clemens
Executive Vice-President
(604) 714-4591
[email protected]

The Fraser Institute
Dean Pelkey
Director of Communications
(604) 714-4582
[email protected]
www.fraserinstitute.org

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it ...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus...
ReadyTalk has expanded the capabilities of the FoxDen collaboration platform announced late last year to include FoxDen Connect, an in-room video collaboration experience that launches with a single touch. With FoxDen Connect, users can now not only engage in HD video conferencing between iOS and Android mobile devices or Chrome browsers, but also set up in-person meeting rooms for video interactions. A host’s mobile device automatically recognizes the presence of a meeting room via beacon tech...
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet a...
On Dice.com, the number of job postings asking for skill in Amazon Web Services increased 76 percent between June 2015 and June 2016. Salesforce.com saw its own skill mentions increase 37 percent, while DevOps and Cloud rose 35 percent and 28 percent, respectively. Even as they expand their presence in the cloud, companies are also looking for tech professionals who can manage projects, crunch data, and figure out how to make systems run more autonomously. Mentions of ‘data science’ as a skill ...
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? You need to discover patterns that are repeatable in vast quantities of data, understand their meaning, and implement scalable monitoring across multiple data streams in order to monetize the discoveries and insights. Motif discovery and deep learning platforms are emerging to visualize sensor data, to search for patterns and to build application that can monitor real time streams efficiently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, ...
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
Large scale deployments present unique planning challenges, system commissioning hurdles between IT and OT and demand careful system hand-off orchestration. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Smith, Senior Director and a founding member of Incenergy, will discuss some of the key tactics to ensure delivery success based on his experience of the last two years deploying Industrial IoT systems across four continents.