Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Mihai Corbuleac, David Bermingham

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
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 and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
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...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
"We work in the area of Big Data analytics and Big Data analytics is a very crowded space - you have Hadoop, ETL, warehousing, visualization and there's a lot of effort trying to get these tools to talk to each other," explained Mukund Deshpande, head of the Analytics practice at Accelerite, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The idea of comparing data in motion (at the sensor level) to data at rest (in a Big Data server warehouse) with predictive analytics in the cloud is very appealing to the industrial IoT sector. The problem Big Data vendors have, however, is access to that data in motion at the sensor location. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Scott Allen, CMO of FreeWave, discussed how as IoT is increasingly adopted by industrial markets, there is going to be an increased demand for sensor data from the outermos...
UAS, drones or unmanned aircraft, no matter what you call them — this was their week. Our news stream was flooded with updates on the newly announced rules and regulations for commercial UAS from the FAA. So, naturally we have dedicated this week’s top news round up to highlight some of our favorite UAS stories.
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 6thInternet of @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
CenturyLink has announced that application server solutions from GENBAND are now available as part of CenturyLink’s Networx contracts. The General Services Administration (GSA)’s Networx program includes the largest telecommunications contract vehicles ever awarded by the federal government. CenturyLink recently secured an extension through spring 2020 of its offerings available to federal government agencies via GSA’s Networx Universal and Enterprise contracts. GENBAND’s EXPERiUS™ Application...
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.
When people aren’t talking about VMs and containers, they’re talking about serverless architecture. Serverless is about no maintenance. It means you are not worried about low-level infrastructural and operational details. An event-driven serverless platform is a great use case for IoT. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Animesh Singh, an STSM and Lead for IBM Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, will detail how to build a distributed serverless, polyglot, microservices framework using open source tec...
Presidio has received the 2015 EMC Partner Services Quality Award from EMC Corporation for achieving outstanding service excellence and customer satisfaction as measured by the EMC Partner Services Quality (PSQ) program. Presidio was also honored as the 2015 EMC Americas Marketing Excellence Partner of the Year and 2015 Mid-Market East Partner of the Year. The EMC PSQ program is a project-specific survey program designed for partners with Service Partner designations to solicit customer feedbac...
Apixio Inc. has raised $19.3 million in Series D venture capital funding led by SSM Partners with participation from First Analysis, Bain Capital Ventures and Apixio’s largest angel investor. Apixio will dedicate the proceeds toward advancing and scaling products powered by its cognitive computing platform, further enabling insights for optimal patient care. The Series D funding comes as Apixio experiences strong momentum and increasing demand for its HCC Profiler solution, which mines unstruc...
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often ...
"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.
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
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...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...