Thursday, July 11, 2013

Feeling the burden of solar subsidies and the alcohol monopoly

Today I was out collecting nomination signatures and had just bought another solar panel for my off-grid cottage.  It struck me that I was carrying a symbol of the monstrous burden the Liberal government has saddled Ontario with for the next 20 years - the photovoltaic panel.

You see, the government has signed contracts to pay people about 80 cents per kilowatt for electricity they produce using panels at a time when Ontario has an excess of electricity that we can produce at about 5 cents or even less through hydro, gas, coal and nuclear power.  The excess produced by solar is forced into the grid because it cannot be controlled centrally, and so our excess power then gets sent to the U.S. and we pay them to take it off our hands.  This system is irrational, un-economic, wasteful, misguided and harmful to the citizens of Ontario, particularly those on a lower income who can least afford the high and rising electricity prices foisted on us by the government.

Note that the picture is taken in front on one of the Ontario liquor monopoly stores, the LCBO.  The province has outlawed all competition for retail alcoholic beverages, thus preventing the benefits of competition such as diversity of product and distribution, lower prices and wider availability.  Their unionized employees are paid outside of the free market and the corporation takes many millions of dollars every year and gives it to politicians and bureaucrats to spend on still more inefficient programs.

Solar subsidies and the LCBO - two very symbolic figures for the damage done when government interferes in the freedom of citizens to organize their own lives and business transactions.

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