Saturday, April 10, 2010

David Asper on Dragon's Den

Asper: I'm here on behalf of Creswin to ask for a $75 million dollar loan for 0% equity in my new enterprise.

O'Leary: What's the loan for?

Asper: To build a new building to house my new enterprise.

O'Leary: How long will it take you to pay back the loan?

Asper: I'm not sure. I might not pay it back at all. If my current enterprise isn't profitable then I want to be able to walk away from the loan.

O'Leary: You want us to just forget the loan?

Asper: Yes

O'Leary: What is this current enterprise that you're talking about?

Asper: A shopping mall

O'Leary: What's it's sales?

Asper: Sales? There are no sales, it's not even built yet.

O'Leary: Not built? Why? Do you have any tenants committed at least?

Asper: No. We're having trouble. It doesn't seem to be working out the way we planned.

O'Leary: Ok, well, do you have anything else for collateral?

Asper: I have a stake in a multi-billion dollar media empire.

O'Leary: Oh, now you're talking. What are the profits?

Asper: Well, actually it's bankrupt and has been delisted from the stock exchange.

O'Leary: So it's not "multi-billion" anymore?

Asper: No. More like a few hundred.

O'Leary: Million?

Asper: Maybe thousand.

O'Leary: Ok, just so I understand, you have a current enterprise that is not going well and may not even come to fruition and you want us to give you a $75 million loan to allow you to build a building for a new enterprise with repayment terms that allow you to not have to pay back a cent if your current enterprise, the one that's not built yet, has no sales, and isn't going well, doesn't turn a profit? And on top of that you've recently run a multi-billion dollar media empire into bankruptcy?

Asper: Yes, exactly.

O'Leary: Are you nuts?!?! I'M OUT!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Punch, Counterpunch!

After trading blows over how many doctors, nurses, police officers, and prosecutors each party would hire, here's the NDP's response to the Conservative's outrageous promise to bring back the Jets (Click the image to enlarge it):

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

200% ROI, guaranteed!

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have announced that they have chosen David Asper's plan for a new football stadium. The plan calls for taxpayers to contribute $80 million to complement Asper's investment of $40 million. In an interview on 92 CITI FM Asper claimed he needs the money to "manage the risk of his investment" while stating in the very next breath that the stadium "is a great investment". If it's a great investment, then why the risk?

Asper will get a $120 million stadium for $40 million. That's a 67% discount! Or, if you look at it another way, Asper will receive an asset worth $120 million on an investment of $40 million. That's a 200% immediate return on investment. To put it in perspective, this deal is like the government saying "for every dollar you put in to your RRSP, we'll give you two". That's one hell of a retirement plan! Good luck trying to get it though, the government only gives those kinds of deals to people who need it the most: rich businessmen like David Asper.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Saturday, April 14, 2007

New February Holiday

Winnipeg Free Press web poll on Saturday, April 14, 2007:
What should Manitoba's new February stat holiday be called?
  • Family Day
  • Firefighters Day
  • Flag Day
  • Heritage Day
  • Other

How about Lazy Day? How about Unproductive Day? How about I Think I Should Get Paid for Watching Oprah Day? How about Remember How Hard Our Forefathers Worked to Give Us This Cushy Lifestyle Day?

I think the last one's the best. Everyone could go work in a manufacturing plant or on a farm doing manual labour for 16 hours. Then maybe people will realize that they don't really need a holiday every month from their oh so back-breaking desk job.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Can't afford it? Sell it

Winnipeg Free Press
Monday, March 26, 2007

Re: Bad deal for cottage owners, March 21.

Every year I hear cottage owners bemoan the fact that they have to pay an education tax for their vacation properties. Their argument is that they are not full-time residents, only use their cottage for weeks or months and have no children in the local school system.

My argument is always the same. If I inherited or chose to buy a home or condo in Winnipeg or Vancouver to use as a vacation home, do you think I would be exempt from paying education taxes on this property? Of course not.

As for taxing based on income, would it be fair to tax an individual who makes $300,000 per year and owns a $60,000 property more than a person who makes $40,000 and has inherited a $300,000 property? Again, of course not.

Bottom line -- owning a cottage or secondary residence is a great privilege.

If you can't afford it, sell it.

Fort Frances, Ont.

Mr. Norris' argument misses the point. It's like saying "is it fair to rob from someone who has a lot of stuff more than a person who has a little stuff?". Either way, robbing is wrong. And either way, funding education through property tax, or any tax for that matter, is wrong. You might as well fund it from library fines, or movie rental fees. Property values are completely unrelated to the cost of education. You can have a family with three special need children living in a moderate neighbourhood paying $2,000 for education on their property tax bill. You can have a single senior with no children living right next door, and paying the same amount.

There's a movement to remove the property tax levy for education and fund education through "general revenues". This is like removing a diseased lung and replacing it with a kidney. Replacing one bad program for an even worse one. What the "Let's Pay Fair" crowd don't realize is that the reason they're able to drum up such support for their movement is precisely because education taxes are on people's property tax bill. People see it every year. Joe Senior living with no kids living on CPP sees every year the hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars the state takes from him for "education". Does anyone ever complain about how high payroll taxes are? What about health care taxes? Or alcohol taxes? Or gasoline taxes? Nobody complains about those. Why? Because they don't see them. They're hidden. Think about income tax, PST, and GST. Everyone complains about those, because they're visible. So the "Let's Pay Fair" crowd want to take the visible education tax and hide it in general revenue. So people can't see it. That's an even worse idea than funding it based on property values.

The best way to fund something is directly. When you go to Wal-Mart and buy a pair of jeans, you pay Wal-Mart directly and then take the jeans home. You don't just take the jeans, wait until the end of the year, then pay your mother, who pays your father, who pays your neighbour, who pays another neighbour down the street, who then pays Wal-Mart. Yet this is how we fund education. It's just a big shell game.

Budget ignores natives

Winnipeg Free Press
Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I thought I was living in Canada where everyone received equal treatment, but by the outcome of the federal budget, I guess I was dead wrong. Again, Canada's First Nations are left out in the cold and to fend for themselves. Stephen Harper has shown his true Reform/Canadian Alliance colours and left the aboriginal people out of the budget. I guess to him we are just a thorn in his government's side that needs to be left with nothing to improve our lives through education, housing and employment. He would rather keep us in poverty and under his control like caged animals. I have watched Animal Kingdom, and the caged animals I saw there were awesome when they were mistreated.

O Canada, our home and native land, has become Harper's playground.

Thanks for nothing, Mr. Harper.

Ivan Moose

Mr. Moose says he wants equal treatment for natives, then chastizes the government for not giving them special treatment. I didn't see Ukranians, Chinese, Arabs, or any other ethnic group getting special treatment in the budget. Sounds equal to me.