In her March 12 letter (“Wall setting stage”), Joan Bell indicates an astounding lack of awareness about the ownership of the Crown corporations and about markets in general.
First, we the people do not “own” the Crown corporations; the legal corporate entity known as the Crown owns them. The government manages the companies on the Crown’s behalf, while the people both elect and are forced to fund the government. However, none of us owns a share individually in the enterprises.
I cannot sell my supposed share in these companies, I do not receive a dividend from their earnings, and I certainly cannot use my share to secure a private loan. Therefore, I have no right to be consulted directly over their sale. I can only hope to persuade the government to manage the Crown corporations the way I want them to.
Second, the Crowns were established both to provide theretofore non-existent services to the people of Saskatchewan and to help fund government operations. If the present government is indeed taking money from the Crowns to “balance the books,” the Crowns would then be helping to fund government operations, which is their legitimate purpose. (The fallacy that the free market cannot supply services presently offered by the Crown monopolies is a separate issue.)
Third, even if the current government were really trying to divest the Crowns, they wouldn’t be devaluing the companies. Instead, they would do their utmost to maximize the sale price by ensuring the balance sheets look very attractive to potential investors.
The only ideologically driven policies here are promoted by those economically illiterate, fear-mongering statists who persist in the fiction that we need Crown monopolies in order to survive.
Submitted today, awaiting publication.
UPDATE: Published March 15. They took out my “fallacy” line in the fourth paragraph but used the term in the headline. Figures.