From Province House to home by Leo Glavine: Discipline - needed fiscal medicine

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Preparing our income taxes is an ideal time to reassess and gauge our fiscal health. Are we in good fiscal condition? Are we saving enough for retirement and beyond? Do we need to be more frugal? During these difficult economic times, do we have a plan to pay back debt before incurring more? Is the item necessary or should we instead pay for food, bills or save for our future? Do we need to be innovative and create our own job in this climate of low employment? Are we fiscally healthy, stressed or ill? If anyone would like help with budgeting and financial planning, please come to the office for information.

As with our personal finances, the people responsible for the provincial purse, the government, must also practice good fiscal discipline. All governments would like to dole out money to whomever requests funds, but this is not possible or prudent. We need to prioritize. We need a budget based on future needs, not solely on past spending or present wishes. We need to make money in order to give money. We need to be diligent about spending now in order to create a province that is financially sustainable and independent in the future. Personal and provincial discipline to use every dollar wisely must be the norm.

The system of taxation has been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. This is how governments pool money to spend on healthcare, social assistance programs and infrastructure. However, Nova Scotia has a decreasing population. This means we have a decreasing number of people who pay taxes to pay for our provincial needs. Just as individuals need to be innovative in ways to create long-term financial independence, the government does, too.

If Nova Scotians wish to continue sharing resources to reduce overall costs and sustain our province, we need to combine our goals and work collectively to attain the results we want. This is not the time to work against each other or practice partisan politics. This is a time to share our knowledge, support one another and work together toward a common purpose: individual and provincial wellbeing.

Achieving healthy physical outcomes requires discipline and hard work. Achieving educational outcomes requires discipline and hard work. Achieving sports outcomes requires discipline and hard work. Our community’s discipline and hard, united work toward achieving the Kraft Hockeyville 2014 outcome is proof that the people of Kings West have what it takes to be successful. The dedicated leadership of Wayne Fowler, our pooled talent, resources, spirit and community commitment to each other and the future are all indicators of success. Let’s go Kingston! We can do it!

The new field of social physics indicates that people are more likely to reach personal targets if they are well-informed and if they share a common goal. Helping others reach a healthy lifestyle goal, for example, is sometimes more successful and rewarding than trying to do it alone. Helping our neighbour or our community succeed is one of the best means to helping ourselves.

This same theory can also apply to attaining financial targets. Teaching and informing each other about how finances work, sharing innovative ideas, motivating one another and practicing personal financial discipline will lead to personal as well as provincial success.

Like our Valley farmers, woodlot owners and entrepreneurs, we need a long-term vision, dedication, a strong work ethic and supreme patience.  We can all forego the pitfalls of instant gratification and decide to work together for our individual and common success. Farmers and foresters sometimes have to work ten years before their efforts yield the desired results. Each purchase they make is an investment for the future. All Nova Scotians can learn from their example and do the same at home. It will pay off. Patience and discipline yield dividends.

The best thing we can do for our province is to help each other succeed. We can do this, too! 

Organizations: Province House

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Kings West

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