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Progressive Conservatives aim to change the World starting with Saskatchewan. “Incentivism” is a new policy which is not instantly understood. I am working on a more academic explanation of incentivism. For the present, I will give you a practical example of incentivism applied to government policy.

This week I read another report about floating scum of mostly plastic trash in the centre of the Pacific Ocean. Then I read Premier Moe and the Saskatchewan cronies are raising the recycling tax.

I thought SARCAN Recycling is a shining example of a progressive conservative incentivism solution combining social policy, the market economy, and incentives.

First, a caution to all about history and not dwelling in the past. All political parties should be futurist. History has two main values. To learn from past experiences. Secondly, for entertainment such as telling stories around the camp fire, books, and movies.

Since you cannot find incentivism in history, the story of SARCAN Recycling is a working example of the use of incentivism as a solution to a combination of problems.

In 1986, Premier Grant Devine called his young Labour Minister and told me he wanted me to take the additional portfolio Social Services. I asked what he wanted me to do and he said, “Reform it.” Part of my reform plan was to have everyone working to the best of their ability.

In 1988 it was time to move the province away from a protectionist policy of glass containers only for beverages. Glass soda and beer bottles were an environmental and economic disaster.

When the PC’s decided to move to cans and plastic bottles, SARCAN asked for the franchise to recycle aluminum cans. I saw an opportunity to create a new business employing hundreds of people with ability and varying degrees of disability. SARCAN was my second incentivism solution.

The recycling plan was a perfect opportunity to combine incentives for:

  1. 1. the highest recycling rate in the world.
  2. 2. employment of hundreds of people with some disabilities.
  3. 3. a competitive price for non-alcoholic drinks which reduced the price.
  4. 4. a voluntary tax on laziness- (if you don’t bring back the containers the government keeps the deposit.)
  5. 5. elimination of broken glass.
  6. 6. a market based solution to social and environmental problems.

Part of the solution was a five cent deposit redeemable at thirty-two new SARCAN depots. An additional two cent recycling fee to be paid to SARCAN as a commission to operate their new businesses.

The government paid nothing, received nothing except a voluntary tax on laziness and now six hundred people are working to their ability with real jobs.

I sent a government employee to SARCAN for the first year to insure they could run the system as a business. The recycling plan worked so well that in 1992 the Romanow social democrats expanded the SARCAN franchise to all ready to serve containers (Source SARCAN official site.)

Over time, the social democrats started to keep some of SARCANs commission and in effect implemented a recycling tax for the general revenue fund.

Now the Sask. Crony Party is raising the deposit (see tax on laziness which is not so bad.) The complaint is that they also raised the recycling fee and are applying the tax increase to their deficit.

The NDP are so inept at opposition that they cannot figure out SARCAN is getting none of the extra recycling fee.

This is another case of social democrats and crony capitalists messing up a good system.

I hope this report has given you a better understanding of progressive conservative incentivisim.

We challenge the rest of the world to use incentivism to clean up the pollution in the Pacific Ocean.

We welcome your input on problems that need solutions. Call me at (306) 728-0156

Grant Schmidt 

President P.C. Party of Saskatchewan