Fun with figures

When I was a young lad out of school for a summer I went to work for one of my closest friends.  Fresh out of Ag school, he plowed up a a scrap of land in Richmond and started an urban market farm.

It was the early 80’s.  Before farmers’ markets and organic this and micro-biotic that.  My buddy was ahead of his time, as he remains to this day.

One of his crops was corn.

He planted rows and rows of the stuff and I hoed it (it’s a farming term).  It grew nice and straight and hardly any of it died and one day we walked down the rows and my buddy made some calculations: 10 rows, 300 stalks a row, 5 cobs a stalk.

“We are gonna be rich,” we shouted at the surrounding half built condos.

And the corn continued to grow.  The stalks that is.  The 5 cobs didn’t.  Who knew a whole goddamned stalk of corn only produced 1 goddamned cob?

That’s just about how the BC Liberal government estimates natural gas royalties.

A year ago the Finance Minister presented a budget that claimed BC would reap almost $400 million in natural gas royalties through the budget year that ends March 31st.

Six months later someone figured out that was a bit too rich.  The new figure turned out to be $157 million,  less than half the original estimate.

Reminds me of the deficit that was promised to be $495 million, not a cent more, or the HST that was definitely, absolutely revenue neutral or the 5 cobs of corn one measly stalk of corn produces.

I think I’ll call my friend and ask him if he wrote the Throne Speech.


From the 2012/2013 second Quarterly Report:

Budget   Forecast    Variance

Natural gas royalties ……..…………………..     398           157            (241)

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8 Responses to Fun with figures

  1. cfvua says:

    The royalty number could have been correct if they hadn’t been so generous with the handouts back to the producers. BC liberal corporate welfare is only exceeded by their short sightedness. Who else gets a “Net-Profit Royalty Credit”? The very term seems to instigate inefficiency and overspending.

  2. Garth says:

    Ian I’d vote for Pete any day over Christy. Pete for Premier!!

  3. John says:

    Beside the fact that it’s all BS economics, the gas belongs to the people anyway, right?

    So what’s all this with waving it in our faces? An old tactic that never seems to go out of style…buying our votes from us with our own money. Geezus it sure gets old.

    I still don’t understand why 20% of people polled in this province still believe this complete and utter bullshit.

  4. unbeliever says:

    Corporate welfare….big subsidies….watch the LNG producers come begging when we end up with a glut of gas in the market. We are 5 years behind the curve with LNG, and the liberals think we’ve won the lottery. What a crock….these people couldn’t run a candy store. How much will the real deficit be this time, around Mr. DeJong?

  5. G. Barry Stewart says:

    Hey, Ian, you were growing the wrong kind of corn. Out here in Chilliwack, it’s at least two ears per stalk for sweet corn — but I get your point.

    The BC Christy’s math is pretty holey.

  6. RS says:

    The difference being, your buddy’s projection was an honest miscalculation, the BC Liberal’s — not so much.

  7. Ian says:

    That does not surprise me in the least! Still, it was a great experience and, aside from the corn, very successful. My good friend went on to be a great orchardist.

  8. simo says:

    Why? What’s wrong with the throne speech? I like her optimism. It’s well known that math and reality are the 2 hardest subjects.
    And it’s actually 1.763 cobs per stalk and .763 of a cob is worth $0. Who’davknownthat? If I had a nickle for every .763 of something we’ve grown things would be different.

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