Letters and tweets

CPA Magazine readers respond to the December 2014 and January/February 2015 issues via mail and Twitter.

THE PRICE FOR SHORT-TERM THINKING

Very insightful article by David Descôteaux (Have We Learned Nothing? December 2014). He notes that governments and individuals are focused on the short term. I am particularly worried about Ontario. This government does not have the ability to print money to pay its debts. Accountants are probably more prudent managers of debt than the average person, but if the banks get into trouble and the government throws them a Troubled Asset Relief Program, we will all be paying for short-term thinking.

James Letang, Port Elgin, Ont.

MORE SPECIFICS, PLEASE

Considering the excellent Financial Literacy issue (November 2014) in CPA Magazine, I was appalled at how shallow the articles were in the January/February Sustainability Issue.

I am embarrassed that there was not more specific discussion on proper cost-benefit analyses of proposed sustainable initiatives. Full costing is a requirement to insure nonfinancial decision-makers (e.g. government and NGOs) don’t inadvertently hurt the environment with improperly evaluated initiatives. For example, for Ontario government-supported electrical wind generators, the full life cost needs to be compared with the benefits. All inputs related to manufacturing, erecting, leasing, maintaining, decommissioning and subsidizing need to be evaluated. Other things to consider include: what is the total energy breakeven? What’s the total carbon footprint breakeven point? The energy and carbon multipliers caused by subsidies? The environmental impact assessment, etc.

Mervin Gibson, Edmonton

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