Opinions & Letters

Discordant economic visions

 | June 12, 2012

“All this time honey, Baby you’ve been had!” — Queen.

I’ll admit a small amount of sympathy for the people of France, the Quebec university students and the remnants of the Occupy movement who all persist in their naÏve belief that social programs, tuition and housing should be free. It would make life so wonderfully simple to not have to pay for what these people call rights.

Ultimately and inevitably, reason intrudes and the ugly fact remains, as it always will; there’s a price to pay for goods and services. How is it that supposedly intelligent groups can keep making the same silly claim that as health care, for example, is a basic human right it should, therefore, cost nothing? One could suppose that if the doctors, nurses, administrators, housekeepers, dietitians and all the other people at Royal Inland Hospital worked pro bono, the instruments and medicines cost nothing and the buildings put themselves up and were maintained for free, healthcare would be complimentary. Of course, only an imbecile could believe this. The same could be said for education, food, clothing and housing. Remember the saying, “Gas, grass or ass, nobody rides for free?”

If the hippies of the ‘60s could figure this out, what’s wrong with people of our interconnected, wired, 24 hour a day news-cycle world now? They must be willingly blind or else perpetually aggrieved at the roughness and unfairness that is life. This is sad because most people on Earth have never had it so good. Sure, prices are high but the struggle between wages and costs is a fact of life. To witness so many people complaining rather than bettering themselves shows a lack of initiative and a distinctly misguided sense of entitlement.

Politicians naturally have seized upon this malaise because it provides an excellent excuse for an ever expanding and intrusive nanny state. There are multitudes of programs that take money from some to give to others. In the USA for example, 50 million people get food stamps. Imagine that; a population half again as large as Canada getting free food—in the midst of an obesity epidemic! In Canada we have transfer payments from the productive western part of the country shipped east so that Quebec students can pay an even smaller tuition than we do.

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Meanwhile, the wailing continues. Angry voters in France believe the pie in the sky social program promises of Mr. Hollande that markets worldwide know cannot be sustained. The Greeks refuse to believe their deserved luck and are in for a rude awakening when the drachma is reintroduced in the very real name of fiscal sanity.

The Americans are of the same stick your head in the sand mentality. President Obama has greatly increased the national debt by spending money he borrowed with no hope of paying off. This has created a grateful political class which will probably win him re-election. When you rob Peter to pay Paul and there are more Pauls, you become a two-termer.

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