For governments, particularly those of the socialist persuasion, the current situation must be a dream come true.
Not COVID-19 and its impact on human lives, of course. But the government’s opportunity to wield unchecked power and impose freedom-limiting regulations, with the unchallenged ability to introduce incomprehensible deficits, and further intrusion into individual freedoms.
Yes, all of it is presented as well-intentioned. The government has to do something in times like these, right? Of course they do – that’s part of their mandate. The citizenry even nods approvingly as Ottawa literally mortgages their future with, to date, over $200 billion in added deficit spending during the pandemic alone. “Nodders” should remember that when taxation rates hit 60 per cent in years to come to pay for today’s expenditures.
As it sits, here’s what socialist Canada looks like.
Unlimited government funding.
Almost everybody and everything is receiving cheques from the federal government to help get through the pandemic. That is fair, considering the many fiscal contributions individuals and businesses pay in taxation, and the government has eliminated opportunities for many businesses to conduct commerce profitably, if at all.
But the deficits? Make no mistake, these are deferred payments. The generations to come will pay, and pay dearly, for today’s largesse. The federal government alone has spent money it does not have during the crisis.
And watch out for this: BC’s NDP government is said to be considering a province-wide “living wage” policy after the pandemic. The problem with the funding levels that have been set now is that some people won’t go back to work until they will be able to make more money at work than being paid by the government to stay home and not work. That has some businesses legitimately worried, especially within the service industry.
Government intrusion and over policing.
In the name of enforcing physical distancing, police are quick to demand that people keep six feet away from each other, and have closed public facilities and parks to limit crowds and assemblies. It’s an interesting spectacle to observe how law enforcement officials step in immediately in cases to enforce government mandates, compared to the length of time it takes them to help victims of crime and enforce the regular rule of law.
Regulations that hinder business.
The government has prohibited many businesses from operating during the lockdown, while designating certain sectors as essential services. Understandable, again, but what is troubling is suggestions of future government regulations concerning crowd sizes.
For example, take restaurants, 85 per cent of which fail during a regular economy. An 80 seat restaurant that needs 80 seats, and steady turnover, in order to turn a profit and keeps their doors open. If the government only allows 30-50 per cent capacity, those operations become instantly unprofitable, and not worth the effort to re-open. Besides providing tasty food, restaurants are also social centres where people get together to visit and socialize. And without restaurants, where would tourists eat? Why would they even come and visit?
Sports and entertainment, which survives on non-essential expenditures from customers, is an important part of the country’s social infrastructure. It gives people something to look forward to, enjoy, and blow off steam. If the government limits crowd sizes, it might just crash gate-driven amateur sports leagues, particularly junior hockey. Most junior operations are marginal at best financially, and the prospect of even more losses will drive many owners to the sidelines. If the result is unworkable numbers for team owners, those businesses simply will not open, as they would be guaranteed to fail.
What will be the effect on our youth?
Supply shortages and lineups.
This is a stark visual of socialist government policy. There is increasing concern about possible meat shortages, largely due to the fact there are only three major meat processing companies in Canada. There have been numerous instances of hoarding and panicked people packing away vital supplies in anticipation of future shortages. That half hour trip to the store now approaches two hours, due to lineups. Empty shelves – something we’ve rarely witnessed in this country – are in many stores.
State controlled media. The federal government has subsidized mainstream media with billions of dollars, and owners continue to hold their hands out for more. Will those news outlets bite the hand that feeds them? Not likely, although they may nibble from time to time. There are 11,900 members in the media sector that are members of Unifor, one of the most politically active and vocal unions in the country. And, of course, the CBC, which is primarily government funded and received a fresh influx of funds when the Liberals regained Parliament. The CBC has long been considered the unofficial Public Relations arm of the Liberals, and disseminator/explainer of Liberal policy to the masses. They all carry the same message, so it must be true, correct? They seldom disagree with current governments and their policies, and repeat their messaging, verbatim. Shocking. . .
To re-state, some of the measures have been necessary. But how bad is the COVID-19 crisis, really? We will know in retrospect, as we look backwards after the fact and assess how many deaths Coronavirus caused in relation to other mortality rates. A Global News article titled ”5 things more likely to kill you in Canada than coronavirus” noted that in 2018, 80,000 people died from cancer, 53,000 from heart disease, 13,300 from car accidents, and 8,511 from various forms of flu.
Considering we’re all going to die eventually, the question that will need to be asked is: “Was it all worth it?” Especially if the life we’ve come to enjoy in North America is permanently altered, and socialist policies and enforcement remain.
Mark MacDonald is President of Communication Ink Social Media