The Chronicle Herald (Metro)
VOICE OF THE PEOPLE
TIME TO SCALE BACK
As we near what we all hope will be the end of this coronavirus nightmare, I think people and our political representatives at all three levels need to come to grips with what a realistic role for government is going to look like in the difficult times ahead.
This is essential for our economic survival, particularly the short and medium term.
The misguided notion that government can be all things to all people, that it has a bottomless pit of money to fund everyone’s interests and amusements and needs to be fanatically focused on “fixing our lives” has to be a thing of the past.
We can debate all day long the fairness and merits of taxing the rich and redistributing the money for those in need, and clearly some of that should continue to happen.
A reasonable amount of income redistribution is a good thing in a civilized society, but what happens if there is a lot less to redistribute?
What makes no sense at all is this idea that we can continue to borrow money indefinitely in the hopes that
1) interest rates continue to stay low;
2) there will be some magic economic bonanza at some point in future that is going to allow us to pay it all back.
I think governments are going to need to focus their attention on what keeps us alive and well.
The bells and whistles in our lives, at least for most of us, are going to have to come from somewhere other than government if we see any of them at all. Jim Inglis, Halifax