Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Equal Opportunity Offender

Yes, I have been bashing Canadian Liberals lately and I've said a few kind words about the Conservatives under leader Stephen Harper. Lest anyone think that I've gone soft and have abandoned Libertarianism for Conservatism, let me assure you that that isn't so.

I'm going to take this blogging opportunity today to show that I am an equal opportunity offender. I'll whack at anything that strikes me as silly or worse, so watch out!

Let's talk a bit about Canadian Conservatives. Brian Mulroney's turn at bat with the former Progressive Conservative Party brought us enormous deficits and left us all in a state of confusion about what political conservatism actually means. He was an appeaser who tried to cater to everyone and as a result satisfied no-one. What about Joe Clark, another former Progressive Conservative Prime Minister? He was perceived, rightly so, as a 'red' Tory, and did little to further the conservative cause. Even today, he is an embarrassment, off somewhere pouting because the erstwhile Progressive Conservative Party dared merge with the Alliance Party to form the new Conservative Party of Canada.

The Conservatives in Canada and the Republicans in The United States are merely, in most ridings, the least of several evils. You already know what I think about the Liberals. What about the New Democratic Party? The NDP are the closest to a viable Marxist party we have in Canada. There is, I believe, something actually called a Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada or some such, but they could never be elected. Like in the United States, Marxists are electable only if they call themselves something else. The NDP is all for reducing everything and everyone to the lowest common denominator. They currently hold only 19 out of 301 seats in parliament, just enough to be a nuisance but not enough to drive any real legislative agenda.

Given that it is the most pro-liberty party, why does the Libertarian Party of Canada not get more attention?

There are several reasons. First, Libertarians are too busy earning a living, keeping out of everyone else's way and debating political philosophy to make any real political gains. Libertarians love to discuss things. Hmmm. Maybe that's a good thing. If the other parties tried talking about things more, rather than rushing the latest lamebrained idea to legislation, we would all be far better off. Second, Canadians generally don't like to be too adventurous. They don't understand Libertarianism and are afraid to give it a chance. Like their American counterparts, many Canadians place Libertarians on the far right of the political spectrum, indicating that they clearly have no clue what the party truly stands for. Third, Libertarians get no media coverage. The largely left-leaning media takes care of that.

So, what is left for us to do?

Breathe deeply, dear friends. Patience, patience.

Someday, somehow, somewhere, people will come to their senses and liberty will reign. If I'm still alive, I'll be there.


  1. If libertarians are your answer to what ails us, take the time to present your platform instead of talking about how important talking is. Give us something to chew on, not just generalizations about how controlling governments get in our way. Do you really believe that large numbers would be prepared to go it alone? No socialized this or that. Patient heal thyself. Doctors are going to have to do more than bill the system for the few minutes spent in his office. I actually witnessed two young doctors who exchanged stories about their achievements since graduating. How I wish I had their conversation on tape. The essence was how many patients they could get through in an hour at $20.00 each. Shameful. Would libertarians let this kind of abuse continue. The one guy (doctor) claimed he could maintain a flow of 30 patiients per hour. Not bad eh?

  2. That's what I like, William -- someone who will challenge me. Here I thought I could goof off today, but now I am going to have to write a book to cover all of your questions. Actually, let me address the entire Libertarian platform issue in another post and I'll dwell briefly here on only two issues. First, socialized medicine and secondly government pensions.

    Here are the facts as I see them: Socialized medicine does not and cannot work. Our vaunted medical system is a failure. Patients line up, six abreast and thousands deep, often for months, to get to see a specialist. Even finding a GP to investigate your ingrown toenail is almost impossible in some areas.

    Because payment is made to doctors by type of malady or complaint, not by the quality of treatment or the accuracy of diagnosis, the most incompetent doctor can earn as much as the most competent. There is no reward for 'performance.' Shoddy work, especially if you can march 'em through your medical practice at the quickest pace possible, can give you a living standard better than that of the doctor who actually cares, who takes the time to try and accomplish an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.

    Many doctors are pushers. Their immediate response to many complaints is to seize on the first reasonable diagnosis for whatever ails you and then prescribe a pill or ointment to see if it will work to solve the problem. If the treatment is ineffective, then it's on to plan 'B.'

    Let me pose a question to you? Why should you care how much a doctor earns? I would much rather pay a doctor for a full half-hour of his time, say $200 for the sake of argument, and get an accurate diagnosis than get a 'free' diagnosis from a state-subsidized doctor which is wrong and which can cost me my life -- all because he needs to see ten people per hour in order to make a reasonable living.

    Military pension? I don't know anything specifically about how military pensions are administered but because the military is part of the government and because government pensions are handled almost universally in a certain way, I presume that military pensions follow suit.

    How are government pensions funded? Well, actually there is no 'fund,' at least not in the sense that moneys are deposited regularly for investment which grows oer time to cover future obligations. Instead, whatever is due in the way of current pension obligations is paid out from current general tax revenues. There is no fund to draw from.

    As the populations greys and has greater pension requirements, pension obligations increase not only in amount but as a percentage of general tax revenues. That's the way it is done. That is also why it can't work in the long term. By 2015 or so, there will only be three or so workers for every retiree. Do the math.

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