There is no honour
greater than the Earth is Flat Award...
posted January 1997
Lest our American friends think only Bill Clinton can wage class war
and believe that only government can save humanity, a Canadian has stepped
up to show that members of our government too can engage in it.
Fittingly, on Friday, December 13, Finance Minister Paul Martin addressed
the national press gallery. During his address, Martin made several comments
that raised my ire.
Martin in essence stated that a war is being waged between the goals of
financial interests and the needs of society, and that governments had
to act on behalf of society. Martin believes that Canadians want an activist
government to counter the negative aspects of the free market.
Tax cuts proposed by the Reform Party and the Progressive Conservatives,
Martin stated, would impair governments ability to help society
adjust to major economic shifts.
Now heres the best line, and a direct quotation: "Governments
have got to give themselves and their societies the capacity to adjust.
That means that governments cannot beggar themselves financially. They
cannot allow themselves to be taken over by market forces, which in fact
operate in an exact contrary direction to the needs of Main Street."
(my italics - Ed.)
Going on, Martin also stated, "They [governments] have to give themselves
the financial strength and capacity to take decisions for the longer term
good of society, not for the short-term good of the financial markets."
If the ideas expressed in those statements do not worry you, nothing will.
Martin is, in essence, arguing for as much intervention in the economy
as needed by government to promote whatever it feels it in the best interests
of this undefined concept known as society. Martin is basically
saying that sacrificing some people for the benefit of others is perfectly
permissible, as long as the federal government thinks it okay.
So what are these so-called "negative aspects of the free market?"
Martin doesnt say, but he certainly did not mind the free market
before entering public life. Is it that those of intellect succeed? Is
it that the free market rewards those of competence?
Heres some news for Finance Minister Paul Martin. Market forces
operate in the manner that a nation allows them to operate. An interventionist
government that penalizes freedom of action, such as our current federal
government, creates an atmosphere of distrust of the marketplace and capitalism.
It is government itself that is largely responsible for the fact that
some do not have access to the free market. It is the policies of this
government that makes the aims of "Main Street" and Bay Street
Heres an award created by the free market Mr. Martin. A shiny Earth
is Flat Award, and its nowhere near from Bay Street. Hope he does
not regulate this as well.