Monday, May 30, 2005

Milke: BC NDP need to drop luddite economics

`Milke in today's Victoria Times Columnist says it well.

Now that New Democrats are back in the legislative game with their increased seat total, Opposition leader Carole James has an opportunity to flex her new political muscle. She should start with a clean-out of the Luddite economic concepts within her party. James might review some recent comments rom her colleagues and see if she can't help them to recover from their extreme perches.

Here's one example, from Nanaimo NDP winner Leonard Krog: "With the incredible wealth and public services we have in this country, there's no reason why people should be sleeping in the streets, or with no education. Even at my age, I'm still idealistic, I still believe we're capable of perfection."

Ah Leonard. Ever the good socialist, ever mistaking means and ends. Hands up, all who wouldn't like to see poverty eliminated? Anyone at all? Didn't think so.

For any decent person, the poverty debate is not about the desirability of ending it, just (a) whether that's entirely feasible and (b) when one realizes it's not, how to shrink it. Krog makes the classic lefty mistake of thinking that all a government need do is put enough smart people in the same room, add tax dollars, and stir. Voila. Any private problem will then be solved by public means.

But that ignores -- to stick with poverty -- its various causes. Sure, in some cases, a failure to ameliorate some poverty could arguably be attributable to some government inaction, somewhere, somehow. (I'd argue many governments around the world of the type Krog probably likes have done plenty to create poverty, but that's another column.)

But even if one takes that tack, the self-professed idealists cannot think of a poverty case that would defy a remedy no matter how much money is tossed at it. I can.

1 comment:

John Murney said...

Tas dollars certainly will not remedy homelessness, but education certainly will. Government has a role to play in education. If I have to pay taxes, they can surely go toward improving our education system. The fact is, the only true way out of poverty is through education, yeah or nay?
That is not to say there should be excessive additional spending on education every year, but instead, what public dollars are earmarked for education should be used as efficiently as possible (distance education, for example).

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