November 28, 1997 Halifax Herald

Socialism not solution to societal problems

Lifestyle engineering by socialist governments has not been a positive experience for peoples who have suffered such. When a State first imposes socialist policies, positive results occur; but almost immediately, a negative begins to set in: citizens begin to look to Big Daddy for everything. They, by default, allow the State to take over more and more of their individual responsibilities.

Eventually, the State becomes like an uncontrolled weed; it's tentacles stretch everywhere, especially into the bank accounts of it's citizens. The ultimate negative of this is that one's personal freedom to make choices is severely reduced.

The proof of the failure of irresponsible socialism lies in the fact that most of the countries, including Canada, which embraced basic humanitarian socialism during the past eight decades, and then threw restraint out the window by adding paternalistic luxury items to it, have suffered negative financial upheaval. This upheaval has caused a great deal of needless pain and suffering for the very ones that the safety net was set up to help in the first place, the underprivileged.

During the last decade, the negative effects of "Big Dadaism" have forced States which practice it to undertake drastic financial reform. Itís hard to believe that the decline of these once-healthy economies was brought on by such excesses as State-financed luxury vacations, disability pensions for those in their twenties - who claimed to be disabled because of lifestyle stress - etc. Practices such as these belong in an imaginary workersí heaven, not a responsible world.

Irresponsible implementation of paternalistic social programs by present and past world leaders has even caused economic giants to falter. For instance, France and Germany now suffer unemployment rates bordering on 14percent. Vast numbers of their citizens are barely eking out a living; poverty is spreading.

Economic reform in these countries has just begun, and achieving its goals will not be easy. When implementing measures to cure sick economies, reformers find that the hardest part of getting the job done is bringing their citizens back from dreamland to reality.

But for those who persevere, good things are in store. For instance, in those countries where reform measures have been in place for quite some time, light is showing at the end of the tunnel. The UK and Holland have, by devising and implementing strong reformist measures, brought their economies back from the brink of disaster and are now enjoy unemployment rates hovering around 5 percent, which many consider to be nil unemployment.

In Canada, where reform has been ongoing for more than four years, benefits are just beginning to appear. In Alberta, the province where reform has had the ablest champion - Premier Ralph Klien - the economy is back on its feet. In the Atlantic area, provincial economies are slowly, but surely, crawling out of financial messes. A miraculous thing about Atlantic progress is that it is being made in an area which has the dubious distinction of having the Nation's highest taxes, possibly the world's.

During the past federal election, and provincial by-elections, Nova Scotia's electors took a definite swing toward the left. This could have some very negative consequences for taxpayers.

When voting in future elections the elector, has to keep in mind that the financial problems the province has today were caused by the socialist policies of the Liberals and Conservatives. For three decades, these quasi-socialist parties vied for the dubious honour of seeing which could outdo the NDP in designing and enacting paternalistic and expensive social programs. Which Party won the competition is a toss-up; however, there is no question who the overall losers were the taxpayers - 50 percent of their personal income now goes to the State.

When asked where the funds will come from to finance the dreams they promise, Alexa McDonough and company advocate increasing the tax burden on business. Not only is this counter-productive to an effort to attract more branches of large corporations to the area, it makes it very difficult to keep existing ones. Tax increases of any sort will finish the job of killing any chances Nova Scotia has for economic development.

In attempts to create long term employment opportunities for workers, politicians have to deal with the fact that the province has stiff competition in its efforts to attract and keep employers. Other provinces, and the United States and Mexico - because of lower taxes, better and cheaper transportation etc. - offer a more attractive environment for investment. Thus, Nova Scotia needs to improve the climate for business operations, not impede it by throwing up more tax barriers.

There is a magic cure for State economic woes. What the province needs today is a healthy dose of reality in it's social programs; excessiveness only leads to more poverty. Therefore, when politicians approach you during the next campaign with offers of goodies for your vote, ask how they plan to pay for them. As we can't afford to continue to fund the excesses now in place, the answers received should be quite interesting!

Daniel N. Paul


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