PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL SOCIALISM

Progressive liberal socialism. How is that for a mouthful? I, too, get tired of the labels that the media and that I myself use. However, I do have a duty as a free person to try and hammer home the fact that socialism continues to mutate into an acceptable and plausible route to take in the minds of Canadians and Americans.

Many of today’s North American youth, the next generation of leaders, find nothing wrong with the ever increasing reach of government into our lives and the limitless expansion that we seem okay with. If I can ramble on for a few minutes, I think I will be able to make my point.

At present, Canadians enjoy what appears to be free healthcare. It is, of course, not free, and in reality in takes up huge pieces of our paycheques. Some Americans are clamoring about going down the same road as we have, but not only do some want universal healthcare, but also prescription drugs. On the surface, universal programs sound dreamy. Who in their right mind wouldn’t want guaranteed health coverage?

Let me present that in another way. When did we become unable to take care of ourselves? Also, with no high health care bills to pay as a result of our slothful lifestyles, (consider North American obesity rates and our low level of physical activity), there is absolutely no incentive to take care of our own body. Of course some do, but many do not.

Imagine for a moment that you had no car bills. Wouldn’t that be great? You could drive the snot out of your car. “Who cares if the engine goes? Who cares if the tires are low and wear quicker? Who cares about changing the oil? I don’t have to pay for the repairs.” We have the exact same mindset about our health.

In Canada, there is a monumental battle taking place over the issue of childcare. There is really no crisis occurring as some would have you believe. There is a huge demand for childcare spaces, but this is a new phenomenon. As today’s parents opt to have ‘their own life’ and attempt to have their cake and eat it too, the demand for too few childcare spaces is driving up the price and causing some parents to not be able to find suitable care for their young one’s. I say there is no crisis because they are still able to watch their own children, but simply don’t want to.

For the sake of this story, I suppose that I should veer away from that argument and try to stay on topic. The current debate that is raging in our country is whether or not our children need an institutionalized, national, taxpayer-funded childcare system. The arguments for it state that no child should be without quality care, and parents who wish to be productive need help to cover the costs. The thought is that if everyone pays into it, then no one is suffering under the cost of it.

This is a falsehood. While universality (read: forced and compulsory), does sound wonderful, it causes quality to decline and waste and abuse to escalate. It stifles the need for invention and innovation, and in the entire history of civilization, there aren’t enough examples of successful socialism to talk about.

Socialism, of course, is defined as a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state. While universality is not complete socialist, the foundations of it are very close to communism. That is, everyone puts what they have into the pot so that all can share it. There goes any incentive for efficiency or hard work.

While so many argue that universal healthcare is a wonderful program, and that universal childcare would be just great, I have to question the logic. As well, if these two programs are so benign and seemingly helpful, why stop there? Read the following statements with an open mind. I am not trying to go off on the extreme, but am merely going to apply the same rationale to other areas of our lives.

Let’s start with food. Why not allow the government to dictate what we will have for supper. We can all feel exultant knowing that nobody in our country will be going hungry. We can start a universal food market. Everything can be free, and one can simply go to the store and get whatever you need. Think about it. No more hunger, and everyone would be able to eat well. That would lower the cost of our healthcare (in theory) as more people could eat a healthy meal. Our taxes would increase, but so what. A few billion here, a few billion there.

Universal internet access. Instead of having high speed and snail speed, why not make internet access part of the Charter of Rights? Every one could have the same speed, (slow), and everyone would be equal. After all, don’t poor children have to do their homework, too?

How about universal clothing. The government could tell us where to shop, and could allot us all a wardrobe each and every year. No one would have to suffer the excruciating pain of not fitting in with the crowd at school, and we would all but eliminate those nasty running shoe snatchings. As well, the government could ensure that all of our clothing was made in an environmentally sensitive way.

Then, of course, there is universal housing. Let’s just close down the real estate market, depriving those greedy land speculators all of that easy money that they make by driving up the price of our homes. As an added bonus, the government could mandate that everyone receives the same size home and the same size driveway. We would all have equal land size and most likely a communal yard. Think of how we could increase the residential densities, saving valuable bush land for the squirrels and Japanese dung beetle. There would be no more ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’. This would result in a reduction in stress.

Also, people could be made to live near their place of employment, putting an end to traffic congestion. What a paradise. (It used to be called the U.S.S.R.)

Some of you may think I am being sarcastic, but I am being dead serious. I believe that we have a wonderful country, and that we enjoy immense freedoms. I only worry that we are allowing them to be compressed; pushed back.

The changes that we are not only allowing but requesting are going in the opposite direction of liberty, and we must never surrender our birthright, not for free childcare, and not for free healthcare.We have, of course, succumbed to the latter temptation, but that must be as far as we allow this culture of laziness and lack of self responsibility to go.

For those of us near or over 40, we can still see the difference between the freedoms that we once enjoyed and the one’s that we are willing to give up. Our children won’t be able to see the difference at all, making a further societal slide towards socialism that much easier.

We must, as free people, stop demanding that our elected representatives do everything for us. If we don’t, then we will simply cease being free. It sounds so melodramatic, doesn’t it? The simple truth is that the theory is historically proven.