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What? Me Worry About Debt?

Updated: Jun 26, 2023

Our finance minister isn’t concerned about her unpayable debts, yet her priority is things that she can do nothing about. See the spiritual analogy in this week’s edition of “Isn’t That Ironic?”.

If you were to make a list of the most important roles of the federal government, what would be on that list? I’m sure you would get it mostly correct. External defense, internal justice, managing the federal purse, etc. But what has our new finance minister just said is the government’s number one priority?

“The single most important economic policy of our government and the best thing we can do for our economy is to keep coronavirus under control.”

Chrystia Freeland, September 16, 2020

As quoted in the National Post

Yes, I more aware than I care to be that the entire news cycle and public discourse for the past six months has been totally monopolized by this virus. It is a flu virus that has been around for over a year (yes, check the real data if you don’t believe me), has infected about 1% of Canadians, has minor symptoms or no symptoms in about 80% of people, has killed about the usual number of old and immuno-comprised people as a typical flu, can be managed by doctors, and yet has been hyped into an incredible panic by a massive international fear and misinformation campaign.

I could have titled this post “Things Are Not What They Seem”, but I have already used that title. You have to be both blind and a fool to think that dealing with a nearly-normal flu is in any way a national economic policy. You have to suffer from these same handicaps to think that there is anything the federal government can possibly do to “control” a virus that has already spread all over the country and the world. Individuals can take steps to protect themselves and to strengthen their own immune systems, but there is nothing any government can do to control the virus. It does not pay taxes, nor does it follow any federal laws, and it certainly doesn’t care about political correctness.

But our finance minister goes on in self-congratulatory foolishness…

“Let me assure Canadians that we understand the value of wise and prudent fiscal management and that is a policy our government will continue.”

This government will post a $350 billion deficit this year, up from $25 billion last year. Total debt will hit about a trillion dollars. That’s $500,000 for every taxpayer. It’s more than a second mortgage and most Canadians are having trouble paying the first mortgage. This debt will never be paid back. It’s not possible. Not with money, anyway.

This is from the same government that thinks it can control fake news! They are the greatest purveyor of fake news! It can’t get more ironic than that. They wouldn’t recognize “wise and prudent fiscal management” if it sat up in their breakfast cereal and said, “Good morning” to them.

Our government is so big (about 50% of GDP this year and twice as big as is economically optimal) that it is a drag on the economy. It’s wisest and most prudent economic policy would be to quit doing about half the things it is already doing—not adding to them by trying to corral an invisible virus and "control" it as if it were an errant calf at branding time. Two economists from the Fraser Institute recently published an article about this.

“However, going beyond optimal levels (26% to 30% of the economy) usually entails government becoming active in areas where its efforts are counterproductive to growth. For instance, governments increasingly focus on redistributing income from certain groups to others, rather than incentivizing economic growth, and many begin favouring certain industries and sectors of the economy through corporate welfare and protectionism, all of which slow economic growth.”

Alex Whalen and Steve Globerman,

OPINION: Government is just getting bigger in Canada

Postmedia Network, Sep 15, 2020

In short, our government is so far from wise and prudent fiscal management” that it has no idea what those words even mean, and it has no meaningful economic policy at all.

So, what’s the spiritual analogy?

In the same way that the government is worrying about things that aren’t important and it has no control over anyway, we simple humans worry almost exclusively about our material welfare, which isn’t really very important. Also, in the same way that our government has forgotten to take care of what’s really important, we give little thought to our spiritual welfare.

Our minds are focused on what is non-essential, what we often cannot even do much about. While that which is most important, over which we have the most control, and what is our primary purpose, we neglect.

“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God…” That is to say, we are here for spiritual growth. Concern yourself with that, and the material necessities of life will fall into place. That’s getting our priorities right.

God Bless You!

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