Jul 222010

Queen's ParkA proper government is one whose sole reason for existence is the protection of man’s individual rights.  The protection of a man’s right to his life, his liberty, his property, and his pursuit of happiness to name a few.

A proper government is one whose goal is to eliminate the initiation of force in society.  It is able to do this if it acts as our agent for our own right to self-defense.  A proper government therefore would be the only institution that holds the exclusive power to use force (as a consequence of our individual right to self-defense).

To quote Ayn Rand — “A government is the means of placing the retaliatory use of physical force under objective control —i.e., under objectively defined laws.”

What would such a government look like today?  To think about what it would look like we might take a look at our own Provincial government and then start peeling away all of the non-essentials, all of the areas our current government  that are not proper functions for the only institution permitted to use force in society.  The same exercise could be performed on the federal government.

Here is a quick list of some of the items in Ontario’s 2010 budget that would not appear if Ontario had a proper government whose only role was the protection of our individual rights:

  • Health care – It wouldn’t be difficult to eliminate this expense considering that health care provision and administration is only a recent misuse of government power.  State control of health care only came about in my life time.  In Ontario it was in 1967.  Cost $44 billion.
  • Education – Education used to be privately provided by employers to their employees and their families.  But around the turn of the twentieth century the government took it over because they saw too many American influences in the curriculum.  Only later on did they deem this service to be a role of government. A proper government would not provide money for the building of schools, the salary of teachers, student loans, or the purchase of text books.  Cost $20 billion.
  • Government involvement in the economy – A proper government would be completely separated from the economy.  No subsidies to individuals, no subsidies to corporations or business, no setting of interest rates via a central bank, no wealth redistribution of any kind.  A proper government would be a referee in the economy, not a player.

To continue the list:

  • Aboriginal Affairs
  • Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs,
  • Community and Social Services
  • Consumer Services,
  • Economic Development and Trade,
  • Energy,
  • Environment,
  • Office of Francophone Affairs,
  • Health and Long Term Care,
  • Health Promotion
  • Labour
  • Housing
  • Natural Resources
  • Northern Development, Mines and Forestry,
  • Research and Innovation
  • Tourism and Culture,
  • Training, Colleges and Universities
  • Transportation
  • Liquor Control Board of Ontario
  • Human Rights Commission

Here are some of the items which would remain in the budget

  • Community Safety and Correctional Services – Cost $2.3 billion
  • Office of the Lieutenant Governor – Cost $1.3 million
  • Ministry of the Attorney General – Cost $1.5 billion
  • Citizenship and Immigration – Cost $112 million
  • Office of the Premier – Cost $2.8 million

As well as a few other items such as a much scaled back Ministry of Revenue, a smaller Ministry of infrastructure etc.

Total cost of a proper Ontario government would probably not exceed $5 Billion.

The 2010 operating expense of the Ontario government is over $105 Billion, or 21 times the expense of a proper government.

Currently the government gets its revenue in the following way:

Revenue ($ billions)
Taxation Revenue 71.6
Personal Income Tax 25.9
Sales Tax 19.1
Corporations Tax 7.4
Education Property Tax 5.3
Ontario Health Premium 2.9
All Other Taxes 10.9
Government of Canada 23.7
Income from Government Business Enterprises 4.2
Other Non-Tax Revenue 7.4
Total Revenue 106.9

While all taxation, by definition, requires the initiation of force and is therefore immoral, of all of these forms of taxation the only one with any legitimacy as a means to fund a proper government would be sales tax.  In a free society there is only one thing that we owe each other and that is JUSTICE.  That being so if everyone were to pay for the service they uniformly receive from the government in order to see that everyone benefits from a just government without discrimination or favoritism a sales tax would fit that bill.

A sales tax is also appropriate because it is directly tied to the social activity of trade, of entering into contracts with each other with the government acting as referee and not a participant.  The purpose of government is to ensure an environment where individuals can trade with each other with a degree of trust and with the knowledge that such trade is protected by law, where one party in a dispute can go to the government for redress because he has paid for that service via his sales tax during the transaction.

The Provincial portion of the HST (8%) is estimated to take in $19.1 billion in 2010.  Four times what a proper government would require from this single tax alone.  If we cut the Provincial portion of the HST from 8% to 2% we could fund all the needs of a proper government and would then, as individuals, have $100 Billion dollars to spend between us each year on many of those things the government provided at hyper-inflated prices.

Except for direct fees for discretionary services or voluntary contributions to government a sales tax would be the only moral way to fund it. The most immoral way is income tax which, through its progressive nature, penalizes people for participating in society and being productive.  An income tax is even more intrusive into our lives than the long-form census.  Consider all of the receipts for personal claimable expenses we submit which the government records and then keeps on file.  Don’t forget to submit your birth control pill receipts under medical expenses, and that anti-itch powder your doctor prescribed, or the soccer school fees for your kids.

The list of personal activities the government is privy to due to income tax is extremely invasive.  Besides that, the government knows where you work, what you make, what you spend your money on, your personal medical history, your education history, and what you spent to renovate your home last year.  All of this information is in the hands of the government.  None of this information should be in the hands of a proper government.

(Originally aired on Just Right show #161 July 22nd, 2010. To download the show visit //www.justrightmedia.org)

Jul 012010

1 – The Violence

We can learn a lot from the recent G8 and the G20 meetings in Muskoka and Toronto.  Not only did we see the violence we come to expect from the Left but we saw an exceptional amount of violence, deceit, incompetence, and rights violations from the police and the McGuinty government.

To begin with the protesters it was interesting to see the make-up of the rabble and we had a good eyewitness account from John Thompson of the McKenzie Institute.  In an e-mail he sent to us he describes the following…

OPSEU and CUPE passed a lot of their flags out, mostly to students who don’t seem to be union members; Greenpeace hauled in a number of children, but there were aging Hippies a-plenty strewn through the march. Iranian Communists, some honest-to-god Maoists and plenty of other political fossils were shuffling along under banners of Marx and Engels.

He also described a rather disgusting disruption of the ceremonial repatriation of a fallen Afghan soldier in Toronto by OCAP – the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty.

Amongst the thousands of mal-contents were a few hundred “black-bloc”.  The black-bloc are not necessarily a single organization but a mix of like-minded fools who have taken lessons from the violence of past world meetings and employed the tactics of the most effectively violent demonstrations.  A black-bloc is a tactic for protests and marches, whereby individuals wear black clothing, scarves, ski masks, motorcycle helmets with padding or other face-concealing items and often carry some sort of shields and truncheons. The clothing is used to avoid being identified, and to, theoretically, appear as one large mass, promoting solidarity or creating the illusion of a larger group.

Make no mistake, the type of people employing black-bloc tactics are dangerous people and responsible for great property damage and person injury.  They are the reason there is a need for the massive security measures taken during these world meetings.  Such people should be dealt with very severely by the law and the courts.  If caught and convicted they should do considerable jail time.  Unfortunately that is almost never the case.

On the other side we have Dalton McGuinty and Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair.  On a request from Chief Blair McGuinty extended, in secret, the provincial Public Works Protection Act to take in part of the area inside the G-20 security barrier.  In this area police would be given the power to ask for anyone’s identity papers and to search anyone without cause or warrant.  Chief Blair either mistakenly or intentionally announced that the act applied to 5 meters outside the perimeter fence as well.  When it was discovered on Friday before the G-20 meeting that the Act only applied to inside the fence Blair told his officers but nobody else and his officers continued to violate the rights of people outside the fence.  What did McGuinty do?  Nothing. In fact he praised Chief Blair for his actions.  So it would appear that both McGuinty and Chief Blair were complicit in clear violations of people’s rights to a gross degree.

Over 1,000 people were arrested and detained at the G20, and while certainly some of those deserved to be the majority did not.  People who lived in the area were arrested while out walking their dogs, or returning home from work.  One journalist from the Guardian newspaper was beaten up by police even though he identified himself and apparently offered no resistance.  Many personal items, which were in no way a threat to peace, were confiscated by police.

Just as the black-bloc should be held to account for their actions those few over-zealous police should as well.

Currently when a police officer violates your rights it mitigates any charges against you.  I think this is not enough. When an officer of the law knowingly violates your rights, unlawfully detains you, steals your property, and beats you up they should be arrested and brought before a judge and if found guilty they should face appropriate sentencing up to and including time in prison and dismissal from the force.

As for Mr. McGuinty we can only hope the electorate holds him to account for his callous disregard for our rights.

2 – The Anarchists

One of the glaring over-sights by the media in the G20 protests was the incorrect labeling of the demonstrators as “anarchists”.  While it is true that a few like the “Southern Ontario Anarchist Resistance” think themselves as anarchists, descriptions I have found for them clearly indicate that they are not, nor are any of the other protesters. Some call themselves anarcho-communists which means Communist  and while it was the ideological intention of the Communists to have a stateless and classless society they tried to achieve this bizarre goal by creating the biggest, most brutal, and deadly state of all, the Soviet Union.

Anarchy comes from the Greek and means “without ruler”.  Taken to its conclusion it means no state, no authority, lawless.  None of the groups that were identified as taking part in the G20 protests could be described as that.

We have the various unions including OPSEU and CUPE.  The unions advocate a socialist state.  They are anti-capitalist.  Many prefer the mixed-economy of constrained capitalism which in actuality is socialism and in particular, fascism.  They advocate the confiscation of property and the redistribution of wealth by, guess what… the state.  They are not anarchists.  They use the courts and the state’s institutions daily in their efforts to control their employers and to take more from those who earn it and give it to those who don’t.

Members or supporters of Greenpeace and other environmental movements were demonstrating.  Their goal is not anarchy but the use of power of the state over business, capitalism and the regulation of individual behavior.  You cannot achieve these goals without authority, power, police and a state.

The various other brands of Maoists, Communists and Socialists demonstrating are far from anarchists; in fact a powerful, authoritative state is essential for their causes.  They need jack-booted thugs to impose their will on us and while they may be against the police and the courts today they are for the police and the courts when it comes time to enforce their laws and regulations on us.

The anti-poverty groups and anti-homeless groups are advocating robbing Peter to pay Paul.  Once again… socialists.

So why would QMI, The Globe and Mail and even the National Post incorrectly label the protesters as anarchists?  It is because to correctly label them would mean that they would have to try and explain how the goals of the protesters are the same goals of Dalton McGuinty, Jack Layton, Sid Ryan, Stephen Harper, Barack Obama, David Suzuki and a host of millions like them.   It is pure irony that the protesters are protesting the same leaders who are actually implementing their anti-capitalist agenda.

I scanned and read hundreds of news articles on the G20 protests and could not come up with a single one which correctly identified the protesters as left-wing, socialist, or even radical left.  This is by design.  If the skin-head neo-Nazis protest they are labeled as right wing, when in fact Nazi’s are socialists too.  Do we so soon forget what makes up the word NAZI?  National Socialism!

It is always the Left which is protesting.  It is always the Socialists who are violent.  It is always the Anti-Capitalists who break the store-front windows and loot and burn.

How often do we see the thousands of suit and tie business men and women team out of their office towers on Bay street take to the street with balaclavas on their faces and beat people up with bats and smash their favorite Starbucks windows?   Never.  How often do we see shop owners and small businessmen who employ more people in this country than any other sector take to the street in violence to denounce the banks and oil companies?  Never.  Because these people know that the institutions of this country are essential to creating wealth and prosperity and employment.

It is only the Left, the Socialists, and the Anti-Capitalists who are causing the grief we see at these meetings.  And the sooner we identify the root cause of the trouble the quicker we can deal with it.

3 – The Cost

I mentioned before that it was ironic that the left wing protestors are protesting the very leaders and institutions responsible for implementing their anti-capitalist agendas.  Let’s look at some of the conclusions of the G8 and G20 to see this in action.

Regarding wealth redistribution and foreign aid; At the conclusion of the G8 Summit Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that, the total Canadian contribution for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health foreign aid will be $2.85 billion over five years.

For the environmentalists….Harper said

Among environmental issues, climate change remains top of mind.  We recognize the scientific view that the increase in global temperature should not exceed 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.  Achieving this goal requires deep cuts in global emissions.

We strongly support the negotiations underway within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.  We reiterate our support for Copenhagen.

With regards to the economy the socialists should be thrilled that Keynesian economics is alive and well and impoverishing us all.

An article in the Globe and Mail of yesterday by Report on Business Columnists and one-time Libertarian Party of Canada Leader Neil Reynolds correctly points out that not one of the G20 leaders is a free-marketer.  They all subscribe to the Keynesian delusion that governments can invest money more efficiently and more productively than people can.

None of the G20 countries has pledged to end deficits.  None has pledged to reduce its national debt.  All will rely mostly on economic growth and tax increases to do the lifting, however limited, that the Toronto Consensus proposes.

Even though Keynes himself, only weeks before his death, refuted his theories and longed for the invisible hand of Adam Smith to save Britain we still see the world’s nations clinging to the socialist ideal of government involvement in the economy.  A true Capitalist would advocate the complete separation of the economy and the State and would see the G20 summit as a yet another attempt by the socialist elite to redistribute wealth and thereby impoverish the world.

Rather than protesting the G20 every single one of those left wing, socialist, anti-capitalist protesters should have gone to the summit and cheered on their beloved leaders and encourage them to continue their march to the left.

(Originally aired on Just Right show #158 July 1st, 2010.  To download the show visit //www.justrightmedia.org)