With government in charge…

In my latest National Post column I satirize people’s ongoing faith in government’s compassionate efficiency despite all their experience with its actual performance.

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Time for Canadians to have free trade with… Canadians

Past time, actually. Long past. So I’m delighted to see that, to mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the Macdonald-Laurier Institute has just reissued the paper Citizen of One, Citizen of the Whole that Brian Lee Crowley, Bob Knox and I wrote back in 2010.

Perhaps it is the mark of an unredeemable nebbish to be proud of a paper on such a topic as free internal trade. But with governments including our federal one struggling with difficult policy choices to increase economic growth, it continues to amaze me that this juicy low-hanging fruit has gone unpicked.

In the paper, to which Brian has added a new introduction, we argue that it is not just economically sensible for the federal government to fulfill our Founders’ vision by using their clear Constitutional authority to strike down petty protectionist interprovincial trade barriers. It is also a moral obligation.

What a great way to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

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Tax and spend, never mend

In my latest National Post column I lament the latest New Brunswick budget continuing down the boringly disastrous path of deficits today for affordable free money the day after tomorrow… or after the next election… or never.

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Fool us constantly, shame on us…

In my latest National Post column, I argue that if the Liberals were foolish to promise painless, universally popular electoral reform, we were also foolish to believe them that this and other problems were easy to solve just by wishing them away.

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Wish I’d said that – January 5, 2017

“There are few words which are used more loosely than the word ‘Civilization.’ What does it mean? It means a society based upon the opinion of civilians. It means that violence, the rule of warriors and despotic chiefs, the conditions of camps and warfare, of riot and tyranny, give place to parliaments where laws are made, and independent courts of justice in which over long periods those laws are maintained. That is Civilization— and in its soil grow continually freedom, comfort, and culture. When Civilization reigns, in any country, a wider and less harassed life is afforded to the masses of the people. The traditions of the past are cherished, and the inheritance bequeathed to us by former wise or valiant men becomes a rich estate to be enjoyed and used by all.”

Winston Churchill in 1938, quoted in Daniel Hannan Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World

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Wish I’d said that – January 4, 2017

“You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the industrious out of it. You don’t multiply wealth by dividing it. Government cannot give anything to anybody that it doesn’t first take from somebody else. Whenever somebody receives something without working for it, somebody else has to work for it without receiving. The worst thing that can happen to a nation is for half of the people to get the idea they don’t have to work because somebody else will work for them, and the other half to get the idea that it does no good to work because they don’t get to enjoy the fruit of their labor.”

Adrian Pierce Rogers in his 1996 Ten Secrets for a Successful Family (frequently misattributed online, incidentally)

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Here comes 2017 – again?

In my latest National Post column I argue that while history doesn’t repeat, its lessons do… especially for those not paying attention.

(Due to an editing mishap, at the end of the 3rd paragraph, between the sentence ending “great and small.” and the one beginning “Regrettably, as with…”, the sentence “But I am sure we’re not going to fight World War One again.” was omitted.)

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Update, thanks and Merry Christmas to our documentary backers

Wrapping up 2016 and looking forward to 2017, a word of thanks to all those who made our documentary work possible in the past year.

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Gosh, the public sector’s taking a big slice of cake?

In my National Post column that appeared in print today, I draw on a new Fraser Institute study to underline that unless we put firm restraints on it, government will indulge its ever-growing appetite including for pay and perks far larger than those left to us in the private sector.

For more on how to restrain government, see our documentary True, Strong and Free on fixing Canada’s Constitution.

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