We’re faced with another federal election this year and will be told why we can’t afford the things many of us need.
Our abundant resources make us one of the richest countries on earth, but somehow we can’t give all our citizens a higher standard of living, medical care that doesn’t kill by delay and can’t educate our youth without crippling them with debt. If you believe all that, then you’re doomed to re-elect the apologists for the oligarchy that really runs this corroded relic some still believe is a democracy.
Are we broke as a nation? By the usual rules of accountancy, yes. But why? Because for years our federal governments have obediently sought funding from private sources after quietly abandoning our own state bank facility in 1975. And we have massive debts and interest costs to show for it.
Rather than correct this, the core belief of federal politicians asserts that funding ourselves would lead to raging inflation, entirely dismissing the 30-plus years of using our Bank of Canada as it was intended — to finance, at minimal or zero interest rates — major projects like the Second World War, the Trans Canada Highway and the St. Lawrence Seaway. Also, dismissed by politicians is the fact that the worst inflation/interest rates Canada ever suffered occurred after the Bank of Canada ceased to fund national investments in infrastructure and programs.
Unlike capital, interest is non-productive. Money borrowed to cover deficits doesn’t sit around waiting to be used. Financing deficits involves new money not balanced by any new asset. This is pure inflation and is symptomatic of most budgets in the last 40 years.
In striking contrast, the state of North Dakota has funded itself through its own state bank for over 90 years, entirely free of interest. And then there’s Norway, where every citizen is, fiscally speaking at least, a millionaire. Why so? Because realistic royalties for their resources were demanded. Hello, Alberta.
A federal election looms and our whole monetary system and royalties fees regime need drastic revision. Challenge your candidates on these vital issues. Every time they say “We can’t afford it,” remind them of the solvent, truly sovereign states that never privatized their debt and never gave their resources away for a pittance. And if you’re young, ask why this fantastic, resource-rich country can’t educate you, debt-free, to a level where you can give back what you’ve received.
W.L.M. (Bill) WilsonQualicum Beach