Sunday, July 19, 2009

Is big government progressive?

A couple of days ago the Toronto Star ran a column by Professor Arthur Haberman who was lamenting the decline of "progressive" conservatism.

I responded with a letter to the editor, which the Star published today:

In his opinion piece, Arthur Haberman suggested bigger and more costly government is "progressive."

But if by "progressive" he means moving the country forward or bettering the condition of Canadians, he's wrong.

Big government, after all, means high taxes, burdensome regulations and bureaucrats meddling in the private sector, all of which hamper productivity, retard economic growth and undermine our standard of living.

True progress only comes when government is small and when it respects the freedom of entrepreneurs to innovate and create wealth.


Anonymous said...

"Big government" is such a vacant term. It really is a mindless conservative phrase like Harper saying "all taxes are bad". Duh, nobody likes them but gotta pay for the roads, military etc somehow.

Whether we should regulate certain industries or, for example, how big our military should be must be considered on a case by case basis.

After the banking debacle in the US, we learned that Canadian banking regulation saved us all. A common securities regulator will lead to a federal beaurcracy but all agree it is much needed.

Don't get me wrong I am not in favour of excessive government beuracracy or taxes but it is just too silly to be against "big government". Conservatives say that as a mindless pablum for voters who they think are too stupid to think for themselves.

Stop insulting our intelligence.

Anonymous said...

I agree totally with you Gerry.

Thanks for saying what I think and I would say lots of other people think the same way.

Iain G. Foulds said...

... Anonymous has a crucial point.
... "Big" or "small" government is meaningless. The line between the Right and the Left is clear and solid.
... The Right is a narrow road- the role and power of the state precisely defined and delineated.
... The Left is as broad and undefined as the sea. Who knows how much government will take from taxpayers? How much will they give, and to whom? How much will they spend, and when? Who will they restrict, who will they advantage?
... Who knows?? Our lives are at the mercy of the favours of a handful of politicians and bureaucrats.

Gordie_Canuk said...

I'd be curious to read your thoughts on the Cadillac Fairview workers who were terminated from their jobs after being locked out.

They've filed a grievance with Ontario's Labour Board, which I understand is to be dealt with on July 31st.

But then, a Labour Board is probably "big government"...and its interfering in the private sector.

And while CF was seeking to undermine the standard of living of its employees, it was seeking to improve its own standard of living or profit.

Trickle down has never worked before, the money stays at the top and greater prosperity isn't shared by all without government to ensure the almighty dollar isn't the only goal.

Charles Anthony said...

I am glad I published my article -- The Immeasurable Size of Limited Government -- before either Nicholls or Haberman published theirs.