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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Monday 6 January 2014

Proof Doug Ford Doesn't Believe in the Free Market

So there are some tree removal companies offering a square deal and some who aren't.  How is this "just not right?"  

Clearly, the people who offer the better deal are going to get business; the gougers won't, and therefore will either have to adjust their fees or go out of business (or spend more on misleading advertizing promoting themselves and demonizing their competition).

It's basic free market economics - if a service has value, then more people will want to pay for it, meaning more people will offer it, leading to competition.  As we all know, competition leads to better value-for-money.  

Which, naturally, is why Conservatives are all in favour of equitable competition, transparency of information, debate, so on and so forth.

Then there's this whole "after what people have been through, it's just not right" nonsense.  Look, we're talking about big boys and girls, right?  If they did what they should have, they planned ahead, got insurance, made sure not to have mature trees on their lawn that could drop branches on their roofs, so on and so forth.  Employers played smart and had work-from-home plans in place in case of storms.  

So what if the power went out?  Folks who were prepared had generators and knew better than to buy into the whole leftist, anti-independent functioning crowd and their carbon monoxide talk.  People need to learn to live within their means, spend their money wisely and in a forward-thinking manner; reliance on the State in times of hardship is childish.  Falling victim to gougers, con-artists and their ilk is just a sign of stupidity, and we've no need for this sort of person in the first place.

Because if you're against social housing, welfare, public healthcare, market regulation, organized labour and everything that Doug Ford proudly stands against, then it applies equally to city-wide emergencies as it does to individual ones.

This is the key thing that hard-right Conservatives constantly fail to recognize; there are always people in crisis out there, just as there will always be more broadly impacting crises down the road.  In fact, the more individuals are stuck scraping by day-to-day, the less able we all are to manage big challenges like floods and epidemics.
You can't help your neighbour when you're just getting by yourself.  It also doesn't matter how wealthy you are, if a bad flu bug hits, you're just as vulnerable as the poor person.  The more poverty there is, in fact, the more vulnerable everyone is.

All the public services they stand against exist to help everyone in crisis, whatever and whenever their crisis may come.  Without them, we lack flexibility to adapt and become easier pickings to the gougers and cons.

Yes, we need to do a better job of coordinating and evaluating these services, but the answer isn't cuts but integration.  That's what Open Government, in fits and spurts, is trying to do.

It's good that Doug Ford has recognized the fallacy of the Free Market in times a time of wide-spread crisis; the question is whether he'll internalize this lesson and carry it forward.  The next time social housing, youth programming or emergency funds hit the headlines, we'll have our answer.

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