More inequality and more individuality (a type of diversity not based on race or culture) leads to greater prosperity.
It is has lately become fashionable to talk about economic inequality as though it were the cause of great problems in our society. In reality, we would benefit from increased inequality, particularly in our education system.
The campaign against inequality is one of the latest strategies of socialist economists and intellectuals to try to advance the core concept underlying socialism: material equality – the same outcome for everyone – which basically means the same income for everyone.
The problem with this is obvious to any student of economics: differences in income are essential to motivate people to enter the more difficult, and higher demand, jobs. In a similar way, differences in profits motivate entrepreneurs to shift production to areas of greater demand and away from areas of low demand.
If we eliminate income differences, we would need to assign people to jobs based on ability. Otherwise most people would want the easiest jobs, given that they would earn the same income regardless.
This is, in fact, what socialist intellectuals were aiming at. The elimination of freedom of choice and the imposition of government control over production and consumption. Best of all, in their fantasies, intellectuals and economists would run it all through a massive bureaucracy. You, the ordinary person, in this world view, are too dumb to care – or to decide – what you want.
The failure of forced equality can be seen most clearly where it has been most successfully implemented: in public schools. The adoption of free and mandatory public education happened at the same time as the great rise in socialist thinking in the Victorian era.
In the minds of the socialists, public education was just a first step. The central planning of all other aspects of our society would come later.
The problem is that central planning is a failure, it eliminates motivation and it suppresses freedom and creativity.
Fortunately, socialism was never more widely adopted, but it still manages to harm our children in the public education system.
To have economic and social development, a society must strengthen all its people, but particularly it’s most capable people. The most capable people will then start businesses, create jobs, work for the government, and make the economy and the country advance.
Welfare will not help a society become more prosperous. It is when a society becomes more prosperous that it can afford welfare.
It is harmful to the prosperity of a society to keep the most capable people down. By giving everyone the same education, you put a limit on the top end that any individual can achieve.
When people have individual choice, they can reach their own level. And the most capable people will be able to reach a higher level than they do in public school.
Even for the least capable people, public school is a problem. They are not able to keep up with the standardized pace, leading to failure and frustration.
For young men, the negative impact to social status and self-respect caused by this failure makes them drop out and find other ways to build themselves up – out on the street.
Minimum wage laws, and minimum employment age laws, compound the problem because they prohibit productive alternatives. The result is that these young men join street gangs and get involved in crime and violence – resulting in personal and societal self-destruction.
Uniformity of curriculum is also harmful. Rather than graduating with an education adapted to your own interests and abilities, everyone ends up with very nearly the same knowledge. The only difference being your test scores which almost solely determine eligibility for college or university.
Anyone entering the job market directly after public school has almost nothing to distinguish themselves from their peers.
Minimum wage laws make it difficult to get a first job without work experience. This is good for the education industry – you are forced to take additional training. But formal education, for many people, is an inferior alternative to actual paid work. And it is often inaccessible to those who cannot afford to pay the school fees and who cannot afford the time, when what they really need is work.
In his book “The Beautiful Tree: A Personal Journey Into How the World's Poorest People are Educating Themselves,” James Tooley shows that prior to the introduction of free and mandatory education by the government of England, most children already went to school. They went to low-cost private schools.
This contrasts with our general perception today that the government has been responsible for improving access to education. James Tooley shows that, in underdeveloped countries today where governments are only able to send part of the population to government run schools, low-cost private schools thrive and provide better education at lower cost than their public-school alternatives.
In developed countries like Canada, with the introduction of free public schools, the market for low-cost private schools has been eliminated. Only top end private schools survive.
The children of wealthy parents are not affected by public schools. They send their children to private schools. It is the middle-class and poor who are left to send their children to public schools. Public schools have made us poorer and have kept people in the middle-class from advancing as much as we otherwise could.
When the market is left alone to provide education, consumers will select the best education most adapted to their needs. Individual outcomes are better, and since our economy and society is the collection of its individuals, our society is better – more prosperous, more creative, and more free.
We send our children to public school because it is free and because it is convenient – but we still have a choice. One option is to organize volunteer-run community schools where parents, and other adults, supervise children and run the school together. Children are helped to choose subjects and methods of learning adapted to their own abilities and interests, to maximize their full creativity and potential.
Public schools keep poor and middle-class people poorer and more powerless compared to where we could be if our children got an education more adapted to their ability, interests and needs. There are alternatives, it's our choice.
I decided to drive into town on Sunday, just feeling like that is what I should do. I took a different route than normal, and along the way I picked up a hitchhiker. I don’t always pick up hitchhikers but, in this case, I was glad I did. Greg’s motorcycle had broken down and it turns out he was a friend of a friend.
On the way into town a small chihuahua puppy came running out into the road right in front of us, seeming intent on getting itself killed. I honked to try to scare the dog and notify the drivers coming up behind me and I pulled off the road.
By the time I got out of the car, the cars in both lanes had stopped and the chihuahua was standing defiantly in front of a white pickup truck. The driver had gotten out and was trying to capture the dog while it barked and snarled at her. I circled around behind and scooped him up.
Greg and I then went on a search for the owner in a nearby marina. Greg called out and someone came out from one of the boats and offered to take the dog, Chico, and reunite it with it’s owner.
As we were walking away, Greg said, “Man, that feels good!”
It reminded me of what Darik Horn had said in my interview with him: it feels good to do good things and make good things happen.
Greg said that good luck comes in threes, so I should expect something else to happen that day.
Nothing notable had happened until, as I was leaving town, I made one last spontaneous decision to go down to the lake. The water was calm and beautiful at sunset.
When I arrived, I saw a woman pulling a heavy kayak out of the water. I offered to help lift it onto her car and she agreed. I told her, “You must be number three,” and explained to her what had happened earlier. She was grateful for the help at the end of a long day of fishing.
It’s a long road ahead, and it will not always be easy, but it feels great to be a People’s Party candidate, because now I will have the opportunity to do good things and make good things happen.
With the rise of modern populism, traditional parties just can't win.
Harvard professor Clayton Christensen created the term disruptive technology to describe his observation that companies manufacturing mainframe computers could not switch to making desktop computers, and they ended up losing their market to these lower cost computers.
The main problem was that desktop computers had a completely different market. Mainframe companies were trapped serving their existing customers.
New start-up companies don't have any existing market and so can grow to serve a completely new market. In the case of the desktop computer, the technology improved until it replaced most of the market for mainframes. The new companies became rich and the old companies went bankrupt.
We are seeing similar disruption today in politics. Because of the internet, people are more informed than ever before about politics and political issues. This has created a new market of politically active private individuals.
Until now, politics has been dominated by special interest groups and big businesses. They have supported political parties, and influenced the media in favor of these parties, in exchange for special benefits and privileges which help them make money.
The most striking current example of this is the support of all the traditional federal parties for Supply Management. The dairy lobby even helped Andrew Scheer win the Conservative leadership, when Maxime Bernier, who is opposed to Supply Management, would have won otherwise.
The loss of the Conservative leadership was a blessing in disguise for Maxime Bernier. He was able to start a new party, the People's Party of Canada, unencumbered by the special interest ties of the traditional parties.
Special interest groups are the market for the old parties, and deep ties to this market make it difficult, or impossible, to shift to the new market of the newly active and informed public. Instead we see the old parties doubling down on their crony capitalist corruption, which will only lead to their downfall.
The People's Party is like the desktop computer and the established parties are like the mainframe. It's only a matter of time until the People's Party wins.
(image source, logo added)
Here are the People's Party policies that will help you keep more of your money, earn more money, and preserve and increase the value of your money.
Lowering Government Spending Resulting in Lower Taxes
The People’s Party will eliminate corporate welfare, CBC funding, and foreign development aid. This will save billions of dollars each year, allowing taxes to be reduced to 0% on the first $15,000 of income, 15% on income between $15,000 and $100,000, and 25% on income higher than $100,000.
Reducing Unemployment Through Job Creation in the Private Sector
Eliminating the capital gains tax, and reducing the business tax to 10%, will increase private investment and create jobs. When other political parties talk about creating jobs, they are talking about spending more taxpayer money, increasing taxes now or in the future.
Maintaining the Value of Your Income Through Zero Inflation
Current government policy is to have 2% inflation per year. Maxime Bernier will reduce this to 0% inflation per year so the value of what you earn will never decrease.
Increasing the Value of Your Income Through Increased Productivity
Under the current government, labour productivity has not increased in the past 2 years. By eliminating the carbon tax and approving pipeline construction, the PPC will reduce business costs and increase productivity, resulting in greater purchasing power for all Canadians.
Reducing Consumer Costs
Supply Management in the dairy and poultry industry costs Canadian families $300 to $400 per year. The People’s Party will eliminate Supply Management, resulting in lower costs for dairy, chicken and eggs. The PPC will also open competition in the airline and cell phone industry, resulting in lower cost flights and lower cost cell phone plans.
The other parties will not do any of this because they are working for special interest groups, only the People’s Party is working in the exclusive interest of all Canadians.
The People’s Party policy on limiting immigration is the best policy for the prosperity and well-being of Canadians. It will also benefit underdeveloped countries.
An Incentive to Adopt Modern Values
The vetting of potential immigrants and refugees for modern values and social norms will be an incentive for people in underdeveloped countries to adopt these values and social norms before applying to come to Canada.
Every underdeveloped country has people who share the same modern values that we have in developed countries. These countries also have large parts of their populations that follow primitive traditional values that are incompatible with modern prosperity and well-being.
When we make it known that, to come to Canada, you must share modern values, it will become an incentive for people in underdeveloped countries to adopt these values and social norms. As more people adopt modern values, prosperity will increase and their own countries will become increasingly developed. Incentives to migrate will decline over time.
The Ability and Motivation to Make Life Better
Reduction in the total number of immigrants coming to Canada will also benefit these countries. There has been a “brain drain” of the most motivated and competent people from underdeveloped countries to developed countries. By slowing down this process, these countries will keep more of their most capable people, who will then help to improve their own countries.
With more limited opportunity to migrate, people will also have a greater incentive to fix the problems of their own countries, making them a more desirable place to live and decreasing the incentive to leave.
The End of Harmful Incentives
Finally, our current lack of proper control over immigration contributes to incentives for illegal border crossing at the American southern border, which is where overland migrants must cross to eventually reach Canada. Illegal border crossing causes the accidental death of people attempting to cross dangerous deserts, rivers and oceans. It also forces migrants into the hands of people who swindle, rob, rape and murder in the criminal underworld of people smugglers.
By closing our border to illegal migration and only accepting immigrants and refugees though formal processes after proper vetting, we can ensure that they come to Canada legally and safely. Creating incentives for dangerous illegal migration goes against the respect for human rights and human life that are among Canada’s most cherished values.
I have written previously about the PPC policy to eliminate foreign development aid and how it will benefit underdeveloped counties by creating incentives for reform while no longer subsidizing failure and corruption.
The new People’s Party policy on immigration will also be beneficial to underdeveloped countries by helping them along the path to become better places to live. While here in Canada, better control over immigration will improve the safety of our communities and the prosperity and well-being of all Canadians.
Read Maxime Bernier's speech on Immigration and Multiculturalism.
Header image by: Ninaras