It’s a common site at the border between Canada and America. Canadians stream south daily to buy goods from U. S. stores. From what I’ve heard from friends who do the cross-border-shopping thing, it’s been going on for decades. Why is this so? In a word, price.
A study from the prestigious C. D. Howe Institute says that government-imposed tariffs and supply management policies are mostly to blame for the price disparity between Canada and America. Between 2004 and 2007, the institute found the price gaps widened significantly on chicken, eggs, and dairy products. Other commodities governed by the supply management bureaucrats also account for the higher Canadian prices, some even before the merchandise reached retailers.
In an ironic twist of fate, the Canadian government’s Competition Bureau had been looking into the high prices charged by retailers in this country. This proves my con tension that socialist interference with the free market only causes trouble. Furthermore, it oppresses the poor and drives demands for pay raises which many small companies can’t afford. Capitalist gouging by “one percenters” is largely a myth invented by socialists to create discontentment with free enterprise in the hearts of their followers.
This C. D. Howe Institute study also shows me that free market capitalism is far better for consumers than bureaucrat-driven commodity control. These civil servants make good money but they don’t seem to live in the real world. As I witnessed during my fourteen years in the federal government, taxpayers are treated as an inexhaustible wallet from which managers may pluck out as much cash as they could get away with for their schemes. I never agreed with this philosophy and I paid for my principles with continual conflict with employees.
Though Amway turned out to be a multi-level scheme, many of the lessons I learned about entrepreneurial initiative still ring true. Competition lowers prices and improves service. Monopolies, particularly governmental ones, increase prices and decrease service. Anybody who has clashed with bureaucrats at any government office front desk understand what I’m saying.
Another activity I’ve been involved with has taught me lessons of the free market, namely writing three memoirs and self-publishing them. My first book called When a Man Loves a Rabbit: Learning and Living With Bunnies sold well for a debut paperback. This was because I knew my readership and where to reach them. On the other hand, Deliverance from Jericho: Six Years in a Blind School bombed. I didn’t realize that sighted people couldn’t relate to my experience and most blind folks are too poor to buy it. These memoirs are featured on my Bruce Atchison’s Books page.
How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity is my latest paperback and e-book. You can find both versions on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers. Not a single dime of government grant money went into publishing these memoirs, a fact I feel proud of. Nobody had to pay to subsidize my creative work or my failure to learn economic lessons.