Back when I was young and naive, I believed the Marxist notion that capitalism was evil and that the government was fair. It seemed to make sense that some profit-oriented rich person would only care about making money while oppressing the workers. I was taught by three socialist teachers in high school that Keynesian economics was a much fairer system as it would supply people’s needs and tax the greedy.
It’s obvious to me now that those men misled me with their enticing philosophy. Looking dispassionately at the results of socialism and free market capitalism, I plainly see that the former stultifies economic growth while the latter amplifies it. Furthermore, top-down government control is inefficient. Bureaucrats thousands of miles away have no understanding or empathy for local situations.
One recent example of governmental mismanagement was the amalgamation of Alberta’s nine regional health boards into one “superboard.” This resulted in millions of dollars wasted and massive confusion. Furthermore, bureaucrats in Edmonton thought they could plan for local conditions better than the people who lived hundreds of miles away from the capital.
A dramatic example of this was the meal-planning SNAFU in hospice facilities across the province. Before the boards were collectivized, local people cooked appetizing and nutritious meals for their residents. The word came down from on high that meals would be pre-packaged and sent out to the various facilities. These were bland and unappetizing. Additionally, senior-unfriendly foods like tacos were included in the packages. You can imagine how difficult eating one would be if your hands were arthritic.
Thanks to public pressure stirred up by the Wildrose Party, local cooks are again providing delicious meals to their charges. The Wildrose Party is also pressuring the government to give better care to seniors, including common sense ideas like home care and adaptive aids.
Local charities are likewise better equipped to care for their needy neighbours. A bureaucrat in an air-conditioned office can’t relate to an elderly pensioner living in an over-heated apartment in summer. Likewise, distant government employees aren’t face to face with those people who need help as local charity workers are. These entities are also dependent on the good will of their donors, causing them to be cautious about mismanagement of funds. Governments, on the other hand, mismanage money all the time and people have grown used to that sort of criminality.
In my own case, I’ve been helped by local charities and friends while having been harassed in 2003 by my pension case worker. I wrote about how it happened in How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Please check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.