Democracy is, by definition, always a work in progress. That’s not a knock against democracy, for every other system so far, has turned out to be worse. But it is a realistic appraisal of our system.
One of the things about the democratic system which is in drastic need of improvement is the present election cycle which rewards politicians with more terms in office for tossing unaffordable goodies at taxpayers, usually just before each election.
We keep falling for it! Is is “their” fault, or is it “our” fault?
Well, we keep re-hiring them! So, it’s our fault!
Not only that, it’s worse than that! Remember former Prime Minister Jean Chretien and his Finance Minister Paul Martin?
Weren’t those the two that took Canada from near ‘junk-bond’ status – well on-track to be in worse shape than Greece (!) is now, and within 6 years returned Canada to a zero-deficit condition AND… AND(!) with significant government debt pay-downs?
Well, yes they were.
For that stellar accomplishment Jean Chretien and then Paul Martin were booted out of office!
I say we get the governments we hire, the governments we deserve, and the governments that spend more than we can afford, because that is who we as a people are – rotten little children. And then we compound that by being profoundly ungrateful towards those who actually do something to restore our fiscal balance.
Until we grow up as a society and learn enough to know better than to hire over-spending politicians we will ever be in a state of near-economic peril.
In the meantime, I’m a big fan of balanced-budget legislation for all levels of government. Not only that, Canada’s total accumulated debt is obscene for a first-world nation with uncountable resources and a small population, we must do better than merely balancing our budgets every year, we must pay down our debt to reasonable levels.
My goodness, little Leichtenstien with next to no resources nor territory runs zero deficits and has no debt at all!! Many other well-run countries do well with tiny deficits for convenience-sake, not for the sake of crisis management and barely noticeable government debt. None of them has Canada’s advantages – for crisis’ sakes!
Wikipedia has some good but basic information on this, check Wikipedia “Economy of Sweden” “Economy of Norway” Economy of Australia” – same goes for Leichtenstien, Oman, Qatar, Argentina (yes, Argentina), South Korea and many others.
Apart from having 40% debt-to-GDP ratios, or less, and low government debt, all of the following countries are otherwise “normal” having excellent growth, low inflation and unemployment figures, they score well on the global competitiveness index and their citizens enjoy good-to-excellent living standards . They also have low per capita crime rates and fine health care systems. Two, effectively have 0% debt-to-GDP.
Finally, the best link on global debt belongs to The Economist:
For plenty of links on these topics visit my blog: