Dear Ottawa-Orleans candidates,
My name is _________, a currently undecided voter in the Ottawa-Orleans riding, and I would like to know your position on a number of issues, as listed below.
David McGruer: Please note that ALL of your concerns can be addressed easily through a fundamental philosophical exercise. By identifying man's individual nature, his need and right to reason and act freely on it to survive and his right to own the values he creates, the logical consequences of these ideas are the establishment of a free society where government is charged only with protecting those rights according to objective laws. My responses try to cut to the ideological essence of the question and deal directly with the underlying issue instead of treating all the assumptions in the questions as if they were valid or necessary.
On human rights:
1. Considering that the province of Ontario has received and continues to receive embarrassing international attention with regards to its separate school system (e.g. http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/0/b3bfc541589cc30f802568690052e5d6), especially when our troops are fighting for human rights abroad, what measures do you intend to enact to rectify the situation (e.g. introduce a unified school system, introduce a Swedish-style school voucher programme, or some other solution)?
David McGruer: Such a question can only arise in a society where government has forced students into state-run schools, "separate" or "public" and forced citizens to pay for it, and further implies that such a coercive arrangement is desirable. In a free society, individuals establish schools that offer what they believe parents want in an educational institution, parents choose among the schools offered, competition between all such institutions requires them to remain relevant and productive, and so families obtain the educational services they want, not what is dictated they must have by those in central command. I am in favour of a free education system, not meaning that others are forced to pay for it, but meaning all participants are free to choose, instead of the current one. Using more force to reduce existing choice in schools can only make things worse and validates the use of force in education.
I would like to see Ontario move towards a free system where all types of schools are permitted and all choices regarding school choice, subject matter, teacher compensation and everything else is conducted on a voluntary, mutually agreeable basis with no government interference. Our election platform only contains a hint of that since the change would be enormous and take much time for adjustments to occur.
2. Considering that there is a growing gap between rich and poor in Canada, what measures would you introduce to close the gap in an economically sustainable manner (e.g. introduce German-style co-determination legislation, increase funding for universal compulsory education, increasing funding for walking and cycling paths in our cities, or other measures)?
David McGruer: The question contains the false premise that there is something wrong about income inequality. Compared to other life forms, humans are more unique, more distinct and more unequal than any other species. It is part of our natural diversity, our strength as a species and one of our most valuable characteristics. Income inequality is only a moral issue under a system of totalitarian government based on the false moral premise that all men are equal. In all such societies, income inequality is actually higher than anywhere else because the rulers suck the population dry, leaving them in equal degrees of poverty. Good examples can be seen in socialist Russia, socialist Germany, socialist China, socialist North Korea, socialist Cuba, and the list goes on.
The fact is that income inequality in a free society is desirable as it indicates that when men are left free to work towards their goals in life, that some manage to create such tremendous value that they cannot benefit from even a fraction of it themselves, and the entire population obtains great benefit at no cost. For example, consider the billions of lives that have been improved by the creators and sellers of electricity, of oil and petroleum derivatives, of medical technologies, of communication and internet technologies. Yes, hopefully the successful ones have become wealthy from their innovation, but the largest benefit goes to the general population that pays relatively little for permanent advances in technology. How much is the inventor of a valuable new brain surgery technique paid and how does that compare to the immeasurable benefit provided permanently to the entire human race?
In a free society the right of every citizen to think, to act, to produce and to build wealth through mutually agreeable transactions is limited only by the requirement that you do not use force against others. In fact, it is the moral role of government to protect those rights. In our current society, poverty only exists to any meaningful degree because of the thousands of obstacles to employment, trade, wealth accumulation and other activities that make up a free economy. The tiny number of people who are truly unemployable could easily helped through voluntary charities.
On balancing the budget:
3. What kind of tax reforms do you have in mind that could raise revenue while discouraging consumption of government resources at the same time (e.g. resources taxes, which could discourage unnecessary road use and encourage investment in solar panels and such, thus clearing traffic and reducing the need to build more motorways and building more power plants, or some other strategy)?
David McGruer: In a free economy there is no such thing as government resources since resources are properly private property. I am against any scheme which raises government revenues by use force or threat of force, which is almost all the current government revenue. Resources are unlimited by the law of conservation of matter and resource use is only limited my human ingenuity. The entire petroleum industry did not exist 200 years ago. Oil in the ground was considered to be a smelly, gooey nuisance to farmers. Human ingenuity converted such goo into the most valuable resource we currently have and has enabled the rise of industrial society, vast scientific discoveries, doubled the lifespan of humans and greatly increased their quality of life too. Solar panels are currently very uneconomical because the technology is too primitive and plenty of more economical alternatives exist. When and if alternatives become more expensive and/or scientists discover more efficient solar panel technologies, a change in energy production will naturally occur, with no government interference at all. Interference can only serve to distort proper market pricing signals, destabilize markets and waste valuable wealth that could instead be improving lives today.
There is no right or wrong number of roads or cars, except that determined by a free market. By suppressing the free market, government has created a perpetual conflict among groups of citizens who try to resolve their conflicts through manipulating government force instead of through peaceful, cooperative means such as only a a free market can deliver. This is an immoral system and should be abolished as soon as possible.
4. Where will you look at cutting government spending?
David McGruer: In our platform we propose to restore choice in health care, which is currently about half the Ontario budget. By gradually returning health care to the control of individual citizens and removing force from this valuable industry, government spending could decrease rapidly for many years due to this one item alone. In a free market, costs decline greatly as efficiency and productivity rise and all government obstacles to exchange are removed. Under a monopoly such as we now have, costs steadily rise, productivity is stifled and shortages naturally occur. We are trying to operate our health care system under the same moral principles as did the Soviet Union and are already facing some of the same consequences, with many more to come, unless our society can discover a morality based on individual rights.
5. How do you intend to remedy classical unemployment (e.g. reduce the minimum wage, deregulate labour standards, or other measures)?
David McGruer: In a free society there is a limitless amount of work to do and therefore unlimited job opportunities. Each individual seeks to find work that makes highest use of his abilities and each employer seeks the most valuable employees. When an employee and employer agree on a price for labour, a job is created. The current system has so much government interference that many jobs that would naturally be created in a free economy are in fact outlawed. Minimum wage laws make it illegal to work for less than someone's arbitrarily labeled wage level and so create a permanent percentage of unemployed citizens. This is a clear case of government saying it is acting to protect a goup in need while actually harming that exact group because of an inverted morality.
In a free society, government does not set labour standards because workers and employers make their own agreements. Government's only proper role in this subject is to protect the rights of workers and employers alike by acting through the court system to arbitrate contract disputes through objective law.
6. How do you intend to deal with geographical unemployment (e.g. have the Ontario Ministry of Education establish common educational standards with other ministries of education in Canada and abroad for various trades and professions, encourage the Federal government to promote free labour-movement agreements, or other measures)?
David McGruer: This is a false concept since it implies that unemployment should be dealt with by government and that the physical location of an unemployed person is any business of government. In a free society, a person who loses his job is free to seek any other job anywhere he wants. He must deal with reality as it is, and not as he or anyone else wishes it to be. He must always be prepared to lose his job as he does not have a right to a job, just a right to freely seek one; he does not have a right to a particular income, just the right to seek to earn as much as he wishes through voluntary trade; he does not have a right to a job within a certain geographical area, just the right to move freely and relocate as he sees fit in pursuit of a job. The government should have no role at all in labour or business. Every action the government takes in these areas necessarily reduces jobs and wealth. The proper role of government is to abstain from interference.
7. How will you solve skills-deficient unemployment (e.g. will you increase education funding for trades and professions, would you make such funding available to the unemployed only, or also to the underpaid, especially should you plan on reducing minimum wages, introduce some kind of peace corps whereby Ontarians could receive higher education in exchange for service to the community, or do you have some other solution in mind)?
David McGruer: Drawing from my responses to education and employment above, it should be clear by now that it is not the moral role of government to interfere in the business of education, business of training or any other business. The problems you list are easily solvable by people left free to pursue their own goals in life and for whom all artificial obstacles are removed. Natural obstacles such as the need to think, to act, to learn and work hard to create value are a fact of reality and cannot be faked or avoided through any government schemes. It is the schemes that are the largest problem.
8. How will you deal with closed-shop unemployment (e.g. would you introduce US-style right-to-work laws outlawing closed shops, or some other solution)?
David McGruer: In a free society a business owner is free to negotiate any terms he wishes with his employees, who are free to make any requests they want, but this must be done with no government rules that abrogate rights to free negotiation. Current labour laws erect enormous barriers to free exchange of labour and grant monopoly rights to unions. This type of rule is immoral and destructive to society. As I implied before, all government interference in the economy should be eliminated.
9. How will you deal with linguistic unemployment? Considering that, according to statistics Canada, the rate of success in English and French second-language learning in Canada is almost as poor as it is in Europe (with success rates hovering at around 6% in Europe, and around 15% in Canada, bearing in mind Canada also invests more in it than most European countries do), and that this poor rate of success therefore makes most school spending on second-language instruction to be a waste of money, and prevents most French-speaking Canadians from finding work in English Canada and vice versa, thus restricting labour movement considerably within our borders, what changes will you introduce to Ontario's second-language instruction policy so as to raise that rate of success (e.g. Hungarian-style second-language instruction policies granting schools a much wider range of languages to choose from to teach, or students a wider range of languages to choose from to be tested in, so as to allow for the option of easier-to-learn languages)? Also, would you look at plans to coordinate such activities with the Quebec Ministry of Education and other ministries of education abroad so as to raise the rate of bilingualism, even if in easier-to-learn languages, so as to raise the rate of success in bilingualism to a more reasonable level, so as to grant Ontarian workers access to a larger world market?
David McGruer: In a free society all language use is a private matter and there are no regulations requiring or prohibiting any use of language. Within government, aside from the military, the proper roles are police (mostly local), the courts (mostly local) and the establishing of objective laws (easily translated into multiple languages). All governments could easily provide multilingual staff translation when dealing with the police and courts as local circumstances warrant. The right of anyone arrested or appearing in court to fully understand the law, charges and the process must be protected.
There is no such thing as linguistic unemployment, there are only government regulations that prevent employment. If a person does not speak the language required of him by a potential employer, it is his own responsibility and no one else's.
In a free society parents choose the language of instruction in school and I believe that if left free to choose, many would opt for second or third language instruction. As discussed above, it is certainly not the role of government to enforce any particular language in schooling or the workplace, nor to prohibit it. The current system wastes a vast amount of wealth in creating improper and arbitrary rules and interventions and then attempting to ignore the fact that the rules created obstacles, therefore creating the apparent need for more rules to solve the problem. And so society gets bogged down in a vicious cycle of increasing controls and regulations while everyone studiously ignores the fact that all of it is unnecessary and immoral.
I thank you in advance for your consideration and look forward to your replies.