English Canadians think that they know where the source of Canada’s ills are.
Unfortunately, they’re wrong. The public sector underwent a seismic shift in the 1980s when the collective of quiet, secretive committees as epitomized in the BBC show Yes, Minister received a declaration of war from Parliament. The cassus belli? “Wasting money”. It became vogue to slice at those parts of the civil service that don’t align with the goals of the Prime Minister under the guise of “fiscal responsibility”. Because it’s very responsible to chop up departments, demoralize staff with constant tumult, and swap mandates around wildly on the logic of “well, the PMO says so”. This is why the Coast Guard got stuck with Fisheries and Oceans, a forgettable department that inevitably takes a bullet when the government of the day needs to shave a few million off the budget for the sake of a talking point.
The reason for this is the misguided belief that Canada’s private sector is useful, innovative, capable of coherent long-term planning, or indeed run by humans and not chimpanzees in Armani suits. Canadian businesses pay incredibly low taxes, and dodging them in Caribbean tax havens is a growing hobby of Canada’s elite. The public sector is, of course, filled with bloat and absurdity on par with Gilliam’s Brazil, but there’s one crucial difference between the two. Are you ready for the big reveal?
The public sector can’t run anywhere.
Think about it – Canada’s worthless business classes already rely on holding companies and other siphoning devices. They don’t have to live with the consequences of what they do because they can easily afford to move anywhere and bypass whatever immigration system there may be with a few dozen stacks of hundos as their worthless holding firms continue to make money for them by stealing the profits from the businesses under its fell control. By contrast, the public service keeps the money in Canada and really can’t pack up and bail if it fucks up. And they can actually invest in things like public transit, a national pharmacare system, childcare assistance that isn’t the equivalent of a wet turd in your wallet. You know, those things that Canada can’t make because they’re too expensive. Yeah, there’s a way to fix that – it’s called giving up on your worthless business class and using some of the money that they basically swim in Scrooge McDuck-style to do shit yourself.
I’m reminded of a moment from what is perhaps the greatest television show ever – Samurai Jack. After Aku, the main villain hires a succession of worthless bounty hunters to slay the eponymous hero, he comes to the conclusion that “if you want to do something right, you have to do it yourself…*do it yourself*! Yesssss”. If we could actually properly fund our civil infrastructure and do something with it other than arranging it into newly-slicable bits for the sake of partisan talking points, there’s a chance Canada could not suck. With real infrastructure and the amazing ability to move people effectively throughout the country’s most populated areas, there’s a chance that a real business class, one with plans other than “durr” and “more Canada”, could take advantage of a newly-accessible well of potential employees.
But that would cost money. Tax breaks to rich people and their holding firms is a much better idea. Look at how well it’s working!
We only hope Canada learns from the Great Aku.