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It's Friday, April 1 2022. I'm Joshua Claycamp. And this is the observer a Kamloops Christians reflection upon the news from a biblical perspective, in order to understand how Christians need to think and feel about current events,
In the words of late American President Ronald Reagan, some of the most terrifying words ever spoken in the English language are these. I'm from the government and I'm here to help. This is the kind of sentiment that we need to be holding in our hearts as we read an article recently published on global news by David Aiken, which begins and I quote,
Canadians are looking to next week's federal budget to signal that Ottawa understands the strain that the rapidly rising cost of living has put on household finances. Canadians are looking to next week's federal budget for a signal from Ottawa that somehow government politicians get it that somehow government politicians understand the strain that Canadians are feeling. And if government politicians were to somehow compose a budget that was somehow able to send a signal to the average Canadian that the government understood their pain, what difference would that really make in the first place?
David Aiken continues with a quote from Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs, the organization that conducted this poll for global news. And David Bricker goes on to say, quote, Canadians are in many parts of this country really, really feeling the pressure, especially people with more precarious employment, women, people with kids at home, people who are under real pressure as a result of what they see as an unplanned rising cost of living, that they're now having to manage.
Darryl Berker goes on to say, quote, and they're looking to this budget for a signal from the government that they got it and that they've got some ideas about how to deal with it and quote, now, indeed, Darrell Bricker and Ipsos public did conduct a survey of Canadians asking a whole host of questions across a wide range of issues. And he is probably accurate to summarize his findings with a statement that Canadians are, quote unquote, looking to this budget for some sort of a signal from the government, that the government understands what it is that the average Canadian is struggling with. That is undoubtedly true. But are Canadians correct to look to the government for some signal from their elected politicians that they understand what the average Canadian is going through? Is there any hope to be found in knowing that our politicians get it?
I think the Canadian economy as a whole needs to be evaluated from a biblical perspective, we need to step back we need to ask the question how does Scripture view economies in relationship to government? What role should government have over the management of economies now, as a general principle, I think that governments should always work to improve the government to the economy to enhance the the economy, but there has to be a deft hand in the management of these things, it cannot be controlled by the government. That is to say that the government should never own aspects or businesses within the economy. According to the teachings of the scriptures. Government should both document and protect the ownership of private property within a nation and encourage her citizens to take that private property and to use it in order to produce goods and services that will contribute to the greater flourishing of society. The Bible regularly assumes and reinforces, I think, a system in which property belongs to individuals, not to the government or to society as a whole.
That's what makes this article by David Aiken so troubling, that Canadians are looking to the government for a signal that they that the government understands what Canadians are struggling with, it ought to be the other way around, Canadians ought to be looking to themselves to manage their own affairs, and should be offended and bothered. When they encounter government intruding into their business. It shouldn't be that Canadians are looking to government to help their business, but that Canadians are looking to the government to stay out of their business and deed. The Scriptures teach that the business and that the private property ought to belong to individuals. We see this over and over again.
For example, it is implied in the 10 commandments. We see the eighth commandment which says You shall not steal Exodus 20 And verse 15. And this commandment You shall not steal assumes that human beings will own property that belongs to them individually and not to other people. I shouldn't steal my neighbor's ox or my neighbor's donkey or my neighbor's car. because it belongs to my neighbor it does not belong to me and it does not belong to anyone else. But even though this is the eighth commandment, it is further reinforced by the 10th commandment. And 10th commandment makes this more explicit when it prohibits not just stealing but also desiring to steal what might belong to my neighbor. For example, in Exodus chapter 20, verse 17, it says the 10th commandment reads, quote, You shall not covet your neighbor's house, you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, you should not cover his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything else that belongs to your neighbor. The reason I shouldn't covet my neighbor's possessions is that these things belong to my neighbor, they do not belong to me, and they do not belong to the community or the nation. This assumption of private ownership of property found in the 10 commandments. It found within the fundamental moral code of the Bible puts the Bible in direct opposition to any other system of economy that would indicate that the nation or the community should hold businesses or hold property.
This would put scripture in direct competition with the theories advocated by Karl Marx. Karl Marx once said, quote, The Theory of communists may be summed up in this single sentence, the abolition of private property. In other words, Marx's position was that government should manage the economy, and that citizens should not own their own businesses and the citizens should not own their own property, they should not have what Marx referred to as the means of production, all of this needed to be managed by the government. One reason why communism is so incredibly dehumanizing is that when private property is abolished, government controls all economic activity. And when government controls all economic activity, it controls what you can buy, where you live, and what job you will have and therefore what job you are allowed to train for or where you are able to go to school and how much you're going to earn. Essentially, government comes to control every aspect of your life and every decision every choice that you might make. And as a result of that human liberty is destroyed. Communism enslaves people, and it destroys human human freedom of choice, the entire nation becomes one huge prison. And for this reason, it seems to me that communism is probably the most dehumanizing economic system ever invented by men.
So when David Aiken writes in his article that Canadians are looking to their government, for some sign of hope, with regards to the rising costs that Canadians are having to pay as a result of inflation or as a result of the rising cost of fuel that in and of itself speaks of a worldview, a worldview that unfortunately, if the Ipsos polling is correct, a worldview, which undoubtedly holds an overwhelming majority of Canadians, and it is a worldview, which is antithetical to the Scriptures. What is it that we are expecting government to do? What is it that we are thinking that Trudeau and cabinet are going to put on the table that will improve our lives? Well, according to this Ipsos poll, a majority 53% are expecting help with the soaring costs of everyday needs as a result of inflation.
Why are we experiencing inflation? Well, the answer that question is rather straightforward. The reason we are experiencing inflation is because of an tremendous amount of government spending, dumping billions upon billions of dollars into our economy over the last two years in order to pay for people to stay at home and not go to work. All of this done, of course, is a measure to combat the spread of COVID 19 within our society. But the reality is, is that there was no added value to our society, there was no, there were no goods or products that were being produced, there were no services, there was no increase in value or material benefit to our society. And at the same time, the supply of money was increasing, which is to say, inevitably, inflation is going to take place that is when the cost of goods and services naturally increases. Because money is being dumped into the economy that does not represent an increase in material wealth, it is simply more money. So the material wealth within a society remains the same, but the amount of money increases. So therefore, the good the price of goods and services and products within that economy must increase the cost of those things must increase to match the level of money that is now in that society. So we have a rising cost of inflation and a majority of Canadians 53% are looking to the government in order to address this rising inflation issue. But it was in fact the government that created this rising inflationary issue in the first place.
Berger said that the mood The country on the eve of this budget is significantly different than in other years. And one of the reasons is that Canadians are experiencing a lot of financial pressure. Again, 53% stated that they are looking to the government to help them with the soaring cost of everyday needs due to inflation. That was one of the top three priorities. The second issue that followed after that was 45% of those polled saying that they were looking to the government to lower taxes that in and of itself was a brilliant idea, which we'll talk about in just a few seconds. But of course, 40% the third highest number on this particular poll stated that they're looking to the government to provide greater investments into health care, and that that ought to be a priority. Bricker went on to say the mood of the country on the eve of this budget is different than another years. In other words, climate change, green infrastructure, indigenous reconciliation and other themes, which are often associated with the Trudeau government's build back better messaging, or higher priorities among the electorate in previous years, and those issues have now taken a very low priority record goes on to say, quote, what we're seeing his people much more focused on just the day to day affordability of their lives.
And that aligns with a lot more pessimism coming out this time from the pandemic and a real belief that we're now suffering the personal economic consequences that were associated with the pandemic. It'll be interesting to see if the government through this budget is able to pivot from that to something else, as opposed to their build back better agenda, which seems to be that positive, making the world a better place type of agenda. The Conservatives are hoping for just that kind of a pivot.
Conservative MP Ed fast said quote, fighting inflation getting spending under control alleviating the tax burden on Canadians. These are the things that I'm looking for. However, the just concluded liberal NDP confidence and supply agreement is mostly about the kind of vision associated with a progressive build back better budget as opposed to a conservative view of the budget, which is lowering taxes. If Trudeau is to count on Jagmeet Singh delivering on his confidence and supply and of the bargain. If the NDP are going to vote in favor of this budget, and the next three budgets for the three following years after this year, as per that agreement, then the Liberals have better hold up their end of the bargain. And that would mean making progress on implementing a few of the big ticket items that Jagmeet Singh specifically identified When news of this supply and confidence agreement between Jagmeet Singh and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went public, among those big ticket items that sag Jagmeet Singh is looking for would include national PharmaCare as well as in some nationalized form of dental care.
In other words, they're looking for more spending more money, more, more financial printing of cash in order to fund some of these priorities. And again, this would be detrimental to the recession, the financial recession that we are observing right now, such a widespread recession within the economy, in which we are seeing the costs of everything increase with the rising cost of fuel, in which we are seeing inflationary pressures as a result of the government dumping more money. As a result of all this widespread recession that is now coming upon us. It would lead us to asking the question, What should we do in such a situation is this? What would the Christian response to this type of economic recession be?
Now with regards to handling the economy as a whole, there are basically two views when it comes to recession. One view is that the government should spend a lot more money in order to stimulate the economy. This strategy is called de Kinesia and view after British economist John Maynard Keynes, who advocated much new government spending in order to overcome economic recessions. But the other strategy is called the free market view, because it emphasizes cutting taxes to let people keep more of their own money, and then allowing the free market to overcome the recession. This view is most famously advocated by economist Milton Friedman and his colleagues at the University of Chicago.
Now, as we have noted previously, the federal government is undoubtedly going to start pumping more and more money going further and further into debt and dumping a bunch of cash into the economy in order to pay for these big ticket items that the NDP is going to want such as dental care and PharmaCare. Now problem with the government simply printing billions of dollars of additional money to pay its bills is that these new dollars again, do not represent any increase in the economic Make wealth of the nation, they do not represent any real goods or services that people can go out and use or purchase. For example, if a baker bakes a loaf of bread, or an automobile factory produces a car, then there's added wealth within the nation, there's one more loaf of bread out there, there's one more car that is available to be purchased. There is then added wealth added value, there is a material increase in terms of the belongings and the possessions within the country. If a teacher teaches a class, or a popular singer performs at a concert, that also adds wealth to the nation, the added value of the education people get in school, or the entertainment that individuals enjoy when they go to see that pop singer at her concert. However, putting more dollar bills into banks doesn't contribute any value, there is no material benefit to the economy whatsoever. And so when dollars are just pumped into the economy, what does it do? Well, when the money supply is expanded rapidly, such as what we're seeing in Canada today, it increases the probability of inflation today and in future years. And that's because there is just more money in the system. But there is the same amount of goods and services. So the money will be used to bid prices up above what they otherwise would have been. Now, here's the real catastrophe. When we do this, when we dump a bunch of money into the economy, but the material wealth within that economy remains the same. All that is happening is that all of the value of all of the products and all of the goods and services within that economy increases to match the the level of money that is now in the economy.
But there are always going to be individuals, particularly individuals who are retired who are on fixed incomes as a result of their retirement, they're living on a pension, or perhaps they're living on savings, and then the amount of money that those individuals have remains the same. But all of the goods and services which they had budgeted for over the remaining years of their life in order to live until their their time of death. All of those products are now increasing in value. But the amount of money that those individuals have, has remained the same, which means that the planning that they put into their retirement has now gone completely out the window. Inflation then is a form of theft. Tracking this backwards, when we look at the federal government just printing money dumping money into the economy in order to pay for things like PharmaCare or dental care. What we are seeing is the government essentially stealing from the nation as a whole.
In order to provide these new services and these new benefits it is theft. What we are seeing then with the NDP and the liberals, as they are about to table their next budget is a form of theft in which they're stealing from all of us, in order to provide these extra benefits and goods. And so when the campaign slogans are pitched and when the politicians go out, and they give those sound bites, and they give those stump speeches, they will rail and say that they are fighting for their constituents, but they're not fighting for their constituents so much as they are stealing from their constituents. In order to provide a good or a service. It's a sleight of hand, you're robbing from one in order to give to another.
But this leads to the question then what is what is the better approach here? What What should we do? Well, we could cut taxes instead of printing money. There are other solutions to economic recessions, and an alternative proposal, one which is favored by the conservatives, but which I think is biblical, is that the government could have simply enacted huge tax cuts. For example, instead of simply printing money, in order to give individuals financial incentives to stay home during the pandemic, the federal government could have simply stopped taxing people. The federal government could have simply dialed down the taxes, and could have let people keep more of their money and allow them to figure out how to best manage their lives with the money that they had, as opposed to printing money and giving that money back to individuals. Instead of increasing the national debt by having the government spend 800 Billions in some sort of Serb or stimulus program. If the government had simply cut taxes by billions of dollars, it would have left that much more money back in the hands of private individuals within the economy. What What would they have done with it?
Well, it's hard to say people at the lower end of the spectrum probably would have spent most of it right away. But the benefit of that would have been that these individuals rather than the government would have been deciding where it was that that money would be spent, and thus individual liberties would have been advanced. And there would be an increase in the competitive benefits that come from the free market economy. People at the higher end of the economy economic spectrum, would probably have invested more of that money into the stock market or perhaps an expanding their businesses, or perhaps they would have started new businesses. As we've previously explained, a permanent decrease in marginal tax rates is a huge incentive is a huge incentive for entrepreneurship, the act of investing money and taking risk in order to build a business in order to provide a good or a product. This contributes to the flourishing of society. And it is an exercise of liberty and freedom. And these businesses would then employ more and more people and more and more jobs and the economy would begin to work its way out of the recession of its own accord, not as a result of the government simply pumping cash into the economy and raising inflation. And this ultimately would have been a better solution.
In other words, if the government is going to go into debt one way or another by cutting taxes or by just borrowing a bunch of money and dumping a bunch of money into the economy, I think it's far better for it to go into debt simply by cutting taxes than by increasing government expenditures. That's because money retained by private individuals to use in the free market economy is always always better in terms of economic growth. And it is better in terms of increasing individual liberty than money that is given into the hands of the government. That use of money is almost always wasteful, and always involves inefficiencies. And the reality is, is that it is going to be used in order to increase government control over everyone's life, which is to say it is a reduction in liberty.
While we wait for Chrystia Freeland to table the liberal budget, today, you will receive an increase in the gasoline price, whatever it is, you pay, depending on whichever province you live in for the cost of gasoline, that is going to go up. As of today, April 1, the Federal carbon tax is set to increase 25% up to a total of $50 per tonne of emissions. At the pump. The feds estimate that this will work out to be about an extra 2.2 cents per liter of gas. However, that's not where it's going to end up, it'll probably go as high as a total of 11 cents per liter. The increased cost is going to hit motorists in Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba the worst and the impending hikes are coming just after lower oil prices offered some relief for Canadians at the pump mid week this week. I hope you purchased your gas earlier in the week because if you had waited to the weekend to fill up that tank, undoubtedly you're going to notice that there has been an increase in prices. The reality of the carbon tax increase hitting us today will only drive up prices for the average Canadian consumer as everything we buy comes either by train, plane, truck or automobile. And indeed, it's going to hit us in our own pocket but books as we drive to work as we take our kids to school. And so as Canadians are looking to the government as Chrystia Freeland tables, the federal government's budget next week, they're hoping that there will be some kind of a signal, some kind of an indication from this budget, that politicians in Ottawa understand the pain that Canadians are feeling. Well, if it were the case that politicians and auto were going to understand our pain, they probably would have already signaled to us at this point. By simply doing away with this hike in taxes on gasoline. Since they haven't done it, it doesn't seem likely that we can expect them to get it when they release their budget next week.
All of this reminds us as Christians, that there is one who is ultimately for our good who reigns and rules for our blessing. And he seeks to serve us and that is Jesus Christ, who loved us and served us by going to the cross in order to pay for our sins.
Thanks for listening to the observer. I'm Joshua Claycamp. You can follow me on Twitter by going to twitter.com forward slash Joshua Claycamp. The observer is a ministry of First Baptist Church where Christians seek to discern the news differently. For more information on First Baptist Church of Kamloops go to first Baptist Kamloops dot o RG or for more information on first Baptist classical Academy. Just go to first Baptist classical dot o RG I'll see you again on Monday. More of the observer