|The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Victor Vasnetsov|
The death of a society is an ugly thing. The end of the Roman Empire, first in the west about 476 A.D. and then the drawn-out agonies, lasting well into the second millenium, of the eastern Empire, Byzantium, make this clear.
The Empire stopped expanding and began to contract. Men bemoaned Roman rule. The weight of Roman taxes weighed heaviest on the poor, and made small farms and home industry untenable. The methods of collection were mean and miserable, yet fortunes were made by tax farmers and the Empire lost about thirty percent of its potential revenues to peculation. Garrisons were withdrawn, troops went unpaid. The roads fell into disrepair. When the Britons asked for Imperial assistance, they were released from their oaths and advised that no help could be forthcoming and to look to their own security. Fifty or a hundred years later, Britain—Roman Britain, had ceased to exist and the darkness closed over her bones.
When Barbarians invaded, Imperial authority conceded the loss, adopted them as allies, and eventually as new levies for the armies, and admitted new kingdoms where the conquerors, the Caesars, had once planted their foot.
The past is a foreign country. We may never know what really happened, but scholars have argued that the burden of taxes in the Empire was kept deliberately low, so the aristocrats could siphon off the profits of prosperity. Society failed because too many individuals failed, or simply could not cope with its harsh conditions. The rich got richer right up to the bitter end. There were still aristocrats when Empire died its much-deserved death.
Whether or not economic mismanagement happened in ancient times, it sure seems to be happening now.
We have some modern parallels. When the McGuinty government delisted chiropractic care for ODSP clients, that was a withdrawal of service. Not an enhancement. It caused suffering, it did not alleviate it. When the federal government stopped building low-income housing, that was a retreat. It was a failure of purpose. It was an abdication of responsibility.
State propaganda always stresses the positive. The real question is why anybody would believe it.
Governments are setting up for-profit prisons, and yet the injustices and abuses are well-known. They have private armies now. They’re cheaper than a national standing army in all of its complexity—and cost. They are also not nearly so professional, for what that may be worth.
The modern government would prefer not to take responsibility, for anything under government auspices is subject to close scrutiny, and rightly so. A private company submits to no such scrutiny. In Russia, they seem to get this, that’s why a strong-arm like Putin can make headway.
It’s not so completely alien to them after serfdom and the appalling social load imposed by nobility, which is of course a completely false concept. Merit is conferred by actions and not by birth.
The right to govern is conferred by the people.
When the government of Ontario takes $469.00 a month from 300,000 disabled people and then tacks $100.00 onto the cheques of 114,000 Ontario Works clients, then those disabled people will almost inevitably end up on the street and in homeless shelters, none of which are prepared or can be prepared for the huge numbers that are coming. Our local shelters have maybe a hundred beds between two shelters, one of which is not properly zoned and a thorn in City Council’s side. People are not going to like 500 to 1,000 homeless people a day (or more) being booted out into the streets and their neighbourhoods. The ‘not-in-my-backyard’ syndrome will become downright hysterical. Yet who will speak up for the disabled and help to prevent this tragedy, this ‘social cleansing?’
Not one member of the bourgeoisie will speak out, that’s my guess.
Where the other estimated $1.025 billion the province plans to rip off per month from ODSP clients is going is still a mystery, but in my opinion it will be used to buy another election by bribing Canadians, Ontarians, with their own money—money which the government has just stolen from their own sons and daughters in the name of fiscal responsibility and deficit-reduction. It’s true, ladies and gentlemen—the government believes the disabled can pay off our alleged deficit, last pegged at $11.9 billion. This is much-reduced according to discredited former Liberal Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, last seen furtively boarding a banana boat to Panama.
The disabled should be able to pay that off for you in about a year. Will we get our pensions back then?
Never. Never, and they know it, we know it and you, the reader know it.
Incidentally, the government claims the ODSP and OW programs cost $8.3 billion per year. Their numbers are always untrustworthy, which is unfortunate for Ontarians. This government claims the Conservatives left them a $6 billion deficit, which the Conservatives hotly deny. How are we to know the truth?
Here is an interesting graph. It shows the ratio of debt to capital, i.e. a deficit of $37.5 billion.
My question for this government is first, why can’t you pay it off? It’s your deficit. Also, why in the hell should we do it? We are forced to live within our means, or pay a very steep price. Otherwise we end up in the street.
This government will not live within its means, and it would prefer to shove disabled folks out into the cold rather than accept responsibility for their own excesses, their own failures, and their own abdication of the trust of Ontario voters.
And they go on closing schools, doubling the price of electricity over ten years and the pay of police officers over fifteen years--but then I guess they understand that they are going to need them, especially their political loyalty. This government doesn't just have the power to give 22 year-old cops a starting rate of $156,000 a year, it also has the power to tax. If only it could tax someone other than those least able to pay.
This government should be shoved out into the street. This is not exactly a ringing endorsement of Liberal policies in the Province of Ontario.
When you think about it, the penny was the last coin made of precious metal. The penny has been discontinued in Canada. It cost 1.4 cents to make a penny.
By calling in all that precious metal, the federal government has made a premium of forty percent on that currency. How badly they needed that money they will never tell.
The Roman Empire devalued its coinage many times over its decline. People knew that, and preferred not to do business with them any longer.
My guess is that the federal government is still in denial, although it should be intimately aware of just how bad the economic picture is. They have fallen into the trap of believing their own propaganda, and have no choice but to lie to Canadians and to themselves.
To tell the truth would be their doom and they know it.