This Too Shall Pass

This Too Shall Pass

A while back I read a biography of John D. Rockefeller (Titan). The author mentioned a time frame of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s and referred to it as one of the most corrupt time frames in US history. Politicians hardly moved a pen without a bag of money. It was a very dark time. However, just ten years later a move of ethics swept the country and the volume of scandals dropped significantly.

Through history, society has endured “movements” from one spectrum to the other, especially in free-democratic societies. We as Canadians, are experiencing political corruption, scandals, and extremism. In my opinion, we are very close to the end of one swing. Society seems to be house cleaning political dogma and power. It’s a little like World War One where one side advanced way too far for their supply system to maintain. The troops at the front become isolated and thin; then the counterattack finds them easy pickings to be pushed back… way back… often to behind their original lines. Let me explain.

COVID gave politicians and bureaucracies an opportunity to grab huge spheres of power. Adding new priorities and procedures to an already fragile medical system, the new “overreach” caused many highly qualified and seasoned medical professionals to quit/retire or even be laid off. So, understaffed and with more complex priorities and “mandates”, the fragile medical system began to collapse. Backlogs became “write-offs” and faith in the Canadian Health Care system began to drop alongside the faith in government to keep us safe, secure, healthy, and appropriately informed.

The problem spread to more government agencies than just Health Care. CRA (with whom I have much history) has a near 18-month backlog of audits. Many staff were taken off “normal” issues to help manage new programs like the: CERB, CTWS, CEWS, CEBA just to name the popular four and the new hiring of staff has not taken a whole lot of issues off the table. New staff are simply too green and too few. The problem is not just the Federal Government as provincial programs, education and other issues add to the near exhaustion of highly demanding systems. The bureaucratic infrastructure of our country is simply not able to handle the demands inflicted by COVID. It barely held together before 2020. While some are clamoring to push even more power through the systems, it will all be in vain. It will only cause it to collapse further. A logical assumption should be a re-engineering of the Canadian government… but that would assume the government has a “logical” approach.

Canada is a very “socialistic” country, arguably more so than even Britain, our mother. We have seven chartered banks… the next country with the lowest number of chartered banks is France which has 135 (Towers of Gold, Feet of Clay, Collins 1982). Canadian governments continuously embrace monopolies and oligopolies. These ideologies are from the dark ages, and they need to be rethought.

There has never been a governmental re-engineering in modern history. When new political parties take over very little changes, even when austerity is sought… at best 2-4% is achieved. What re-engineering implies is a critical evaluation of ALL services. Re-engineering generally impacts something in the sphere of 30-40% of EVERYTHING. That would mean the discarding of multiple departments and services, some of which should have been discarded decades ago.

Our government (as well as many others) went through re-engineering at the time of the second world war. Citizen’s expectations of their country changed dramatically and therefore, so did the level of all services. If one runs the numbers realistically our country should re-evaluate entire swaths of responsibility and services, not just the classical “tweaking” of department budgets. Canada is the only country in the free world where someone can’t hire/build their own health care services. Given our dismal track record during COVID at the very least we should, as a Nation, reconsider our “single payer health care system”. Government monopolies are a dark age method to fix a new world problem. Options and competition bring efficiency, true professionalism, and accountability. Let those who wish to manage their own health care… manage it. It’s something that many concerned Canadians have been doing anyway, in their own way.

Our government swings from the left to the right, to the left and then back again. Heroes are vilified, innocent people are imprisoned and the guilty are set free to recommit. Nelson Mandela spent nearly 3 decades in prison… then he rose to become the Prime Minister. I think we should remember that power is never forever, and corruption eventually runs its course. Everything has its end. Secrets can rarely be kept long in an age of technology. People are too used to freedom to accept tyranny for very long. We are just at the far spectrum of the left, complete with all its wild extreme fantasies and its, over-reach of over-reaches. This too shall pass.

There is one thing Canadians can all agree on… we love to UN-elect politicians. We enjoy that way more than electing them in the first place.

Robert Scheper

Robert D Scheper has a Masters Degree in Business Administration and is the author of two books, “Making Your Miles Count: Taxes, Taxes, Taxes” and "Making Your Miles Count: Choosing a Trucking Company".

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