How Government Increases Your Cost of Living, and How We Can Stop It

As election day looms and the volunteers for the main three parties begin their telephone campaign to usher supporters to the ballot box, I’m reflecting on what this election means to me and why I decided to run for the position of representative for Abbotsford-west in the first place.
Now that I’ve been through a few debates (my first few, ever) and had the opportunity to meet the other candidates and hear their vision, I can say I still believe that I made the right choice in entering the race.
I feel more confident than ever that the ideas that attracted me to the Libertarian Party, some of which I tried to express during the aforementioned debates, would benefit the people of the province and that the policies of the main three parties, the same old policies of the past, will hurt us.
The social spending increases promised by the front runners can only happen by raising money to pay for them with higher taxes. See, there are lots of people who are struggling. The cost of living, housing, food etc., is high enough that people on the margins are having to choose between paying for groceries or utilities. Naturally, when we see people struggle like this, our inclination is to try and help. So, our politicians offer the subsidy programs as a remedy and, because people want to be helpful, the programs become a popular idea. The problem comes on the backside, when prices go up.
People are in need, in part, because they struggle with the cost of living, so government provides a subsidy which raises the cost of living which, in turn, puts more people from the margins in need where politicians justify further increases in subsidy, and around we go.
If this sounds familiar in any way, it should. Whether we’re talking about affordable housing or renters’ bonus or a living wage, what we’re really taking about is an increased subsidy to help people cope with the cost of living.
I think what we really need to do is realize the cycle of subsidy isn’t going to work. People need opportunity not handouts.
Of course, this begs the question about what to do about it. I mean, people are still in need, right? Even if everyone in the province suddenly realized this in one fell swoop, how do we stop the train without letting people and their children go hungry? That’s the hard question that a responsible government needs to address and here’s how I think we can do it.
It starts by picking our priorities.
We work hard for our income and deserve a government that works to keep the cost of living and inflation low. To me, that’s the number one priority and one I’ll continue to fight for.
Dave Sharkey
BC Libertarian candidate for Abbotsford-west

david_sharkey@hotmail.com