Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Federal Fiscal Policy

I hope that title didn't scare away any of my less intelligent readers (I know I've got a lot of Leaf fans out there).

I'm currently reading Catholic Viewpoint on Overpopulation, written by a Fr. Anthony Zimmerman in 1961. It contains a pro-family perspective on the contraception movement - which was just picking up steam in his day. I'm only about halfway through, but so far he addresses several errors in logic when modern statesmen blame high population for poverty. He also debunks the claim that there is not enough food growing capacity to feed the planet's growing numbers.

He routes blame for poverty and hunger back on to the state. This paragraph blew me away:

Since national monetary and fiscal policy exercises extensive influence upon the direction of the economy's development, it also greatly affects family income and purchasing power. Taxes, credit, interest rates, and related priorities can be shifted from one sector of the economy to another; this can expand or contract the purchasing power for simple family staples, such as food, clothing, housing, heat, medical care, and education. By inducing a tight money situation for production of family staples, while expanding priorities for durable goods and foreign trade in industrial commodities, the government makes it harder to support a large family in frugal but healthy circumstances; at the same time it expands purchasing power for more gadgetry if the family is small. It is another subtle pressure for birth prevention, whether intended as such or not.

In other words, when government policy favours frivolous consumer spending, it is impossible for it to encourage large families.

When Prime Minister Harper promised to take money out of federally funded day-care and give it to parents to make their own child-care decisions (meaning our single-income stay-at-home-mom household also gets to benefit from the policy, instead of only families where both parents work and shuffle their kids off to the nearest state-approved babysitter), he is showing all Canadians that we finally have a chance to be equal. No more will one group of us - coincidentally the social conservatives - be marginalized and told our decisions are not appropriate in this day and age.

So a big thanks for the federal Conservatives from this sole breadwinner. Thanks for getting it.

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