By Letter to the Editor on January 16, 2020.
Mr. Neudorf, our MLA in Lethbridge-East, has an overly simplistic concept about the economy. Like far too many UCP party supporters, he tells us unrestricted business promotion provides our “standard of living.”
Perhaps Mr. Neudorf is confused between the creation of paper wealth and the production of a public good. Public goods serve humans. Paper wealth, the result of financial speculation on the market, produces nothing. The “red tape” complaint is a red herring used by those who resist any thorough analysis of consumer or environmental values. Historically the market has always required regulation to curb the worst excesses of the crooked dealer. The good businessmen and value-producing traders appreciate the requirements of regulation, for measure and consistency.
Customers must insist on a full measure for their dollar. It is the hustler, the promoter of dreams and financial bubbles who rails against red tape. The age of American piracy and slavery produced the “Tea Party.” Some current hustlers have disparaged democracy, and want to return to slavery. Some promote technological innovation as the new final solution.
We need a clarification of terms. Trade is meant to serve the economy. It is not a purpose. It is a service. J.R. Saul asked in 2005: “Is it possible that a sizable portion of our growth in trade relates not to a revival of capitalism, but to a decline into consumerism?” The big spike in the tires of development without balanced sharing of profit is – who will pay for it? When wages are endlessly reduced and jobs lost to technology, who is your consumer? Recessions and depressions are caused by lack of cash, while investors sit on assets.
Alfred Eckes quoted Keynes in the 1930s: “Free trade combined with financial mobility was more likely to produce war than keep the peace.”