Toronto politics and the eroding social safety net

With this note, I wish to remind my fellow 'real Torontonians' (and share with non-Torontonians some insight into what massive change is about to occur) what got our municipality's new chief executive elected; it wasn't his 'straight people can't get AIDS' platform, it wasn't his 'I'm gonna beat my wife' platform, it wasn't his 'I'm gonna drive drunk' platform, it was his 'I'm gonna cut spending and taxes' platform. Eventually people are gonna stop wanting to pay taxes, even if you pile on the allegedly 'good causes' on which to spend that stolen purchasing power. And when they coalesce in large enough numbers, they will erode the tenuous supports upon which you've attempted to build your equitable society.

Sure, people don't mind paying less of their income into a collective pot than they receive in social services. This is why, politically, it is illogical to assume that fiscal conservatives don't mind or invite the expansion of poverty. The expansion of poverty feeds into the political left's aims: the more poor people there are, the more people they will have on their side. Fiscal conservatives are primarily concerned with one issue which they actually share with the political left: They share with the political left a focus on a return on the investment of the capital that got them elected: businesses and individuals seeking a smaller tax burden tend to support right-leaning candidates. You might ask 'wait, how does that have anything to do with the political left? We're not concerned with a smaller tax burden for anyone but the poor! [if that... because I often hear my friends say 'I don't mind 40% of my income going to social causes', and none of these people have any money]'. The left's supporters want a return on their political capital: labour unions whose leaders throw their support behind left-leaning candidates and parties expect favourable labour legislation, while academics and artists expect more funding for their endeavours, and the poor expect more social services paid for by those with more money than them.

This -- ultimately destructive -- political tug-of-war is why I advocate free market capitalism. Not because I hate the poor (hell, even with my new job, I'm still in the lower rung of the economic ladder), not because I want those who depend on our governments' social safety net monopoly to fall through the cracks, but because I know that there's a law of diminishing returns, and there's a point where tax-payers will say 'enough is enough' and sweep into power men and women who wield sledge hammers: ready to smash to pieces your precious political ideology. You cannot build something as heavy as an equitable society on a foundation as shaky as political whim. Voters won't stand for it forever, and when they get fed up, there will be grief and pain, like that which our country has experienced over the last four years, and that which our city will experience over the next four.

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