Conrad Black: Trudeau’s ‘reset’ aims to revisit the failed policies of yesteryear

This week, I clicked on to a link sent by a correspondent and watched and listened to Justin Trudeau telling us how his government would take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to implement a positive “reset” of the country. I’ve written here before of my goodwill toward Trudeau as a person. He is friendly, intelligent, dashing, sincere and contemporary. But his government’s policy analysis is perversely stubborn and outdated.

READ MOE AT LINK… Canada’s recent Prime Ministers and their foibles and accomplishments


This is the background for Trudeau’s “reset.” I was prepared for the worst. We were, I learned with disconcertion, to take advantage of the COVID pandemic to conquer climate change and an unjust distribution of wealth. Justin Trudeau is in a time-warp of credulous and clichéd altruism. No matter how benignly one interprets it, his reset is the seizure of the pretext of the existence of a virus that is potentially fatal to one per cent of the population who can generally be sheltered from it, and for which a vaccine is about to be distributed, to hurl resources at the climate and reduce wealth disparity by simply taking money from those who have earned it and giving it to those who have not. This is making war on a phantom conjured as an “existential threat,” and revisiting the British Labour party’s policy in the 1940s of confiscating earned income and cycling it through fat bureaucracies to low-income earners: a perfect formula for economic stagnation and increased misery for the disadvantaged. It defies the clearest messages of enlightened Western tax and welfare policy in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and many other advanced countries. If Justin Trudeau let his facial hair grow longer and died his hair white he could masquerade as George Bernard Shaw addressing the Fabian Society a century ago. (He’s done dress-ups before.)

U.S. President Ronald Reagan was right when he said, “The only welfare system that we ever had that worked was a job.” By using the tax system to incentivize job creating and trade agreements to enhance competitiveness, Reagan increased per capita annual GDP growth to 4.5 per cent and sharply reduced unemployment and inflation from the stagflation figures that he inherited from President Jimmy Carter. At about the same time in the U.K., Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher enjoyed a comparable success, compounded by the massive sale of state-owned assets, which went from chronic unprofitability to robust financial health.

In the three years before the onset of the coronavirus, the Trump administration, by tax reductions, ending illegal immigration of cheap labour and incentivizing investment in depressed “enterprise zones,” generated more jobs to fill than there were unemployed, and sharply reduced poverty, violent crime, food stamp use and the welfare rolls. He made huge electoral gains among African- and Hispanic-Americans two weeks ago despite the endless spurious defamation of him as a racist.

Now in America the yet to be certified Biden administration is touting the same Great Reset tripe.

Right now we have a small window of opportunity to reset and shape the future we want.

As for climate change, measurements of the world’s temperature are wildly inaccurate because of the random deployment and vulnerability to reflection of the monitoring thermometers, but they recorded an increase in the world’s temperature of 1.5 C in 140 years, 1 C in 85 years and none since the beginning of this century. Sustainable energy can’t be stored and therefore simply duplicates the energy production we already have. It is hideously uneconomic and is really just an anti-capitalist nostrum to placate the eco-feel-goods and the militant left, still in primal scream therapy after their humiliating annihilation in the Cold War.

Now is the time and Canada is the place for original policymaking. It is a rich and well-situated country with a talented and sensible population; all international institutions are in desperate need of reform. The world needs Canada; Canada can lead; why is our leader putting us to sleep with sophomoric bunk about recessing backwards into lobotomous socialism and pseudo-environmental self-impoverishment? The proverbial inquiring minds want to know.