The real disaster is yet to come

0
54

Pontiac Perspective by Peter Gauthier

The famous scientist Freeman Dyson noted that a government can afford to waste money, but it cannot afford to be responsible for a disaster. Our federal government has spent some $400 billion on the COVID pandemic, but has no real detailed plan for the post-pandemic era.

Pontiac Perspective by Peter Gauthier

The famous scientist Freeman Dyson noted that a government can afford to waste money, but it cannot afford to be responsible for a disaster. Our federal government has spent some $400 billion on the COVID pandemic, but has no real detailed plan for the post-pandemic era.
Of course, some financial assistance is needed. Bill C-4 introduced on September 29 passed unopposed. There was little debate on the amounts or needs of the recipients, no inquiry into possible misuse or provision for study and review of the effects of the program. The argument can be made that the situation is unique,
and no one really knows of a better response. Doing something now is better
than waiting for the perfect solution.
But what about the future? We will have to face the results of trying to
spend our way through the pandemic. Our social structures will change. There will be changes to work: where it’s done, who does it, how artificial intelligence (AI) will be integrated into the work force. Income and wealth distribution will loom larger and more threatening. Although most of this was anticipated before COVID-19, the pace and application will change post-pandemic. 
The entire tax system will need a major overhaul. Electoral reform to give
better representation is a must in the age of instant communication. Entertain-ment and restaurant services will only slowly recover some of their pandemic
losses. Elder care and health services in general will need a major reset. Many social programs such as childcare and social assistance will have to be reformulated. Federal-provincial relations must be redefined and made to reflect modern technology and realities. But our governments – federal, provincial, and municipal – are not prepared nor even contemplating the post-pandemic future. This is where Dyson’s disaster theory will have its effect. 
In summary, Canadians will accept a certain amount of “less than optimum”
government spending as long as there are visible and needed results. However, if the government fails to provide an adequate response to the longer term problems, it will be seen as a disaster. There are two issues here: the after-effects are long term and may not be realized by the current government; and government debts are so large that it will not be able to offer future financial assistance when needed.
For now, people will accept government action, but without a change, the impending disaster will be a certainty.