Are we becoming a society of whining wimps, expecting someone else to solve all our problems? It is everyone’s right to take a stand against situations they consider wrong. Indeed, it is their civic duty. Too often we fail to speak out or take corrective action on situations that are clearly wrong. Activists can make our world a better place, but their desired objectives must be based upon common sense. Action should be accompanied by knowledge, not faulty logic.
In Ontario, the provincial government is investigating the pricing of event tickets. It is alleged that a major retailer of concert and event tickets is gouging the public. It is suggested that they are funnelling tickets to a subsidiary, which is selling the tickets for much more than the posted price. Why don’t those complaining simply refuse to pay the inflated prices? In simple terms, if enough consumers refuse to buy, prices will soon go down. If people are dumb enough to pay unreasonable prices, that is their own foolish decision. We all have the right to spend our money however we wish.
Far too frequently we demand that someone else do something to save us, usually the government of the day. We elect our governments to make and enforce laws and regulations that will make our lives reasonably safe and secure. While regulation is important, there is also an obligation on the part of each of us to use our own intelligence. No set of laws and regulations will protect everyone in every situation.
If you leave valuables visible in your parked car and some drug-affected individual smashes the window and steals them, you are also responsible. True, a crime was committed, but why give such an open invitation to bait a criminal?
If the distributors of food and other necessities of life conspire to artificially inflate prices, the government will step in. There are already competition laws on the books and they are enforced by some very capable people. We can’t live without food, shelter and heat, but being able to see the latest concert idol is hardly life-threatening.
Governments must, by their very nature, give in to the demands of the electorate. If they perceive that enacting a dumb law will win votes, then those dumb laws will be passed. Even a massive failure to apply simple logic will always be overruled by the desire to get re-elected.
There is a role for our government to pass and enforce appropriate rules for society. They do so, but at a cost to each of us since that governance is paid for by our tax dollars.
The billion-dollar gun registry program is a sterling example of government being coerced by a shrill, emotional group of voters. Laws requiring licensing and use of firearms for hunting, combined with strong laws preventing the ownership of restricted firearms, was all that was necessary. Instead, we now have legislation that continues to drain tax dollars away from many other positive uses. Don’t blame the government; blame the fuzzy-minded people who thought it would actually do some good.
Whatever we scream for is what we will get from our governments at all levels. What value we are getting or what better uses could be found for the money spent is immaterial. The next time you want your government to do something, remember there is a responsibility on the part of each of us to be sure we are demanding something that is truly valuable to the whole community, and worth the price we all pay.
Victor Bowman was born in Vanderhoof and raised in Prince George. He returned to this city to live 32 years ago and currently operates a consulting business. Please direct comments c/o email@example.com