Is a Hard Currency Standard the Fix for Canada’s Wobbly Economy? Conrad Black Says Yes, But is He Right?

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Canadians, brace yourselves for economic bumps in the first half of 2024! That’s the sobering prediction from renowned author and columnist Conrad Black in his recent National Post article, “Hard currency standard the best way to fix Canada’s teetering economy.” But Black doesn’t just paint a gloomy picture; he offers a bold and unconventional solution: ditch the current “ski slope” economic system fueled by inflation and embrace a hard currency standard.

Intrigued? Let’s dive into Black’s proposal:

Stable Economies of Yore: Black takes us back to a bygone era when economic stability reigned. He references thinkers and historical figures who championed sound monetary policies, arguing that pre-inflationary times saw remarkable economic security. Black contrasts this with the modern predicament, where inflation masks underlying weaknesses and artificially inflates incomes, creating a sense of false prosperity.

A Basket of Stability: Not Just Gold This Time: Instead of hitching Canada’s economic wagon to just one shiny star like gold, Black proposes a more diversified approach. He suggests pegging the Canadian dollar to a basket of real assets, including precious metals, oil, vital resources like housing, and even essential food items. This, he believes, would create a more stable and reliable yardstick for the economy, protecting Canadians, especially those on fixed incomes, from the sting of inflation.

Beyond the Money Matters: A Holistic Vision: Black’s vision extends beyond just tinkering with currency. He calls for a fundamental shift in government policy, advocating for:

Taxing the Fancy, Not the Frazzled: Move away from income taxes and tax “elective spending” on luxury goods instead. This, Black argues, would make taxes more voluntary and less of a burden on ordinary citizens.

Work, Don’t Just Wait: Replace unemployment benefits with workfare programs or job training in sectors facing labor shortages. This would not only boost the economy but also empower individuals with valuable skills.

Empowering Businesses, Not Just Bureaucrats: Offer tax incentives for businesses that hire new workers and invest in productive sectors like manufacturing, agriculture, and research. This would stimulate economic growth and create much-needed jobs.

Doctors, Not Desk Jockeys: Prioritize efficiency and quality in healthcare and education. Black suggests exploring innovative solutions to improve outcomes while maintaining affordability.

So, is Black’s plan a pipe dream or a path to prosperity? That’s for you to decide! This bold proposal raises several questions:

  • Can a basket of diverse assets truly provide a stable anchor for the economy?
  • Would taxing luxury spending be effective and fair?
  • Are workfare programs and tax incentives the right solutions for unemployment and economic growth?
  • Can healthcare and education be improved without sacrificing affordability and quality?

Let’s keep the conversation going! Share your thoughts, concerns, and alternative solutions in the comments below. Together, we can explore the possibilities and pave the way for a brighter economic future for Canada.

Source: This article is inspired by and draws heavily from Conrad Black’s National Post article “Hard currency standard the best way to fix Canada’s teetering economy,” published January 13, 2024. You can find the original article here: https://nationalpost.com/opinion/conrad-black-hard-currency-standard-the-best-way-to-fix-canadas-teetering-economy

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