Leaders should be focusing on inflation
Recently, one of your readers wrote a letter entitled “Inflation the wrong issue to focus on.” They are wrong in this assumption. In fact, it is exactly the right one to focus on, and we need to do so with laser like intensity. Let me address the letter, then explain why we need to make inflation a central concern in the upcoming election and beyond.
The writer mentions the Bubonic plague. The plague which, originated in China in 1347, killed one third of the population of Europe. Equating it with today’s situation is inaccurate. The COVID situation is different. Everyone would agree that we need to deal with it, but inaccurate or exaggerated historical examples regarding labour shortages do not apply. Canada has enough people to fill labour existing labour vacancies. The reason people are not doing so is due to other factors. We have not been decimated by the Black Plague, and do not face a 14th century style labour shortage.
Parallels with historic epidemics involving cholera, or smallpox, which devastated whole populations, or the 1918 flu epidemic, which killed 50 million globally, also don’t apply, as COVID does not rival those numbers. We are unlikely to go through a repetition of those historic events given modern medical science and our current knowledge.
But inflation is a political and social killer. When people’s hard earned money becomes near worthless, as it did in Germany in the Weimar Republic, dangerous political instability follows. No one needs to be told the results of inflation in Germany in the early 1930s. The money Canadians earn is slowly being debased, this in a country where 53 per cent of Canadians are within $200 of not being able to meet their expenses and one third are technically insolvent. (Global News Wire April 8, 2021) Heading off inflation should be an important focus of all elected Canadian leaders. The idea that we should not focus on it is a false and misleading one.