It’s election time in Ontario! I’ll vote Green again. I heard Frank De Jong (leader of the Green Party of Ontario) the other day on my beloved CBC and found him charming as always. He has some fairly nutty monetary policies, though. One is to tax strictly on the basis of waste – that is, personal and corporate taxes will be based on how much one throws away rather than how much one gains. It sounds good until you consider the potential violations, you know, old ladies unable to afford the taxes dying in heaps of trash, while corporations dump massively in the middle of the night at undisclosed locations. Not to mention the police picking through my garbage, an activity currently restricted to the communally-minded.
One of the things de Jong believes is that if you put a lot of money into encouraging healthy lifestyles, people won’t get sick as much and net savings for the health care system will result. That’s possible, I guess, but his utopian description is way over the top. He seems to see our aging population all maximally healthy and happy until one day, cost-effectively, they bow out.
Or maybe they don’t bow out. I’m unclear on the point. But it’s reminding me of the fiscal calculations of the anti-smoking lobby, which run as follows.
x billion dollars are spent each year treating terminal smoking-related illnesses. So, if we stopped everyone smoking, we’d save x billion dollars/year.
Oh! So, like, if we stopped everyone smoking, these particular people, the ones who otherwise would have died of lung cancer, won’t die! That’s cool. I’d like not to die. And, if it comes down to it, I also wouldn’t mind dying of something so quick and cheap it’s not worth costing it out. But don’t make me any promises you can’t keep.