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Opinion: Politicians are not superheroes

Not Justin Trudeau, not Pierre Poilievre, not Jagmeet Singh, not David Eby, not Kevin Falcon is blessed with a super power.
Politicians do not have super powers, despite what they want you to believe they can do that other people can't

One of my favorite comic strips is “Non Sequitur.” It runs full panels on Sundays. This week, it featured a politician who promised to tell the whole truth and the punchline was “Ok, here it is … facts are the reality whether or not you want to hear them.”

That is reminiscent of Neil de Grasse Tyson’s comment: “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”

The facts are the facts and while everyone is entitled to their own opinion, they are not entitled to their own facts.

But the comic strip wasn’t what really caught my eye.

It was a “featured comment” underneath which said: “I am from the Planet Bull-S, and I have a superpower that allows me to cut taxes, increase spending, balance the budget and increase wages. I can also lower house prices for people who want to buy and increase house prices for people who want to sell.”

An amusing comment.

The unfortunate reality is politicians would have us believe they can do all that.

It easy to blame our present financial crisis on them but the reality is that no one – not Justin Trudeau, not Pierre Poilievre, not Jagmeet Singh, not David Eby, not Kevin Falcon – is blessed with a super power that will allow them to do contradictory things.

The Conservatives spent years cutting taxes with the idea that returning the money to people would grow the economy to the extent that it would cover the increased cost of government.

Didn’t happen.

Instead, we ended up with massive deficit budgets.

The Liberals hoped their stimulus packages would ward off a depression and allow the economy to recover from the pandemic. While it is recovering, it has been at the cost of inflation levels not seen since the 1980s.

The NDP has never wielded enough power to do any of these things.

Like it or not, the fact that the market economy has flaws in it which have allowed for price hikes and stagnant wages is why the average family is now struggling to afford a home. And why the next generation despairs about the possibility of ever owning one.

It is not government but the system which needs fixing.

Todd Whitcombe is a chemistry professor at UNBC.

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