The so-called Liberal government of the far-left Nation Of Quebec, in a stunning display of the ease with which it is willing to slide, full-on, into abject socialism, threatened to buy another means of production today. This time it is the home improvement retail chain Rona. This is ostensibly to prevent a non-government-owned American company from doing so instead.
Even the radical progressive U.S. President Barack Obama was OK with the Italian firm Fiat buying the venerable American firm Chrysler a few short years ago. But then that was mostly to help save his huge financial sugar-daddy, the labor unions, and of course he also went ahead and took over General Motors, turning it into Government Motors, so maybe that’s how he sleeps at night.
This sort of meddling in — interfering with — ruining — the free market by governments is a proven failure, a hundred times over. Take the state-owned CBC. No really — take it to the garbage dump where it belongs. Governments totally distort and ultimately wreck the free marketplace. I think the “Liberals” (which I can quite rightly put in scare quotes as evidenced by the facts in this very blog entry) of The Nation Of Quebec know that full well. That’s what makes this even scarier.
Politically, it signals to all of us who weren’t yet convinced by my repeated warnings, that the Liberals hold in utter contempt any semblance of freedom in the marketplace, and for capitalism writ large. And that threatens freedom as a general matter.
But do they even think these things through? I mean these kind of takeovers have happened and will continue to happen all the time. Is the government going to buy all the target companies involved — all of those means of production — moving forward? Well I suppose this signals that they are. Are Quebecers really ready for the communist state? I also suppose that they are. They did vote overwhelmingly for socialists last time around when they elected all those brilliant NDP kids to the federal parliament.
As many Canadian banks have taken over U.S.-based banks and investment firms in recent years, and more Canadians than ever before now own U.S. businesses and commercial and even residential real estate, is The Nation Of Quebec OK with that? Because it sure would be odd to not be OK with that, and yet ever so hypocritical. Maybe the state will simply assume ownership of citizens’ private property and investment assets, as well.
And will they be OK with a state like North Carolina acting to prevent a government-owned Rona from expanding in and buying up anything in their state by, say, offering a competing bid for it? Or using some other big-government power to mandate corporate behavior? Is Quebec ready to “compete” with other governments ten times richer and more powerful? Go ahead. Go crazy. Test that theory. Be sure to ask Mikhail Gorbachev about the theory too.
And as Americans are twice as likely to be conservative than liberal, and in a country which still values some of its free-enterprising spirit and capitalism, will a state-owned, state-run Rona run afoul of local American values and be un-welcomed, as per Chick-Fil-A in Boston and Chicago? That would be an interesting test. (We can be quite sure a state-owned, state-run Rona would be welcome in those cities!)
This is troubling on so many levels. Freedom-loving Canadians who understand the freedom inherent in free-market capitalism — and who understand that at the root of it, this really is about freedom as opposed to serfdom — should be up in arms about this.