Thursday, October 4, 2012

Achieving a critical mass?

Europe is in a deep recession. Spain has a 25% unemployment rate, the rest of the EU has unemployment north of 11%, and those are the official "adjusted" government figures. Various countries have required huge monetary bailouts including Spain and Greece, Italy is in trouble and government austerity measures have resulted in rioting throughout the EU.

In the US, official unemployment figures show rates over 8%, but unofficially some say it is over 20%. The US Fed has announced a third round of Quantitative Easing, even though the previous two have not worked.

The price of gold has tripled in just 5 years and is now approaching record levels. Interest rates in the Western democracies, controlled by their various central banks, are at or near record lows, jeopardizing large pension plans and the savings income of retirees and the elderly. A worldwide economic malaise lingers from the economic turmoil of 2008-09; the bailouts and handouts back then may yet lead to greater problems in the future. World markets and investors are in a constant state of apprehension.

Governments everywhere (including Ontario) are reining in spending and are at odds with their various public sector unions; terms like cutbacks, pay freezes, and outsourcing are common in the daily news. The same is true in the North American manufacturing sector.

While all this is happening government run education costs in North America continue to increase, while student test scores are mediocre at best. Canadian government run health care costs continue to rise, yet wait times and access to service never seems to improve. At the same time Americans are expanding their socialized health care system.

Local and regional governments everywhere are instituting bans related to environmental and personal choices. Bans on the sale and distribution of pesticides, herbicides, plastic bags, sugary soft drinks, foods, breeds of dog, and on and on, are becoming more and more common. That, of course, is in addition to the restricted sale of alcohol in Canada, smoking bans everywhere, and continued and seemingly fruitless prohibitions on the distribution and use of recreational drugs.

So, the question needs to be asked, have we reached a point yet where the actions of governments are so detrimental to the general welfare that some sort of action is required? There is no question that the individual liberties of large swaths of the population have already been constrained. Can personal and economic freedoms be restored? If so, how, and who will do it?

These and other issues will be addressed at first annual Liberty Now at the University of Toronto, November 3, 2012.

Liberty Now is an opportunity to network with other liberty-minded Canadians. This full day event is designed to provide liberty-minded individuals the opportunity to listen to, and participate with, panels of leaders discussing such topics as the philosophy of freedom, the environment, the economics of liberty, the politics of freedom, freedom on campus, and how to spread the message of liberty.

Whether you are a conservative, classical liberal, libertarian, objectivist, anarcho-capitalist, a follower of the Austrian School of Economics, or just in favour of limited government, you'll find something of interest at Liberty Now.

One question may be answered at this event. Has the liberty movement in Canada achieved the critical mass required to make an impact on the social and political fabric of this country?

Find out. Be a part of it!

Please join us for the first annual Liberty Now at the University of Toronto November 3, 2012. Registration is now open.

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