By Don Mosley
Premier Harris, for the purest of motives I am sure, has avoided the most obvious road to a balanced budget. Few argue against the need for cuts. Mostly, our differences hinge on where those cuts are to be made.
The goal, of course, is to make effective cuts with minimum pain. Cutting housing projects, closing hospitals and taking 21.6 percent of the food from the mouths of welfare children is not the way to do it.
Of course, the government hasn’t been entirely heartless. David Tsubouchi, the man selected to preside over social service cuts, has benevolently instructed welfare recipients to maximize their shopping dollars by buying in bulk. But there is a limit to how far scarce dollars and dwindling food bank stocks can be stretched.
Therefore, I will submit my modest proposal in the assurance that Harris and company have already considered it and await only a groundswell of public support: euthenize the poor.
This may sound harsh but it will bring the greatest happiness to the greatest number of Ontarians. While cuts bring pain, euthanization represents an end to pain (the pain of poverty, in this case).
Initially, euthenization will be by request, rather like offering voluntary separation packages to employees in corporate downsizing. If the government meets its target there would be no need to go to a non-voluntary system, otherwise some sort of a lottery system would be appropriate. Regardless, under this plan a balanced budget in one year is achievable without general hardship.
The genius of the proposal is that full welfare funding will continue for those recipients who survive. For those who don’t, the saving will represent 100 percent of the sum of all their benefits. No welfare payments to make, no medical costs, no subsidized housing. Further, supply and demand economics dictate that so many vacancies would open up the housing market, drive down the cost of rental housing, and free up land for profitable redevelopment.
Euthenization of the poor makes such good Common Sense I find it difficult to imagine that the cabinet hasn’t already debated it.
I urge them to show the courage of their convictions.
Don Mosley is a journalism student who likes Jonathan Swift and creatin’ a ruckus.