Competition is good, comrades!

I’m watching Comrade Detective on Amazon Prime Video while on the treadmill these days.  It’s a fascinating thing to behold.  The show is a Romanian detective show from the 1980s that is completely laced with socialist propaganda.   All dialogue and sets/scenery is meant to scorn the West and capitalism and boost the ideals of Leninism.  But the result is a kind of odd comedy.  There’s a scene where the two cops are in the U.S. embassy and they watch two very, very fat men sloppily eating a tray of Big Macs while reading the magazine “Guns & Ammo”.

I wonder what Romanians actually thought/think of that show then – and now.   It’s an entertaining show and Amazon says millions of Romanians tuned in every week to watch.

But it got me thinking that competition is good – competition in markets and in the marketplace of ideas.

When you don’t have competition it can lead to sclerosis.   If your house is burning down it forces you to act.  If the Soviets are knocking at the door, it focuses the mind.  BTW when I went to school in the U.S. in the mid 1980s they were still having nuclear war drills in schools.  I was never quite sure how cowering under you desk was going to help you escape the mushroom could, but I digress.

New Brunswick needs a little shakin’ up. Right now there isn’t much competition for new ideas.

We need a lot more immigrants.  We need more openness to natural resources development.  We need to be able to get things like municipal reform done.  We need to have an honest debate about health care.  I heard some economist throwing around the term 25% HST this week – in reference to NB being able to fund health care.  It’s not going to happen.  I am pretty sure the economy will collapse long before tax rates got that high – unless the 25% HST is across the country then people and investment have nowhere to hide (at least in Canada).

Competition, comrades, is good.