Pay cuts

We learn from statistics (a magical formula) that the average American has taken a pay cut in each of the months since Mr Biden became president. It hasn’t been published, but I would guess that the same is true of Canada in each of the months since Mr Trudeau came to power.

European trends may be similar, and the European excuse is like ours: the world is awashed by inflation (and the public spending that is inflation’s cause). It does not reach the percentages that were achieved in the Weimar Republic (where one Papiermark became a tiny fraction of a pfennig), and probably won’t because in the cashless, digital economies of the future, the government will be able to push computer buttons, that will delete the currency holdings of everyone it doesn’t like, as was done experimentally with the cooperation of private banks in Canada last year. This is a wonderful, instantaneous way to restore a hard currency.

But there is no national politician who can match our little Justin for arrogance and stupidity, so I imagine this will take a few more years.

Is this, or will it be, a good thing?

I take for granted that it will happen, as I would take for granted that any aeroplane I was riding, with its nose pointed unambiguously to the ground, will soon become a recycling burden. But there is always the chance that we are in the power of a stunt pilot, who will pull out of the dive just in time. (And always the chance that he can’t.)

But objectively — taking a position that omits consideration of my own interest — it will probably be a good thing, at least in the economy. (I don’t think an aeroplane crash would be good for anybody.) This is because we are all overpaid, even those on welfare in Europe and America, and having less income will make us more frugal. In particular, the rising cost of goods and falling price of labour may encourage craftsmanship.

There is a similar view to be taken of the various leftwing environmental acts, such as those to prevent “climate change” (which of course is a chimera). The hideous expenditure, amounting quite literally to trillions, is entirely wasted, and makes the environment uglier and unsafer. But by simply depriving the masses of a larger and larger part of their earnings, frugality must emerge. Moreover, by destroying the industrial fabric everywhere outside Red China, it achieves something to which the Luddites always aspired.

And hey, I’m a Luddite. Who says that Luddites don’t have any fun?