Ontario’s Liberal, PC, and NDP are often heard and seen in media as taking a pragmatic approach. Each party openly states they indeed are pragmatic with approach to societal problems. All the major political parties are rife with pragmatism. That’s all they have.
To the uninitiated, pragmatism is taken for granted, and even seen as plausible, without further thought. I want to pull back the curtain a little bit to expose the meaning of political pragmatism by showing concrete reasons for this pragmatic doctrine.
A major theme Ontario’s political parties as pragmatic is due to the nature of Ontario’s public social services.
Ontario’s public social services are in continual flux, not stable, fixed or settled. There are three basic reasons for this; Institutions continuously change and therefore necessitate public policy changes. However unlike vague social policy references, I will be very specific.
Free market institutions are never still and are by nature disruptive of any status quo. The second reason directly ties to this disruption. Policy makers have an extremely difficult time estimating what the needs (or new needs) are due to human actions. The third reason is continuous, “outside” influences. With constant disruption and change, factors involving pressure groups, collective and individual, private and public create further uncertainty in public policy making.
As remedy, Ontario’s public social service goal is, “stability” but the only way to establish this is by institutionalizing social services permanently. Until this goal, “From each according to his ability, unto each according to his need” is fully established, or anchored on the backs of the productive, i.e., fully institutionalized, public social services will remain in a state of constant revision.
Unlike businessmen and women who must adjust to nature and face facts, whether it is in their primary role as miners, logging companies, or secondary role as retailers, or even the role as distributors, political pragmatists do not want to, “get their hands dirty” with such realities because it puts constraint on their pragmatic, altruist visions. Pragmatism offers and justifies a blind eye to reality while day dreaming.
However, market forces are moral in their practice and endeavors, not the altruist stultification of policy makers. This requires greater freedom, not less.
With capitalist activity constituting only 1% of thinking in most people’s minds, this needs to change or we will all go belly up.
— Ted Harlson March 21, 2017
A better alternative: https://mises.org/system/tdf/Henry%20Hazlitt%20Economics%20in%20One%20Lesson.pdf?file=1&type=document