A couple of weeks back Tim Schewe’s column Drivesmart was devoted to the projected increases in ICBC’s automobile insurance rates in the next five years. He infers that we might be paying too much for our auto insurance. But instead of telling us what auto insurance costs in other provinces he cites the Fraser Institute. According to Tim, the Fraser Institute says that B.C. Insurance rates are “too high due to a lack of competition.” He also says that the Fraser Institute “in part communicates the effects of government on our well being.” Schewe’s statements in this regard are inaccurate and misleading.
The Fraser Institute is not interested in our well being. They exist to promote the social-economic policies of what is known as neo-conservatism in the U.S. and neoliberalism throughout the rest of the world. This ideology was packaged up by the Austrian-born Friedrich Von Hayek at the University of Chicago during the 1950s and initially promoted by himself and the American economist Milton Friedman.
These guys promoted the idea that not only should our government not be involved in the business of providing auto insurance, that health care should not be provided by our government and even such things as our publicly funded and operated school system should be dismantled. As far as retirement pensions go, which Tim, as a former RCMP officer, likely receives, in the ideal neoliberal world, he would have been required to provide for himself. The government, hence the taxpayers, would not have been involved.
All this is clearly in Hayek’s epic publication The Constitution of Liberty. The “political bible” that Margaret Thatcher, England’s former PM, packed with her everywhere. Hayek and Friedman were definitely brilliant men but they kept company with some pretty nasty people. It was these two guys that stepped in to help the dictator Augusto Pinochet run Chile in the 1970s. They made a mess of it and Pinochet was later convicted as a war criminal.
On a positive note, Tim generally writes a good auto safety column. I always read it. What I would like to see him write is a column on how to properly use roundabouts. It’s needed.