As we come out of a cold winter made all the more unbearable by the green policies that have jacked up energy prices, we would do well to reflect on whether the new standards set by politicians and mainstream intellectuals are indeed worth striving for.
For one, the standards are sometimes not even attainable. The famous 1.5 degree Celsius Paris Agreement climate target is a case in point. In other cases, policymakers just move the goalposts. Central bankers used to aim for 2% inflation – such was the received wisdom concerning prudent central banking. When faced with intolerably higher inflation they could either adjust their policy or adjust their expectations. The latter was easier. We are now made to believe that 3-5% is the new standard.
One could be forgiven for innocently believing that these new standards are nothing more solid than feeble expressions of political expediency. Nowhere is this more blatant and insidious than in impeding the right to protest or freezing the bank accounts of those whose political views offend the government and mainstream opinion.
To cap it all is the growing fad of ESG, a vague grab bag of aspirations that care little for the environment or society, and much for virtue-signalling. In this era bereft of morals but brimming with moralizing, the logical solution will be the imposition of a social credit system by which citizens can be rewarded and punished according to government diktat. Instead of individuality, creativity, freedom, the prized virtues will be docility, banality, compliance.
To all of this the Free Market Road Show firmly says no. FMRS has always been about taking a principled stand on matters of public policy – and so it shall remain in 2023. As Europe continues to genuflect to the cult of ESG and political expediency, we at FMRS will focus on upholding standards that are attainable and desirable: the standards of government restraint and prudent fiscal and monetary policy.
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