Provincial debt in Manitoba
Waines, W. J.
"Mr. Micawber conjured me to observe that if a man had twenty pounds a year for his income and spent nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and sixpence he would be happy, but that if he spent twenty pounds one, he would be miserable. After which he borrowed a shilling of me for porter and cheered up." Mr. Micawber's philosophy illustrates remarkably well the theory of National finance as it ought to be, and his practice illustrates equally well State finance as it usually is. In fact, one would almost think that to emulate Mr. Micawber's proficiency in the gentle art of "finance" was the "summum bonum" in the existence of every State. Whether in national or provincial finance, it is the common practice to spend more than is received. The resultant pressure of immediate liabilities forces the government to resort to further borrowing, and it cheerfully borrows the shilling to pay for the porter, unmindful of the retribution which must follow. Public borrowing is not necessarily an unsound financial arrangement; but it is to be remembered that even when that is the case the future and not the present must make the sacrifice. Public debt is a mortgage on future revenue. It must always, in the long run, be repaid from the proceeds of taxation. Regardless of this fact it has grown rapidly during the past century. It is thought by some to be inevitable - after all else is gone our public debt will remain. This opinion is supported by the history of public indebtedness in all countries...