Commentary: Trust is Crucial for Societal Flourishing
The incident involving Cardi B being hit with a drink while performing on stage made me question whether we will ever be able to balance the budget. The decline in trust within our society is alarming and has far-reaching consequences. While many believe that material factors such as resources and wealth are what make a society flourish, history has shown that these alone are not sufficient.
Others argue that ideas are what truly matter. However, even with the right ideas and reforms in place, it can be difficult to implement lasting change. What truly matters is the cultivation of healthy habits that promote trust among ordinary people. When people can trust one another to keep their word and behave morally, everything from commerce to family to government functions smoothly. Without trust, chaos ensues.
So how does this relate to the budget? The Canadian Parliamentary Budget Office raised concerns about the rising debt-to-GDP ratio in the 2023 budget, contradicting Finance Minister Freeland’s previous statement that the ratio would continue to decline. When questioned about this discrepancy, the department responded by saying their budget forecasts should not be viewed as predictions of the future. This lack of accountability and transparency erodes trust in government institutions.
Institutions, whether it be universities or government bodies, should focus on earning respect rather than demanding it. The U.S. Supreme Court, for example, has lost credibility by mixing contentious rulings with partisan disputes and questionable behavior. Government actions, such as the mistreatment of participants in the “Freedom Convoy” protest, further erode trust. Similarly, research institutions denying scientific evidence or manipulating debates only serve to poison the well.
It is clear that trust is declining in our society. Concertgoers throwing objects at performers and the general lack of proper behavior in public spaces are symptoms of this decline. Canadians, in particular, have expressed deep distrust in their government. To restore trust, honesty and accountability are crucial. Admitting mistakes and being transparent can go a long way in rebuilding trust.
In conclusion, trust is a fundamental aspect of societal flourishing. Without trust, everything falls apart. It is imperative that we prioritize nurturing healthy habits of trust among ordinary people. Only then can we hope to achieve a balanced budget and a thriving society.
Please note that the views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.