It’s always April Fools’ at the Fraser Institute.

You have to wonder how anyone could come up with anything as ridiculous as the Fraser Institute. For these people it is always April Fools’ Day. For the past 35 years, the Fraser Institute has been the antithesis of public policy think tanks. It has built its questionable reputation on a premise of denial.

This sudden interest in their sodden soliloquies is spurred by the high humour of their latest findings. In an effort to promote parenthood, the Institute has published a study claiming that it costs much less to raise a child than we previously thought. In fact, the Ontario professor (a senior fellow of the Fraser Institute) says that you should be able to raise a child for between $3000 and $4500 per year. It really makes you wonder if this professor has any children that survived.

Obviously the study could not include some of the critical factors in raising a child. Providing adequate shelter, clothing, video games, health care and treats from the ice cream truck might have been missed. And obviously, the professor did not include any early childhood education. Maybe he has never had to keep growing children in properly fitting ice skates and related hockey gear. And if he does not think that is a necessary expense for a Canadian kid, he has not been in this country more than a month.

If Adam Smith—the guy who invented capitalism—were alive today, the sage old philosopher would have drummed this professor out of the field of economics. Even a right-wing ideologue like Stephen Harper gets photographed taking his kid to play hockey. Just wait until the Prime Minister finds out he is only supposed to spend up to $4500 per year to raise each of his kids. Next thing you know the government is going to reduce the tax deductions for having kids.

Please, please do not send a copy of this blather to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. Can you imagine how Flaherty could get rid of the deficit by ending subsidies for kids and allowing more child labour?

Now that we think about it, we have never seen one of these silly ‘studies’ for the Fraser Institute that was supposedly done by a woman. If the institute can find a female academic—one with children—who will do a follow up on this study, we would be most interested in the findings. The only proviso is that we get a listing of the budget items and the associated costs.

If the results are anything similar to Professor Sarlo’s findings, we intend to sit down with the wife and find out what the hell she did with the rest of the household budget.

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Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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