The New Year has always been a convenient excuse for procrastination. Rather than arbitrarily setting a future deadline, working on removing bad habits immediately when they start forming and constantly improving oneself regardless of the time of the year is much healthier.
In the same manner, arbitrarily setting deadlines at nice, round number dates like January 1 for issues that should be organically addressed indicates a lack of reality-based analysis that led to that deadline.
Let’s quickly apply that concept to two issues this blog has talked about, set to change from 11:59:59 pm December 31, 2017 to 12:00:00 am January 1, 2018.
- Ontario’s minimum wage to go from $11.60 to $14. In a free market, the price of labour fluctuates with supply and demand. By raising wages artificially in this manner at the conveniently chosen time of midnight January 1, 2018 suggests that the solution is not an organic one. It is also not a sign of procrastination of a pressing problem, but rather is a sign of an artificially created problem that led to a politically motivated “solution”. Almost all economic policy driven by date deadlines beginning in the new year (or some other discrete, round number) signals unnecessary intervention. Read all about the dangers of artificially raising the minimum wage from my prior posts on the subject.
- Tax-related market trading. This applies every New Year since the inception of income taxes. Due to the nature of having discrete brackets that lead to different tax rates, a lot of artificial trading happens in the market before and after the New Year so that tax losses are minimized. Artificiality begets artificiality: state intervention via taxes (and recently to a much greater degree: inflation of money supply and deficits) leads to markets that are no longer operate organically, but are manipulated frequently. Read all about the dangers of Keynesian economics from my prior posts on the subject.
If you have any personal goals that are set for the New Year, change that goal to instead be “not to set goals at arbitrary round number dates”. Don’t wait until January 1 to become healthier, to get rid of bad habits, to cut social media, drinking, smoking, etc. Create a system and a routine in your life that will slowly but surely build up your resolve against your vices. It is the opposite of procrastination and is psychologically easier to deal with than unrealistic, mentally taxing goals that are set to annoy you when January 1 comes around.
See you in 2018!