…is that we don’t really KNOW what the hell government is supposed to be doing anymore. Things have changed. Government hasn’t. And we don’t understand why they are even there. What ARE they doing there? Seriously.
Are they managers of the economy? I don’t think so. With globalization, only a few big players are managing much of anything. China and the US and the EU swing some weight. The Bricks swing a bit. But, Canada simply does not influence much of anything. Canada GETS influenced but they apply little influence of their own – if any. Well, Canada sells out non renewable resources like an aging hooker but, other than ‘giving it away’ what do our guys actually do?
Maybe they are here to regulate our behaviours with laws and such? Maybe. But aren’t we supposed to be free? Charter of Freedoms and all? Except when hurting others, what business does the state have in influencing behaviours? And, if they do have some business meddling in social behaviour, shouldn’t it be for moral reasons rather than for making revenue? Haven’t they just monetized sin for taxing purposes?
The behaviours of many corporations and Institutions are clearly criminal and go unchecked (see bank bailouts circa 2008/09). The behaviours of the rich, powerful and influential go mostly unchecked or are ‘buffered’ into nothing by lawyers. Really, only the poor get pursued by prosecutors. And the middle-class (such as it is) are largely cowed into behaving themselves. Do we really need cops and all their infrastructure and minions to tell us NOT to speed too much?
No, it is not about the economy ’cause they can’t make a difference to that. And it is NOT about our social behaviours for the same reasons. So, what is it about?
They don’t know, either.
They are, however, pushing the protection racket on us. A lot. They are gonna protect us from the pressure-cooker bombers and stuff. Or, maybe the Hell’s Angels. Muslims, for sure. WE WILL SERVE AND PROTECT BUT, FOR NOW, GET ON THE GROUND, GET ON THE GROUND NOW! NOW!
As you can tell, I do not buy the protection racket one bit.
I honestly do not think the politicians KNOW what they are doing in the halls of government. Federally or provincially. They don’t seem to know that the world is changing and so should their roles. They don’t know what they can do. They don’t know what they can’t do. And they clearly don’t know what is going on.
But, let’s leave aside the fact that government is always late to the cognitive party for now…..what is it that WE THINK they should be doing?
Seems most people think that one of government’s main jobs is to help the underprivileged to a limited extent. Nobody wants to carry ne’re do wells but neither do we want to withhold any opportunities for personal growth. Especially for children. In other words, we are stingy on handouts but BIG on education. Big on health, too, kinda. NOT so much if you are young….
And how is any of that workin’ for you, so far? Ask a degree holder working for minimum wage and carrying student debt.
A second expectation is ‘sustainability’. That’s right! Seems over 70% of the people polled think that we – as a nation – have a collective responsibility to pass on a better world to our kids. And the latest indicators are that the environment is at the top of the list.
And, so, how are they doing on that score?
And the final expectation of the people is the regulation of the BIG BOYS. Seems people instinctively know or feel that power corrupts and absolute power does an even more effective job. They want government to ‘police’ the BIG BOYS. Note that they are NOT so keen to be policed themselves (well, I am not) but they want potential power brokers held in check. The bullies. The monopolies. Like banks, Insurance Companies, Institutions, Corporations. Even BC Ferries. BC Hydro. That kind of thing.
They may have slipped up a bit on that score, too. D-…..E……maybe total F-for-fail! Jus’ sayin’…
So, when you vote, do you think to give the government a personal pass or fail on the basic job description (you are their employer, after all)? Or do you vote by reflex? When the time comes to assess the Conservative Government, ask yourself how they performed these past ten years or so.
And then….after you answer that question to your own satisfaction, make sure they are quickly escorted out the front door and you might want to check their cardboard boxes as well. They do tend towards petty thievery, too. See Duffy et al.
“Something is happening here what it is ain’t exactly clear…” These are curious times driven by competting world views. China’s economy has grown at the rate of more than six percent for the last eight years while many other world economies have flatlined for the last eight years. China is a global trader and many countries are indebted to it. Why do so many countries go into debt to buy on credit goods from China that could be manufactured in North America or elsewhere? Let’s say the reason is that China’s goods are cheaper. So how is it cheaper to buy Chinese steel and put North American steel producers out of work with the attendant strain on a country’s social programmes. The concept of price, cost, savings, benefits seems of whack. Why does China hold six trillion dollars of foreign debt? Policies made in Canada are holding back our economy.
I don’t really know what I am talking about but after Regan-ism, FREE TRADE was the holy mantra. Big mistake. Reason: FT starts with an uneven playing field. “Who cares?” say the rich. “We own the capital! And we can use the cheaper labour! Wahoo!” As a consequence of FT and globalization, capital flows to the lowest point (of labour/wages) and so 1st world people lose to 3rd world people but capital does just fine, thank you. In fact, they get richer. And they influence the politics. As soon as China gets half-way to our standard of living, they’ll go to India. Then to Africa. By then, the cheapest labour will be the US, Canada and the EU. THEN capital will have to find the next lowest labour pool and so the cycle repeats. Is it better for all mankind? I don’t think so. To my way of thinking it is simple exploitation of inequity and THAT is inherent in Capitalism and extra strong in corrupt Capitalism. Even if I am wrong and, in the long run, misery loves company when we are all miserable, it is still wrong. We should be able to build equality by building people UP rather than by exploiting people DOWN.
Good analysis and I agree. Interestingly plenty of inequality exists in the first world thus an untapped or underemployed labour pool. The preferred method of payment for this new source of workers is currently churning off the printing presses or being cooked up at a locally sponsored meth or coke lab for pennies a gram. Many folks will work for their daily ration of soma and a living wage.
I see it that way, too. Coke, coke or plastic and gasoline plus a big TV and the sheep are kept tranquil.
Belated Greetings oh wise OTG Sage.
My first blog comment in almost a month. My two index fingers are cringing in anticipation of the calluses.
My apologies for my absence(OR, my apologies to your readers for my unpopular return….. :). I’ve just read your past months comments(rants?) and have found them fascinating( as usual)
Perhaps I may so bold as to offer some “east Coast” points of view..
First. A bit of an explanation.
I was vacationing/working on the east coast of Canada. helping my elderly parents pack and move. One parent is legally blind. The other is slogging through the beginning stages of Alzheimers. Everything took 4 times longer than it should. The only internet available was in the local McDonalds and the combination of overly fed, morbidly obese spoiled children wailing for bigger portions was only surpassed by the incessant advertisements that popped up on my Ipad. I surrendered my sanity once, bowed down to the God “google” and suffered through that cacaphony for what seemed like an eternity( 30 minutes) to check emails and vowed never to return.
Back to your blog
1.Harper is in big,big trouble.
Not one person I talked( in PEI, NS, NB or visiting Quebecers) to about politics is planning on voting Conservative. Not one.
The scandals, the arrogance, the economy, take your pick. He is loathed….everywhere.
No one person talked about tax free savings acounts, income splitting, ISIS, the interest rate reduction….. a snoozers as far as most voters are concerned. The child “baby bonus” cheques mailed out were viewed by one and all ( including the parents that recieved them)as the most blatant, crass election “vote buying” ever witnessed in Canadian politics ( Guiness World of Records take note. $3 billion dollars and counting to buy an election).
Oddly enough, no one is talking Liberal or NDP…….Greens par chance?
The Canadian economy is grinding to a halt.
I have never seen as many Alberta, BC and Sask license plates on vehicles(90% 4wd trucks)driving on the east coast in my life as I have this past month. ALL are former oil patch workers from the east and ALL are laid off with no expectations of being called back. The spinoff? Houses for sale, cottages for sale, building permits tanking, few buyers. everyone holding their breath, sitting on what little cash they have left.
To all you “deniers” out there. The East coast had the worst winter ever experience in modern historical times( 150 + years). No snow until mid January ….then…..My parents had photos of their back yard in March…….. 12 FEET of snow…… The result?
The ocean stayed frozen ( yes the ocean freezes on the Atlantic coast.. please google “Titanic” for further proof) until May the 8th.
The cold water is affecting the summer weather. Warm moist air from the continent hitting cold ocean water = fog, rain, drizzle ( or FRD in Newfie speak). It was 4 cel at night and max temps during the day are 18cel and rainy. .
This is negatively affecting tourism on top of the dismally lagging economy.
4 Off topic.
Took one of my parents to emergency while i was there (slip/fall).
They live in a small town of perhaps 1000 people.
The emerg waiting room was an eye opener.
I have only seen as many young “tweeking” drug addicts shuffling, sniffling and staring ,trance like, in downtown Vancouver.
Talked to a cousin who is a nurse. “Its epidemic” was the response.
There were two DAY time home invasions while I was there. Drug addicted youth knocking on the door of elderly cancer patients (oxycontin or fentynal). (since everyone knows everyone, its easy to know who has cancer)…. and when the doors open…..the elderly are punched in the face, beaten and the house ransacked…….So much for country livin’.
I then began noticing 3 “addiction centers” around town and when I visited one of them a young, rotten toothed youth immediately directed me to the “meeting room” where, judging by the participants, it isnt only big 4wd trucks that came back from Ft. Mac…….. ALL the participents were 20-30 year old men.
An epidemic that these Provinces are underfunded and ill equipped to handle….All this on top of a rapidly aging population that will require all the expensive geriatric treatment and housing that the local taxes cannot fund.
Greetings… More later…..enroute….
Dropping the writ this summer for an eleven week campaign?
On to Ottawa! Riding the boxcars……..
Yes, the game is afoot. Harper making friends with firefighters in Kelowna for a photo op that went sour. Took Clark with him. Both should be ashamed. The economy is stalled and NOT responding to a fallen dollar. Our cheap exports still languish. Our imports soar in cost along with buying our own oil/gas. It is hard to imagine worse financial management. I swear I could do better even drunk and snorting coke with prostitutes by my side (Sewel, House of Lords). Seriously.