Well, my worldview, anyway……Canada is still a backwater, almost an anachronism amongst 1st world countries. We are last amongst the first. Even Hong Kong is way, way ahead of us. (Yes, we are now back in our old stomping grounds – Hong Kong)
“In what categories are you talking?”
Good question. Answer: in all the categories they measure, we are last. In all categories that I measure, we are first.
This is what I mean: Canadians pay extra for second rate product and services and we know it. From gasoline to housing to cell service to taxes, we pay more and we get less. See airfares, produce, etc. Economically, we are the ‘dupes’ of the first world.
Asia is cheaper and more modern. Way, way more efficient. Furthermore, the HK/Chinese have modernized systems to the extent that it feels like we are in the Stone Age using pigeons for messaging and horses and buggies in which to get around. The MTR (HK’s subway) moved more people last night than all of Canada did yesterday (not a factual statement but I’d guess well over 5M moved a good distance within a few hundred square miles last night). An amazing feat. They move like ants into speeding trains that are clean and fast and move a thousand people from tracks to street level in seconds.
I keep up with the news back home and read about multiple car-pileups closing highways that have fewer lanes than do the the third world freeways of Thailand! Fact: the Trans Canada highway is still just two lanes in many places!
We can’t seem to do what they do. Our trains fall off the tracks or get stuck in non-existent traffic. We have two lane highways everywhere. We have traffic lights on freeways! We run empty buses as an attempt at public transit. Seriously? Give the contract to move people around the lower mainland to the HK city engineers and the traffic congestion that is from the North Shore would be eliminated within the first year and the entire lower mainland to Victoria better connected within 7. No question.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my BC. I love it partly BECAUSE we don’t have all that. “Why?” Because having all that means having all those people. I’d rather hunt Wooly Mammoths for dinner than suffer this kind of congestion every day. It’s mind numbing.
But make no mistake – on the leading edge of the modern world, Canada is just not cutting it. But Hong Kong is. And, get this: the HK government is awash in excess cash. They are NOT tightening belts, they are building, constructing and shipping and manufacturing AND providing services. These guys are busy.
What do we do? We ship tar and raw logs to China. We sell fish and minerals to China. We sell our land to China. We sell our viable companies to China. We even sell citizenship to China. We are clearly NOT doing the right thing. They may NOT be doing it either (see: the environment) but they are doing a helluva lot more than we are. We are dupes led by a dope. It is embarrassing.
Worse than embarrassing? They will soon buy BC.
I am usually proud to say “I am a Canadian” but lately it feels a bit more like saying, “I am part of the nation whose government is not as smart as yours.” And I feel as if that sentiment would manifest in a number of places like Japan, Singapore and maybe even South Korea. We seem to be blessed with the resources but are somehow learning challenged. We can’t run with even the little dogs. It’s embarrassing.
If the path of modernity is flawed and corrupt and self destructive (like some of us suspect) being old fashioned may save us. But, if man marches inexorably on technologically and productively (as are the modern economies invested) then we will simply fall into ‘colony’ status.
I think we are already.