Politics and Economics

It’s the Economy Stupid …

Ballad Of A Thin Man”, Bob Dylan, from the album “Highway 61 Revisited” (August, 1961)

Reviewing our Year End financials prior to discussing it all with our accountants. It appears that we lost money this year, the first year we have made a loss since year one of this pilgrimage.

Fortunately it is all still in the “paper loss” part of the ledger where the amortization of assets exceeded the net profits for the year. So far we can still pay the bills and put food on the table.

Alberta Premiere Rachel Notley

Alberta Premiere Rachel Notley

Two years into an classic NDP economic massacree and looking down the road I wonder how many more years of losses we will have to face while Rachel and her merry band of communists do their level best to destroy any semblance of an economy in Alberta, which Province once supported the healthiest economy in Canada.

One wonders what the “have not” Provinces will do (under Canada’s generous re-distribution scam) now that the Province which they were sucking the blood from has become a have not Province as well.

There is no Province left in Canada with a positive economy (that is, an economy in surplus) so is this the place where the Socialists discover that taking other peoples production only works as long as there is someone producing. Anybody? Anybody?

Move over E.U. and Venezuela, we need some room on the Group W bench for Canada. It should be an interesting time watching the biggest spending government in the history of Alberta implode as it tries to come to grips with running out of other peoples money. Interesting, that is, as in May you live in interesting times.

Carbon Tax, Electrical Generation Companies closing half their generation stations, Oil industry departing for more favorable venues, “Might as well move to B.C. now,” I heard one oil exec say. “If we’re going to get screwed, at least we’ll have an ocean view.”, royalty reviews, higher taxes on business. Hello, Saskatchewan and North Dakota, said the oil companies to Alberta — don’t let the door hit you in the face on our way out.

Now, let’s look at expenditures. There’s already $103 million to education, plus a reversal of all cuts announced by the Tories (much of this goes to pay teacher salaries, the highest in the country for the lowest quality of education). Then there’s keeping open the costly young offenders’ centre in Calgary, which, will now leave two half-used, expensive facilities staffed with government employees.

4 horsemen of the ApocalypseAnd then there’s the restoration of 1,600 were-soon-to-be-laid-off employees of Alberta’s health-care system (the most expensive, and among the worst performing in the country). And 2 years of new NDP hiring all taken together is heading past the 3000 new government jobs level. That’s why Edmonton booms while the rest of Alberta is in it’s death throes. But that is where the votes are, right Rachel?

That’s just the start of the many campaign promises now being fulfilled on the backs of producers. These include tuition freezes, lunch programs, smaller classes, more health-care coverage, a cut in school fees, more beds, more home care in case you don’t want those beds, job creation for unemployed youth, support for wind power (German Companies are singing) and small breweries (AUPE loves their beer, right?) — just basically more of everything.

What’s noticeable about this equation? The ones who generate the wealth, who take the risks, and make the investment — those on the black part of the balance sheet — are in the dumper, while the gains are all to the mainly unionized, revenue-draining red side of the balance sheet.

AUPE is running Alberta. Does this all sound like the kind of expenditures you would make when all the economic indicators the rest of the universe uses to make smart decisions about budgetary issues are all pointing in the other direction? Obviously, it is easy to spend other people’s money and of course, maybe, maybe, even the Socialist NDP sincerely believe they are helping people …  they take their collective actions all “with the best of intentions” … but as C.S. Lewis opines:

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
– C.S. Lewis

Not exactly the 4 horsemen but for a modern western economy, totally dependent on energy and exports it is about as close as one gets.



Blind leading the blind over the cliff edgeStupid is as stupid does

Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

You Can’t Tax Brains … part 1

Western academic institutions – “the school system” – are the most anti-meritocratic collection of self centered interest groups in the history of civilization. I believe that is because as a group they constitute the most fearful and cowardly collection if disparate wannabe’s anywhere any time.  I would guess that over 3 quarters of them at all levels have never done anything in their lives but go to school. And because they are terrified of everything outside the school yard they have built the strongest unions in the civilized world to protect them from reality and to endlessly extort resources and concessions from the society on which they are parasitically dependent.

I spent close to 20 years within the system as a student or working both as a teacher and a caretaker (janitor for those of us who remember “janitors”). This may shock some but this is an experience based rant. I have spent quality time in education systems in the maritimes, the heartland, and the plains.  These institutional ghettos are, in my experience, essentially the same in the broad strokes everywhere in the western world.  And the system is doomed, because no matter how hard the unions try they cannot protect incompetence and self interest forever.

As my Dad remarked years ago, “Everyone with Get-Up-And-Go got up and went”. What’s left is a calcified dinosaur, fossilized alive, defending the statuss-quo at all costs and to hell with “education” and “instructing young minds”. Just like the 19 cent dollar, most university or college degree programs, especially in some areas of “studies” now have declined in value to such an extent as to have nothing to do with producing responsible thinking adults, but rather qualify a young person to pay off student loans forever by flipping burgers and running errands for the subordinates of corner office types to pay for the fat pensions and benefit packages of academics who never contributed anything to civilization except greenhouse gases..  Oh Yea!  Beware of any field of academic endeavour that ends in “studies”.

Of course none of this should surprise any “thinking” human being. “Nanny” states produce “Nanny” schools devoted to producing good little clones who will do what they are told and work until they are euthanized at the end of their productive life and then recycled. “Orwellian” comes to mind. In a previous rant I talked about the “masses” without mentioning that they are trained from the cradle to behave the way they do. From a certain perspective they are a “success” story.  Much of modern western culture, our “society” was developed over several centuries of resistance and revolt against established aristocracies, classes of people who held a certain station by virtue of birth and inheritance. Perceived as “unjust” and “unfair” “We hold that all men are created equal…” and all that stuff …

So where are we going now?  Real education for all the “right” reasons has become more and more the purview of the intelligent. Brains, IQ, ability to think coherently and logically, ability to perceive and deal with a tangible reality has become the defining characteristic of the successful and, more and more quickly, the domain of the rich and successful, measured by material standard (a kind of “revenge of the nerds” writ large). Private institutions funded and patronized by the “successful brainiacs” have become the norm for any and all meaningful education, fast tracking the offspring of the intelligent to the higher, more rewarding, levels of human endeavour.

The official  “educational” systems have become a de-facto baby sitting service for young proles destined to eek out their lives labouring in the corporate fields behind a digital plow or cleaning the middens of the corporate or government palace.The workers in those educational systems, both educators and support staff are virtually all products of the system in which they are marooned. Standards have been steadily degraded in the interest of “fairness” and “self esteem” until there is no way to see or understand that there is something better possible if only it could be perceived. “No Child Left Behind” means “B.O.B.” is the only possible outcome  (B.O.B. being a non-PC acronym for “Bottom of the Barrel”).

Now everything I have written here today is intended to outrage and provoke by the excessive use of exaggeration and hyperbole. Unfortunately for our society, it is also all provably true – facts, and reality don’t bend well to spin.  Over a hundred years of denying that people have different abilities to greater and lesser degrees and to suppress abilities and guarantee outcomes have only succeeded in dumbing down everything we face in daily life and forcing “quality” to go off the radar and ignore the proles and their Nanny governors. Nothing of value, no service or product, that we take for granted today was developed by a successful graduate of “public” education. That’s just the facts, Ma’am.

more to follow







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