Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Talking to Canadians

Remember "Talking to Americans"? I do. I remember it fondly but more so I remember a time where Canadians were proud of their knowledge. Those Americans, I laughed to myself, what will they think up next?

"Talking to Americans" may have been a bit egocentric on our part, but not nearly as bad as the corporation of Canada's view of itself today where every talking-point on how great Canada is, is a lie. From our "economic leadership" of the G7, to this most recent budget, to our "world-class" environmental monitoring systems and the "Canada Jobs Plan", everything - and I mean everything - about Canada that we tell ourselves or is propagandized to us is a lie.

We love our lies though, it's what gives us confidence in the economy, and faith in the system. It's lies like claiming a "budget is balanced" when noted needed spending is "deferred" and it includes a 24% tobacco tax hike on those pesky smokers adding an additional projected $3.3B to "general revenue" while Canadians bitch about what a burden they're told those smokers are on the underfunded healthcare system. Next time you see one thank them for providing the single largest increase to government "revenue". Also thank the retired public workers on fixed incomes for taking another cut. That's "prudent fiscal management", you know, putting a huge cost increase on the backs of people to pull-off a politically motivated balanced budget.

Yes, it is a politically motivated balanced budget as is evident by these types of articles coming out:

With Ottawa on track to balance the budget, what comes next?

That's right, it was so important to "balance the budget" that now that we supposedly have (in reality we haven't, we've simply moved the debt off the books) everyone's asking well, what's next? Well if there was no plan, or rhyme, or reason to having to balance the budget then why are we burdening so much of the population with the associated costs and lack of service to accomplish it in this election year to fulfill their election promise? Of course as we've been discussing at length for years on this blog simply ignoring growth requirements and infrastructure spending doesn't make those costs go away.

I'm guessing what will "come next" is paying double or triple in the future on those deferred costs, or the resulting disasters.

Ottawa lifts ceiling on funds for Lac-Megantic decontamination and rebuilding
Ottawa has agreed to lift the ceiling on the amount of money it will allocate to the decontamination and rebuilding of Lac-Megantic, the Quebec government announced Tuesday.

The agreement provides for Ottawa to assume 50 per cent of admissible expenses, with Quebec paying for the other half.

The total costs incurred in last summer’s train derailment, which killed 47 people, have yet to be determined but Quebec’s Public Security Department said it could top $400 million.

Quebec said the deal stipulates Ottawa will give Quebec $25 million within 30 days of it being signed. The agreement is in the process of being ratified.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper committed up to $95 million in federal funds last November to help clean up the contamination.

When the train derailed, the crude oil it was carrying exploded, devastating much of Lac-Megantic’s downtown.

A federal government spokesman said the sum of $400 million put forth by Quebec still has not been detailed.

“Quebec won’t get any reimbursement if they can’t give us detailed expenses,” said the spokesman who did not want to be identified.

He said Quebec will have to supply the necessary information by 2018.
So it started with no taxpayer dollars. then it was some taxpayer dollars with a "ceiling". and now it's going to be unlimited taxpayer dollars. See how the costs of doing business in our new normal snowballs? All to be paid by you, via service cuts and inflating away your wealth, while the money goes out to Ottawa's corporate pals.

Chrysler's Ontario plants could depend on government money [Pre-Budget]
Canada signals may help Chrysler on Ontario plant investment [Post-Budget]

Yep, ask and you shall receive, so long as your a major corporation pushing a dying breed of technology that requires hidden fuel subsidies to continue to make it appear to be affordable operating on infrastructure in which the input costs due to the requirement for diminishing fossil fuels continues to skyrocket. We can barely afford to maintain our sprawling asphalt transportation network and cars are going to be the future? Yea, right.

The auto industry is dying because the operation of cars and the required infrastructure is already beyond affordable. I don't drive, but I pay with my tax dollars towards every tank of gas you purchase so that you can feel like you're still part of the "middle class" and so you feel your "dollar" has more purchasing power than it really does.

It makes me sick how incredibly fucking clueless most Canadians seem to be regarding our situation. I just can't express how angry and frustrated I am, especially with Canadians. Don't you get it folks? It's just lie after lie after lie. secrecy and slight of hand while they silently steal your wealth to pay interest to private banks with no plan of prosperity for the future. Everything is the next quarter, the next election year, little blips of time that are meaningless on the grand scale of human existence.

It makes me so fucking angry to look at my daughter and know that our solution to an impossible monetary equation of infinite growth is to put all the resulting problems on her back while we pat ourselves on the back for deferring costs, endangering lives, and having a "balanced budget". It is incredibly angering to know that when she is my age the standard of living I've enjoyed will seem as distant and impossible to her as the standard of living my parents enjoyed seems to me. We've already entered our period of real deflation and de-growth but yet we still lie and convince ourselves that somehow the future will be larger than the past even as constant cost-cutting demonstrates it won't be larger at all. Our standard of living is already declining and we can't even admit that to ourselves.

The truly sad part though is that when the lies finally do blow up in our face those responsible won't be blamed. Ralph Klein today is still hailed by uninformed Albertans as a "fiscally prudent manager of finances" and not a big fat fucking liar who simply deferred the debt into the future. Now pro-Klein Albertans blame Alison Redford for the debt and while she's a liar too trying to keep the house of cards Klein built together the debt is not really her fault, it's his for not spending the money that needed to be spent to support the growth he was cheerleading the whole way. The oilsands, too, are cheered as one of the "saviors" of the Canadian economy when in reality they are a direct cause of our major economic problems in Alberta. We are so fucking stupid in Alberta that we actually think "capital intensive" energy production is a good thing and that expensive low-return energy somehow leads to more prosperity, not less. Fucking idiots.

Perhaps what is most frustrating which I find incredibly hard to properly express my emotions regarding, is that due to the state and quality of information available to Canadians and their complete lack of interest in trying to understand the complex and unique position of the Canadian economy we are willfully choosing to make the real problems worse than they need to be all so that we can lie to ourselves on paper and pretend as though a system that requires infinite growth is working A'Ok.

Our understanding of our economic position is so flawed and uninformed that when the value of the Canadian dollar goes down, we tell ourselves the value of our oil actually went up. No, you fucking idiot, the price of the oil went up, the value stayed the same, and your purchasing power has diminished. We actually cheer when our cost of living becomes more expensive but that's just par for the course when you're 'talking with Canadians'.

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for CenturyLink

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

1 comment:

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