Monday, July 20, 2020

Alberta Wars Episode V: Is The Economy Coming Back?

A long time ago
in an economy far far away...


Episode V
Is The Economy Coming Back?

For the citizens of Harper's new empire the old Alberta Advantage was a distant memory. The great religion of the Alberta boom became more and more mythic by the day. Parents tell their children stories of the great booms that once roamed the land while counting the holy pipelines on their camping trips and to dare not praise the boom is all but blasphemy.

It was said that the boom rose from the work force and bound everything together. The rock, the tree, the lake. It flowed through the boreal forest. All of these things could be exploited with the boom, nothing was too big, too heavy, or cost too much.

Master job creators from far reaches of the galaxy flocked to Alberta for the boom and the work-force, always balanced in favor of the job-creators for they had mastered the work-force and risen above the fray.. Their Padawans would follow close behind sniffing every whiff of the splendor plopping out of the job creator's think tank.

But all that remained now were the abandoned wells, barely interesting enough for the Empire to count, and a thorn in the side of the Empire that was already working hard to convince Albertans that their pride and joy: the sludge factory, would bring the mythic booms back again.
Emperor Harper, and Darth Kenney knew something the citizens of their empire didn't however. While they had been in office of the Government of the Dominion they had released a secret memo outlining cost concerns and a weakness in their sludge factory: it cost too damn much. It had been estimated that it would cost $650 billion Dominion credits for the project to maintain it's momentum over the next decade and that was equivalent to all of the investment that had come before. In addition to this they faced a galactic trade war, the Health Star crisis, and a collapsing liquidity market. Alberta's sludge factory was fucked.

Instead of making this information public, and warning the work-force, they kept it a secret and continued to lie to the work-force hoping that the balance in favor of the job creators could be kept. But as each day ticked away the reality of the western Dominions situation was becoming more and more apparent. The layoffs mounted, the investment disappeared, just as the memo had foretold.

The true reality that scared the citizens into submission was that the booms may not return. That it in fact may not have been their culture of success, their genius, or their conservative budgets, but simply because they had the right market sludge, at the right market time.

The Twitter Storm Troopers held the threat of no more booms above the heads of the citizens, raining down bombs of despair. A new dogma was unleashed: dare question the sludge and Alberta will never boom again.

Citizens were forced to volunteer for service cuts and cost increases, all for the good of the Empire of course.

Captain Shandro of the Ministry for Virtual Health Insurance repeatedly changed the terms of the agreement with doctors, then tore it up all together. "I am altering the deal," he told them in his deepest reddest voice, "pray I don't alter it any further.". He instructed the Doctor's Order not to allow doctors to leave the new Empire just in case his deep voice didn't work,

Artists rendition of a McHealth facility
The empire hoped their swiftness and blitzkrieg attacks could keep the growing bands of rebels off balance and that the citizens would not notice the McHealth franchises popping up over the land. The Empire hoped to open a few McLearnStuffs too: empire and job-creator approved.

They intimidated and gaslit the concerned citizens. It was a full assault, they deployed their BS-BS talkers, and yet still the opposition persisted.

It was frustrating for the citizens, but with each sacrifice, each tax cut, the empire promised: the booms will be back.

Sooner or later the citizens were going to figure out that the booms were actually extinct, a relic of a time now long past. Emperor Harper and Darth Kenney knew this to be true as they had made the original analysis so working with their partners they doubled their efforts for a new fair deal and an isolated empire: free from critical thought. Only with the work-force completely re-balanced in favor of the job-creators would those job-creators be able to leave unscathed.

The anger felt by the citizens promised booms by the department of false hope was palpable and an unwieldy rancor increasingly difficult for Darth Kenney to control with the power of the work-force. Doubt was in the air. Doubt leads to thought, thought leads to questions, and questions lead to answers, of which Darth Kenney had none.

Time also was not on Darth Kenney's side as the Health Star crisis had greatly accelerated the liquidity issues facing the sludge factory making capital increasingly difficult to come by. He had had a small victory putting the bankrupt job creators well liabilities on citizens of the Dominion but it was small fries compared to the risk he wished they'd take on.

The sun dawned another day, Darth Kenney put on his face, stepped out of the back of his rented RV cruiser and promised the citizens: the boom will be back.

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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.

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