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Alberta Politics Canadian Politics Conservatarians Politics Self reliance Socialism The left US Politics

THE LEFT IS WINNING!

Dave 07

Two days after last week’s NDP Party (socialist) win in Alberta, Andrew Coyne of the National Post wrote an article called: “Alberta never really was all that conservative.” The subtext was: “The left is winning.”

I’m afraid he’s right. Now I don’t believe that NDP Leader Rachel Notley is a wild eyed Communist; in fact I think she’s probably a very nice person, although she does have some serious lefties in her crew including one enthusiastic Hugo Chavez fan. Chavez was the Venezuelan leader (now deceased) whose socialistic policies reduced his oil rich nation’s potential to become a very wealthy country, to one where people – particularly the poor – lineup for hours for the basic necessities of life. The cause, government monopoly, is the same as the one behind why Canadians line up for knee replacements and Americans line up at the post office.

But the fact is that Western democracies have been drifting left for many decades. The social programs begun to help the truly needy during the Depression in the 1930s became “entitlement” programs in the 1960s. In Canada, the left under Pierre Trudeau called it building: “The Just Society.” In the United States, Lyndon Johnson called his: “The Great Society.” The result has been neither just, nor great.

Entitlement societies have enslaved millions in welfare dependency. When you are born into a second or third generation welfare family, unless you are extremely gifted and ambitious, it is very difficult to break out of the cycle. Often, welfare pays better than getting a job and paying taxes.

Obviously it is the antithesis of progress to foster welfare dependency; yet the so-called “progressive” left carries on because it because it makes them feel good about themselves, and, garners votes.

50 years later both countries are deeply in debt; Canada to the tune of 600+ billion, and the United States to the tune of about 20 trillion. (On a per capita basis the US level is three times the Canadian level.) We are obviously not paying our way.

This is clearly immoral. I’m fortunate to have some really smart university students involved in developing the Let’s Do It Ourselves online community. www.ldio.org We get together for planning meetings and at a recent breakfast, a young woman, a newcomer, up until now had been oblivious to political issues. So in the course of the discussion we asked her how she planned to manage the $20,000 debt that she’d have to begin paying off when she completed her studies.

She looked puzzled and said: “I don’t have any debt!” When we pointed out that her share of the Canadian federal debt was currently a little over $20,000, her jaw dropped.

We provided what comfort we could by telling her that an American student’s share of their federal debt is about $60,000.

For over 50 years we have drunk ever more deeply of the sweet (sounding) socialist Kool-Aid, and left-wing ideology has been winning. But our children and grandchildren aren’t winning, and the poor aren’t winning, and our aboriginal/native populations aren’t winning. The ones that are winning are the elites who are convinced that they are smarter than us, and more qualified than we are to run our own lives.

And of course China and the Middle East oil kingdoms, and the financial institutions that hold our debt are winning, because they will collect interest for decades. We’ve had a 50 year party and are leaving the bill for our kids.

How do we get this entitlement attitude turned around; begin to push back against government; and make restitution to our offspring? I believe that we must – as Mark Steyn put it: “begin the hard work of changing the culture, seven days a week, 365 days a year.”

And how do we do that effectively and efficiently? By joining together as a community of individuals and groups who already believe in essential freedoms; property; speech; association; etc., and in smaller government and more self-reliance. Then we take our message to older generations with written articles; and younger generations with videos.

The Let’s Do It Ourselves (LDIO™) online community has been created to do exactly that.

You can become a member of our community for less than cost of a cup of coffee a week, and together we can build a reliably financed platform from which to express our ideas, and take action.

Go to our website at http://www.ldio.org/join-ldio/ and let’s make our voices heard!

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Alberta Politics Bureaucracy Conservatarians Politics Self reliance

Socialism Remembered Response

Dave 07

May 5, 2015.    When I wrote and posted my personal blog last Friday, I wasn’t remotely prepared for the outcome. We have had hundreds of comments. The activity on Facebook has been overwhelming. When I wrote the blog I intended -as I always try to do – to respond individually to each comment. That will be quite impossible, so I am going to do it in the form of a mini blog.

First of all, I want to thank you all for your comments, even from those that think I’m a greedy capitalist just trying to protect my wealth. I’m not. My wife still operates a home cleaning business because we are not wealthy – financially. We are however, wealthy in many other important ways.

My blog was simply to relate my personal experience and observation from having grown up and lived in Saskatchewan. I still have many family and friends there, and almost universally, they agree with my sentiments.

There seems to have been some misapprehension regarding my feelings about the PC party of Alberta. I think that it is a party that is arrogant, entitled, and objectively incompetent.

Regarding Saskatchewan; during the 63 years from 1944 until 2007, 47 were under NDP rule. Many of you told me that Alberta succeeded because it was blessed with oil. So was Saskatchewan.

About 35 years ago I saw a map that showed where known oil reserves lay beneath the soil of Alberta and Saskatchewan, and beside it a map showing the current level of development. The extent of oilfield development on the Alberta side of the border dropped by about 75% -in a straight line – on the Saskatchewan side. It was a stark illustration of why Alberta had prospered and Saskatchewan had not. Alberta encouraged development; Saskatchewan stood in the way of development, and that applied to most economic activity.

But here’s the main point. To those of you who say that life was better in Saskatchewan, I ask: “Why did tens of thousands of people move from Saskatchewan to Alberta?” The simple fact is that the opportunities were in Alberta.

You might not be particularly worried about opportunity. Instead, you might like a more “certain” lifestyle with the government involved in your life from cradle-to-grave. But the fact is that the vast majority wanted opportunity. I hope the vast majority still do.

Now get out and vote!

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Uncategorized

Socialism remembered II

Dave 07I hadn’t planned to do another blog until after the Alberta election, but there’s been such an overwhelming response to SOCIALISM REMEMBERED that I felt that I needed to make a couple of comments today.

First of all, a profound thank you to all of those who forwarded the links to this blog by email, and on Facebook, and Twitter. Our purpose of course is to stimulate thinking and conversation, and it succeeded.

We have a separate website at www.ldio.org which is the beta version for an online community called Let’s Do It Ourselves, or LDIO™. For those who are from Alberta, or Western Canada, it’s purpose will be to promote exactly what happened in High River and Calgary immediately after the flood of 2013, and before the government got involved. People came together by the tens of thousands and did it themselves. The government showed up to help and we know how well that worked out.

We hope to be ready for a roll-out of the new look and new videos by late May. In the meantime you can JOIN LDIO™ on the website, and it would be a tremendous help to us. http://www.ldio.org/join-ldio/

We’re getting a lot of feedback on this blog; most positive, but some negative. We are accused of ignoring the damage that some so-called conservative governments have done to provincial, state, and federal economies. Point taken.

But I would suggest the reason they failed is that, first of all, all governments are run by human beings, and they are all subject to letting greed and arrogance and pride get in the way of principles. But on the economic front, so-called conservative governments fail when they go whoring after votes. They all do it, because the only way they can have influence is to get elected, or re-elected. The competition in an election often boils down to making promises rather than promoting sound ideas.

It has also been suggested that I didn’t make the case to get rid of the PC’s strongly enough. That wasn’t the focus of the piece, but I did say that Alberta doesn’t need another four years of unremitting scandal. I am interested in sound principles, and in this present election I think that on every metric, Brian Jean is the best leader available.

But my belief is that a minority Wildrose or NDP government would be best at this time. The one thing that they would agree on is that priority one is to “clean out the corrals.” After 44 years of PC cronyism, that task will keep them busy for at least a year or two, and then we can have another election.

But an NDP majority would be a catastrophe.

However, the long-term solution lies with us; we must work nonstop at changing the entitlement culture between elections. For the older crowd that still reads, it can be done with blogs. For the younger set, the concepts must be transmitted via short, engaging videos delivered on smart phones and tablets.

Videos and social media are incredibly efficient ways to transmit ideas. On present trajectory, this blog, Socialism Revisited, will approach 100,000 views in three days, and we didn’t spend one penny for printing or postage.

Once again, you can support our LDIO™ community project at www.ldio.org. An email link is on the website.

And if anyone can help us with responding to emails and updating mailing lists, please let me know. It can all be done online. Several very solid references will be required.

Thank you all!

Dave Reesor

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Uncategorized

Socialism Remembered

Dave 07

June, 2015   I lived in Saskatchewan from 1945 until 1975. During most of that time, the province was ruled by the socialist CCF, now called NDP. Their rule continued, with brief interruptions, until 2007 when the small c conservatives of the Saskatchewan Party took over.

On the other hand, from 1945 until 1971 Alberta was ruled by the small c conservative Social Credit Party. Since then, it’s been run by the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta, although a more accurate title might be, Purportedly Conservative.

Comparing the path the two provinces took is instructive, and serves as a stark warning to Albertans.

In 1951, the population of Saskatchewan was 832,000, and the population of Alberta was 940,000; a gap of only 108,000. Only 10 years later the gap had quadrupled to 407,000; by 1991 it was 1,556,000, and just before the Saskatchewan Party took power in 2007, the gap had climbed to 2,305,000.

The gap is now nearly 3 million, with Alberta’s population slightly over 4 million and Saskatchewan’s slightly over 1 million. But since the NDP’s departure in 2007, Saskatchewan has experienced a boom, and its population is growing.

This doesn’t take complicated analysis. Alberta was pro-business and Saskatchewan was pro-government. High taxes and a collectivist approach to governance caused an exodus to Alberta.

People from across Canada and around the world moved to Alberta for opportunity, but most critically, Saskatchewan’s native born sons and daughters became its biggest export. (It was a joke in Saskatchewan that the most appropriate graduation gift was a set of luggage.)

When my wife and I arrived here in 1975, the cul-de-sac that we moved into had 10 homes; six of them occupied by economic refugees from Saskatchewan with its lack of opportunity and crumbling infrastructure.

Now, under a small c conservative government, Saskatchewan is booming. It’s not because God placed oil in the ground after the Saskatchewan party took over; nor did potash or lumber or opportunities in technology appear just recently.

(Let me repeat: 35 years ago I saw a map of oil development in the western provinces, and going from Alberta to Saskatchewan it dropped by about 75%. That border was put there in 1905; the oil arrived somewhat earlier.)

It’s booming because upon taking office, Premier Brad Wall told one and all that Saskatchewan was open for business. And he meant it. He lowered taxes and removed barriers to business. That is anti-socialist, but it unleashes opportunity. And to be fair; finally recognizing reality, the NDP under Roy Romanow had started becoming more business friendly. some years earlier.

In Alberta, Rachel Notley, the leader of the NDP has become a bit of a star, and everyone agrees that she won the leaders debate. But on May 5, we Albertans are not choosing a media personality, or, a debating champion. We are choosing a  party, and a leader that will set a direction for our province for at least four years, and possibly far longer than that.

We have the responsibility to make a thoughtful choice.

Ontario used to be Canada’s economic powerhouse. Then in 1990, after years of conservative rule, Bob Rae and the NDP took over and set a new direction for the province. Ontario is still struggling with the aftermath of that dalliance with socialism, and, almost inconceivably, Ontario is now a have not province.

(Some have pointed out that there were also liberal governments in Ontario, and so called conservative governments in Saskatchewan. That’s what they were called, but they acted very much like Alberta’s PCs have lately. PC stands for: Purportedly Conservative.)

But it is standard practice for socialist parties like the NDP – (and so called centralist or even conservative parties when they’re chasing votes) – to ignore both basic economics and human nature. No province in Canada has succeeded economically under an NDP government, and their young people pay a high price through lost opportunities. (Saskatchewan did begin a comeback under Roy Romanow, but only because he began to adopt free enterprise economic policies.)

During the leader’s debate, Jim Prentice told Ms. Notley that “math is difficult.”  Actually it’s not. Ms. Notley promises to take more tax dollars away from corporations, yet expects those corporations to create 27,000 more jobs. The real world does not work like that. To repeat, socialist ideology never works because it ignores basic arithmetic, and human nature.

We have three granddaughters who went to “McDonald’s University” to learn how to get to work on time; deal with customers; and count change. Training kids and new immigrants is a major cost to employers, yet Ms. Notley wants to raise the minimum wage from $10.20 an hour to $15 an hour, a move which would have raised a huge barrier for our granddaughters and for many immigrants needing an entry point into the workforce. (I have hired at least 20 teenagers to work in our business over the years and I know this from personal experience)

But more taxes and a high minimum wage are standard socialist dogma, and when Ms. Notley says she is going to do it, I’d suggest that we take her seriously.

She also promises another royalty review. Ed Stelmach tried that and it drove a significant portion of our oil industry to Saskatchewan.

Alberta doesn’t need a debating champion, nor do we need another four years of week after week of revelations of PC sleaze and corruption and mismanagement and arrogance.

Alberta needs a leader with practical life experience; a leader committed to genuine improvement of healthcare delivery – regardless of ideology; one committed to sound financial management; and one that will put Albertan’s interests first.

We don’t know much about Brian Jean because he’s only been a party leader for about a month, but Graham Thompson of the Edmonton Journal wrote about his interview with Mr. Jean. http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/alberta-politics/Thomson+Wildrose+leader+Brian+Jean+finally/11010532/story.html

What makes this article extremely intriguing is that Graham Thompson’s views have tended to lean consistently left, and in the past he has been quite sympathetic to the NDP. Maybe Mr. Thompson has finally thought through the potential for economic devastation under an NDP government.

On May 5, as we walk into the polling booth, the citizens of Alberta should thank God that we live in Alberta and, like Travel Alberta’s excellent commercials remind us: “Remember to Breathe.” And then we should take another deep breath and: Remember to Think!


 

If you liked this blog, please JOIN the Let’s Do it Ourselves community at http://www.ldio.org/join-ldio/. Your support is a tremendous help to us. We hope to roll out a new look, new videos, and new blogs by late May.

The goal of the organization is to promote exactly what happened in High River and Calgary immediately after the flood of 2013, but before the government got involved: people came together by the tens of thousands and cleaned up their city as volunteers. Later, the government showed up to help and we know how well that worked out.