Meritha (my wife) and I often get into political discussions, and a recent morning was no exception. How is it that the Left can undertake projects – some of them certifiably insane – and are successful, while conservatives see things that need to be done, or more often, undone, but can’t succeed?
Conclusion? Leftist culture is, by nature, collectivist, whereas conservatives are, by nature, individualists and leery of anything that could be associated with a herd mentality.
No question, herd mentality, or tribalism if you will, really dumbs things down, but that has nothing to do with conservatives working together to undertake big projects. In fact, in 2012, I began an online community based on the idea that conservatives were going to have to work together as a community if we were going to stop the Post Modern, Marxist advance. I called the community Let’s Do It Ourselves (LDIO™) taken from a line in Mark Steyn’s book, After America, Armageddon.
We produced several videos, and one of them included the fact that my very conservative Mennonite ancestors have, for centuries, and still do, come together for Big Projects. Go to this link and click on, “Going Back for our Future”)
The current Big Project for conservatives, is to reverse 80 years of Post Modern Marxist destruction of Western culture. We cannot do it as individuals.World War II wasn’t won by little platoons, it was won by the Allied Forces. This will require us to build a community of tens, and then hundreds of thousands, and then millions, of thoughtful, moderate, committed conservatives. If we don’t do it, Western civilization will end.
Projects need a catalyst, and in 2013, LDIO™ lacked one because the Conservative Party was in power in Ottawa, and the Purportedly Conservatives were in power in Alberta, and conservatives were apathetic. Then from 2015-19, Rachel Notley and the NDP gave Albertans a taste of, government of the people, by unionists, and for the unions. Justin Trudeau gave us 4 years of chaos, corruption, and embarrassment. Somnolent conservatives began stirring. Then in the fall of 2019, the rationally impossible happened when Justin Trudeau was re-elected Prime Minister. Conservatives finally awakened and said: “Enough!”
A year or so before I started LDIO™, another fellow named Bill Baerg had also recognized the need for an online conservative community, and so began a Facebook Group called: “Rex Murphy for Prime Minister”. The group didn’t grow much during the first few years, but after the 2019 re-election of Justin Trudeau, it took off. It’s now at over 7000 members and growing rapidly.
I met Bill recently, and we found that we share the vision for a community where conservatives that think carefully about issues, want serious conversations about solutions, understand strategy, and want to be involved in coordinated, pragmatic action, can find a home.
Bill is in ill health and has asked me to take over administration of Rex Murphy for Prime Minister. I’m honored to do so. If you’re not yet a member, I would encourage you to join us! Go to Facebook and click on the Groups icon, (heads), and search for the Rex Murphy for Prime Minister group.
More in subsequent blogs, on ways to perpetuate Rex’s legacy of intelligence, common sense wisdom, and wit.
I’m Dave Reesor
If you have family or friends that would enjoy or benefit from membership in a group that takes issues seriously, but with good will and good humor, encourage them to join Facebook, if only to join the Rex Murphy for Prime Minister group!
I have long maintained – because the evidence has been overwhelming for a long time – that the Left is focused on talking about Progress; implementing “Progressive” legislation, and then not worrying much about the unintended consequences. For instance, the magical $15 an hour minimum wage is a huge barrier to getting that first-time job, for teenagers and immigrants, but still not enough for a single mom with a couple of kids. A carbon tax has no effect whatever on the lives of the wealthy but is a significant hit to the poor.
Which is apparently not a problem for the Left. As Robespierre said: “”Omelettes are not made without breaking eggs.” Robespierre was the mastermind behind the French Reign of Terror which killed thousands of innocent people who happened to be on the wrong side of history. All in the name of Progress.
Now we have a study by researchers from Cornell University and the University of Michigan that found, to their astonishment, that climate alarmism skeptics are in fact, more environmentally friendly than global warming alarmists. Watching the lives of people like David Suzuki and Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert Redford and Neil Young, I think we’ve known that all along, haven’t we?
The fact is that conservatives are, well, conservative. We like to maintain and improve the environment for our children and grandchildren; we like to help our neighbors when they need help, and we like to provide for ourselves and our family to the best of our ability. But we think it’s unseemly to strut and preen when we do these things.
We don’t believe that we need to run to the government for “help” every time a difficulty arises, and by the way, we feel no need to buy carbon credits so we can sleep at night.
My experience is that most people are, by nature, conservative, but the radicals have propagandized the issue to such an extent that they’re afraid to “come out”. Well, if you believe in the things I listed above, and you believe in free speech, here’s permission to come out.
Don’t forget the annual Friends of Science event next week at Calgary’s Red and White Club at McMahon Stadium. There will be a buffet dinner and two excellent speakers who, unlike David Suzuki, Al Gore et al., actually care about the environment.
I just checked (Tuesday 8th) and there are a few tickets left. Call Julie right away at 1-888-789-9597, Ext 2. And if you have to miss it this year, don’t make the same mistake next year. Second Tuesday in May.
Have a great week!
Please Like, if you do, and if you do, please Share!
I don’t think it’s a secret to anyone that I’m a small C conservative who believes that the politics we get result from the culture we create.
This blog, and the Let’s Do It Ourselves (LDIO™) online community, are dedicated to fostering a culture in which individual rights are protected, not overrun, by the State; a culture where parents and not the State, are acknowledged as those who have the legitimate and primary interest in the greatest good for their children.
LDIO™ is about fostering a culture where citizens, cooperating at the most local level possible, is recognized as preferable to governments, “doing something.”
I have believed, and have argued for many years, that one of the biggest problems for conservatism is timidity; our leaders making a panicky grab for the reverse gear as soon as someone from the mainstream/left-wing media challenges one of our ideas. That has to end.
During the United Conservative Party (UCP) leadership race, I would have preferred to remain neutral. But I’m concerned that Brian Jean – who I absolutely believe is a good man – has proven repeatedly that he is terrified of the media, and that the very phrase, “bozo eruption” causes his heart to palpitate. That’s a problem.
Objecting to Alberta Education inserting itself between children and their parents is not a bozo eruption. It’s the common sense, moderate position.
Objecting to children being provided links to pornography on the Alberta Education (Alberta taxpayers funded), Gay Straight Alliance, or GSA website, is not a bozo eruption. Nor is it being “hysterical”, or “sensationalist”, as suggested by Kris Wells, Alberta Education’s advisor on the project. Again, it’s the common sense, moderate position.
Yet, the Alberta government and its “comrades” (that’s a word they actually use) in the radical LGBTQ community, have managed to characterize themselves, and their agenda, as moderate. Very few in the political arena have pointed out the obvious absurdity.
As the NDP government continues to advance it’s objective of sidelining parents from their children, and stamping out educational choice, their many support organizations like Progress Alberta, and the Alberta Teachers Association, brazenly misinform the public.
They lie about the economic realities of alternate schools, which, in fact, subsidize the public system, and they lie about the rights of parents to choose their child’s education, which, in fact, is the law, and, by the way, common sense, and they attack anyone who objects.
The only UCP leadership candidate that has been prepared to vocally stand up to this radically immoderate and illegal nonsense, is Jason Kenney. Conservatives need to remember that over the next few days, as they choose a new leader for the United Conservative Party of Alberta.
I’ve heard Jason Kenney described as a slick politician, but I’ve known him and watched him for a number of years, and what he clearly is, is a very polished politician. There’s a huge difference between slick and polished, and in national and international negotiations, it will make a huge difference.
Of course, Brian Jean is a good man, and if he’s chosen leader, his conservative resolve can be strengthened by knowing that the majority of Albertans have his back.
The crucial issue is that the Radical Progressivists must be removed, and, positive for the left, that will make room for the NDP to be refurbished with moderate leftists, like Rachel Notley’s father. When the apple fell off that tree, it rolled a long way down hill!
Agree, or disagree, Like, and Share. That’s how social media works!
As many of you know, a few years ago I founded an organization called Let’s Do It Ourselves or LDIO™. It is based on the belief that common sense conservatives must Cooperate, Contribute, and Communicate if we are to have any hope of reversing the cultural and economic deterioration of Western democracies.
To expand a bit: we want to build a virtual community where we can share resources, ideas, strategies, technology, and, where it’s relevant, our contacts.
We want to encourage conservatives to contribute consistently, so that organizations that are at the forefront of the battle for free speech, parent’s rights, property rights, and so on, are not spending so much time just raising funds. Tens of millions of Canadians and Americans are common sense conservatives, and if they each contributed, consistently, three or four or five dollars a month to a half a dozen organizations, the conservative movement would be abundantly financed.
And we need to communicate more effectively, particularly to Millennials. That will involve producing very short videos that make points that Millennials can relate to.
From time to time we’re going to feature people that I know, that are doing the work, and who deserve our support. John Robson is one of those people. Watch his video, and then have a look at his website, and sign up for 5 or $10 a month. You be glad you did.
And of course, we encourage you to become members of Let’s Do It Ourselves. We need to update our website, (certainly need to get somebody new in the videos), and hire an assistant, but we can’t do it without your help.
One source of negative feedback was Randall. Full disclosure; Randall is my cousin and our worldviews are different, so we spar from the perspectives of Socialism and Atheism, versus Conservatism and Christianity. I hope someday that we can engage in the conversation face-to-face, over a very long lunch.
What I’ve done here is copied Randall’s comments, and then responded to them. Unavoidably, this blog is much longer than usual.
Randall. One system with different schools to fit parent’s interests is a bit contradictory. It would be interesting to see how that would work in rural areas, never mind urban areas!
Dave. How is it contradictory? It’s simply a pooling of school funding through equal taxation levels, and then having equal funding follow each student to the school of their and their parent’s choice.
It’s exactly the same idea as having a publicly funded healthcare system, but with the customer choosing which doctor, hospital or clinic to patronize. What’s unique to both in the Canadian context, is that the student or patient is actually regarded as a customer, rather than an expense; a customer for which the provider must compete with other providers, which forces a focus on excellence in the service provided.
Randall. The worldview that matters is pretty basic: communication, facts, skills and nurturing self actualization with the ability to think independently and objectively. Personal interests, especially religious, must be a private matter.
Dave. Randall, you reveal your bias, and unfortunately, a tint of totalitarianism. Of course we have a Prime Minister who is an open admirer of totalitarians, so maybe that’s the direction we’re heading. And please explain: “nurturing self actualization”??
But it seems to me that you’re basically saying that the worldview that matters, is your worldview. On the other hand, I am not saying that the worldview that must prevail is my worldview. I’m simply calling for freedom of speech, of assembly, freedom of, or from religion, etc., for both you, and me.
I’m saying that if parents wish to send their children to a school that teaches essential subjects from the perspective of their worldview, then that’s their inalienable right. Those rights are not conferred by the government; in fact, it is a government’s essential responsibility to protect those rights.
That is affirmed by The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights; Article 26: subsection 3, as well as numerous other International, Canadian, and Alberta declarations and laws. So, what Alberta’s NDP government is trying to do is fundamentally contrary to Alberta, Canadian, and International Law. And, also by the way, also contrary to common sense and decency.
Or, do you actually believe that preteens should have access, through a Department of Education approved website, to instructional videos on oral sex, to pick one of the least offensive examples?
And do you believe that parents should be excluded from knowing when their kids are experiencing gender confusion, or which government approved organizations their children have joined? Again, that’s contrary to the law, and contrary to simple common sense.
Because, how about school marks? If the teacher knows that a student’s parents are really strict about their kids doing well in school, what happens if one of their kids gets an F? The child might be terrified of facing his or her parents, so should they be “outed” to their parents for their bad mark, or should their parents be kept in the dark?
It’s a scientific fact that the many children go through gender dysphoria during grade school years, and even into junior high, but in the vast majority of cases, with their parents love and involvement, they grow out of it. Of course, there are a very small percentage of parents that are abusive, but the law already makes provision for dealing with that.
The Alberta government’s position seems to be that a child’s gender confusion should be affirmed, and even encouraged by the school, but concealed from the parents. Can you defend this?
Randall. Perhaps if churches and ministers paid taxes the government would be able to afford to do a better job.
Dave. I agree that churches and pastors should be held to a very strict standard when it comes to their tax exemptions. But it is a fact that many churches perform invaluable community service in helping people through financial difficulties, addictions, marriage problems, and even in dying. And in most cases, they do a far better job than government funded services, and at no cost to the taxpayer.
Randall. Atheists, at this point, do not need to organize. We live in a democracy (as flawed as it is) and paying our taxes we pay for all the programs government provides (and the subsidies as well…).
Dave. At this point?? Considering the record of the numerous officially Atheistic regimes in the 20th century, that sounds ominous.
Anyway, here’s where our differing worldviews come into stark relief. Socialist/Leftists/ Progressivists (SLP) believe in the all-knowing, all-providing, all-powerful state. Conservatives don’t.
Because conservatives like me have spent the last 60 years observing the SLP worldview being practiced; in National Socialist (Nazi) Germany, in the Soviet Union, in Communist China, currently in increasingly dystopian Venezuela, and on and on.
I personally lived under the disastrous economic policies of socialism in Saskatchewan, although I hasten to add that it was infinitely more benign than the socialist regimes I’ve mentioned. More on that below.
Randall. There is only so much cash to go around. Even wealthy Alberta cannot afford to have special interest schools for every nuance of personal opinion. One public school system for all. Special interests are a private matter. No public money should go to any private school, ever. One “free” private system!!!
Dave. As I proved in my blog, patrons of alternate schools in Alberta currently subsidize the public (Secularist) system to the tune of 30% of their education tax dollars. In provinces like Ontario, it’s 100%. On top of that, alternate schools raise their own capital funding! The Secularist public system benefits by millions from the existence of alternate schools. I know you weren’t a math teacher, but……
Anyway, why are you so against allowing parents to teach their children, within a universally funded education system, an alternate perspective to yours?
Randall. And in your tirade using emotionally charged words like “Nazi” about repeated lies becoming accepted, you forgot to mention Donald Trump. You should be more current…
Dave. Randall, this is my favourite. I knew some people would be offended by my use of the word Nazi. Do you remember Bush-Hitler?
And Harper-Nazi? And just last week, an SLP activist tweeted that Alberta parents that expressed opposition to the NDP’s gender fluidity promoting agenda, were: “Cultural Marxists.”
Now if you assume that most Albertans are quite brainless, you could also reasonably assume that that would be an effective slur. But most Albertans are not brainless, and the poor lady simply revealed herself to be short of an argument.
As you know, I’m no big fan of Donald Trump. But Donald Trump’s lies tend to towards hyperbole, and in some cases are proven to be correct – think of Sweden’s real problem with radical Islamists; whereas the Left’s lies are often a transparent use of Nazi style, “repeat the lie” propaganda, in order to have the lie become fact, and to intimidate those with alternate perspectives.
Anyway, as unappetizing as Trump may be to many, he was hired to drain the swamp, and it’s a reasonable assumption that swamp drainers are not necessarily genteel gentlemen.
One more point about the Nazis. For decades, the left has characterized Nazism / Fascism as being right wing. That is pure, and so far successful, propaganda. Because in fact, the National Socialist party – commonly referred to under Hitler as the Nazis – was socialist in that Hitler saw both individuals and industry as having a prior responsibility to the objectives of the state.
And in that view he was aligned with Joseph Stalin, Chairman Mao, Fidel Castro, and more recently, the Hugo Chavez revolution in Venezuela, which has managed to destroy that country in two decades. Its citizens are fleeing to Columbia by the hundreds.
So I’d suggest to conservative readers that we always refer to Nazism as a left wing phenomenon.
21st century SLPs are anti-free speech – routinely shutting down speakers, particularly at universities. They’re anti-freedom of assembly, witness some of Canada’s law societies’ outrageous attempt to prevent a law school being established at Trinity Western University; they’re anti-freedom of religion, and so on.
And they don’t want to discuss it! It’s been my observation that the only people that want no argument are the people that have no argument.
The faces of the Western left used to be those of Tommy Douglas, Alan Blakely, Roy Romanow, Hubert Humphrey, and Golda Meier; reasonable and honorable people all.
SLP faces are now those of Naomi Klein, Rachel Maddow, Jeremy Corbin, the radical management and faculty of far too many universities, and of course, the hopelessly myopic Bernie Sanders, who, having honeymooned in the Soviet Union, still came back a proud socialist. How was that even possible?
Unfortunately, the SLPs current face includes that of Rachel Notley, a woman who I had always believed to be simply a decent person with whom I disagreed. Considering her regime’s actions and attitude, I’m re-considering.
Western civilization is in a very dangerous period for the very simple reason, that those in control of many governments, most bureaucracies, and the media and entertainment industries, are focused on its destruction; in part because Western civilization is anchored by a Judaeo – Christian worldview, which they hate.
Decades ago, English journalist Malcolm Muggeridge presciently wrote the following:“So the final conclusion would surely be that whereas other civilizations have been brought down by attacks of barbarians from without, ours had the unique distinction of training its own destroyers at its own educational institutions, and then providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at the public expense.
Thus did Western Man decide to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, himself blowing the trumpet that brought the walls of his own city tumbling down, and having convinced himself that he was too numerous, labored with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer.
Until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keeled over–a weary, battered old brontosaurus–and became extinct.”
Randall, I don’t believe we’ve yet keeled over, but we’re on our knees.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about how to approach this blog, but it’s probably best to do it head on, although the subject matter would suggest an approach from behind would be more appropriate.
First of all, you really need to read this hilarious column by humorist, Dave Barry. It is one of the funniest pieces I’ve ever read. While you read it, remember, Mr. Barry is a humorist.
Okay, now that you have Dave Barry’s perspective from 2008, let me give you an update for 2017. I’m 73 and I just had my fifth colonoscopy, and things have come a long way since my first one in 1994.
First of all, the stuff you have to drink now doesn’t taste all that bad. It’s certainly better than the energy drink that I used to keep hydrated. The only uncomfortable thing is the quantity which is about 2 L over two hours, and then eight hours later, another 2 L over two hours. Big deal.
And yes, you do have to stay within a couple of minutes of a bathroom, but I doubt if there are many of my readers that haven’t had that experience from having the flu. The regimen they call Colon Prep is far less distressing.
And finally, there is about a 15 minute period during which the doctor performs an invasive procedure. But the technology has improved so much that there is minimal discomfort, and besides you get to watch it all on the big screen beside your bed. How to put this delicately, but this is the only time in your life that you can be proud of having your cranium up your fundament, even if it’s just in virtual reality.
Seriously, less than one third of Canadians and Americans have this procedure which should start when you’re 50, and tragically, thousands die unnecessarily each year. A colonoscopy is a mildly invasive procedure, but not one millionth as invasive as colon cancer.
If this all was too much inside information for you, (yes, pun intended), I’m sorry. My only purpose is to, hopefully, save a life. You might want to forward it to those you love.
Last week I blogged about the differences, as I see them, between left and right. The next day I received my copy of Imprimis, a monthly publication of Hillsdale College. It features an article by the college President, Dr. Larry P Arnn, entitled: A More American Conservatism. This week I was going to publish some back-and-forth online conversations that I’ve had with friends from the left but instead I’m going to encourage you to read Dr. Arnn’s article. Because whatever your nationality, or political persuasion, it deserves at least one read-through.
Dr. Arnn observes that: “Things in the past are like things in the present; they must be judged.” In other words, just because it worked in the old days does not necessarily mean it still works. Think about that, conservatives.
But he goes on to say that we know that: “things that have a good reputation for a long time are more trustworthy than new things.” In other words, just because it’s labelled “progressive” doesn’t guarantee its value. Such arguments are neither left, nor right.
He says: “Laws are made now chiefly by regulatory agencies which combine, in themselves, all three powers of government.” He means that the bureaucracy now behaves as if it has the power of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, all put together. His point is beyond dispute.
And this: “Every employer, every school, many clubs, and family life itself are now the subject of rules too complex for the layperson to grasp.” That’s also beyond dispute and is the reason that ordinary people, left and right, throughout Western democracies, feel they have very little say in their own governance.
Dr. Arnn’s personal style couldn’t be farther from that of Donald Trump, yet he is hopeful about the new US administration. Because, as he points out: “Trump ran in utter defiance of the (debate stifling) political correctness that enforces this new system of government.” Bracketed words mine. Any person who believes that open debate helps lead us to the best ideas must find that hopeful!
All in all, this is an exceptional article, and I would recommend it to everyone interested in thoughtful public discourse. And I urge you to subscribe to this publication, called Imprimis. It means: In the first place, which is always the logical place to start.
Best to each of you!
P.S. I think quite a few of you know that Danny Hozack has been a force in thoughtful conservatism for a long time. For the past several years he’s organized an annual conference called Essentials of Freedom, which alternates between Calgary and Edmonton. This year it’s in Calgary.
Be sure to mark Friday, March 17 and Saturday, March 18 on your calendar. And think about bringing your children, and grandchildren. More information next week.
When discussing politics we often frame the conversation in terms of left and right, progressive and conservative, socialist and capitalist. What do we mean by those terms? It’s important, because unless we more or less agree on the definition of something, there’s no way we can have a meaningful conversation.
A friend told me that Karl Marx created the word “socialism” to describe just one of the stages of communism. He insists that at present there are no socialist, and certainly no communist governments in Canada, the United States, or Europe; only Social Democrat governments that do not attempt to own the means of production, but try to direct the economy through regulation and taxation. If Alberta’s NDP is Social Democratic, they sure do!
Socialist governments, on the other hand, actually nationalize industries, and then, in theory at least, distribute the resulting wealth equitably to all the citizens. The economic chaos in Venezuela illustrates just how well that works. As Hungarian economist Janos Kornai observed; shortages are the chronic problem with socialism.
Communists just take over and imprison or liquidate anyone who objects, including 70 million or so in the last century.
Communism, Socialism, and Social Democracies are all parts of “The Left.” And by the way, so were the Nazis. The word, Nazi, comes from National Socialist, and the Nazis actively coerced businesses, and citizens, into supporting the objectives of the state.
Conservatives in all their iterations are referred to as “The Right.” Conservatives believe that individuals have the first responsibility, and the right, to decide how to look after themselves, their families, the less fortunate, and their own interests. They also believe in sensibly regulated capitalism, and free enterprise.
True conservatives are in agreement with the left in their opposition to crony capitalism, and corporate welfare.
On social issues, Leftists believe that government appointed “experts” must be allowed to intervene to help citizens run their lives. In practice, it leads to the slavery of dependency, and it distracts governments from doing well, those things which only governments can, and must do.
The left seems to believe that an economy is a zero-sum game. If someone gains, someone else must lose. But in the past 30 years, capitalism and cheap energy from fossil fuels have added so much new wealth to developing countries that extreme poverty has dropped from 35% to under 10%. That sounds like a win win to me.
On the social side, most conservatives do not nonchalantly abandon long-established customs, unless those customs interfere with another persons human rights. We are certainly born with a predetermined colour, sex, etc., but how we live out that reality is based on our choices. It requires a remarkable level of hubris to demand that our choices should override another persons fundamental rights and freedoms; property rights, assembly, speech, and religion.
Left and Right have fundamentally different and opposing world views. The right believes that the individual, family and community are preeminent; the left believes that a citizens first allegiance is to the the state. When we talk to each other, we need to remember that difference.
Being of the Right, I would tend to agree with Winston Churchill who famously suggested that Christopher Columbus was probably the first socialist. “He left not knowing where he was going; didn’t know where he was when he arrived; and he did it all on borrowed money.”
Next week, Red vs. Redneck; an online debate.
Like and Share us on Facebook, and Follow us on Twitter. And JOIN US, and become a member of the Let’s Do It Ourselves community. If you believe, as I do, that the common sense conservative message is often poorly communicated, especially to our children and grandchildren, then let’s do it better.
We want to encapsulate basic conservative ideas in short, and relevant videos, and deliver them on social media. As you can imagine, that requires money; not much, but a little. Here’s the link to a video we produced just to give you an idea of what I mean.
A sub headline in today’s National Post says: “Montréal cabbies declare open season on the ride-sharing service.” Of course they’re talking about UBER, the app driven ridesharing service which is proving more than a little disruptive to the taxi industry.
How it works is that you download the UBER app, and then just use your smart phone to call for a ride to the airport, or wherever. UBER drivers use their own cars and don’t bother to get a permit to drive them, so they can drive for less.
And a lot of the UBER drivers just drive part time, so they can pick a busy Friday or Saturday night, or during some sort of festival to get out and make a few extra bucks. It’s good for them, and it’s good for the taxi-using public.
So why are the drivers so angry? Well that permit that they require costs them well over $100,000. In fact in some Canadian cities it’s now approaching $200,000, and I’ve read that in New York it’s nearly $1 million.
So in addition to paying $50-$60,000 for their cars, licensed taxi drivers in Canada have to pay two or three times as much just to get the license to drive those cars. Why?
Simply because, city governments can get away with this racket to raise more money from companies or individuals that, by themselves, don’t have the muscle to fight back.
Here’s the definition of the word racket. “A racket is a service that is fraudulently offered to solve a problem.”
What problem does a six-figure taxi permit solve that a simple car safety check; driver’s test; and criminal background test for about 1000 bucks wouldn’t solve? Not one thing.
In fact, it creates more problems because you have know-it-all bureaucrats at City Hall pretending to know how many taxis a city needs when there is ample proof that they don’t. Heck, even common sense tells you they don’t.
This is SUPPLY MANAGEMENT, but it has nothing to do with management and everything to do with a government cash grab.
Our dairy and poultry industries run under exactly the same kind of racket run by provincial and the federal governments. Did you know that a farmer who wants to go into the dairy business must fork out over $30,000 per cow just to get a permit to milk that cow?
A small, one hundred cow dairy, costs over $3 million just to get the permits to milk the cows. Then you have to buy the cows, machinery, feed, have access to land etc., before you extract one litre of milk that you can legally sell.
I’ve always referred to the dairy and poultry supply management rackets as a case of industry robbing Canadian families while government holds the gun. Except the government has the gun on both families and farmers and taxi drivers.
So Montréal cabbies have a right to be angry, but they are angry at the wrong people. Their plight is not the fault of UBER and its drivers. It’s the politicians and bureaucrats that deserve the opprobrium.
And frankly, you and me for putting up with this racket.
Bill Six? That’s a question that a lot of city dwellers might not be able to answer. But actually, it’s an NDP government piece of legislation called Bill 6, and it’s clear that what it means to the agricultural community that it’s aimed at, is a question that the government can’t answer either.
The NDP says that its purpose is to provide the same health and safety protections to farmworkers as are provided to industrial workers. But are farmworkers and industrial workers the same? I don’t think so.
Alberta’s NDP is a union government. I don’t mean that they are generally supported by union members, or that they are somewhat favourably disposed to unions. I mean that Rachel Notley’s NDP government is chockablock, top to bottom, made up of unionists, former union leaders, and left-wing activists. And of course the bureaucracy is unionized, and is mostly managed by ex-unionists. Talk about an alignment of the stars!
I always call myself an old farm boy from Consul, Saskatchewan, and while I’ve spent over 40 years in the city, my first 30, formative years, were spent on the farm. And boy was I naïve!
In 1963 I spent a few months in Calgary and discovered overtime. I worked at a car rental, and beginning in June they suddenly got really busy so they asked me to work longer hours. At the end of two weeks when I got my paycheck it was nearly double the usual number, so I went into the manager’s office and said they must’ve made a mistake.
The manager was quite amused and told me that I had worked over 150 hours the previous two weeks, and so they had not only paid me for the extra time, but paid me time and a half. Whoa! Dad needed to hear about this!
I ran into a more sobering side of unionism in the 1980s when our company developed a piece of equipment for one of the coal mines in British Columbia. I delivered the equipment and discovered that a minor adjustment had to be made so that it would fit correctly under the heavy haul trucks it was meant to service.
So I went to the tool crib, borrowed a pipe wrench, and turned a fitting a few degrees. Later, in his office, the shop supervisor – rather sheepishly – told me that I had nearly caused a “wobble” or mini strike because of what I’d done. Because, I’d done a plumber’s job! That was so far disconnected from the farm reality I’d grown up with that I still shake my head over it.
Because farmers must be truck drivers; tractor, combine, swather, and sprayer drivers; animal husbandry specialists; veterinarians; cowboys; carpenters, labourers, and yes, plumbers – all at once. Unionize that!
Paid farmworkers take agricultural jobs realizing that farming and ranching is a more dangerous occupation than accounting, or even carpentry, where – while you might climb on roofs, you do essentially the same thing every day. On the other hand, on a farm you might have to engage in half a dozen trades in the same day. But, that’s part of theappeal.
Unavoidably, farm children live more physically dangerous lives than most city kids, but they also live lives infinitely more engaged with nature and life’s reality than most city kids. I started driving a tractor when I was 10 years old, and was in 4H and responsible for raising a calf. But we didn’t have a TV until I was into my late teens, and video games were decades down the road, so I read.
Unionists are used to things that farmers can’t even dream of. They work 40 hours a week, and if they work more, they get overtime. On holidays, they get double time, or even more. They get an allowance for sick days and if they don’t take them during the work year, they can “bank” them and add them onto the end of their paid vacation time. And they get gold-plated benefits and pensions.
I don’t think that the NDP government introduced Bill 6 out of antipathy to farmers and ranchers, but out of sheer ignorance. They simply don’t know what they don’t know, and you’d have to visit Pluto to find creatures more divorced from the reality of farm life, than public sector unionists.
Unlike Justin Trudeau, I’m no fan of the current Chinese political system, let alone the way it was under Chairman Mao. In 1966 Mao instituted something called the Cultural Revolution where city folk were forced to move to the countryside to be educated in the glories of Marxism. It was immoral, insane, and a colossal failure.
But I think we could borrow elements of the idea. How about encouraging NDP politicians and their committed supporters to spend a week on a farm during seeding or harvest time, or on a ranch during calving season? And then, follow a small business owner around, hour by hour for a week.
I suspect that a confrontation with reality might lead to significant changes in policy on the part of the NDP government. Seriously, we could end up with the best government in Canada!