Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Caravans of economic fugitives – thank the extreme activists

This may seem to be a strange outflow from all those years of climate change and environmental activism but yet it is one of many unintended consequences. So are our economic support for dictatorial governments in Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, if not support for Muslim-extremism, because of our short-sighted Canadian oil imports. So is the expansion of oil by rail now said to reach nearly 450,000 barrels per day – the same as a large pipeline but a lot less safe.

Over the coming 50 or so years, close to 6 billion people will join the middle-class lifestyle. That is basically double of today. Our demand for energy increases every day and just demand for oil is increasing every single year at a rate of 1.5 to 2 million barrels per day.  We haven’t kept track of world needs for natural gas as well, but it too is about to increase dramatically. Parish Accord? A pipedream!  Sorry, a cannabis dream!

To think that carbon taxes and fancy renewables (how fancy is generating electricity from a dam anyway?) can resolve these energy demands AND replace our needs for oil and other fossil fuels is just the ultimate of naivety and we don’t have to think further than politicians such as Kathleen Wynne, Justin Trudeau, Horgan and Notley to lay a large portion of the blame. To top it of, nearly half of our hydrocarbons go to the petrochemical industry.  You want to replace that with wind?  Who wants a wind-derived plastic freezer baggie?  Anyone?

With billions of people wanting access to modern live, these ‘reactionary socialists and their activist brothers and sisters’ have created a two-tiered economy for those who live the rich lifestyles of the West and those who would like to join but are kept out.  In over-crowded, corrupt and poor South American countries now whole caravans of economic fugitives are migrating to the U.S. and to under-populated Canada. We send the army to the border to keep these ‘illegals’ out.  And the numbers are only about the swell like a tsunami. In Africa and Europe we see the same patterns and what do the politicians do?  They make it even more difficult for the poor to join the ‘good life of the West’. And... no pipelines to better distribute energy throughout the world!

The poorly thought out rules and regulations created by these politicians promoted human misery on the flotilla of barely seaworthy barges flooding the Mediterranean coastlines. If you prevent these people from flying into Europe, then they will use their ticket money to be smuggled into Europe. If you threaten to confiscate the boats of smugglers, then these unscrupulous dealers of human misery place their loads on not much more than wreckage to cross the Mediterranean seaways. Who is responsible for the death count?

Regulations that restrict the movement of goods and people seem to invariably achieve the opposite and only the criminals gain. Think no further than legalizing drugs. Increasing taxes on tobacco and booze, or restricting the desire of humans to lead a better life.  Government regulation, aimed at regulating commerce, or rent control or tariffs seem always to backfire. 

The progressive admirers of the David Suzuki’s of this world see today the first signs of what their mismanagement has wrought.  You may detest the crude behavior of a Donald Trump, yet a lot of the problems that he tries to address can be directly traced back to the elitists thinking of the so-called politically left. What did Christia Freeland call it? “Liberal Democracies that created all prosperity?” The arrogance of these politicians knows no bounds! Those salesmen of sweet-smelling salves that hide the rot and hypocrisy wounds below their so-called proper ways of living. 

These sellers of so-called social virtues have forgotten the most basic economic rules by subsidizing their fancy schemes with tax-payers money.  Economy is basically the science of understanding how we can distribute our resources in the most efficient way. If you ignore basic economics, you get sooner or later the bill presented like happened in Ontario where voters recently elected Doug Ford to clean up the liberal green mess.  Today those nice sounding Trudeau policies are coming to a head. Canada has lost its competitive edge. Investors leave the country in droves and our stock markets have not significantly appreciated since early 2000. 

Whether it are the salving words of the morally corrupt left or of the out-of-ideas-too-long-in-power conservatives, we seem always to waste our tax payers money at the public graft trough. We do not do what makes sense instead we do what is expedient. What about a bit of pragmatic government – follow the money but be distrustful. Why do we have to follow the book of Marx or that of Capitalism?  Do I like dictatorships like concentration-camp-filling China where people disappear to take care of their ‘tax obligations’? Absolutely not. Saudi Arabia neither.

The world’s current malaise is because we seem not to talk reasonably with each other – you are a lefty or a bigot. Our politicians seem to live to make the other guys look bad. You either are with us or we shoot your head off. And all this is amplified by the hysterical fearmongering media. In the end, we are all people of good will with bad leaders. Maybe we should make those leader who are reluctant to assume the burden rather than those marketing executives that run our political parties as a career. 

Maybe it is our ‘first-past-the-post’ electoral system. But if in Canada only the majority counts see what happens if Vancouver outvotes the rest of BC. Or what happens if the Federal Government is elected before the polling booths in the West are even closed?  We have issues of under-represented population groups or regions already now. Just wait to see the disaster when we just have a popular vote!

Our problems lie in not recognizing what is at the root of the issue. It is not an uneven distribution of wealth it is the unjust distribution of wealth in a fast-growing world population. It is because of politician’s craving for power rather than reasonable solutions. It is because of hidden agendas and excessive greed for money and power that misdirect our economies. It is amazing that despite all, there seems to be an invisible hand: the effort of all of us that makes our world an ever-improving place but with some disastrous hick-ups. Marx said that Religion is the Opium of the masses. I say: “ideology (and that includes religion) is the opium of the masses and our politicians are the drug pushers”. 

When next year you head for the polling booth, ask yourself: Are we likely to get the government we need or the one we deserve?

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