Federal Budget - Politicians and Pundits Still Clueless
Canada just released another federal budget, detailing how the government will spend OUR money over the next few years.
As usual, their is no mention of the most serious problem facing Canada, and in fact every nation, to whit: we are consuming resources at a rate far in excess of the capacity of the planet to sustain.
Instead, politicians from all parties yap about 'growth', and seem to believe you can spend your way out of a financial deficit.
There is no discernible difference in the policies of the Conservatives, the Liberals or the NDP. The only variable is which segment of society they want to re-distribute the wealth to.
There is no recognition by the Big Three of a couple or three inescapable facts:
Fact 1 - no species can grow forever without outstripping the carrying capacity of it's environment. It doesn't matter if it is yeast cells that eventually die off in their own waste product (alcohol), or deer populations that swing wildly because their natural predators have been decimated.
Once the threshold is reached, the result is the same - a mass die-off. Human beings are not exempt from this fact.
Fact 2 - our current economic system is based on perpetual growth. Note that the economy doesn't have to actually shrink to cause a crisis; it just has to slow growth a little, and the panic starts.
Also note that these first two facts are in direct opposition.
Fact 3 - governments DO NOT create wealth, they consume it. At best, a little of the resources they suck up to support their own bureaucracies trickles back to the taxpayers that support them. The only jobs reliably created by the government are IN the government, as the bloat continues.
While the real world has been experiencing record-high levels of unemployment, personal debt, and bankruptcies, the federal bureaucracy continued to increase hiring and spending.
The national debt now amounts to about $40,000 for every family in Canada; financing the debt costs each family $4,000 annually.
The amazing sense of entitlement enjoyed by the politicians is only matched by the public sector unions, who firmly believe the only purpose of government is to provide a paycheck to their members.
And since no party has the brains or the guts to rein in spending, the gravy train will continue. In fact, the politicians don't want to make real change; upsetting the applecart might affect their own gold-plated compensation packages.
So, where is all this going? Despite the happy noises coming from the Prime Minister about our vaunted position in the G8, Canada is on the brink of disaster.
When (not if) the US economy tumbles, it may very well take Britain and several European nations with it. Canada will not escape the carnage.
Even if by some miracle, we escape the meltdown, there is still one remaining inescapable fact that will bring our house of cards tumbling down; the oil is running out!
Our entire industrialized economy including the 'agri-food' industry is totally dependent on oil. We are burning oil at a much faster rate than new stocks are being discovered and developed.
In fact many experts believe we passed 'peak oil' production last decade. Note that the oil does not have to be completely gone to cause massive disruption to industry, transport, energy, and agriculture; what happens when we are competing for the remaining stocks with every developed nation on earth?
I have read predictions by some experts that we can expect 'energy wars' as nations battle over dwindling resources (if you don't think this can happen, why do you think the US is really in Iraq?)
If the US decides that its way of life needs Canada's oil, will the border stop them? This may sound far-fetched, but the US has a long history of exploiting other nations' resources for its benefit.
And, the oil WILL run out; almost certainly in our lifetime, definitely in that of our children. What kind of used-up, burnt-out world are we leaving to our kids, if we continue on the current path?
And where is the leadership to even acknowledge this fact, let alone come up with a plan to ameliorate the impact?
Not in Canada . . . pity.
But (since they aren't actually stupid, but merely self-serving) you can bet the fat cats have a plan to look after themselves when the compost hits the fan. It's just the other 98% of us they don't have a solution for.
Final thought, the Green Party is the only party that recognizes some of these facts; however, even their messages and their proposed solutions are soft-pedaled.
I guess this is so they don't appear too 'radical' and alienate the mainstream. The problem is, desperate circumstances require drastic, radical solutions.
You can't be 'almost sustainable', any more than you can be a 'little bit pregnant'. You is or you isn't, there's no middle ground.
So, YOUR choice (because no politician, rock star, or celebrity spokes-model is actually going to FIX anything) is to plan for the coming crisis, or ignore it and hope it goes away.
What would your kids want you to do?