Tag Archives: welfare

Edufare, an End to Quebec’s Student Protests.

edufareSeigneur!!! I’ve got it! A way to end the student protests, provide free education and balance the province’s budget! Edu-fare. It is amazing the things you ponder while walking the dog. I highly recommend the practice; don’t have a dog? Borrow a neighbour’s. You benefit, the dog benefits and your neighbour will love you forever. But, I digress.

I absolutely believe education should be available to all, regardless of their financial status. Free? No. Free education simply cannot work in society; people within universities need to be paid, building maintenance, purchases of material, laboratory upkeep and the list goes on and on. These things are not free. To ask society to foot the bill, is a little bit of ridiculous. Childish.

We also pay provincial and municipal workers far more than they deserve, taxing the citizens and said citizens get very little bang for that buck.

Edu-fare. This would be a system, whereby, if someone wishes to pursue a university degree, they may do so, but there is a non-monetary price tag attached. The real cost of the education could be calculated by blocks of work. The less direct and immediate benefit to society accorded to the core area of study would require more blocks of work. A student involved in medicine, for example, would be required to do far less work than say someone who decided to take a degree in History. A doctor provides a valuable and virtually immediate benefit to society upon completion and attaining his/her degree. A History graduate? Not so much.

So work, currently doled out to overpaid and underworked civil service employees could be outsourced, as it were. Citizens benefit through the cutting of pension plans, fraudulent overtime and shoddy workmanship and students benefit through work experience, creation and application of work ethics; in addition, it wouldn’t take long to weed out the butts that are simply taking up valuable space in our universities. While everyone has the right to pursue a higher education, not everyone has the intelligence or appreciation to receive a higher education.

I’ve always had a bit of the communist in me, I guess. I figure everyone who is physically and mentally able to contribute to society, should be expected to do so. Welfare as it exists is a horrendous waste of tax dollars and requires immediate re-vamping. Healthy adults, on welfare, should be required to “give back” vis a vis that four-letter word, work. Education carries a hefty price tag, to ask taxpayers to foot the bill, entirely, is unrealistic and simply will never happen. A quality education requires funding and if tax dollars are going to be used to this end, then there must be a fair trade for the service.

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Pissing Away A Gift

What is wrong with the Western World? Rhetorical question.

For crying out loud people, wake up!  Here we are, without question, the most privileged continent on the planet. Every single one of us has the opportunity to create something with our lives. We have to gift of living in a society where we can be anything we chose to be, we have only to open our front door and take that first step toward our goal.
Such a gift, we’ve been given! And is it appreciated?

Look around, read the paper, watch the news and you may come to the same conclusion as have I; no, it is not appreciated. Not only is it not appreciated? It is taken for granted, spat on, denigrated, perverted and shamed.

We are raising a generation of self-centered monsters with little to no concept of what life is truly about. They want and they want and they want. They do not feel that they need to give back, simply take but to be fair, it isn’t their fault. The fault lies with their parents and only their parents. They too, feel that life seems to owe them something. Society owes them something. It owes them a wage, it owes them food and shelter. They need put nothing into the life process; they need only to take what they wish and if they don’t get it? Well, the hue and the cry, the whines and the complaints are deafening.

I am ashamed of North America. I am ashamed of Europe. I am ashamed of a Western Civilization that can’t seem to get beyond their sociopathic views of life. A society where the most important issues of a day can well be whether to buy the X-Box or the WII, whether a Blackberry or an IPOD is the more desirable, from a status perspective.

A society where parents farm their children out to day cares so that they can afford the aforementioned gadgets, so that they may have two vehicles and vacations. So that they can shop at the mall and enjoy the best, yet not give a thought to how fortunate, how absolutely incredibly lucky they are to have these opportunities, to be fortunate enough to have a job, to live in a country where safe, affordable day care is even an option.

Make no mistake, it is an option. It isn’t a life given right, it is a privilege. A privilege afforded them by others.

A society that worships the rich, the indolent and the depraved. The likes of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan afforded media attention. The Oscars, where one dress could feed an entire family for a year. None of this would happen if we, the public, didn’t buy the tabloids, the trash mags or watch the shows that highlight these disgraceful exhibitions.

Our ancestors came here with nothing. There were no social programs. There was no welfare. They built this country, without relying on government or hand-outs to do it. How shameful what we have done to their legacy of courage, of tenacity, of invention and their will to survive.

Not so very far away, our opposites struggle to survive. They possess gratitude; gratitude for finding enough food to feed their children, at least one meal. They can’t afford to whine, to complain. These people, these human beings are too busily involved with trying to keep themselves and their families alive.

What is so hard to fathom? What is so hard to understand? Life is a gift and unless you live in a refugee camp in the Sudan, unless you wake up, unsure if you can feed your children, unsure if you will make it to sunset alive? Then you have no right to complain about your life. It is what you choose to make it.

Such a simple concept, such an easy philosophy by which to live; being thankful for what we have, what we did not earn but are fortunate enough to live in a place where we can reap the benefits. Yet this simple line of thought, these simple realities seem to be so beyond the capacity for the Western world to understand. We can’t save the world but at the very, very least, we should be grateful for what we are offered and we should shame those who choose to take life for granted, who abuse their privileges.

Your life is your responsibility. Piss it away don’t expect anything more than you put in.

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Death of Socialism

Recently, I received a surprise. One of my sons has decided he is a socialist.  He watched the recent debate between the candidates in the running for our federal election and was impressed with the NDP party’s talking head – Jack Layton.

Now, the type of socialism that Layton proposes, is a very homogenized version of the thing. Actually, there are all kinds of interpretations of socialism but Layton seems to be very leery of actually coming out and stating the type of socialism he is looking to create. Instead, he makes promises, vows to equalize the economy, to help the poor – to create low income housing and a pie in every oven. He lambasted or attempted to lambaste Harper over the Conservatives proposal to lower corporate taxes.

This shows me that Mr. Layton is full of hot air.

You see, at one time, both the U.S and Canada were nations that manufactured goods for export. Back then? In those halcyon days of free flow of goods, out of the country…we could afford to think of ourselves (okay, not the States) as Socialists. As a nation that put people first. Those days are over. It is a cold, harsh fact, no amount of wishful thinking or empty political promises will change the reality of our very precarious financial position in the world’s economy.

We are a nation of importers now. We have to import everything, from our undies to the parts for our vehicles. Everything is imported and our exports are nowhere near the levels required to equalize the balance.

Corporations have left, in droves, moved their manufacturing facilities to nations with low wages, no CSST or Workman’s Comp. No medical or dental and even better, extremely low taxes. Strictly business decisions. The bottom line is the corporation’s main focus. Why would they stay here? Why would they pay the higher wages, pay the extra benefits and be subjected to high taxes as the topper?

So, establishing that we are not the financial powerhouse we may like to believe ourselves to be…along comes Mr. Layton and Mr. Ignatieff, oh and Ms. May touting social programs, making promises that they cannot, possibly, keep.

The corporations and manufacturers are gone. Our oil is owned, by and large, by foreign entities who export for profit. Same with lumber. The corporations and manufacturers who, once upon a time, funded most of the social programs via their taxes are gone. They are not here. They are not paying taxes. They are not funding programs anymore.

So, where will the money come from to fund these social programs? To pay for our education systems, our medical systems, our old age security and pensions? I don’t get it.

This should be the most important question to be asked of the candidates…Lovely programs folks but who is going to foot the bill? If corporate taxes are not lowered, if the financial environment is not corporate friendly? More corporations will leave. More corporations leave and they take their money with them, to China, to India, to Indonesia, to Thailand – anywhere but here.

The very cold and hard truth in all of this rhetoric is that North America, with the exception of Mexico, is in deep, deep trouble.

The cold hard truth is that we cannot afford socialism. We can’t afford the programs instituted during our heyday.

Every year, our exports go down and our imports go up. Do the math…it’s simple. We are now working from a negative balance and a big one. Unless we can convince corporations to stay – we’ll never get the other ones back, there will come a time, in the not too distant future when the Great Depression may well seem to have been a walk in the fiscal park.

I would love to have the luxury of being a socialist but over the past 10 years, I’ve been watching our economy take a nose dive and there’s no net waiting for us. We are, folks, in deep doo-doo. We need a government that understands a hard line has to be taken, and taken now. A government that institutes or pours more money into social programs will drive us further and further toward an economic abyss from which there may well not be a return.

Can we possible compete with China? With the other nations I mentioned, for corporate friendly environments? We have to take a very hard look at our privileges and we must understand that those privileges must be given up, that we cannot possibly pay for any more of those programs because…if the corporations aren’t here to pay the piper? It will fall on the rest of us to foot the bill and I don’t know about anyone else but our family isn’t even close to keep our heads at the waterline.

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Ignatieff, Layton and Duceppe; the 3 Stooges

My most humble apologies to Larry, Curly and Moe for the comparison. It isn’t fair to compare comedic genius to the idiots in the subject line.

A fragile economy. A world walking a fiscal tightrope. Civil unrest in the four corners of the world. Canada keeping its head, only slightly above water, economically and these morons vote down the government. I heard the budget and sure, I was disappointed that there was, yet again, nothing for the working class. Only a token nod toward the seniors but that’s all that can be afforded right now. How is it, that I can “get it” and these pompous airbags in suits don’t?

How is it that the average Canadian understands that we don’t have money for another election and they do not? Is there something wrong with the oxygen level in the opposition parties’ council chambers? Too much lead in the water?

The strategy chosen by Ignatieff and Layton is to appeal to Canadians and our love of social programs. Apparently, not enough money is being allotted to these monetary sieves of broken initiatives. Duceppe? Well, his typical tunnel vision and hauls out Quebec pride and its fantasy wounding. (Strange, I’m a Quebecker and I don’t feel my pride has been wounded.)

The worst cases of our money, those huge amounts you see removed from your pay cheque, go toward social, educational and medical programs that simply don’t work, haven’t worked and anyone with a modicum of an I.Q. would have seen this before they were initiated.

Let’s take this Parental Leave program – a particular irritant of mine. People choose to have a child. Absolutely, go for it – there is nothing more wonderful than sharing your life with children. But..the average tax payer is expected to contribute to a fund that permits Mom or Dad, or both, to take time off work, so that they may bond with their child. Wonderful sun shining thought but typical of a society that expects government (taxpayers) to foot the bill as a result of a sense of entitlement.

Imagine being told that you have to pay for your neighbour’s vehicle because they “want” it. (I’ve only had 1 coffee and the analogy sucks but the premise works.) Your neighbours made that decision. They didn’t ask for your input but you are being told you have to pay for it. Doesn’t matter that they, quite possibly, make far more money than yourselves – you have to foot the bill.

I can understand a parental leave program, if the couple makes .. say, under $75 K combined but when you have people with a combined income exceeding that amount? Then you have a system that was not thought out nor is it fair, for anyone but the financially solvent couple. This program should have been created with a sliding scale and an income cut-off.

The same thing should have been applied to the $7 a day, daycare. It should not be permitted to extend to couples where one does not work or works from home. There are desperate parents, both of whom work and work at jobs that don’t permit 2 cars, vacations and a nice home in the ‘burbs, left out in the cold, because there are no places available for their children. The abuses of the ideal behind the program are rampant and nobody is available or willing to call a halt to it.

Welfare. At one point, the Quebec government tried to implement a program, whereby, if you accepted welfare, you would be required to work. They screwed it up and the program failed. Welfare recipients were sent to menial jobs at minimum wage and the monies they earned were deducted from their welfare cheques. Dumb. Where’s the incentive? Where’s the encouragement to progress? May as well stay home and not take those menial jobs. The recipients were worse off under that system than if they sat home and just collected the cheques. They would have to pay for child care, transportation, meals – none of which were taken into consideration. See what I mean? Stupid. Screwed up.

The Quebec government have such a golden opportunity to turn this province around from a have-not province, to one with a definitive future. A positive outlook.

  1. Welfare – stop sending cheques out without offering opportunities. Stop creating a sub-culture of hopelessness, of families with generations of welfare cases.
  2. Absolutely, request that recipients take jobs but take into consideration the cost of living, the costs of getting to work, of caring for the kids, of actually eating and paying bills.
  3. More low cost housing – in “nice” neighbourhoods. Stop creating low income ghettos.
  4. More programs designed to educate and create a skilled workforce. The government is crying about the lack of skilled workers in the trades. Start offering subsidized education in conjunction with the welfare system. Give people something to work toward – an eye to a better life.
  5. Police the system more effectively. There are a lot of abuses going on. I don’t think there is a person in Quebec that doesn’t know someone who is scamming the current system.

I don’t see that any of this infringes on the right of the individual. Of course, there will be those who kick up a fuss about being expected to actually move forward but that’s the governments’ both PQ and Liberals fault. They created the problem and now, someone needs to fix it. Too much to ask, I’m afraid. Far easier to piss away the money of the working class taxpayer than to sit down and find solutions to broken systems.

Medicare and health – why not a 2 tiered system? Why not take the pressure off public clinics? If someone can afford to pay for treatment – then let them, in fact, demand that they do. How galling that someone who lives on the mountain or out in the wealthier neighbourhoods on the West Island is taking the place on the waiting lists that is needed by someone with less-than? I have insurance. If I can use a private clinic, I do so. If I heard of doctor who requires payment? Why not? If I have a medical issue, why should I take the place of someone with fewer financial resources than myself? As for the claims that the private clinics would offer better care? Get over it – all doctors receive the same education. If this option were available and the government monitored the goings on, as is their responsibility, there should be no room for abuses. And if abuses were found? They should be dealt with – not through that joke of a Physicians Old Boys Club but by the courts.

The various levels of provincial and federal governments have managed to turn a proud society, willing to work, to build a proud country, into a society with an unbelievable sense of entitlement.

Education Look at the kafuffle by the university students. Tuition is going up, after it has remained the same for over 30 years. What is at the bottom of this? Entitlement. These kids truly believe that it is their right to a cheap education. Again, what’s wrong with a sliding scale? Students involved in degrees that will benefit the welfare of Canadians health and welfare? Give ’em lower tuition rates but degrees that are not of relevance to society – degrees in literature, art, journalism and music? Full tuition. Medicine, nursing, engineering, the applied sciences, computer technology? Those degrees benefit society in the short and long term, there should be a break for these people. Again, people expecting someone else to foot their bills. Where do these supposed educated young folk think this money is coming from? The government? Okay, now let’s analyze that. And where does the government get this money? From the tax payers.

A large scandal from a few years ago, was the number of student debts that were defaulted. There should be no leeway for defaulting on an education, rated as the cheapest in the country. That is disgusting and indicative of this sense of entitlement. You took the bursaries, the grants, the loans – then you pay it back. That’s it, that’s all. The cry from the students was the unfairness of starting their working lives off in debt. And? Welcome to the world. Glad you could join us – park your inflated sense of entitlement at the door. Think your education is a huge debt? Wait a couple of years and report back, would you? This debt will seem like a walk in the park.

Most of the above are problems at the provincial level but the Feds could do a lot to improve things – sliding scale again – transfer payments. If a province is proving itself to be run for the people as opposed to being run for the benefit of bureaucrats, if the provincial government shows fiscal responsibility and prove itself to actually be working toward the betterment of the residents? Assign the transfer payments in kind. The more the province does and proves itself to be fiscally and morally responsible? The more money in transfer payments.

Taxpayers, particularly the working class, simply cannot shoulder anymore debt caused by inefficient, partisan and crooked government.

Out of all 4 parties up for re-election? I’m going Conservative. I’m tired of being told that I must pay for social programs that don’t work. For debts that I have not incurred. Being told that I must see more of my tax dollars poured down the toilet in an election that I neither want or need.


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