and you have to decide. You really do.
Read today's editorial in The Moncton Times and Transcript. It's about Moncton's bus drivers; it's about humanity; it's a profound statement about how to judge what you are worth as a living human.
A bus driver does not deserve an annual salary of $55,000. After all, it's a marketplace; and in the marketplace are bus drivers who can be had more cheaply.
What bus drivers should get has nothing to do with what it costs to raise a family, to give children a chance to get ahead, to live without constant fear of running out before the end of the month, to live with a modicum of dignity. . Bus drivers, like all people, are a commodity. They're like carrots, or beer, or cars. They're worth whatever the market will pay for them - not a cent more. I mean, that's why we have free trade.
By opening up the marketplace with free trade, we can bring in workers from poverty-stricken countries where they cost only five dollars a day. The greatest experiment in free trade was slavery. Their market value was low, so low that all it cost to use them was food, the cheapest scraps one could find. They would be dead by forty (thirty in Canada). But by then overwork and brutal conditions had so far lowered their market value that they could profitably be allowed to die.
But corporate executives? They have a high market value. After all, we need the best. (Apparently, we don't need the best in bus drivers, teachers. But corporate execs have a high market value, so high that it has been going up like a rocket for the last forty years.)
What we're worth is our market value - a value set by people who value themselves very, very highly, but who regard the rest of us as disposable as razor blades. (Special sale on bus drivers - no offer refused.)
On the other hand, a man named Irving is expensive because other countries would fight to get him. Then they would have the thrill of giving him their forests and their cheap labout and their tax money. Boy. Hard to find a man like that.
As I walk through the streets of Moncton and see all the churches and I see people coming to my door to tell me the good news and give me a pamphlet, I wonder how they square their religious beliefs with the real religion of this province - that people are not worth love or respect or even life except according to their market value. It is surely remarkable that so many should think their faith is about denouncing gays - more than those who t hink of it is most profoundly about- treating people as people, and not as commodities.
The editor is not just wrong or just stupid or just greedy. This editorial, by the standards of any religion I know, is immoral.
Today, again, Norbert talks about what's wrong with our democracy. As always, he does not mention the fundamental problem that has effectively destroyed democracy- the wealthy who buy governments, and who control information by owning news media - and who use their power to turn us all into carrots or beer or cars.
Solid commentary by Bill Beliveau. He would be a class act - if only he weren't so often running off on Liberal sideroads.
Good column by Gwynne Dyer - though possibly optimistic.
For Brent Mazerolle, in this time of of near-war in Syria and Iran (quite possibly with nulcear implicatons), the pending collapse of the European community, a rising in Quebec that may well have revolutionaty possibiilities, severe economic hardship looming fot the maritimes.... but for Mazerolle, the big issue is this pesky business of cross-border shopping.
The Moncton Times and Transcript, slowly catching up to the New York Times, The Guardian, Figaro and The Times of India, has another story on the Quebec student strike. And a quite useless story. In its series of three stories, it has yet to tell what the strike is about, and what the imiplicatons are. In fact, it is attracting wide support from all segments of the population - including more than you might think from English Quebec.This is not aoout tuition. This is about the rich making everybody (except thsemselves) pay for the greed and blunders and blunders of the very rich that created the mess we are about the enter.
If you want to understand it, (and if you only want to read a newspaper that just loves rich people, go to google news, and read the reports in The Gazette.)
And don't kid yourself this will blow over. Whatever happens in Montreal, you are going to see these sort of demonstration popping up all over North America. We are not simply watching protests. we are watching the early stages of revolution.
Oh, and forget the coming TandT editorial that they're all just spoiled brats. In my experience, the spoiled brats are the extreme right wing commentators like David Frum - people rasied in wealth to believe that God gave them wealth because they were born superior to others - and they were born with a right to money and power. Think back to Mr. Irving's announcement that he has formed a coalition with the government. It takes a special kind of arrogance to make a man believe he has a right to do that.
Oh - note the NewsToday story "F-35 Maker Issues Warning". It seems the Harper government has been lying to us about our commitment to pay uncounted billions for an airplane that doesn't seem to work. Can you imagine? Harper lied to us.