Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Musing on Canadian Elections

I'm thankful for the Conservatives these last 8 years.  Under Mr. Harper we have remained relatively stable economically despite global depression.  Our natural resource industry has again carried us through tough times.  With China's difficulties we can expect more global economic threats.  Oil, gas,mining, pulp and paper, water, fisheries,  agriculture, are specifically the main producers of the economy.  Canada is a successful country in a time when so many are doing poorly. We can be thankful. I hear so much criticism of government and Canada by Canadians yet realize that overall we're very very fortunate.

Economically,  we have a Gross Domestic Product of approximately 2 trillion, which is per capita, roughly $56,000 per person, the 10th leading in the world.   That's drawn from Wikipedia, normally a tad left leaning for any conspiracy theorists. There's discrepancy in details but overall that's a damn good picture and doesn't just happen. It's a combination of the tremendous riches of Canada plus good  government management.  Our unemployment rests between 6 and 7% but we have all manner of protections for the unemployed, workmen's compensation, disability, job retraining and welfare, healthcare etc as just some. Other countries don't have these.  In many places if you're not on good terms with your family you have no social supports. Our social supports are at all levels, city, provincial and national.

Our main industries are as follows:  Transportation Equipment - we make vehicles. The latest of which I've learned of is the best armour protected people transporter wanted by arms dealers, international criminals, rock stars and ambassadors.  Pretty damn impressive. We're also involved in NASA projects.
Chemicals - note that - chemistry.  With all the anti science elements in the country especially in our 19th century media, chemicals are one of the major industries in Canada.  I remember my friend Kirk's father making the soaps for the Hudson Bay. He was a chemist.  Today because of the ignorance of the dope smoking activist "rebels without a cause" he'd probably have his house egged for his scientific wizardry.  My undergraduate major was in biochemistry but to admit that is to be seen as some kind of CIA agent in Canada.  Yet Chemicals and the chemical industry is where Canadians are making money. It's chemistry that is paying the welfare recipients. The Pharmaceutical Industry is all about chemistry.  So chemists are behind the latest greatest cures for cancer. Chemistry is behind the cures for AIDS.  Chemistry is in the cleaning agents we use in the kitchen. Chemistry is being used everywhere but sometimes when I listen to the media I get the very strong impression that Canadians collectively are scientifically illiterate. So many people, especially those in media, have only an arts education. They drive cars and live in houses and participate in society but their intelligence about the world they live in is no better than those who still believe the Sun revolves around earth.  There's a joy often in dealing with immigrants from countries where sciences and realityh are appreciated. They understand the world isn't about spirits and unhappy
Gaia planet and denial. Having graduated from a Canadian high school I only appreciated the limits of my public school education when I travelled overseas and met with students from other countries who high school education had better equipped them for the world we live in.  They had skills where as I'd had so much emphasis placed on fashion and propaganda. To study medicine I had to repeat my sciences at university then do undergraduate science education to be educated in modern terms.
Processed and unprocessed minerals - that's mining.  Mining is the back bone of Canada.  We have had a Gold Rush. We have copper mines. We have all manner of raw minerals that we extract from the soil with the greatest skill. Our mining engineers are the greatest in the world.  They're the Beatles and Rolling Stones of world wealth but I've never heard a positive statement about mines and mining engineers on CBC news. A day doesn't go by that these heroes of wealth production aren't maligned by one activist group or another. Yet this is where Canadian taxes are being generated.  It's a dirty ugly job and the brightest and best need to study physics and technology for decades before they get to the top of a very dangerous field. It's not about sitting in air conditioned offices and chatting with others about how to run the world after smoking a joint.  These people are the back bone. They're the heavy weight lifters.  Everything we use day to day has minerals. They find them and they process them. Here in Canada. Who would know listening to our media.
Wood and Paper Products - our forests and forestry industry are another great producer of the money that pays for all the excess of government employees and all the administrative jobs in the public sector. Its the taxes taken from the pulp and paper industry that pay for all those fashion do dads the city boys and girls like to wear when they party.  Government excess is the parasite on the principal producers of income.Government doesn't make money.  It takes money.  Everything the government says it's going to do will be done by you. Governments supervise and regulate but they don't produce.  The western world became rich because we always until recently wanted the least government with the most producers and workers. In third world countries often everyone and his dog work for the government.  You see the massive beurocracies.  In communist countries the same.  All this dead weight taking a cut out of the pie
Yet again I have for decades heard only disparaging remarks about Industry. Here in British Columbia the news is all about environmental terrorists who spike the trees to prevent logging.  Yet I've treated loggers who make $80,000 a year for 80 to 120 hour work weeks in camps doing the most dangerous of jobs. They often work in really difficult conditions and see their families only when they're out of camps. A month in the life of an industrial worker is often worse for family life than nurses yet we know about nurses shift work. But few people seem to be aware of how the primary producers are commonly away from the city. The city itself is usually a parasite on the country. The city is full of regulators and distributors and stores but it's not a place of factories and workshops like it once was.  So many city people simply don't know how to make things or how even their money is produced.  They do 'service' work and banking and such activities but it's not the same thing are the real work of industry.  The blue collar worker is so often maligned yet they are the back bone of society. The white collar workers aren't necessary in general whereas the blue collar workers are essential.
I 've seen men in industry who have had their limbs amputated despite the world's best safety standards. I've seen bad logging practices, some clear cuts which by any standards would get a 'B' or a "C" grade. Compared to the logging and seeding practices in Germany our wilderness logging is A to their A plus standards. But our wilderness is just that. Germany's forests are pretty fairytale places compared to the rugged BC forests. We're out there. We're on the edge. Our air ambulances have hours to get to hospitals. The German forests are pretty much parks by comparison.  We produce timber for building and all the packaging and paper and so much else that wood produces.  That's what's making money in BC.  That's what pays the bills in Canada.
Petroleum  and natural gas: Now if there was ever anything more maligned by CBC I'd like to see it.
Petroleum and natural gas are our major industries. These pay for all those CBC critics who live off white collar welfare subsidies.   The CBC  constantly celebrates social terrorists who block pipe lines and make a parasitic business out of interfering with industry. They say that they're there to 'protect the land' but more often than not they're making money out of being social terrorists.  Their catch words are 'big business'...."Big Oil" companies. The greatest story of stupidity this year was the great Obama blocking Alberta - Texas Keystone Pipeline.  This caused Canada to collectively suffer so his rich fat cat money mogel friend Warren Buffet could continue to transport oil more dangerously by trains at higher price, higher cost and more risk.    The stupidity of Canadians is that they actually rarely follow the money trails.  Solar panels are great but are they made here. No they're made in China. So before we slamm Canada's own oil perhaps we'd better make a better solar panel cheaper than China.  Most of the choices we've been offered are 'anti Canada' industry promoted by people who are living off the gains of Canada's principal resources.  In Ottawa they have a fusion generator which uses the sun's light to turn garbage into fuel.  If it weren't for family living in Ottawa I might never know of this but do we see Canadian cities being encouraged to buy this very 'green' fuel production, no.  Instead we hear about anything but Canadian made.  Canada produces oil and gas. We have been a rich country because we have natural resources and have this last decade managed them well.  Instead of hearing all the goodness that this has brought, all our prosperity, we have heard daily propaganda about. Big Business, Big Corporations, Big Industry, Big Pharma.  The very politically correct people who are so color sensitive and language nazis don't seem to see that they use the world BIG with predjudice and hate. Yet the economy of scale is what has brought us prosperity.

Note, even Wikipedia doesn't list a whole lot of 'green' industries as our 'major industry'. Green industries more often than not are the child of rich kids whose parents got wealthy on the major industries above. Now those wealthy children with their pet projects want Canadian governments to ;protect them' from the competition.  They get a lot of lovely coverage in the news but they don't make anyone but themselves alot of money.  Big Industry is tackling the problems of climate change and pollution.  They are doing it daily. They're making everything better because that's what profits them.  If a competitor makes a chimney for smoke that does better than another, that chimney gets support. Tesler cars are gaining a portion of the market because the BIG TESLA Car company has produced a product that competes with old fashioned Buick.  It's taking a share of the market just like the little cars took over from the big gas guzzler boats.

Meanwhile in Frazer Valley there's a company that makes FLACK Jackets. They're the best in the world. The most sought after kevlar mixed armour proofing jackets are a Canadian manufacturing product.  Who would know?   We have a half billion dollars spin off in the defence industry with the planes alone.

In Vancouver Coal Harbour has come alive with ship building.  Hundreds of highly skilled and high paid jobs have come into our ship yards.  This is thanks to the federal and provincial governments.  It's apparent. The North  Shore is booming with industry. But we'd be more likely to hear of day care for small dogs opening than the immense benefits of heavy industry products listening to 6 oclock or 6 30 news on the national radio station CBC, which our tax dollars support.  The CBC news is appalling stupidity and selective bias and propaganda.  It's no news.

I'm thankful for the economy as managed in Canada. I'm aware of where the real money is coming from.  I'm aware that we have 20 times too much government and I'm afraid of Big Union and more jobs with less 'meritocracy'.  I'm afraid of Big Government because seen how it destroyed the Communist countries and countries like Greece.  I hear too often that the union jobs are great but that the 'quality of training' and 'work' are not what they once were.  Ideally 'union made' should be a statement of 'quality'.  Unfortunately too many people think that 'union made' is the same as 'government made'.  We look to private contractors and private schools and private health care because the standards have been dropping.

There's a lack of high standards which once attracted manufacturing to Canada.  Pot smoking industrial workers aren't going to attract big business manufacturing here.  Our education regarding real meaning ful subjects like physics mathematics chemistry has fallen behind in the world.  China gets jobs that Canada used to have not just because the labour is cheaper but the quality of work is as good. I just bought a Swedish made product because the 'quality' of workmanship warranted the higher price.  I can't say that for 'Canadian Made", not like I once would.

I've seen that 'political correctness' and 'legal' and 'beaurocratic interference is lowering the standards of the main products of manufacturing. No one can be fired. No one can be criticized.  Every complaints department in the world is amassed in Canada.  We're a whiner nation.  We once were a winner nation.  So if we're going to be producing competitive products then we must raise the standards to compete. And we must restrict government to those areas where government is needed not where the burocrats can get a take of the action. This is happening but it's an uphill climb against the backward media and the whole industry of 'rights' where everyone has 'rights' but no one at the indvidual level will accept they're wrong.  There's a lack of accountability and this means lack of excellence.

As for the legal system, my father described having to see a lawyer only for a few times in his life, to buy a house, to marry and make a will. Now every action requires a lawyers presence. Everyone is afraid and second guessing themselves.  Lawyer don't make money for society. They may save money for society. But how is it that other countries can succeed with one tenth the number of lawyers and sometimes one hundredth the number of lawyers.  Lawyers are necessary but can we afford them.  Can business and society afford the high costs.  Should lawyers who 'profit' from laws be allowed to be in parliament that makes the laws.  Why is it that the Supreme Court has been so at variance with parliament. An appointed elite from a priviledged subsection of society is over riding all the time the democratically elected government of the day with the average Canadian not fear the fascism that the Supreme Court can represent with such potential menace. That said I'm thankful for our legal system compared to the highly corrupt legal systems of other countries, the bought judges of third world countries and the communist lack of judges. We're very fortunate yet it seems that that democracy requires an educated electorate that realizes that the Supreme Court should serve the people not just the lawyers. With physicians we know that once the ratio of physicians to patients drops below 1/500 to 1000 disease increases while once the ratio goes below 1/500 roughly the cost of health care rises with no obvious benefit to public health.  The appears to be unlimitted benfit from the profession of engineers.  But how many lawyers to populations will save society money versus increase the costs and reduce the productivity.  That's a critical figue to know but so far the Supreme Court hasn't come through with limitting the growth of lawyers in society, because it would not see that as it's role yet so many of it's pronouncements increase the need for lawyers.  By contrast parliament is supposed to broad based with equal representation of every form of worker so that the conflicts of interest are minimized.

Health care is a huge cost in Canada but it is supposed to be a major producer like other major industries.  The English surgeons in WWI returned soldiers to the battle field with such success using septic techniques and the lessons of Florence Nightingale from the Crimean war that the Germans complained that had to kill the English several times to make them stay dead.  War is primal competition.  In the Pacific the american Internists with sulfa  medications and battle field hospital maintained twice or more the number of fighters the Japanese did.  We as doctors improved and produced workers.  We maximized the industry.  In Vietnam the psychiatrists ensured the turn around from shell shock. Today Canadian psychiatrists working on the front lines in Afghanistan stopped the development of PTSD disorders by modern methods.  Physicians and psychiatrists were rewarded for their ability to return patients to work.

In the United States, the health care system is excellent if you are a worker. Health Care coverage is superior in many ways to what Canadians receive if one is working in a corporation. The american Industry model knows the benefit of returning workers to heealth and maintaining high standards of health.  Costs to american industry are a concern when it comes to health care because they see Canadian industry as not having to manage their health care costs. Most Canadians listening to the debate about Obama care don't realize that American have superior health care coverage to Canadians if they are working in good industries.  Increasingly all of Canadians have suffered from the waitlists and rationing.  Tragically in my work increasingly I've been rewarded for getting people out of work and if I try to encourage a patient to work they complain and I'm considered a nazi.  Popular doctors who go onto highest places in administration are the 'feel good' doctors who are easy with the prescription pad and quick to sign patients off work for medical illness. In the US there is still reward in getting people well and getting them back to work but I don't see any incentive for doctors to do that here. Indeed increasingly myself and colleagues object to our role in supporting people being disabled who by our standards aren't really 'that sick'.  People who get 'sick leave' as part of their union jobs demand it as an 'entitlement'.  The work ethic appears all but gone in major parts of Canadian society.

Workman's compensation also has to deal with all those workers who go home and now have home based businesses.  Nobody seems to realize but so many of  these marijuana grow ops not only were being maintained by criminal tax evaders but so many were managed by guys and gals off work from legitimate jobs.  I don't know if Canada has always had such a large swath of underground economy but today it certainly does.  Commonly as a doctor I'm coopted to write a letter for someone to off work yet they have a home based business that they're happy to manage but they don't want to 'go' to their regular job. They like 2 pay cheques.  Who wouldn't?

Education was historical paid because education produced higher level of workers.  People who could read and write produced by brain activity more than those who simply had brawn. The school was a place where children learned to take direction and learned the process of education. A student who had completed high school could go into a workplace and learn swiftly because they were adept at following orders and could read directions and communicate well with peers and authorities.  Last time I was consulting to a public school I didn't see this happening all the time.  In one public school I was in the students were highly abusive to the teachers and the place was a zoo.  What education is this.  The rise of private schools came from the decline of the public schools.  Teachers were well paid because their students did well in work and going onto university.  This isn't the case any more. There is no longer any correlation between the income of teachers and the success of students and likely this is the failure of the administration to put meritocracy above political correctness. The best teachers simply can't teach effectively in classrooms ruled by mob with administrations kowtowing to the worst parents and everyone worried about the media with it's 2 minute u tube video going viral.
Universities brought in entrance exams because the school were turning out illiterate students.  Now the universities are being questioned so that Corporations are increasingly doing in house training with Microsoft creating it's own university.

The real revolt occurred when the students coming out of high school and university had an education that did not get them a job.  The wealthy and priviledged sent their children to university for a 'Liberal Arts Education" because they were rich and their children were rich.  Education was like getting your hair done.  It wasn't like 'trade schools'.  The trade school was looked down upon by the rich.  Work was looked down upon by the upper managerial class, those in government and those  independently wealthy.  Working with ones hands was man's worked. Yet poets like Sandburg celebrated the Industry of Chicago.  Much of the art of the past was celebration of industry and work. Then with the rise of communism and anti west and anti authority and the rise of drug addiction suddenly all that was celebrated was destruction.  "Make the Rich Pay". I remember the children of the rich running about the university 'playing at being Marxists" and "Maoist" and demanding all manner of priviledged and attention while moving on to be the rich of this day.  Those very 'rebels' who populated my university days are today multi millionaries and really more fascist than communist. But they still like to 'dress like a refugee' and support radical causes  all the while having their banker and accountants and investment lawyers on speed dial.

Obviously there are a lot of other people working in areas of need , chefs, and all the food industry. We need water and we need all the nutrition. Much of this has to be transported to the city. The stores that provide foods are essential industry. Without food the world wouldn''t go around .Without water nothing would work. There's a need for sanitation in the city. There's sewage and buildings.

Now I love 'liberal arts' .  I'm a big fan of theology. I think education should result in people trained in 'critical thinking' but the intellectuals I know today think 'critical thinking' is 'criticism' without 'celebration'. They lack gratitude. They tear things down. Indeed we had a philosophy called 'deconstructionism' that served no one but the intellectuals.

So yes I enjoy those who produce  the books I love to read. I've written books. Not best sellers but books.  I love the movie makers.  Movies are a mainstay of my winter recreation.  I love to read politics and travel and tourism. The fact is that even these are Big Music Corporations and Big Publish Corporations.  Joni Mitchell wrote years ago, hoping to teach the Canadian hippies that her job was 'stoking the star maker machinery behind the popular song."  So many artists still want to be found or get a Canada Council grant for Fridge Art.   The trouble is the Canada Council is using tax dollars to support Fridge Art.  I love alot of this but to listen to the media they are the essential. It's like going to a farm and seeing the farmer in a cage and all the people talking about farming claiming they're the farmers. To hear people talk especially around elections the 'talker's' are the 'doers'.. To listen to the 'critics' they're the centre of the universe.  Without all the 'talking heads" there would be no Canada.

People come to Canada principally for the natural resources. They go to Whistler because we have a great ski hill that's been improved on.  The Whistler corporation and the Whistler Blackhomb tourist industry simply would not succeed in Saskatchewan.  Yes Canadians are nice but lots of people are nice. It's our natural resources not our architecture or museums that's promoting the tourism industry. We really could do more to support the performing arts that are indeed attractive. Fireworks are fine but really?

The point is that all of this is secondary to the major industries of Canada.  The major industries are coupled with Big Business and Multi National Corporations.  Yet to hear the News and to hear Canadians those words are worst than Pedophilia.  Canadians because of their smug stupidity bite the hand that feeds. Nobody is saying that industry can't be improved but our industry leaders compared to the Critics are saints compared to devils.  Our Canadian critics simply aren't Ralf Nader. They're a sad knockoff at best and they just seem to make a business out of cutting off the heads of others to make themselves look taller.

Canada became great with work, with industry, with business, with corporations.  We're a big country. It's really time for Canada to pull up  it's big girl panties.

I'm concerned about the coming elections.  I'm concerned about the economy. I'm concerned about the future. I don't know if the Conservatives should lead but I am thankful that relative to the other countries int he world they've kept us above ground. They also have acknowledged the tremendous contribution of our major industries.

Frankly I fear the Liberals want more goverment workers and Mulcair want's more Unions and we'll all be pot smoking and thinking like Cuba everything is ideologically sound while our minds are wrapped in bellbottoms and we're listening to vinyl disks.  Of course, making candles might be the hippy dippy solutions to our country's future. It's not what I want.  But I want everyone to vote in Canada.  I want the elections to be democratic and I want Canadians to accept that Mr. Harper and the Conservatives were the result of the democratic elections.  All this talk of technicality and winning because of some people not coming out is bullshit.  People who don't vote are saying that others can make the decision for them. They're satisfied with government or they don't care. But I'm personally tired of those then complaining.  Canada has way too much complaining but people who are not active in the elections or in the parties.  

Maybe Mr. Harper and the Conservatives aren't the answer.  Maybe they are.  The future is uncertain at the best of times.  The fact is they and Canada has done a great job this last decade given what has been going on in the world. We aren't facing famine or war. We're not Greece. We're not Syria.  We're not the Third World.  We're a very successful country that has been able to do very well in a very dark time.  The Conservative Leadership has been very good by my observation.

I hate the partisan party rewriting of history.  It detracts from the success of all of Canada in these last years.  Because of our continued success I'm supporting Mr. Harper and the Conservatives.  I know others would like a different coach or a different goalie. Maybe we could do better but frankly I sincerely believe that neither of the other parties could have done better this last decade

I am thankful for all those who've worked in major industries and contributed to this country staying afloat in difficult times.

Older I'm hopeful that we who have worked our lives will be protected and cared for in our old age. Alot of people who haven't worked feel they're entitled to everything. That concerns me.  I am concerned by those who want to give away Canada for profit.  That includes our water and our social programs and our pensions.

I'm concerned about these elections.  But I'm supporting the Conservatives even though none of the political parties have helped physicians particularly. Indeed physicians have done okay but by world standards we have collectively not had any of the major social benefits the European physicians or the great wealth that American go getters have. Increasingly we've watched as the health care industry pie has gone to outsiders and administration with doctors and nurses getting less and less.  In fact I would not recommend the next brights and best to go into medicine. If you're interested in excellence better to get into some other area where meritocracy reigns.  Corporations are rewarding doctors who do well compared to public sector assignments.  If you want money, the real money is in administration.   CEO"s are making a killings.

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