Archive for March, 2013

Where did we go right?

With all due respect to Kathy Shaidle, I didn’t need Steve Sailer to tell me that Richard Florida is full of shit. Saskatoon, for example, has failed Florida’s vaunted 3T criteria for success so miserably that it merely has the best economy in Canada.

Still, I tip my hat to her for letting me know that others are onto Florida’s scam:

Florida himself, in his role as an editor at The Atlantic, admitted last month what his critics, including myself, have said for a decade: that the benefits of appealing to the creative class accrue largely to its members—and do little to make anyone else any better off. The rewards of the “creative class” strategy, he notes, “flow disproportionately to more highly-skilled knowledge, professional and creative workers,” since the wage increases that blue-collar and lower-skilled workers see “disappear when their higher housing costs are taken into account.” His reasonable and fairly brave, if belated, takeaway: “On close inspection, talent clustering provides little in the way of trickle-down benefits.”

It’s really a devastating takedown of the whole creative-class-as-economic-driver myth which has been all too prevalent in our urban chattering classes.

As such, it deserves to be read (deliciously) in full.

(And full props to Shaidle for referencing The Music Man rather than the Lyle Lanley knock-off.)

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Letter to the Editor

In her March 12 letter (“Wall setting stage”), Joan Bell indicates an astounding lack of awareness about the ownership of the Crown corporations and about markets in general.

First, we the people do not “own” the Crown corporations; the legal corporate entity known as the Crown owns them. The government manages the companies on the Crown’s behalf, while the people both elect and are forced to fund the government. However, none of us owns a share individually in the enterprises.

I cannot sell my supposed share in these companies, I do not receive a dividend from their earnings, and I certainly cannot use my share to secure a private loan. Therefore, I have no right to be consulted directly over their sale. I can only hope to persuade the government to manage the Crown corporations the way I want them to.

Second, the Crowns were established both to provide theretofore non-existent services to the people of Saskatchewan and to help fund government operations. If the present government is indeed taking money from the Crowns to “balance the books,” the Crowns would then be helping to fund government operations, which is their legitimate purpose. (The fallacy that the free market cannot supply services presently offered by the Crown monopolies is a separate issue.)

Third, even if the current government were really trying to divest the Crowns, they wouldn’t be devaluing the companies. Instead, they would do their utmost to maximize the sale price by ensuring the balance sheets look very attractive to potential investors.

The only ideologically driven policies here are promoted by those economically illiterate, fear-mongering statists who persist in the fiction that we need Crown monopolies in order to survive.

Submitted today, awaiting publication.


UPDATE: Published March 15. They took out my “fallacy” line in the fourth paragraph but used the term in the headline. Figures.

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Conservatism is good, with or without the labels

In what is probably his best performance on The Source, Ezra Levant defends conservatism. Very, very well.

Watch the whole thing here.

My only quibble is that it’s not specifically “conservatism” that protects the environment but property rights. It’s unfortunate that only conservatives and libertarians seem bent on defending property rights today but note that these rights are not the exclusive natural domain of either group.

Great job, Ezra.

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Weekend Homework

Read Amity Shlaes’s Coolidge.

All of it.

Or just watch the following summary of her work:

When you’re done, feel free to pass along your thoughts.

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One little, two little, three little racists

Columnist Doug Cuthand, apologist for First Nations unaccountability and corruption, sees racist people.

Who are racist people? Why, anyone who disagrees with Doug Cuthand, that’s who.

Sun Media? Racist.

The National PostRacist.

(Actually, the entire media is racist, of course, but Sun News and the National Post are doubly racist.)

Ezra Levant? Lorne Gunter? Christie Blatchford? Racist racist racist.

The federal government? Racist.

Department of Aboriginal Affairs? Racist.

The Prime Minister’s Office? Racist.

Did you know a piece of legislation can be racist? You betcha!

Not children’s schoolbooks? Nope, they’re racist too.

The entire provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba too? Yup.

Canadians? Racist.

Society? Racist.

In fact, in my brief search, I found 17 separate accusations of racism in his columns, yet I couldn’t find anyone disagreeing with Cuthand on Aboriginal policy that he didn’t find racist.

I leave it to Cuthand to prove me wrong.

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A Tale of Two Papers

Every story in the print media these days seems to leave you wondering what the author left out.

Sometimes, you have to piece through several distinct items over time to get the broader picture.

This past Friday, I read four items from two local papers, each as unremarkable as the next, until you piece them together.

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