Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday musings

A report out of Argentina gives a chilling taste of possible things to come in negotiations between governments and employees for civic governments all through the democratic world. In this case, the Labour and Transport Ministry reached an agreement with the striking bus drivers union,UTA, for a 23% wage increase.
Everybody is happy right?
Well, not really. It seems the Ministry did not involve the civic administration who has to pay the wages of the drivers in this agreement. And that administration says it has no money to pay for this incredible pay increase.
So, the strike continues and both administrations blame each other.
How bizarre and if you think about it for your part of the world, scary is this?
And the Argentinian peso continues to slump in value to the American dollar- almost at the once unthinkable exchange rate of 10 to 1 now.
But the government still says not to worry.
I think that I would be, well maybe not worried – more like terrified about inflation, rampant price increases, lost savings – the usual effects of an economic failure.
Oh Argentina, what is happening to you?
Meanwhile in France, the European Commission issued a report painting a bleak picture of the country's public deficit. It projects an increase of 4.2 per cent next year as compared to government projections of 3.9 per cent. Another sign that one of the stronger economies of Europe is not doing well at all.
Over in Cyprus, €400m worth of gold are up for sale, as the country has to up its contributions to the bailout program that so far consists of €9bn from European institutions and €1bn from the IMF. Another €10.9bn will free up in the winding down of Laiki Bank. And yes, all that money, €23bn, will be needed to just keep the country afloat until the beginning of 2016. Will there be anything of value left in that country soon as it submits to the harsh controls of the ECB Directors?
Speaking of money, have you ever heard of any banking officials getting their wages cut as a result of their actions at all?
Didn't think so.
Actually do they not get raises, bonuses or at worse incredible golden fiscal parachutes when they quit and walk away from the havoc their misdeeds do to economies around the world?
Yup, thought so...
Over in the Middle East, once again Israel launched an airstrike into another country – Syria in this instance to supposedly destroy arms shipments to Hezbollah fighters from that country. It does show how powerful that country's military is because no Arab country launched air counter attacks- did they?
In Canada, a report came out that detailed the number of jobs lost and taxes not collected as a result of consumers crossing the border into America to fly from American airports rather than pay the high fares in Canada. The reports points out the incredible high Federal taxes on everything from fuel, to property taxes to airport improvement fees and the like. So of course in a brilliant broadcast statement, a government member blandly says, too bad but we (the government) will not reduce taxes because the only people that fly are wealthy people going to exotic vacation destinations. And they can afford it.
He of course, is, well to be charitable, is.... wrong ( I am soooo tempted to say stupid, but what the heck). Have you looked at the cost to fly from say, Vancouver to Thunder Bay? Or Regina to Halifax? Heck, you can fly to Cuba for a 1 week vacation with room included for that ransom amount!
Of course this intelligent person has as a Member of Parliament, FREE flight passes paid for by the taxpayer, so why should he care about the cost-right?
Also, remember a while ago I mentioned the restaurant in Vancouver, Canada that was situated in a poor end of the city and how it was being picketed by “people” determined to keep the area in poverty and riddled with crime and drugs? The so called anti gentrification people? Well they are still attacking the place it seems. This past week, on May Day , a group of these “people” wearing hoods and carrying burning torches attempted to get into the place with probable destruction as their intent. And now the police are looking for a female that tried chaining the doors shut of the establishment as another attempt to get rid of a good employer (employs many people of that area that were previously on government subsidy programs and not paying taxes) and community corporate citizen.
What is wrong with “people”like that anyway?
You see it all around North America, South America and Europe these days, where people want, no actually demand or use violent means to get “something for nothing”. As if the world owes them everything just for that fact that they are alive.
What gives with them?
Go back as many generations as you want but always there was a work ethic taught to people. And that if you worked hard, good things would result. Of course this never was 100% doable or possible, but for so many people it worked. They did that and had a better life than their parents and that gave their children an opportunity to advance further along than they had. But now there is a disconnect apparently. No longer does a work ethic matter. Instead, it is easier to rail against the 1%, to demand “free” health services, “free” daycare”, “free” university education with no taxes and the lists gets bigger and bigger every day.
Have I missed something here?
I just do not know....
Anyway, here, back on the Island, life continues to unfold in a very pleasant way indeed. This weekend the temperatures have hit 27 and 29 degrees Celsius and honestly, it so felt like summer that it is hard to believe that it is only the first weekend of May. We are off to the first Farmers Market of the year in a small town called Lantzville and are looking forward to early spring produce to purchase. We still marvel at how soon the growing season starts here as back in Regina, we would start looking at seed catalogs now and consider planting around the May holiday Long weekend at months end. Here we installed another hanging plant outside!

And as mentioned before, reports from the Prairies indicate that the snow cover is in full melt mode and a sure sign of this is the fact that all the streets in cities and towns now are clear and exposing many various sized potholes all over the place – a common hazard of spring driving on the Canadian Flatlands with all the attendant repair costs involved when one's vehicle travels too fast and abruptly encounters one in a bone jarring hit.
Spring in Saskatchewan – gotta love it!
Tine for another golf game this week, indeed, I have already golfed more in the past month or so than I did all of last year back in Regina, interesting...
Oh, by the way,  have a happy Cinco de Mayo day today to one and all!

Take care out there,

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