Monday, January 26, 2009

Federal Budget and Other Happy Thoughts

In the morning, we Canadians will be treated to a new Federal budget. Thanks to a more "open" Conservative caucus at the moment, we already have a pretty good idea that our opening commitment to the struggling global economy is a 2 year total deficit of around $65 Billion dollars. Even here on the other side of Canada I can hear the scrabbling of a few millions Canadians trying to get their piece. I guess I must be considered part of this group as I intend to get as big a piece of the billions supposedly earmarked for Canadian farmers as I can. In truth, this is one of few areas that I support spending the tax dollars of future workers in this emergency effort, provided those dollars go to local smaller scale (preferably natural) farmers and not Corporate Agriculture.

The truth is, what we are seeing is governmental flailing in time of catastrophe. Even if logic says the best action at the time is as little action as possible (such as upon discovering that one is standing in the middle of a frozen but rapidly cracking open lake), a government does not really have this option. So even when the prudent course of action is to lay flat and assess the situation in order to slow the cracking and find the best path to safety, a government is more likely to start running for the nearest shore...intent on what might seem to be a faster journey to safety, when the opposite is more likely to be true.

Now, knowing this is the case...and in this particular situation, knowing that we`re about to accept a much larger national debt...I think we `masses` better do every damn thing we can to ensure that all this money is spend as wisely as possible. This means accepting that there`s no such thing as "too big to fail" and realizing that we are NOT born to service the almighty economy. This means demanding to know exactly where each tax dollar goes. It means remembering that we have the right to hold our representatives accountable and we MUST utilize it if necessary.


It sure would be nice to see some actual change but the world just seems to get darker and darker...

Now, it grows late here so I am going to close out with a few other, rather random, thoughts floating around my head or just popping in;

Regarding the "War on Terrorism" in Afghanistan(/Pakistan), Iraq, and perhaps soon to be Iran: isn't the fact that no one seems able to explain how we will know when it is won or lost kind of proof that we're no longer really fighting for anything (if we ever truly were)?

Speaking of all this ridiculous killing, does anyone think we'll hear about struggling arms manufacturers and private security firms in the near future? Highly unlikely.

To be honest with you all, I`m quite worried about the violence we are ALL likely to be seeing outside (or, God forbid, inside) our doors soon. I think many will change their opinions about gun laws. I`ve certainly changed mine. I am a very peaceful kind of person, but I am both ashamed of and concerned with my inability for personal self defense at the moment. I must admit that defense is part of why I am so interested in seeing groups coming together, be they agrarian communities or urban support and co-op groups.

And no one seems to be saying much about the fact that rapidly warming OR rapidly cooling, we`re going to start getting pretty darn thirsty soon.


MoonRaven said...

Thanks for a thought provoking post.

Here's a few of my own thoughts: I agree with you that the government (any government--yours, mine, etc) is unlikely to do anything useful. I believe that change needs to come from the bottom and the best thing the government can do is stay out of the way. That said, I do hope that money the government earmarks for agriculture goes to small farmers but I fear that corporate agribusiness is more likely to siphon it off...

As far as the 'war on terror'--invading and staying in Iraq, Afganistan, Pakistan, Iran, etc, is more likely to *create* terrorists (as we anger people with our blundering and butchering) than end terrorism.

And, yes, the more of us that are gathered together, the more support we'll have-particularly as things get tough...

I wish I had more hopeful things to say but it's not a very hopeful situation.

SoapBoxTech said...


There's a bit of positive for you.


I agree with you mostly. I think there is much that a good government can do, once we get the bottom stuff that you mention, sorted out. But I agree totally that government cannot sort that out for us.

It looks like the universe is working hard to set us back a lot tho. It would be interesting to know what society will rise up a million years from now, if any. I no longer have any doubt that the cycle will continue, in some form.

Amber said...

So I guess as far as the budget goes it's all about getting shovels in the ground! Ugh...I'm so sick of hearing, shovel ready, shovel ready! Some of that money is supposedly earmarked for essential road repair, sewer systems and speeding up the VIA train between Toronto and back, but I'm not super impressed with the lackluster green initiatives. Can somebody please explain the concept of peak oil to the feds and why they are wasting our money and resources?

I too worry about violence and conflict over resources (especially water) and habitable land (climate refugees from flooding islands for example). Look at Africa. The bloodshed there makes me cry.
In many ways I see my choices and actions as creating peace. Every time I do something to reduce my consumption and live more lightly, every time I make sure that I take no more than my fair share and leave my little piece of the world a better place, I see that as leaving something behind for someone else, the next generation, and I have to hope that there is a seed of peace in that.

SoapBoxTech said...

I think there is definitely peace in what you do, Amber. Both for you and for others. But the reality is, that there also needs to be effort made by some to make sure that what you have endeavored to leave over is not just wasted by some greedy pig somewhere else.