|Most certainly the final post of 2009...
||[Dec. 28th, 2009|11:57 pm]
Source of evil
As one might notice I haven't posted a bloody thing since...May. Lately I've been very tired and have been working to such an extent that most of my days have been: wake up, eat, go to work, work, go home, eat, 1 hour of TV/Internet, sleep due to exhaustion. Having a life outside of work seems incredibly difficult these days.|
Anyway down to what I'm posting. Since my trip to Asia, it has given me a fantastic insight on how a more different culture and city operate. Going to the US as a trip often doesn't make me think its better or worse than Canada mostly down to how very similar the lifestyle of both countries are. Since seeing HK and Tokyo particularly...I'm starting to wonder whether Canada is such a good place to live anymore.
Politically this country is very dumb, its less democratic than the United States and has worse freedom of the press than the UK where this at least compensates slightly for the house of lords. I do not approve of how this federal government operates but then again I don't have a very high opinion of the provincial and municipal governments either. Starting with the feds, I may have liberal preferences when it comes to social matters but financially I'm a fiscal conservative and this Conservative government has done neither. It failed to understand that expanding on military operations means requiring more funding usually through taxes. Instead of leaving GST at 7% they cut it down to 5%, this leaves no room for financial mishaps now with 2008's financial crisis they complain about deficit. How stupid can they be? As a result of their incompetence they want to hack and slash government services and programs. The federal finance minister is the exact same finance minister who ran Mike Harris' "common sense revolution". Ontario has never recovered due to that government's lack of long term vision, it was a quick way to kill the deficit but the result is a stupider province(education cuts), a less mobile province(transportation cuts), long wait times(health care cuts) and to top it off sell a very profitable asset for very little money...the 407 toll highway. In the end this approach failed and they hit deficit again. The finances of this country is doomed with this sort of very dumb leadership, add Harper's anti-China foreign policy and we fail to inject this country with money from the only one that can afford to do so. I may not like almost anything George W. Bush has done, but even he had sense to see China as a much needed business partner. I could go on and on about the wrongs the Conservative government are doing but I'll get very bored because there's just too much.
On the provincial level things aren't that much better. One of the primary reasons Ontario has been a big loser is the Liberal government's failing to show leadership in the country. McGuinty often does very minor and ultimately insignificant things to present an image he's not totally hopeless. Unfortunately this government has been very poor at running its crown corporations properly. The OLG has seen a spectacular failure of oversight into how its run and how mind numbingly wasteful it is. Just an example, for one of their lotteries they offered a luxury car as a prize...unfortunately they offered a Mercedes Benz B-class which is made in Germany. Considering the the Lexus RX and the Lincoln MKX are made in this province...as a crown corporation it certainly is doing its best to help Germany's economy. E-health is another failure, much of the failure came from hiring expensive consultants who wasted taxpayer's money on expensive lunches and perplexing items like very cheap office supplies. Despite firing the people who run this government run company, E-health is nowhere close to achieving its objectives of creating digital health records. Another annoying item was the auto bailouts, while I understood saving GM since the town of Oshawa would be devastated without that company I didn't understand in bailing out Chrysler. Brampton does not rely on the auto industry as a city, Windsor is a university town very close to Michigan. They had money to bail out these two auto companies and failing to check abuses in crown corporations...but they don't seem to have enough money to invest in the province's aging infrastructure. Sadly this Liberal government has the same idea as the stupid feds, sell government assets to offset the deficit. Problem is, despite Harris' hack and slash of the province the Ontario government still has 3 extremely profitable crown corporations the LCBO, OLG and Hydro One. Losing OLG despite how badly run is profitable and critically recession proof. Losing the LCBO means handing a monopoly over to a corporation which is the best thing they can ask for, no competition means no incentive to sell items at an affordable price, this asset is also recession proof. Losing Hydro One means the government will lose its ability to cap hydro prices when times are hard, its not recession proof but wields more political capital than the other two. Its unbelievable how these politicians all act the same.
Municipal affairs...are even more depressing. While I don't live directly in Toronto this means my town actually has money...but that's not a good thing. I see lots of waste and lately even worse traffic planning. If I went about Toronto's government...I said I was liberal on social issues...I can't stand how corrupt and incompetent the left wing Toronto city council is. They're very wasteful with money and they always blame the two upper levels of government whenever Toronto runs out of money...which is all the time. Even worse, the social programs the city initiates do nothing to make the city a better place overall, in essence its failed to progress...at all. My parents came in the 60s, back then Toronto was actually a world class city but as my dad said...not much has changed since then. If I came from Hong Kong to Toronto right now, I'd think Toronto was an ancient dump and thanks to the garbage strike of 2009...it actually was.
It boils down to one thing. This country has been essentially crippled due to politics. If we continue to have politicians who fail to see the long term effects of their policies, fail to wisely manage taxpayer's money and most of all fail to just lead. Canada will fail to advance and in all honesty decline as a power. My dad mentioned that Hong Kong has truly come a long way since he last visited in the early 80s. Being born in the mid 80s, looking back...very very little has actually changed in this country. The most revolutionary things were done in the 60s and 70s, that was health care and the bill of rights. When I read about how the Hong Kong government did things, I was really astonished that they can manage to accomplish so much and plan for the future while taking much less tax money than Canada demands. There was always a infrastructure project either in the works or ready to start. I understand it is a government and something will be wasted somewhere, but considering the HK government's reaction to SARS and H1N1, they used it as an opportunity to not only clean up the city's image but also reduce unemployment. Canada's response to SARS...was botched, no other way to put it, had SARS been very serious Canada would not survive. With H1N1...while it didn't catch Canada off guard, the fact the virus managed to get in and how slow all governments were to react meant they failed to prevent a worst case scenario. While some may see the HK government overreacting to H1N1, its clear their intention was not to repeat SARS and if H1N1 was extremely dangerous that HK took enough action to ensure the worst case scenario didn't happen and minimal damage would be done regardless of the strength of the virus.
I've never had a desire to leave as much as I do now. When my mom finally gets her documents to HK Immigration and thus allowing at least me to obtain an ID card and work in HK...whether I should actually move. My dad agrees with me about the state of Canada and seems genuinely planning on moving when he becomes a senior citizen. This may depend on the state of the Canadian economy, if I still can't get an acceptable living wage I don't have much of a choice. Ontario's unemployment is near 10% and the governments here believe 6.5% is a great number. In contrast to Hong Kong where they're upset with 3.5% unemployment and Japan has enjoyed 2% unemployment for several years.