"History, real solemn history, I cannot be interested in.... I read it a little as a duty; but it tells me nothing that does not either vex or weary me. The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars and pestilences in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all - it is very tiresome." Jane Austen spoken by Catherine Morland in 'Northanger Abbey'
It's easier said than done of course. One has to have a skill set that is in demand. Individuals that have been marginalized by the rapid change from manufacturing to service employment may never qualify as a "middle class" income earner. The last seven years of ZIRP & NIRP have been outstanding for "upper class" leverage, but for everyone else it's a casino economy; a few winners, lots of losers.
Hilliard MacBeth makes the point that in Germany there is a much higher population density than in Canada "Munich is more than 4 times as dense as Toronto and 5 times more packed than Vancouver." and that "In Canada, home ownership is at record high levels of about 70 percent, similar to the U.S. in 2005, while in Germany comparable numbers are 45 percent."
The idea of development land scarcity and the current regime of letting the market place dictate land values in Canada is of course absurd. We need reform, not a wild west of house flippers, money laundering and consumption at any cost.
Electoral reform, a promise that was made during the last Canadian federal election, by the current Liberal administration who claimed a "majority victory" with just less than 40% of the popular vote, is again being moved from the bucket to the fuckit list: "...we're not going to move forward (towards electoral reform) unless we have the broad support of the people of this country for whom we're making this change.” said the Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef CTVnews December 5, 2016. You dear voter only have until December 30th, if that, to "voice" your view at mydemocracy.ca.
The housing and bond bubbles are reflections of the ignorance bubble that we the electorate are in and it's not likely to change.
The last two properties of Umberto Eco's list of 14 that define fascist ideology are cogent to our predicament:
"Selective Populism" – The People, conceived monolithically, have a Common Will, distinct from and superior to the viewpoint of any individual. As no mass of people can ever be truly unanimous, the Leader holds himself out as the interpreter of the popular will (though truly he dictates it). Fascists use this concept to delegitimize democratic institutions they accuse of "no longer represent[ing] the Voice of the People."
Not only do we see this in our present government by removing itself from its mandate to reform the electoral process but we see it writ large in the U.S. where a similar under-representation of the electorate has Trump surrounding himself with the elite of big money, big oil, big military, and big religion, institutions that are all expert in using overt mendacity (newspeak) to cloak their agendas.
Critical thinking might as well be outlawed in the new world order of truthiness.
Word of the Year: "Post Truth"
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History, Charts & Curated Readings
"Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement; and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana Vol. I, Reason in Common Sense