Some years ago, british columbia fell under the governance of the Canadian liberal party. And by ‘liberal’, let us be clear that this was not social liberalism, in any real sense, but economic neoliberalism, to be most accurate.
Anyway, they proceeded to implement their ‘agenda’ which consisted of slashing social programs, deregulating everything that wasn’t nailed down, and launching a general attack on the Canadian legacy of a socialized infrastructure. All this in the name of ‘balancing the budget’, which right there tells you everything you need to know about these people and their ideology.
‘Balancing the budget’ can only become a primary concern in an environment where banking and financial interests have come to dictate what governments can do. This is monetarism, where the society revolves around the interests of the currency, rather than what most sane people have come to realize, which is that currency should revolve around the needs of society.
Moving right along, the end result of this has been a dramatic decline in the quality of life for most of us here, with the people at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder taking the brunt, as social programs along with everything else, are slashed, privatized and deregulated. In terms of the welfare system alone the number of people successfully using it has dropped between one quarter and one third. No one really knows where these people went, mostly because no one ever thought to keep track of what happens when you cut off the means of last resort for hundreds of thousands of people. It’s a stereotype that the welfare system is full of dole bums and drug addicts. There are those, to be sure, but there are also quite a few mentally ill, homeless, severely addicted, single mothers, sick and injured etc. This sort of thing is the social manifestation of predatory financial activity, of which the whole world seems to be taking part. The ethos is pretty simple: maximize your profits, and dump your costs, be they social, physical, or economic into someone else’s lap. These costs are called externalities, and to the extent that this is done, you have raised your profit margin by ‘externalizing’ your costs to someone else. Which is all fine, as long as you can get away from the aftermath of cutting a whole segment of your society loose.
I guess the thinking must be that if you deny services to these unworthy people, they will go quietly die somewhere, presumably to compost in some convenient location, that won’t stink up anyone’s, oh let’s say… luxury hotel, or conference center. I mean, even the nazis had to pay for poison gas and bulldozers to dig those ditches.
So I guess it was a bit of a shock to find that this old hotel had an abandoned laundry tunnel under it, and while the ruling class were discussing the next round of tax cuts and ‘belt tightening’ for the populace over high tea, someone had found the entrance, and moved in. And once it got cold enough, they started lighting fires down there. How poetic is that? Smoke rising up from under the feet of the rich, from the fires of the poor. Wish I could still find the link, but wouldn’t you know it, it’s gone down the memory hole, in less than a day. I wonder why?