Saturday 11 May 2019

What's Wrong With North America?

North American Democracy is Flawed

Do a search on your favourite online engine for the top democracies in the world. Those I found did not include America, Canada, or the U.K. Consistently high were Scandinavian countries, Belgium, New Zealand, and Austria. Generally I would observe that those countries that were once part of the British Empire and its colonialist policies are not on these lists.

Why is this? I can only guess, so here are some of my thoughts.

Firstly I notice that most of these countries are known to be peaceful and non-aggressive. If they were once it was long ago. Perhaps they learned their lessons. Generally they are not strong militarily - certainly not "super powers" - willing to annihilate thousands of innocent people for their own selfish needs.

If you do a similar search for standards of living you will find many of the same countries. Canada does do well here but I suspect that will be short-lived and I am a Canadian.

In these countries people just seem to be much happier. There is a true middle class where everyone gets a piece of the pie. The less fortunate are well cared for. These countries also have long histories that make us in the west look like infants, troubled teens, or just self-centred brats.

Scandinavian countries have had more stringent immigration policies than North America. It seems that limiting who gets to live there is a factor. It is hard to swallow but maybe we need to be more selective ourselves.

The traditional American Dream has become the American Nightmare. The model is broken. The great country that many elsewhere see only exists in Disneyland and Hollywood. Coming here to live such a dream is quite another matter. America has become a great place to live if you are filthy rich but only a very few hold this status. One of the largest problems is that these people whose families have always found a way to create and keep wealth used to rely on the middle class to work for them. Now technology does most of that. They make more and we make less if we have a job at all. One thing is the same. They and their businesses still require the physical infrastructures that we have all paid for and are still paying for. The rich have simply learned how to take personal advantage of them.

The best way to sum it up for me is that our culture breeds greed - purely and simply. Look out for number one. Grab what you can before somebody else does.

There are indeed wealthy families in other places. Sweden boasts the founders of Ikea and Abba who I am sure are both very rich. They truly earned their wealth. I wonder if the Swedish population places people - sometimes unworthy or despicable people - on a pedestal like us? Do they spend their evenings watching the Hollywood or Kardashian types that we do? I would guess not. They seem to have a national pride and mutual self respect that is more than just words.

I think the golden years are over. The '50s, '60s, and '70s with lots of well paying jobs requiring little education are gone. China and India will produce the cheap goods if America can not.

If we want to solve problems for our kids and their futures we should start to emulate other countries without the crime, the guns and weapons of mass destruction, the obscene wealth, and the crooked politicians. A free democracy should foster a mentality in which those who find the knack of becoming wealthy use it not just to accumulate more for themselves, but to assist those who at least want to work hard for a decent life. The North American model of capitalism does the opposite. The dream has become survival of the fittest; might makes right; and bugger thy neighbour.

We should start now.

The Brewster

Wednesday 1 May 2019

Judge chooses rights over right

Don't even think about reporting that body in my trunk - not in Canada!

Recently a  Canadian judge dismissed a weapons charge because he was annoyed over an officer's testimony as to why he stopped a vehicle. During the stop a loaded weapon was spotted on the floor and 2 occupants were arrested. As a result a man with a record got away with yet another gun crime and no doubt will again. Such judgements raise several questions. Why can R.I.D.E. (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) programs target any vehicle randomly when there is usually no prior reason to believe each driver had been drinking? Does this mean that if an officer pulls over a car because it is being driven erratically but in the process discovers a body or person gagged and bound in the back seat or trunk, that charges against the driver will be dropped? Such decisions are usually intended to prevent targeting visible minorities but when illegal weapons or drugs are found this should trump "rights". If nothing is found, then reprimand or punish the officer but don't let a gun holder go free! This officer should be cheered, not chastised.
The Brewster