Thursday, April 26, 2012

Timmies country

A great many of the comments below the CBC pieces on the student tuition protests in Quebec demonstrate what I think is wrong with Canada these days.

The students are apparently ungrateful, lazy, and unwilling to work hard to pay for their education. The ferocity of their resistance, the disruption is alarming and they should be respectful and the pinnacle of decorum. Quebec has the lowest tuition in the country so what are they complaining about? As if a good education is an idle trip to Bahamas and not critical investment in the health of the whole nation.

That's whats wrong with us, I think, underneath it all. There are too many of us now who have known no real struggle, and strive for little more than short queues their nectar of half-burnt coffee, sugar, and milk fat served in oversized paper cups. There are too many of us who strive to do little more than sink into the couch yelling millionaires with sticks chasing a bit of rubber around some ice. We're wealthy beyond historic measure, and sloth it blindly like French royals. Today's middle-class are yesterday's nobility. We've been doing that so long now that we've forgotten when the day began with drawing water and hewing wood for warmth.

We've forgotten when living required knowledge beyond operating the debit machine and TV remote. We've forgotten why politics matters, and what democracy is for. We've forgotten community and the necessity of knowing and caring for our neighbours.

We won't fix things until we're torqued off the couch.

Oh, and the flag for those interested. 


Silverfox said...

Well Boris...

those kids in Quebec are up off their asses and taking it to the streets because education is a right, and not some damned privilege that only the wealthiest should be able to afford, and you ought to be smart enough to recognise that as matter of principle, instead of simply taking some very cheap shots at them.

What are you, proud of what the kids in other provinces have to pay like that's some kind of a virtue?

The middle class in this country, is far from living in the lap of luxury.

It's been systematically dismantled and pushed into debt to such an extent over the past two decades that it's only "middle class" in name only, not purshasing power.

It has no disposable income. In fact the vast majority of people that are categorized as "middle class" are seriously and well over their heads in debt with very little to show for it.

They've been keeping things going and their heads above water primarily on credit and with no real choice about that.

Right now more than 70% of the high school grads that could but aren't attending university in this country have opted out because the idea of being saddled with a typical $30,000 debt the moment they graduate is too high a price and too dangerous a gambit for those "middle class" kids and their equally cash-strapped "middle class" parents who have no confidence whatsoever in being able to somehow pay for it later.

And believe it or not $30,000 is actually owed for every person that graduates from a university in this country at the moment.

If that isn't scandalous and a crisis of major proportions I don't know what the hell is.

All told that's almost 20 billion dolars now in unsecured debt that needs no more than major economic downturn that could only too easily happen to personally bankrupt a few million young Canadians in very short order.

That $30,000 is also the going rate for a lousy batchelor's degree that doesn't carry any more weight or open any more doors in a world that has far fewer of them than a high school diploma that cost nothing more than studying well enough to get a passing grade for it did twenty odd years ago.

I suggest you think on that and what that actually means.

That isn't progress my progressive friend. It's a major catastrophe that's steadily dumbing-down and creating a less aware and astute society that is facing ever more complex and daunting decisions that it is just as rapidly losing it's ability to reasonably and intelligently make for itself.

Hard and diligent study is all any education should require or that we as a society should reasonably demand or expect in the form of "work" from anyone to earn the accredation that goes with it... not money, and certainly not by compromising those efforts to study and learn because they're under the gun and have to work at something else at the same time because they really can't begin to for pay for it otherwise.

Just for the record and just to name a few, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Scotland, Denmark, Holland, Belgium and that economic powerhouse called Germany all provide a university level of education that depends only on the passing grades that are necessary to enter them and with no other costs to any of their students than the price of whatever books they will need for their courses and even some help with that if they should need it.

The question isn't one of why they do that, but rather why we aren't smart enough to see the only and real sense that actually makes?

Holly Stick said...

Silverfox, I don't think you understood what Boris was saying. He was talking about the armchair critics.

But your description of the problems of education is excellent.

Boris said...

Silverfox, what Holly said :)

Steve said...

Maybe wage slavery will bring us to the streets. Under the guest worker policy, Industry can say, hey I need guest workers, and pay them 15% less than minimum wage, plus no benefits CPP, vacation pay etc etc. Meanwhile in Australia those working in the resource industry are pulling down $200,000 a year.

kootcoot said...

Another drawback about the rising cost of education and the resulting debt owed by graduates, is the reduced likelihood of said graduate even having the option of choosing a less materialistic career as an advocate for social justice. The grad with a law degree, and likely a debt even more than the $30,000 mentioned, would be less likely to be able to practice socially progressive law, having to instead, if possible, work for the MAN or the corporate pigs in order to pay off their loans.

This same effect tends to cross over into all kinds of fields, whereby a graduate in biological sciences might feel it necessary to work for say Mosanto, rather than lower paid academic/research dedicated to the public good rather than corporate profit. Of course this is all part of the plan of the greedy masters of the universe who already own most governments and media.

Soon we normal people will have no choice other than to EAT TEH EFFING RICH!