I have avoided weighing in on the Quebec student strike until now, mostly because I don’t live in that province and I didn’t really feel I had anything substantial to contribute to the discussion. So this is my mea culpa: I stood idly by. I apologize for that. And with Lisa Corbella of the Calgary Herald (who is apparently an Alliance Christian, just like His Grace, Stephen Harper) now upping the ante by claiming that God opposes student tuition protests, I’ve had enough.
So here’s my actual opinion. If you’re attending a government university and paying a tuition fee, then by definition, you are paying a tax to the government. When the government discusses raising tuition fees, what they are actually describing is raising taxes on students. And the vast majority of national pundits not only support this tax increase, they think that the students who oppose it are spoiled brats who are just throwing a childish tantrum. Well. At least we found a tax increase that the national media support, for a change.
Which, you have to admit, is hypocrisy of the highest order. Watch these greedy, self-interested, short-sighted pricks scream and stamp their feet like spoiled children if the government ever proposes a similar tax hike on them. The moment that happens, they’ll start screeching endlessly about how if you raise their taxes, their fragile will to work hard and be productive will go up in a puff of self-interested smoke, the good people will all flee to sanctuary in countries that still respect free wallets, and Canada will follow Greece and Italy into socialist hell. Greece and Italy, those well-known bastions of the Scandinavian tax-and-spend welfare state.
Recent events offer an illustration. According to Corbella, McGill’s current tuition is $2168; for McGill students, therefore, a $325 tuition boost therefore amounts to a 15% tax hike. Now, when the Ontario Liberals were brokering the survival of their government by agreeing with the NDP to introduce a temporary 17% increase in the highest tax rate in that province (from 11% to 13%), one offended Bay Street banker promptly denounced their scheming as “ethnic cleansing.” Pressed for an apology, he instead offered a new comparison: this catastrophe was like the sacking of ancient Rome by the Visigoths, and the NDP were like the ancient barbarians, “wandering down the Via Aurelia into Rome.”
I must tell you, it appears that Mr. Banker has earned his degree from the Harper School of History. So far as I am aware, the Visigoths actually entered Rome not by the Aurelian road to the west, but by the Via Salaria, to the north. Moreover, I’m not totally convinced that he helps his case by comparing his own situation as an affluent Canadian facing a modest tax increase to a brutal totalitarian dictatorship finally facing the music after centuries of rape, plunder, and slavery. Although on behalf of the 99%, let me just say that it is an entirely appropriate analogy.
It would be a small start — a very small start — but I think our country would move one noticeable step towards a better future if our financial community didn’t think Roman slave-owners were good role models, and if our Albertan newspaper columnists (and Prime Ministers) stopped attending churches which preach that we must respect as the “inerrant” word of a supernatural overlord a motley collection of ancient superstitions, bundled up together as a “Bible,” which claims that the Earth is flat, that gay people should be summarily executed, and that God made women inferior to men.Tweet