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DebraW
20-10-2007, 12:04 AM
Time to fight the greedy in Alberta

Fri, October 19, 2007
By Jeremy Loome

Article link: http://www.edmontonsun.com/Comment/Commentary/2007/10/19/4587942.html


Have you ever see so many high-priced sports cars?

Alberta's boom is on display on its streets and boulevards: there's a Porsche spotted every other block and Hummers are as common as VW Bugs.

Good times are here.

Despite such opulence, middle-class families can't afford housing; food banks are flooded; roads and schools are crumbling; volunteer agencies are near collapse; social workers can't afford to stay in their field.

It's an ugly picture. And somewhere along the line, something has gone wrong.

Alberta is being divided by greed.

Next week, Premier Ed Stelmach will respond to a report calling for the public to get a fair share of energy revenues from rich companies that depend on public resources. The address will come after months of scare mongering by those companies.

We should fight back.

It's time to curb the greedy mentality they are trying to foment, one that segments of Alberta society accept as inevitable.

It's time to consider how each of us balances personal gain and social commitment, how we can be good providers but also good people. We need to encourage growth, but not eliminate our middle class and our values doing it.

It's also time, with an election near, to consider whether the Conservatives deserve a chance to fix this imbalance.

After all, life is a balancing act. We can oppose wasteful big government and still realize governments do some things well.

We can keep kids active without scheduling them 24/7. We can reward ourselves with a new car - but it doesn't have to cost more than a house.

And we can acknowledge that social progress should trump social status, that sometimes big business is wrong and the little guy is right.

Mostly, we can rediscover values conservatives once cherished: civility; consideration for those less fortunate or toiling in necessary-but-unprofitable fields; individual enterprise; the importance of neighbourhoods.

And we can demand government reflect those values.

Our collective response to the government on these issues, beginning with the review, can set the stage for a balance between what we want as individuals and the needs of a truly great society.

We should accept nothing less.

- 30 -

MylesC
20-10-2007, 09:46 AM
I found the so-called rally at the Legislature rather funny. Something is very, very strange when all the signs seem to all be 'handwritten' in identical format.

I wonder if the oil companies provided bonuses to employees that showed up.

bagould
20-10-2007, 11:36 AM
http://www.quattroenergy.ca/Grassroots%20Oilworkers%20Rally.pdf

http://www.quattroenergy.ca/Royalty.html

That pretty much says it all right there.

Elk Islander
20-10-2007, 04:25 PM
I guess the following question is in the process of being answered:

Who runs the Province of Alberta? Big Oil or the Provincial Government ("by the people, for the people").

I suspect that we already know the answer!

What I find particularly intriguing is the lack of philanthropy exhibited by these companies (with some exceptions!). For example, why is the new downtown arena not being built by Suncor? And why aren't we getting a Husky Art Gallery? And those silly signature signs that will soon adorn the major highways leading into the city? Surely, these would be small change to Halliburton?

The truth is that our province is being raped by Big Oil.

kcantor
20-10-2007, 04:50 PM
...What I find particularly intriguing is the lack of philanthropy exhibited by these companies (with some exceptions!)...
what i find particularly intriguing is the assumption behind your diatribe? perhaps fort saskatchewan should send that million dollar contribution to their rec centre back to dow? perhaps the glenrose hospital should send back the multimillion dollars they have received from syncrude? when was the last time you perused the donar lists at the u of a or the stollery or the heart clinic nait or a thousand and one other recipients of corporate as well as personal philanthropy from the united way to the bissell centre? personally, i find your bracketed "with some exceptions" to be a self serving disclaimer at best.

i will be lucky enough to attend at least three fundraisers this month for autism, prostate cancer and diabetes research and will personally witness and contribute towards the raising of millions and millions of dollars of charitable contributions. where on earth do you think the where-with-all for that comes from?

please don't take this as a "defense" of big oil or of past or present royalty proposals - big oil does not need my defense and for what it's worth i don't believe they are paying enough. but if you have a position to put forward, do it. if you have suggestions to make, make them. but lay off the slander by way of innuendo and suspicions.

do you honestly expect us to think that if suncor or husky or halliburton donated more towards an arena, the art gallery or highway signage you would think better of them or of the province of alberta? how hypocritical would that be?

DebraW
20-10-2007, 05:15 PM
Getting this thread back to Jeremy Loome's article which I view as a call to action.


It's time to consider how each of us balances personal gain and social commitment, how we can be good providers but also good people. We need to encourage growth, but not eliminate our middle class and our values doing it.

Social commitment, consideration for all and values need to be thought about and worked on lest we become a materialistic province of "haves" and "have-nots" with no civility, no sense of altruism or community.

I know what I am doing to ensure this becomes a province I want and one that I will remain proud to call home -- what about you?

kcantor
20-10-2007, 06:01 PM
Getting this thread back to Jeremy Loome's article which I view as a call to action.


It's time to consider how each of us balances personal gain and social commitment, how we can be good providers but also good people. We need to encourage growth, but not eliminate our middle class and our values doing it.

Social commitment, consideration for all and values need to be thought about and worked on lest we become a materialistic province of "haves" and "have-nots" with no civility, no sense of altruism or community.

I know what I am doing to ensure this becomes a province I want and one that I will remain proud to call home -- what about you?
as am i djgirl and i consider both of us to be "good people". but that "balance" that is being talked about does not come from being a "have-not" and that comes from personal experience. it was not long enough ago to not be well remembered and from that experience i can certainly say that it is a lot easier maintaining that balance when food and shelter and transportation are not the overriding daily preoccupation they become when you cannot afford them. as uncharitable as it sounds, it requires a modicum of prosperity to be charitable. i am not talking here about volunteering and mentoring and personal contributions of time and effort to creating a better society but about the kinds of philanthropy that do require at least a modicum of wealth. it is presumptuous of Jeremy to presume that what he chooses to perceive as opulence precludes balance in and of itself - if anyone thinks they know me solely by what i drive (whether porsche or hummer or vw bug), then they are more shallow than someone i want to know. and Elk Islander's attempt to blame a lack of balance in our lives on "Big Oil" - Vancouver and Winnipeg and St. John and Amsterdam and Glasgow are all striving to find that same balance. if we don't have it, we need to look in the mirror, not blame others.

snakes on a blog
20-10-2007, 06:45 PM
I found the so-called rally at the Legislature rather funny. Something is very, very strange when all the signs seem to all be 'handwritten' in identical format.

I wonder if the oil companies provided bonuses to employees that showed up.
they all got their regular pay to show up. kinda takes the edge of their self-centered 'rally'.

Elk Islander
20-10-2007, 09:25 PM
It is presumptuous of Jeremy to presume that what he chooses to perceive as opulence precludes balance in and of itself - if anyone thinks they know me solely by what i drive (whether porsche or hummer or vw bug), then they are more shallow than someone i want to know.

I am just curious, so what do you drive? Obviously this thread has stomped on a sensitive nerve........ I am just curious, and not trying to judge :lol:

bagould
20-10-2007, 09:37 PM
Time to get out the rulers?

kcantor
20-10-2007, 10:20 PM
It is presumptuous of Jeremy to presume that what he chooses to perceive as opulence precludes balance in and of itself - if anyone thinks they know me solely by what i drive (whether porsche or hummer or vw bug), then they are more shallow than someone i want to know.

I am just curious, so what do you drive? Obviously this thread has stomped on a sensitive nerve........ I am just curious, and not trying to judge :lol:
i drive a 1992 four door jaguar. my wife doesn't drive at all.

excluding holiday travel, we typically drive less than 10,000 km per year and much of that is work related (and work related does not include commuting although the total does). the jag uses less fuel than we used to feed our camry although that's a life style decision based partly on where we live and work as well as the vehicle.

we consume less fuel per annum than our son in his four cylinder honda civic who commutes across town and we haven't even touched on the lifecycle energy cost savings of keeping a fifteen year old car on the road that would still pass current emissions testing if alberta instituted it.

for what it's worth, the house it parks at has a high efficiency water tank as well as furnaces and a heat exchanger, argon filled and tinted glazing that's 75% south facing, insulation levels well above code with programmable thermostats and non-combustible siding but no compact flourescent fixtures until they're manufactured without mercury or there's some way to recycle it.

judge away to your heart's content if it makes you feel better. just don't think that knowing any of the above gives you any idea as to what kind of "balance" there may or may not be with volunteer work or charity or philanthropy to go along with it.

DebraW
20-10-2007, 10:26 PM
I am so glad that I don't have to engage in "ruler" comparisons.

Mostly because I know that mine is the biggest anyway -- brain that is.

highlander
20-10-2007, 10:32 PM
I say we find these greedy people and we take their stuff.

microbus
20-10-2007, 11:55 PM
I am so glad that I don't have to engage in "ruler" comparisons.

Mostly because I know that mine is the biggest anyway -- brain that is.

Do not! My hat size is 9... yes, 9... beat that for a big brain LOLOL ;)

DebraW
21-10-2007, 10:21 AM
I am so glad that I don't have to engage in "ruler" comparisons.

Mostly because I know that mine is the biggest anyway -- brain that is.

Do not! My hat size is 9... yes, 9... beat that for a big brain LOLOL ;)

^ Ha ha, good one!

microbus
21-10-2007, 10:24 AM
psst... usually I say it's a combination of brain and a very thick skull :D

psiebold1
21-10-2007, 11:02 AM
I say we find these greedy people and we take their stuff.

Excellent plan!

Elk Islander
21-10-2007, 07:42 PM
I say we find these greedy people and we take their stuff.

In all seriousness, and not wanting to rock the good ship of humour, it has to be pointed out that greed is not the exclusive domain of the wealthy. In fact, the opposite may be true to a certain extent (look after the cents and the larger denominations will look after themselves).

Take a look at the fast food commercials that exhort us all to consume the same number of calories in one lunch as the average Somali consumes in a week! Then take a look at the supersizing that has taken place in SUV design in the last 5 years. And the commercials for the world's largest (God-fearing) retailer. A veritable circle of rampant consumerism emerges. The greed involved afflicts all segments of society.

On the other hand, it is all "good" for the economy, right?

moahunter
21-10-2007, 09:14 PM
In all seriousness, and not wanting to rock the good ship of humour, it has to be pointed out that greed is not the exclusive domain of the wealthy. In fact, the opposite may be true to a certain extent

I think there is a lot of truth in this. Alberta is not being divided by greed, per the thread article / title. I don't think greed is related to wealth distribution at all to be honest. I grew up in a poor neighborhood, but saw every bit as much greed there (people ripping each other off, violent crimes, etc.), as I do in the wealthier neighborhood I live in now. There are greedy homeless people who rip off druged out junkies, greedy middle class who overindulge in food and other consumptions, greedy multi-millionares who screw their families over. Fortunatley there is a lot more kindness (especially here in Canada IMO), regardless of wealth. :wink:

Prairie flower
22-10-2007, 09:11 PM
The greedy?

Like business people, landowners and developers that attempt to get elected into public office for their own benefit?

kcantor
22-10-2007, 09:49 PM
The greedy?

Like business people, landowners and developers that attempt to get elected into public office for their own benefit?
or perhaps like those that jump into public forums under the protection of anonymity and screen names, capitalizing on the credibility and hard work of others to make unfounded overgeneralized accusations.... oh well, at least you'll have company.

Prairie flower
22-10-2007, 10:50 PM
I agree kcantor, this forum is great, I'm sure many have worked long and hard to create and maintain this forum.

DebraW
22-10-2007, 11:27 PM
I agree kcantor, this forum is great, I'm sure many have worked long and hard to create and maintain this forum.

^ Glad you think the forum is great, welcome!

Many people have and continue to volunteer to maintain C2E.

However, I also want to acknowledge that without our wonderful members (contributers) it would not matter.

DebraW
24-10-2007, 10:18 PM
Re: Time to fight the greedy

Wed, October 24, 2007
Edmonton Sun Letters

Letter Link:
http://www.edmontonsun.com/Comment/Letters/2007/10/24/4600608.html



I would like to commend writer Jeremy Loome on his Oct. 19 Point of View (POV) titled, "Time to fight the greedy in Alberta." It was a pleasant and welcome surprise coming from the Edmonton Sun. It is nice to get a voice for the people for once. My favourite quote is this: "We can rediscover values conservatives once cherished: civility; consideration for those less fortunate or toiling in necessary-but-unprofitable fields; individual enterprise; the importance of neighbourhoods. And we can demand government reflect those values."

Vince Leonty

(Glad you liked it. Jeremy was downright poetic in that POV.)

-30-

The_Cat
24-10-2007, 11:51 PM
I think the worst kind of government spending or subsidies is corporate welfare. It shows a serious disparity between rich and poor.

I think we have to look at building our future, and it starts with a fair distribution of revenue from resources that belongs to Albertans.

DebraW
25-10-2007, 07:40 AM
^ I hope that a fair distribution of revenue from Alberta resources will occur with the Royalty Review and the Premiers (Governments) (re)action.