Sunday, October 4, 2020
Sunday, September 20, 2020
When I look out my window and see the ocean in front of me I often think about those days a few hundred years ago when people thought the world was flat and sailing into the unknown would lead to falling off the edge. It was common sense after all just like night and day was because the Sun god rode across the sky by day and through the Underworld by night. It was also common sense to accept that the Sun and all the planets revolved around the Earth and to suggest otherwise could have you imprisoned or put to death. There was no such thing as bacteria because common sense said if you couldn't see something with the naked eye it didn't exist.
Slowly but surely observations were made that confirmed the world was in fact a sphere, night and day was because every 24 hours the Earth rotates on its axis while facing the Sun, and all the planets including Earth rotate around the Sun. Inventions like the telescope and microscope expanded the limits of what we could see and allowed us to make all kinds of important discoveries even if at first they were disbelieved. And, as science took control over common sense and superstition, we started making rapid technological progress in all sorts of fields, particularly in health and sanitation.
However, this hasn't prevented groups of people from still believing in a flat Earth, the voyage to the Moon was a hoax, and that vaccinations are harmful. Spurred on by conspiracy theorists and social media, false rumours are being spread that link the COVID outbreak to a plot by Bill Gates and others to control the world or that the electromagnetic fields of 5G technology have caused COVID. No matter how modern we become the willingness of people to believe in common sense ideas never ends.
Just because a household should live within its means doesn't mean a government has to be constrained by the amount of tax money it has to spend. This is an old common sense argument and a false analogy because, while a household has to borrow to cover any monetary shortage, a government can simply print more money to purchase what it needs. As long as the government issues and controls the money it taxes and spends it can never run out or go bankrupt so it doesn't even need to issue bonds or debt. To avoid inflation, if there is too much money in the economy, it can simply raise taxes to cool things down. It also controls the interest rate.
Modern monetary theory or MMT as this is called offers governments a chance to create programs that will offer full employment to its citizens, upgrade its infrastructure, and improve the social health and safety net with little or no concern for the cost. Rather than try to dismiss this new thinking with old common sense arguments that are perpetuating a system benefiting the wealthy, perhaps a more scientific approach should be taken. Japan for example has the highest public debt ratio in the world yet it also has a zero interest rate, no inflation, 2.5% unemployment, and a very healthy public bond market.
Saturday, August 1, 2020
Wednesday, July 1, 2020
COVID has certainly shown how dependent we are on all the recent immigrants and would-be immigrants in this country but whether or not we wish to show our gratitude towards them is a completely different story. Usually employed in the low-paying jobs that most Canadians shy away from, little thought is ever given to how we would manage without them until suddenly they aren't there any longer. And instead of trying to make things a little easier for these folks doing all these thankless tasks, we come up with rules and procedures that make their lives even harder.
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
|Beaver lodge in Beaver Lake|
|Fearsome Gray Squirrel - photo by Junie Quiroga|
|Blue Heron - photo by Junie Quiroga|
When the City of Vancouver was incorporated in 1886 the first order of business was to secure the park from the dominion government (who had been using it as a military reserve) and in 1888 it was officially named Stanley Park after Lord Stanley, the country's governor general, who also donated the Stanley Cup that was later given to the NHL. In 1938 the Lions Gate Bridge, a suspension bridge connecting Vancouver to the North Shore through the middle of Stanley Park, was opened and included a pair of cast concrete lions in reference to the pair of north shore mountain peaks known as The Lions. A trail to the start of the bridge enables one to get up close and personal with the lions, get their autograph, and even go underneath the bridge itself to get to the other side.
|Nelson and The Lions|
|Lions Gate Lion|
|Mark & Nelson|