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Alberta...debt free?

Jul 13, 2004 | 05:27 1 Last night on the news Klein announced Alberta is debt free! Well sort of anyway! We still owe money but Ralph has it right in his back pocket or something like that.
So anyway heres Ralph in this huge stetson playing the big Alberta cowboy(I doubt he'd know which end of the cow to feed or which end of the horse to ride!) making this grandstand announcement at the Calgary Stampede! Of course he didn't mention it was his buddies Lougheed and Getty that got us into this little mess in the first place! Alberta was debt free prior to Lougheed.
Then he added now he was going to consult with Albertans on what we'd do with all the extra cash! Well heres a suggestion Ralph...how about give it back to the people who own it? Lets see: about a 4 billion dollar surplus and over $11 billion we sent to Ottawa every year comes to $15 Billion devided up between about 3 million people comes to about $5000 for every man, woman, child in Alberta! So your average family of four could expect a check for $20,000 a year! That sure might help get the bills paid! Reply With Quote
Jul 13, 2004 | 08:45 2 Yes, being debt-free again is a good feeling and we are able to do it because we are sitting on this big bunch of oil, gas and now methane gas.

This debt-free status has come at what cost to all of us? We are seeing more exploration for oil and gas which has long-term environmental effects, we are using up a non-renewable resource which will leave future generations trying to figure out what to do, we have cut services that should never have been cut and spent money in places where it should never have been spent.

Meanwhile we have children in this province that go to bed hungry at night, we are seeing more and more homeless people and our stats on alcoholism, gambling and various other addictions are rising.

Hmmm, yes, it's a good thing we are debt-free. Reply With Quote
Jul 13, 2004 | 08:55 3 Oh yeah and should we mention long, long wait times to get anything done by a specialist and/or needed surgery, hosptial closures and tear-downs...but we're putting money back into build hospitals and open beds so that is a good thing.

We have seniors being cut off from needed services and charged for things that they used to get for free or nominal fees, families who cannot afford to do much with their kids because there is getting to be less and less to do that is actually affordable and the list goes on.

Now, I recognize that we are to be grateful for a lot that we do have in this province and for what we can contribute to the rest of the country.

It is astonishing how the gap between rich and poor continues to grow. Maybe in this "have" province, we should be looking at equalizing things. Reply With Quote
Jul 13, 2004 | 11:15 4 If we give each person $5000 just watch the people move in to Alberta. Reply With Quote
Jul 14, 2004 | 04:22 5 Being and a somewhat informed neighbour of all you people, Things could be a lot worse. You could live in Saskatchewan we only have a 12 Billion dollar debt spread around less than a million people and with the Jimmy Swaggert of the north as premier it will be growing each day. Some day somebody a lot smarter than me will figure out he has been swindling us. So much for my rant. By the way before I forget they can't blame it all on Devine either 9 Billion dollars in accumulated debt was there when he took over. Reply With Quote
Jul 15, 2004 | 09:31 6 Some of you may want to re-check your facts. Yes, it is true that a large part of the increased revenues our Glorious Province has incurred is as a result of increased oilpatch exploration and prosperity. However, we have, as a province, increased spending dramatically in the two areas most hotly debated today. In the last 10 years, the Province has more than doubled its spending on Healthcare, and increased spending on Education by a full 50%. We are the only province to do so.

We have, in actuality, been officially debt free since 1997, depending on one's definition of debt. It's curious, to me, that our Premier is doing some political posturing in an expected election year. Take, for example, a massive infusion of $700 million annually into health care (and the sudden declaration we are debt free). More money is most emphatically not the answer to the ills plagueing our fragile healthcare system. This has been shown many times over by the Fraser institute. The answer is responsible use of the system, which will require a drastic overhaul. Which, in a socialist society such as this, is almost unthinkable. Mr Klien did break his promise, to me, when he promised to push on the heathcare act to develop a more sustainable system. Far from it, we have maintained the status quo, and appeased the socialist, unenlightened masses by adding more money to an unsustanable, top heavy government beurocracy. In short, we are not treating the root cause of our deficient system.

I, for one, am proud to be Albertan, regardless of my dislike of our government. Albertans have the lowest taxes in Canada. We are encouraged to succeed. We can be dramatic, and bemoan the woes of children going to bed hungry (I'm just not sure where these children are), and complain about the inefficiency in our health system (Which I won't, I've been offered timely, life saving treatment and surgery on more than one occasion), all the while expecting someone else to feed the starving and clothe the homeless. I, for one, do not want the government (Big Brother, to the Orwell fans out there), providing anything other than roads, police, and pure research funding. Everything else I'm quite confident I can provide for myself. Just let me keep more of MY money.

The starving children, homeless drunks and addicted gamblers? Help them yourself. True Christian caring is one-on-one, not a legislated, impersonal, inefficient government industry that still manages to leave behind the truly needy. Should these programmes fail, and you all get a massive tax cut, I will be, of course, expecting you who defend the poor most vocally to step to their aid. Reply With Quote
Jul 15, 2004 | 10:59 7 This is home to me and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else either. (Well, okay I do, but I'll likely never be able to afford to retire there, so this is home.)

Your statements about top heavy management in both health care and education couldn't be more true. If more of the money trickled down to where it would actually be utilized in the manner it was intended, then there really wouldn't be too many problems. Have you ever looked at the make-up of a school board and all the staff that goes with that? It is unbelievable.

I'm glad that you were able to get the treatment you needed when you needed it. I noticed that your statement said something about life-saving and that is probably the key. Talk to someone who has waited nine months to a year or more for knee surgery and/or hip surgery. The story is totally different then. There is also a difference if you can afford to pay for services that will help you or whether you have to wait for the health care system to look after you.

It's not that there aren't abuses in both education and health care. How many people needlessly go to emergency for every ache and pain or every time one of their kids has a scratch or cough. Now, I don't have anything against parents being vigilant about the safety and well-being of their children, but some do go overboard and that is what taxes the resources, ties up health personnel, etc.

Do you know anyone who has a child with developmental disabilities and/or requires special education classes? Talk to them about how difficult it is to get the required resources. I have a friend who's child is hearing impaired - the hoops and things they have to do to keep him getting a decent education are mind-boggling.

We want our children to become productive members of society and we need to help them achieve those goals in whatever way we can.

There are those that can afford to do it all themselves and I commend them that they are willing to do so. There are those that can't and we need to ensure that they have at least a chance to better themselves.

Last stats I saw revealed that some 12,000 children are not fed properly in this province. Look at how the school lunch programs are subscribed and/or breakfast programs so that kids aren't hungry in class.

Some of what you describe is exactly what I have stated in my post.... the gap between the haves and the have nots is getting bigger.

I'm not for a second advocating a welfare state because that helps no one and becomes a huge burden. What I want to have happen is that we have more of a level playing field. Reply With Quote
Jul 15, 2004 | 15:44 8 Has anyone thought to thank the Canadians in the rest of Canada who have contributed to the Alberta economy everytime we've had to add fuel to our vehicles or tractors? Reply With Quote
Jul 15, 2004 | 15:56 9 Good point Woolybear! Made me stop and smile. Reply With Quote
Jul 16, 2004 | 04:51 10 Gwyneplaine; Couldn't agree with you more!
Health and education costs are completely out of control and it seems like the government gets a little more control over us every year.
One thing I have to agree with Ralph is his stance on medi-care...it simply isn't sustainable! Health and education take up something like two thirds of the Alberta budget...with no end in site! Of course roads and infrastructure tend to get the short end of the stick because so much of our economy is being diverted into Health and Education.
Surely in this day and age of high tech we don't need to keep building these monstrously expensive schools and hiring babysitters at a cost of ??? $65,000/yr.? Especially when the product they turn out are quite often basically illiterate?
And while we perhaps should thank the rest of Canada for buying our gas and oil, I will note as soon as they can get it cheaper from Venezuala or Saudi Arabia they soon forget about Alberta! While using the transfer money we send them to buy it with. The USA will buy all the gas and oil we can produce and not force us to take a lower price than the market dictates! Remember the NEP? Out and out theft of our resources! Reply With Quote
Jul 17, 2004 | 10:43 11 Just remember that as the population grows, so will the costs of some of these basic services like heath care and education. Look at the population of Calgary -- almost 1 million people. Who gets the bulk of the "new" health money?

Cowman, if as you suggest, we are producing kids that don't know much of anything when they're done school, then doesn't it behoove those that are in charge of the educational curriculum to ensure that it does? Schools are funded in part, based on what courses they can offer kids. Some classes have 10 to 12 students in them because they are options and not everyone likes the same things. Should we have all these options just so that a school can get more money, to pay teachers with classrooms that are less than half full, when the biggest complaint teachers have is class size? Wouldn't that money be better spent on enough teachers to teach the basics and forget all the optional under-utilized classes? Yes, variety is good, but there should be a limit as to how much is a good thing.

As the baby boomers age, this is where we see more and more need for health care because things just wear out after a while, or a tune-up is in order. People are living longer, so they require services for longer.

Don't forget that back when we got on this "fiscal restraint" bandwagon, there were many services that were completely hacked away and I would say that all these recent spending announcements will help us to get where we should have been, had we not had all these cuts in the first place. At first glance it may seem like a lot is getting put back, when I would say that it is merely keeping us where we would have been had things been allowed to evolve as a matter of course.

(By the way, cowman, how am I doing?) ;-) Reply With Quote
Jul 17, 2004 | 11:27 12 The price of being in debt is onerus. How can anyone say they would rather be in debt than out of it.
What a good example Alberta will set for the rest of Canada. Don't be mislead that we are the only province to have oil resources. The province of B.C. has been trying to develop it's off shore oil reserve off the coast of Prince Rupert since the 60's, and Sask. has a plentyful reserve under the ecologically sensitive sand dunes of the South. Ra Ra Ralph for letting us develop our oil reserves when the price of oil is strong before Koyoto takes effect, and the wind turbines take over. It's because of the oil revenue we got this far, can the other Western provinces do the same?
Next step, education and health care. One thing at a time. Reply With Quote
Jul 17, 2004 | 12:38 13 Grn - how much of the environment have we disturbed - in some cases irreparably - in the name of finding that oil? Let's not just stop at oil though.

There is only something in the neighborhood of 17% of Alberta's forested areas that have been left untouched. We seem to overlook this - or don't even know it - when we point our fingers at other countries for destroying their rain forests in the name of gaining riches and market share.

We see more animal/human tragedies for both animals and humans I might add than we ever have before because we are slowly pushing wildlife to the brink and limits of their habitats and territory.

Those million dollar homes overlooking the mountains and rivers will be quite something when there is no wildlife to observe or our source drinking water has been depleted to the point where paying any amount of money for potable will become the norm because everything needs water to survive.

I believe that it is less than 25% of the resource developed lands are reclaimed. Why? Because the laws governing reclamation are not enforced. Why is that? Because we make too much money from them not being enforced and there isn't the staff to monitor to see if the reclamations are being completed.

But I guess all of it is okay because we can still afford to put gas in those big honkin' trucks, motor homes and SUV's.

I'm very concerned that we aren't thinking beyond today. We are here just borrowing all of this. What are we leaving for future generations? Reply With Quote
Jul 17, 2004 | 12:41 14 Woops, that should be we will pay any amount for potable water.

Consider also that people are against the big businesses in agriculture i.e. Monsanto etc. for wanting GE products. What about all the big businesses that are exploiting the natural resources we have?

I'm not going to get out there with any placards any time soon, but I do think that we need to start taking a look at the long-term effects of what we are doing. We are better educated, more informed and understand more of what we are doing than we have been at any point in history. What is preventing us from using that knowledge to benefit the environment and our future generations?

Well, I guess the province will be out of debt, so why should we care? Reply With Quote
Jul 18, 2004 | 05:41 15 Hey Linda...doing good!
The fact is Ralph or Peter or Don didn't invent the oil and gas business in Alberta. Now it is true they lucked into a very good situation with the oil crisis in the early seventies, but in fact they have not gotten a very good deal on royalties compared to just about every other oil producing country in the world? I will note they all seem to be doing very well personally though?
Consider that evil old Iraq? Before the first Gulf War all medi-care and education(including university) were totally free for Iraqi citizens! And don't believe Iraq was some sort of religious fundamentalist state...they were a very progressive socia
list dictatorship!
And meanwhile here in Alberta the Tories continue to rake in the cash and really give nothing back to the actual owners of the resources! The Alberta Advantage? What advantage? We pay a health care premium...Saskatchewan doesn't. We pay outrageous insurance prices...Saskatchewan doesn't! Go to Saskatchewan and buy almost anything. Pay the 7% GST and then pay the PST and what does it cost you...about the exact same price as it does in Alberta! Who benifits?
I will agree entirely with Linda about the forest in Alberta! It is an absolute scandal and the real scandal is the people of Alberta are getting absolutely nothing for their trees...in fact it is costing us tax payers money!
I also agree totally that we need to start realizing water is a very valuable commodity, that we have to stop giving away and squandering! The water, like the gas and oil and the forests, belong to us, the citizens, not the likes of Klein and his gang! Commerce is necessary, but we the people should be benifitting not the political hacks who get their dirty little kickbacks under the table, for letting the pirates and thieves rob us! Reply With Quote
Jul 20, 2004 | 09:34 16 A couple of concerns.

$65,000 a year baby sitters? Is that what you call the people who spend more time with your children than you do? What value do you put on your children? It concerns me, that teachers are looked upon so lowly, when they in fact are not just teachers anymore, they are councillors, de facto parents, and for the most part, care about their kids. There are, as with any job, the poor ones and the plain bad teachers, but far and away the majority devote their lives to YOUR children. Much is made of the 2 months vacation, but if you actually meet a teacher, you'll understand the amount of time it takes to teach your children, and the amout of unpaid overtime they put in marking, planning, and coaching extra-curricular activities. Talk to one, ask how much of their own time (evenings, weekends, holidays) they donate. I'm ok with paying them top dollar services, to encourage new and young, enthusiastic dedicated teachers. In short, look at the persons doing the job, not the union or the sterotype. Perhaps I'm biased, having family memebrs as teachers and a great deal of friends from University that came through the Education program. Look into it, though.

OK, I have more concerns, but no more time. I'd imagine I'll be back. Reply With Quote
Jul 20, 2004 | 13:53 17 I have one sister who is still teaching, one retired and one an U of A prof! My mother was also a school teacher, during the war! When my dad came home she quit to help on the farm and take care of him.
My old mother(83) is apalled by the way teachers complain about all their hard work and keep demanding more money!
Counselling? Try telling a seven year old why her daddy was killed in Italy while her own husband is fighting on the front lines at Casino and later shot up real bad in a field hospital in Holland?
The thing I was trying to say was this: The times are a changing? A whole lot of kids can learn a whole lot more than at a school? The internet is changing all our lives...why not learning? Get rid of close to half the schools?
By the way I will note my own children are done school(well one in her third year of university) and they did very well. I will note they were all "learners" who could read and write well before they ever went to school. My wife and I did little in the way of them learning this...in fact it was Sesame Street that taught them!
Of course we'll always need schools but I do believe we could eliminate a lot of them if we could get rid of the "education oligarchy" which is more concerned with keeping the status quoe alive and well than giving the customer value for their money? Reply With Quote
Jul 21, 2004 | 15:26 18 I have always wondered when people say that ralph and co have done a good job of managing our economy as compared to what and inverably they will point at sask or BC but there is nothing to compare as we all have different resources and issues.
But if you look at what we get for our money you will see we get very little . It kind of reminds me of one time I went to the neibours when he waS COMBINING and there was grain all over behind the comb when I mentioned it to him his answer was where was still lots going in the hopper.
Thats how I think the most of albertians look at it. Reply With Quote
Jul 21, 2004 | 17:47 19 There are many who are expected to do more in their jobs for less pay - often unpaid overtime. That's kind of what happens when you are a salaried employee versus one that gets paid by the hour. It would be interesting to see the split in the number of teachers who put in the extra effort and those who show up at 8:00 and leave at 4:30 or whenever it is they get off these days.

We have gone "lean and mean" these last few years, but who has it affected more - the person who makes $100K per year or the one making $8.00/hr? I sometimes have to wonder who has really paid to see the debt wiped out.

The "working poor" are increasing in number - why is that?

This will be a flag that is waved heartily in the run up to what is anticipated to be a fall election. How about we hold them accountable and see where they would like to go in the future? What plans do they have then? Reply With Quote
Jul 22, 2004 | 10:54 20 With regards to Saskatchewan and BC, I think we need to point out it's the government mismanagment that has them in trouble. Take, for example, there are more Forested acres in Sask than in Alberta (seriously... look it up), similar natural gas and Oil deposits, and amazing amounts of farmland. It's the socialist "Let The Government Do It" attitude that's killing their economies.

Teachers that do no work after 4:30? Find one for me. Really, I'll wait, I can afford the time. And, CLOSE more schools? Want to speak of widening the gap between rich and poor, how will the 'working poor' afford the time and effort required to ensure their children are learning properly (seeing as they're stretched to the limit and going to bed hungry every night). Let alone the cost of Computers, software and what have to just to get hooked up. And, it is a fact that poorer children get into more trouble with the law, thus perpetuating the cycle of poverty and crime. With no time as it is for proper supervision, these children 'educated' by the Internet, I predict, will have even more time for petty crime and vandalism. The dollars we spend on education go a long way, I believe, in giving less fortunate kids a chance. That being said, the system IS flawed, must be streamlined and re-worked in such a fashion that education dollars are spent educating, not on admin.

I do understand it would be difficult to explain to a child that their father was dead. A horrible task! However, look at how teachers these days are impotent, regarding discipline. 'Don't touch my child'. I got strapped at school, and was terrified of telling my parents, for fear that I'd get it twice as bad at home. Try that today. The ammount that kids need to know these days is also far greater than what it was even 25 years ago.

With regards to wages, it takes 11 years to get to $60,000 per year for a teacher. They start at $36,000. For the most part, they are worth $60, 000 and more. There are ALWAYS exceptions. Some, I'm sure, do not deserve even half the money they make - it is the same in ANY industry.

However, your'e absolutly correct when you say the top-heavy oligarchy (I prefer beurocracy) needs to be elimintinated. What's the solution? I know what it isn't. It is most emphatically NOT closing schools. Reply With Quote
Jul 22, 2004 | 12:45 21 Home schooling may be fine for some, but it seems to me that you have to be fairly well educated yourself about a wide variety of subjects in order to be able to home school and most of us just don't fit that bill.

As for the schools themselves, we should be taking a look at how they are funded. From what I can gather and have been told, schools get their money based on what they have to offer students. The greater variety, the more money you get, but is that the best way to spend the money? Should you have classes of 12 students taking conversational Japanese for example, when one of the biggest complaints we hear from the teachers is class size. Shouldn't that money be used to make the class sizes more manageable? I don't know if we can make that call without having a review of what is happening and see where changes and improvements could be made.

Teaching is like any other job - if you don't like what's happening, go and find something that you do like. I'm not convinced that society should be held hostage by teachers threatening to strike if they don't get their way. It's not the school board that is going to suffer - it is the students. If we are going to hold teachers accountable for educating and socializing the students, then maybe they should be considered an essential service which takes away any threat of strike action. Parents should not have to be burdened with finding alternatives for their kids if there is no school. It is not the parents who make the decisions about what gets paid or given as benefits to teachers.

We expect a lot from teachers, but they get compensated for it too and a lot more than teachers do in the U.S. for example. I also think that teachers must put up with a lot from parents - it is a double edged sword.

I don't really want to get into an argument about which teachers leave when and for how long. I think it is safe to leave it at there are exceptions to the rule and it might be more than what you think.

Now, taxing for eduction is a whole other debate. Reply With Quote
Jul 23, 2004 | 05:07 22 How much money does the province spend per child? How much of that money goes for administration, how much for staff salarys, how much for building costs? I suspect it would be cheaper to provide a kid a personal computer that had access only to a "learning center"? I do realize you couldn't eliminate all the schools as a lot of kids need a "babysitter" but you could get rid of a lot of them?
Education, like medi-care, is a black hole where money disappears never to be seen again! Sooner or later they have to get these two things under control or there won't be any money for the things that "really" make the world go around...infrastructure! Who ever decided in the first place that it was the governments job to provide education and healthcare?
Governments only job should be to protect its citizens and to provide the infrastructure to carry on Commerce! Reply With Quote
Jul 26, 2004 | 10:11 23 Cowman, with all your wisdom and ideas, why don't you join in your local school board and get involved? (Maybe you have.) That would give you an inside view of how the system works. They are usually looking to fill a seat in the local business community.
Warm up by volunteering in an Elementary class that has 27 kids. See what those teachers put up with in a day. I know I'd come unglued if I had to deal with 27 kids all day under the age of 10. Reply With Quote
Jul 27, 2004 | 06:55 24 Well sorry, I neither have the time or the inclination! Too busy trying to keep the wolf from the door!
However when I was young I actually considered being a teacher! Luckily my dad pointed out that he had other plans for me.
But maybe I should have? I'd be retired on a full pension by now!
While I don't in any way envy the teacher her 27 little nightmares, we should remember these people went into it with their eyes wide open and are compensated pretty well for their efforts?
Nine weeks off in the summer, two at Christmas, two at Easter, plus a day off every month...I guess that works out to another two? So 15 weeks paid holiday?
They put in close to a six hour day for 37 weeks a year or about 1110 hours a year? You say $61,000 is the salary? And probably the various benifits add up to at least a few more bucks? Say $70,000 for 1110 hours work?
That's over $63/hr.? Not too bad, huh?
It just seems to me that our education system costs more every year when in fact it should be costing less? In a cost efficient system, new technology should lower costs? Instead we are paying for a system dominated by a militant greedy union whose only interest is keeping the gravy train going! Time to throw the education system into the private sector and let them clean up the abuses? Reply With Quote
Jul 28, 2004 | 12:04 25 I find it interesting that you're so willing to throw our children into the private sector, what with its lowest cost principle and profit-based incentives. Not to menton the evils of globalisation, and the slavery it implies. Why, the corporations would own the schools and the souls of the children within a matter of months! You don't find it inconsistant to speak of trade protection in one thread, then open market in another? How, exactly, would a free-market school system work? Wouldn't that imply only the rich get access to the better teachers, and the poor would recive no funding whatsoever? Weren't we recently speaking of a level playing field? I don't support a level playing field, I don't believe eveyone is equal. I support a fair system, where everyone has access to the same services, and the same start (and that includes access to a funded high school education). But that's it. There, that's my extent of socialist tendancies (maybe not, as freedom requires an educated population. Hmm.. I'll have to pursue this).

(Curious, isn't it, that a discussion about the debt free status of Alberta has evolved into a debate regarding the relative value of the education system as a whole, and the Teachers in particular.)

The calculations resulting in a $63 per hour teaching wage may be a little skewed. Absolutly, there are only 1100 classroom hours per school year.... I seriously doubt anyone recieves $9,000 per year in benefits ($750/month? and, let us not forget, it takes 11 years teaching to get to $61,000.). I ask again: how may teachers put in their time only in the classroom? They make good money, and they deserve it. A generalisation, I admit.

We all seem fairly decided in our degree of support for the teaching profession, let's perhaps leave it at that. I've obviously been exposed to more 'good' teachers than yourself. Perhaps that affects my judgement. Now... let's focus on feeding the homeless and relieveing the burden on the 'working poor'. Reply With Quote
Jul 28, 2004 | 16:46 26 Why would you assume you were exposed to better teachers than myself? That has nothing to do with what I was trying to say?
What I was saying is this: While the teacher might very well be worth her/his salary, are they truly necessary in this modern world? Not all of them, but some of them? Can we reduce that staff number and save some money?
If I had shares in any company I would want them to run it as efficiently as possible? Doesn't that make sense? Why is a government service any different?
How would a private type school system work...simple...the Alberta government says so much for every child in funding...say $4000(cheaper than the current system)! The education providers have to follow a set curriculum and pass certain standards. Do you think that might work? Now if the entrepreneur decides a PC and a central learning center will work for his clientele then why wouldn't we go for it? How is this biased against the poor?
Do you believe these "new" educators might inflict some "radical" ideas on the students? More radical than the leftist crap they are being fed right now?
I do consider myself a socialist(always have) in that I believe in the rights of people! Not the rich and wealthy but your average Joe! Not because I believe every poor person deserves a "handout" but that they have an inherent right to share in the wealth of their country! To what degree that comes to is how much individual effort you want to put into it! But the basic "dividend" should never be a question. Reply With Quote
Jul 28, 2004 | 16:52 27 Oh by the way I'll check with number 4 sister about the benefits! Unemployment insurance, health care, dental, blue cross, eye care, workmans comp., CPP, Occupational safety, pension plan, sabbaticals, personal learning days...they can add up pretty fast! I'll get back to you on that one! Also check that top salary...seems she was doing better than that! Reply With Quote
Jul 29, 2004 | 08:47 28 I think I'm pretty much done with this dicussion.

$4000? Are you joking? You actually propose a better, more efficient education system with that pittiance? I doubt strongly that you understand the ramifications of the system you propose (Especially coming from a self-confessed socialist, I find this humorous).

Now, back to rural issues.

How is a paid dividend, where the undeserving, the lazy, and the unambitious reap the benefits of my training, hard work and dedication, NOT a handout? I've worked, saved, and studied hard to get to where I am today. I have applied myself and suceeded, and anticipate more of the same in the future. I feel no compunction whatsoever to 'share' the rewards of my labours. I had access to the same start as every Albertan. (Public Education, student loans, scolarships), and I used them. I hate the fact that the more I work, an increasing proportion of what I earn goes to support those who won't help themselves. And please, spare me the bull about the 'working poor'. Life is a series of choices. How you choose (and the consequences reflected therein) defines your life. Would you want to pay for my bad choices? I've absorbed mine, and moved on.

As a proud Canadian, I will still only ever live in Alberta, where housing is afforrdable, taxes are lower than anywhere else, and we have a government that encourages its citizens to succeed and help themselves. The day your 'Utopia' is instituted, I (and other like, productive minds) will leave to a place where we aren't penalized for succeeding (I believe this is referred to as the 'brain drain'). Witness the situation in Saskatchewan - which is in the beginning stages of reversing - where there is no incentive whatsoever to retain a young, aggressive, innovative workforce. A lot (a LOT) of these people are in ALberta now. Let's try to analyze why... Reply With Quote
Jul 29, 2004 | 17:40 29 Well I definitely can see you are not a socialist!
The premise is this: You don't own this country or all its wonderful natural resources! You own a part of that but so does that bum in the gutter! So does that little girl who made a mistake and now ends up a single mother? Thus they deserve a "dividend"...just like you do or even I?
I always am amazed by people who think, because of their "efforts" they are some how better than someone else! Perhaps you don't subscribe to the saying "There but for the grace of God, go I?" Vanity and pride....the two greatest sins?
You should check out what made Alberta great? It really wasn't the stumble bums we have running the province now or for the past thirty some years! It was a "Socialist" government called SOCIAL CREDIT! Perhaps your problem is you don't understand what a real socialist is but have been brainwashed by the modern education system? Reply With Quote
Jul 29, 2004 | 17:52 30 Oh and actually I believe the average cost to educate a child isn't much more than that $4000 figure? Seems to me it was right around $4300 the last time I heard? If not, then maybe I'm a bit out of touch, and if that is the case I'm sorry. Do you have any figures?
Oh and by the way...are you by chance a school teacher? Reply With Quote