I woke up to the news that our hydro rates are going up. There is nothing new about that. Ontarians already pay the highest rates in North America, but that is no reason why they couldn’t or shouldn’t go even higher. What was news, is the reason behind the rate increase.
We were subjected for years to relentless propaganda, endless and obnoxious bullying about our evil and wasteful ways of electricity use. The government cajoled us into using toxic compact fluorescent bulbs just to save a bit of electricity; all in the name of ‘saving the planet’.
The propaganda worked. The mild Winter helped. Wouldn’t we deserve a reward? No. We get punishment. Our lower usage meant that this government run business had a lower revenue than what it expected, so to cover the shortfall, they jacked up the price. We should be glad that they did not triple it. Being a monopoly, they could have. Not only do we have the highest rates in America, we also have the fastest growing rates.
I was amazed by the news. Not even the communists, not even in the darkest years of Stalinism were they this blatant showing off their power. They had absolute power, but they always tried to put a good face to it. When we got screwed, there was always some excuse of higher, nobler, moral reason behind it. The country, the communist cause, the brighter future.
I wonder how many people noticed the news. I wonder how many care. How many found it outrageous. Not the fact, but the spit-in-your-face insolence of the excuse for it. “Since you use less, we have to charge more. We have needs.”
I had a young guy working in my team. He was a twenty-something Italian boy living at home. He was housed and fed, earning a salary clearly above the Canadian average. He wanted a raise. Correction: he NEEDED a raise, as he indignantly explained to our manager, because his salary did not cover his bills.
Clearly something was wrong with his remuneration.
I can somehow understand the stupidity of someone who just got out of the Canadian public education system, but are we really so far gone that we cannot expect better from our politicians?
………………Forget that I asked. Come to think of it, my young friend Enzo understands the economy better than Justin.
I recommend you to read this article offering a glimpse into the mess behind the problem. The cost of electricity in Ontario has nothing to do with the cost of its generation. It is all politics.
I don’t know if there is a way out. Can you see any?
= = =
I have a few jokes I gave up on telling to people because most people wouldn’t get it. You need the communist experience to be able to relate to it. Still, I give it to you with some explanations.
Comrade teacher is telling stories to little first graders about the life of Lenin.
“Comrade Vladimir Ilyich was a very good man. He liked little children very much. One day, little boys were kicking the ball around in Red Square. Little Alyoshenka kicked his ball so hard that it flew straight into the office of comrade Vladimir Ilyich. He got up, walked down to the square and handed the ball back to the children. Even though he could have got them all shot.”
The joke should be told using some Russian expressions, with the overplayed, patronizing condescension of a first-grade teacher. It has many layers.
It is well known, for example, that Lenin despised children, but his image as the sainted leader of the revolution required the image of a benevolent father figure for the indoctrination of little children.
The point of the joke is that absolute power is scary and capricious. That you never know what will happen to you when you encounter someone with power; but you do know that anything can happen.
The point of the joke is that even the most innocent situation can turn deadly and you better remember that you are at the mercy of the state at any time.
The point of the joke is that the possibility of losing your life is the ‘normal’. The state allowing you to keep it is what’s newsworthy.
Maybe it is a sort of over sensitivity that the news about getting punished for doing what is expected of us reminded me of this joke.
….but maybe, we should all develop a bit more of this sort of sensitivity.