REALITY CHECK

~Well, here we go, here’s a second comic strip.  And as per usual, comments are quite welcomed!   [n]

6 responses to “REALITY CHECK

  1. Good cartoon! While the ruling elites have been successful up to the introduction of the Internet in convincing us we have a Democracy (flavored), in reality we are a Plutocracy with a pseudo/democratic false face.

    Definition of PLUTOCRACY
    1
    : government by the wealthy
    2
    : a controlling class of the wealthy

    I think the Global Occupy movement and the growing Student movement in Quebec are the advance troops in exposing the lie.

  2. Thanks for the feedback Ray! Actually, now that you mention it, those Quebec pots-and-pans percussionist protesters would make a very good subject for my next article…

  3. Good one. The means for a real democracy exist, that’s not really the issue. The issue is more along the lines of real democracy not being good for corporate interests. As long as money rules the world (and I suspect it will for the foreseeable future) there’s little chance of a truly democratic system ever coming into existence. Once a real democratic system would be in place, corporations would have a smaller impact in politics. It would likely prove harder to sway individuals on a regular basis, as opposed to an “elected official”.

    For a real democratic system to come alive, we’re talking about nothing else than a full scale revolution. A lot of very rich and very powerful people would be really scared at the thought of losing their influence on the government. I can’t prove that our elected officials are being bought out on a regular basis, but some decisions being taken are so downright stupid that it just seems impossible that kickbacks or favors aren’t involved.

    It’s not a coincidence that in Start Trek: The Next Generation, it’s explained in a few episodes that money “doesn’t really exist anymore”. This is what has allowed mankind to evolve on an emotional, philosophical and psychological level (and from then on, one could assume a democratic level). In the ST:TNG universe, wars on Earth don’t happen anymore (there’s simply no point, as all resources belong to the human collective), and why everything seems to “work” well (yes, yes, I know, there’s plenty of wars with other races and what not, but hey, it’s not the human’s fault! :-) ). The lack of money is something that’s always made sense to me with regards to that particular science fiction franchise, as a vehicle to explain mankind’s evolution. And I bring it up here, because our current excuse for a political system is a symptom of much much larger problems, least of which is the human propensity for greed.

    As a side note, I would also enjoy an article about the student “strike”. I was under the impression that you could strike when you were a paid worker delivering some sort of service or product. How can students go on strike? They’re not being paid. They’re not providing any services. So I suppose they’re simply protesting, and have no real leverage. So why is it that the Quebec government (or that Quebec in general) gives a rat’s behind to what these children think? They’re barely of age to vote. Most of them don’t pay taxes. In fact, MY taxes pay for THEIR courses. These snot-nosed punks are getting on my nerves. Health care in Quebec is an aberration for a province in a G8 country, and our infrastructure is crumbling, just to mention 2 of the more pressing issues in Quebec. I remember watching the news a few weeks ago, and a reporter was talking about a man that had to travel 500km or so to get his dialysis treatment, because the hospital in his community, where his home and family lives, couldn’t treat him because of the usual space/availability issue. Then, 2 minutes later, there’s this little punk whining about a hike of 30$ a month for his tuition fees, like this is a BIG FUCKING DEAL! Really? We should be out protesting for people to get decent medical services! I should be out protesting because I’m tired of being taxed at 50% of my revenue! Freaking children should NOT be protesting about a minor increase in tuition fees (that most of them won’t be paying anyway, thanks mommy and daddy!). Ridiculous. This whole concept of universal right to education has been taken way too far. Everyone (in developed countries) does have access to education. It’s called the public library. You want to learn about political sciences? Fine, PICK UP A FUCKING BOOK! Everyone should NOT have free access to university. You can easily make a career with a college diploma or by practicing a trade, which is the equivalent of a high school diploma, give or take a few hours. Why everyone thinks that they deserve to go to university (for free or next to it) is beyond me. Maybe 1% of individuals who possess PHD’s in a subject matter other than medicine or engineering or anything immediately useful will ever make any significant advances in their chosen fields. I don’t mind pitching in (via my taxes) for a med student’s diploma. I do NOT want to contribute to someone PHD in political sciences or philosophy, unless said individual has been tested with an IQ of 175 or more. Seriously, most people simply aren’t smart enough to justify the investment of their university studies (when I say investment, I mean the investment US, the tax-payers, are making). Most people should definitely pay out of pocket if they want to go to university. So I’d say that even with a tuition hike, students in Quebec are VERY VERY lucky little bastards.

    • I think the students have the right to express their opinions as well as a right to protest, which I think is legitimate. Do they deserve a smaller or bigger slice of pie? Ultimately, I think that’s something that should be decided by the electorate within a national survey of some sort ( Do I dare say the word referendum, but not in a national identity context?)

      Deciding which segment of society, or which special interest group, gets funding will always be something that creates debate. I think that having the actual taxpayers deciding these things, instead of their representatives, would create a debate with an entirely different dynamic.

      Although in full disclosure, I must admit that I have a pro-student bias. Mostly from having played a video game called “Civilization”, where I always invest massively in education, in order to succeed with either a military or scientific victory. But luckily, I’m just a gamer, not a premier.

  4. I’m not opposed to investing in education, quite the contrary. I’m just opposed to the concept of giving away money, so to speak, willy-nilly to any and all students. Make university free for whomever studies in fields where the province has a need, provided these students qualify on an academic level. On the other hand, If you want to study in a field that’s not on “the list”, you pay out of pocket. Then make it a law that these students have a legal commitment to work in Quebec for X number of years as compensation for the free education, to avoid any workforce exodus to other provinces or countries. If said student needs/wants/has to move out of Quebec, then he owes the province 100% of his tuition, the amount of which is adjusted according to current interest rates, etc.

    If this seems restrictive, it’s because it’s supposed to be. Socialism as we know it in Quebec is great. But you can’t have socialism with the type of free-for-all we have right now, be that for education, health-care, social assistance programs, etc. Not giving everything for free all the time without conditions and STRONG control mechanisms would ensure that the province can continue to provide services, to those who DESERVE it, without us going bankrupt. Having stronger rules with regards to tuition fees and student assistance programs would be a good step in that general direction. This is why I’m not opposed to a tuition hike. The province desperately needs to address some very harsh financial realities, and someone, somewhere, needs to get a smaller slice of the pie. Who is it going to be? The elderly? They have no pie to speak of. Sick people who need medical services? Please. When’s the last time you went to an ER? We need to THROW money at hospitals and the medical system, not cut funding. The average income family? Sorry, you can’t really tax us more than we already are. So the education system it is. Tuition fees in Quebec are still lower than anywhere else in the country, so I really, REALLY, don’t see the big deal. Anyway, I’ll still have to help my kid (possibly kids) through school, so I’m not being disingenuous here.

    But by all means, let us vote on the issue, and let the people decide.

    Oh, wait. We can’t.

    • That’s the thing, IF the taxpayers were able to vote on it, and the taxpayers decided to give the students the funding, then everybody would have to accept it and that would be the end of it. But IF it was the other way around, and it was refused, then students would be required to bite the bullet and stop making a stink about it, and accept it quietly.

      But instead, we’re stuck with a system where some groups are given privileges, while others are denied. And it’s all decided by some crusty old decider guy in charge of deciding for us. In my opinion, the level of democracy in Quebec is closer to us being a “rotary monarchy”, than us being a representative democracy. We change our leaders every 4-5 years, just like an old bottle of milk in the fridge that started to smell bad.

      Personally, I’m not convinced the student movement deserves that money. But as far as them denouncing the inequality and the lack of transparency in the in the way the pie is divided, I wholeheartedly agree.

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