We’re too broke to be this stupid

STEYN: Beleaguered taxpayers may finally put a stop to the sheer waste of government spending

Benoit Tessier / REUTERS

Back in 2008, when I was fulminating against multiculturalism on a more or less weekly basis, a reader wrote to advise me to lighten up, on the grounds that “we’re rich enough to afford to be stupid.”

Two years later, we’re a lot less rich. In fact, many Western nations are, in any objective sense, insolvent. Hence last week’s column, on the EU’s decision to toss a trillion dollars into the great sucking maw of Greece’s public-sector kleptocracy. It no longer matters whether you’re intellectually in favour of European-style social democracy: simply as a practical matter, it’s unaffordable.

How did the Western world reach this point? Well, as my correspondent put it, we assumed that we were rich enough that we could afford to be stupid. In any advanced society, there will be a certain number of dysfunctional citizens either unable or unwilling to do what is necessary to support themselves and their dependents. What to do about such people? Ignore the problem? Attempt to fix it? The former nags at the liberal guilt complex, while the latter is way too much like hard work: the modern progressive has no urge to emulate those Victorian social reformers who tramped the streets of English provincial cities looking for fallen women to rescue. All he wants to do is ensure that the fallen women don’t fall anywhere near him.

So the easiest “solution” to the problem is to throw public money at it. You know how it is when you’re at the mall and someone rattles a collection box under your nose and you’re not sure where it’s going but it’s probably for Darfur or Rwanda or Hoogivsastan. Whatever. You’re dropping a buck or two in the tin for the privilege of not having to think about it. For the more ideologically committed, there’s always the awareness-raising rock concert: it’s something to do with Bono and debt forgiveness, whatever that means, but let’s face it, going to the park for eight hours of celebrity caterwauling beats having to wrap your head around Afro-Marxist economics. The modern welfare state operates on the same principle: since the Second World War, the hard-working middle classes have transferred historically unprecedented amounts of money to the unproductive sector in order not to have to think about it. But so what? We were rich enough that we could afford to be stupid.

That works for a while. In the economic expansion of the late 20th century, citizens of Western democracies paid more in taxes but lived better than their parents and grandparents. They weren’t exactly rich, but they got richer. They also got more stupid. When William Beveridge laid out his blueprint for the modern British welfare state in 1942, his goal was the “abolition of want.” Sir William and his colleagues on both sides of the Atlantic succeeded beyond their wildest dreams: to be “poor” in the 21st-century West is not to be hungry and emaciated but to be obese, with your kids suffering from childhood diabetes. When Michelle Obama turned up to serve food at a soup kitchen, its poverty-stricken clientele snapped pictures of her with their cellphones. In one-sixth of British households, not a single family member works. They are not so much without employment as without need of it. At a certain level, your hard-working bourgeois understands that the bulk of his contribution to the treasury is entirely wasted. It’s one of the basic rules of life: if you reward bad behaviour, you get more of it. But, in good and good-ish times, who cares?

By the way, where does the government get the money to fund all these immensely useful programs? According to a Fox News poll earlier this year, 65 per cent of Americans understand that the government gets its money from taxpayers, but 24 per cent think the government has “plenty of its own money without using taxpayer dollars.” You can hardly blame them for getting that impression in an age in which there is almost nothing the state won’t pay for. I confess I warmed to that much-mocked mayor in Doncaster, England, who announced a year or two back that he wanted to stop funding for the Gay Pride parade on the grounds that, if they’re so damn proud of it, why can’t they pay for it? He was actually making a rather profound point, but, as I recall, he was soon forced to back down. In Canada, almost every ethnocultural booster group is on the public teat. Outside Palestine House in Toronto the other week, the young Muslim men were caught on tape making explicitly eliminationist threats about Jews, but c’mon, everything else in Canada is taxpayer-funded, why not genocidal incitement? We’re rich enough that we can afford to be stupid.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

It’s not so much the money as the stupidity, which massively expands under such generous subvention. When it emerged that President Barack Obama had appointed a Communist as his “green jobs czar,” I carelessly assumed it was the usual youthful “idealism”: no doubt Van Jones, the Communist Obama appointee in question, had been a utopian college student caught up in the spirit of ’68 and gone along for the ride. A passing phase. Soon grow out of it. But, in fact, Mr. Jones became a Communist in the mid-nineties, after the fall of the Soviet Union. He embraced Communism after even the commies had given up on it. Like the song says, he was commie after commie had ceased to be cool. On Fox News, Glenn Beck made a fuss about it. But the “mainstream” media thought this was frankly rather boorish, and something only uptight right-wing squares would do. I mean, what’s the big deal? True, everywhere it’s been implemented, Communism causes human misery—not to mention an estimated 150 million deaths. But it doesn’t make you persona non grata in the salons of the West. Quite the opposite. The Washington Post hailed the grizzled folkie Pete Seeger as America’s “best-loved commie”—which, unlike “America’s best-loved Nazi,” is quite a competitive title. Even so, why would you stick a commie in the White House and put him in charge of anything to do with jobs, even “green jobs”?

Well, because “green jobs” is just another of those rich-enough-to-be-stupid scams. The Spanish government pays over $800,000 for every “green job” on a solar-panel assembly line. This money is taken from real workers with real jobs at real businesses whose growth is being squashed to divert funds to endeavours that have no rationale other than their government subsidies—and which would collapse as soon as the subsidies end. Yet Tim Flannery, the Aussie climate-alarmist who chaired the Copenhagen racket, says we need to redouble our efforts. “We’re trying to act as a species,” he says, “to regulate the atmosphere.”

Er, “regulate the atmosphere”? Why not? We’re rich enough to be stupid with the very heavens.
In his book The Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism (La tyrannie de la pénitence), the French writer Pascal Bruckner concludes by quoting Louis Bourdaloue, the celebrated Jesuit priest at the court of Louis XIV, who preached on the four kinds of conscience: 1) the good and peaceful; 2) the good and troubled; 3) the bad and troubled; 4) the bad and peaceful. The first is to be found in Heaven, the second in Purgatory, the third in Hell, and the fourth—the bad but peaceful conscience—sounds awfully like the prevailing condition of the West at twilight. We are remorseful to a fault—indeed, to others’ faults.

It’s not just long-ago sins like imperialism and colonialism and Eurocentric white male patriarchy and other fancies barely within living memory. Our very lifestyle demands penitence: Americans have easily accessible oil reserves, but it would be wrong to touch them, so poor old BP have to do the “environmentally responsible” thing and be out in the middle of the Gulf a mile underwater. If you’re rich enough to be that stupid, what won’t you subsidize? The top al-Qaeda recruiter in Britain, Abu Qatada, had 150,000 pounds in his bank account courtesy of the taxpayer before the comically misnamed Department for Work and Pensions decided to cut back his benefits.

The green jobs, the gay parades, the jihadist welfare queens, the Greek public sector unions, all have to be paid for by a shrinking base of contributing workers whose children and grandchildren will lead poorer and meaner lives because of the fecklessness of government. The social compact of the postwar era cannot hold. Across the developed world, a beleaguered middle class is beginning to understand that it’s no longer that rich. At some point, it will look at the sheer waste of government spending, the other shoe will drop, and it will decide that it no longer wishes to be that stupid.




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We’re too broke to be this stupid

  1. You're quoting a Fox News poll??? Just wake up from along slumber did you?

    • Have you ever actually watched Fox News and compared it to its lame-o competitors like MSNBC or CNN? I suspect that you haven't, smelter rat, or you wouldn't have made your ill-informed comment. Despite what the political left is always mindlessly repeating, Fox News is about as close as you can get to "Fair and Balanced" in the mainstream media. You should give it a try and have your eyes opened.

      • I'm sorry, did you say " Fox News" and "Fair and Balanced" in the same sentence? HAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Funniest thing I have heard all week!!!!!

        Glen Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Anne Coulter… Bible thumping, ultra right wing, creationists masquerading as fair minded "reporters" that broadcast the "news". Sorry my mistake.

        • Surely you can distinguish between a talk show or political show and the news? Beck, O'Reilly and Coulter are clearly not reporters nor have they (or Fox News) claimed that they are. Examine the content of the news instead of apeing what your Women's Studies professors told you.

          • Yes but many, many people watch O'Reilly et al discuss the news, give their opinion on the news, spin the news, and thereby believe that it is the news. If you honestly think that people watching shows like that are watching them critically, and balancing what is said with what is said elsewhere, then you likely have another think coming.

            Check out the Poll below (the post by malmonext), Bill O'Reilly is one of Americas most trusted NEWS sources, not COMMENTATORS. You may be able to tell the difference, but most Americans cannot.

          • Yeah, all Americans just sit in front of their TV and go "derrrrr" as they watch, right?

            The problem with liberals is they think they're smarter than conservatives. They think conservatives believe whatever they believe because they're stupid or brainwashed.

            Liberals are simply not open-minded people. I know. I used to be one. I used to, for example, hate Harper and Bush because that's what you do when you're liberal. You want your entitlements, your free rewards for nothing. You want your social safety net just in case you fail because you don't believe in yourself enough to succeed.

            Socialism has already failed, and this is not surprising, because socialism requires failure in order to exist in the first place.

          • Thought we were talking about Fox News? I've heard all the right wing dogma before, thanks. And before you have an aneurism, I'm not a liberal. Sorry if you thought that, but you didn't ask. You made an assumption based on one post. I just happen to have a strong opinion about Fox News.

            It's always funny, though, how the right seems to forget about the "social programs" they rely on everyday. Like schools, or the police department, or the fire department, or roads etc.

            The social safety net that seems to be pilloried, on this forum at least, is INTENDED to ensure that people who cannot take care of themselves have some kind of support. However, as Steyn has pointed out on numerous occasions, that system has become a bloated mess. Places like the UK where it is better to be a single teen mom on welfare than a working spouse have somehow lost sight of the intention of the programs. Greece is an excellent example of social spending excess.

            But that does not mean that all social programs should be burned. I firmly believe everyone, regardless of status, should get free access to healthcare. And people who are poor should be able to lean on a system to help them up and out.

            But governments have a tendency to screw up a good idea, so now many countries are laden with massive debt and a lazy workforce.

            And BTW, isn't America like 4 trillion dollars in debt? How's that capitalist / free market thingy working out? Sounds like a failure to me.

          • Obviously there are some taxes required for a civilized society to exist. With no taxes, yes, you would end up with anarchy.

            Schools could be argued, but most people would agree that police and road services are necessary. Though you might even get the argument against roads and expect toll roads. Healthcare is certainly debateable and the poor can turn to charities or get some grit and make something of themselves.

            The problem is when you get people in power who have these social agendas in their minds rather than just managing what's there (governance has no need to be complicated).

            As for the debt… it's just a showcase for why governments should have limited power; they just don't know how to control themselves.

          • I suppose you could argue schools and healthcare, but if not publicly funded, then education and good health are only for the rich. The best way for a society to prosper is to have a healthy, well educated work force.

            And in the US, the near total collapse of the financial sector, is a showcase for what happens when corporations are allowed to run amok, with little regulation to reign them in. I refuse to believe that even conservatives think that what happened there was a good idea.

            But I guess it's totally fine for billions in public money to go into the pockets of the executives who caused the collapse, but let's not let poor people see a doctor.

            Seems like a lack of plain common sense to me.

          • It was the politicians/government that caused the collapse by sticking their ignorant noses into the mortgage business and making it a charity in which banks were forced by law to loan money to members of minorities who were clearly not credit worthy so they could own houses, the same government you trust your health care to, the government that makes a mess of everything it touches.

          • Whoa. A lot of incorrect information here, minaka. First – the collapse was not caused by government intervention, just the opposite; the financial sector was wildly unregulated which led to speculative lending (many economists are now suggesting that the reason Canadian banks fared comparatively better was due to the degree of regulation that they are beholden to). Second – no one forced banks to lend to "uncreditworthy minorities"- AND, related, what a backwards and slanderous comment to make; should we be more trustworthy of the WASPs on Wallstreet that put the USA in this mess in the first place?

          • You are sooo wrong in saying that "no one forced banks to lend to 'uncreditworthy minorities,'" though it wasn't ONLY to minorities, it was to anyone who otherwise would have to rent their homes. And not only did government insist that banks make those loans (starting with Jimmy Carter's Community Reinvestment Act, which was put on steroids during Clinton's reign)–and if they didn't make the loans, their planned expansion would be refused or they might even be prosecuted for their discrimination–but also various groups, especially Obama's favorite, ACORN, harassed bankers who didn't make enough risky loans, including at their banks and at their homes. Obama himself helped to organize ACORN, teaching them effective methods (remember, he was a "community organizer"). During the short time he "practiced law," he facilitated ACORN's lawsuit against Citigroup for… not lending to the poor!

            But the banks might have balked, even given the penalties, if they had been forced to continue to own those toxic loans. So Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bought those loans. It's why Fannie & Freddie are still "borrowing" billions of dollars from U.S. taxpayers; their portfolios were FULL of toxic loans. And they still are.

            You've heard of "carrot and stick"? That's what the banks faced. And it was the Democrats in our Congress that pushed that policy. Now, of course, it's all Bush's fault, even though Bush and the Republicans in Congress (including even John McCain) begged for stronger regulation of Fannie and Freddie (the Democrats accused them of being racist and uncaring). They similarly accused the regulators who warned that we were heading for a crisis.

            Perhaps Canada fared better because they never aggressively forced their banks to make loans to those who were manifestly unqualified and who would obviously be unable to repay them?

          • You really don't understand economics do you Dr. D? This, once again, was caused many years before when well meaning govt types stuck their noses into it and passed legislations that messed with how the market (and businesses) assessed risk. The bulk of the financial crisis can be laid at mortgage boondoggle known as the Community Reinvestment Act.

            Just like the S & L crisis can be laid at the feet of congress when they jumped FDIC insurance to 100k per account.

            But hey, you drink the liberal Kool Aid of Victimhood so you won't look at the cause and effect economics that are in play. You would much rather just blame business so you can feel superior playing out a drama game of good and bad so you can feel better.

          • Not sure any clear thinking, rational person would know where to start a discussion with you Dr. D. You don't even know you're a Liberal! Ouch. . . that must make your life difficult. . . and a little confusing. Oh. . . maybe you do know and you're just a troll. If that's the case relax, have good time and enjoy being incoherent.

          • "And before you have an aneurism, I'm not a liberal."

            Isn't it funny how liberals never want to claim the label?

            "And BTW, isn't America like 4 trillion dollars in debt? How's that capitalist / free market thingy working out?"

            I just love when lefties voluntarily reveal how stupid they are. Do you even know what causes public sector debt? Hint: it's not the private market. It's government-funded social programs. How's that hopeychange working out for you? Sounds like a failure to me.

          • I guess if thinking I'm a liberal makes you feel better, then by all means. Don't let the fact that I'm not get in the way.

            Yes I'm sure all 4 trillion is for welfare. Yep it's all going to a bunch of lazy teen mothers. Not one penny goes to military campaigns, or for tax breaks for the elite, or to bail out failed 'private market' companies…

          • Yes, clearly you're not a liberal, the way you speak out against capitalism and for social programs; the way you bash on Fox News and ignore the liberal bias on all other news networks; and the way you've apparently made it your mission to bash Mark Steyn.

            "Not one penny goes to military campaigns, or for tax breaks for the elite, or to bail out failed 'private market' companies…"

            Our military budget is <20% of our GDP, which is a sensible expenditure considering we are the world's military force (which also makes us the world's humanitarian force – who do you think provides the planes and logistics for relief campaigns around the world?)

            How is a 'tax break' in any way related to spending? What are 'the elite'? You non-liberals with your class warfare!

            And how can anyone be so stupid as to fail to understand that once a company is 'bailed out' by the government, it's not a private company? If you understood capitalism and free markets, you'd know that free-market enthusiasts do not support corporatism or crony capitalism. 'Bailing out' a company is just another term for socializing it.

            Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security spending along with other social programs make up the vast majority of our deficit spending. This is only going to get worse as less money comes in (more than 50% of the US population pays no taxes) and more money goes out, with an aging population and expanding entitlements. Our future is Greece.

            The only positive of being alive right now is seeing Socialism so thoroughly discredited on a global scale. But of course its die-hard apologists – people like you who have never bothered to learn about capitalism or free markets, and who either have a personal stake in furthering the unsustainable welfare state or are just too proud to grow up and admit your error – will never admit you were wrong.

          • So not only am I a card carrying commie, but now it's my mission to bash Mark Steyn? Dude I'm not even going to bother to respond to that, you are now just making things up.

            I am not arguing that the military is necessary, just that it is a large expenditure. (Your number posted garbled so its 4.16% (in 2008 according to the World Bank) of GDP to clarify.)

            Tax breaks are related because it reduces the amount of income. Acknowledgement of an elite ruling class isn't warfare, it's just an observation.

            And doesn't the necessary socializing of massive companies prove, at the very least, that there is a problem with the system? Or is it perfect the way it is?

            And unbelievably the US spends, on Heath Care, nearly 3 times PER CAPITA what is spent in Canada, yet they still don't have universal health care. Seems the free market isn't all that efficient there either.

            And as I pointed out before, Greece is a perfect example of socialism run amok, which clearly doesn't work either.

            What I am saying is there is room for balance between freedom and social responsibility.

            (Actually what I was saying is that I don't like Fox News very much.)

          • As the news pointed out today, in approximately 20 years time we will have the baby boomers as the median age far outnumbering the number of children and working class in this country. Coincidentally, also by that time 80% of our GDP will go towards health care. Who exactly is going to pay for that?

            The welfare state is an embarassment that should be abolished. It is a generational problem, passed down from parent to child, as much as it is an immigrant problem (all those racist employers won't hire you anyway, so get on the dole — and plenty of money for all of your wives as well!) You do not know the face of welfare — I do. Perfectly able-bodied people who aren't suckers like you and I going to work to earn a wage they can cash each month sitting on their asses. Illiteracy is a disability in this country. So is obesity. Our culture says lay down, not raise yourself up. It's sickening.

          • "Tax breaks are related because it reduces the amount of income".

            Obviously you're ignorant of the Laffer curve that demonstrates greater tax income at lower tax rates after a certain critical point. This is because people who get to keep more of their own earned money know how to spend it more productively cumulatively than the mediocre minds and venal types who go into government both elected and bureaucratic.

            Though you're in denial, you carry the hallmark of a leftist, which is smug certainty about things of which you have little knowledge. Your knowledge of the economy is juvenile, Socialism 101 and you know nothing about the American Health Care system except that it must be used as a bogeyman at all times (the leftist manual).

            Give up the unjustified cockiness and read a book by Thomas Sowell who can make basic economy clear to even dunderheads.

          • Hey goof ball, if you think that the US Health Care even remotely resembles a free market, you need to do some more research. The market is so skewed by government spending , taxes, regulations, and laws that the free market hasn't even been tried. You have learned the straw man argument beautifully….

          • It's 13 trillion, genius. Stop now before you start to look… oh, too late :)

          • 38 trillion actually. as if the republicans or democrats even know what that number is. (or what hyperinflation is for that matter)

          • "I firmly believe everyone, regardless of status, should get free access to healthcare."

            So you firmly believe in enslaving anybody in the healthcare profession, and slagging "capitalism" by falsely claiming that the United States of America circa 2010 is an exact case of it? No, you're right, you aren't liberal at all….

          • I think that reply – the hand-over-heart, eyes-closed, holier-than-thou, preening "I believe everyone should have free health care" posturing – should result in some cosmic punch in the face.

            Big deal, you believe in something beautiful and impossible. Kids believe in Santa Claus. Teenage boys believe they should be able to have sex with every woman they want and with no repercussions. I believe I should be able to earn a salary and not go to work every weekday. These are meaningless statements.

            No country has ever been able to make the idiotic dream of 'free health care' work, because nothing is free, and you can only hide and defer and shift costs for so long.

            People need to grow up. Nobody cares what pie-in-the-sky nonsense you 'believe', it's what works in the real world that matters.

          • Brilliant, AC. Well done.

          • AtheistCon I wish I could give you 100 thumbs up. You have so succinctly and simply stated what none of the unthinking "liberals" or "progressives" seem to ever be able to understand.: Believing in something doesn't make it so. I guess I should just be happy that Dr. Dubya didn't tell us how he "feels".

          • Did I read that correctly? You think everyone should get "free access" to healthcare?

            So doctors, nurses, etc. shouldn't get paid for the good work they do?

            Dr. Dubya, you my friend, are simply a moron.

          • I'm not a liberal. Sorry if you thought that, but you didn't ask. You made an assumption based on one post. I just happen to have a strong opinion about Fox News.

            It's always funny, though, how the right seems to forget about the "social programs" they rely on everyday. Like schools, or the police department, or the fire department, or roads etc.

            HAHAHAHAHAHA

          • Four trillion? No, we're over thirteen trillion dollars in debt. Four trillion is how much further we went in the hole during Bush's tenure. And it's less than Obama has raised the debt in his year and a half.

            Boy are we moving now.

          • Yea your not a liberal, but I bet you voted for Al Gore and obozo the twit.

          • Only a really brainless dolt that just programmatically repeats what he is told goes around spewing this classic liberal canard: Schools/parks/fire and police are "social programs".

            No, they are not. What kind of brainless turd would repeat this crap without thinking about it? Government does not equal socialism.

            You're correct, you are not a "liberal" You are a "liberal dupe".

          • This post breaks some sort of record. I have never seen so many moronic statements in such a small place. There are entire books that refute each of them but I doubt Dr. Dumb reads anything other than the internet.

          • Um….excuse me "Dr. Dubya" but MY TAXES pay for those "social programs" such as schools, the police department, the fire department, and roads, etc. YES, I WORK AND PAY TAXES which also pay for social programs (e.g. welfare, Medicade, food stamps, free cell phones, etc.) that benefit people who don't pay taxes and who benefit from the same schools, police/fire department, roads, etc.

            BTW – I live in the US which is quickly becoming communist.

          • "should get free access to healthcare" Typing this belies all your bleatings.

          • And just what news program do you find trustworthy? Which one gives you both sides of a story and let's you decide? Which one reveals Obama's BS? Do you ever watch anything that actually makes you THINK or do you like to be told what to think? My guess is the latter. You'd rather not have to do the thinking thing.

          • 13 trillion in debt as of last week may 30

          • A lot of people think that John Stewart and Stephen Colbert are news sources as well. That doesn't mean that they are, nor that they should be held to the same standards as a genuine news source.

            Honestly, the way the world is now, if you're only getting your news from one source–any source–then you're probably not getting the whole picture.

          • Although I think it is much more obvious that Stewart and Colbert are news parody, you make a good point. Everyone should get their news from as many sources as possible, but I don't think many people do.

          • Whoah, hang on – isn't Jon Stewart the new 'most trusted man in America'?

            Why is it that lefty opinion-makers – Olbermann, Maddow, Maher, Stewart, Amanpour, King, Cooper, ad nauseum – appearing on 'news' networks or having 'news' satire/opinion shows are all okay? Oh, I know, because lefties are clearly 'smart' enough to know the difference between news and opinion, while us mouth-breathing right-wingers are too dumb for those distinctions … which is why every lefty I've ever met routinely cites propaganda they heard on The Daily Show as if it were gospel, and can't back their arguments with facts or reason, while every conservative/libertarian I've met can recite Constitutional and economic theory chapter-and-verse.

            All American news is tabloid news. And all news stations, in one way or another, have an ideology and pander to a base. But Fox as a reporting organization is just as respectable as any other – and given that their ideological bias counters the current administration, right now they're the best place to get your information.

          • Going to totally agree with you on the news point. That was my point all along, that the news is full of ideology and should never be taken at face value.

            Calling Fox News unbiased is ridiculous, but I would never turn around and say that Maher and Stewart and Colbert etc aren't biased.

            The problem is you believe that Fox is the best place to get your information because their ideology lines up with yours and you have a common enemy in the current US administration. I'm guessing, though, you're not likely to change the channel the next time there is a Republican in the White House.

          • No, that's your fallback point, once you were called on your blatant hypocrisy. Believe me I know – I've had this same conversation a million times with other 'non-liberals':

            Liberal: Fox sucks! Stupid biased right-wing nonsense!
            Conservative: Really? What about all those other biased networks?
            Liberal: Oh, I hate those too! I just forgot to mention them because I have an agenda!

            "Calling Fox News unbiased is ridiculous"

            I don't call them unbiased. They call themselves unbiased. Snickers also tells me that if I miss a meal, a Snickers bar is a great replacement. I put about the same level of trust in both statements.

            "The problem is you believe that Fox is the best place to get your information because their ideology lines up with yours"

            Garsh, kind of like every other person on the planet! You mean people tend to align with their biases?

            "I'm guessing, though, you're not likely to change the channel the next time there is a Republican in the White House."

            I actually change the channel now (virtually, as I have no cable – but I consume many different media sources, which is easy since most of them just repeat AP, McClatchy, and other centralized sources). But this myth that Fox doesn't go after Republicans just cannot stand. Did you know that Fox broke the story of Bush's DUI – just before the election, no less? Fox savaged Bush on failures in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and constantly attacked him for his spending, his lax immigration policies, and so forth. Fox went after McCain constantly.

            Fox has a bias, but it's nowhere near as blatant or persistent as the left-wing bias networks.

            That said, I don't completely trust Fox. I just think it's hilarious how people like you pretend that it's some bizarre outlier in bias, or that they 'lie', and all that nonsense, simply because you're so ideologically blind.

          • Just to point out – I didn't say you said Fox News was unbiased, it was the 2nd poster, and I was using the statement to illustrate a point. That all major news outlets are biased on some way or another, which we seem to agree on, so why all the hostility?

            Because you think I'm a liberal? Whatever floats yer boat.

            For Pete's sake man, everyone thinks Fox is a far right leaning democrat hating Republican mouth piece, but I guess you can't see that because of your idealogical blindness.

            And to the point about "Oh, I hate those too! I just forgot to mention them because I have an agenda! " The topic was Fox News, if it had been, Stewart or Colbert, or the CBC or BBC etc, I would have stated my opinion that they are very left leaning organizations, but of course you have to use that omission as fuel for your liberal hating agenda. Which of course has nothing to do with the topic, you just seem to have a hate on.

          • " everyone thinks Fox is a far right leaning democrat hating Republican mouth piece"

            No, LIBERALS believe that. Which is yet another indicator that you are what you deny.

            "The topic was Fox News"

            No, the topic was a Steyn article in which he referenced a fact mentioned by Fox News. A responder immediately started with the "Ugh, Fox News, OMGROFL everyone knows they suck, and nobody I know voted for Nixon!", to which you immediately chimed in with your "OMGLOLZERCATZ I know! Fox News is just sooo icky!"

            Fox News could report that the sky is blue, and people like you – blinded by your own ideology – would respond with "That was on Fox News? It must be false!"

          • Exactly right, and I'm glad someone beat me to it! The original comment was a blatant Ad Hominem fallacy: "Oh, you're quoting Fox? You must be one of those mouthbreathing knuckledraggers and so I can summarily dismiss your argument without actually, ya know, debating your points 'n stuff."

          • that Fox is the best place to get your information because their ideology lines up with yours

            No, it's the best place to get your news because they've never used phony documents to discredit a president. (CBS)

            They never made a deal with the dictator of Iraq to allow him to edit their reports from his country in return for access.(CNN)

            There is no email record of their corporate President forcing a reporter to report a phony story on the US President that the corporate President had donated too (CNN)

            Ran a front page story about a false rumor of an affair based on speculation about a candidate who they opposed while suppressing reports of an actual affair of a candidate they supported (NY TIMES)

            It's simple. The mainstream media, time after time, has been shown to be completely in the pocket of the Democratic party. There is no longer even a pretense that they are "balanced" in any way.

            There is not even a legitimate alternative to Fox News.

          • Eh, of the major networks, I say fox is the best of the lot since they're the only ones during my friends' years in Iraq that were reporting what was actually going on there, or not saying anything at all.

            The AP, MSNBC, CNN, and the legacy channels all reported stuff like several of my friends' entire teams being wiped out by insurgent forces because they were just blindly rote reporting what their native stringers, many of whom had heavy insurgent connections, gave them. It's always fun when the news is reporting your best friend was wiped out along with 10 or so other guys 2 days ago when you're sitting there talking to him on AIM.

            Or in one case that the majority of 2-22, 10th Mountain got wiped out because they got surrounded on a hill….and what really happened is they got surrounded on a hill while on a patrol, then shot and killed about 10 local militia and a few Iranian special forces operators who attacked them and the 50 or so other people who were in on the attack fled; with our worst casualty being a guy with a bruise from hitting the deck too hard.

          • That entire post makes far more sense if you replace all the cases of "Bill O'Reilly" with "Jon Stewart".

          • Yeah, but it's OK when people get their "news commentary" from a comedian Jon Stewart whose bias is so far to the left that he finds nothing to satirize in Obama and crew when the satire just writes itself.

          • You mean the content where they fake numbers of people attending pro-conservative rallies?

          • I love left-wing propaganda – how you try to be subtle, like pluralizing a single instance (a simple b-roll editing error for which they apologized), but you're completely obvious.

            Me, I'm more worried about a network that manually edits out any shot of a man's skin color so they can call an armed black man an armed white man, to further a narrative their network established:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYKQJ4-N7LI

            Gotta love MSDNC!

          • Odd. I thought we were talking about Fox.

          • You're talking about Fox. I'm pointing out how stupid you are. See how it works?

          • By underestimating them slightly less than other media outlets underestimate them? You're right, that's sickening behaviour. Obama stormtroopers should seize control of the channel immediately!

          • Classic leftist projection. Conservatives don't need to fake. Facts are our friends.

        • I've seen Ann Coulter on MSNBC plenty of times. And she doesn't work for Fox News. Or are you pretending to be stupid?

    • 12/08 Zogby poll on most trusted TV news source: FoxNews 39%, CNN 16%, MSNBC 15%; web news is trusted more than TV and print, combined; Rush Limbaugh was most trusted news personality at 13%, with Bill O'Reilly 10%, Chris Mathews 2%.

      Liberals don't know why they think the way they do. Walter did:

      In 1999 Walter Cronkite, at the UN: "It seems to many of us that if we are to avoid the eventual catastrophic world conflict we must strengthen the UN as a first step toward a world government."

      Dumb, dumber, smelter rat.

    • You know, I had this experience with someone just yesterday. In my experience as a political independent, I can tell you that it is usually Leftists who think they can dismiss an idea based on the source. It's like they sit there waiting for the word "Fox" so that they can ignore everything a person has to say.

      Accepting and rejecting statements based purely on which media source they came from? That ain't thinkin'!

      • The National Inquirer for heaven's sake had to break a news story demonstrating then Dem candidate for President John Edwards was manifestly unfit for the position. They did a much better job than the "establishment" media who did their best to suppress any unflattering news about "their" i.e. leftist candidates instead of informing the public.

        Who dismisses something purely on the basis of the source and expects others to do the same? Only a fool.

    • Which poll would you like to quote from?

    • Since I am too damn tired to fisk every single one of you rats, let me just say this: in the time it took you to argue and sling mud all througouth this thread, you could have found the Fox poll in question, dissected it, scanned for impurities, and then used those impurities to unhinge Steyn's entire case.

      I take it that since you did not do so, you cannot do so. Which would fit you and your ilk.

    • You're commenting? Learn how to spell.

    • How did you become so stupid? Is it the fault of the public education system, the public broadcasting system, public service announcements, Obama campaign literature, or is it that you simply can't pay attention to reality?

    • You are typing while you are asleep.

  2. We have been so stupid for so long here in Canada that I don't see it changing in my lifetime. Everybody has a sense of "Entitlement"! Everybody from "Natives"… to Welfare Mom's waddling around with two or three small kids in tow…each from a different father! This country isn't a whole lot of fun to live in anymore!

    • Yes, it's a matter of whether the entitled people are outnumbered by the sensible people.

      • …and whether the sensible people are willing to stand their ground rather than throw money at the entitled people in order to keep them happy.

        • It's not as though the people who take handouts are served well in the long run. Look at the dire situation of natives here and blacks in the United States with high rates of crime, drug or alcohol use, suicide, poor educational achievement etc.

          Handouts are slow poison that erode self respect and eventually cause cultural decay, just like eating too many sweets causes tooth decay.

          So the money shovelers who don't bother observing their terrible outcomes are not nice at all.

          • "Handouts are slow poison that erode self respect and eventually cause cultural decay, just like eating too many sweets causes tooth decay."

            Absolutely, but the response from leftists is that we're not giving them enough help i.e. money. Look at the idiot below defending the right of the poor to have luxury items, an oxymoron if there ever was one. He would rather enable their transient, fiscally irresponsible lifestyles by supplying them with cell phones than home phones would would require they manage their money and try to maintain a steady home. Just keep throwing the working class's money at the problem while the working class slides further and further into debt.

    • why would you target these people. it's the well paid people who cost us.
      support for the uses and abuses of automobiles cost us big money

      • Do tell a fact or source would help

    • Can we please be fair in this statement and expand this "sense of entitlement" beyond low-income groups and minorities? I know this is an unpopular comment in this thread, but the blatant racism and bigotry that I've sifted through is astounding; all I'm asking for is for everyone in this post to conceive of the fact that a sense of entitlement is not limited to those receiving welfare cheques; it is also a sizeable population of moronic youth that believe they are entitled to cell phones, iPods, and free tuition. It is anyone who, when a sales clerk or server has made a simple mistake, demands something free. Basically, all that I ask is that when we describe a sense of entitlement in frustration, we present examples that are not so brazenly closed-minded.

    • what about immigrants? especially from the non-mentionable sandy countries and their nabors? they come here work till they qualify for welfare and then stay of it till they get their citizenship, and then skip back home. the canadian passport is the ticket to the world. their contribution to the economy is minimal, but they claim entitlement to everything citizenship entails! i am not saying all of them are like that. there are many who stay here and contribute significantly. but those who don't add to the strain.

    • At least with the "welfare mom's" your getting a potential further worker and tax payer in a country that is demographically going extinct. With all the others your getting nothing but an unmitigated drain that produces nothing.

      One thing western civilization needs produced more then anything else with existing demographic trends is simple: A next generation to pay the bills already on the table.

      I'm not defending welfare moms I'm simply saying even if they are jobless they are clearly not as non-productive as all the rest.

      • Good point Mono Moms are required for a culture to grow. It is also critical to maintain cultural traditions. The state afterall can only teach statism.

        • I was thinking more along the lines of the west's Sub-replacement level reproductive rates. one of the major reasons our dept and economic problems are so bad is there are so few younger people to work and thus "produce" an economy. As a result labor (thus also products) are even more expensive, we are getting less taxable income, and all around we must run even higher dept.

          Our demographic issues are at the heart of our very real and unavoidable long term economic troubles.

          People say we have high unemployment and therefore this should not be an issue, but such people neglect the demographic(age) interconnectivity of our economy and employment system. If you don't have enough at the bottom you can't support any one at the top. This is a particularly vexing problem for us due to the inflexibility our government's complex web of rules, regulations, immigration, ect… have had the effect producing for us.

          in the case of a government welfare state the consequences are even more obvious, if you don't have enough young paying in(and doing the work) for the old there is no way to balance the costs.

          • The rate is a problem but could be dealt with with controled imigration and continued mechanization (maybe) There is another problem though Socialist babies do not work they get drunk, they get high, they consume but they do not work , ask the Ruskies

          • So we should replace our population with that from a foreign land that doesn't have our suicidal Sub-replacement level reproductive rates?

            Also the issue with immigration and assimilation is based upon numbers. The Government cannot assimilate a new population only the existing population can do that over time, but they can only do it if their numbers are sufficiently superior to the assimilating population as to inundate them.

            In other-words if immigration is too high we will not be able to properly assimilate the new population, as a result the new population will become a cultural replacement/invading population as well as a genetic genetic.
            It is important to note that this problem is a dynamic one, the larger the incoming immigration the worse the problem.

            I recognize the problem with socialist babies, and frankly also recognized that by far the most preferable solution is to change the culture and situation as to place more emphases on that which is biologically most critical to our survival.

            But until we can find a way to do that, I am prepared to accept socialist babies to at least buy time.

      • The record of Welfare moms raising productive citizens instead of second and third generation drains on taxpayers is not a good one.

        It is suicidal for a society to pay the least qualified and least responsible to have and raise children while taxing working citizens so heavily to keep multiple generations on welfare that the economically self-sufficient couples feel they themselves cannot afford to have more children!!!

        No welfare for the able bodied. Workfare only. No job however humble is demeaning. Taking other people's money while sitting around in your PJ's is shameful and should be ostracized again. Social ostracism is a good motivator.

    • Your country is so close to ours not in just location but in the stupidity of the governments mismanagement of our hard earned money, I have a friend who paid in nine hundred dollars for federal income tax and because of all of the extras she was able to claim she received a tax refund of four THOUSAND dollars, the whole concept blew my mind because she is low income she got every cent she paid in (which i can live with) but also over three thousand dollars of unearned money—-WHAT! . And as one person wrote it isnt just the poor or minority but anyone who whines loud enough about how mistreated they and and deserve exactly the same as everyone else.

    • Canadian political outrage is kind of precious.

  3. Just goes to show that even the richest of countries can only insulate themselves from reality for so long. In many ways, the financial crisis could the best thing that ever happened to Western democracies, as it necessitates them taking a long hard look at what they're spending, and what activities they need to cease funding. That has the potential to make us smart again.

    • Yeah, but for the foreseeable future, the response will be more of the same. Greece near default? Throw more borrowed money at the problem.

    • true, but they won't. They're just fobbing off to our kids and grandkids the lessons they should have learned from this financial collapse by doing what the last of the stable Roman Emperors did before the civil war that led to it's collapse did: just print more dough and fuggedaboudit. Of course, this leaves their kids and grandkids in a poorer more wobeggon society, but as Lois XIV said: "After me, the flood."

    • we don't seem to be smart enough to connect…how many people quit driving or atleast carpooled as a result of weeks of gushing oil into the ocean

      • am sure this problem only strengthened their "right" to get fuel over others being that they are from a rich and 'more advanced' country.

    • And by the same sense of twisted logic, we need to be thankful for Obama because his incredible radical bent has given birth to the TEA Party and a re-emergence of conservatizim in the USA.

      They say it is always darkest before the dawn,,,,,well sunrise comes in November this year.

  4. Thank goodness the CBC gets a billion dollars a year of our money to counteract free-enterprise Steyn's right-wing ravings. This column was so good, we may have to throw an extra billion their way.

    • Wouldn't it be more effective to just give the money directly to Steyn and cut out the middle man?

      • No, Mr. Steyn is entirely too busy; how ever I am available to be of such service ;-)

      • Or you can do the truly Steyian/conservative thing and take the money that y'all seem to be so easily sloshing around and give it back to the taxpayer.

        • Perhaps we could drop it into any number of other bottomless pits like Greece, General Motors, Wall Street, or Ontario Hydro?

          • Quebec?

          • Yeah, that's another one.

          • Bombardier?

          • hahaha I flew with one once from Seattle to Vancouver :-) I say: no more for me, thanks :-) what the heck were they thinking when they rescued that piece of junk from the junkyard and deluded themselves that they could actually turn it into a passenger jet :-) I felt the vibrations a whole week after that flight :-)….not to mention the noise level…

    • You'd have to give the CBC a lot more than that to counteract Steyn.

    • Okay, but what do you disagree with specifically and why?

      I could never get enough of folks who disagree with opinion columnists based simply on their political persuasion. But NEVER, EVER do you cite even a single area of the thesis you question and explain why you disagree.

      You're practicing armchair political punditry (if you could even deem it that) of the absolute lowest order. Yet you repeat your mere pap day after day, year after year. I would be amazed to see a response which containing anything more than your narrow, insubstantial, failed attempts at wit.

      - Johnny

    • A billion used to be real money, but now it's just the ante-up on a T.O. G-20 meeting. Gotta luuuuuuv these Conservatives! Hell, CBC is possibly underfunded.

  5. Socialism has failed, we just need socialists/liberals/communists to wake up to this fact. They won't though, because they want their entitlements; just look at the Greece protesters.

    Eventually though they will realize protesting against reality is a losing cause, or go crazy.

    • Canada's problem is that an entire generation of Canadians have now been raised on cradle-to-grave Trudeaupian nanny-statism and believe they are entitled to their entitlements. The awakening of which you speak needs be societal in scope, for even in "conservative" ranks there are those who believe in a strong, big, central government providing services from the tax base.

      One wonders if ONLY economic failure will shift people's mindset to practical economics.

      • The brainwashing is so complete that we now have moral authorities on the government payroll telling us little lemmings how to interact with each other in the workplace in order to "prevent" discrimination. I was told that referring to Canadian culture as "our culture" was dangerous and that we do not have one to speak of. We are such a self-hating, arrogant cesspool of moral relativism and what amounts to nationalized slut shaming has become the egalitarian federal agenda.

        The fact that a anti-discrimination guru is on the federal payroll should tell you just how stupid we are even as we continue to be mired in debt.

    • do you think BP members/shareholders are socialists?

      • Why don't you practice what you preach and stop exhaling.

    • Actually socialist elitists(progressives) want power, privilege, and domination over the plebian masses. Their dream is to control every moment of one's life from craddle to grave. It's refered from time to time as the power of life and death. In return for complete abasement of a society, the proloteriat(czars) may deign from time to time to recognize their slaves' existance by allowing them some scrap from their table.

      • Like I'm controlling you right now, mwahahaaaa!

        • Not at all. But you aren't one of the chosen either. You'll be right down there with the rest of us. Ain't PC and diversity grand?

          • I take a great deal of satisfaction in knowing that I made you say that.

    • Your right they won't. I tried to explain to a socialist family member about the trouble they're having in Greece and the causes of that trouble. She just look at me seriously and said "Oh, I didn't know they had such good social programs over there"! She's been a gov. employee for some time now and it seems that she has lost all common sense.

  6. If you think Canada will decide to stop being stupid you've been outside the country too long.

    Being stupid and feeling good about it is more Canadian than hockey.

    • NO Fred, Canada does not have the patent on "Being stupid and feeling good about it." The United States has an abundance of "entitlement" programs, and would happily (and stupidly) like to take on Canada for another Gold medal…. in the sport of "Being Stupid" this time.

      We LOVE being stupid, happy and proud of it, and continue to tax-fund it. The libs love to teach us about group-hugging, so lets just go down as a continent together, shall well?

  7. Wow, I had heard Steyn was a worthless hack, but had never bothered to read an article before. That was stunning – citing Fox news and Glenn Beck as authorities, and suggestng that poor people shouldn't have phones. Never mind this gem – In one-sixth of British households, not a single family member works. I doubt that's even true (am I really going to check this idiot's work?) but it completely ignores (a) the existence of single-parent households and (b) the possibility of temporary unemployment.

    • You have no idea how difficult it is to not deride a liberal… but I am going to start, today, to try and be better in all my dealings with liberals in regards to name-calling or anything like that.

      Anyway, your dismissive nature towards Steyn so clearly shows your liberal bias, that you've displayed you have some work to do towards being open-minded.

      • My dismissive approach to Steyn shows my anti-hack bias. I don't have any particular problem with conservatives – although, admittedly, it may seem that way to fans of conservative hacks.

        • you've got to be careful, just don't let your brains go to your head when talking

        • You derided Steyn's stance on the poor having luxury items — "poor people shouldn't have phones" — without realizing the ipso facto reality that the poor do not have luxuries by definition. At least previous to socialized welfare.

          Your second "point" is that you're not sure if 1/6 of Britons are on the dole or not and you won't bother to check it out in any event. So his argument stands while you cry foul in the background. There's nothing of substance in your argument and you expect people to take you seriously? Be real.

          • I still deride Steyn's stance on the poor having phones. It's an incredible claim that poverty in modern America excludes owning a phone. I feel like I could dig up a statistic on the percentage of Americans with phones, but that even if the number were 100% you would continue to think Steyn's silliness is sensible.

            The other point is that it's grossly misleading to present that 1/6 of workless households as places where "no member of the family works". Households aren't families – a portion of them are single people. He's pretending that there's a shocking number of families living together on the dole. That's not the case. The truth is that something like 1 in 45 Britons is on long-time unemployment – and that probably counts people on disability. It's an example of him lazily misrepresenting statistics to bolster his arguments.

          • My wife and I both work full time at decent lower-middle-class jobs, but we figured we couldn't afford a smart phone like the Blackberry Pearl held by the homeless man in the photograph until just this year. I think Mr. Steyn's statement holds up. If you're homeless and eating at the food bank, but you own a $400 phone, (and presumably the data plan you need to make it work), there's very something wrong.

          • Amen!!!!

          • Count me in that situation as well. It is galling what being "impoverished" means in this country versus the Third World — it means you can snap photos of Michelle Obama on your Blackberry at the soup kitchen, pay $200 a month in rent, and still have hundreds of tax dollars left over for Johnny Black, Jack Daniels, and the rest of the crew.

          • Or something very right. If you didn't feel so entitled to a home and meals, you'd have all sorts of cash freed up for nice things like smart phones, too.

          • Or even better – many of the women who use the services of a community support organization that I volunteer for save up their welfare payments – not to buy new shoes for their multiple kids, or to make sure their children might have a special gift for their birthday, but to – wait for it – to get a new tattoo for themselves!! Do you know how much even a small tattoo costs – close to $100!!! For $100 I can feed a family of four for a week!!!!

            I'm done with volunteering to 'help' the poor – I'm done giving donations to these organizations! I'm DONE!!

          • I work in criminal law and everyone from the petty thieves to the home invasion nutbags says the reason they do what they do is because the government isn't giving them enough money. And the judges respond "Of course that's why, now don't do it again," slap on the wrist, they're back two months later. Wash, rinse, repeat.

            It's absolutely sickening to see what my tax dollars are supporting. It's a vicious cycle — receive something for free, lose self-respect, and lose any reason to get a job and earn a living. But it's always the haves fault for this — there is no such thing as accountability anymore.

          • Typical liberal slant "poor people shouldn't have phones." No, people eating at a soup kitchen shouldn't have CEL phones. The most advanced phone they should have is a land line at their place of residence. Then again, if you pay rent, should you be eating in a soup kitchen? How big is the safety net you libs have constructed over the last sixty years?

          • Seriously? 1 in 45 Britons… that would be about a 2.2% unemployment rate… you're a complete idiot if you really think that's the case.

            As for the poor owning a phone – you completely miss the point. The point being that Steyn is pointing out the sheer ignorance of the poor who would rather wield cellphones than use the money they're wasting on such a non-essential to improve their condition. But obviously with your ignorance in terms of math skills I wouldn't expect you to figure that one out either.

          • Yes, 2% of Britons are long-term unemployed. That's not the unemployment rate though, because most unemployed return to work within a year (and certainly within a decade).

            A phone's a fairly useful device. I don't think depriving the poor of them is going to have the benefits you imagine.

          • "Depriving" the poor of cell phones? Who is doing that? It is the mere fact that poor = luxury items that people are at issue with when working class people like Ivey and I couldn't afford a Berry on our good salaries! It may be a "useful" item but it's not an essential item and every reason you've given for why "poor people" should have one enforces a transient, fiscally irresponsible lifestyle whereas a landline would encourage the opposite. Pay your bills or you're cut off. Keep a steady residence for yourself and your children – it builds stability. But you'd rather they were on the streets taking drug calls. Typical rich kid.

          • You missed the point entirely. The article did not criticize the poor for having cell phones, it simply noted that the poor in this country are still well-off enough to have cell phones. I could add cars, microwave ovens, etc. This comment was in the same vein as the note that the poor in this county are not starving but are in fact obese.

          • Right, which is part of his argument that we're being stupidly over-generous with our benefits. Which means poor people shouldn't have phones. Or body fat. If you have either, you should not be allowed in a soup kitchen. Can you guess whether I agree with this standard for eligibility to welfare benefits?

          • Straw man straw man straw man straw man. Give it up. This article is fantastic and you are rationalizing yourself into an alternate reality. Your emotions are masquerading as sense.

          • OMG … you are pathologically retarded! Did you just get out of the 7th grade?

          • It is criminal that I have money forcibly taken from me by the government under threat of prison time so that politicians can buy the votes of those who do not work to earn their own money to buy cell phones. There is no "right" to own a cell phone. You have the right to go out and buy a cell phone with your OWN bloody money that you EARN from working. You do NOT have the right to use the government to steal money from me to pay for your damnable cell phone. What don't you understand about that, Style?

        • What your comments show is a deep anti-common sense, anti-intelligence bias. Your every utterance serves only to further demonstrate how deeply misguided you are.

          'Anti-hack' bias – do enlighten us; where *do* you find yourself reading where you think the folks are brilliant? It would be very telling indeed. :)

          • The Financial Times is very good. Matt Yglesias< Paul Krugman and Brad DeLong are good commentators.

          • Krugman?

            And you're calling Steyn a hack?

            Ladies and gentlemen… "Style" is an example of Rich Enough To Be Stupid…

          • Paul Krugman?????????????????????????????????????????

            That says it all!

          • Oh god – I think you're just playing a liberal dufus now. Nobody with half a brain would accuse Steyn of being a hack and then cite Yglesias AND Krugman as good commentators!
            Hey – you had me going for a while, Style! I really thought you were a lib. Good one.
            But in case you really haven't read Steyn, I suggest you do so. The guy is incredible – writes about all kinds of stuff knowledgeably. He's a theater critic, too – pretty impressive, eh? And other stuff. A person might not like him, but to call him a hck – I mean, I kow you were joking – would be dumb.

    • Prejudice against others simply because they don't agree with your views is immature and unintelligent. Fox News is more fair and balanced than liberalist news media conglomerates. The fact that one-sixth (that's about 17 percent) of all households in the UK don't have a single working family member is a severe problem in social services in that country. Those families are a very serious financial burden on the taxpayers of the UK,. The statistic refers only to long-term, generational households, and deliberately does not include those on temporary unemployment. What evidence or prove do you have for your icuckoo notion that 'single mothers' are not bad for a country's economy, or for their children? In Canada, the USA, and the UK, a very large percentage of the people permanently on social services are currently the third generation of 'single mothers', and all the available evidence shows that 'single mothers' are extremely bad for a society, the economics of a community, and their children. Thus, all of your commentary appears completely mindless prejudice, made solely on the basis of total ignorance of plain fact, and revealing only your own extremist and bizarre biases and presumptions.

      • Yes, unemployed single parents are a problem. We agree on that. We disagree that they are a product of welfare. Where do you find that this statistic refers only to long-term, generational households, and deliberately does not include those on temporary unemployment? I know it should only take a google search, but I'm hesitant to fall into a time sink over this, especially when you've already found the source. Thanks.

        • The statistic applying to the UK is often referenced in English (I.e., published in England) news media. Expecting another person to do all your work for you is typical of a liberalist. If you aren't already reading English news media regularly, then it's no wonder you display such utter ignorance about the world. Try, 'The Times', the 'Independent', the Daily Telegraph', the 'Guardian', (for the extreme left-wing), and the' Daily Mail', (for the extreme tabloid right-wing). Welfare is called 'benefits' in the UK. Try doing a search at each news media site on that keyword, and be prepared to be inundated. Even though you obviously haven't graduated from Grade 8, I'm sure you can think of more focusing keywords yourself.

          • The statistic is reported here:http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=40

            I can find no indication that it excludes those on temporary unemployment, as you claimed. It is clear that presenting the statistic as "not a single family member works" is misleading since a portion of the households have only one person, which is not the usual connotation of "family".

          • For crying out loud. Residences of one person are including in the definition of 'household'. Are you really implying that you didn't already know that? Be honest — did you actually graduate from Grade 8? How was that wizardry accomplished? Did your parent bribe all your teachers and the office staff, including the principal and vice-principal?

            'Household' is the essential, central definition required to perform statistical analysis of a tax jurisdiction. Do you know what a taxation system is? A government cannot set taxation rates without a breakdown of their population into households, precisely because the breakdown into families doesn't work, since as you describe, many residences only include one person. Do you truly not know this basic information that any citizen of any nation must know to understand governance? How ignorant can one person possibly be? The information reported is not 'misleading'. You are ignorant. That is the fact of the matter.

          • Do you consider one person to be a family?

          • I can see you're overjoyed at all the attention you're getting. Busy, busy, busy answering all those objections as fast as you can. Anyone can tell you're desperate for attention.

            What I consider is not relevant. We are discussing what the three levels of government — local, regional, and national — consider. Just to clear the topic, no, I don't consider one person a family. What matters, ignorant imbecile, is that governments don't consider one person a family, either, which you would know without needing to ask if you had read the previous post I gave you. To repeat, since crudity is obviously the only type of dialoque you can understand, that is why statistical agencies, especially those that make reports to governments, divide the population of a tax jurisdiction into households, because virtually any taxation system around the planet sets credits and deductions for personal tax on the basis of the type of household submitting a return. Do you get it now, retard, or will you need to ask yet another moronic question any 12-year-old could figure out in her own head?

          • Just so we're clear, you believe that Mark Steyn is a statistical agency or tax system and that's why he describes single people as families. Have I got that right?

          • No, that is not right, and that is not what the columnist described. You're putting the cart in front of the horse. The conditions are not every single-person household, they are households in which every single person doesn't work. The source of your confusion is your failure to read, not the writing mistakes of anyone else.

            Your central dilemma is that you're wrong, and you refuse to admit it. So what? No one cares about your juvenile vanity. We can all see you're wrongheaded, and that's all we need to know.

          • No, Steyn talks about families where nobody works, misinterpreting a statistic about households. And a family has a different connotation than a household.

          • Yes, Steyn is a statistical agency AND a tax system, just as you are not a sophist, nor desperate.

          • "Do you consider one person to be a household"? Yes, that's how they are viewed for purposes of taxation. So if one person is living alone and not paying tax for whatever reason, that's one household not contributing to the general welfare of the nation and probably living off the contributions of other households, with either one or more persons who contribute.

          • Okay, but my question was "do you consider one person to be a family?". I'm also puzzled by this idea that households pay taxes. Our income tax system deals with individuals – if your adult son is living with you and earning his own living that will have absolutely no impact on your taxes.

          • A household can consist of one person or many people. Those people either work or don't work. 1/6 of the households in Britain are comprised entirely of unemployed people.

          • That's right, and very clear, and different from what Steyn wrote.

          • The claim that 'Our income tax system deals with individuals…' is factually false. Virtually every couple must decide every year which one sends in the income tax return for the household that year, every parent of a family working and earning income needs to decide who claims the dependents that year, and so on. On top of all that, most nations include taxes for regions like provinces and states, where the number of people living in a residence affects the taxs they all pay, people who are also companies must claim deductions and credits for part of their home as workspace and so on, and finally, virtually every household in the world pays property tax to the local government, in which the number of people living in the residence is crucial to the amount each person pays. There are some individuals — single men and women living alone — who submit individual return, however they are always a minority in every nation. Style is plainly wrong and wrongheaded, and he is simply too vain to admit it. There is nothing more to his argument that vanity, and a desperate need for attention, like any infant craving his bottle.

        • coming from a staunch conservative that is the most horribly unfair generalizations i have ever heard. so if a woman with children are abandoned by their husbands they are bad people? if a woman is left pregnant by a man who has no interest in her or the child s future and leaves is a bad person? for shame! what of my mother who divorced from my father when i was young, spent several years single and remarried. was she an 'overwhelmingly bad person' in those four years as a single mother?

          • No, just stupid.

          • No one care about your personal live, and no one cares about your selfish, self-centered, egotistical, vain, conceited, childish obsession with you, you, you. No one cares about one person, one woman, one single mother family out of tens of millions. No one should ever need to be told something so obvious and simplistic.

            If you sincerely think men leave women and children for no good reason you are a pathetic fool. It takes a lot to drive a man out of a comfortable bed with regular meals and a roof over his head. There are many variables and couples are a two-way street by definition, but if you think women are innocent and blameless you are just plain wrong, and so blockheaded there is no hope for you in the world. There is always right and wrong on both sides. No person in a couple is ever innocent and blameless. Never.

          • Spoken like a true member of the He-Man Women Haters Club.

          • What if the guy sexually abuses his children? What if he is addicted to drugs or alcohol? What if he is physically abusive to the point where she or the children are hospitalized? What if the man initiates the divorce for trivial reasons?

            I agree with you that women nowadays are way to quick to divorce someone and that in many cases women make stupid choices in the men they marry or have unrealistic expectations for marriage that lead to divorce. Obviously women are not perfect, nor are men. And women who are unmarried should be using birth control or making sure their partners are using birth control so that they are not having children outside of wedlock.

            All that being said, not every divorced woman is at fault for the divorce. I have known both men and women who have worked very hard to save their marriage, but when the other party refused to do their part… life is messy, this stuff unfortunately does happen and children suffer the most when it does.

          • again with the simplistic blanket judgments. no the man is not always at fault. the woman is the problem a good portion of the time. however i find fault with your assumption that it always takes a lot to drive a man out. my dad has failed half a dozen long term relationships and has had trouble settling down. and i have heard of many men who are the same way. relationships are complicated and blanket rules regarding men and women never apply. notice how i also managed that whole comment without mentioning your vicious and personal ad hominin attacks. aren't i nice?

          • Concur on the unfair generalisation. Don't you think, however, that socialism and its creation of the welfare state has/is the catalyst to the large number of single mothers? Socialism has done considerable damage to the traditional family by not only allowing but encouraging single women to have babies. Jeez, various US states advertise for food stamps and other state freebees.

            The state stays, fathers we don't need you. We can do a better job than you and you're not required. We'll house, feed, clothe and provide for your child's every need and if you yell (or take away their mobile) at your children, we'll call you abusive and deny you access to them. The greatest single reason for societal decline is the destruction of the traditional family and the single mother is its personification.

          • Mr. Intellectual:
            If a writer begins all English sentences with a lower case letter, is he truly an intellectual?
            As with many socialists, picking narrow infrequent situations to justify broad unjustifiable reasoning or statements seems to be your forte.
            If I'm understanding correctly, I seriously doubt that many following this thread would hesitate to agree with 'temporary' help for those who have been placed in unfortunate situations through no fault of their own.
            However, the reality is quite different. The majority of the so-called unfortunates are the results of poor personal decisions. The decision to get pregnant by an unmarried woman or to have more children than a person or family can adequately care for is simply irresponsible. Pumping money into these situations with little or no regard for changing the situation for the better (removing the children and placing them up for adoption, forcing the mentally and physically capable person to take responsibility and charge of the own lives. etc.) is simply short-sighted and impractical.
            In short, we can no longer afford this affront and cost to society. Our social programs should be better managed and offer assistance only to those who really need our help (e.g. , those who are physically or mentally unable to provide for themselves, too young, too old, or possibly in the midst of a totally unexpected negative situation for which they've not knowingly/willingly contributed).
            Then maybe we can handle the costs to the benefit of all. The free ride is (or should be) over.

        • Your fixation on long term vs short term unemployment is a red herring. The issue is, how many are unemployed at a certain time, not how long the individual period lasts. To put it another way, if the unemployment rate was 25% but the long term unemployment rate 0%, it would STILL be a disaster, because it would indicate that at any given time, 25% of the labor force was a non-producing drain on the economy.

          The only circumstance under which temporary vs long term would make any difference would be if you were claiming that Steyn's number was taken at a brief, a-typical spike in unemployment.

          • Well no, the problem is that he says "no member of the family works" when he's talking about our stupdily over-geneour benefit systems. Which implies that there are families that avoid work and live off benefits. In fact, the statistic he uses isn't about families and doesn't say anything about how long the individuals are unemployed. It is also taken from a point where there was a spike in the rate – the depths of a global recession – but I don't think that's a problem.

    • "Wow, I had heard Steyn was a worthless hack, but had never bothered to read an article before. "

      I'm not convinced you bothered to read this one either. Mentioning that Beck made noise is not "citing" him as an "authority". Pointing out that "poverty" in the West today (in which one is well fed and has a camera cell phone) is not quite the standard meaning of "poverty" is not the same thing as saying "poor people shouldn't have phones".

      • That's his source for Van Jones' communist beliefs. It's a mischaracterization of Van Jones that was pumped by Glenn Beck – who, coincidentally, Van Jones had (much more recently than his "communist" involvement) led a boycott against. In the 90s, Van Jones was involved with an activist group, STORM, on specific issues. STORM has "marxist roots". That's his commie past.

        Having a phone is consistent with being poor. Steyn sneers that it isn't – that if you have a phone, you don't need a soup kitchen. And the obesity is evidence of a poor diet, driven by lack of money, lack of time and lack of education – not an excess of riches.

        • Clearly you're having difficulty understanding this really simple point. The definition of what constitutes a needy person has clearly changed in the last 60 years. 60 years ago being poor meant skipping meals and not having a roof over your head. Today it means that you go to the soup kitchen for a free meal so you can pay your $70/month phone bill.

          As for your excuses for people being uneducated and fat, let me write the following. Public education is free in Canada and the US. The cheapest food you can buy is some of the healthiest (beans (legumes), brown rice). Quit making excuses for people who make bad choices. You'd be surprised at what people can become when you expect more from them.

          • You're repeating Steyn's point that poor people shouldn't have phones. Instead, they should lack shelter and go without food. I think we disagree on that.

            Obesity comes from bad choices. That's true. There are some explanations for these bad choices, other than my low expectations of people. It doesn;t come from an excess of riches as Steyn suggests.

          • No, the statement Steyn is making is this:
            If you don't have enough money to afford food, then you probably don't have enough money to afford a cell phone, because food is more important then a phone. It's not that much different from saying, if you don't have enough money to afford food, then you probably shouldn't have a yacht, because food is more important than a yacht. Both yachts and cell phones are LUXURIES. Food is not. And, more to the point, should you have the right to demand that the state give you food, because you can't afford it until you finish paying off your yacht?

          • Yes, we agree on what Steyn is saying. He is saying poor people shouldn't have phones. If you have a phone, you aren't poor enough yet. Sell your phone for food before you come to a soup kitchen. Whitney goes further and suggests you should lose your shelter too before you get a free meal. I disagree. Now, you can see this as advocating free meals for yacht-owners but I really think there are subtle distinctions between phones and yachts that you are overlooking.

          • I guess reading comprehension isn't a strength for you. How does explaining the difference between what people thought of as needy 60 years ago and today advocate losing your house before getting free food?

            Of course, I do think someone should lose their phone before getting a housing subsidy or food stamps. Do you understand now or is further explanation required?

          • Yes, I disagree with you, it must be lack of reading skills – but my ignorance and stupidity could also contribute. I think people who have phones may still be poor enough to need a free meal. You think people should sell their phones for food before they qualify for food stamps. I guess you justify this because it seems more generous than the support available 60 years ago. I have no idea why how we treated people 60 years ago should determine how we treat people today. Again, this may be because I am a stupid, ignorant, smirking illiterate.

          • You keep saying "phones." Telephones are a necessity, cell phones are a luxury. How old are you? You must be of the same generation whose parents give their 8 year-olds cell phones then are shocked when they're sexting all hours of the night.

            Give me solid proof of why someone on the dole needs a cell phone when the very fact that they are unemployed might tell you something about their daily activities.

          • I can repeat the points I made below, they might help. Given how precarious their living situations can be, a landline might not be the best choice for a poor person. Plus, land lines get cut off if you don't pay the bill – and are expensive to hook up again if that happens. Cell phones can be pre-paid so completely avoid that problem. Also, people move in and out of poverty – and might already own the phone when they lost their job, got addicted to drugs, thrown out of their home or whatever else precipitated their poverty. Requiring them to give up their phone when they slide into poverty seems likely to complicate their efforts to climb back out.

          • And I'll repeat what I said in another post. You are enabling exactly the things you criticize by making the cell phone a mobile element with no incentive to be financially responsible about balancing the books. A "poor person" in Canada lives a transient lifestyle and can't keep a stable home for their family or themselves, so let's throw the baby out with the bath water.

            The reason why everyone here is astonished by your comments is because you are clearly too young and too little versed in history to understand what poverty actually means, then and in developing and undeveloped countries. A cell phone is not a need; persons living in poverty can only meet their needs if they can at all — that is the definition of being poor. Nowaday, a poor person eats so much fast food because they are lazy and won't cook and does so little that they are raising the rate of obesity in this country. These are cold, unvarnished facts and you must put on blinders in order not to see it.

          • So…I take it you're completely against reparations for slavery then?

          • This is easily the most unintelligent segment of responses I've ever read on a stream, it is simply mind boggling.

          • Right you are, Tim!

            "Style" is obviously a provocateur and is undoubtedly enjoying the attention.

            I think the advice – "don't feed the trolls" – is particularly appropriate in "Style's" case!!

          • Agreed on all points. "Pearls before swine" also comes to mind.

          • Explain the distinctions to me. Both the yacht owner and the cellphone owner are putting their money into something that they don't need and consequently don't have enough left over for food. If you are arguing that people need a cellphone to function… well, I'm sure that would come as a surprise to the millions of Canadians who don't have one. Do you believe the same is true for TV? That if, after I shell out $100 per month for 500 channels, I don't have enough to feed myself, that the state should provide me with food? Internet? What about a car? A vacation in Maui? At what point are you prepared to say that someone has a sufficiently large disposable income that the government shouldn't be forced to provide them with things that they should be able to provide for themselves?

          • Well, a yacht is a very big luxurious boat where the sole purpose is recreation. Phones are how people keep in touch in modern society. I think part of the problem is you're assuming poor people have land lines. Given how precarious their living situations can be, that might not be their best choice. Plus, land lines get cut off if you don't pay the bill – and are expensive to hook up again if that happens. Cell phones can be pre-paid so completely avoid that problem. And if you force people to give up their phones when they;re sliding into poverty, that seems likely to complicate their efforts to get back out.

          • I'm a Libertarian/conservative, but I do see the point you are making. If we want a poor person to get a job and get out of poverty, then we need to accept that they may need something like a cell phone in today's world. However, I think the reason some people are upset – for many average middle-class people who pay taxes and do not have government assistance, we cannot afford a $400 blackberry – we have much less expensive phones and so it can make people irate to see that someone who is getting benefits paid by our tax dollars has a better phone than we do.

            Of course, as you say, some of these people may have had those phones prior to becoming homeless, etc.

            I do think there's a middle road between "Are there no poorhouses and prisons" and the current welfare state in which many families have no incentives to work.

          • You assault Steyn for a position that he may well hold (or not hold) but didn't actually state: "poor people shouldn't have phones".

            Poor people most likely SHOULDN'T have phones, as many are arguing here. If you disagree, fine. But you're disagreeing with their assertion, not Steyn's.

        • don't forget lack of getting up off your fat ass

        • I believe I read that Van Jones discussed the reason he became a Communist (not a member of STORM), and if I remember correctly it was while he was in prison.

          But it was definitely a conversion to COMMUNISM. Maybe YOU should start researching some of your statements.

          And don't just trust Wikipedia, as I suspect that is where you get your facts/opinions from.

          • I'm happy to look at that reference if you can find it. Sadly, what you believe you read is not a source I can dig up very easily.

          • Oh, sheez loueez, here's the quote (East Bay Express). Google it, or are you too lazy to do even that?

            "[Van] Jones had planned to move to Washington, DC, and had already landed a job and an apartment there. But in jail, he said, “I met all these young radical people of color — I mean really radical, communists and anarchists. And it was, like, ‘This is what I need to be a part of.'” Although he already had a plane ticket, he decided to stay in San Francisco. “I spent the next ten years of my life working with a lot of those people I met in jail, trying to be a revolutionary.” In the months that followed, he let go of any lingering thoughts that he might fit in with the status quo. “I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28th, and then the verdicts came down on April 29th,” he said. “By August, I was a communist.”

          • Thanks. I notice that's the event immediately before his involvement with STORM – where his involvement was about police brutality. You must have been even more worried by his earlier conversion to armed insurrection – "If I'd been in another country, I probably would have joined some underground guerrilla sect," he said. "But as it was, I went on to an Ivy League law school."

          • Does going to an Ivy League law school expunge communistic beliefs or tendencies (revolutionary or otherwise)?

          • How do you think he decided not to become an armed revolutionary and instead go to an Ivy League law school? Do you think he flipped a coin? Or do you think, maybe, he's engaging in a little hyperbole? Like he might be with the quote that a few days in jail converted him to communism?

          • Dude, seriously, go google some videos using the words van, jones, and communist and I'm sure you'll find plenty of examples of the man's wannabe Marxist revolutionary tendencies in his own words.

          • No, on the contrary, it reinforces them.

        • "obesity is evidence of a poor diet, driven by lack of money, lack of time and lack of education

          The one thing career Welfarists have is time, every day free of paid work. They can hit the supermarkets early and vacuum up all the deals including on meat.

          Presently they're not expected to get out of their pajamas even to cash their checks. It's directly deposited for them.

          Leisure is priceless. If you're given the choice of being handed 20 thou a year and many free benefits in addition for doing nothing OR scraping together 30 thou less job related costs like clothes and transportation by working two jobs or overtime, who's better off?

          There should be no welfare for able bodied people, only work fare. Single mothers with young kids can clean houses for women who work outside the home to pay the taxes the single mothers consume. Roadsides need to be cleaned, dandelions eradicated, etc. No job is too menial or lacking respect. Instead of maligning honest work, ostracism for long term parasitism should be revived.

          • I agree with you. I don't think we need to go back to the horrible Dickensien world of poorhouses in order to reform the current system so that it's more fair.

            Able bodied people should work. If they cannot find jobs on their own, then they should be required to do jobs in return for their welfare checks. Even part time work of 4 hours a day would make the situation more bearable for the poor burdened taxpayer.

            I also think women on welfare should be required to have an IUD or a monthly shot of Depo Provera or some other birth control – once they can afford to pay for their own children, they can have more, but while they are living on the taxpayer's dime, they shouldn't be enlarging the population of dependents.

          • My uncle once said he didn't mind that he was paying that person to sit on the couch and watch Oprah, he just wished he could get a little work out of her.

        • Poverty used to mean starving and dying of disease. Now, poor means overfed due to the lazy and the undisciplined gaining access to the fruits of hard work while lacking the fortitude or character to use them properly leads to fat fools with cell phones that are better than the ones actual working people have. They are given way too much, at the cost of people who, frankly, deserve better than what they are getting from government. I'll go one futher than cell phones. Go work for Big Brothers or Big Sisters in New York City. When you see drop your Little Brother or Sister off, you will puke. Their "Hard luck" parents have bigger apartments than most people in the City, and there's a freaking flat panel on every wall. It's a scam.

          • Throw an *and* in the obvious place in that first sentence.

          • Gah. Second sentence. Watching TV. "One hand behind my back" and all…

    • Wow. You are almost the perfect personification of Steyn's point.
      The difference between merely being dumb and actually being stupid is that stupidity is a choice.
      You don't actually read Steyn, watch Fox News or listen to Glenn Beck, but you hang around with a lot of really cool people who dismiss them with the same arrogant smirk you put on display.

      You enter this arena unarmed, because Progressive "thought" never actually involves having to do your homework.

      • Good point, bud. I was cruising through your profile when I found this post. I had no idea this site existed. I'll be bookmarking it and stopping in from time to time. It looks like a good site.

    • Are you really as obtuse as you come off as?

    • Style – I just saw the BBC reporting that very point about one-sixth of British households not 30 minutes ago so. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8707652.st… I'm guessing that a taxpayer-funded news provider will satisfy your fact-checking quality threshold (although you will need to do your own work to deduce it is about one-sixth of households.)

      From your contribution, I guess you're one of those people who doesn't understand that everything has to be paid for eventually. Never mind. As Mark Steyn points out, you'll know soon enough. Across Europe a lot of dopey or blase' people are beginning to understand this week as austerity measures hit. As they do, those leeching off the assorted European taxpayers will be waiting for the summer to warm up so they can begin rioting over the fact that they're not getting their freebees anymore.

    • 8/26/09 Daily Mail is one place Steyn's facts can be found: "The percentage of households where no adults work is now 16.9 per cent, up 1.1 per cent on 2008, according to the data from the Office for National Statistics.
      It is the highest rate since 1999 and the largest year-on-year increase since 1997 when Labour came to power."

      Feeling stupid, nostyle?

      Notice how the Left simply call us liars before they bother to check on our evidence.

      Really closed-minded, these lefties.

    • 1 in 6 households is a valid number, but the problems with it are just as bad as I suspected. In fact, Steyn's workless households number also ignores single-person households – I'm going to guess a number of these are young people starting out on their own. And the duration of unemployment is unclear. A BBC story from Euro-idiot suggests that maybe a third of these households have been on unemployment long-time – meaning about 1 in 20 households. If anyone wants to go through the link and see if it covers people on disability or other points that would further weaken Steyn's moronic suggestion that this reflects over-generous unemployment benefits, please feel free.
      http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=40

      • Wow, you are truly stupid. Declaring that you and another poster disagree is not a legitimate, valid excuse. You are wrong, and that is the end of the subject. Again, your lack of any standards of good and bad for human behavior makes you something that crawled out of a sewer.

        The BBC is a stated-funded TV and radio station. For a real reference source, you must go to a newspaper or magazine. You know, real writing, as opposed to pretty pictures? An English newspaper would tell you all about the people in the UK on benefits from so-called disabilities. Again, declaring you disagree doesn't hold water. No one cares whether you disagree or not. Welfare garbage are garbage, whether they're disabled and have a cellphone or not. Your trouble is that you don't have the human conscience to recognize right and wrong.

        • Right – I do have trouble seeing people on benefits as garbage. The link is not to the BBC though. It's to the UK statistics office, and is the source of Steyn's statistic.

          • Are you a fortune cookie writer? That's good stuff.

          • I think I got a Hallmark Birthday card like that once.

          • There is a trend here with leftist postings. First they make some outlandish, unsubstantiated claim with their initial post. This is followed by conservatives refuting and showing their hollowness of their arguments (if you can call them that) with facts and legitimate statistics. The statist will make a feeble attempt to defend their position only to eventually accept they were wrong. Socialism cannot compete in the arena of ideas.

          • At the very least, get a high school education.

            It has been pointed out that public schools are part of the problem. Are you suggesting that by attending public school we can fight to overturn the system? I would be curious to see you expand on this topic as you clearly have a unique view point.

        • Prejudice… I don't think that word means what you think it means. Disagreeing with someone's opinion is not 'prejudice'. It's disagreeing with someone's opinion.
          On another note, single mothers are not automatically bad people. There are any number of reasons for a single parent that do not point to them being a bad person. For example, their partner may be deceased. This does not have any baring on the ability of someone to be a parent, or their worth as a human being. Your blanket description of single mothers is not only illogical, but insulting.
          Also, the BBC is not 'a TV and radio station', it has more than one of each. It is a broadcasting corporation, as the name suggests, and it's also a reputable and reliable news source. It's reporting is generally thorough and very accurate.
          Finally, I find your petty name-calling and insults in response to Style's generally level-headed arguments highly amusing.

          • I wrote the basis of his disagreement was prejudice, not the disagreement itself. My comments about 'single mothers' was a generalization, which is what humans do to talk about very large subjects best described in the statistics of probability and percentages. While it is obviously true that a tiny percentage of all 'single mothers' are competent and honest, the entire world, including all governments, know perfectly well that the overwhelming majority of all 'single mothers' are not good people, good women, or good mothers. When you talk about specifics and exceptions, you are simply using the dishonest, deceitful trick of trying to change the subject, from the general to the specific. That is cheating, and it doesn't count. It certainly doesn't change the arithmetic and math of the majority percentage of all single mothers. That is an immutable fact.

            In other words, since you obviously don't have the slightest idea what you're talking about, your opinion on the subject is very light-weight and trivial. Everything in your post is trivial, and not worth discussing.

          • actually, pagan barbarian (assuming rhat is your real name, and not just your WOW character) actually Mr. Barbarian you yourself played the numbers game above suggesting that at most 5% of single parents are men, and you then immediately stated that the remaining 95% was comprised of what was generally regarded as -and I'm quoting you here Mr. Barbarian – "prostitutes". So I suppose Mr. Barbarian I'm asking for clarification on how best to maintain your exemplary standards of high minded discourse, when it seems you (Mr. Barbarian) feel comfortable using specifics when it enables you to utilize hate-speech to slander thousands of people, and yet when you (Mr. BARBARIAN) are presented with a concept which does not fit your narrative, you (Mr. Barbarian!?!) accuse people of cheating?
            Also Mr Barbarian (is your real name Conan?) I would be interested to know what "immutable fact" you are referring to when speak of "the arithmetic and math of the majority percentage of all single mothers." As I find this statement confusing and nonsensical. Also Mr Barbarian, because I am a light-weight (I don't think that needs to be hyphenated but I am too intimidated by your obvious physical prowess, you are a barbarian after all and that means at least +2 attack dice, to contradict your grammar) I would be interested to know what the difference between the math of single mothers is versus the arithmetic of single mothers.
            I know you're very busy smiting orcs and the like Mr. Barbarian, but I'm asking nicely for some clarifications on the art of high-minded discourse, so if there aren't currently any damsels in distress for you to save (provided they don't have children and are therefore prostitutes) could you PLEASE open my myopic like pea brain as to how things are done in big-boy land?

          • PaperTiger, this is really good, very entertaining, and definitely merits a thoughtful response. The major limitation of your argument is that you're careless over details, and misinformed about other details. I merely guessed that the number of single fathers might be five percent, and I added a question mark to the sentence, clearly indicating that was only a guess, and I definitely was not suggesting it was the correct number. Sadly for your assumed policy position, the reality is that the majority (more than half, or greater than 50 percent) of the single mothers in the Western world are, in fact, part-time or full-time prostitutes. That is a fact, known to all governments, law enforcement agencies, and social service agencies in the Western world. I regret disturbing the tranquility of your prejudices. Where on earth you could goggle to verify that information, I have no idea, since it's obviously something most governments don't publicize. If they can, most governments try to hide any evidence that their countries have any prostitutes at all.

          • Try keywords like welfare, or benefits, or social services, etc., with the keyword prostitutes, and see what you get. My reference sources are all internal government papers, not available to the public. I know that sounds self-serving, but I can't change the facts. The truth is that the huge majority, between 75 and 85 percent of all 'single mothers' are simply lifelong welfare bums, or women who simply got tired of working, and tired of getting along with any male. Simply because males left them, and refuse to live with them, does not automatically make them good people, good women, or good mothers. Raising a child without a father is extremely bad for the child, and obviously child neglect and failure to provide the necessities of life. Good mothers don't do those sorts of things to children, which should be self-evident to any good person. What a person says is not slander or hate speech when what the person says is true. I will add that your childlike attempt to keep your inner world nice and pretty is very sweet and cute, and makes me smile and chuckle at your delightful innocence. ____Arithmetic is counting, adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing, and math is statistical analysis.__

          • hello Mr Barbarian, me again. Since you position yourself as such GOOD person (despite referring to yourself as a barbarian) I have decided to ask again for clarification. Firstly, I didn't ask for the definitions of math and arithmetic, I asked for a clarification of the difference between the counting adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing of single mothers versus the statistical analysis of single mothers as they relate to immutable facts. I am still confused in this arena given that immutable means unchanging or constant, which would imply that the statistics you quote in your "secret government documents" (no doubt provided to you after saving a gnome or something from certain death at the hands of woodland beasts, which is why they aren't available to the public) are as they have always been and always will be, and therefore make futile any effort to help or hinder their status, provided of course you're not actually talking about some sort of "final solution" to the single mother question. Of course that would be hate-speech wouldn't it? No? If you were to replace "single mothers" with any other cultural group in your tirade I would hope that EVEN you could see what bigoted hate-speech you're spewing Mr. BARBARIAN. "it's not hate-speech if it's true." doesn't work when you are unable to prove your point and merely cite "secret government documents unavailable to the public" (thanks again to the gnome).
            Furthermore Mr. BARBARIAN, if the thought of prostitution disgusts you so fully, how then would you help to curb the issue? By starving them out? Or by more sinister means? Still think it's not hate-speech Mr BARBARIAN (I keep referring to your name, because it would seem that EVEN you are aware of your true character. if you're what's good, then I'm happy to be bad.)

          • I was unable to find any non-anecdotal evidence to support your claim that more than fifty percent of single mothers are participating in the prostitution profession. Some information that I was able to find: http://www.census.gov/prod/2009pubs/p60-237.pdf

            One of the statistics in the study:

            79.5% of custodial single mothers are gainfully employed
            27% of custodial single mothers and their children live in poverty
            22% receive Medicaid
            23.5% receive food stamps
            12% receive some form of public housing or rent subsidy
            5% receive receive TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)

            Unfortunately it doesn't say anything about how many of these women are gainfully employed in the prostitution profession. But I would suggest that considering that since almost 80% of them are gainfully employed, and only 27% live in poverty, that it is unlikely that your figures would be accurate.

            I would also suggest that your claim that there is some sort of multinational government cover up of these statistics a little far fetched. There are far too many people (in the various professions that you mentioned) who would personally benefit from being able to report on statistics such as you claim, for it to stay quiet.

            To your claim that governments try to disavow prostitution. I don't think that this is accurate. In fact, a search of "rates of prostitution in Canada" pulled up a study performed by Stats Canada: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/85-002-x199

          • That's good. You are pretty funny.

          • * Golf clap *

      • Style, the current budget deficit in the UK is over 11% of GDP. Implosion in 3…2…1…

    • were your parents siblings by any chance?

    • I'd make fun of you, but you've so effectively ridiculed yourself ("This guy is such a hack! I just know he's wrong, but I'm not going to check!") that it's pointless.

      • Yes, but after checking it's pretty clear the statistic doesn't say what Steyn claims. This is not a measure of multi-person households, which he implies with the "not a single family member works". It's all households, including those that consist of only one person. That gives the number a different connotation than the one Steyn conveys. Add to this the fact that it covers both short and long term unemployment and it really doesn't support his argument very well at all. The Telegraph article from Euro-idiot does a better job – 5 million Britons are unemployed (1 in 12 of the population) and 1.4 million are long-term unemployed (1 in 45 of the population). Not quite the horror story he wants to tell…

        • Do me a solid here, Style. How does nitpicking (and claiming to be using the same stats Steyn was referring to, how convenient) the "Family" vs. single person household point segue into fantasies of just who those unemployed single individuals are? All I see is a guy called Style telling everyone that they're probably "young folk" who just cut out their first want-ad. The hilarity, you see, is that you're trying to fact check in a very dishonest way, and simultaneously you are creating facts based on what you want them to be.

          Fail.

    • Why are canaduhians close-minded: They only get one side of a story.
      22/10/06 London Evening Standard: “BBC executives have been forced to admit what critics have known for years – that the corporation is institutionally biased. The revelation came after details of an 'impartiality' summit called by its chairman, Michael Grade, were leaked.” Senior figures admitted that the BBC is guilty of promoting Left-wing views, an anti-Christian, pro-Muslim sentiment; promotes multiculturalism; gives no moral weight to America and trashes rural folks – oh, and the BBC Diversity chief wants veiled female news presenters.

      CBC is far Left also.

      So, we know why all Canadians sound the same.

      • No the old CBC is far left canard AGAIN!?!?!
        When the Libs are in power they claim the CBC is right..when it's the Tories, the CBC's gone left…How many recent Tory senate appointees are ex-CBC journalists.
        To me? If each party is clamining bias against the CBC at some point in time? They're doing their job.

        • Easy: to the Liberals the CBC is right-wing.

          And the CBC remains a far-left organization. We can draw you a map if you're still perplexed.

        • Liberals hang on to every word the CBC utters and champion more government funding for it. Are they masochists?

          Conservatives refuse to listen to the CBC and want to cut its funding. Are they shooting themselves in the foot?

          It's pretty clear that the CBC is strongly left biased, just like every last government funded public broadcaster. It's the farm team providing English Al Jazeera's staff for heaven's sake.

      • "So, we know why all Canadians sound the same."

        Yes, diversity makes everyone the same. Excellent reasoning.

        • Counter-intuitive maybe, but it's true nonetheless. The goal of the "diversity/multiculti" cult is to make every single person in society THINK exactly the same way, through the 2-pronged approach of media indoctrination and the quashing of dissent (which Mr. Steyn can tell you something about).

        • Leftist diversity is the superficial kind dependent on their obsessions, i.e. skin color or cultural dress.

          However, the brain chip is to be identical, installed by our public indoctrination system, a combination of public schooling and the CBC.

      • The very moment that a sovereign state allows a separate system of courts for Muslim faith-based law, or any other group, is the very moment it ceases to be a sovereign state. Immigrants to a country need to work within the framework of that country. If they want things changed, they need to do it under existing law.

    • Style, you have your head so far up your liberal ass it's impossible for you to think clearly. Come back when you can see and reason..

    • A cellphone is a luxury item by any stretch of the imagination.

    • What you heard was that Steyn was a brilliant, accurate and erudite writer. But because he destroys every argument people like you come up with you "heard" he was a worthless hack. Check his facts? Steyn will make you look like the leftist tool you are. Poor people shouldn't have phones? No they shouldn't have cell phones, which are hugely more expensive than a landline. And why are these fat people at a food bank?

      If you want an education on what Steyn does to people who call him a hack try this link: http://www.steynonline.com/content/view/1516/26/

      • "…cell phones, which are hugely more expensive than a landline."

        Well that's demonstrably false – one quick look at Bell.ca would tell you that.

        • Blackberrys requiring a data packager are demonstrably more expensive than a landline. About double and up just off the top of my head. If your means are so limited that you're eating at a soup kitchen, there are far, far cheaper cell phones/plans you could be using for communication.

          • So because we've seen one picture of one person with a blackberry at a soup kitchen we can thus surmise that all poor people have blackberry cellphones with data packages.

          • Actually, my employment puts me in direct contact with welfare recipients, and yes, many, many, many of them have cell phones. I recall seeing a guy step out of custody and put his Bluetooth in immediately. I also recall a super obese girl say she received disability pension, but co-owned a house with her father and had a $5000 nest egg in trust that she "just didn't want to touch right now." I've never in my life seen a welfare recipient shoeless, clotheless, emaciated, or unhealthy in a way that wasn't reflected as obesity.

            It's a nice idea that humans are so evolved and life is sacred and other heart-warming memes, but they are false. Mice have more genes than humans, and the mouse genome is incredibly similar to the human genome. Mice are like rats, ergo humans are like rats. These people are lazy, festering rats feeding on the productive. Actually, they're more like vampires, always taking — your tax dollars and your things acquired during robberies, home invasions, and B&Es — and never giving anything but excuses.

        • My land line with no toll calls-$20 / month. A cell with Verizon $50 plus $30 for the data hook-up (their minimum for that type of phone) so 4x the cost. And I just saw a headline in pajamas media website that more 7 yr olds in the UK ( i think?) have a cell than own a book! Hmmmm

          • so if you compare the cheapest land-line vs. the most expensive cellular plan you'll see that cell phones are far more expensive.

      • Robin I'm not sure what things are like in BC, what with Telus moving in there and all, but in many parts of the country cell phones are quite cheap actually. $15 per month is quite reasonable, and pay as you go can be even cheaper. The idea that homeless people should stick to land lines is kind of confusing, if you're homeless what land line are you supposed to use? Shelters only have pay-phone access, which can quickly become more expensive than $15 per month. If you're trying to get a job, you need a phone (and increasingly an e-mail) want an apartment? you need a phone. The voices in your head telling you to stab pedestrians indiscriminately? call your doctor, on your phone!
        Yes, it is ironic that the man in the photo appears to have a high quality phone, but who knows what set of circumstances put that phone in his hand (good, bad, or otherwise). But if that is to become the measure of wealth you can bet that it is all that we will be left with.
        Here's a question for you. If poor people should have to sell their phones to eat, should the UK sell the crown jewels to pay down debt?
        Steyn does have some good points. (Bono IS a tool, and most people do give to charity with little thought of what is actually being accomplished.) But Steyn also has some lazy arguments, If you think Greece went broke because their mailmen get paid a living wage, you have your head in the sand.
        I have spent a lot of time in Vancouver, and all the people I know there have made a similar comment to me something along the lines of "I'm not worried about the junkie on Hastings giving me trouble as much as I'm worried about the Banker on Robson."

        • Paper Tiger, Greece's problems are indeed caused by overspending and living beyond their means, that coupled with their addiction to said grand living which in the end made them cook the books and present to the EU a false image of their solvency and their preparedness to enter the eurozone. In other words they lied to their teeth to their EU partners in order to be admitted in the eurozone. I am European originally and a cousin of mine who is currently a doctor in Greece summarized for me (long time ago, mind you) Greece's problem…she once told me that there are ten doctors at the health centre in Tinos where she works and no less than 20 gardeners…paid by the public money of course and shall I add that said gardeners were doing a job that 2, 3 people could have done easily…

    • "Glenn Beck made a fuss about it." That's an interesting way to cite him as an authority. An authority in what?

    • Actually I think it is more like 1 in 5 NO ONE Works!!!! At current immigration rates will be 1 in 3 in 10 years!!!!

    • You're a retard. Your obvious lack of intelligent or coherent thought leaks from every word. Are you on the public dole? You must be as there is no way such sophomoric drivel could ooze from a productive member of society. I have read bad posts before, but yours reeks badness from every word. Badness radiates from your verbiage like a rusting and weak radiator in coldest winter. There is an absence of good in your thoughts. Like a black hole, no goodness can escape from your event horizon.

      I weep that such bad thoughts are allowed to propagate to possibly infect others.

      • Badness? What a terrible word choice.

    • Refuting a claim you disagree with and refusing to back it up. Very scientific. Clearly you're the intellectual among us.

    • STYLE is spelt L.O.S.E.R
      and all welfare leeches are temporary .

      YEAH !! " temporary " that's the ticket
      "just a little (30 yrs ) down on my luck "
      The VLT is sure to pay up
      " got a quarter mister"

    • Ag-AIN, you could have gone to the places he mentioned, checked out how they got their numbers, dissected them to find problems, and returned her with debunkings within a few minutes that wouldn't get your ass handed back to your for your epic stupidity.

      So may I ask why you didn't do that?

    • He mentions Glenn Beck in passing. That's hardly quoting him as an "authority." Man, you are stupid. You are one of the stupid people he's talking about. Style, stop being stupid, stupid butt.

    • You can call Steyn a worthless hack, because you have the freedom to do so. But you better wake up to reality, you must be one of those people that think the governments of this country have their own money and we the taxpayers can just have a free ride without any consequences now and in the future. Sure we need to help those who cannot help themselves, but we cannot fix stupid. Grow up

    • The key word is "kleptocracy". We all consmume and many produce. We live in a society of net wealth consumers (government largess consumers and lifetime public employees) and net wealth producers. When the former outnumber the latter and acquire the political power to force the producers to give up too much of what they produce you end up with a kleptocracy — government by thieves — a Greece, Venezuela, or perhaps California. This ultimately leads to disaster. You not like the moral of the fable Atlas Shrugged, but the fact is that many producers may be generous, but they aren't stupid in teh long run.

    • Your reply says it all. When having a cell phone is seen as a necessity, you know you come from a spoile-brat society.

      • Perhaps you mean having BOTH a cell phone and a land-line. A great number of people (myself included) only have a cell-phone. The major reason being that I began to resent paying the $75 connection fee every time I moved (which was quite often when in school).

      • Can you explain how a person is to get a job if they don't have a phone with which to receive job offers?

          • This, of course, assumes that they have a land line. What if they don't have a land line? Considering that the base price of a land line and the base price of a cell phone are virtually identical, it would make more sense for a person who may be transient to have a cell phone rather than a land line.

          • I suppose that's the difference between you and I. You believe welfare recipients "may be transient" and I believe that transience would be discouraged from having to balance the books as well as encouraging keeping a stable address. By the way, the last census I found listed lone parents are the top welfare recipients, so not only would it stabilize home for themselves but also for their fatherless children.

          • I think you've identified the key difference. You think having a landline will encourage people to pay their bills and their rent. Other people think that poor people have trouble paying their bills and their rent for reasons other than their choice of telephone. I doubt there's much disagreement over whether children fare better when the bills are paid, their homes are stable and they're raised by two loving parents. I find it really strange that you think I, and RunningGag and "iberals", don't believe this and are advocating for phone purchases because we want to undermine those things. I think we're acknowledging the difficult situations people live in and suggesting a cell phone is a sensible choice over a landline given that situation.

    • Perhaps when you are older, have read more, and have more life experience, you will recognize that assertion is not argument. The total content of your post is as follows:

      1) I don't like either Fox News or Glenn Beck.

      2) I don't care to check facts.

      3) I rely on mis-stating an ideological oppnents position, instead of responding to it in a logical, fact-based way.

      BTW, I used to be a liberal, when I was about your age. I was ignorant, opinionated, and ill-informed just like you. So be happy. There is hope for you. Perhaps one day you won't be simply an opinionated chatterer.

      JoeJoeBubbaJr.

      • I think you miss the part of my comment where I point out why the household statistic would be misleading and incorrectly used by Steyn. Which turns out to be true. The thing about the phones was a caricature of Steyn, but a lot of commenters have shown up agreeing that poor people should not have phones. If you'd like to debate whether the poor shoud have phones, I'd be happy to hear your arguments.

    • So far, the only comment that makes any real sense.

    • Style is full of crap! You're welcome!

    • Ryan, you're a better man than I, I don't have the force of will not to deride a liberal. Seriously, if he can't buy food, he didn't buy that blackberry; you did. Would you have done so if you had the choice Style?

      How many I-Pads have you bought of your own volition for the poor? How about laptops? The poor deserve these luxuries, and they can;'t afford them so others should be forced to buy them, right? And you agree with this.. so how many voluntary purchases have you made with your money to give luxury goods to the poor?

      I'm sure this must be a major expenditure for you. Good for you working 60 hours a week to give 2/3rds of your earnings in I-pods for the poor. What, you do willingly give most of your money to buy non-essential goods for the poor, right? Of course you do. You wouldn't only expect others to get robbed for this, not if you could pay for it yourself.

      Oh, and my cousin is a bit behind on his rent, could you buy him a year's subscription to HDTV with satellite reception and 8 sports channels? You know, the premium package… c'mon he deserves your money; just give it to him.

    • The "poor" can have whatever they can pay for themselves. Whatever will you leeches do when the money runs out? That will be entertainment.

    • I had to double check that I'm seeing -438. I mean, -38 or even -48 is believable. But…. *blinks*…. whoa.

    • As you can't be bothered to check,let me do it for you. Here are uptodate figures on UK unemployment:
      Labour Market Statistics

      May 12 2010 – The unemployment rate stands at 8.0% – up 0.2% over the quarter. 28.83 million people were in work in the period January to March according to the labour force survey (LFS). The number of people employed was down by 76,000 this quarter and 341,000 from last year.

      The working age employment rate is 72.0% – down by 0.3% on the last quarter and 1.5% on last year – and the lowest since September 1996.

      ILO-defined unemployment in January to March was 2.50 million (8.0%) – up by 53,000 on the quarter and 279,000 from a year previously – the highest since December 1994.

      The claimant count for key out-of-work benefits was 1.52 million in April – down by 27,100 on last month.

    • Steyn's UK unemployment estimate is a bit on the conservative side.
      From the London times just this morning "The true unemployment figure, if you include those 91% of people who are not remotely incapacitated, could be as much as 5.5m." That's close to 10% of the total UK population.
      And that's been largely true since 2000 but it's taken the media a little while to catchup with reality.
      The accurate description of "stupidity" Steyn describes has had us having 1m immigrants doing the 1m jobs that were available the the UK natives but the natives wouldn't come of welfare because it paid better.
      Unlike you guys we don't have a positive balance of payments to support this insanity.
      There are welfare recipients in the UK who are "earning" £50,000, yep you did read that right , £50k when the average earning is half that.
      I haven't read any other of Steyn's work but he is on the money in this case.

    • OMG … you are so incredibly stupid! I feel for you … your mother must have dropped you on your head.

    • Yeah, styless, quoting a NYT poll and Bill Maher is much more reliable. You call someone a hack is amusing.

  8. Europe has gone too far on the road of self-destruction. My concern is, will American follow? With narcissists like Obama in the driving seat, it may soon come true.

    P.S. Tim Flannery is a great author! His geo-ecological adventures are great! I like 'Throwim Way Leg' best! But yes, he is way too much concentrating on the environment and completely ignores socio-cultural and political issues. According to him, the problems in Africa are not due to the clash between Islam and Christianity and other religions, but due to shifting rain patterns!

    • rain has nothing to do with it. During the worst crop failures in Africa, during the late 80s, crop yields were down everywhere but in places like Zimbabwe and Botswana – where crop failures were WORSE than in Ethiopia and Somalia, there was no fammine, but Hollywood sang "We are the World" and gave billions to – Whossisname, that Ethiopian strongman who killed all those Eritreans – because in Ethiopia the government didn't mind if certain troublesome minorities died whereas in Botswana and Zimbabwe (of the late 80s before Bob the Gob went off the deep end) the governments did mind. Fammine isn't caused by nature, it's caused by politics, there's no exception to this.

    • I moved to the US from Canada and it is becoming like Europe because of the socialists running the government. But that's what people have voted for and when half don't pay any income tax, it's easy to vote for one's self-interest. I can only hope Obama is fired and his damage is reversible.

      • Good sir, you are not the only one. We are fighting desperately to reverse the trend. Nov 3rd is the first big fight. 2012 will be a war at the ballet box. If the conservatives lose, both North America and Canada go down the tubes..

    • Europe is , unfortunately , following the US on this one. The US has kept the dead bodies of Fannie may and Freddie mac in the freezer while claiming government benefits on their behalf, along with AIG et al.
      Europe has decided to go one better and freeze an entire country! Or possibly two or three!
      The only solvent US state , Washington, hasn't much say over how it's money is spent, Europe's equivalent, Germany may have but has caved in for the moment. Just possibly they will say no soon and save Europe. It would be nice to see them seen as the good guys for a change.
      Whatever the scale, welfare for individuals or welfare for countries, the end result will be default if not corrected early enough. The US is in worst state than Greece. Neither is being realisticly corrected. Start digging your bunkers.

    • Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives. There is no love for the hard-working middle class.

  9. Not just Canada, not just governments but private individuals and corporations have been on an insane spending binge for a generation-a spending binge they knew they could not support. Now it is time for a really big shakedown and shake out. Governments, individuals and corporations will all default in massive numbers wiping out the savings of those few who were frugal. Governments will turn to inflation to pay bills and further wreck havoc. If we learn from this is to be seen, I only upside is that China WILL NOT do well; her vaunted wealth is in Euros and dollars-they can use them to paper the Great Wall.

    • Robert,
      Insane spending binge indeed. I'm not sure what mental gymnastics are required for individuals or governments to convince themselves the party will never end. It's like a huge market rally…how do people convince themselves to buy a stock at any price….ludicrously inflated, beyond any realistic hope of serious gain…yet the excitement of the runup seems to have a life of its own causing them to pay triple or quadruple the price BELIEVING they will still profit.

      Stupid, mentally ill, or "mob mentality?" I don't know but we've seen historically with the pre depression stock market boom, with the dot com bubble, and the mortgage debacle. Obviously it's a human reasoning flaw, whether governments or individuals fall prey to it. It's like gambler's fever. Winning streaks are powerful allure, a "cycle of behavior" nobody wants to break or jinx. Until reality kicks in. Then we ask ourselves, "How could I have been such an idiot?

      A great party still eventually ends. But nobody wants the be the first one to leave. Maybe it's just that simple. I fear we are in for a very painful reminder of the law of fiscal, social, and philosophical gravity.

  10. The interesting point that few Canadians seem to be considering is that Canada will go the way of Greece and other European nations if we do not quickly change our socialist ways. It doesn't matter if you THINK there should be cradle-to-grave government services if there's not enough money to make them happen. Idealism must give way to pragmatism or else we're going to find ourselves in similarly dire straits. And we're already some $525 billion in the hole.

    • $525 Billion is only the federal debt…if you include the provinces and major cities, our debt is closer to Greece's than people assume. Ontario alone has a debt of over $100 billion with $25 billion added this year alone and Quebecs is bigger than Ontario's. Our total overall debt is probably closer to a trillion dollars.

    • Agreed. We should start by canning the spendthrift Conservatives. Their track record is awful, double-inflation spending increases every year, compounded, and then a recessionary blitz. We need some fiscal conservatism back.

      • Agreed the Conservatives have been spendthrift.
        And your candidate to replace them who would be less spendthrift would be the Iggy Liberals? NDP? Bloc? Greens? all of whom have costly new programs they want to ADD…

    • Mark, reality has never been the left's strong suit. For them, all that matters is that their intentions are good. Results are irrelevant.

      • If your intentions were actually good, you would carefully examine whether your results are good. You would then feel embarrassed when your "solution" actually made the problem worse e.g. the LBJ initiated and Democrat perpetuated "War on Poverty".

        In the absence of such accountability, one has to conclude that for some people it's all about making themselves feel good and simply having an intention and making other people cough up money for it suffices. Looking one's failures in the face doesn't make one feel good so it's not done.

    • If, by 'cradle-to-grave', do you mean things like CORPORATE daycares, CORPORATE, healthplans and CORPORATE pension plans? Everytime you buy stuff, you pay 'taxes' (costs for these things), passed on to you, the consumer…really, private social programmes that don't benefit YOU, and are even more unaffordable than public daycare, healthcare and pensions. Don't believe me? Remember the auto companies: about $1,500 of a U.S.-built car is employee (private insurance) healthcare costs, passed on to you. Ford spends more on health insurance for its employees than the entire Nova Scotia healthcare budget. Even though these things aren't 'socialist', you are paying for them, while deriving no benefit. And–as the bankrupt auto and other firms illustrate–they too are 'unaffordable'.

      • The missing variable here is unions. That explains how socialism (unilaterally increasing the power of unions) infects corporations and makes them unprofitable eventually.

    • I'd love him as our US President!

    • A nice dream, but I believe he is a citizen of New Hampshire. You could ask Jeremy Clarkson or Boris Johnston… and you CANNOT take John Key. He is NZ's PM, and we want to keep him: he is cutting back on Labour's (read Liberal in Canada's waste and we look like we will be reducing debt "real soon now". But we had an austerity drive 20 years ago… including cuts to benefits, reduction in public service.

      Unfortunately H. Clarke then spent a decade growing them all back. She is now in the UN. Unfortunately for them, luckily for us Kiwis.

    • Yes! Mark for PM!! I will vote for him – at least 3 times!!!!!

    • Great–ANOTHER snotty, rich expat, like Michael Ignatieff…

  11. This column should be required reading for anyone under 40. The babyboomers borrowed money, expecting their children to pay it back, but most of them did not have any children. They have essentially mortgaged our future to implement idiotic leftist fantasies without providing us with the means of paying it back.

    Our taxes in the coming years will be enormous, and they will only serve to service the debt we inherited from the most irresponsible generation in the history of human kind: the baby boomers.

    On top of this, these baby-boomers brainwashed the dumbest of their children's generation in being a bunch of economic-illiterate lefty agitators. If young Canadians had any brains they should revolt against the babyboomers, demand lower taxes, lower program spending, and private health care (because paying for the babyboomers healthcare in their final days will just be the icing on the cake)

    • "Most" babyboomers did not have children? Where'd you get that little gem from? Check Statscan – birth rates for Canadians born in the 1950s (i.e., kids born late 60s-80s) barely dipped. Indeed, "most" babyboomers had more than 2 children on average.

      • Ok sorry bad use of 'most'. But the fact is the baby boomers are still the largest demographic. There are not as many babyboomer's children as there are babyboomers.

        You can quibble about stats all you want. The point is, the demographic tree is inverted and we have a huge debt to service thanks to idiotic babyboomers.

        We're heading straight towards Greece and yet dumb little snotnosed kids try to show off how "sophisticated" they are by voting NDP/green.

      • Okay, so which generation was it that failed to have kids, because Canada's fertility rate is something like 1.5 kids/couple – barely above the level at which society collapses.

    • As a babyboomer I couldn't agree more!

    • Yep first came endless, underfunded entitlements, debt, deficits and failing to have enough children to pay for it all. Obviously that wasn't enough of a challenge, now they want to cripple any opportunity for the younger generation to dig themselves out of this hole. They have enabled the NIMBYs, BANANAs and enviro-activists to block profitable, efficient and relatively cheap energy from fossils fuels and legislate the move to inefficient, expensive "green" energy, carbon taxes, ETS. Result : loss of jobs, skyrocketing energy prices and bigger government that spends even more tax money. You just gotta love boomer/boomer-inspired economics – spend like crazy, suck up the entitlements, leave the bills for someone else and hobble future taxpayer's ability to pay the tab.

      • Well put. I had forgotten to add the enviro-crazies into the mess of insanity left to us by the babyboomers. It is absolutely criminal.

        How did it happen that the greatest generation fought and died to rid the world of fascism, only to spawn a bunch of dumb hippies who would bring back fascism, in the form of eco-fascism, feminazis, and islamofascism appeasers?

    • Jerome, you commit a single error. EVERYONE of EVERY age should read this. The younger generation to get a handle on the theft perpetrated by their parents and grandparents, and the still-living seniors for as guilt-ridden an understanding of the damage they have done as possible.

      But then, what do we make of current voting-age adults who elected an allegedly conservative federal government that went on to unleash that bilge-ridden budget last year?

      • Didn't give conservatives a majority government. We'll never know whether they would have used it to cut programs, kryptonite to all 4 leftist parties.

    • And isn't it prescient that today in the news it was reported in 20 years time elderly baby boomers wil outnumber the number of children in Canada at the same time healthcare will gobble up 80% of the GDP? What a disaster.

    • You might be surprised that many American boomers want the same things you do! Don't assume we are all the same and don't play class warfare games. We have a problem here in North America and we all need to pull together to fix them.

    • Seems to me its the governments that did the borrowing that we all will pay for. I was born on the tail end of the boom and any money I borrowed I paid back with interest. If you want to blame someone remember it was the politicians who borrowed money in our names so they could give it to their friends and supporters

    • There is some hope that boomers may get a chance to reap what they've sown, according to prominent hedge fund manager David Einhorn. Here is a brief excerpt and a link for his recent New York Times article –

      Easy Money, Hard Truths
      By DAVID EINHORN

      Are you worried that we are passing our debt on to future generations? Well, you need not worry.

      Before this recession it appeared that absent action, the government's long-term commitments would become a problem in a few decades. I believe the government response to the recession has created budgetary stress sufficient to bring about the crisis much sooner. Our generation — not our grandchildren's — will have to deal with the consequences.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/27/opinion/27einho

    • 'Scuse me? I have held a job since 1971 and paid taxes, EI, and Canada Pension. I have one child and have had to struggle for most of the time to hold down a job. The REAL baby boom no worries generation was from 1945 to 1950. They never had to apply for a job and they were the original "what me worry?" generation. By the time I came along and my husband who is a few years younger, the economy was tanking in the 1970's and by the 1980's housing was unaffordable. We didn't own a home until 1992. We're still paying off a mortgage and our son is ready for university. I only have eight years before retirement. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence!

    • What everyone needs is to watch "Generation Zero". It will wake you up to the causes for our present state and how to get back to the values rational folks once believed.

    • Jerome, it's not the baby boomers on mass that have created this problem–It's government and the public sector unions with freedom 55 with 60% to 70% of income fully indexed to inflation, lavish pre and post retirement supplementary healthcare benefits, the sick bank which can equal almost a years salary on retirement etc. etc…..while the rest of us baby boomers are in the same boat as everyone else. The average public sector pension has accumulated about 20% of the funds necessary to purchase the promised pension annuity and the taxpayer is on the hook for funding shortfallls. Most of us would think we were dreaming in technicolor if we got the healthcare benefits we're providing for government and their unionized employees.

  12. Here in Blighty, the figure of 1/6 of households where no one works is entirely believable. This does not show on the unemployment rolls, but on the rolls of those in receipt of single parent benefit and incapacity benefit, neither of which show up on the actual unemployment rate because they are not in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance. Incapacity benefit rolls increase every year to the point where the government has decided to do something about it. As for Single Parent benefit, the Government here long ago made it more lucrative to be a single parent than to be married to the father of your child, one of the reasons why the UK has the highest unwed parenthood figures in Europe. That and the lost of any social stigma surrounding it, which the Dutch for example still have, with subsequent low rates of single parenthood. Style, you really don't know what you're talking about. I have lived here over 20 years and Steyn regularly drops in. I know as a liberal facts are less important to you than your idealogy but they remain stubborn things.

  13. That bit about how many people think government has scads of money apart from tax revenue is really sad. Wasteful spending is indeed a serious problem, but it's the utter lack of education and understanding exhibited by our society that is truly going to be our downfall. And to make things worse, our society thinks it's better educated and wiser than those of the past. Before one can fix a problem, one has to be able to see that there is a problem.

    There is nothing so dangerous as an incompetent (or an incompetent society) who thinks he is competent. Unfortunately, incompetence is generally accompanied by a complete inability to see one's own shortcomings.

    • That 1/3 of the public is right. Government does have wads of money that doesn't come from the taxpayer. It borrows it every year from the Chinese and Arabs because it doesn't have the spine to reduce spending to the level of what it is raising in taxes, If governments did have to balance their budgets we wouldn't be in this mess.

      • By "have money" I mean "have money that doesn't need to be given back", not "have a loan". Different animal.

  14. When it is still fashionable to become a communist in the 1990's, as Steyn says Van did, or even to become a socialist today, then there is little chance of change. Western societies do not believe individuals or even countries should be allowed to fail as a result of bad choices.

    • They do not believe it, but they cannot stop it from happening.

  15. While it's true that European social democracy is going through a very bumpy ride it's taking it a bit far by saying it's a failed system: Greece looks like it's done for but Germany is doing rather well for itself.
    I always felt that the real problem was stupid people and not so much the system (although any system that gets complacent is doomed) and the Greece vs Germany situation is a great example: a large part of the Greek population is guilty of tax evasion and so the government is out of money, whereas the Germans a much more responsible country are doing rather well.
    But hey who needs a thoughful debate about economically integration (I feel the euro zone integration is the real problem for the European governments) when we can simply regress to left vs right?

    • Oops, I mean "economical integration"!

    • Because ultimately thats what it comes down to: will you ignore facts, economic reality, and spend other people's money as a way to alleviate your own guilt (the approach of the left), or will you face reality, act responsibly and cut spending (the approach of the right)

    • Not if Germany keeps loaning billions it doesn't have TO Greece and subsidizing their errant ways, it won't be doing rather well for rather long.

      • And why does Germany NEED to send the money to Greece? Because of the Euro Greece doesn't have access to the traditional ways of devaluating it's currency in order to make it's exports more attractive (this is very basic, I'm no economist) so all of Europe has the same currency: if one of them goes down, they all go down.
        Again I'm no expert, but I've been doing a lot of research on the topic and this economical integration of the European countries seems to be the "problem".
        There's virtue in simplifying the issues such as going to the old adage of left vs right, it allows for principiled action but over simplifying will almost always ends up with people missing out on the key issues that need to be addressed, in this case monetary policy.

        Jerome is the perfect example: he takes the principles and applies them so rigidly that his approach will never solve anything, it'll simply prop up another set of values that in time will run into their own version of what's going on now (austerity leading to the death of economical activity).

        • I dont disagree with you Oliver but the current debate is so tilted to the left that it makes any discussion of discrete issues like monetary policy pointless until there is a broad acceptance that the general direction we have been moving towards, and the current environment where entitled people scream bloody murder every time their government grants are cut (so-called women's groups here in Canada being a case in point), is absolutely unsustainable and criminal towards younger generations.

        • one of the "reasons" Germany needs to lend money to greece and the other PIGS is that German (adn French) banks hold billions of the greek national debt. It's a house of cards, one ill breeze and their all fu%*ed.

  16. This article proves one thing: Fox News viewers are idiots.

    • having not watched Fox yourself, how would you know?

      • I'm referring to the 24% who don't realize it takes taxes for the government to pay for stuff.

        • And that Canadiens hat proves that the poster is an idiot.

          And then of course there's the 50% that believe the government will always increase revenue by raising tax rates. Which happens to be the same 50% that thinks the government should be paying for most stuff.

        • This is a great game! Every time the CBC reports on a poll can I attribute its numbers exclusively to CBC viewers?

        • Are you actually arguing that it is right-wingers who believe the government has its own money???? I really dislike the substitution of ad hominem attacks for reasoned debate, by folks on either side of the political spectrum, but there really seems no alternative in your case.

          Your really are a moron.

          Oh, and by the way, I am from Philadelphia. And in case you didn't notice, Canadians who live in the U. S. are much better (even at hockey) than Canadiens who live up north. We kick your butts all the way back to Churchill, Manitoba. Go Flyers!

          JoeJoe

        • Ummmmm, I believe those 24% would be 24% of the people interviewed by Fox for this poll. This is not the same set of people as Fox viewers.

          Maybe people who think Fox viewers are idiots are really……oh, never mind.

        • On MNBC, and all the other networks catering to leftists, that percentage of economic illiterates would be much higher. Lefties largely have math and science phobias and entered "studies" you could BS your way through where hard knowledge is eschewed.

          • Such as the sciences?

        • With the current economic problems facing a number of nations, it would seem that excessive and unregulated spending by governments is the real problem. Do study Econ 101 and 102. Learn about the Law of Diminishing Returns and how taxation, top heavy governments are detrimental to the market.

    • This comment proves one thing: Zamprelli is an illiterate fool who thinks he can appear intelligent by bashing Fox news.

      Didnt you hear? You get double the lefty-retard cred if you also bash Palin and/or Bush or if you praise Obama and/or Layton. There's a whole bunch of lefty cliches for you to play with.

      Sorry about the habs.

      • No one tries to look intelligent by bashing Fox, but you sure don't demonstrate any intelligence by swallowing the 'fair and unbiased' BS!
        Fox has a proven habit of having Republicans as guests over 75% of the time on it's panels. They've deliberately misinformed the public on information pertaining to the healthcare debate and tea party demonstrations.
        They've deliberately switched or cropped clips of both Biden and Obama…and one of my very favourites? Trying to pass off Repub talking points as their own reporting. You dedicated viewers must remember that one, non? They had it exact – right down to the same typos-that was what gave it away.

        (sorry bout the double post…meant to post this here!)

        • i''ve never swallowed the fair and balanced BS by fox news. they are strongly tilted to the right. it would be nice if lefties would admit that CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, CBC, and all that are strongly titled to the left.

          also, whether someone watches fox news or cnn doesnt make them an idiot. but swallowing everything wholesale from the likes of Glenn Beck or Chris Matthews, or the most vile of all, Keith Olbermann, does.

          • I agree completely.
            Wit the age of media conglomerates, little is unbiased.
            You have to read a number of publications and many on-line political sites to get a feel about what is going on and make your own opinions from that – because NO ONE is reporting the truth in an undiluted form
            I don't watch any 'network' news anymore….I read 5 or 6 different news publications, and follow a few political boards and that helps, I find

          • How is it that every time one of you elitist lefties gets called out on your biased attacks towards Fox News, you always make the claim that you don't watch tv news and prefer to get your info from "5 or 6 different news publications"? I can't count how many communists (or do you call yourself a liberal, or maybe a socialist, perhaps progressive, I'll bet you're a "I'm not into labels") I speak to that use that same lame line. You must all get your pathetic talking points from the same 5 or 6 papers, huh?

        • "No one tries to look intelligent by bashing Fox"

          Lie.

        • "Fox has a proven habit of having Republicans as guests over 75% of the time"

          See Perplexed, your saying something isn't proof. But let's grant you your pulled out of thin air figure. It still beats the 95% Dem guests the other networks invite…see how that works?

          "They've deliberately misinformed the public on information pertaining to the healthcare debate and tea party demonstrations." The misinformation on those two topics came from the leftist outlets as the November elections will demonstrate.

          "Trying to pass off Repub talking points as their own reporting". Now that's just funny compared to the full on Dem hype parroted by all non-Fox media that got a totally unqualified Obama elected. He is the Press-ident.

        • "They've deliberately misinformed the public on information pertaining to the healthcare debate and tea party demonstrations. "

          Specific examples, please….?

    • you've got released too early, and it shows

    • It takes one to recognize one!

    • Better than CNN and MSNBC who sometimes goes long stretches of time with no conservative counterview.

      I'm frankly impressed with the breadth of frequent Dem and libs on Fox News, both as commentators and guests:

      -Juan Williams
      -Geraldo Rivera
      -Kirstin Powers
      -Shep Smith
      -Alan Colmes
      -Bob Beckel
      -Gov Ed Rendell
      -numerous D senators

    • Comment proves one thing: people who accuse other people of being idiots without the slightest bit of supporting evidence are idiots.

    • They don't sample just their viewers, you moron. It's a regular sampled poll.

    • Um, no. Go back and read your logic texts. Or do what the working man did a few generations ago: get the books from the library and read them. The error you committed is called nihil ad hominem.

    • I am an idiot then.

    • Not the viewers so much as the program itself.

  17. More Mark and definitely more Mark on radio (great voice), please address the following:

    "Humane" government reveals its most insidious nature by creating dependency. Dependency for a job, hand out, protection or power; the facilitators who promote the expansion of government largess.

    A systematic plan to force governments to live within their means obviates putting huge numbers of people out of work, many of whom are incapable of operating in the private sector.

    The rubber will meet the road if this lot becomes unemployed. It is difficult to imagine that the economy will allow for their gainful employment before they choose to vote themselves back into power/dependency/security.

    caslo

    • So you're advocating dictatorship over democracy?

      • I advocate adherence to a Federal budget that may not exceed 12% of the GNP except in time of war or national emergency. Any additional revenues that exceed 12% should be used to pay down the deficit.

        No more unfunded liabilities, no more largess that requires deficit spending.

        Without fiscal responsibility there is no security for anyone.

        • Yeah, yeah, sounds lovely, and if wishes and dreams were peaches and cream we'd all be having a wonderful breakfast.

          However, the point I was getting at was this sentence:
          "The rubber will meet the road if this lot becomes unemployed. It is difficult to imagine that the economy will allow for their gainful employment before they choose to vote themselves back into power/dependency/security."

          Given this.. how do you advocate we get from here to your 12%?

          • That certainly is the million dollar question and the one that I had hoped M.Steyn might discuss.

            However I am willing to take a stab at it.

            My initial premise is that there is no such thing as a perfectly designed plan. Every preplanned step is subject to unintended consequences. The key is having a clear idea of where you would like to go and continuously adapt to changing circumstances.

            Step one. Allow all registered voters through plebiscite to endorse or oppose a schedule that would reduce government spending and the size of the national debt by 5-7% every year until fiscal sustainability is met.

            If endorsed – There would be an obviated announcement that in one years time – the Federal Budget would be reduced by 5-7%; across the board. That means everything and everybody would take a haircut: entitlements, grants, defense, salaries, benefits, etc.

            The fallout will be daunting but we will have to adapt.

            Assuming there is a step 2, another plebiscite would endorse or oppose a continuation of the Federal Government reduction plan.

            Small steps will eventually get us to fiscal sustainability.

            caslo

          • Except you totally disregarded what you yourself said: ""The rubber will meet the road if this lot becomes unemployed. It is difficult to imagine that the economy will allow for their gainful employment before they choose to vote themselves back into power/dependency/security."

            You're saying "this lot" will vote to give themselves a haircut, and when losing jobs won't turn around and vote to do otherwise.

            Your premise makes no sense. Thus my comment. Given your initial claim that a "humane government increases dependancy", and that in a democracy those who are dependant will vote themselves back into this situation of dependancy, it suggests that the only solution is the abandonment of democracy.

            Personally, I reject that.

            And furthermore, having in the past been on the receiving end of this "humane government"'s handouts, I can point out that what it does is give you a chance — when you're down that far, it's very difficult to see any reasonable way out. The assistance provided to me by both government and private charity allowed me to come through that time into someone who is now able to give large amounts back both to the government through taxation, and to that charity. (Side note: Support your local food bank, folks.. they need it and people need them.)

            To say that "Humane government" increases dependancy as a blanket statement is simply incorrect. Further, I'd suggest that the opposite of a humane government, one that refused to support its people, would actually lead to a worse society as those who are in that hole of desparation find themselves turning to illegal and possibly violent means to support themselves.

            Libertarian economic models always seem to have the same flaw: They imagine that when people get desparate they either turn productive or quietly allow themselves to starve. They always seem to discount that middle ground, where the people turn angry and simply attempt to take what they need to survive.

          • I think you have misunderstood my original post.

            My intent was to illustrate the potential defect of a poorly constructed plan.

            Clearly a better solution is necessary – and it doesn't include putting down mass insurrections.

            If you want to be taken seriously – come up with a solution.

            caslo

          • Since the largest cost in government is wages and benefits, and since government workers through strikes in a monopoly have pushed their total remuneration to 30 to 40% higher than the same job in the private sector while retaining far better job security, the first place to make cuts is to bring these inflated government incomes in line. Civil servants can squeal, but they have no case and their "suffering" will be to receive the same pay for work that other Canadians get and lose ridiculous privileges like retiring at 55.

            It would be fair, and a huge chunk of change.

          • I agree – but it will have be a slow and steady.

  18. Canada is the country's patsy, if the united states or the united nations tells our P.M. to jump he says how high. This country's debt is more than half caused by bad political decisions, likeopening the borders and letting in thousands of immigrants each year, and giving to so-called country's in need. i can't even get a family doctor and my government is wasting money on tax evading greeks over seas and gang banging haitiens and chinese kids in this country. Wake up canada your and my culture is going to the dogs and very fast at that.

    • You do the Chinese a great disservice by suggesting that we are wasting tax dollars on them. Look at the graduate departments of science and engineering at any top Canadian university today and you'll find great numbers of Chinese students. These students have a great work ethic, are exceedingly polite and move on to be great contributors in our economy. We could stand to have our own students be a little bit more like the Chinese. I know, I struggled to match up with these students, even putting in 18 hour days on a regular basis.

      • You are so right. Chinese add a lot to our culture in our country of US as well.

    • Your culture seems to involve racial slurs and poor grammar. I'd say it is already gone to the dogs.

  19. No one tries to look intelligent by bashing Fox, but you sure don't demonstrate any by swallowing the 'fair and unbiased' BS!
    Fox has a proven habit of having Republicans as guests over 75% of the time on it's panels. They've deliberately misinformed the public on information pertaining to the healthcare debate and tea party demonstrations.
    They've deliberately switched or cropped clips of both Biden and Obama…and one of my very favourites? Trying to pass off Repub talking points as their own reporting. You dedicated viewers must remember that one, non? They had it exact – right down to the same typos-that was what gave it away.

    • And if we didn't have Fox what would we have for "fair and balanced"?

    • "Fox has a proven habit of having Republicans as guests over 75% of the time on it's panels."

      Yay. Seeing as how they are basically in a two-party system and panels by definition have more than one guest, doesn't that mean roughly 25% of the time there's multiple Democrats with no Republicans at all?

      "They've deliberately misinformed the public on information pertaining to the healthcare debate and tea party demonstrations."

      As Steyn's column noted last week, the New York Times spent an entire year arguing that public healthcare is needed to control expenditures, only to casually mention that Greece will be required to scale back public healthcare in their own austerity measures.

      Meanwhile, following the infamous 9/12 DC rally most left-wing news outlets reported "tens of thousands" of Tea Partiers. Most crowd estimates from the time lapse photography and crowd shots estimates the 300,000 range. FOX News claimed 75,000 people. Is this the misinformation you mean? Slightly less misinformation than the LA Times or CNN?

      • You know exactly what I mean about 75%…how often do they actually have a Democrat on, let alone a whole panel of Dems. I mean really….are you being intentionally obtuse?
        No, I mean Hannity and Beck's exaggeration of numbers…I mean using Promise Keepers Rally pics that were over a decade old.
        We were dicussing the accuracy of Fox…I was the one who brought up the fact that little of the information we get from one source is accurate….My point is it's ALL biased, as my previous post mentioned….for them to claim to be fair and balanced after appealling FCC regs so they could claim to be so, when theya re obivously not is what I mean….

        • you mean the promise keepers with the yellow gadsen flags, Push off

    • I'm sure you spin with joy over the informed news from Rachel Madcow and Keith Overspin. Or how about the NYT, which endorsed McCain and then the day after he was nominated ran an unsubstantiated hit piece on his alleged affairs. Perplexed, I know you and your progressive friends would love to shut down Fox news and any visible outlet of the Messiah's deniers, but remember, people are free (at least for the time being) to watch and judge what they wish. Certainly you can't be railing against the main stream press for it's continued endorsement of Obama. Shed your demagoguery for once and let's be honest; Fox news wouldn't gnaw at your sensibilities if there wasn't just enough truth in their stories to shake your infatuation with Mr. O…and that is what really bothers you. Hard relentless questions about a progressive agenda which is fracturing on all fronts.

      • WOW! Make assumptions much?!?!? Attack mod engaged is it?!?!
        How do you know how I feel about Obama?!? Messiah?!??! *lmao* wow.just wow.
        What we were discussing was the lack of accuracy of Fox news, and the discussion has touched on the lack of accuracy in the media period.
        Sure you can watch what you wish, and believe what you like…as can I.
        And for the record, not an Obama supporter either (I'm a Canuck fer cry eye, they can elect whomever they like, imo), but that doesn't make Fox any more accurate than it is now. Is it biased? Darn tootin' it is..and you don't have to be an ObamaBot to realize that. I don't go looking for what I WANT to hear, I go looking for the news. period.

        • Well, Perplexed, you are most welcome to look at other news sources. No-one is going to stop you.

    • Better than CNN and MSNBC who sometimes goes long stretches of time with no conservative counterview.

      I'm frankly impressed with the breadth of frequent Dem and libs on Fox News, both as commentators and guests:

      -Juan Williams
      -Geraldo Rivera
      -Kirstin Powers
      -Shep Smith
      -Alan Colmes
      -Bob Beckel
      -Gov Ed Rendell
      -numerous D senators

    • Do you have a source for a SINGLE THING which you state as fact or do you simply come from the "blame Bush" crowd?

      • Sources?!?!? You don't say to what point exactly, but yeah , they're are all pretty common knowledge
        Google : Akret and Wilson vs. Fox in Florida
        Fox apologized on air for using The Promise Keeper Rally pics, which they claimed was an 'error'
        Beck claimed a million people attending the rally ON AIR, when clearly the numbers weren't even close.
        I dunno how many more answers you want…but ya know what? It's clear this is like talking to a stone wall, because you are hell bent on labelling me – now I'm part of the Blame Bush crowd. For the second time, I don't give a tinkers toot about American politics…what we're discussing here is media bias, Fox's specifically.
        I say again, in this era of media conglomerates they are ALL biased, I find Fox particularly so, and the information backs me up.

        • go back to Russia you commie!

          ;)

          btw – "tinker's hoot"? Gold.

        • Took you up on it, a 7 year old case of a LOCAL Fox affiliate which was,,,wait for it…overturned. You might want to stay current on your cherry-picking.

    • Like a slip (as in undergarment), your bias is showing. You have a right to your opinion, of course, as does Mr. Stehn, who has presented an interesting, if provocative, point of view in his article. I am more inclined to accept his" facts" than yours. It's sort of like being a contestant in a hot dog eating contest and reaching a point when one can't stomach one more hot dog. That was me some 18 months ago when I realized I couldn't swallow CNN and MSNBC propaganda one more minute. Although I used to scoff at anyone who watched Fox, I switched to Fox for the first time in my adult life out of desperation and I've been with them ever since -to my great surprise AND relief. That's how I know that what you write is just plain wrong. More than likely, you are just misinformed. It's not good, however, to mislead.

      • read my reply above….wow you folks are sure quick to make accusations.
        WTF is this?!?!? Is Fox the proposed venue for the Second Coming…my god people?!?! DO you listen to yourselves?!?!? LOL
        Not misinformed, as I clearly demonstrated above….I respectfully suggest you inform yourself.

        • seriously people….google every single point I brought up, and see if yourself if you are all so sure I'm wrong…g'head.
          THAT's how you learn things, folks. RESEARCH….tuning into one source to the exclusion of everything else.

          • No one wrote, as far as I know, about "tuning into one source to the exclusion of everything else." One can draw conclusions as one wishes but what I see in your writings is that you're picking and choosing. In that regard, one can find mistakes and errors with all the networks. No one intimated that FOX is perfect – far from it. Hannity promotes his own opinion and is proud of it, but does have representatives from left and right on his panel each evening. Beck does his own thing. Beck, I guess one could proffer, is to FOX what Schultz, Olbermann, and Maddow are to MSNBC. He's probably a lot smarter and definitely more likeable- and more times than not, he's right, in sharp contrast to the others. O'Reilly is conservative but he goes way out of his way to be fair and balanced. No one makes more of an effort to be fair and balanced than Greta Van Susteran. FOX news programs, as far as I can tell, are straight arrow. Their reporters in the field do ask the hard questions- you know, the questions any worthy reporter should ask. Not the pablum, kiss-kiss, marshmallow, namby-pamby drivel that passes for questions from most in the mainstream media. You know and I know that most of them in the mainstream media are a disgrace to career journalism. And, for goodness sake, the omissions as well as slants and the sometimes, yes, lies that are promoted as facts coming out of CNN and MSNBC far overshadow the limits of FOX. Do a little more research. As I wrote above, you're picking and choosing. 'Pretty easy to do when you're on a mission – or have an agenda.

    • You pulled these stats out of where. Where is you evidence. What a moron.

    • Dear Lord,

      And you mean to tell us that MSNBC, CNN, NPR,CBC, ABC,NBC, CBS, BBC are unbiased banners of honor and ethics. Do you just watch FOX and not the others so you can find nit picks. Perhaps you should turn your EYE to your own kind and get a an logical mind. Fox is somewhat biased and so is the Left MSM. Get over it a$$hole.

    • Perplexed – Your seem blinded! I am curious to what your tax bracket is? It sounds like you are on welfare or maybe are part of the entiltlement culture.

    • My, my, my, those rose colored glasses must be too small and are cutting off the blood supply to your very tiny brain. In the fog of your simple mind, you left out the part about the biased Lame Stream Media that almost NEVER has Republican guests on it's liberal, progressive rant shows. Step away from your ideology and look at the other side without malice and hate. The truth will sear your eyes and open your mind…take off the glasses!

  20. socialism NEVER works (read history) always fails thoughout history!
    As it will always run out of other people's money ! Encourages
    dead beats to parasite off those who work> useless class. produces more dependends.

    • Perhas you should read history. There's a fair number of socialist countries out there that are doing fine. (Well.. relatively, anyway) There's also been a fair number of failures of non-socialist countries as well.

      What you should really be railing against is corruption. That seems to have the highest correlation to whether a country fails or not.

    • What about Sweden? or former Yugoslavia? If Yugoslavia would not have the war we would emigrate there. I wish Canadians or Americans have lifes like Swidish, altough they had communism many years.

  21. Do pardon my bicultural ignorance but who, pray, is Benoit Tessier?

    • Benoit Tessier is the photographer who snapped the pic used in this article – either freelance or working directly for Reuters.

      • Thanks cc78. My stupid.

  22. The Washington Post hailed the grizzled folkie Pete Seeger as America's “best-loved commie”—which, unlike “America's best-loved Nazi,” is quite a competitive title.

    An interesting point. Although the comparison to Nazism isn't quite accurate ( "America's best-loved Autocrat" would probably be a better comparison), it is strange that communism isn't more reviled. I wonder why that is.

    Certainly there is a strong tradition of socialism in the West, but is that not the case with conservatism? And, given that the West was consumed by a fifty year conflict with (as it was framed) communism, one would think that there would be more of an anti-communism lean in the West. Intriguing.

    • However strong America's conservative heritage, it's not well-represented among schoolteachers. If your parents care about politics as much as the average American (whatever TV network they happen to watch is their only source of information, because reading is boring), your primary source of education about history and politics as a child will probably be an uninterrupted series of bleeding-heart union employees.

      This is definitely not the case 100% of the time, but look at the voting and donation history of the NEA, which all teachers are practically required to be a part of. If you weren't raised a conservative or didn't go out of your way to learn about the history of communism and socialism, you'll assume – like nearly all your childhood educators – that caring for "the poor" is what responsible societies do.

      • If you weren't raised a conservative or didn't go out of your way to learn about the history of communism and socialism, you'll assume – like nearly all your childhood educators – that caring for "the poor" is what responsible societies do.

        I'm sure you didn't mean to imply that conservatives believe in letting the less fortunate languish. Both sides of the one dimensional spectrum advocate for helping 'the poor'. 'Christian charity' is one of the basic tenets of the right. Even libertarians generally advocate for helping 'the poor', they just suggest that that those works should be performed by NGOs rather than government.

        I should also say that clearly my secondary school experience was different from yours. I didn't experience this agenda. And a good portion of the curriculum set out to explain the political spectrum; both the theory and the practice.

        • I did not mean to imply that; I'm a Christian and, despite being an eeevil conservative, support charities in my own meager way of my own free will. The distinction is that so many Westerners think it should be the responsibility of "society" in the form of centralized government, and not private groups with support from individuals, to build an ever-larger social safety net. I do not hold to that, and agree with your comment on the subject!

          I wouldn't say that many of my teachers had an "agenda," (heck, I grew up in the rural Midwestern USA, where even the Democrats are relatively conservative) but a teacher's intent is kind of beside the point here. Educators tend to lean left – as indicated by everything the NEA does – and that invariably wears off on students in a hundred little ways, even if each teacher is a caring professional with no specific political agenda.

          • I'm not sure that I agree with you. Curricula are set by school boards who are elected from the general population. Certainly there will be some bias one way or the other, but curricula are what is taught. That's one of the benefits of standardized testing; teachers can't stray very far from the proscribed text without dooming their classes to failure. Which, of course, has a negative effect on school funding.

          • I am a high school history teacher, and conservative. I live in a very liberal part of the country. Where I live the liberal agenda is so obvious you almost forget it's there. School boards set curricula, but in the classroom the teacher is alone. As for standardized tests, are there any for history?
            I've never taught in a conservative area, and I suspect it would be different from my experience, but not necessarily much. A teacher can influence thinking, for example, by not focusing on certain events. For example, I spend quite a bit of time dwelling on the appeasement of the 1930s, and my students listen to and read and write about numerous Churchill speeches. But would a left-leaning teacher, no matter where in the country they live, be inclined to emphasize the same issues? I doubt it. I also take time to teach 9/11 – plenty of videos, dwell on the shock and horror. Close to 100% of my students have never seen video of 9/11. Unbelievable, yes, but true. So here they are, many about to enter the real world, many registering to vote, and the most significant event of their lives is largely a mystery to them. They will tell you that the war in Iraq is wrong, that Bush lied, etc – but they are incapable of discussing the roots of that war. Like the 25% of the population that apparently believes that money grows on government trees, this is "stupidity" being embedded in the system. The legitimacy of the atomic bombs on Japan? "Concentration camps" for Japanese Americans in WW2? Don't get me started.
            I'm afraid, Running Gag, you place to much faith in my profession.

          • School boards set curricula, but in the classroom the teacher is alone. As for standardized tests, are there any for history?

            Social Studies (history, civics, etc.) courses have standardized tests in Canada.

            For example, I spend quite a bit of time dwelling on the appeasement of the 1930s, and my students listen to and read and write about numerous Churchill speeches. But would a left-leaning teacher, no matter where in the country they live, be inclined to emphasize the same issues?

            WWII and the cold war were the primary topics in my grade 12 Social Studies class. There were several questions on the standardized test regarding appeasement so it would have been impossible for teachers to ignore it.

            I realise what you are trying to say, but if a topic is part of the curriculum, and it is tested, teachers will have to teach.

            Re: 9/11, Iraq, WWII, etc., two points:

            1. If a topic isn't covered by the curriculum, it shouldn't be taught. That goes for videos of 9/11 just as much as it goes for Mr. Gore's movie. It doesn't matter if you think something should be taught, or you feel a pressing need to bring conservative enlightenment to your students. It isn't your job to make that decision.

            2. It is not wrong to question historical events. It is legitimate to ask, 'Should the United States have dropped the atomic bombs in Japan?' The topic is too complex for it to be black and white. Certainly the countries were at war, and atrocities had been committed by the Japanese, but hundreds of thousands of people (mostly civilians) were killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. How do you quantify justification so as to say that the United States was 100% right or 100% wrong? You can't.

            Should it be debated in a high school class, I would suggest that the answer is no. But it is a valid question to ask on a test.

          • Whatever planet you are from certainly does not include Ontario. If you can be bothered to look at the curriculum here, it is a joke. The curriculum in Ontario comes from government bureaucrats, not school boards, but that doesn't matter.

            Trying to determine whether the 'crats, OISE, or the school boards is more left wing is an exercise in splitting hairs. All three are fully-owned subsidiaries of the public sector unions. School boards are elected in elections that only public employees and their families care about. Let us also not forget that the McGuinty government owed its first election victory to the teachers' union.

          • As a scarred veteran blessedly just emerged from shepherding my kids through the public school system, may I say Running Gag you are extremely naive.

            Take just one example. Ask a hundred students or a thousand how many have seen Al Gore's junk science movie on global warming "An Inconvenient Truth"? (Hint, most will tell you they've seen it more than once). Now ask them how many have seen one of the several rebuttals? or the decision by a British high court judge that the Inconvenient Truth contained nine scientific errors and that
            the judge Mr Justice Barton ruled that the film can still be shown in schools (which was being challenged), as part of a climate change resource pack, but only if it is accompanied by fresh guidance notes to balance Gore's ‘one-sided' views… ?" (Hint: almost none).

            And that's the state of public education/brainwashing today.

          • Ask a hundred students or a thousand how many have seen Al Gore's junk science movie on global warming "An Inconvenient Truth"? (Hint, most will tell you they've seen it more than once).Now ask them how many have seen one of the several rebuttals? or the decision by a British high court judge that the Inconvenient Truth contained nine scientific errors and that
            the judge Mr Justice Barton ruled that the film can still be shown in schools (which was being challenged), as part of a climate change resource pack, but only if it is accompanied by fresh guidance notes to balance Gore's ‘one-sided' views… ?" (Hint: almost none).

            Citation needed. I mean about your statistics, not about the movie. Frankly, I don't care about the movie. I am aware that people claim that there are flaws in it. I haven't seen it and I'm not inclined to.

            It would be interesting to see an education system that had enough resources that it didn't need to rely on a Hollywood production to teach kids scientific theories.

            And that's the state of public education/brainwashing today.

            Well, you said its true so it must be true.

          • Do you seriously think that the same people brainwashing our kids run "polls" to publish that fact?

            If you weren't just an obstructionist, it's easy to run your own poll. Just ask every school age child you meet how many times they've seen Gore's film and ANY rebuttal.

          • Do you seriously think that the same people brainwashing our kids run "polls" to publish that fact?

            No, but they aren't the only ones that have a vested interest in this issue.

          • My son was shown the movie 3 times in one year. This Hollywood production was presented as "Science", not political propaganda. Frankly, you don't care about brainwashing, as long as it comports with your prejudice. I suspect your reaction would be rather different if the movie were "Birth of a Nation" or "Power of the Will" – both big Progressive fave's in their time. Or maybe that is just an empty hope…

          • Oops, make that "Triumph of the Will". I'm a bit rusty on my socialist propaganda.

    • The reason Nazism is more reviled than communism in the west is because the Nazis are honest about what they planned on doing, and as such make easier targets. The communists, on the other hand, lie all day about what they are really up to and wrap themselves in utopianism, so it is much easier for dumb college kids to fall for the communist ideal. These kids then grow up and teach or work in the media.

      • I don't think that communists lie about their goals. Anyone who takes the time to actually learn about communism can clearly see the theory and practice. It doesn't take much.

        it is much easier for dumb college kids to fall for the communist ideal. These kids then grow up and teach or work in the media.

        Which ones are you speaking of? Fully 40% of Canadians have graduated from a college or university.* Are you saying that 40% of Canadians are stupid, and that those that are attended universities? That seems like a strange statement to make. I mean, university grads include doctors, lawyers, scientists, engineers, professionals (IT, management, etc.)… I'm not sure that I would be comfortable classifying any of those groups as 'dumb'.

        Nor would I be comfortable making a blanket claim against teachers and media like that. I'd be curious to see the statistics that you have that show that teachers and media professionals are overwhelmingly communists. The Communist Party of Canada received less than 4,000 votes in the last election. Given your statement, I would have expected a better result than that.

        *http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/products

        • They don't have to register as communists because the liberal government already does most of what they seek anyway.

          • I was talking about votes, not party membership.

            It should be noted as well that there is a difference between liberalism, socialism, and communism. They are different concepts.

          • Your statement is factually correct,,,though I would argue the difference is in degrees as they share many of the same sentiments and objectives. It merely depends on which top coat they are wearing on a particular day.

          • I would argue the difference is in degrees as they share many of the same sentiments and objectives.

            Well that's the point isn't it? Just because someone is pro-life, doesn't mean that they're in favour of a totalitarian theocracy.

          • They are points on a continuum and progressivism is definitely on the LEFT hand side of it with Communism a couple of notches further in that direction,,,with socialism right in between.

          • Liberalism may be a different concept, but Communists and NAZIs are both proud socialists.

        • Have you ever been to University? I note that the examples of university grads you cite are a minority of undergrad. The majority are in the humanities, where politics has free reign because there are few real-world consequences. Compare and contrast real-world outcomes for an engineer and an eng lit major, both of whom hold insane ideas.

          The 'geer gets fired (and possibly jailed) when his first bridge collapses or his first well blows up, while the eng lit critical theorist gets tenure or a nice cushy position in an NGO. The majority of university grads are in soft fields where math is not necessary and real-world feedback is minimal, so insanity is not a disability. In the absence of real world feedback, peer pressure does the rest.

          I do appreciate the irony in your statement. They are not dumb – they are insane. Or perhaps just comfortably numb.

    • Your question is an easy one to answer. The progressives wrap their tiny balls of sh!t in such nice and shiny PC foil that they become incredibly desireable. I mean afterall,,,its for the children,,,,,,,,its to right all the wrongs through social justice,,,,its to save our planet for all our children who are lucky enough to not be aborted,,,,,,

      • I don't believe you are aware of the difference between progressivism and communism.

        • progressivism is merely the stepping stone towards communism. It is the cloak with which the communists use to blend into the populace in an innocuous manner.

          • You aren't seriously suggesting that half of the Canadian population is secretly hiding their communist agenda by "cloaking" it progressivism. Are you?

        • Are you aware that Communists have always been considered the be Progressives, while fascists used to be considered Progressives when they were fighting Liberals (but not when they were fighting Communists)?

          Perhaps a history lesson would be in order.

    • Actually, there is a world of difference between socialism and communism even though the latter like to call themselves "Socialist". In the US, Senator McCarthy did the communists a big favor with his stunts.

  23. The emphasis on the Baby Boomer generation is important. National debt has been rising in both Canada and the US since about 1980. The Boomers are simultaneously responsible for an explosion of individual freedom, and an explosion of nation crippling debt.

    The question is, which will be the lasting legacy? It is very possible that the crippling Boomer debt will be the destruction of individual freedom.

    • How do you credit the Boomers with an explosion of individual freedom? Quite the opposite, this is a spoiled, selfish generation with a demand for entitlements never seen before. Their parents who suffered the Depression and WW2 overcompensated by raising a generation of cry babies who never grew up.
      They have been the drivers of the welfare state, Trudeau politics, and multi-culturalism. They are the ones now demanding their CPP, OAP and early retirement. Individual freedom? They think that means you get anything you want, from the government, your employer or your parents.

      • Certainly, in terms of economic freedom, the Baby Boomers have left much to be desired. But individual freedom also includes social freedom.

        Among other things, the Baby Boomers are directly responsible for the womens' rights movement, the civil rights movement, the disability rights movement, and the gay rights movement. And considering that they've been an important driver in the privacy movement, in terms of social freedom, even heterosexual white males are probably better off.

        • You see thats the very dilemma left-wing politics has. It promotes ideas of "social freedom" yet calls for increased intrusion in economic freedoms. The political right gets it wrong as well, they call for increase state security among other things and rarely practice any practical forms of traditional conservatism beyond cutting taxes here or there. I'm pretty sure Hans-Hermann Hoppe destroyed any idea of a "limited" or "expansive" state, but people are foolish enough to give up their freedoms in ignorance.

          • Agreed. But that assumes a traditional left / right single dimensional political spectrum. The further away from the centre you get with either the right or the left tends to lead towards more government control.

            I find it more interesting to use a two dimensional model. It tends to be more accurate. For example:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Worlds-Smallest

          • I know, I'm familiar with the fun diagrams those wild political scientists have produced over the years =). I still call myself a Leo Strauss "Neocon" but I find it harder and harder to rationalize conservative ideas, or neoconservative ideas for that matter, in any domestic policy. I mean the Conservative Party of Canada can discuss how its against gay marriage and abortion, but in terms of concrete policy, they won't touch it. Most "conservative" parties throughout the west have little to no policies that outright display conservatism or really differ from "center-liberalesque" parties.

            Arguably one may state that Rand Paul, for example, is an icon of conservatism in its practical form, but as we have seen, his comments on the Civil Rights Act and now his comments on immigration appear to fall out of favor with many (tho not necessarily with his local electorate). His campaign, like most conservative ideas nowadays, rely on a simplified conservative economic agenda. I would argue however, that any conservative that wished to repeal many social reforms like extended welfare, social security, etc. would lose outright and be considered somewhat of a joke thats why I stated "simplified".

            Maybe I should just keep away from Anarcho-Capitalism haha.

          • i think that might be what bothers me the most about politicians. We know that Mr. Harper holds fairly conservative social views. But he's completely unwilling to address them. The same goes for his fiscal policies; how a person can advocate for policy that completely contradicts what he, and his party, stand for baffles me.

            I find the whole thing very disconcerting.

            Maybe I should just keep away from Anarcho-Capitalism haha.

            Frankly, I'd be happy if there was a nice, solid shift towards libertarianism. At least libertarians start from a position of leaving everyone else alone. And it would leave us in a better position when the Chinese finally do become the dominant culture around the world (British colonialism has to die eventually).

        • I strongly sugest you dig deep and learn where the "social conscience" came from…I'm sure it is only coincidence that what we see is the stated aim of the fabian society. Funded by the Rhodes fortune and colluding with schools across the west the last several generations of "leaders" have been programmed to display social conscience while undermining the very liberty which created the time to think about "social conscience" possible. Always remember, " he who sacrifices his liberty for security, deserves niether and will soon lose both". It is just as true today as it was 234 years ago. The boomers are mostly the pawns of the change agents.

          • I'm aware of the concept. However, I'm not sure what your point is or how it applies to my comment.

      • I am among the last of the Boomer generation, born in 1957. So although there is validity to what you say, I tend to see more of a sense of entitlement in the 20s crowd of today–and I love young people, as I am a teacher, but I shudder at what the sense of entitlement will lead us to. Definitely lack of interest in what they already have (i.e. civil rights).

        • Every generation thinks the next generation is full of self-entitled know nothings. Young people are ignorant. Eventually they learn and become the crusty older generation, who then complain about how the young people have it easy and don't have respect for their elders.

          • There came a time when the boy cried wolf because there actually was a wolf. The wolf is here.

        • Sorry, you are part of the early peak of the Boom. The peak was in 1960, I believe, the highest birth year in Canada. The tail falls away over the next several years. All part of the same post war birth phenomenon, but different segments had different experiences.

          The earliest years had the most in terms of social repression to struggle against, but their careers and financial situation were the most advantaged by the following expansion of the economy, opportunity and wealth. For your group until about 5-6 years later, the increase in competition and the years of poor financial management and the recession all meant much less opportunity and relative wealth growth. Those after were just lost in the noise.

    • How ironic – "crippling Boomer debt will be the destruction of freedom." +1

    • Yeah. But what is debt anyways when its based on useless paper and mystical fiat currency? I thought that was the standard libertarian-goldbug argument.

      I agree with you that the Boomer's are important. But I think a lot of it has to do with how we (as western society) have changed our definition of individual freedom over time. The 1960s social revolution and 1980s economic liberalism of Reagan, Thatcher, etc., are deeply related. I highly recommend this 2002 documentary The Century of the Self if you have not come across it.

      "this is the story of the rise of an idea that has come to dominate our society. It is the belief that the satisfaction of individual feelings and desires is our highest priority."
      http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=112253235

      • "Individual feelings and desires" has actually "dominated" western society long before the baby boomer generation, Hobbes and Locke come to mind.

  24. Restore America! CRUSH the Left! End the Welfare State!

    • and bring back hitler, i presume

      • Isn’t this a knee jerk liberal/ progressive response. People that know history know that the current batch of liberals and progressive have more in common with Hitler than conservatives. The economic policies and even recent talk of “keeping the boot to BP’s neck” statements are all the proof you need.

      • Ja. Nevermind the fact that Hitler and the Kaiserreich's elite actually FORTIFIED a welfare state specifically tailored to make the citizen a mere subject dependent upon the government.

        We saw how THAT went, didn't we?

  25. 'the hard-working middle classes'. The working-classes have chipped in as well, Mark.

    Robb,
    he is probably right about one sixth of UK households being workless. Although, I would qualify that by saying, 'officially workless'. There is a lot of off the books economic activity in the UK.

    I live in the East-End of London. Not one hundred yards from me is a newly completed block of flats. Most of the apartments are still empty, presumably because the builder could not sell them in today's dodgy economic climate.

    About half of the apartments that are occupied have washing on the balconies which is not something you would expect in a £2000 a month rental or a £500k outlay. The builders have been bailed out by the Public Sector. The tenants are 'homeless', and as far as I can see, mainly Somali.

  26. Socialism brings out the worst in people, capitalism and freedom brings out the best. Obviously.

    • Wrong.
      Watch this: TEDTalks : How ordinary people become monsters … or heroes – Philip Zimbardo (2008)

  27. "So the easiest “solution” to the problem is to throw public money at it".

    Liberals cannot distinguish between Those who NEED welfare..
    A government employee WILL NOT distinguish the difference.
    Consequence, those who don't need welfare get it more often – and easier – than those who do.

    • a government employee is often constrained by government regulations that do not allow him/her to distinguish between those who need and those who don't.

    • And let's not forget that only last year the federal government overpaid welfare recipients not in millions but over a trillion dollars! Meaning ~$1.5 trillion was wasted on the able bodied.

      Welfare is fine to allow people to get a leg up. But it does not have an expiry tag, and in my opinion people should be given 6 months to a year to find a viable job. This is Canada, the country where hundreds of thousands pour in because the jobs are here. There has been a recent boon in Irish immigrants coming to Canada because they're willing to work. Why are feckless immigrants who detest the infidel and entitled, generational citizens hanging off the government teat for their entire lives? And are obesity, diabetes, and illiteracy disabilities from which there is no recovery and no chance of employment? Just ludicrous.

  28. Terrific Mark

  29. Some sense, please !

    • So says the person who invokes Godwin without justifiable cause.

  30. I know this is a line Steyn has used before, but it still caught my attention: "He embraced Communism after even the commies had given up on it."

    For how many Westerners will the same be true of Europe's Social-Democratic model? The far left decided decades ago that Adam's penalty for original sin – you will work to survive, and it will not be fun – could be abrogated if only "the rich" would cough up some of their undeserved wealth. Devoted leftists won't let facts deprive them of this opinion, and so long as they demand more nanny-state programs there will be well-meaning voters willing to believe that nonsense.

    I thought for a second that this story's opening photo of Bono was a picture of Steyn in funny glasses. That was the only thing about the piece that wasn't hugely depressing!

  31. So here we are, with the Rightists using the current economic problems of the West to unleash a veritable festival of delirious nonsense.____These are not the worst problems the West has ever had, by a very very long way. The West has overcome far worse things than this.____So we should just slash the state back and let "free enterprise" thrive? Have we not seen this tried out before? The Western state sectors were all incomparably smaller in the 1920's. Precisely because of that the Western economies could not withstand the Great Depression of the 1930s. The vast majority were reduced to desperation in many countries, like Germany. They supported extremist leaders like Hitler. That led to the most horrific war mankind ever saw. ____It's easy for comfortable Canadians to rubbish the Welfare State. they forget that it saved the West from fascism and communism.____Of course reforms are necessary to every system, all the time.____But abolish the welfare state? You must be joking. Not unless you prefer Hitler or Stalin.____Frankly, Steyn needs to read some serious books.____The old "free enterprise" economies produced booms and busts and – Hitler.

    • The welfare state saved humanity from fascism and communism? That's a novel idea. Here I thought the Allied military forces saved humanity from fascism, and then communism (eg. the welfare state run to its logical conclusion) caved in thanks to American pressure and its own inherent stupidity.

      We'd all love to see your list of "serious books" that Steyn ought to read. I bet they have lots of really interesting underscores scattered throughout, to separate one deep thought ____ from the next.

    • "So we should just slash the state back and let "free enterprise" thrive? Have we not seen this tried out before?"

      Yes, we have; it was called the '50s. A man went to work and was able to increase his wealth while wifey stayed home and popped out 3.5 children. Now, a man and woman must work full-time and still their kids must apply for the OSAP assistance they won't get to afford the university education they need. Double incomes and still the working class struggle while Iliterate Johnny rakes in $1200 per month to compensate for his "disability." In the greatest countries in the world with the strongest democratic, egalitarian values where healthcare and education are universal, there should not be so many indigents on welfare. But there are — and we can't afford it.