Calgary Economic Sob Stories

The headline may spawn furor among some and affirmative surprise among others.  I’m going to spell out one particular fact for those wooed by the press’ coverage of Calgary’s laid off white collar oil and gas workers.  These proud people have been paid more than everyone else in every other sector possessing similar non-industry specific skill sets.  Hence; one might rationalize that a cyclical premium was built into their higher salaries.  Guess what?  That down cycle came during 2015 and 2016.  If you worked in this sector and were laid off and drove a Mercedes, I bet you forgot to prognosticate the possibility of a downturn when salivating over the chrome wheels, glitzy dashboard, and heated seats at the dealership.  Perhaps, you own a house in Mount Royal while similarly hard working individuals with no less of an aptitude for learning work in the transportation industry and live in Martindale.  You see, workers in other sectors empathize with your plight but they have also been witness to announcements of your extravagance and penchant for lavish Christmas parties and Stampede functions.  They’ve occasionally heard you reference working in “oil and gas” in what could be perceived as an elitist manner.  Of course, you’ve espoused capitalist sentiment from a right winged political philosophy but now you’ve been afforded special consideration from the Employment Insurance fund whereby small business owners may be faced with the consequential increased payroll costs associated.  We want to see you get back to work if you haven’t changed sectors by now.  We want to see you win and hopefully carry yourselves with a modicum of humility having gone through a reality check.

Pleasant Surprise From The Press

Evidence of lethargy in journalism was witnessed in the latest U.S. election campaign.  The Washington establishment was either ambivalent or oblivious to the plight of marginalized factory workers in the rust belt States.  Lest it be said that the sentiment surrounding these shut down towns may have deserved more journalistic attention.  Lately it seems a road rage incident will make front page news but a decade doubling of violence rates in Canadian prisons is muted due to some perceived notion that an editorialist may believe Canadians’ tolerance for the statistic to be acceptable.  What Donald Trump has espoused as bias in the media may more aptly be described as mere arrogance.

When the news should be reported at face value with a semblance of organized hierarchy in terms of relevance, I’m afraid that the media has lost its way in the context of a populous deemed impressionable by commercial interests and media promulgated opinion. I don’t know how many times I’ve responded responsibly via comment over at editorials published by a Postmedia only to see my comment nixed seemingly because my opinion differed from that of the author.  On the one hand they provide a commenting platform for readers and on the other they overtly breach their industry creed of “freedom of expression”.

However; yesterday while running an errand, I stumble upon a coin box filled with editions of the Epoch Times.  Pleasantly, I’ve garnered a favourable first impression and renewed hope that independent journalism is not yet down for the count.  Society does transform but not necessarily positively with adherence to a group which conveniently has access to your mind.