Friday, June 18, 2010

The Princess and the Pea

You must remember the story about the beautiful young woman who came to the door of a royal palace. She claimed to be a lost princess from another land. The young prince was smitten with her, and asked his mother if she could stay with them. The mother consented; but she had a plan.

The "princess" was taken to a bed with twenty mattressses on it. The queen had instructed the servants to place a pea under the bottom one. Next morning, the queen entered to ask how the princess had slept.

"Oh," she replied, "I couldn't sleep at all. There was something hard under my mattress that kept me awake all night."

The Queen smiled. Only a real princess could have a life so pampered as to notice that. She was welcomed to the palace as a guest, and later as a bride for the ptince.

It's a story about entitlement. As an ordinary woman, however lost and helpless she might be, she would have been turned away. But as a princess, she was welcome. She was entitled to expect graciousness.

When American banks went broke, the demanded mass bailouts from the American taxpayers. Then they rewarded themselves with billions for the fine job they had done in destroying their banks. Some called it greed. But it was really much worse. It was a sense of entitlement. They were rich. Therefore, they were entitled to divert money from  health care and poverty relief; and to take it for themselves. In the same way, large oil companies are entitled to spend over a trillion dollars of taxpayer's money and to spend thousands of lives of taxpayers to kill over a million innocent people in wars to corner the oil market for them. They're entitled. It works the same way in New Brunswick.

The tax payers of Canada and New Brunswick and, most especially of Moncton will be hit for eighty million dollars for a new arena for Robert Irving's hockey team. He's not greedy. He's entitled. And if Moncton won't lease it to him at his price, then he'll sell the team. Up yours, Moncton. He's entitled.

Similarly the Irvings support a neo-conservative think tank - which means its a propaganda agency for big business. It's using that, with the support of the newspapers it owns, to take over the education system. The New Brunswick system of education, from the minister down to the DECs, appears to be controlled by a propaganda agency. The Irvings and the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies (neither of whom knows anything about education) will determine how our children will be educated. We're not entitled. All we're allowed to do is to pay the taxes.

In the same way, it doesn't matter whether New Brunswick elects Liberals or Conservatives. They are both dogs that hunt for the same master.

This is part of a general movement we're seeing in both Canada and the United States, with big business buying and selling governments, and setting their agendas.  That's why the US can spare trillions for banks and wars, but can't afford a decent health care system.  That's why we see big business all over the US and Canada muscling in on control of education. They're entitled.

If you ever stay over at the Irvings', watch out for that bed piled high with mattresses.

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