Thursday, April 5, 2012

April 5: What's a human life worth?

Well, it depends. Doesn't it?

In Haiti, some human  lives are worth five dollars a day or less - if their ownders can find a job. They aren't worth the cost of education or health care, of course. Then there are the hundreds of thousands of Haitians still living under scraps of canvas with no clean water, no sewage, and one portable toilet for every hundred or so. Their lives aren't worth anything at all.

Here in New Brunswick, Here in New Brunswick, a life is worth much more. For those with jobs, life can be worth 80 times as much as a person in Haiti. I mean you'ld think they'ld be satisfied.

But no, there are some who always want more. Take the bus drivers of Moncton, for example. Why,
they want to get all the way up to 55,000 a year. And all they have to do, says the editorial writer of the TandT is to get people safely from place to place. What a worthless, greedy bunch!

Now, if you talk to people like - oh, say, Jim Irving - greed can be good. Greed and self-interest are what make capitalism work. (No. I am not being sarcastic, and I am not making this up. There are plenty of sources for that philosophy.Try reading, for example, the gospel of the saint of the rich, Ayn Rand.) Greed is good. Greed encourages ambition and growth.

But greed only works for people who are already rich. That makes it bad for bus drivers.

Why, says the editorial writer, we can't pay bus drivers salaries that are up in the stratosphere. And well said. The Irving and Ganongs and McCains need and deserve all the sratosphere for themselves. They need so much money - we can't imagine. I mean, for a start, they have to pay high salaries to editorial writers who crunch out contemptible crap like the editorial in today's Moncton Times and Transcript.

No. Bus drivers aren't worth it. And who gives a damn if their passengers don't get delivered safely? Their passengers are pretty worthless, too. I mean, if they weren't worthless, they'ld be going places in chaufeurred limos like you-know-who.

Anyway, not to worry. If bus drivers or their families ever need help, worthless as they are, there are worthy people who will help them. I read that Mr Irving is a great philanthropist. (or does that just mean he collects stamps?)

Sadly, I note that the letters to the editor page has two letters of the sort I was afraid would soon appear. One is titled Bilingualism goes both ways. The other is Language laws running amok. Just what we need. Language hysteria.

Norbert has a column in which he points out that a person working at ten dollars a minute for 24 hours a day would have to work over 2,000 years to earn ten billion dollars. Wow! Good thing our billionaires earn more than ten dollars a minute. Much more.  (Norbert doesn't say how many years it would take a bus driver to earn ten billion.)

There's a lesson in editorials and columns like these. Whatever our laws and constitutions might say, we do not have equal rights. We and our children do not have equal opportunities. We don't, as individual voters, have equal power. The dominant rights of our society are not the rights of individuals. They never have been. As St . Ayn Rand shows in her writing, the dominant rights have always been those of wealth.

In keeping with that philosophy, there is, as usual, no news worth reading in today's Times and Transcript. After all, why would anyone waste information on people who are both powerless and worthless?

There are, by oversight I'm sure, just two items worth reading in today's paper. One is Alec Bruce, who begins gently but has lots of dynamite in his third column. The other is Jody Dallaire, who makes a point that is subtle, but worth thinking about.

I'll take this opportunity to wish you a Happy Easter. Christianity can be a worthy religion if you don't get sidetracked by all that unworthy blather about love, peace, sharing.....  That's the kind of nonsense that makes us waste money on bus drivers.  Instead, concentrate on the important parts of the Easter message - bunnies and chocolate eggs.

Give the empty bottles and wrappers to your favourite charity, like the big philanthropists do.

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