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  #81  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2016, 5:10 PM
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Originally Posted by jmt18325 View Post
It's almost amusing the way that some people try to turn this into a reason that Canada sucks.
It kinda is, though. I can see vincefort's point -- trying to be too open-minded ends up being somewhat close-minded.
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  #82  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2016, 5:41 PM
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How so?
eternallyme wants Northern Ontario to seperate from the rest of Ontario, it makes him excited inside. Fanciful statements overall. Rural Ontario is super easy going, I feel more comfortable and welcome in 98% white small-town environments in this province than I ever do in Toronto and I'm a non-white city boy.
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  #83  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2016, 5:49 PM
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Originally Posted by kwoldtimer View Post
How so?
Fights over issues like wind turbines, electrical rates, job policies and urban infrastructure, which are not popular there. But at least no racial or social-based policies have entered the fray yet.

A hypothetical such party would also have to walk a tightrope since it would have factions in nearly all provinces (except perhaps Atlantic Canada) yet the regional differences would still be stark for a party holding itself together by anti-elitist policies, and they would be far from a majority in any province.

I'm not too familiar with the western provinces, although Alberta has had a noticeable divide over climate policies and farm issues, not sure how it has developed in the other provinces?
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  #84  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2016, 5:53 PM
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Originally Posted by eternallyme View Post
Fights over issues like wind turbines, electrical rates, job policies and urban infrastructure, which are not popular there. But at least no racial or social-based policies have entered the fray yet.

A hypothetical such party would also have to walk a tightrope since it would have factions in nearly all provinces (except perhaps Atlantic Canada) yet the regional differences would still be stark for a party holding itself together by anti-elitist policies, and they would be far from a majority in any province.

I'm not too familiar with the western provinces, although Alberta has had a noticeable divide over climate policies and farm issues, not sure how it has developed in the other provinces?
I can't see how any of that could take on a radical nativist slant. I thought you meant opposition to temporary seasonal workers from abroad or something like that.
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  #85  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2016, 5:57 PM
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I can't see how any of that could take on a radical nativist slant. I thought you meant opposition to temporary seasonal workers from abroad or something like that.
We haven't got there yet. But if it is seen that the multicultural Toronto (or Vancouver, or Montreal, or pick your city) population, or foreign refugees that they see are not wanted, is wrecking jobs for the mostly white (or indigenous) rural populations by changing economies that focus on big cities and the urban culture, that might be a side effect later?

Make no mistake, I do not support that position. It is just an observation. Likewise, I would think every province (except maybe in the Atlantic region) would see such unfold, but nowhere would they be anywhere near governing...
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  #86  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2016, 6:02 PM
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In terms of accepting refugees, most polls I see have the greatest support in Ontario and British Columbia (heavily due to near-unanimous support in the Toronto and Vancouver regions), and Atlantic Canada. It is lower in Quebec and the Prairies.
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  #87  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2016, 7:26 PM
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Originally Posted by eternallyme View Post
In terms of accepting refugees, most polls I see have the greatest support in Ontario and British Columbia (heavily due to near-unanimous support in the Toronto and Vancouver regions), and Atlantic Canada. It is lower in Quebec and the Prairies.
Atlantic Canada is a different animal in a lot of ways when it comes to these issues. People there have, rightly or wrongly, been concerned about declining demographics and there's been a slow but steady stream of immigrants who have integrated well into the region, so for the most part people there see immigration as a positive force compatible with regional economic development. Maybe that would change if the numbers increased dramatically but that is not seen as a big risk since most immigrants are provincially sponsored.

Atlantic Canada is also a liberal place in most ways even though that's not how it usually gets presented nationally. This is particularly true when you account for the fact that a higher proportion of people there live in small towns and rural areas.
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  #88  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2016, 7:39 PM
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Atlantic Canada is also a liberal place in most ways even though that's not how it usually gets presented nationally. This is particularly true when you account for the fact that a higher proportion of people there live in small towns and rural areas.
It's certainly a Liberal place.
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  #89  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2016, 8:01 PM
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That's a good point. In the US and Europe, right wing nativist movements have been supported by disenfranchised working class white men, who find themselves to be increasingly irrelevant to those countries' economies.

In Canada, we were given a bit of a reprieve because this same demographic of young, less-than-average educated white men were given a decade of high paying jobs in the oil sands and in a construction boom in most of our major cities. We also have a much more urbanized population (as in, living in large cities, not just "cities" of 10,000 people), so fewer Canadians lived in economic backwaters. Now that the oil boom is over and a lot of the housing-related construction boom might be built on a bubble (or, at least, can't go on at this pace forever), things are looking a little more tenuous.

There are more threats to the working class white male on the horizon; more threats than opportunities, really. Inventions like self-driving cars, and therefore self-driving trucks, buses and delivery vans means that tens of thousands of Canadian men might be thrown out of work, for example.

Whether it will result in a nativist backlash is another thing, but whatever will happen probably won't be pretty.
This reminds me of an article I once read in a university library.

During the Industrial Revolution, many people in Europe became economically useless thanks to automation and mechanization. The paper suggested that Europe solved this problem by getting rid of these extra people through emigration.. sending massive amounts of people to the Americas and Australia. The UK alone sent off some 15 million emigrants in the 19th century; this is pretty insane given that the population of the UK in 1850 was only about 25 million total.

European colonialism thus served not as only as a source of materials for the colonial empires, but as a place for dumping their excess people, which helped Europe avoid the massive problem associated with having tens of millions of economically useless people sitting around.

So... will the solution to having tens of millions of people across the West made useless by automation be to send them off to colonize space?
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  #90  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2016, 8:09 PM
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But isn't a "problem" for Canada our low birth rate? Immigration isn't going to balance out the estimated workforce shortage.
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  #91  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2016, 8:36 PM
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Originally Posted by 1overcosc View Post
This reminds me of an article I once read in a university library.

During the Industrial Revolution, many people in Europe became economically useless thanks to automation and mechanization. The paper suggested that Europe solved this problem by getting rid of these extra people through emigration.. sending massive amounts of people to the Americas and Australia. The UK alone sent off some 15 million emigrants in the 19th century; this is pretty insane given that the population of the UK in 1850 was only about 25 million total.

European colonialism thus served not as only as a source of materials for the colonial empires, but as a place for dumping their excess people, which helped Europe avoid the massive problem associated with having tens of millions of economically useless people sitting around.

So... will the solution to having tens of millions of people across the West made useless by automation be to send them off to colonize space?
Yeah, but we're not in a demographic transition like we were back then - advances in hygiene and medicine resulted in a sharp decrease in mortality and it took decades before the birth rate started a corresponding drop, so in the meantime, the total population grew massively.

Compare that with today, when countries like Japan and Germany are facing contracting population numbers and almost no developed country has a fertility rate capable of even maintaining its current population, let alone grow it.

I haven't read enough about the topic of job automation to know exactly what that means (does a stable/shrinking population mean that people can work elsewhere or that there will be even fewer required services?), but it's worth pointing out that the demographic situation is markedly different from that of the first and second industrial revolutions.
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  #92  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2016, 9:21 PM
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So... will the solution to having tens of millions of people across the West made useless by automation be to send them off to colonize space?
That is a really wild but interesting idea, and this forum sometimes needs people to be more wild!

Space exploration not as a scientific endeavour but as a giant, Keynesian make-work experiment!

I support the idea, although the big challenge will be that it will be decades before we can shoot millions of people into outer space, or well beyond the timeframe of the looming problem.
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  #93  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2016, 9:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 1overcosc View Post
This reminds me of an article I once read in a university library.

During the Industrial Revolution, many people in Europe became economically useless thanks to automation and mechanization. The paper suggested that Europe solved this problem by getting rid of these extra people through emigration.. sending massive amounts of people to the Americas and Australia. The UK alone sent off some 15 million emigrants in the 19th century; this is pretty insane given that the population of the UK in 1850 was only about 25 million total.

European colonialism thus served not as only as a source of materials for the colonial empires, but as a place for dumping their excess people, which helped Europe avoid the massive problem associated with having tens of millions of economically useless people sitting around.

So... will the solution to having tens of millions of people across the West made useless by automation be to send them off to colonize space?
No, but were going to see a tremendous discussion in coming decades about the role of work in society and guaranteed minimum incomes. Either that or a reversion to entrenched economic inequality the likes of which we haven't seen in the developed world since Victorian times.
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  #94  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2016, 10:09 PM
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I support the idea, although the big challenge will be that it will be decades before we can shoot millions of people into outer space, or well beyond the timeframe of the looming problem.
Yes, barring some unforeseeable technological change it's unlikely that this will make any economic sense. Even if one wanted resources from outer space, sending people would probably not be the best way to collect them, and you can give a person an extremely good standard of living for their whole life for the cost of a fraction of a one-way trip to Mars. Such a trip is many orders of magnitude more expensive than a steerage class transatlantic ticket in 1880.

I am in the camp that believes that job losses from automation will be a big social problem and that we haven't found a plausible solution yet in Canada; tweaks of 1980's policies aren't going to cut it. I also think that hard times are when it gets real with issues like immigration. Canada has not seen that yet and hopefully it never will but I'm not optimistic.

The framing of 19th century European working class outmigration as the continent or country getting rid of excess labour is interesting. I think that is exactly the kind of thinking that societies will need to abandon if they are to do well in the future. The economy really exists to serve people and give them a good standard of living. With modern technology it is possible to do that for everybody in a country like Canada even if many people aren't working, and by definition if automation improves in the future it will be even more realistic. The problem is one of distribution, as it was in 19th century Europe where many people saw their standard of living fall as their land was taken away from them.

There were lots of people in 19th century Europe who did not work and did not leave. They were the landed gentry who lived richly off of rental income. Generally speaking I don't think they added much economic value in the sense of, by their participation, increasing the amount of overall prosperity. So there was a double standard as far as some people needing to be "economically viable" to stick around and others not. In the future, everyone could be like the landed gentry to a small degree, or we could still have a small number of people who collect a disproportionate amount of the income. Where countries fall along that continuum, I think, will partially determine how well they'll do in the future.

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Either that or a reversion to entrenched economic inequality the likes of which we haven't seen in the developed world since Victorian times.
Countries like the US are getting pretty close to the point where there will be no historical point of comparison for their level of inequality of wealth or income. A lot of this is of course because of rising incomes for the wealthiest citizens, but it makes one wonder why redistribution is still so taboo, especially when you consider how much the marginal utility of money diminishes as you get more and more of it.
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  #95  
Old Posted Jun 18, 2016, 2:06 AM
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Yes, barring some unforeseeable technological change it's unlikely that this will make any economic sense. Even if one wanted resources from outer space, sending people would probably not be the best way to collect them, and you can give a person an extremely good standard of living for their whole life for the cost of a fraction of a one-way trip to Mars. Such a trip is many orders of magnitude more expensive than a steerage class transatlantic ticket in 1880.

I am in the camp that believes that job losses from automation will be a big social problem and that we haven't found a plausible solution yet in Canada; tweaks of 1980's policies aren't going to cut it. I also think that hard times are when it gets real with issues like immigration. Canada has not seen that yet and hopefully it never will but I'm not optimistic.

The framing of 19th century European working class outmigration as the continent or country getting rid of excess labour is interesting. I think that is exactly the kind of thinking that societies will need to abandon if they are to do well in the future. The economy really exists to serve people and give them a good standard of living. With modern technology it is possible to do that for everybody in a country like Canada even if many people aren't working, and by definition if automation improves in the future it will be even more realistic. The problem is one of distribution, as it was in 19th century Europe where many people saw their standard of living fall as their land was taken away from them.

There were lots of people in 19th century Europe who did not work and did not leave. They were the landed gentry who lived richly off of rental income. Generally speaking I don't think they added much economic value in the sense of, by their participation, increasing the amount of overall prosperity. So there was a double standard as far as some people needing to be "economically viable" to stick around and others not. In the future, everyone could be like the landed gentry to a small degree, or we could still have a small number of people who collect a disproportionate amount of the income. Where countries fall along that continuum, I think, will partially determine how well they'll do in the future.
.
There has been some really good discussion on here and you made some good points, but regarding the people with obsolete skills, I do think there are a number of factors (in addition to the ones already mentioned) that make our era different from the Industrial Revolution.

For starters, our societies (even the more individualist "meritocracies") are significantly less ''sink or swim" than Industrial Revolution societies were.

High numbers of job losses are seen as societal problems that must be addressed (even if the measures are not satisfactory), whereas before it was more of a ''sucks to be you'' situation. Go knock on the church's door if you need help, or better still emigrate.

What this leads to is retraining and changes to education programs to adapt to the new economy.

It can still be painful for some but nothing like it was 100-150 years ago.

Things might not be perfect but the modern workforce is more nimble than people give it credit for.

The information technology revolution killed a bunch of jobs but also give rise to millions of IT jobs that did not exist before, to develop, implement and maintain those new thingamajigs that everyone wanted and are now indispensable.
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  #96  
Old Posted Jun 18, 2016, 2:17 AM
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Good topic.

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I have a weird, unverifiable theory that Canada isn't enlightened, it's just 10 years late to every party. This applies to everything from ramming freeways through our inner cities (luckily we were able to look south and learn from this) to electing neoconservative hawks ten years after 9/11.
Our "enlightenment" is almost completely circumstantial, and it's the height of fantastical ignorance to suggest otherwise. The overweening and self-congratulatory Canadian chest-thumping about our supposed virtue is just silly, and I really do hope that it has settled down since its climax a decade or so ago.

I say "almost," because sure, there really are certainly cultural qualities in our British legacy favouring ideals of fair play and decorum that seemed to have overridden any tendency toward producing an Attila the Hun or Gengis Khan (which is not to suggest that the British have never meted out brutality upon others, of course). But still, as kool puts it:

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Canada staked its identity on multiculturalism shortly after the British Empire (its previous identity) collapsed. That was a strong bet, as it turned out.

It is also a big, isolated, resource-rich nation with a lot of land per population. Historically speaking, multicultural societies need big surpluses if they are to avoid inter-group tensions and strife.
Bono famously said that "the world needs more Canada." Did anyone stop to think how that could be achieved? I imagine the backpacker explanation back in 2003 essentially went something like this:

"Well, you know, like, be nice to people and stuff." Cue glazed eyes as Irish and American kids surreptitiously search the room for escape routes.

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For all the grief about Trump, though, please do keep in mind that Hillary is as committed a proponent of the regime-change doctrine as you can get. Kosovo, Iraq, Libya, Syria – she's never seen a strategic location she didn't want to fuck around in. Also, Canada shares a border with Russia; this could become something one notices a little bit more eventually (what with Vicky Nuland doing all those things she loves doing).

Trump may be "Islamophobic", but Hillary's interventions have actually maimed and killed tens of thousands of Muslims.

There are days on which I can almost imagine I'd rather endure a few ignorant tweets than sit heat-dreaming of my mother in a Sabha sub-basement with half my leg blown off and gangrene riding in on green horses.

But then I remember how serious online harassment is.
Whoa, this came out of left field. While every American president is and always has been a terror to various other peoples in the world at various times, you're crazy if you think Trump would be limiting his bombast to the tweeter machine if he got into office. The man is a complete twit who believes he's on a mission, which is almost by definition the scariest kind of person who can hold political power.

He's a loose cannon. He's banging on about the US's "depleted military," fer crissakes. The country that spends more on its military than the next seven (or eleven?) countries on the list combined. He blathers endlessly about needing to "solve" the "problem" of radical Islam, which obviously means more American bombs killing more Muslims in the Middle East and radicalizing the ones who survive.

As per Yeats's poem cited in that article linked to in the OP: “Things fall apart/the centre cannot hold” and “The best lack all conviction/while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” Talk about being eerily prescient!

Thing is, though, we're not living in the 1930s again. That was a time characterized by the rise of militant fascism that would go on to shed blood in the quest to conquer the intranational and international political competition. But that's not what's really happening now. If anything, we're probably going to skip past the 1930s and 40s and go right to the 1950s and 60s, this time with China as the global power that we bump up against.

Having said all that, I really wonder if this dark foreboding of impending doom we're getting from the commentariat isn't part and parcel of the dizziness we are experiencing as the ground teeters beneath us in the massive communications paradigm shift of the dawning of the internet age (someone called it the most epic invention the world has seen so far). So many fondly-held truisms related to how access to information works to broaden the mind and ennoble the spirit are falling by the wayside, and we're finding that the narrative free-for-all is a lot more dystopian than we thought it would be.
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  #97  
Old Posted Jun 18, 2016, 2:29 AM
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Whoa, this came out of left field. While every American president is and always has been a terror to various other peoples in the world at various times, you're crazy if you think Trump would be limiting his bombast to the tweeter machine if he got into office. The man is a complete twit who believes he's on a mission, which is almost by definition the scariest kind of person who can hold political power.

He's a loose cannon. He's banging on about the US's "depleted military," fer crissakes. The country that spends more on its military than the next seven (or eleven?) countries on the list combined. He blathers endlessly about needing to "solve" the "problem" of radical Islam, which obviously means more American bombs killing more Muslims in the Middle East and radicalizing the ones who survive.

.
It may not be those things precisely, but it's definitely hard to believe that if he were to obtain power, that he'd take a long shower to wash off all of the shit he stirred up during the campaign and decide to play nice and easy with all those new powers he'd have at his disposal.

Just like any other politicien who's on a campaign, he's creating expectations. People will expect him to follow through in some way on what he said. And if you look at the type of people he's attracting, I'd be kinda scared about pissing off too many of them.
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  #98  
Old Posted Jun 18, 2016, 2:32 AM
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Having said all that, I really wonder if this dark foreboding of impending doom we're getting from the commentariat isn't part and parcel of the dizziness we are experiencing as the ground teeters beneath us in the massive communications paradigm shift of the dawning of the internet age (someone called it the most epic invention the world has seen so far). So many fondly-held truisms related to how access to information works to broaden the mind and ennoble the spirit are falling by the wayside, and we're finding that the narrative free-for-all is a lot more dystopian than we thought it would be.
Yes, it's not really a brave new world populated by a united, enlightened interconnected citizenry.

It's the nastier or lost souls among us finding out how to make bombs, or learning about how someone at the far reaches of the globe felt the same way they did, and went out with bang. Now there's an idea to copy...
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  #99  
Old Posted Jun 18, 2016, 2:50 AM
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Interesting topic!

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In the future, everyone could be like the landed gentry to a small degree, or we could still have a small number of people who collect a disproportionate amount of the income. Where countries fall along that continuum, I think, will partially determine how well they'll do in the future.
It seems to me though that unless nearly all countries manage to stick together, it'll be really difficult.

It's a classic case of the scenario where the betrayer gets rewarded while the best case by far for the average is "no one betrays anyone". The very best case for anyone, of course, is "you betray, while the others don't betray you". The name -- if it even has a name -- of this experiment/situation escapes me, but it's pretty classic. In practice, people rarely manage to all be loyal, so it starts a spiral.

The most inequal countries will likely be the ones draining all the brains and mobile/portable wealth toward them; in an increasingly multicultural "global village" where you're able to chat anytime with relatives on the other side of the world like they were sitting in front of you, it's likely going to be easier and easier for people to decide to move for such reasons.

Countries who decide to "stop playing" the global game for whatever reason (Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela would be semi-decent examples) end up generally lagging the ones who do on nearly every metric, so it's not much of an incentive to join that list...
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  #100  
Old Posted Jun 18, 2016, 2:52 AM
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Having said all that, I really wonder if this dark foreboding of impending doom we're getting from the commentariat isn't part and parcel of the dizziness we are experiencing as the ground teeters beneath us in the massive communications paradigm shift of the dawning of the internet age (someone called it the most epic invention the world has seen so far).
Congrats for that natural, seamless sentence use of the p-word! It's not something you see every day...

(I have read it aloud in my head, of course )
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