The Alberta government (Canadian province where I reside) has just announced a $6.9 billion deficit this year after years of riding the Big Oil gravy train with huge surplusses.
Instead of, you know, learning from the history of the boom-bust cycle of this commodity-based economy, spending wisely and setting some of that surplus money aside for the inevitable bust, the government blew its cash like there was no tomorrow.
Now, tomorrow's here. The price of oil and gas are in the tank. There has been mass carnage in the employment market (75,000 jobs lost in the province so far this year). And the government's spending is way overreaching its means.
What is the answer to this budgetary dilemma, says the provincial government?
Why, slashing the already stretched-to-the-max public health care system, of course!
The government will get rid of many of the senior (and most knowledgeable) staff members with retirement packages. Amid other cuts that have not yet been announced.
All so convenient, isn't it? This will cause the public system to break (after years of funding cuts and purposeful erosion of services), paving the way for further privatization. "We have no choice!" will be the refrain.
Just what the Alberta government has wanted all along...a system like the Americans have! Because that has proven to be such a wonderful system, hasn't it?
The destruction of our health care and move to a two-tiered system is so heartbreaking, I don't know what to say. Tommy Douglas, I sure am sorry they're getting away with this.
And I'm reminded here of how Pluto makes things worse before things get better. The merger of corporate with government is almost complete and getting more surreal by the day...