Is life important?
You can’t listen to people talk today, on the Media or amongst friends, without hearing the phrase “Saving Lives” mentioned. It is the generation’s obsession. Safety is first. A few years ago when someone was going somewhere people used to say, “have fun” and now they state, “drive safe.” I always think, what is wrong with you, do I look like someone who endangers himself or others? Instead, I say the stock phrase, “Thank you.” There aren’t too many people like me who value the quality of life more than quantity. Most have invested money in life and wish to see a payback. Time is money, isn’t it?
A short item on CBC news (May 28th) caught my eye. “Lessons Canada can learn from Sweden's long-term care facilities.” The program compared senior’s care in Calgary and Sweden, interviewing real people.
I have been a Canadian now for over fifty years, working and contributing; at times more than average. I love Canada and all its people. I love the fact that this country is a mosaic and that we are almost a democracy. We are unique amongst nations and admired around the world. I love the way we do things and I am very proud that I can truly make my voice heard and try to improve upon what we have.
I went to investigate some other nations who also have very happy people. Surprisingly, the other people who are happy and say so are also in cold areas like ours. Finland is number one and Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Netherland and Norway are all high up on the list. Funny that people in a harsh climate score high on happiness. Now, let's compare from my point of view.
I have been with my wife for close to fifty years now and if we are separated I don’t want life. Some years before I said “I do,” I became a part of a couple and I will not go back to being a singularity. I envy the Swedes who make it possible for aging couples to stay together and I wish that the leaders in my country/Province would attend to it.
My leader is not working on the one item that is most important to me. After my wife, the most important people for me now are my grandchildren. The oldest is working part-time to ease the burden on his family. My Premier is actively working to reduce my grandchild’s income by $2 an hour so a restaurant chain will pocket the money. He also is removing overtime regulations which will ensure that a good young person will not get over 25 hours a week. I guess that will make people believe that the government’s actions created more jobs.
Sweden (another Hockey nation) is most similar to Canada but without most of the rich resources. They are providing old people like me with accommodations to stay together and they are not bankrupted. As a matter of fact, their people are on average doing better than us. They have better working conditions, a very good education and health care, longer holidays plus more that I can’t mention in this short article. I will mention that they build one of the best jet fighters (The Gripen) in the world and that they have absorbed more refugees per capita than all other industrial countries.
Sweden came out of the last President Bush created recession worse than Canada did. Yet when I checked the statistics, I discovered that in 2014 to 2017 their GDP grew and their economy surged twice as fast as the US economy. Bloomberg reported: “High taxes, strong unions and equal distribution of wealth. that's the recipe for success in a globalized world, according to Magdalena Andersson, the Social Democratic economist who’s also Sweden’s Finance Minister.”
The difference is in their politics. We elect politicians who can’t be trusted by the majority in our countries. Our leaders increase taxes and do not ensure that the benefit from the tax will help most people and improve the economy. In Sweden, and a few other north nations, the people pay taxes to improve their way of life or someone else is elected fast. There is no way for some joker to get in and say, oops, I promised to improve the economy without reducing services but sorry; I am cutting billions of dollars from your medical care, your education or seniors’ benefits, to name a few.
Our problem here in Canada is that we are following the Americans instead of learning from the Swedes who enjoy a better system. You can check every aspect of life and see that the Social Democratic system is working better. Examine upwards mobility, business Startup or even the number of incarcerations or crime rates. The other northern people are enjoying a better life than those who fight to deregulate giant international corporations waiting for the crumbs to fall upon us.
I say to my leaders, forget about wishing me safety and saving my life, and let me keep the gift from God who is my wife. You Christian people told me to keep my wife in sickness and in health until death do us apart, then don’t separate us to save money when one of us is down. You who lead wars for “freedom and democracy” refrain from impoverishing working youths to benefit shareholders of corporations.
Above all, dear leaders, quit destroying our world pretending it's not happening. This world was created, as wonderful as it is, for all its creatures not just for those who hoarded the most wealth. Don’t do it for me but look at history and learn. Look at your own holy books where it says, the last shall be first, the meek will inherit the earth and more. Do it for your own safety, if you believe any of it.