Why Yukoners accept the welfare state and why Ottawa funds it.

A question was posed to me recently about why The Yukon receives an inordinate amount of funding from the federal govt. in relation to the size of our population. It is an interesting question and the issues it raises are also interesting. The presence of big government in this territory has been expanding exponentially for more than 20 years, time was maybe only 1 in 20 people or 5% of the population would have a job with one of the various government agencies. These days that number feels closer to 1 in 2. The amount of money Ottawa transfers into the territory is directly related to this high level of govt. subsidy. The territorial budget in the Yukon for 2015 was 1.367 billion dollars this works out to a whopping $38,000 per person in the territory per year, this is compared to the Canadian average of around $9,000 per person. One doesn’t have to look very far to see the effects of this wanton orgy of fiscal opulence, and the questionable relevance of govt. agencies such spending breeds.

But the question of the article is why is this the case. What is Ottawa’s reason for spending such large sums of money in our territory? Well the answer is control, as anyone who has ever applied for a bank loan knows money given or burrowed often comes with conditions attached. In the case of The Yukon these conditions have been the tightening of controls on the development of resources and the freedom of Yukoners to use the land. Sure people say that the govt. spends money up here to assert Northern sovereignty or that without large govt. spending programs Yukoners might begin to feel open to the idea of annexation by Alaska, which by the way would possibly not be the worst option. But the real reason behind the federal spending spree up here is simple. The Yukon has one of the largest potentials for mineral resources in the world, the state by no means wants the people of the Yukon freedom to unilaterally develop these resources for themselves, so the federal government pumps large amounts of money into the territory as a way to bribe Yukoners not to develop our economy. Before the fire-hose of Federal money was unleashed in the territory people up here were quite happy, sure not everyone had a 50,000 dollar skidoo/boat/whatever sitting in their backyard, but people had a much more balanced approach to their life and appreciation for the value of money. People for the most part realized that hard work paid off and that saving something for a rainy day or stockpiling for the winter was what you needed to do to live a free life. In a big way this attitude of self sufficiency and a desire for freedom is falling by the wayside and giving way to an attitude of dependence on govt. entitlement (welfare state) programs, rampant drug and alcohol abuse and an acceptance of the federal meddling in the workings of the territorial govt.

 

So as for the second question, why this acceptance by the population of this take over by the big government and the loss of the can do Yukon attitude? Well I think the reasons are many, but the crux of the matter comes down to money, as mentioned above the govt. is basically bribing people to accept mediocrity. Most people up here have heard the term ‘golden handcuffs’ referring to the government jobs that pay just enough to keep people chained to these soulless govt. positions. The second arrow in their quiver is big project money, this is the more unseen aspect of government employment. The third is the Non Governmental  Organizations (but still govt. funded) one needs not look to far for examples of these gems of financial prudence.Along with these three comes the myriad of ‘other’ positions and money for every insipid project dreamed up by inexperienced and overpaid bureaucrats, I would estimate fully ½ and probably closer ¾ of the territory is by now receiving employment either directly or indirectly from govt. money of some sort. This situation has created the illusion that The Yukon could not survive where it not for this govt. money. Ironically nothing could be further from the truth. The Yukon Territory has a vast wealth in everything from land, water, minerals, oil and gas, beautiful country and our best resource, our people, especially the ones who still have a pioneering spirit and an attitude of blazing our own way in this world. This territory was completely self-sufficient 100 years ago during the days of the gold rush, when all the food was grown or caught locally, fuel was mined locally and the export industry was alive and well and there is no reason it could not be again.

Finally what can we do to reverse this inexorable tide of state against the individual and bring back the Yukon of yesterday, a Yukon with minimal involvement of the state? And a good helping of freedom, common sense and mutual respect. Well here are a few ideas.

#1. Start businesses and support businesses of local Yukoners.

#2. Deal with govt. agencies as little as possible and try not to support govt. ventures that wantonly waste tax payer money and are a drag on the economy at large. Eg. Mt Sima, the Canada games Center, the athletes village near the collage and Whistle Bend just to name a few!

#3. Find the loopholes in arbitrary rules made just for the sake of making rules. Demand Justice over the rule of law. An unjust law is no law at all.

#4. Demand that the WCB be either removed as an organization from the territory or at the very least have most of it’s arbitrary powers stripped, and that it be forced to compete against private insurance companies on the open market.

#5. Read the news and then dig deeper. Though it is good to know what is going on don’t accept just the printed versions of the news. Use your head who is trying to gain what with the different agenda being pushed in our territory.

#6. Post your opinions and be active in comments sections of your local newspapers, read and vote on comments, pick up an online handle. Be Active!

#7. Hold local Politicians accountable. Send letters make phone calls don’t accept mismanagement and the wanton spending of money just because it appears to be abundant.

These are just some ideas and by no means a complete list. I think by and far the most important thing we can do is to have faith in ourselves. Even when there is an easy way out, a job that you can’t get fired from or a cheque that you can get from sitting on your behind doesn’t make it the right choice. Get out there find something your good at and excel in it!

-60North-

 

This article is dedicated to Irwin Schiff, a patriot may he rest in peace.

 

DISCLAIMER AND CONFLICTS
THE PUBLICATION OF THIS LETTER IS FOR YOUR INFORMATION AND AMUSEMENT ONLY. THE AUTHOR IS NOT SOLICITING ANY ACTION BASED UPON IT, NOR IS HE SUGGESTING THAT IT REPRESENTS, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, A RECOMMENDATION.  THE CONTENT OF THIS LETTER IS DERIVED FROM INFORMATION AND SOURCES BELIEVED TO BE RELIABLE, BUT THE AUTHOR MAKES NO REPRESENTATION THAT IT IS COMPLETE OR ERROR-FREE, AND IT SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS SUCH. IT IS TO BE TAKEN AS THE AUTHORS OPINION AS SHAPED BY HIS EXPERIENCE, RATHER THAN A STATEMENT OF FACTS.

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