Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Quebecers and Their Beloved Entitlements

Instead of the motto "Je me Souviens," it wouldn't be unreasonable for Quebec to change the old standard to "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" a more appropriate maxim that better reflects the reality of our modern Quebec society.

Last week a devastating report was published by a professor at Quebec's prestigious HEC business school revealing that Quebec was on its way to becoming the poorest province in Canada.

In almost every category, Quebec excels in economic underachievement, the buying power of its citizens eroded by the highest taxes in the country, coupled with lower earnings directly related to poor productivity.

Quebec society has adopted state-sponsored cradle to grave socialism that not only saps the economic strength of the province, but kills the entrepreneurial spirit and teaches indolence and dependence as well as destroying thrift.

But blaming our leaders for this calamitous state of affairs is disingenuous, the government serves at our pleasure and can reign over us only as long as we allow it.

The reality is that we have become used to our entitlements and are loathe to give them up.

Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!

And so daycare workers go off on strike, making the most absurd salary and benefits demands only because they can, caring not a whit for the pain and suffering they inflict on parents who must make alternate arrangements for the care of their children or stay home from work.

Listening to student leaders justify their position that their low tuition fees should not be adjusted upwards to more realistic North American standards, augers poorly for the future, as the next generation learns from the previous that entitlements are more important than fairness.

Reading the newspaper on Friday, I almost gagged on my coffee at the absurd arguments made by feminists to justify lower tuition for women, by a professor and a student of the illustrious Simone de Beauvoir Institute of Concordia University, an institute dedicated to feminism, where traditional male-bashing and female whining is honed to an art form.

I don't think I've ever seen so many false arguments and stupid conclusions in one newspaper article.

I can forgive the student, but the Professor who penned the article should be ashamed for polluting the minds of students with foolish feminist drivel that promotes the fiction that women are horribly oppressed and thus entitled to social redress. Read the entire article in the Gazette   Alternate Link

"For decades, feminists have argued that women earn less than men for doing the same work. Recent statistics support this claim: the latest data available, from 2008, demonstrates that women still earn 71 cents for every dollar earned by men."

The above statement, from the article, intimates that women are underpaid by men who choose to exploit them. It's the feminist holy tenet that they are victims of salary inequity, a holding that somehow isn't quite true.

Show me a male telephone operator who makes more money then the female operator sitting beside him or a female cop who is paid less than her male counterpart and I'll listen to the argument.
Of course feminists don't like to hear this type of inconvenient comparison, they choose to use the  'equivalent worth' argument, a clever way to avoid the obvious.

There are many reasons why women earn less than men, most of it is CHOICE!
Yes readers, women make less money than men because they choose to.
"There is no gender gap in wages among men and women with similar family roles. Comparing the wage gap between women and men ages 35-43 who have never married and never had a child, we find a small observed gap in favor of women, which becomes insignificant after accounting for differences in skills and job and workplace characteristics.
This observation is an important one because it suggests that the factors underlying the gender gap in pay primarily reflects choices made by men and women given their different societal roles, rather than labor market discrimination against women due to their sex."

"Since marriage and having children affect male and female earnings differently, men and women workers can't really be considered "counterparts" in a statistical sense, and any unadjusted comparisons would be comparing apples to oranges. In fact, some research has concluded that the factors of age, marriage and motherhood explain all of the male-female pay gap."
"A study of single, childless urban workers between the ages of 22 and 30 found that women earned 8% more than men."
"Choice of occupation also plays an important role in earnings. While feminists suggest that women are coerced into lower-paying job sectors, most women know that something else is often at work. Women gravitate toward jobs with fewer risks, more comfortable conditions, regular hours, more personal fulfillment and greater flexibility. Simply put, many women—not all, but enough to have a big impact on the statistics—are willing to trade higher pay for other desirable job characteristics."
For Francophone readers, here's a pretty good article on the subject as well.
Finally here's an interview (with French subtitles) that you'll find most interesting.

But even if women earn less than men by choice or not, does it really make a difference?

"Since women still earn less than men overall, raising tuition fees will affect women first. It is an example of social policy that perpetuates gender inequality."

Does the good Professor contend that women should pay less for tuition just as seniors and children pay less at the movies?

Should women pay less for cars and groceries?
Should women pay less at restaurants and should women pay less to get on the bus?

Is this  the equality that the good professor seeks..... Methinks so.

"Members of the teaching faculty at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute maintain that raising tuition fees will have negative consequences for teaching and learning more broadly. The more expensive the tuition is, the less diversity there will be in the classroom, since access is dependent on financial resources"
 "...When social policy results in the exclusion of women and people from diverse backgrounds from post-secondary education, the work of teaching is compromised."

This passage posits that women are more affected by higher tuition than males. Why?
Is it because male students come to university with more money or that they have richer parents than female students?
Will more women decide not to start university because repaying student loans later in life is more of a burden on them, then for men?

This argument is particularly laughable because each year Canadian universities graduate 145,000 women versus 95,000 men.
Enrollment is almost 3 to 2 in favour of women!

Perhaps universities should be required to implement an affirmative action program in favour of men and maybe men should pay lower tuition fees than women in order to redress the inequality of male/female representation!
Maybe university quotas should be implemented to insure gender equality, especially in elite programs like medicine where 65% of students entering med school are women.

Is this over-representation of females in university a blatant case of gender bias and inequality?

No my dear readers, there in no great feminist plot, sometime differences between the sexes are not based on discrimination, other more benign factors are in play, just like the salary gap between sexes.

How do our feminists suggest our government fund reduced tuition fees for women?

"A redistribution of resources – for example, the $105 million given in bonuses to managers of sociétés d’état in 2010 – could make equal access to education possible. One idea: imposing a licensing fee of one cent per litre on mining and industrial manufacturing companies’ use of water could yield $775 million annually."

Let business pay!
Let the rich pay!
Let the men pay!
Let Ottawa pay!
Let me pay!

I myself have a good idea on how the government can save money.

Get rid of the Simone de Beauvoir Institute of Concordia University and get rid of professors that teach students that they are victims and that they are justified in whining for entitlements.

The reality is that in Quebec each and every special interest group, be it women, students, union workers, single mothers, natives, the infirm, the poor, and left-handed clowns with red hair, believe they have a special right to ask society to subsidize their existence.

Some groups (especially the poor and infirm) deserve consideration, most others, especially women students, don't.

When females students whine that they need special treatment, it is nothing more than a sad display of greed and avarice, just like the day care workers.

Shame on them and shame on us all who demand an undeserved slice of the social pie, just because we feel entitled to a free lunch.


  1. The entire province of Quebec has been on a "free lunch" for many years courtesey of the ROC.

    When this ends, reality will set in and the vieled threat of separation will fall on deaf ears in the ROC. No one really takes seriously the boy who cried wolf too many times.

    In essence. Quebec is f'ked and the people therein are to blame as they are the ones who elected politicians who buy them with programs they can't afford such as subsidized day care and post secondary education (which others have been paying the levee)

    Quebec and their crooked politicians, mafia, etc. will pay the price and the ROC is in no mode to bail them out of the predicament.

    What is the Quebec debt again???

    The candle lit at both ends is about to burn those holding the middle.

    I hope Quebec falls into the St Lawrence and flows out to sea, for all the anguish and problems they have inflicted upon Canada (FLQ, referendems, bilingualism etc etc.)

    Quebec and the Quebecois are not a founding nation...They are nothing but a foundling nation.


  2. When the transfer payments from Alberta Oil money to Quebec cease and when mortgage interest rates rise, Quebecers dependent on handouts will be in a pickle. Every special interest group in Quebec feels the world owes them and expect others to pay for their dalliances. The Charest Liberals have had 10 years at the helm and haven't really made any serious cuts. Unless the government starts making serious structurial changes and starts ending duplication with Ottawa I fear only a Greek Style financial collapse will be the only thing that will change Quebecers' behaviour. I expect to retire in 15 years and quite frankly, I don't see myself living here unless things drastically change. People need to prepare for a major financial haircut and a drop in their living standards.

    1. ...if, AND ONLY IF, Harper has the gonads to cut Quebec's equalization payments.

    2. I don't think there is much of an appetite in Western Canada to keep sending money to Quebec to pay for services they themselves can only dream of (ie. $7 a Day daycare, dirt cheap university tuition, $15K infertility treatments for wanna be parents...).

  3. This post certainly speaks to the part of me that is right-of-center and which disagrees with those afflicted with an entitlement complex.

    Yet the social democrat in me can't help but notice that peoples' wages don't seem to be going up at the same pace as things like University tuition, house prices, and a whole slew of other stuff that in past generations was comparatively -- and collectively -- somewhat more affordable. This, combined with the depressed state of our productivity which I think you rightly allude to in your post, makes for a rather toxic situation all around. (And yes, I realize other things are comparatively cheaper; hydro is cheap and consumer electronics are produced on massive economies of scale, but I still can't eat an iPad for lunch, even on a six-figure salary.)

    I realize that my own sense of social justice is as much tinted by greed and the Gen Y entitlement culture I've grown up in as it is about no-frills, no-bullshit, socially and fiscally responsible ideals I happen to simultaneously hold. However, I think that this post (or perhaps some future post) ought to delve into the serious challenges that today's students and future professionals -- especially those of us who don't wish to be on the government dole -- will have to face.

    Housing affordability (one salary used to get you a nice house in a nearby suburb -- no more), continuing education (earning two or three "serious" degrees/certifications by age 35 to remain competitive becoming less of an exception), professional credentials recognition (especially for immigrants), postponing marriage/family (work, cont. ed., and related time- and financial commitments)... all of these realities spell serious trouble for the survival of the boomers' way of life for current and future generations of young people.

    I realize that at first glance this might seem like an out-of-context 3:00 am lament on a blog whose main topic is the insanity and foibles of linguistic pettiness.

    But parallels between those of us trying to do right by our language landscape as well as by the economic realities of our time do exist and merit greater scrutiny. I can't help but see some hazy albeit disturbing similarities between being a comparative linguistic overachiever yet still getting heat from mono- or "1.5-linguals" who want to stay that way and feeling like a fish out of water when looking at both the educator-babysitters as well as CEOs/politicians who self-reward themselves with ever-higher pay/tax breaks.

    And then I think that maybe all we're really living is a tired but particularly well-obnubilated example of class warfare and competing self-interests...

    1. Well stated, a! The problem over time has been the distribution of wealth is concentrating in the hands of too few. Add to that, as you mentioned, wages aren't keeping up with the cost of living and this again is causing, or at least increasing the tension and worsening the aggravation of entitlement...if this makes any sense.

    2. Yep, the redistribution of wealth is accomplished mainly through:

      Income taxes - Wealth is siphoned from the poor, middle class, and small businesses then
      given (through tax programs these groups never qualify for) to corporations and the "1%".

      Currency devaluation - Canada is currently over half a trillion dollars in debt and must
      refinance over 40% of it THIS YEAR. ALL nations are currently devaluing their currencies
      to help cope with their unsustainable debt levels.


    3. True, and true, methinks.

      Look, I'm not advocating a collective drinking of the Kool-Aid, but I do find it a bit worrying when I look around pretty much most Western countries and see an insidious slide back towards serfdom. Forget spending carelessly and charging your Visa because you went hog wild buying too many Christmas presents; very often we're having to put ourselves into increasing levels of personal debt just to approximate the lifestyle we grew up in as children, and THAT is harming us. A generation ago, few of us aspired to "buy" an apartment; today, many of us both literally and figuratively settle into and for a condo. We're encouraged to bullishly (read: riskily) invest into mutual funds pushed onto us by banks when our own parents (the poor dears) made do with 15%+ interest on their savings account. And that's not even taking into account the continuing erosion of civil liberties and privacy that we're putting up with like sheep.

      The stereotype about young people wanting to make top dollar, the corner office, and constant adulation might hold some water, but comments like those recently made by Vladimir Putin lamenting the fact that too many Russians have university degrees (and that consequently too few are willing to sweep sidewalks) are somewhat disturbing when at the same time millions of young people around the world have accepted "underemployment" relative to their abilities (and supposedly overly accessible university credentials) just to pay the bills.

      Criticize the educator-babysitters, since they're at the bottom of the food chain. Then consider whether the Crown prosecutors and doctors are justified in looking across the fence and wanting the grass to be as green on our side. Charlatanism refined to an art form -- consider how with creative accounting, "profit" can be defined and (legitimately) demonstrated variously, often to devastating effect (I'm looking at you, Enron and WorldCom, and thousands of others who do the same but haven't gotten caught -- yet). Not to mention that the rhetoric about networking as a key to success is in many fields is not even a polite euphemism for "it's not what you know but who you know" anymore, but has rather given way to rather overt demonstrations of tight-knit "have" groups where the "have-nots" need not apply. Forget the provincial divisions, obsessions, and linguistic paranoias of French Canada -- the world we live in is far from being the meritocracy that some self-made paleoconservatives might yearn for.

      I'm sorry, Ed, but there's a lot more wrong with the system than an underclass of people doing seppie-style math and a couple of babysitters acting like they've got it coming to them.

      Again, I ask: class warfare? Or the paranoid musings of a neo-yuppie who's happened to successfully carve out a niche for himself... for now?

    4. Unfortunately, we've brought the "slide back towards serfdom" onto ourselves. The problem is that we in North America have given our fairly well-paying manufacturing jobs to China in return for cheap electronics and clothing. Chinese/Indian standards of living will likely keep rising, ours will keep falling, and we'll reach equilibrium somewhere in the middle. It's not going to be pleasant and I feel sorry for my kids generation.

    5. First, manufacturing.
      Then, intellectual property theft by elements within countries whose laws are much laxer than ours.

      Those who think the emerging countries will be happy making and copying the tablets and big screen TVs designed in richer countries have another thing coming. Developing countries seem to place a greater importance (and accordingly, a greater emphasis) on churning out (often advanced) graduates in technical fields, while our nations keep stereotyping "college life" as some sex- and booze-addled artsy liberal three-year vacation. Why attend MIT when you can go to an IIT? (It's cheaper too!).

      We're in for such a doozie...

    6. The wages don;t go up because of taxation levels, we are the more taxed in NA and we are going down as the bottom of the barel of wealth in Canada, enough with the entitlements. Ever heard of personal responsability, government intervention makes us all poorer.

  4. The student union is planning a strike in order to complain about tuition hikes. I'm not sure I understand their point. They won't go to school? And this is somehow suppose to do what? Save us all money because classes are not happening? Student loans will have to be paid because they aren't attending classes? Okay. I guess they can strike away.

    The same thing with with the CPE (Daycare Union). Let the union pay it's members to march up and down the streets to complain about their jobs. And we all save money because we don't have to pay for the daycare services? Really!?!

    My salary hasn't kept up with the cost of living. But as well, I get taxed even more these days in order to support such groups that are not living within any reasonable reality.

    Not that I want to be cruel towards them. But enough is enough. You can't have an entire segment of the population working like fools. Not sure what type of retirement plan they will end up with, let alone if they'll even have a job three months done the line. And end up supporting another segment of the populations salaries, retirement plans, extra days off, tuition fees. And lets not even begin touching on the government waste in the city of Montreal, and on the provincial level. All supported with tax payers money. And even the interest on debt supported by tax payers.

    Every week end, there seems to be some nut job group complaining about this and that. And how they need more money from the government. I'm glad they have time to plan these things during the week, and then spend the week-end day complaining about it. Most people that I know seem to spend the week-end running around trying to get everything else done that they didn't have time during the week.

    Something is not right here.

  5. I'm completely mad to see public workers picking their nose all day, going on strike once in a while, while having very very generous retirement plan and benefits while the people who actually pay for it (Us), will probably get nothing. If people knoew how many of our income goes to these jackass, it would be very ugly to see.

    The problem is simple, we're paying far too much for far too many public sector workers. When people in the private sectors have worst conditions than people in the public sector and are bleeding taxes like crazy to maintain such idiocy, nothing good can come out of it.

    Unions should be totally out of the picture in the public sector. Pay performances bonus to good employees, withdraw job security, make it competitive. It's too hard to get an incompetent worker out of the loop in the public.

    I'm trying to find the two Rejean Breton book about unions but I'm having a hard time finding them. Anyone ?

  6. Lol great article. I always kind of thought of Quebec as a whiny feminist

  7. Moi je suis gay,alors aucun problème avec une contrôlante féministe.

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    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. "Moi je suis gay,alors aucun problème avec une contrôlante féministe."

    LOL..good one.

  9. On a separate topic...

    Although I would love it for the Liberal Party of Canada to once again give me a reason to vote for them, however, we're not quite there yet...

    That being said I think "Justin Trudeau" is a total douche bag, and I'm sure his father's rolling in his grave right now...

    I can't believe people were considering this guy to be the party leader... what a loser!

  10. Jason,allez dire à votre ami Harpon qu'il fait de l'excellent boulot pour nous souverainistes.Il est encore plus efficace pour le mouvement Nationaliste et souverainiste Québécois que Pauline Marois et Gilles Duceppe réunis.Bravo!

    Thank you so much Mr.Harpon!

    1. C'est pour cela que Harper est a 24% au Quebec, il a monter, Merci Mme Marois, Merci M duceppe, lâchez pas! Les moutons séparatiste continue full speed vers le precipice, apres nous avoir laisser un désastre économiques, le plus vite qu'il tombe, mieux ce sera.

    2. Here is what OQLF (who I presume is you) wrote after the last post:
      "42% de la population Québécoise considère toujours l'option [souveraineté] selon les derniers sondages"

      Support for sovereignty ebbs and flows around 40%, and has for a long time. Harper has been prime minister now for 6 years now and 40% is still within any reasonable margin of error of a survey showing you 42%. So ya, Harper is really helping you out. Now you just need another 40 years of him.

  11. Feminism isn't perfect and it's hard to pin down what exactly IS "feminist" since it depends on who is talking. The many points you brought up have been explored by the likes of Christina Hoff Sommers in her book The War Against Boys etc. Clearly some feminists are using outdated and skewed data to support their current demands, but that doesn't mean all of feminism is BAD or that it is all just a bunch of whiny women (remember how women weren't allowed to vote and were considered chattel? I hardly think we could wave away the feminism which aided women in the quest to be treated as equal human beings as "whiny.") There are also different "waves" of feminist thought i.e. the "first wave" (the one that got us our basic rights) isn't the same as the "fourth wave" and so on.

    1. Fair enough, good comment.
      I was worried nobody would come to the defense of the fairer sex.

      Oh, Oh, was that sexist?

    2. A long time ago, feminists used to fight for rights. Today, they fight for privileges. Back in the day, they also had concrete goals (the right to work, the right to vote, the right to run for office). Now, it's all ambiguous and fuzzy stuff that cannot be demonstrated conclusively (the income disparity, for example, can be proven as easily as dis-proven).

      Same as with the Francophones. Their goals were clear before. Now it seems to be fighting for the sake of fighting. Ask them for it's all about, you get some evasive response about "respect", or the "constitution", or something. They just want the circus to go on with no end.

      Other interest groups are the same. Unions for example. A century ago, unions had clear goals and fought for a 40 hour week for everyone, for decent working conditions for everyone, for work safety for everyone. Today, they fight for some extra cash for their union and only their union, often at the expense of other unions, and certainly at the expense of the non-unionized.

      Let's be honest. In today's society, "right" is an euphemism for "privilege". Everybody just wants, wants, wants. No-one is ready to concede. I hope the time is coming when everyone will have to finally self-reflect. I hope a Greece-like crisis hits this place soon.

    3. Funny that when feminists aka suffragettes faught for the right to vote, they didn;t ask for the right to get drafted and be sent off as cannon fodder. When the Titanic was sinking there were suffragettes on board and non of them faught for equality by staying onboard with the males. 12 year olds boys were considered as men and were not permitted into the lifeboats.

    4. Very well put adski.
      What particularly bothers me is that many people still blindly defend the three groups you mentioned; say anything negative about them and people think you're an ass.

      Have an argument against unions? Well, you're a heartless capitalist who doesn't care about the poor working class!
      Claim there's less of a gap between the genders than people are led to believe? How insensitive of you!
      Don't agree with the outdated idea of separation and language laws? Why, you're a dirty federalist who has no respect for this province, and you should move out, you don't deserve to live here!

      It reminds me of the groups who are opposed to installing "smart" electricity counters..
      What's with all the people in this province who seem to want to blindly protect anything from the past? Are we going to have groups of citizens protesting against electric vehicles, to protect jobs in the oil sector?

      "[...] all of these realities spell serious trouble for the survival of the boomers' way of life for current and future generations of young people."

      I personally find it frustrating when I think of how good the boomers had it, and how bad they left things for us. Still today, they have no pity, and they're still taking everything they can, without any remorse. Can we blame them? No. Would we do the same? Probably. They definitely didn't make things better for future generations though, and I hope they're all aware of that fact (not that they care I'm guessing).

      Regarding CPE workers going on strike.. today their strike was canceled, because the government agreed to some of their demands (vacation time in particular). Aren't you happy to know that more of your taxes will now be going to giving these people ridiculous vacations, instead of going to improve our transportation network, our hospitals or our schools?

      Here's a thought: perhaps if the previous generations hadn't been so greedy, we could still have one parent at home actually raising their kids, instead of both parents working while leaving their kids at a government subsidized daycare where they will get no attention anyways...
      I guess it's nice to dream...

  12. Happy National Flag of Canada Day, everybody.

    1. On organise un BBQ pour honorer le flag canadien.

    2. Thanks Troy!

      It's an amazing flag!

      We Canadians are all priveleged to be here!

  13. Where's the french element today?

    1. Mes excuses. J'aurais dû m'exprimer en français plus haut... ;-)

  14. "Where's the french element today?"

    Funny isnt it...When bad news is presented they seem to be silent on the issue, especially when it is the french element that for the most part (either PQ or Liberal) were responsible for the despotic economic circumstances that appear to currently exist Well, they aren't appearing as they are in fact reality.

  15. Quand je commente,tout le monde me dit de m'en aller et quand je n'interviens pas,on me cherche.

    1. Si vous n'êtes pas ici, il n'y a personne pour attaquer. Pas fun ça!

    2. Je serais donc la tête de turque de service.

    3. Ouais...mais pas aujourd'hui...

  16. On ne te cherche pas, Seppie. Particulièrement pas toi, mais plutôt le contingent franconphone séparatiste. C'est une question de silence qui parle trop fort.

  17. I don't know if the Editor will run an article on it since it has nothing to do with the language conflict in Quebec, but as a Washington Nationals fan please let me express my condolances over the death of Gary Carter.

    The Nats will honor him this season and should---as will the Mets. But I fervently believe that any commemoration of the career of Gary Carter as a Montréal Expo should be done in the city where he played and before the fans (and their children) who actually saw him play at Jarry Park Stadium and Olympic Stadium. If Olympic Stadium is unavailable for a memorial service, I think Uniprix Stadium or the Bell Centre would be appropriate.

    Rest in peace, Gary.

  18. Montreal summers haven't been the same w/o the Expos. RIP Gary Carter.

  19. Vous êtes vraiment ridicules. Blaming French people, comme si la langue defined a person. Cert, il y a cultural values, but I am proud of having les deux influences.

    Sortez donc from your caves. Explore le monde et rendez-vous aware that this whole French anglais rivalité est simplement a way for the truly corrupt in power de divisé a people.

  20. Amen. Beeing a french person born and living in Québec, I haven't been offended at all nor have I felt that french speaking quebecers were targeted more than their english co-citizens. All I have to say is that there is certainly too few of us people thinking that we shouldn't always rely on the provincial and federal governements to wipe our asses, we should be able to take our responsibilities and pay our share to support those in need although we should not accept poverty as a permanent state.

    Then I'd be much prouder to be a Québécois!

    Merci beaucoup!