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John Byrne
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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 11 November 2019 at 1:44pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

My family emigrated to Canada for a job promised to my father. That job turned out not to exist, and his British educational credentials did not translate to where we were. He ended up working as a laborer while we lived in what was politely called a “basement suite”. Basically a basement with some plywood walls. We left when my mother discovered mice had been climbing on me in the night (I was three) feeding on some dried egg yolk I’d spilled on my dressing gown. (They’d chewed a hole thru the material, and luckily stopped there.)

We were able to get an apartment in what I later learned was a transient residence, mostly doing duty as MQs for the local RCAF squadron. Dad got a low end, low paying job as a clerk at City Hall. Then came a round of serious illnesses, and my mother had had enough. We went back to England (by now I was 5) and Dad went back to his old job at the Midlands Electricity Board, as an architect.

But, crazy thing, the siren call of Canada was still heard. Just before I turned 8 we headed back to try again. Success this time, and there began a long climb (with a lot of moving) that eventually landed Dad in the highest non-elective office in the Calgary city government.

So, tho I am a long way from those times now, I well remember my Mother’s oft repeated mantra when I was growing up: “We can’t afford that.”

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Brian Miller
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Posted: 11 November 2019 at 2:18pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

JB, where in Canada did your family move the first time? 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 11 November 2019 at 2:21pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

JB, where in Canada did your family move the first time?

••

Edmonton, Alberta. Both times. In 1966 we migrated to Calgary.

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James Woodcock
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Posted: 11 November 2019 at 4:00pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Edmonton? This really makes the lack of ‘Eh’ heard when I was in Canada puzzling. I was in Vancouver & Edmonton.
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 11 November 2019 at 5:32pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I'm not inherently against billionaires, that isn't so different from being against any particular fill-in-the blank grouping. I'm not against someone born into privilege either... it's what they do with it (or do to get it). Mayor Bloomberg... perhaps the best of available choices, but Mayor Giuliani, even though 'hero' of 9/11 to so many, never. I could've said that before and after 9/11 and before and after 2016. Why are some in the age of information so unable to recognize a bad egg? Donald Trump, never should've happened, not remotely as qualified as even Giuliani. A basket of deplorables did come in with him, but they should not stay in. And the quality people he did lose should all be reinstated! Those who weren't in that basket to start with either ended up in it or else helped enable them 'protecting' Trump & Co./family from themselves. He'd have been gone by now I think if not for General Kelley and the like.

Communism is the enemy of the human soul as far as I'm concerned. All you need to do is watch any of those party members at the top when they are speaking, like that creature in Hong Kong lately... they are without a soul. Beautiful on paper, some lovely promises of equality, but the road to a true hell on Earth in actual practice.

My father came to Canada from a devastated Holland with his mother at the end of WWII. My grandmother married a Dutch-Canadian sharp shooter from the liberating forces. They settled in Hamilton, Ontario first where there is a large Dutch population and then on to Victoria where there was better opportunity suited to the skills. My father was pulled out of school in grade 8 to help make money for the family, that was just the way it was back then and he was the oldest of two sons. Now a newcomer/refugee might get languages classes and qualify for assistance but back then it took awhile even to pay for the ship fares over for some. A young aunt was left in Holland who was inadmissible to Canada based on her being just a little simple, and Canada also has the shame of turning away boatloads of Jewish refugees during the war, so maybe that's why now the pendulum has swung in the other direction. I won't say too far as for some we might need to do more than we do, while undoubtedly a few are over helped. This is Midgard, everything is bound to be imperfect and half screwed up. Grand visions of perfection are things to be afraid of in my opinion. Ending all hunger or poverty is as silly as any other absolutist idea like wealth sharing or guaranteed incomes. Treating everyone equally leads more likely to Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron!




Edited by Rebecca Jansen on 11 November 2019 at 5:33pm
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Ron Grant
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Posted: 11 November 2019 at 10:54pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

So only physical labor constitutes hard work?
------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------
No of course not, however the value society  puts on certain types of labour is off whack.
for example a Hockey player makes more than a surgeon and a film actor makes millions for portraying a tomato picker while an actual tomato picker gets paid per bucket roughly 40 cents per bucket.
They have to pick 2 tons of tomatoes a day to earn $50.


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Neil Lindholm
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Posted: 11 November 2019 at 11:05pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

How many people can play hockey professionally compared to how many people can pick tomatoes? You can't compare the two. A hockey generates millions and millions compared to a tomato picker. 

I recently watched "The Wolf of Wall Street". I sure as hell could not do what Leonardo DiCaprio did in that film. He created millions and his films hire thousands. Don't begrudge his earnings at all. 


Edited by Neil Lindholm on 11 November 2019 at 11:07pm
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Koroush Ghazi
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Posted: 12 November 2019 at 7:13am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

So what you're saying is that because DiCaprio can get an audience of millions portraying a con man well, he should earn multiple times the annual salary of emergency workers, policemen, firemen, nurses, etc.?

Or that a TV show host should earn many times more than a dozen teachers?

Is fame really worth that much to us?

Is it any wonder then that most kids these days want to grow up "to be famous", to be singers, actors and YouTube stars rather than authors, doctors or astronauts.

I don't hate the players, I hate the game.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 November 2019 at 7:22am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

So what you're saying is that because DiCaprio can get an audience of millions portraying a con man well, he should earn multiple times the annual salary of emergency workers, policemen, firemen, nurses, etc.?

Or that a TV show host should earn many times more than a dozen teachers?

Is fame really worth that much to us?

••

Not fame. DiCaprio gets paid what he gets paid because of how much money he generates for the Studios. Actors who don't generate as much get paid less.

So, the question should really be if you think emergency workers, policemen, firemen, nurses and teachers should get paid more, by how much are you willing to have your taxes raised to pay for it?

(I pay very high property taxes to cover the police and teachers, high insurance premiums to pay the nurses, and make large donations to the volunteer fire department.)

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Michael Penn
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Posted: 12 November 2019 at 7:52am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Depending on time and place, particular talents are compensated over others, often extraordinarily and without regard to inherent value (whatever that might mean).

Howie Morenz was the best hockey player of his era, and his $3500/yr salary was only about $200 more than the average income. Lucky for him that he could play a game to earn a typical wage. Unlucky for him that he wasn't playing today, when the average yearly NHL salary is in the millions.
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Neil Lindholm
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Posted: 12 November 2019 at 8:02am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Howie Morenz also played in an era without television and sponsership and advertisements so he generated much less money than a current hockey player. He also probably worked in the off-season, like many players of his day did, so his total salary might have been much higher. You can't really compare a hockey player from 1923 to a player now.

Currently, Auston Matthews of the Maple Leafs makes $15.91 million a year. The Leafs are valued at $1.45 billion. Matthews is a big part of that valuation and only he can do what he does. This is why he gets the big salary. The janitor in the arena will make much less because there are many people who can do what he does.
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 12 November 2019 at 8:22am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Neil, you misunderstand me. Compensating talents can have as much to do with luck in time and place as the inherent value of the skill. A janitor in a poorly funded school system might earn appreciably less than one in a highly-taxed area.
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