T Nation

For All The CANUCKS...


#1

This was on Charles Adler's radio show the other day and I had to post it here, seeing as we're on the election rollercoaster.

Ant and Grasshopper by C. Adler

CLASSIC VERSION:
The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his
house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks
he's a fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come
winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The shivering grasshopper has no
food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.
THE END

THE CANADIAN VERSION:

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his
house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks
he's a fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come
winter, the ant is warm and well fed. So far, so good, eh?
The shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know
why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others less
fortunate, like him, are cold and starving.
The CBC shows up to provide live coverage of the shivering grasshopper,
with cuts to a video of the ant in his comfortable warm home with a
table laden with food. Canadians are stunned that in a country of such
wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so while others have
plenty. The NDP, the CAW and the Coalition Against Poverty demonstrate
in front of the ant's house. The CBC, interrupting an Inuit cultural
festival special from Nunavut with breaking news, broadcasts them
singing "We Shall Overcome." Sven Robinson rants in an interview with
Pamela Wallin that the ant has gotten rich off the backs of
grasshoppers, and calls for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him
pay his "fair share".
In response to polls, the Liberal Government drafts the Economic Equity
and Grasshopper Anti-Discrimination Act, retroactive to the beginning of
the summer. The ant's taxes are reassessed, and he is also fined for
failing to hire grasshoppers as helpers. Without enough money to pay
both the fine and his newly imposed retroactive taxes, his home is
confiscated by the government.
The ant moves to the US, and starts a successful agribiz company.
The CBC later shows the now fat grasshopper finishing up the last of the
ant's food, though Spring is still months away, while the government
house he is in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles
around him because he hasn't bothered to maintain it.
Inadequate government funding is blamed, Roy Romanow is appointed to
head a commission of enquiry that will cost $10,000,000.
The grasshopper is soon dead of a drug overdose, the Toronto Star blames
it on the obvious failure of government to address the root causes of
despair arising from social inequity.
The abandoned house is taken over by a gang of immigrant spiders,
praised by the government for enriching Canada's multicultural
diversity, who promptly set up a marijuana grow op and terrorize the
community.

THE END

Anvil


#2

I've seen this a few times, and it still makes me shake my head.


#3

Because its so rediculosly (sp) wrong?
Straw man argument.

And, if you don't like Canada's socialist policies, don't vote for them, or move to less restrictive countries (down south). You'll do fine, as the 'ant' did. However, (I think) our policies aren't as restrictive as parts of Europe.

Its up to you.


#4

Freedom and equal rights for all insects in this great land of ours LOL... Damn funny still...


#5

I just read Atlas Shrugged (finally) and so I'm immediately reminded of it...and would care to suggest a big 'fuck you' should go to the grasshopper. Or in more civil terms, 'you made your bed now lie in it'.

But I'm a bit of a socialist, and often support/vote NDP. Question for anyone who wants to answer, can I support some socialist ideals while believing in the responsibility of self championed by Ayn Rand?


#6

Depressing because it is so true.


#7

If everyone who's poor was so because he's "a fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away" then indifference to their plight could be justifiable. If you've been given every opportunity and chose to squander them away, well you deserve all the misery you'll be getting.

There are some people who have a tougher life from the onset, or who are placed in situations in which kids should never find themselves. Through no fault of their own, except for choosing the wrong parents, they end up as maladjusted, barely functioning adults. Yes, life's unfair and all that, but I think that a society that wishes to call itself civilized has to agree to shelter it's weakest members, even if it incurs some costs to the rest.

That said, it would be nice if there was a cheap and easy way to get rid of the freeloaders who parasite state programs, driving up the costs while depriving those in real needs from receiving more.


#8

Sure you can. Basically, you become a Social Democrat.

The Socialist International (SI) - the worldwide organization of social democratic and democratic socialist parties - defines social democracy as an ideal form of representative democracy, which may solve the problems found in a liberal democracy.

The SI emphasizes the following principles: Firstly, freedom - not only individual liberties, but also freedom from discrimination and freedom from dependence on either the owners of the means of production or the holders of abusive political power.

Secondly, equality and social justice - not only before the law but also economic and socio-cultural equality as well, in the form of equal opportunities for all including those with physical, mental, or social disabilities. Finally, solidarity - unity and a sense of compassion for the victims of injustice and inequality.

In that parable, the grasshopper was not a victim of injustice and inequality. He was given the same opportunities as the ant, so no social democrat would suggest that it should be helped beyond that.

Contrary to what the right wing likes to say, Social Democracy is not about handing out money to the lazy. It is about providing equal freedoms and opportunities to everyone. Giving everybody a fair chance.


#9

Well thats a cute story and to a certain extent true, however you've made the assumption that social programs are made in order to "help" others, I propose that the only reason that many social programs exist is to support bureaucracy.

lets examine the firearm registry for example, thus far it has cost the canadian taxpayer 2 BILLION dollars, and for what? for law abiding citizens who already have their firearm licenses to give police an exact number of guns they already own.

how many gun trafficking taskforces could have been established or perhaps border patrol officers could have been hired to help stem the tide of ILLEGAL weapons (the source of most gun violence) entering into this country? Or how a 'bout Indian affairs who, not only doesnt have to account how it spent its budget BUT is absolved from any outside inquiry!

No wonder the chief and his brother and cousins and sister-in-law twice removed all drive new ford pickups while many natives cannot even heat their homes. And how about the federal health department which has 10000 employees working on a system outside federal juristiction.

I guess my rambling point is that its not only dead-beats who feed off the taxpayers teat but also professionals who make a career of it. Welcome to Canada land of the bloated bullshit bureaucracy.

oh yeah for all those pointing out socialist europe, my roommate went to scandinavia and they do pay high tax levels, its just they actually get services for their money not just corruption, aint that a bitch. The purpose of the welfare state is to help those who CANNOT help themselves not those who CHOOSE NOT to help themselves.