Thursday, September 28, 2017
I Thought We Were a SuperPower
Didn't those US trade types get the memo? Canada is an energy superpower. Harper said as much. So did Iggy. You can't treat an energy superpower the way Boeing is treating Bombardier. 220 per cent duties on an airplane that doesn't even compete with any Boeing product on the market. It sounds pretty ridiculous until you look at it their way -
The Americans are having a brown hemorrhage at the idea that Bombardier's C-class jet, the one that doesn't compete with any Boeing product, could be a big success. Goddamn, if that were to happen who knows what might follow - gay marriage or universal healthcare or the Robertson screw?
Look at those damn Euro-peons with their Airbus. Why, Boeing had just swallowed McDonnell-Douglas, giving it a monopoly on the jetliner market when those Euro upstarts came along and began kicking Boeing's ass.
Then look what happened. Sullenberger force landed one of those Airbus 320s in America's very own, it's very famous Hudson River and that airplane didn't break into a million pieces. It even floated. And everyone, passengers and crew, got out alive. That's what can happen if you tolerate competition.
Look at it this way. That little 4 year old boy who plays with your daughter in pre-school? What's he going to grow up to be? Maybe he'll become a doctor, maybe. But what if he becomes a poet or one of those street jugglers? I'm just saying you can never be too careful.
That, more or less, is the American argument and, yes, it's bullshit. America is moving into an oligopoly economy where a few key players carve up the market among themselves. Then they collude on pricing and marketing, anything where, together, they can squeeze out a few extra bucks. WalMart, Amazon, the constantly shrinking airline cartel and the whole stinkin' aviation industry. You want choice? Well, you can pick door A or door B only door B is locked.
British Columbians are very familiar with this rigged game. Out here it's known as the softwood lumber scam and America always brings a stacked deck.
Maybe it's time to find another game. How about we look elsewhere? We don't need no stinkin Super Hornets and we sure as hell don't need Lockheed's overpriced, under performing and now outdated F-35 either. And we don't need to serve in Washington's Foreign Legion any more. The Americans created the cluster-f@#k in Afghanistan. Let them clean up their own mess for the next 15 or 30 years or whatever. The Americans have been the fuel that powers the engine of al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram, al Nusra and whatever comes along next - the Americans and the Saudi and Gulf princes who've been financing Islamist radicals. Enough of the pointless Middle East whack-a-mole.
America might not be such a great bet much longer anyway. Any country that would elect a psychologically damaged degenerate to be its president and tolerate a bought and paid for Congress that can't get anything done, a government that simply cannot govern, is going to be trouble. Trouble that we don't need. A country where the threat or use of military force has supplanted diplomacy as its principal instrument of foreign policy and that otherwise turns its back to the world including its allies is going to be trouble. A nation that has quietly transitioned from a somewhat functional democracy into an oligarchy and which, in the name of free market capitalism, has allowed those same markets to be shackled by combines and cartels, well, it's going to be trouble. And now, with early onset climate change impacts beginning to kick hell out of the US along the eastern seaboard, definitely across the south, throughout the midwest and the west coast from California to Washington, America is headed for trouble and yet they're defunding their government with obsessive tax cuts - that's trouble compounding trouble.
Let's start shifting our accounts from the Bank of Washington to the competition, starting with Europe. Let's see what the Swedes or the French or the Germans can offer in lieu of more F-18s or F-35s. Let's stop treating Washington as our head office and return to more independent foreign, trade and military policy. Every now and then even a superpower like Canada may need to change direction.