Money makes the world go round, and money talks: that’s what Mike Pearce and Justin Smith have in common. Mike promises us that prison vans full of the stuff, in fact, $1 billion will come rolling to us with the jail. Justin is less specific, still money is the only point of view he offers. He goes on to belittle those of us who argue other values than money as being unable to “take an educated look” at the matter, and “lacking common sense”. I have news for you, Mike and Justin: I like being emotional, lacking common sense. How about that? In fact, I like my emotions better than all the billions in Kevin O’Leary’s wallet! Why? I don’t know the meaning of life, but have a feeling it is more about giving and receiving love, faith, beauty, compassion, humour, solidarity, etc., than stuffed wallets and new HD television sets.
I hadn’t formed an “educated” opinion on the issue yet, but after reading Mike’s and Justin’s letters I now know I don’t want it and for all these “wrong” reasons. Jails are depressing places of misery, violence, places where lives are wasted, in unwholesome, ugly buildings, surrounded by razor wire, a testimony to our collective sickness. That’s bad enough, but the tunnel vision of the arguments offered by its proponents are even more depressing: Money, and money alone, is now reigning supreme and all other arguments are just “lacking common sense”. God, am I tired of what we’ve become.
But let me applaud Allison Howard for her excellent letter: it seems that politicians of certain small towns will always bend over backwards when someone promises financial windfalls with a project, and she reminds us of three recent cases, including the SOEC fiasco.
You see, that’s what the worship of money makes us do: fixing bad choices with worse ones. And there is as little evidence that this will be successful as there is evidence that the HST has ever created a single job and will ever do so.