Imagine for a moment two societies living side by side. One has discovered and uses the wheel effectively -- a technology that makes life easier for workers and boosts the economy for everyone. Prosperity reigns. The society next door is well aware of the wheel and watches as its neighbours move inexorably ahead -- wealthier, more efficient, healthier and with more leisure time for cultural activities. But it is not those who do the work in this society who reject the wheel -- it is the governing elite, the priests, the official advisers and scribes who have incorporated a moral objection to the wheel into the state religion. Use of the wheel is thus proscribed by faith, not reason. All practical arguments in its favour are rendered useless.
Related rabble.ca story:
No doubt the rich and powerful have been cracking up with laughter for decades over their ability to peddle "trickle-down economics" to a trusting public.
But a surprisingly strong report just released by the prestigious Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) may cause the public to regard these wealthy snakeoil salesmen more skeptically in the future.
Essentially, the OECD report reveals the immensity of the trickle-down scam, which the report shows has not only failed to foster economic growth as promised, but has proved to be an overall killer of economic growth.
However you see it -- as separate from society or integral to it -- Canada's "economy" is increasingly at the mercy of a risk-averse, inept corporate elite addicted to government tax breaks, and an ideologically addled government which more than anything else is simply incompetent. It is a deadly combination -- a sort of dumb and dumber team slowly dragging us backwards at a time when the world is just hoping there won't be another economic collapse.
In this there is little that is really new. It just keeps getting worse, and seems that few in positions to challenge the situation or even expose it are willing to do so. It stems from both moral decay in academia, and political cowardice on the part of opposition parties afraid to seriously challenge the status quo.
Forbes Magazine ranks Angela Merkel the most powerful woman in the world. As German Chancellor, she is certainly the most visible woman leader. The magazine identifies Janet Yellen as the second most powerful woman in the world. Yellen heads the Federal Reserve Board, the U.S. central bank. She was previously Fed Vice-Chair before being nominated as Fed Chair by President Obama in 2013, and confirmed by Congress.