Recommended Reading – Thursday, April 19th

Apr 19, 2012 by

Students Don’t Know How Good They have It  (Frontier Centre for Public Policy)

“What is it about Quebec university students that, from one cohort to the next, they don’t know how good they have it?

Nearly 175,000 students are currently boycotting classes, for which they pay only about 10 per cent of the cost, in protest against the Charest government’s intention to increase undergraduate tuition fees for Quebec students by $325 a year over the next five years.

In taking to the streets – invading métro stations, disrupting traffic and even sacking the office of Education Minister Line Beauchamp – students have crossed the line from expressing their own freedom of speech and assembly to disrupting the lives of the very citizens and taxpayers who pay their bills.

Beauchamp, for one, isn’t for the turning. “Don’t expect me to give in to intimidation,” she said in a weekend interview.

Good, the government needs to show some steel. This is not Quebec’s Arab Spring; it’s only a step removed from anarchy.

And here’s the thing: even when the tuition increases are fully implemented, for a total increase of $1,625 over the five-year period, Quebec will in all likelihood still have the lowest tuition rates in the country. Only Newfoundland and Labrador is even close to Quebec’s rockbottom tuition fees.”   (Click here to read more)

What’s Right  (Gods of the Copybook Headings)

“Right or Left should be understood not as rigid philosophical definitions, something they were never intended to serve, but instead as rough and relative approximations. When someone says that it is cold outside we typically understand their meaning, even though they have not given an exact celsius or Fahrenheit reading. If it is summer and a perhaps they say that it is cold, we understand it to mean colder than average for that time of year. Same would go for saying something is blue or red. It’s a distinction good enough for casual discussion, though not for any kind of rigorous analysis.

Through out the English speaking world the term Right is generally used to describe positions that are skeptical of big government, supportive of private enterprise and respectful of social traditions. This is a broad and sprawling portion of the ideological landscape that includes most people who describe themselves as conservative, libertarian and classical liberal. The Right share common intellectual tendencies, a usual preference for individualism for instance, and typically vote for political parties that describe themselves as “right-wing.”

The modern anglosphere Left is typically supportive of big government, skeptical of private enterprise and regards most social traditions as irrational hold-overs from the receding past. The term covers diverse groups including moderate liberals (and Liberals), social democrats, socialists and even those further afield into the realm of communism. Like the Right the Left share common intellectual tendencies, preference for collectivism over the individual at least in economic matters, and typically vote for parties that describe themselves as “left-wing.”" (Click here to read more)

Flunking Both Moral and Economic Tests (Foundation for Economic Education)

“If compulsory unionism were put to a moral test, it would flunk without debate. Forcing a worker to join and pay dues to an organization he doesn’t want to represent him is a manifest violation of that worker’s free will and right of contract. It so happens that it also fails the economic test.

You don’t have to take my word alone. If you want to read a gripping story of one man’s David-versus-Goliath battle against Big Labor, read the new book by David Bego, The Devil at My Doorstep. It chronicles his company’s lengthy, costly, but ultimately successful effort to prevent the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) from dragooning his employees into its ranks.

Faced with repeated failure to convince Bego’s workers to unionize, the SEIU mounted a vicious campaign of violence, intimidation, and smears. The story reads like a novel of horrors. Because it’s true it ought to raise alarm among all citizens that such a powerful and politically well-connected group can often get away with it.”  (Click here to read more)


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