Thursday, January 31, 2019

Say No to Bubble Boy

There are already more than enough galling stories circulating in Alberta's political scene to emphasize why Jason Kenney and his party are grossly unfit to exercise any power. But it's worth pointing out one more problem which matches the combination of deeply-rooted corruption and austerian disregard for the public good as a disqualifying factor.

Let's start with this story - which has mostly been discussed for the back-and-forth between Kenney and Rachel Notley on the issue of public service cuts, but which also contains this nugget:

In his speech Saturday, Kenney said that oil and gas had been a major driver of innovation in the Alberta. He argued that the province's economy has diversified in part because of, not in spite of, the energy industry.
...He said the energy industry could help bring cryptocurrency technology to Alberta. The computers used in the large-scale mining of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, require vast amounts of energy.

"Cryptocurrency could well be the backbone of the future digital economy. It depends on low-cost energy and we can provide that with our abundant hydrocarbon energy," he said.
And that's been followed up in turn with Kenney's call to eliminate any viability tests for Alberta real estate purchases as part of a general insistence on slashing public protections.

Which is to say that in a province too long defined by a dependence on resource bubbles as a substitute for any sustainable economic strategy, Kenney is bent on inflating more and worse if he gets the chance.
Even as Alberta wrestles with the long-term costs arising out of an oil industry which has refused to clean up its own messes, Kenney is pushing an industry whose sole purpose is to convert environmental destruction into captured wealth - and whose reliance on speculation in the absence of any substantive product makes regular busts an inevitable result.

And even after playing a role in government in the midst of the damage wrought by reckless mortgage lending which inflated both house prices and the risks assumed by people who ultimately couldn't afford them, Kenney wants to inflict exactly the same harm on Alberta.

So in addition to combining the worst elements of the PCs' entitlement and Wildrose's reactionary exclusion, Kenney also intends to tie the well-being of Alberta's citizens to the most reckless available forms of casino capitalism. And if voters choose to take such a foolish bet, the repercussions look to be felt far outside Alberta's borders.

No comments:

Post a Comment