Is This Progress? This Is Progress.

What Is Kaputall?

Oxford defines Kaput as "broken and useless; no longer working or effective" - similar to our unbalanced economic system. This is a page dedicated to the intersection of capitalism and social, political, and environmental problems.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Bridging the Gap

In the past week I've visited all the places I've lived in the past two years. Ottawa, Shawinigan, Montréal, Québec, Hamilton. It was a whirlwind and I'm still recovering from all the feelings I'm having. Nostalgia, frustration, fatigue, uncertainty. Everything is in a state of change, and despite my best efforts to try to stem the tide of constant interruptions to my life, I am at the mercy of so many forces right now.

John Lennon famously said that life is what happens when you are making other plans. When I was younger I remember finding the quotation to be curious, but seeing that I didn't really have any life experience, it didn't resonate with me as it does now. I've moved more in the past eighteen months than most people do in their lives. And I'm not done. Somehow I thought my adventures of moving around were coming to a close, but I know they will never end. I'm just recalibrating my expectations.

I've been fortunate. I don't mean to disparage the changes that have happened. Most of them have been positive, particularly around my career. I'm lucky to be a teacher who has work. I know many who don't and I don't want to convey the spirit that I am not privileged. I know I am. But I'm also tired. The aforementioned whirlwind has sucked a lot away from me. As I consider my next move, I know I have a lot to contend with, not the least of which being thinking about my friends and family.

I have an offer before me from my current board, and again I know how lucky I am, and others to come. In most scenarios I'll be moving; it's simply of matter of where and how far. Not long ago I wrote about coming back to Southwestern Ontario, to having a reliable position, and to settling down with a partner, friends, and family. Things change, and while it may be difficult, it is also the impetus for so many positives.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

It's Up To You

It’s the day of the election in Ontario and there’s much at stake. Those close to me know I’m passionate about citizenship and being politically active. Voting is one of the many important ways we communicate our desires and hopes a democracy.

This may have been said numerous times before, but this election is critical for our province. It’s unfortunately because, largely, there are no great options at first glance. Getting into the issues of this election, however, should reveal to most Ontarians that there is a clear public threat presented by the Progressive Conservatives.

Tim Hudak and his so-called “million jobs plan” has been polarising to say the least. While it promises the return of manufacturing jobs to Ontario, it has been attacked from all angles for its misrepresentation of economic data. Whether or not any of it is true is, seemingly, irrelevant since many Ontarians are clamouring to support the PCs regardless.

Therein lines a serious problem. Ontarians, like people in all parts of the world, are worried about the economy. Finance seems to make up a substantial part of nearly every discussion that takes place in our modern world, and is often the deciding factor in decisions that have serious social or environmental impacts.

I’m no stranger to this as my blog, Kaputall, is all about exploring the degree to which capital plays a role in our lives.

Thinking about money isn’t a bad thing. It’s sensible. But not to the exclusion of other serious considerations. What’s particularly worrying is that in an attempt to focus on so-called “fiscal responsibility” we tend to go after the public good. This is based on an ill-informed notion that the reason why our economy is struggling is because we spend too much on social services. Rather, public ledgers tend to have problems because of mismanagement, public-private partnerships, military spending, corporate tax breaks, and other expenditures that offer less direct benefit to average citizens.

I’m deeply concerned about the PCs. That’s why I voted. And I hope everyone I know who reads this will go out and vote today. Last week I went to the advance poll because I knew I was going to be missing election day. I was the only person in the polling station under sixty and I got a puzzled look from the Elections Ontario staff. Not only did I vote, but I also registered to vote having not been resident in Ontario recently.

I challenge all young people to stand up against the stereotype that we do not vote. That we are not impassioned. That we are apathetic. That we can be persuaded not to take an interest.

As the proverb goes – just because you don’t take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics doesn’t take an interest in you.