This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Verily, It Maketh The Heart Glow

Well, Canadians just love it, that their government is generous to a fault with their hard-earned tax dollars. Just being droll. Fact is, Canadians don't mind all that much paying stiff taxes when they can be assured that the lucre their government collects from them is used to good cause and good effect. For the services we require as a civilized, free and responsible society. From education to health care and social services for the needy among us.

And, lest we seem too inward-looking, too unfortunately parochial in this great wide world, to assist and help fund needs in other, less developed, less fortunate countries than ours. So, to read the results of data out of The Commitment to Development Index produced by the Washington-based Center for Global Studies, that Canada ranks fifth among the 21 wealthiest countries of the world in international usefulness, makes us feel pretty good.

Fact is, we know we're well off and we're grateful for that fact. Fact is, we understand our international obligations, the very thought of our wonderfully(?) wasteful way of living weighs heavily upon our collective conscience and to appease our sense of guilt we offer what we can to those so much less fortunate than we, with good grace and a sense of unburdening ourselves somewhat.

The index measures, on an annual basis, how the world's wealthy nations weigh in on their policies and responses to deliver needed support for the developing world in seven key areas. Aid, trade, investment, migration, security, technology and the environment. That about covers every aspect of perceived need, wouldn't you say? And Canada is right up there with the best of the do-good achievers.

We're fifth in ranking, with The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Norway before us, in that descending order. So good on us, all of us, eh?

Understandably enough, countries such as Japan with protectionist mindsets disallowing the importation of goods from developing countries in opposition to their own manufacturers and growers, are right down there at the bottom of the list. Trade barriers imposed on the hopes of trade for developing countries are a distinct no-no. And down there on the bottom, next to Japan are Greece and Italy.

Isn't there always a fly in the ointment when you begin to chortle too enthusiastically about how wonderful you are and someone patiently points out your deficits? Well, for Canada it's all about the environment and our failures in that arena. For lower taxes on gasoline (consumption), fishing subsidies encouraging taking of dwindling stocks, and high pollution per-person level, effectively lowering our otherwise-sterling performance.

We're getting there, though, and in the process learning about how to improve our performance. We can follow the example of uber-sterling Norway which, although the largest exporter of natural gas in the world, was ranked first in the environmental category for offsetting its downside by expanding forests and working to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Catching up...getting there...puff-puff... Waaait! for us!

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