• 3 Posts
Joined 1 year ago
Cake day: June 16th, 2023


  • Saskatchewan is the birthplace of the NDP (Canada’s social democratic party), universal public healthcare (ever heard of Tommy Douglas?), and historically one of the pillars of the labour movement. It’s now the most conservative province, but still has tons of new immigrants, racial and cultural diversity, good education, and well funded government services. The SK NDP ruled almost continuously from 1971 to 2006.

    SK is much more like midwestern farm states that were formerly pro-labour pro-union hotbeds but are now more moderate or conservative, like Iowa and Wisconsin.

  • I don’t think Canada has an Alabama. As conservative as they are, Alberta is wealthy, highly educated, and they frequently vote for women and POC. They like “small government”, but also have some of the highest paid government workers in the country. I just don’t see much similarity.

    I think the comparison to Texas is more apt because they’re both conservative petro states with center left suburban sprawl cities.

  • Vacancy is pretty much zero across the major Canadian cities. We have the lowest housing per capita in the G7. There is objectively not enough housing in Canada and it’s absolutely delusional to say otherwise. Is this wishful thinking just a form of NIMBYism? Do you own a SFH and you want to “preserve the character” of your neighbourhood or something?

    Where are you getting that building more homes will disproportionately help realtors and speculators? Even non-market housing, like co-ops and social housing? How in the world does that even work?? Why would speculators like that? I hate speculators, but your theory makes no sense whatsoever!

    There is not a single urban economist, right or left, who agrees with you. With beliefs like this so widespread, it’s no wonder we don’t enact any policies to actually help with the housing crisis.

  • As you can see from my original comment, I’m no knee-jerk defender of private sector innovation, but I don’t think I agree with this. I love open source software, but the UI is often clunky and unintuitive, like Gimp or LibreOffice. Even when it’s good, it’s often because it mimics the major commercial software.

    The heuristic I have is, when the end result benefits from communal information sharing, public is hands down better than private. We have an opioid crisis today because privatized proprietary medical research didn’t receive the same scrutiny from the scientific community as public research. Science and secrecy are incompatible.

    But when the end result benefits from a small group of opinionated people getting their way, private can sometimes be better. And good design is more like the latter.

  • I would go further: the idea that great research comes out of the private sector is a myth perpetuated by self-aggrandizing corporate heads. Even most AI research is the result of decades of academic work on cognitive science coming out of universities. (The big exception is transformer technology coming out of Google.) mRNA vaccines are based on publicly funded university research too. All the tech in smartphones like GPS and wifi comes from publicly funded research. The fact is, science works best when it’s open and publicly accountable, which is why things like peer review exist. Privatized knowledge generation is at a disadvantage compared to everyone openly working together.

    The private sector is very good at the consumer facing portion of innovation, like user experience, graphical interfaces, and design. But the core technologies, with rare exception, almost never came out of the Silicon Valley.