Progressive? No thanks … or at least only if I’m at the helm …

The other day I had a somewhat depressing run in with our city councillor who mistook his election as a mandate when it was a strong rejection of the development mad woman whom he replaced. We discussed two recent neighbourhood changes: one, the ludicrous changes to the traffic light around the corner to dis-allow right turns on red and demarcate a bicycle waiting zone that never has any bicycles in it, but a long line of idling cars behind the green paint, waiting to turn; and two, the addition of signs reminding folks it is illegal to panhandle on the highway off-ramp nearby.

Now having explained that the no-right turn on red had increased both smog and the danger to the school kids crossing at the light because now cars can only turn when pedestrians can cross and those cars are now full of much more impatient and irritated drivers and those kids are more full of smog, he actually said that they were looking at it and intended to add to the beginning of the pedestrian crossing times a time when cars could not turn right as well. So his proposed solution would actually make both the issues we complained about even worse. Longer idling wait times and more anger from the drivers.  We have lived here for 25 years and the intersection was “improved” over the course of a couple of years and you can tell by the increased squealing tires and honking that the peculiar lane markings and cement island have really made it a pleasure to navigate. And yes, people have hit the added island and so has the snow plow of course.

Already distressed by the lack of logic this response demonstrated as well as a certain inability to actually listen to a constituent and be at least diplomatic, he somehow launched into apologizing for the do not pan-handle signs, which I have been pleased by. It is a really sad business, and I mean business, that runs these “homeless” men. They clearly are pimped out, share a bicycle and a cardboard sign, and have shifts, a sentiment the councillor readily agreed with. Both the Shepherd’s of Good Hope and the Mission here in Ottawa have asked people not to give them money. I have personally been wanting to paint “do not feed the bears” on the overpass. If you pay people to lurk on the off-ramp with a Tim Horton’s cup, you will get people lurking on the off-ramp. It is a pretty lucrative spot too, if you do the math on their hourly take. But there is no dignity or future in this. And these gentlemen have demonstrated an ability to stay on their feet for hours while almost working. Sell me a gall-darned pencil at least you nitwits! But back to the councillor. He apologized for those signs and started saying, “Progressives like us …” but I was retreating in horror.

Now it seems to me that the last thing a progressive would do is hand a beggar a dollar with no strings attached, and it would appear that not only am I right, a progressive would have probably wanted to sterilize them on the spot and have them slowly starve. But don’t take my word for it, as other people have said it much better:

 Thomas Leonard on Race, Eugenics, and Illiberal Reformers

EconTalk Episode with Thomas Leonard

Hosted by Russ Roberts


Were the first professional economists racists? Thomas Leonard of Princeton University and author of Illiberal Reformers talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book–a portrait of the progressive movement and its early advocates at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. The economists of that time were eager to champion the power of the state and its ability to regulate capitalism successfully. Leonard exposes the racist origins of these ideas and the role eugenics played in the early days of professional economics. Woodrow Wilson takes a beating as well.

You knew it was bad, but maybe not this bad … but when you hear a self-proclaimed progressive wanting to raise the minimum wage, you just might want to think twice about what the initial intent of the policy was, and how it might even lead to beggars on the off-ramp.

So have a nice regressive day.


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2 Responses to Progressive? No thanks … or at least only if I’m at the helm …

  1. xty says:

    Good Tuesday Morning.

    So I had to go and see if it really is that bad … we have come to a strange place in this modern world and while there are a some pretty darned uncomfortable moments I think those who object to this fail to see what is going on, and perhaps missed the second scene … and can it really be that “consent contracts” have been invented? And yet we laugh at the “temporary marriage certificate” in other cultures. But I babble without details. It just caught the corner of my mind that someone had rewritten the lyrics to this flirtatious song:

    And baby, it is cold outside!

  2. xty says:

    Well, I guess I was a few days early, or just the universe’s good old sense of humour.

    – 22 C.


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