Thank you to a fine Australian who gave us a story this morning. Please read his story at http://wp.me/p5rgVm-2V
He got me to thinking. My response became much too long to post as a comment on his page. Here it is:
Now … I do believe this sounds much like stories I’ve heard about any-town, Canada. It seems long ago immigrant families were moved into certain parts of a town that the powers-to-be decided were not much good for anything else. Somehow, some entrepreneurial “wonky” had managed to pass off the odd former garbage dump or heavily polluted industrial area as a good place to raise a family or house seniors.
The seniors would only die anyway so why did it matter how they spent their final years. The immigrants were slightly more valuable because they would be expected to pay taxes and supply low-wage labour.
When the immigrants managed to succeed despite their less than ideal conditions more and more immigrants were forced into the same space. Soon they began to fight each other in order to protect the little plots they each needed to raise ther families.
The “wonky” meanwhile became greatly admired for his ability as an entrepreneur. He had shown superior ability to profit from a tract of crown land that was there for the taking. As everybody knows, or thinks they do, crown land is land that once belonged to a king or queen who already had way way too much land stolen from aboriginal people all across the world. Besides nobody was bothering to keep track of all that land any more and many plots in anytown, Canada had gradually been forgotten and sold off.
The council, or elected representative of the people as some like to call themselves, had the power to decide what to do with all that Crown Land. With the help of the “wonky” the council would make everybody happy. Soon it came to pass in Canada that her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II would no longer need to worry over all this land because it would all be gone, parceled out to deserving immigrants and other approved groups who could afford to pay for it.
As time went on the “wonky” would get rich, richer, richest, the immigrants would have homes and what passed for local business development agencies could brag about all the cheap labour they held in their local pool. Best of all, council would be able to raise more taxes from the immigrants and approved others. Then they could build themselves a beautiful big new chambers in which to plan new ways to raise taxes and votes.