Editorial – Notice the smell?

Jeff Burgar

Naturally, the “hair on fire” folks are running around, going wild. Again!

Several weeks ago, as has been said by many observers, media was wrapped up in President Donald Trump’s impeachment. So, even though it was a few “sparks in the hair” so to speak, they never really noticed that same president was calling for stronger border closings and looking at stopping air flights from China. A few Democrats in the States, always on the prowl for things they could use to beat up Trump, said such calls were racist and outright bigotry.

Of course, today, that whole bandwagon of anti-Trumpers says he isn’t doing enough. And also of course, the hair is full-on ablaze.

Liberal media are split half-and-half. Half the reports are how bad this Covid-19 virus is. The other half are about how it is all Donald Trump’s fault.

News these days is all about making people excited. Bad news sells. Scaring people sells. Crime, accidents and bad happenings every week top our lists online of what are our most popular stories. Our conversations with other places people that track such things reveal the same.

In the end, it’s human nature. It’s wired into our DNA and part of our evolution. News that locusts are eating our crops got our ancestors excited. News the crops were in great shape sent them back to bed.

Our thinking is, take most of the news reports with a grain of salt. Keep an eye out, and hope that people closer to the situations can handle it. And remember, stock markets have just as many “hair on fire” people as do media organizations.

Our money at work

Before last week, the Alberta budget for the coming year probably looked decent enough to the movers and shakers writing it.

The day after it was released, on Feb. 27, the amount of money the government will take in through taxes, royalties, fees and all the little grabs at our pocketbooks seemed, well, just a tad optimistic.

But heck, governments are always optimistic.

But now, even the most optimistic in public are saying, behind closed doors, “Geez, talk about pie in the sky wishful dreaming!”

It’s always nice, in budgets from personal spending to small and big business, to small and big government, to have wiggle room. This budget continues much government spending. This gives Alberta a sort of buffer against all the other bad things happening here. Money does indeed go in circles. Covid-19 and its impact on global business probably wiped out any wiggle room in the Alberta budget five times over. Maybe more.

So the takeaway so far about the budget is simple. This budget looks like something Rachel Notley and the NDP would bring in. Seriously. But given the potential impact of Covid-19, that’s a good thing today.

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