I have a confession to make. I have a guilty pleasure.
I listen to Air America several times a week. I find it fascinating. It is so vitriolic. Regularly George Bush’s name is used in the same sentence as Mussolini. He orchestrated 9/11. He’s the devil. Then, just to prove its liberal credentials, ‘Leonard’ made the case a couple of days ago for legalizing sex with animals. After all, he said, we violate them by eating their ‘flesh’, sex wouldn’t be as bad, he said. I am not quite sure if that was tongue in cheek….
Anyway, after an hour or so of Air America, after I start getting a dull ache in the back of my neck, I find myself surfing over to Foxnews.com. The antidote for Air America.
We just don’t have anything like that in Canada. At least online. At least that I can find. Sure, we have Andrew Krystal but he’s just an radio version of Al Hogan. He rails against the ‘war’, ‘taxes’, ‘crime’, ‘big government’, ‘small goverment’. Basically a hodge podge made in Canada ideology that is sure to annoy everyone. Like most Canadians, he seems to want big government, but then again, he doesn’t.
You know what’s amazing about Air America and Fox News Radio? All the talk on Air America is extremely liberal but the advertising is total Republican envy. There are ads about bankruptcy, dealing with bad credit, becoming a millionaire, starting a home based business. I am not kidding. Meanwhile, Fox News Radio is highly conservative with conscience soothing, liberal advertising. They are running ads constantly about how to ‘do your part’ for global warming.
But I digress.
My point was that I was listening to Bill O’Reilly yesterday. He’s the grand puhbah of talk radio. He show is slick and, I have to admit, entertaining. It doesn’t really matter what he is saying. He could be sitting in for Martha Stewart – it would be interesting.
But he said yesterday something interesting. I am paraphrasing but it was basically this:
When I look at an issue, I do my homework. I study it from all sides. But when I finally take a position, I am almost always right.
When I heard him say this, I literally burst out laughing. I thought it was a joke. Who would say something like that? Iggy? Anyone?
Anyway, to my point.
I don’t know if I am right about economic development. Unlike O’Reilly, I do believe there are a number of different ways to skin a cat and what I think may or may not be right.
That brings me to the Miramichi. The Premier announced his support for the Miramichi this morning. They have set up a task force. They have assigned a BNB guy to do ‘seek and find’ for the Miramichi. They are helping FatKat.
I think this is a good idea but ‘seek and find’ what? The province has supposedly been ‘seeking’ and ‘finding’ for 30 years and aside from a few deals under McKenna after the base closure, there has been very little external business investment in the ‘Chi (other than retail services).
You could put an army on ‘seek’ and ‘find’. You could hire a whole sales team but what are they selling? What’s the value proposition? What has been done to build a ‘product’ in the ‘Chi that we can sell? What is it known for? Can we leverage existing assets?
I could be wrong but without a clear plan, serious investment and deliberate action, I don’t think that more smoke and mirrors will help.