Those greedy US carriers. Or not.

Because of those greedy US carriers, Telus is going to have to raise the price of a text message to the US from 25 cents to 40 cents, an increase of 60%. Yes, the most expensive form of communication in the world (or possibly the universe) is going to be even higher.

Strangely, the cost to send a message from a US carrier is only half of that at 20 cents, along with some excellent “calling in Canada” plans that have no equivalent in Canada. Perhaps it is really the Canadian carriers that are greedy?

Perish the thought. Canadians are constantly assured that Canadian telecom companies are competitive with the best in the world, and Canadians should be very happy.

Or not.

If there’s really a labor shortage…

… then why aren’t wages rising?

It’s basic supply and demand economics. If there is a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, oil companies immediately issue press releases about supply shortages and the gas prices rise within minutes.

But for some reason, despite claims of labor shortages in the tech industry among others, wages aren’t rising:

But wages in the tech industry are rising more slowly than those in the economy as a whole. For example, pay for applications software developers, a speciality in high demand, have risen just 8.9 percent in the five years through mid-2012, compared with a 12.5 percent increase for all occupations in the US economy.

So why doesn’t the labor market follow basic economics? Or is there more to this story?

What’s good for the goose.

There has been a big flap in Canada about RBC, one of Canada’s handful of chartered banks, replacing Canadian employees with cheaper foreign labour. I’m oversimplifying, but that’s pretty much the gist of it.

The mandate of any company is to maximize shareholder value, and one way to do so is to cut costs. Of course another way is to not increase the CEO’s pay while slashing th0se Canadian workers, but corporate boards never seem to see that as a problem. So yes, outsourcing is indeed moral and correct from a financial point of view.

Here’s the thing though. If a Canadian corporation can outsource their needs to a foreign company and its workers, then why can’t a Canadian citizen?

Living in Canada, I am forced to deal with one of the handful of Canadian banks, protected from competition by the government. The same is true of Canadian telecom companies, with some of the highest rates and lowest bandwidth caps in the world. The reason given for this one is to protect Canadian culture, which has allowed these companies to become multimedia behemoths, also protected from competition.


If we agree to let RBC do it, then why can’t I? I’d like to outsource my telecom needs to AT&T or Verizon. I’d like to outsource my banking needs to Wells Fargo. But I can’t.

If the government isn’t going to protect the jobs of Canadians (which is fine because they really have no specific mandate to protect existing jobs) then I simply expect to have the same rights that Canadian corporations have.

I’d like to outsource my requirements too.

But where’s my flying car?

When I was a kid, the magazine Popular Mechanics promised that in the next century (AKA this one) we would all have flying cars.

I’m still waiting.

But thankfully, courtesy of the future that actually occurred, I can order from Pizza Hut without leaving the comfort of my Xbox screen. I can even do it with Kinect using motions.

Clearly that is far superior to the flying car. Now if only it could be printed on a 3D printer right in my kitchen.

We don’t talk anymore.

When I learned about Science there was this thing called the Scientific Method. You formed a hypothesis, then created and ran tests that proved or disproved the hypothesis. Others could run the same documented tests to prove or disprove your hypothesis as well.

Now scientists just whip up a computer model to prove their hypothesis. It doesn’t have to work in the real world, or fit with actual facts. And if you disagree with their hypothesis, they just delete your comments.

Regardless of what you believe, if you have any knowledge of actual science, then you know that a statement like “the science is settled” is anathema to actual science.

We no longer talk to each other, or discuss anything. We just yell at each other, like children. I long for the days when we could enjoy calm, rational conversation about contentious topics.

I’m reasonably certain that it isn’t a case of I’m right or you’re right, but a truth that lies somewhere in between.