Pro-tip: fix the problem, not the protests of the problem


Quebec recently imposed a gigantic student tuition hike. Students and others have been protesting for the past 14 weeks. Some of these protests have escalated into full-out riots, apparently thanks once again to police escalation. To try to curtail the protests, a new bill was made — Bill 78.

Intended to restore order and settle the three-month-old student crisis, Bill 78 requires protest organizers to provide eight hours of warning for events, including a detailed itinerary, or be subject to heavy fines running into the thousands of dollars.

The Liberal government’s legal solution to its tuition hike conflict has had the opposite effect, fuelling the growing student movement.


Yesterday has a good example of how it looks like a systemic attempt to ratchet up the violence by the anti-protester side: police pepper-spraying some apparently paying customers at a bar patio. What set them off? Evidently, one of the patrons insulted the jack-booted thugs.

So the problem is that students are striking, and the intended effect of the gigantic tuition hike — more money for the government — is actually having the exact opposite effect, drying up the revenue stream. What’s with the intentional escalation, then? Bill 78 couldn’t do anything even remotely like helping!

What might help, on the other hand, is eliminating tuition altogether, paying for that education via a capital gains tax. Quebec currently has a 0% rate of tax on capital gains. People making money from money are not taxed, but people trying to obtain an education are. This ties in quite well with my post on the Experience Privilege.

Comments

  1. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    My personal hypothesis is that our PM, the obviously corporate-corrupted Jean Charest, is using the special law and the protests to hide other news.

    News like his giving away our natural ressources in the north for free to corporate thugs in exchange for hefty “donations” to his party.

    Or like his party’s links with the engineering firms involved in the complicated and corrupt world of public infrastructure contracts, which are under examination.

    It succeeded. A majority baby boomers consider the protesters as unruly, spoiled children who must be beaten into submission in the name of “social peace”. And that the invisible Charest (strangely, he is most popular when he is not seen) is the only one who can act as a good “family head” (puke).

  2. says

    That’s a damn good analysis, kemist. People forget that Charest was a Progressive Conservative (one of the last elected before the party fell apart), and joined the federalist Liberals shortly before his old party joined up in the Alliance. The less people remember about him, and the less his present paternalist corporate cronyism is noticed, the better.

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