Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Quebec Shoots Itself In The Economic Foot (Again)

Panneau arrêt au Québec                 Image via Wikipedia
Tasha Kheiriddin has an article in the National Post entitled "Quebec chooses language purity over prosperity".  So far, so good. You can file this under "tell us something we don't already know".

(In Canada, you don't have to work for prosperity; it's a right. We are reminded of this every time there's an election as the parties fall over themselves to offer us unearned, undeserved entitlements under the magical understanding that someone else will pay for them.  If you fail as a person, you are entitled to no-questions-asked welfare; if you fail as a province, ditto; it's called equalization payments. So, making rational choices that lead to prosperity at either the personal or provincial level is not a Canadian priority, and Canada is structured as a nation to subsidize failure and penalize success.*)

Then, this:
But these newcomers don’t all speak the language of Moliere. The challenge for Quebec is to attract people who do, or are willing to learn.  Fair enough: to work and advance, immigrants require a solid grasp of their new country’s main language.  Otherwise they risk becoming a burden to the state.
Memo to Tasha: the country's main language is English, not French -- and that is the language in which these immigrants in fact wish to raise their children. French is, for better or worse, a distinctly secondary language; you can file this one under "facts of life".

Learning English gives you access to the world; learning French gives you access to a much narrower slice of it. It is rational for parents to want to give their children the best possible advantage in life, and it is perverse and mean for the French-speaking authorities in Quebec to seek to deny parents this right.

No wonder Quebec suffers a people-drain.

*Note: I am not against welfare for the truly needy. I know of persons who are handicapped in one way or another and am happy to support them with my tax dollars.

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"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"