Our Elite quiz

Having been accused of being elitist by one of our readers Ww took the Margaret Wente Do you belong to an Elite Quiz. We only scored +20 which isn’t isn’t very high on the elitist ladder. Had we lived in Toronto and answered the Rob Ford question we would have scored an even zero! But this test of Margaret’s is really made for Ontario, even Toronto folk. We’ve come up with our own Wolfville version.

You buy your coffee at:  Just Us or Tans +20    Tims -20

Your degree is from:  W. of NB or outside Canada  +20       Atlantic Provinces -20 Who needs a degree?-40

You children have degrees from : West of NB  +20   Atlantic Provinces -20  No degrees -40

You like Anna Maria Tremonti   +20      Who?  -20

You wouldn’t be caught dead watching Dr Phil   +20  Love Dr. Phil  -20

You avoid shopping at Walmart  +20    Walmart prices rock -20

You are invited to the mayor’s parties +40  He crosses the street when he sees you coming -40

You think Michael Moore, Al Gore  and David Suzuki movies are documentaries +20   LOL -20

As Margaret points out:

“…despite all our self-congratulation about diversity, we live in a highly self-segregated society. The elites don’t live and work with everybody else. They live and work with each other. The result is that the Elites tend to have only a dim idea of how most ordinary folks live. …The second problem, as Mr. Murray pointed out, is that the new elite class is largely self-perpetuating. … Why do non-elites resent elites? Because they think the elites don’t understand them and don’t respect them. They can be right about that. They also tend to resent the elites of the liberal, nanny-statish variety who insist that they know better than the unwashed masses. This is the mentality of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, which voted to ban free toys with Happy Meals as a way of limiting childhood obesity.

Wente suggests in her piece that we are becoming a nation of intellectuals. Thomas Solwell called this “a chilling thought”. He warns us about intellectual elites whose products are only ideas, ideas which are untested by experience but which permeate and shape society These groups (adademia, media for e.g.)  consider themselves the smarter class. They think they know better than the  less intellectual, business, or producing classes, and therefore feel they have the right to lead us, to tell the rest of us what to to, and how to do it, by persuasion or legislation if necessary using government as its tool. As Solwell points out they are often very mistaken but can avoid the consequences of the failure of their ideas. It is often the intellectual class that has led us to disaster or the brink of disaster because their ideas have been faulty. The mundane, diffuse, consequential knowledge of the multitude of ordinary people doing what makes sense to them individually trumps that of the intelligentsia more often than not. That is why the market works when central planning even by the smartest people could not.

The culture chasm between the elites and non-elites is politically significant….

The most important decision is who makes the decisions.

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15 responses to “Our Elite quiz

  1. Awe, come on now, TAN coffee comes in a brown paper bag. So does a preference for brown paper bags make me elitist or just very old fashioned? (If our Mayor is also a paper bag man, I’ll have to change my habit.)

    The essential point is that there are too many highfalutin’ bureau-politico-aristocrats who think they know better than the rest of us how to spend our money and waste our lives.

    I think that I understand what Sowell is saying and agree with his essential point, I think, but I don’t like his choice of words. He would do better to refer to these over-privileged numb-nuts as the “intellectually arrogant”.

  2. Gee – you drink your coffee from a brown paper bag?

    • Good one! Actually an old brown-stained and very grotty mug…

      Yeah, I was reading the label on the TAN coffee bag… ’tis a bit pretentious. Guess I’ll have to collect my 20 elitist points.

  3. We wonder if Tans and Just Us really do for coffee growers what they claim any more than say the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia formed in 1927. But it’s good business in the town and they probably do pretty well.

    BTW – you probably wouldn’t qualify as an intellectual using Solwell’s rather specific definition. Or at least you are one of those rare exceptions.

  4. I am definitely not elitist. I don’t drink much coffee, prefer tea, black(or clear). What I do resent are all those green signs on town or village lawns that are not farmland. Farmers, in my opinion, are the salt of the earth and the most intelligent, pragmatic people around. I believe they should do what they want to do with their own, owned land. I would hate for anyone to tell me that I have to grow vegetables on my land because I have an acre of good farmland. As long as we don’t have access to a nearby gas station, I will budget my gas time. Good luck to the farmers who want to do something else with their land.

    Good grief to the length of time those ugly green protest signs stay up. Even politicians are not allowed all that time. If they stay there in the snow, I might even be tempted to start throwing them out with the garbage.
    “Unfair,” she said, on CBC. I say, “Sucks to be you, lady. Not much in life is fair.”

    • Hear hear! Farmers run businesses. How hard it must be to try to make a living with every two-bit townie-environmentalist looking over your shoulder?

      Environmentalism is a flaky psycho-political debasement of the real science that we call ecology. (Paul Colinvaux exposed this nuttiness for what it is way back in 1978.) Unfortunately, now that environmentalists have totally sullied one word, they are moving on to the next. Some of these environmentalist clowns are re-badging themselves with labels like “The Ecology Action Centre”. And so the great science of ecology is being thoroughly despoiled.

  5. William Zimmerman

    FYI The Ecology Action Centre has been around since the early 70s.
    Also, some of the opponents to the rezoning are active farmers.
    I would imagine that Mr. Sanderson is fundamentally opposed to the whole idea of “zoning” and “planning”.

    • There is zoning and there is re-zoning. As I recall you, Councillor Zimmerman, are in favour of rezoning for increased density in Wolfville. For example we believe you supported changing the R1 zone into a higher density zone. So we expect you cannot be against farmland being rezoned on the basis that all zoning is immune to change.
      Our point is that the members of that community should decide what they want their community to look like . This should be a matter resolved locally but we see everyone sticking their nose in other peoples business and livelihoods and making it an ideological issue.
      If policies in the province and the country made farming here profitable there would not be the same pressure for rezoning of agricultural land.

  6. With due respect to Mr. Zimmerman, I believe he is missing the point of Mr. Sanderson’s colourful commentary. Confusion is the mask of deception and what Mr. Sanderson appears to be complaining about are those he perceives to be pseudo-science a.k.a flaky psycho-political types masking as environmentalists etc., and debasing real science. Contrary to Mr. Zimmerman’s analysis, I would guess that Mr. Sanderson is repulsed by those who would use “zoning” in support of ideology and “planning” as imposed by elitists within a calculated pretence of public participation. Zoning should never be “changed” for reasons of political expedience. It must be approached with great care if not extreme caution. In order to “change” zoning there must be a consensus involving everyone who may be affected. If there is no consensus, the potential for harm and instability within our communities is great. The challenge for both Mr. Zimmerman and Mr. Sanderson is to understand and appreciate the legitimate perspective of the other. Within the challenge of ideas, one will never get anywhere by telling the other that he/she is full of “sh*t!” which is simply a non-starter to reasonable debate. Those who do this know who they are.

    • Exactly!

      I also agree that I do push things to a limit, sometimes. OK, often.

      I am not opposed to the whole idea of zoning and planning but I also put a lot of weight on freedom, for both people and business. I do think that certain groups have undue influence and they adversely impact liberty in the interests of their agenda. I do routinely challenge the reasoning of those who call themselves “planners”. In so much as I can discern the reasoning of politicians, I challenge them also. I do absolutely and totally object when science is routinely bastardized in the name of pushing very unscientific agenda’s (most of my objections have little to do with the Town of Wolfville, so very little commentary appears on WW).

      As to when the EAC was formed, I’ve been enlightened. Thank you Mr Zimmerman. I don’t know what policies EAC were pushing back in the 1970’s. I only know some of what they are pushing now. One of their recent documents was weighing in about forestry in this province. I lacked the time to fully analyze the report. However, searching for the word “profit” showed that the word was used in only two ways:
      (1) As an adjective in the sense of “the non-profit organization XYZ”
      (2) Tellingly, the EAC report otherwise used “profit” in the pejorative.

  7. Of course some farmers are objecting to rezoning. Those are the ones that have all that land and the signs that say “Not for sale at any price.” They also likely need all the land they have. The lands under dispute are an entirely different situation. And whose business is it anyway? Anyone should have the freedom to sell their land and use the money for retirement or to improve living conditions for their families.

    I’m hoping someone will protest the lack of amenities for all the new homes in Port Williams. We deserve at the very least a gas station and shopping area. New Minas is becoming as clogged as Halifax. Cars lined up from one end of town to the other.

  8. We too would rather see several small vibrant towns and communities with amenities within them instead of “planning” that forced growth and development into denser urban-like areas like New Minas. That way some people at least might be able to live and find work within their communities. Instead we see people and businesses being sucked out of small towns all over the province. When will small Town Councils wake up? They SAY they want to attract businesses and people to their town but then they institute policies which drive them away. And then they blame the Box Stores.

  9. Create an environment within which commercial activity is viable and businesses will grow and develop in a healthy manner. Create a town within which young families can afford to live and work; our schools will be saved and local business will benefit. How do we do this? Cut the WASTE and eliminate the BULL! Let the town be governed by voluntary trustees as opposed to LEECHES. Allow the trustees to see the books and examine all financial transactions. Would you believe that our so-called “elected” councillors have not done that? Reportedly, they are not permitted to view the books in order to SAVE US from the perils of political micromanagement. Our unelected CAO, who doesn’t live in the town, or pay taxes of any kind to the town, is the only person enabled to view the books. Have you ever heard such NONSENSE? One councillor openly acknowledges that taxes aren’t fair but, then again, life isn’t fair. There are “winners and losers” and “thank heaven for the losers” because for the rest of us this means lower taxes. In his words, the losers are at fault because they haven’t complained. How can they or could they complain when the books are hidden? Are you a winner or a loser? When dealing with corruption, one never can tell.

  10. William Zimmerman

    Parker Gibbs would appear to be an alias for George Townsend.

    • Or he’s repeating all his lines. And some other commenter used his name but wasn’t! Some have suggested that George Townsend was an alias for Bill Zimmerman. And some have suggested that George Townsend writes this blog. All very confusing. Will the real George Townsend please stand up?