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Yesterday, I used three examples of how Nova Scotian political and business elites have utterly failed in three mega economic development schemes: offshore gas, Atlantic Gateway and the Commonwealth Games. What these schemes have in common is the idea that they're a simple solution to all our perceived problems--- a pony, if you will, that will miraculously gallop in carrying gas, trade or tourists galore, and we can hop right on and ride to economic nirvana.

Of course, in order to realize the full potential of these schemes, we'll have to give a gazillion dollars to our betters, the connected people, who will always know best and be able to make it all work out just fine, and don't question them, or you're a naysayer who hates progress.

Invariably, as we've seen, the schemes collapse, because generally in life there are no ponies. Oh, you can tweak this or that scheme for a long, long time, decades, even--- you tell the public you're constantly working, but the pony never quite arrives for the little people; there's always some reason the pony never quite arrives, and it usually has to do with the "obstructionism" of the pesky public that insists on a clean environment or on responsible oversight of finances or on workplace safety or on a reasonable return for the people who pay taxes to pay for the pursuit of the dream, and all these concerns are "socialism" or an "anti-business bias" or what have you. Anti-pony.

It really doesn't matter, though, because pursuit of the dream is almost as important as actually achieving it, at least for the very small group of connected insiders. There are contracts to be divvied up, management consulting fees, real estate transactions, ACOA subsidies, etc, etc, etc. Lots and lots of money at stake, all of it coming from the taxpayers, all of it going to the elites. That's the game. Ponies don't actually have to arrive; simply hoodwinking the public is enough, so they'll accept the game.

Later today I'll outline a different view of a healthy economy, one that brings relative prosperity to all of us, not just the elites.

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xxx - Deprecated in favor of GTM, above.