Many of the readers of this column are not Canadian so they probably never heard of the Green Card Riots back in ‘Ought 8. Well let this article be sort of an overview of this deep subject matter.
Green cards are of course that valuable creation that Americans give out to their most valuable friends and collaborators. One green card allows a visitor to work in the United States of America doing a variety of jobs in that country for good old American Greenbacks.
Canadians, being so close, realize the importance of such an offering. After all, we too, realize that employment in the US is of course a zero sum game. That is for a Canadian to be employed in the US an American has to be unemployed. This dark side of the green card has been known to raise its ugly head especially around economic downturns.
Thus in ‘Ought 8, the huge financial downturn in the States meant that not only were projects not given over to the lowest bidder but instead to the most American of the bidders. Of course sights were next set on green cards. Thousands of green cards were slashed and made void, many of them to Canadians.
Now I don’t have to tell you what a blow this is to the Canadian psyche. Imagine losing all hope of spending a much warmer winter in balmy Buffalo or warm Minneapolis. Riots began in some of our largest cities, like Yellowknife, Pickle Lake and Waterloo.
In an effort to stem the violence it was suggested that the remaining green cards could get doled out via a fair lottery. The highest echelons of American power got wind of this plan. They not only rejected it but took back all those green cards which were going to be vied for in the lottery.
The riots spread to Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. There were calls to invade the States. But eventually the protests quieted down. And it became clear what was really happening. Canada wasn’t hit as badly as the US and the brain drain reversed. Even Conrad Black, Lord of all the pretentious things Canada isn’t, came back.
With all these ‘prize economists’ that returned, Canada now has to begin watching ten times as hard for securities and packaged investment products to be on the up and up. Sorry USA. We hadn’t realized the threat you were under all along from these so called ‘brains’. Maybe they’ll come up with a way that jobs aren’t a zero sum game. But I doubt that. I hear economists enjoy it most when they put fear into the heart of the populace.