Where I grew up, our next door neighbours were Louise and Paul Buss. Paul was an immigrant and an engineer. He and his brother invented the process for making spun rock wool.
The Busses built Spun Rock Wools Ltd. in Thorold, manufacturing the insulation and selling it all around the world. Later the whole shebang was sold to Rockwool International. Spun rock wool is Roxul, which you may well have purchased if you were doing any renovations involving insulation.
And yet the Busses lived next door to the relatively impoverished McKays, in if anything a smaller house, although situated on the corner. This wealthy successful man who owned a factory and an international business, who had made valuable contributions to both technology and the economy, was just a neighbour to me. And there it is. Rich and poor, workers and factory owners, we all lived similar lives in the same neighbourhood in much the same housing.
Just a couple of doors down from me was built a conspicuously consumptive mini-McMansion covered in “security” lights and with a crowded driveway. In that house lives someone prosperous enough to be a model of consumerism. And what has that person done, for the world, for the economy? He owns a clothing line… That’s it. He has a brand, marketing and subcontractors.
And somewhere in that difference at either end of fifty years, I think I see what is wrong with our economy.