Editorial–New Year, New Faces!

If the start of the year is any indication, it’s looking like this could be a really good year for The Voice Magazine.  We’ve got inaugural entries from two new student writers, plus the return of our own award-winning Barbara Lehtiniemi to write about, well, writing for the Voice Magazine; a topic I can always get behind.

Also, this year brings back the Minds We Meet column, and so our feature article is an interview with none other than AUSU President, Brandon Simmons.

While we’ve interviewed him once before, that was shortly after he’d joined Council and was getting into the VPFA position.  Three years later, he’s had another addition to his family, has a lot more experience with AUSU, and is leading the organization as AU itself is in the midst of trying to transform itself.  We talk briefly with him about his goals for AUSU, his inspirations, and what brought him to the president’s position.

In the news this week, a lot of the talk is about the government shut-down in the US, and the effects its starting to have not just on government workers, but on those rely on them.

For me, what’s interesting about the situation isn’t the argument about funding a wall that started this, but rather the effects of a government shut-down.  I’ve always contended that most people who complain the most about their taxes are the same people who  don’t know all of the things that government does. If this stand-off in the United States continues, we’re going to be able to see, first hand, just how much of what we don’t notice in society we don’t notice because our public service is busy handling it.  I’m hoping it will be instructional.

I’m not arguing that there’s no waste or inefficiency in government. There’s probably quite a bit of it.  But all it takes is working for an oil company in Calgary for a few weeks to realize that, given the size of government, the amount of waste we hear about is amazingly small when compared to how much money government takes in and uses on the public’s behalf.  You would be hard pressed to convince me that private enterprise is any more efficient than government on a dollar for dollar basis.  Some argue that private enterprise fails if it’s inefficient, but that’s only true if it’s inefficiencies are larger than its profit.  Meanwhile, our government works with an opposition always looking for ways to not only find, but trumpet government waste, and a media that’s hungry for any such story in can put out—because, let’s be honest, stories of corruption and waste, especially of our own money, bring readers.

So knowing that, why not sit back, waste a few dollars of your company’s time reading through this issue of The Voice Magazine.  You can even call it “inspirational recharging” if you’re questioned.  Surely that’s not a waste, right?    Enjoy the read!

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