Off topic:Congratulations to Matt Bellamy.
Matt is the reason I majored in History while I was at Carleton University (I was an uninspired Financial Economics Major before that) and was a big influence on rounding out my views on Government and Business relations. When I arrived at Carleton I had a very defined view on how Government and Business interaction should be – essentially the Government should get the heck out of businesses way. Matt taught and showed me, with numerous historical examples, a much more pragmatic way of looking at Governments adventures in (or with) business. His discussion were always fair and often he would play devils advocate much to the distress of the class who tried to pin him down on his own views.In fact it got to be so bad that I actually went and read his PHD Thesis (which spawned the winning book), which at the time was housed in the basement of the Carleton University Library. Much to my surprise, I found out how wrong I could be about Government getting into business, all of this was due to the writings of Matt Bellamy.In Profiting The Crown: Canada’s Polymer Corporation, 1942-1990 Matt discusses the story of Polymer Corporation. A Crown Corporation founded during the Second World
War to develop synthetic rubber for the Allies after the Japanese invasion of Southeast Asia cut off our access to rubber trees. C.D. Howe (The Minister of Everything) created Polymer using the Chemical industries top professionals who in a patriotic manner worked for only a dollar a year. Howe created a powerhouse – at the end of the war Canada sold of nearly all its War Industries (usually at a loss) but kept Polymer. Unlike most of the Crown Corporations Canada has had (Air Canada, CN Rail, CBC etc.) Polymer was nearly always profitable – even during recessions. The company was so profitable made it onto the back of the Ten Dollar Bill – it was roaring success and bucked the trend of inefficient Government Business attempts.The book is a great read and though the subject matter sounds dry, its actually a very informative and interesting, I highly recommend it. Matt is joining some excellent Canadian writers who have previously been recipients of the award such as: Naomi Klein, Duncan McDowell & Michael Bliss. Well Done!