Welcome to Canada! Give us your money.
That big bang you just heard wasn’t the garbage truck slamming your trashcans. It’s the marketing effort by a particular (recently-battered) industry targeting a particular community.
It’s the realization of something big. And that’s where the money is.
You see, there’s an entire cottage industry — no, strike that (silly me.) There’s a whole lucrative multi-billion dollar industry that’s been milking immigrants. It’s what I’ve started calling The Immigrant Market Industry (a full post on that later.)
The Immigrant Market Industry
Most of this ‘market industry’ is busy churning out magazines, seminars, sessions, counselling, researches, academic studies, periodicals and acres and acres forests worth of paper. The more you produce, reproduce and recycle, the more government funding you get, apparently.
But that’s not what this post is about.
Let’s take a sample from the Immigrant Market Industry milkers.
The Milkers and Shakers
On top of the food chain are the government-funded and ad-supported free glossy magazines which are franchised by top media giants like Toronto Star and that are run by pat-on-the-back, mutually congratulating representatives of the ‘Immigrant Community’.
They even have — I kid you not — fancy black-tie type Immigrant Awards ceremonies (a full post on that later, too.)
On the face of it, it all looks very touchy-feely and weepy-sobby and lump-in-throaty. You know, how nice… there are so many people and organizations competing with each other to make the new Immigrants feel right at home.
Nothing wrong with that, mind you.
Milk the Sheep, Feed the Beast
However, as someone with impeccable credentials of being a cynic, you clearly notice what’s greasing this well-oiled machinery apart from the well-meaning but oft misguided government grants. And what’s really at the (big) business end of those ear-to-ear smiles.
Notice the big ads with a nice ethnic family grinning and jumping for joy? Saw the nice foreign-looking kids eating and drinking and merrily rejoicing? Read the ‘testimonial’ of a hard-working man, fresh off the boat from an unpronounceable city who was helped by a nice lady (herself an immigrant?)
The Banks, my dear Watson.
Every reputable bank and their appointed telemarketing scammer in Canada is welcoming the newcomers!
Get them while they’re fresh and steaming with hope, waive them a few fees for a couple of months or so with asterisk-laden fine-prints, sign them up for a credit line or two, hook them up with a nice mother-tongue speaking officer, sell them a mortgage or two later, rope them in with incomprehensible interest and financial instruments, and Bob’s your uncle.
I love Market Economy!
First Published: July 27th, 2010