Saturday, January 22, 2011

Jan. 22: The newspaper and the meaning of news

Perhaps the only journalistically honest fearure of North American newspapers is the weather report. There, they just tell us what they have learned is likely to happen. Today's forecast is windy. The papers don't offer any opinion for or against wind. They just tell us it's going to be windy and, with that information we make up our own minds about how to react.

That's so much better than an editorial that offers an opinion with no news on which we can decided anything at all.

Today's editorial is about "Cutting spending is the best option".

The reasons given for cutting spending rather than raising taxes are two - both vague.

One reason given is that cutting spending would discourage the government from wasting money. No, it wouldn't.

It would be helpful here, for example, if the newspaper had been giving us precise news about where money is being wasted - and on whom. How much money goes to private companies? To do what? Do certain companies get more of these contracts than others? Is money ever given away to private companies in the form of subsidies for mills? Or of bargains, even giveaways, concerning crown forests? What about subsidies for corporations that use lots of electricity?

Now I think of it, the government must have contracted professionals in recent years to keep an eye on Moncton High School. Who got those contracts? What did they cost? What were their reports? Did they warn of the serious state is was in? Could we see their reports?

Any differences in law firms hired by Liberals as compared to Conservatives? What do they cost?

And exactly what is it the editorial writer would like to cut? He/she claims to be against HST because it would hurt the poor. Well, it would. And, as we all know, the Moncton Times has a deep concern for the poor, especially for poor millionaires who need subsidies. But if we cut spending, wouldn't we have to cut services that the poor urgently need? Could the editors be a little more clear on exactly what they would cut - and how much this would save? And at whose expense?

Oh, and has it ocurred to the editors that the HST is not the only form of tax? I wonder if there's any room to cut services for the rich and raise taxes for the rich.

And please don't feed us the bilge that the rich create jobs and wealth. The rich in the US have gone wild for decades now in getting a bigger and bigger share of the nation's wealth. But it has not spread that wealth. Indeed, it has done quite the opposite so that the us now has close to 20% of its people below the poverty line..And we have not begun to see the worst of it.

Corporations and investors who come to NB do not come here to create jobs and wealth. I don't know how to break this to those innocent souls at the Moncton Times; but big corporations and wealthy people come here to take away as much wealth as they can in the form of resources, cheap labour, and our tax money.

So how abot giving us more information, and less  opinion? Save your windy moments for the weather forecast.

No comments:

Post a Comment