Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March 16: A disgusting and ignorant editorial - but now I think I know who writes that type.

"Higher taxation harms economy"  shouts the head of the editorial. And it's all them there nanny social programmes. I've rarely seen a headline so disgusting on an editorial so reeking of ignorance of economics and even obvious facts and well known history.

This is meant, of course, to build up support for a budget that will let the rich off the hook again. And it gives the usual reason. It's private capital that creates wealth.

Well, yes, private capital can be very good at creating wealth - for the rich. But it does a terrible job of distributing wealth across the society. That's why the whole world is now in an economic crisis.

Check out Guatemala, Haiti, Congo, Ivory Coast, Egypt. What do they all have in common? Low taxes on corporations and wealthy people -and dreadful poverty for most people. Haiti has been living under a very pure form of capitalism with almost no taxes or regulations for the whole century it has been under American control. The result? It is the poorest country in the western hemisphere.

Check out the US ever since St. Ronald Regan began lowering taxes for the rich and de-regulation of big business. Lots of wealth has been produced - at the top. But there has also developed an enormous gap between a small number of very rich and hundreds of millions of poor.

There are now just one hundred supremely wealthy families in the US. They have more wealth than over 300,000,000 Americans all put together. That's a major reason why the US is in recession - and shows no sign of coming out of it. Wealthy Americans have looted their own country. The result is that many millions of people cannot earn enough to buy their products. That only way out of our crisis is to distribute wealth, not to give even more to the rich.

Canada has gone much the same route with a gap between a few rich and millions of poor so great that it will soon rival the US. The world is in an economic crisis? Good. This is a great time to go into the whole to for thirty billion or more for a handful of fighter planes that are of no use to defend Canada? (Also a great time to borrow money for a hockey rink and a CFL franchise.)

What is also happening now is that wealthy Americans have so thoroughly looted their own country, they are runniing out of places to invest their money. Thus the crisis. Why did they do that. Are they crazy?

No. They aren't crazy They're arrogant. They're greedy. And they can buy news media and politicians to spread their absurd ideas. Capitalism is destroying itself just as communism destroyed itself. That's what much of the violence in the middle east is about. Too many people have been exploited for too long by western corporations and their hired "kings" and "presidents". It might well happen here, too.

If it comes here, it will likely come in the form of a fascism combined with some variation of racism. Many of the signs of that are already showing.

Look - of course rich people play a role in creating wealth. But an even bigger part is played by the rest of us. Britain got rich in the industrial revolution because of appallingly cheap labour in Britain, and some of the worst living conditions on record. It also got rich by killing Boers in South Africa, and killing, torturing and using as cheap labour Blacks and Orientals all over the world.The capital that British corporations invested to build early twentieth century Canada came largely from gold, diamonds, farmland, oil looted from all over the world. It grew poppies on estates stolen from India, then forced China to buy a mimimum tonnage of it each year. That same pattern has been followed by the US, France, Belgium.

 New Brunswick has been built largely by its own people whose governments gave away or sold their forests at bargain prices, who loaned money to the rich at low rates, who guaranteed their bonds, and who paid to subsidize electricity for corporations. Oh, and who often had to work for very low wages.

Capitalism has done something to develop New Brunswick. It also took out a hell of a lot more than it put in.

I don't favour any economic system - capitalist, socialist, communist - in its pure form. All of them, in that pure form, will break down under human greed and corruption and stupidity. As in everything else, there has to be a balance of many elements within any successful economy; and that balance has to change as conditions change.

The editorial is right on only one point. New Brunswick has a nanny government. And that is a problem because it nannies the rich while doing very little for the common good.

The world is facing a crisis probably beyond our ability to understand. Societies are falling apart. The American empire and its economy are collapsing. New Brunswick is not immune to what is happening to the whole world. If we're to survive, we have to act in the interests of our whole society, not just those of the richest families. And time is very short.

But the editorial writer is on safe ground. The budget almost certainly will benefit the rich and punish the rest or us. But, at least, it's now possible from style and choice of words to figure out who writes these shameless editorials.

My guess, and I suggest it with regret, is Norbert Cunningham.

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