Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April 5: it's them there poor people what's causin' all the trouble

Read it. "City must hold line on wages" is today's editorial. It seems city workers and their conniving union won an increase in their contract  - and it is almost a whole one percent more than the editor thinks it should be.

I would have more respect (though still not much) for that editorial writer if he/she had ever made a similar complaint about out leading people in private business. For at least thirty years, the incomes of the very rich have been skyrocketing, even in the recession. When banks failed in the US due to their own shoddy practices, the government gave them at least hundreds of billions of dollars from the tax payers. The senior executives promptly gave each other bonusses of milions of dollars for the fine work they had done.

The editorial writer rails at people whose raise amounts to a few hundred dollars a year (much of it already gone on new taxes). It makes no mention that Moncton council will happily tax us (with cheers from The Moncton Times and Transcript) to give away money to billionaires - as in the form of a hockey rink and other perks for the right people.

For thirty years, we have been watching a steady growth in poverty in Canada, and a steady and rapid rise in the "wages" of the very rich. Would the editorial writer have the guts, the integrity, or even the wit to write about that?

The very wealthy are using the recession to complete their looting of North America. Their device is the argument that letting them get richer is the road to prosperity. And so it is - for them. If cutting taxes for the rich and cutting social services is what makes a nation prosperous, then Congo, Haiti, Guatemala and others would be the richest countries on earth. Billions of dollars have been taken out of those countries. They have virtually no taxes, no services, no education, no health care. Whatever they have is what it pleases private business to give to them. So it doesn't give them anything.

Cutting taxes for the rich and for corporations will not create prosperity. It never has. It never will. Cutting social services will create more unemployed to join the misery of those who are already unemployed.

When Belgium took over the Congo almost a hundred and fifty years ago, it extracted billions of dollars in natural resources, enslaving, torturing and starving millions of people. (The reason it gave for taking The Congo was that it would Christianize and civilize the people. True enough, that is the way our Christian civilization behaves.)  Western countries (including Canada) are still there, and will stay there until it is bled dry. They pay extremely low wages, virtually no taxes. They just loot, and the Congolese live in poverty.

Check the growth of the income gap in Canada and the US. Watch this recession being used to make the gap even bigger by cutting taxes for the rich, breaking unions, cutting government - except for its role in letting big business fill its pockets.

Watch the current budget fight in the US Congress to see what's planned for us.

That, Mr./Ms. editorial writer is what the "real world" is like. That sort of greedy and selfish power has already made democracy close to a farce (thus the spectacle of our current federal election.) At the present pace, even the farce of democracy will soon end.

Remember the day just a few months ago when Mr. James Irving announced in his newspaper that he had formed a coalition? I said at the time that was anti-democratic (since in a democracy you have to be an elected member to join a coalition), and that it was arrogant, and that it was the starting point of corporatism which was a way station on the road to Benito Mussolini's fascism.

I know many readers must have thought I was exaggerating. I wasn't. Such things happen. We're watching it happen. That's the "real world".

1 comment:

  1. Good commentary, Graeme. It surprises me that more people do not seem interested in what is happening to society (N.B.in particular...although "here" has already been so compromised so as to be beyond repair given the current dynamics.)