Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July 13: the bigger story

The Moncton Times&Tribune has its usual load of free ads and trivia in today's paper. So let's look at the bigger picture it doesn't mention..

New Brunswickers have always been ripped off by business barons working with politicians who were corrupt or stupid or lying. This goes back to colonial days when those with timber rights were almost the only employers, a power they used to deny any challenge to their rule, to make themsleves rich, and to coerce the locals to vote for them as political representatives.

That power of coercion has now been extended even to the control of news by the journalistic hookers of Brunswick Media. But the real turning point began in World War II.

In the previous war, the world had learned that a war could not be fought on a peacetime economy. It required massive government intervention and control to regulate business, avoid inflation, insure efficiency and supplies. and avoid crushing debt.

Government controls worked. In fact, they worked so well that demand to continue them resulted in the CCF (now the NDP) leading opinion polls during the war. The result was that governments, both Liberal and Conservative, were forced to make some gestures at governmeent intervention - like adequate pensions, medicare, child allowances - to keep the CCF at bay.

Big business was not pleased. With the help of "think tank" proganda agencies like the Fraser Institute and AIMS, and with the help of servile journalists like those at Brunswick Media, They launched a campaign to discredit government, a campaign that continues to this day.

One "soft" approach is the public private partnership, a device pioneered ini New Brunswick by Mr. McKenna - and for which he seems to  have been well rewarded. This sort of deal gives private business profits out of our tax money. The US has done similar things with prisons (as I suspect Harper will, too.) Our news media have not bothered to report that private prisons are not more effective. In fact, they cost more than public ones to operate, and they seem to produce worse results.

The long term intention is to lower taxes for the rich on the absurd notion this will create jobs for all, to relieve the wealthy and corporations of paying taxes (a surprising number of highly profitable corporations pay no taxes at all), to reduce and/or privatize social services and education, to get rid of regulation. amd to make corporate bosses the absolute rulers that the old timber barons were.

Another device is to outsource work to cheap labour countries. that's why your Levis probably come from Haiti; and much of your Ford and Chev comes from China. That's why the US is suffering massive unemployment and depression levels of poverty even as American corporations make record profits.

Similarly, corporations work to create their own free trade, public private partnership areas like the Atlantica region made up of the Atlantic provinces, New England and Quebec. One thing they're looking for in this region is control of a basic necessity - energy. They're looking for control without regulation, without taxes - except on you, to subsidize cheap energy rates for themselves.

If this will damage the region in the long run, if it will cause suffering, if it will lead to the catastrophic rise in poverty - as it has in the US - is something they couldn't care less about. Levis and Fruit of the Loom and Chiquita banana don't give a damn that Haitians are living in destitution to produce their products. Why should we think they give a damn about New Brusnwickers?

If New Brunswickers descend into deep poverty - great. That makes them a cheap source of labour.

That's why The Moncton Times has rarely mentioned fracking. That's why it never even told us it was going on for ten years. That's why the government didn't tell us. That's why there were no regulations on fracking until very recently. That's why we still haven't been told why corporate bosses of New Brunswick seem to be in favour of a foreign  company going after an energy source in NB. Their's a much bigger deal going on here. And we're going to be the losers. We'll. get the cheap jobs and the damage. We'll be, as we long have been, the Haiti of Canada.

We're at a very dangerous point. Corporate greed, indifference and arrogance are running wild. We are now committed to years of war to enrich big business. The wars have destroyed the American economy There is nothing the American people can get back to make up for the tremendous cost of these wars.

If we are ruined, the bosses don'tcare. They can invest their money someplace else.

There's another threat in this. Democracy itself will not survive what is happening. It was amazing that Mr. Irving could make two such stunningly arrogant statements late in 2010 - that he was in coalition with the government, and that he and his friends would plan the economic future of  New Brtunswick..

Those statements were a direct attack on democracy. How could those hyenas at the Times&Transcript have been so silent on such announcements? These were direct attaclks on democracy, itself. (Meanwhile, Alward, Moncton City Council, and The Moncton Times babbled about "listening to the people".)

New Brunswick, like Canada, is close to a tipping point. (The US has already passed it.)

Fracking is not just an incident. It is part of a much larger plan - and related to the one to sell NB Energy. If this goes on, we and our children and our children's children will suffer for it. We will destroy all the social progress it took us sixty years to create. Dcmocacy, in any meaningful form, will not survive it.

But, boy. Aren't we mad as hell about those bicycle lanes! And so-o-o-o-o excited about U-2 that we won't even notice our pockets being picked.

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