Saturday, April 27, 2013

April 27: This is the blog....

....I knew I would have to write some day. The dispute between hothead Hemming and the province's medical system is only a small part of a much, much bigger crisis we are going through. This is part of nothing less than a revolution and, like most revolutions, one hell of a destructive one.

In the United States, one family in five is now living on food stamps. Meanwhile, the wealthy are living on their highest incomes in history. Nor does it matter who gets elected. The policies of Obama are almost identical to those of Bush.

Unemployment in Spain is officially 27% - which means that it's really at something closer to 40% or more. It's much the same in Greece. France has record unemployment and poverty. So does Britain. In Ireland, millions have had pensions completely cut off. They now have nothing.

How did this happen?

During the late stages of the great depression of the 1930s, and through the Second World War, governments took control of national economies. They set limits on what big business could do. They ensured that the general population could get a fair share of the national wealth, and of essential services. And it worked.

The worst effects of the depression were at last eased; government debt was under control; and the western world entered the greatest prosperity and the best distribution of wealth it had ever known. But big business was not happy. It wanted more.

It campaigned to break the controls it had to work under, to lower its taxes or, even better, to hide its profits in offshore tax havens and with official head offices and company registrations in tiny states that had almost no taxes. In Canada and the US, there are highly profitable companies that thus escape paying any taxes at all.

They set up propaganda fronts like Atlantic Insitute for Market Studies to conduct dishonest studies and to interfere in the operation of public services like education. (AIMS says it refuses government money to keep itself independent. Apparently, its independence is not affected by getting almost all its money from wealthy individuals and corporations, with the Irvings playing a prominent role.)

And the very wealthy, almost by definition, owned most newspapers, radio stations and TV stations to control the news. Some journalists, as those at, say, New York Times, retain just enough dignity to be called courtesans. Others are just whores.

The result, as we have seen in recent years, is a massive drift of wealth from almost all of us to a tiny number of super rich. And, more recently, there has been a collapse of the whole western economic system - a collapse as significant as the fall of the Roman Empire. And it is a collapse caused by the greedy and irresponsible and, often, criminal behaviour of banks and major corporations. And they actually got taxpayers' money as a reward for their greed, irresponsibility and criminality.

But the very rich don't really care aboout the collapse. Their incomes have continued to rise, and to rise at the greatest rate in history. As for the unemployment, that just means that they can cut salaries to draw in those desperate for a job, and make even bigger profits. The Irvings don't need a prosperous New Brunswick to make money. Indeed, a poverty-stricken New Brunswick. After all, the more poverty there is, the easier it is pay low wages with no benefits. Big business doesn't want to end the recession. It's making them too rich.

Admittedly, that, in the long term, is destructive to big business itself. But greed doesn't think of the long term.

So, what does this have to do with the medical system?

Remember two years ago? When the senior Irving placed a column in his newspapers annoucing that he was now in coalition with the government? Coalition - that means he was saying he was a member of the government - just like Alward and Hemming. I don't think New Brunswickers have ever grasped the meaning of that. And certainly the Irving Press has never explained it.

In effect, Irving announced that was now running the show, not because he was elected but because he was, by the grace of God, named Irving. A premier with the courage and brains of an earthworm would immediately have made a statement telling Irving to screw off. But we don't have an earthworm for premier. We only have Alward.

It is not an exaggeration to say that democracy in New Brunswick, never very healthy, ended on that day - though it never has mattered and never will matter whether we vote Liberal or Conservative. Both are Mr. Irving.

So why are we making budget cuts in health - especially at such a time when accessible health care is more important than ever and when it is so important to put money into the economy rather than taking it out? And why does Mr. Hemming insist that it is to make the system more efficient when it's obvious from his statements that he has made not the slightest attempt to see where it is inefficient? He has simply demanded drastic cuts. This is just blind chopping. And it's only purpose is to cut something that doesn't make money for Mr. Irving.

But there's no point in asking Mr. Hemming about it. He's made it fairly obvious that he has intellectual limitations.

So ask your member of the government, Mr. Irving. Here are points you might touch on.
1. Is it possible that Mr. Irving, like almost all big business wants to see an end to medicare? So that he and his friends can make bigger fortunes out of a privatized medical system? One that will leave most New Brunswickers with no care at all?

2. Is it possible that firing medical workers and other civil servants is good for Irving? High unemployment makes it easier for people like him to hire really cheap labour, and to work them in vile and even dangerous conditions.

Did you read about that fire in a clothing factory in Bangladesh? That sort of industrial accident used to be quite common in the US and Canada when business was free to put employee lives at risk for the sake of profits. Is it possible that, for the Irvings of this world, those were the good old days? Is it possible that high unemployment is exactly what Mr. Irving wants to see?

You don't think people would ever be so cruel? Bless you my child. Bless you for your innocence. But read some Canadian history. You only have to go back a few generations to learn about abuses and cruelty and greed by the very best families, the ones that the TandT is fond of referring to as "philantropists".

3. Is it possible he has been taken in by his own AIMS propaganda that statistical methods are a good way to measure the effeciveness of organizations and to plan their development? If so, he might consult some real statisticians rather than relying on those he employs as hired guns.

The Moncton Times and Transcript has presented this issue only in fragments, heavily biased in favour of the government's position, and quite deliberately garbled and incoherent in presenting the medical position.

To get a clearer understanding of the medical side of the story, ditch your copy of the Tand T. Go to:

New Brunswick, you have been scared into silence far too long. This province has been bled and battered by high class thieves for over two centuries. You have to learn the courage to speak publicly and listen publicly to something other than the lies fed to you by quisling governments and a quisling press.

I watched the recent byelection in a kind of horror of disbelief. After well over a century of  proof that the Conservatives and the Liberals are both puppets. people still voted for them. And, like any New Brunswick election I have seen, it was one in which neither party had anything that could be called a platform.

You really can't afford that. Your children can't survive it. You have to wake up. You have to develop the courage to demand real democracy. And you don't have much time.

And this is all part of the larger pattern of wars and hatreds and hysteria that we have lived in for sixty years. But that is a subject for tomorrow.

Can something be done about all this? Certainly. We can have prosperity. We can have an end to hatred. We can have an end to the wars that are now set to go on for decades. But we can't do it if we just stand around with our faces hanging out. We have to discuss. We have to learn. We have to think for ourselves. And we have to develop the courage to do it publicly, just as if this were a free country.


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