Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Feb. 2: Welcome to 1929

Our premier is going to make us rich by making us poorer. And by making the rich richer.  Welcome to the economics of 1929.   Lots of us will get poorer. Some of us will get fired. And the rich will get tax cuts. Yes, Yes, I can see how
that would make us all richer.  Just like 1929.

Actually, what we're seeing is the creation of an ever bigger wage gap between the majority of us and the rich minority. Just like 1929.

I note, too, the Gallant government makes no mention of examining the offshore bank accounts of the  wealthy to see how much taxable income they aren't reporting and don't pay taxes on at all.  Well, of course not. If we taxed them, they might go away. And we wouldn't want that. That's just common sense. I mean, sensible people make sure their doors are always unlocked. If we locked them, burglars just woud go away.

So life will go on as it always has in New Brunswick, with the very rich looting everybody else. And with a series of lawyer politicians doing the dirty work for them, helped by the Irving press - despite being based on economics almost 90 years out of date.

People will suffer for this?  Don't worry about it. The Irving press will look after that with morale-raising photos of goofs smiling and holding up big cheques. (It's very soothing for the rich to see those photos.)
Now, I've just looked over Section A. It's exactly what I expected it to be. The Chamber of Commerce is concerned that higher sales tax could hurt business. It will, of course, but mostly for small business. Small business people like to consider themselves as being 'entrepreneurs' just like the Irvings. They are enterpreneurs. But they have nothing in common with the big kids.

The sense of economics displayed in the editorial is, like that of the front page, quite ignorant of the damage we have done  every time we favoured the rich and hammered the rest to balance the budget.

The reality of this world is that the wealthy are more wealthy than they have been in modern history - and possibly in all history. The wage gap is huge, and getting bigger. Obvious conclusion? The wealthy do NOT create jobs. Prosperity does NOT trickle down. It never has.

That's why the Gallant budget is a farce. That's why the economic thinking of a Richard Saillant is decades behind serious economic thinking.

When I read people like Saillant, it think of my days as a Boy Scout, when some of us were at a conference on poverty. One of the boys said that the answer to poverty is that, in an analogy, we should sweep the leavings off our table, and leave the fallout for the poor. (It's a modified form of the 'trickle down' theory.) Not surprisingly, he later became a clergyman. The poor of Britain were never more miserably poor than they were at the height of the British empire when the rich were rolling in the stuff. We're seeing the U.S. repeat the same pattern.
Hey, I have a great idea. Send me money to make the rich richer. And if we raise, maybe five bucks, I could get one of the big cheques. A group of us could call ourselves, say, Friends of the Irvings.  could pose with the cheque, and the Irving press would put it on their smiling goof page.

Norbert has a solid and sensible column. Brian Cormier has a column about our need for a partnership between private business and government. Been there, Brian. Done that. Benito Mussolini created it, and called it fascism.

Anyway, there already is a partnership between big business and government. That's why the whole world is in trouble.

The guest column is another one from the Fraser Institute.

Alec Bruce suggests a union of the Atlantic provinces. Well, this is an idea that goes back at least to the 1860s. It's not a magic problem solver; but it does make sense. That's why it's not going to happen.
Section B, Canada and World, has four stories on the budget. That, with the front page story, makes five - all of them repetitious.       And Canda and the world has almost nothing on the world, and nothing worth reading on Canada - unless you're very, very lonely. The world is on the edge of nuclear war in the middle east. The U.S. is planning to destroy Syria by cutting it up into tiny, helpless nations. Turkey is probably considering an invasion of Syria to take over a part of it. Israel is busily stealing chunks of Palestine. The U.S. is sending troops and aircraft to Syria - which is not only illegal, but will have Russian and American troops fighting in the same country - but for different reasons. doh-di-doh.  Saudis and British and Americans    are still cutting off food and medicine and are still killing some of the poorest people in the world in Yemen - and we still don't even know why. The U.S., Britain, France,  Holland, just like ISIS, are fighting illegal wars with massive numbers of war crimes. If Canada in any way joins the Syria war, it will be committing a war crime. (In fact, it already has committed a war crime with its bombing of Syria). ISIS and the Taliban are spreading into Asia. The great creator of refugees in this world is the U.S. It also does the least to help them. And anyone who thinks that Europe will simply absorb these people is in dreamland. We are going to see even more brutal treatment handed out to the refugees - and a notable rise in Naziism which has already happened in Ukraine  - and in the U.S.

None of this is known to the editors of Irving press.

The world we supposedly fought World War Two for, is  gone. Its major creation, the U.N., is mostly in ashes.   Capitalism is running wild in all the major nations. (Gee. If capitalism is running wild, that means the whole world will now be creating jobs and enjoying prosperity - just like New Brunswick.)
But don't worry about it. Just read the Irving press. Why, just raising the sales tax and firing civil servants will solve all these problems.   General Tony Gallant, lead the world to peace and prosperity.
Oh, the Irving press did have its usual story about gas prices, and what they will be for this week. What it never has told us is why they are low.

They are low because Saudi Arabia (often with U.S. cooperation) is overproducing oil to keep the prices low. But this is not an act of charity. Prices are low to destroy economies (like Russia's and China's - partiularly Russia's) that can't  produce cheap oil.

This ain't no gift to us. Once cheap gas completes its purpose, watch for prices to soar. Does New Brunswick or   city council have any plans for that? Have they even thought about the problems that will create? Perhaps Norbert could write a column on how we shall have to compensate for the hike in gas prices by firing more civil servants and, maybe, teachers. And, of course, by privatizing medicare and education.
Miraculously, the Irving press missed a story that the CBC had yesterday, and has been carrying for months. Gee. You'ld think they would jump at this because it's all about fracking and methane gas and pipelines, and how safe they are.
The story began some 15 months ago when a pipeline of fracked methane (perfectly safe and up to government standards, of course)  sprung a massive leak. That was fifteen months ago, and the engineers still can't stop it. Some experts rate it the worst environmental disaster of its type in history.  Now, the California government is laying criminal charges against the company.
Unfortunately, that won't undo the damage. (The story might make helpful reading for Alec Bruce who has been very kind to frackers.)

We might all remember the great protest at Rexton in this context. Native peoples didn't want fracking anywhere near their territory. Thye have to live there. They believe they have some right to live in safety.

The fracking company didn't want to know what the native people thought or wanted. It was there to make profits, no other reason.

So, the province sent riot police, and the fancy police with camouflage suits and combat rifles. And guess which side they were on. And guess  which side the government was on.

Government of the people by lawyers, for big business.
Come on, the editors of the Irving press can't have missed the California story. Even they aren't that dumb. Becoming  editors at the Irving press demands people with long, slobbering tongues to lick some very dirty boots.
They also missed a CBC story with even more local implications. It's about the MacDonald's chain of fast food outlets - you know, the chain that is to dining what the Irving press is to journalism.
It has a new health food for diet-concious people. It's called a Kale Salad. Yes, it is.
And it seems it has more calories than a Double Big Mac.
It also missed the story that Trudeau feels Canada should have a national debate on whether to build Harper's memorial to victims of communism. It would share its  site with the Supreme Court in Ottawa.

I was embarassed to be a Canadian when Harper first announced this $5.5 million dollar dream. So were a great many Canadians. It was an extremely ignorant and outrageous idea. Why can't Trudeau just dump this? Why do we need a national debate that will cost at least as much as this idiot memorial?

Consider these points.
1.  Very few people even know what the word communism means.
2. Despite saying they were communists, neither Stalin nor Mao ever was. So far as meaning goes, communist was never more than a swear word to most people.
3.The capitalist record of U.S. imperialism, alone, killed and is killing more people than Stalin or Mao did. For that matter, Chiang Kai shek, the puppet ruler of China for western capitalists, including the U.S. killed at least as many people as Mao.
4.U.S. capitalism killed more African slaves just in transit than   any 'communist' slaughter I ever heard of.  Estimates are that 100 million Africans were killed in the slave trade, most of them by captitalist countries like the U.S. and Britain. This exceeds Hitler's holocaust by a magnitude of almost twenty times.
5. Nobody knows how many native people of the Americas were killed or died of European diseases. It could have been ten million. It could have been 50 million. It could have been more. They were killed by capitalists. Of course. Starting with Christopher  Columbus, these were capitalists looking to steal valuable resources, then to steal land to sell to settlers or to set up vast cotton plantations. Canadian capitalists always killed native people for profits. That's what the fur trade was all about. In New France, the French routinely attacked the Iroquois who were taking furs to the British market. And the American-British retaliated in the same way. We killed native peoples in the maritimes to take their lands. And we paid bounties to native peoples of New Brunswick for any native scalps they could get in Newfoundland. Canada and the U.S. killed most of the buffalo to starve native peoples to death.  This helped to clear the west so capitalists could run railway lines through it. And so real estate dealers could sell land.
U.S imperialism killed Canadians in 1812, then Mexicans, then it killed people all over Latin America, and is still killing them because it's good for profits.
Nobody will ever know the total of dead to serve capitalism. There are the empires of Britain, France, Holland, Germany, the U.S., Spain and Portugal, just for starters.
Capitalism has murdered, enslaved, tortured, worked to death more millions than can ever be counted. And it's still doing this all over the world.

Perhaps there should be a monument to victims of 'communism' - whatever that means. But we are scarcely the ones who should be doing it. Harper was always the sort of person who farts, then frowns at other people as though they did it.
What interested me in this topic is what it tells us about - us. We readily see the evil done by others. But we don't see the evil when it it's done by us. That may explain the lack of any sense of reality in the U.S. leadership contests. And in the pages of the Irving press.

I'm embarassed we had a prime minister who would suggest it. I'm surprised we now have one who thinks this requires a national debate.  Justin, like Gallant you don't seem to understand the general idea of democracy. We don't elect leaders so that they can ask us what to do. We elect them to lead.  We elect them to lead on the basis of principles they advocated during election campaigns. The thinking part for us is doing a little bit of thinking about what the various leaders are proposing to do. (sigh - we don't do that, either.)
I don't know much about the next source, or the author. But I have been following this situation for some weeks. I think he's bang on. And I think developments in Syria are even more dangerous than he says. And I think Canada will be sucked into it.

This is not a war against ISIS. This is the U.S. risking a war with Russia. In fact, it IS a war with Russia. And it's being done by an American government that, we can safely say, is a partnership of government and business in the U.S. And its purpose is to be obedient to the greed of a handful of oil barons. Forget the idea that Canadians died in World War 2 to stop fascism. They were told that. And they were lied to. The war was fought to bring fascism to us - under the name of private/public partnership.

(It gives me no pleasure to say this. I still remember the boys from my father's scout troop coming by the house to show off their uniforms and say goodbye. And I still remember the ones who never came back.)
The Irving press doesn't read Haaretz, either. This story is one of many about frauds that are carried out by Israeli capitalists and steal land from Palestinians for what are called "settlements". The objective is Israel is, of course, to destroy Palestine as an independent state - and as a state of any sort. It will all become Israel.
The next item is one that I don't entirely agree with. However, I include it because it's worth thinking about.  I certainly agree  that religious ideologies can be dreadfully destructive. And I don't know of any religious ideology that hasn't been murderous at some time.

ISIS is certainly represents a religion taken to an extreme that effectively destroys the religion. But you can find the same sort of extremes in Christianity, notably in the Christian fundamentalists who flock to Donald Trump to  hear his hatred of all Muslims and Mexicans.

But I don't think that's a reason for religions to express their religious values simply with cookie sales and gospel jam sessions.

And I think what really happens is that some (many) religious people really don't think about their religion. And they don't  understand that the religious values they have should affect how they treat all people, not just the ones who belong to their church.- or mosque or synagogue or temple. Too many people - and I guess social acceptance has something to do with this - treat their religion as an excuse to abuse people of other religions.

I'm not sure exactly how the line should be drawn. I think this article begins well, but then develops an extremism of its own. Christianity and Judaism have, to my knowledge, sometimes served great causes like like the Red Cross (and its Muslim counterpart), socialism, medicare, the anti-nuclear movement - all well beyond cookies and gospel music.

So I can't agree that religions should confine themselves to local good works.
I  have much more. But this is already long. And I'm hungry.

1 comment:

  1. I read a slightly different story on the reason for the oil prices. Saudi Arabia is doing it to try and bankrupt American oil companies.

    Also Irving dictating politics again.