Jim Flaherty was on the defensive in the House yesterday, suggesting that his government has been creating good jobs, but all they created was a marketing strategy: The Economic Action Plan. They had no real economic plan, other than to move lobbyists and Goldman Sachs into their offices on Parliament Hill.
Do we really expect that lobbyists have our best interests at heart? Or Goldman Sachs?
Do you know what Goldman Sachs employee Mark Carney did before being named to head up up the Bank of Canada? He advised Russian oligarchs during the period of mass privatization, after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
According to Wikipedia:
During the 1990s, once Boris Yeltsin took office, the oligarchs emerged as well-connected entrepreneurs who started from nearly nothing and got rich through participation in the market via connections to the corrupt, but democratically elected, government of Russia during the state's transition to a market-based economy. The oligarchs became extremely unpopular with the Russian public, and are commonly thought to be the cause of much of the turmoil that plagued the country following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Guardian described the oligarchs as "about as popular with your average Russian as a man idly burning bundles of £50s outside an orphanage".Historian Daniel W. Michaels suggests that the Russian people were better off under Communism, as the word "corrupt" has replaced "authoritarian". You would think that capitalists would want to make their system more palpable, in order for it to survive, but instead they have only exposed the ugliness.
Bankers on the side of the "Occupy" Movement?
In October, TD Bank CEO Ed Clark, spoke of the imminent threat to Canada's economy, citing several root causes.
Consumer and employer confidence, demographic forces that are causing demands for government services to grow faster than revenues, and globalization that has produced massive increases in income around the world, but its benefits have been unevenly distributed.
Clark's speech combines the economic with the social, something that is missed under neoconservatism. As Margaret Thatcher once said, "There is no such thing as society". Neocons believe that if you allow the rich to get richer, the benefits will "trickle down", but that isn't happening. It didn't work for George Bush and it won't work for Stephen Harper.
However, Clark presents another cause of our economic woes: "divisive politics", and he urged business leaders and politicians to "stand against divisiveness and political extremes."
Even with a majority, Harper continues to play political games instead of focusing on the needs of Canadians, and engages in Nixonian politics, instead of governing.
During the 2006 election campaign the media asked Paul Martin how much he thinks about strategy. He replied "seldom". They asked Stephen Harper the same question, and he replied "24/7". Nixon's response to the same question was 6 days out of 7, and that was after he won the election. It's politics all the time, and the constant game playing is hurting everyone.
At a time when all elected officials should be putting their heads together to sort out this mess, the Conservatives prefer to go it alone, suggesting that only they can save us.
Only they can bail out our banks and then lie about it.
Only they can spend $18 million more on gazebos for Tony Clement's riding, than infrastructure in Attawapiskat.
Only they can expand our prisons when Canada's crime rate is the lowest in history.
Only they can buy planes without engines and contemplate the purchase of nuclear submarines, while Canadian citizens are suffering.
Only they can bloat their cabinet and enlarge their executive with Parliamentary secretaries, meaning fewer elected MPs working for anyone other than the Conservative Party of Canada.
Ed Clark also offers some advise to the Occupy movement:
Asked by the Toronto Star what he would tell the protesters, he said: "My main advice is stick to your guns. When people say, 'You don’t have a solution,' say, 'Of course we don't. If there was a solution, don't you think people would be doing it?' To ask the people who occupy Wall Street or Bay Street to have a full answer is absurd. They're doing their job which is to say, 'If you think this [system] is working for everyone, it's not.'"Globalization isn't working. Neoconservatism isn't working. Partisan politics are not working.
This government is failing us so we need to build on this "Occupy" movement. We need more government revenue, not less, but instead of hitting workers, as Flaherty has done, we must go after corporations and our wealthiest citizens, demanding that they start paying their share.
We've propped them up long enough.