Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Another Winner James Travers. But ... but ... but ...

I really like James Travers and will continue to promote him as a progressive member of the media, who are sadly too few and far between these days.

I have found myself annoyed with even him, sometimes though. Mainly because he is, or at least he was; constantly bringing up the sponsorship scandal, seemingly using it as balanced reporting when writing of Reform-Conservative corruption.

That doesn't mean I condone Adscam. Not by a long shot. I never really liked Jean Chretien and never voted for him, though I think he makes a great statesman now.

The infrastructure for the sponsorship scandal was created by Brian Mulroney and capitalized on by the Liberals; but I felt that by bringing it up so often, it hindered our chances of getting rid of the horrible Harper regime. We can't defend Harper by comparing him to Chretien. Both men may be devoid of principles; but Chretien is gone and Harper is still the albatross around our necks.

Travers column today is very good, as he suggests that backward thinking by the Harper team will hurt us in the long run. However, he, like many others, is clearly missing the point. The media and pundits and everyone else, who thinks that Harper or Flaherty have abandoned Conservative principles; need to understand one thing and one thing only: THEY NEVER HAD THEM!

Neoconservatism is like the anti-Christ of conservative economic theory. They might want to read up on radicals like Friedrich Hayek (correction) and Roger Douglas, to get a glimpse into our financial future.

Hayek urged reducing government intervention in people's social and economic lives to a bare minimum. No social programs, no environmental or consumer regulation. In Hayek's world, government officials do not serve the public. Instead, they are self-serving empire builders ... Harper studied Hayek as an undergraduate at the University of Calgary and developed his free-market philosophy.

Hayek opposed democracy referring to a nation's citizens as the 'bewildered herd', and one Hayek strategy was to : starve government and fuel the voluntary sector. Remove as many activities as possible from the public-policy arena and put them in the hands of private charity providers. Let the wealthy elite, not the people, determine Canada's social and environmental justice policies.

George Bush ascribed to this free marketeering and almost bankrupted the United States. But that doesn't stop Harper and Flaherty from moving full speed ahead. A record deficit is a dream come true, and from here on in; Roger Douglas takes over, with his simple message; "Don't blink". They won't.

Travers: While U.S. looks ahead, we drift backwards
February 2, 2010
By James Travers National Affairs Columnist

Some coincidences are too delicious. On the very morning this week that Canadians woke to find they have new, even lower greenhouse gas emission targets, Americans learned that China is surging ahead in the renewable energy race.

Before any remaining climate-change deniers fire email bullets from their grassy knolls, what follows is not primarily about climate change or even how successive federal governments failed to act. No, it's about the difference between talk and a conversation ....


  1. Your efforts on this blog are tremendous. So, I hate to be pedant, but I believe you are referring, above, to Friedrich Hayek. He influenced von Mieses, Strauss and, finally Freidman and the entire 'Chicago School'. The latter has exerted undue influence on the economic and political thought of the Elite American Right (Kristol, et. al). The resultant effects of this undue influence are fairly thoroughly analyzed in Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine" (agree with her or not).

    In Canada, this ideology has been promoted by a group of American ex-pats at the University of Calgary (hence, 'The Calgary School'.

  2. Oh my goodness. You are so right. I had it right here in front of me too. Don't know where I got the Richard from.

    Interesting about the Chicago school. I'll have to research that a bit. Von Mieses is new to me too (I learn more from this blog), but Strauss I'm very familiar with and knew that Freidman was a regular at the Fraser Institute.

    I was aware that Tom Flanagan was American, apparently a draft dodger. A lot of Americans ended up in Calgary after the oil boom and they certainly influenced the poltics.

    Thanks for the info. I've been putting a bit together on Hayek, Douglas, Keynes, etc. Planning to do kind of a fun blog posting.