Friday, January 7, 2011

Dear Steve. More Money to Your Rich Friends Is Not the Answer

Steve Harper is claiming that all of the taxpayer money he has given to his wealthy friends, is good for us.

In the "used to be a newspaper" Sun, they have given him a platform to spew this nonsense.

Well sit down Steve. Because Canadians are not that stupid. And wipe that smirk off your face, because you're going to listen for a change.

As much as I'm no big fan of Alan Greenspan, he made an important statement today. If the United States does not bring down their debt they are going to face a bond-market crisis.

They are running wars on their credit card and giving all liquid assets to the wealthy, who are hoarding the money. Income disparity helped to create the Great Depression.

We are now facing the worst income disparity crisis ever in history. Even in the days of the monarchy, there was never this kind of gap. According to Linda McQuaig and Neil Brooks in the Trouble With Billionaires:

Most Canadians probably regard extreme inequality as a thing of the past. But while kings and nobles of pre-industrial times enjoyed a standard of living that was wildly lavish and grand compared to the poor in their day, that gap was not as extreme as the one that separates Canadian billionaires from the homeless living in Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver today. The lives of the destitute may not have changed that much over the past few hundred years, with today's homeless often living on streets or in makeshift shelters in ravines. But the rich have become vastly richer than their pre-industrial counterparts.

And you want to give them more of our money? Really Steve? Is that really what you want to do?

Because while you're patting yourself on the back, we are being warned to look behind the headlines:
Beneath the surface, it’s a bit of a different story. Toronto-Dominion Bank economists, for example, cite the rise in part-time jobs, the still weaker showing of the private sector, and a shift to lower-paying work. They also note that the Statistics Canada measure doesn’t account for people who’ve given up on looking for a job, nor does it provide a completely accurate picture of the underemployed.

Scotia Capital economists Derek Holt and Gorica Djeric point to one "strong caveat" in today's report, the huge increase of 65,700 jobs in the manufacturing sector. "We have difficulty believing that Ontario’s and Quebec’s manufacturers are so buoyant as to be heavily adding to their payrolls in the context of [Canadian dollar] pressures," they said. "Further, the manufacturing numbers are volatile as evidenced by the 29,000 decline in November swinging abruptly toward a gain of 66,000 in December. Are we really being asked to believe that manufacturers swing that abruptly in their workforce planning in the current environment?"
So before you say something that stupid again Steve, I suggest you get out and take a look around. People who had good permanent jobs are now working for minimum wage, never knowing when the axe will fall.

It's time to put your hat in hand and go after those wealthy friends of yours, and ask them to give back some of those billions you've given them, so we can pay off this country's debts so our children and grandchildren don't have to.

And get out and talk to people, see how they're managing. Many of those who used to have good jobs, got themselves into debt, and now barely make enough to pay rent and food, let alone pay down their charge cards or bank loans.

Maybe if once in a while you showed a bit of concern, instead of making those struggling feel like failures because they don't fit in with your fairly tale, you might stop this nonsense.

More money to corporate welfare bums? Give me a break.


  1. FAIRY tale is right.


    snip snip
    Thursday, January 6, 2011

    Why poverty threatens us all
    By David Olive

    According to the latest statistics from the World Bank, the widening gap between rich and poor in Canada is now roughly on par with that of Indonesia. Indeed, in the matter of income equality, Canada trails not only the Scandinavian countries, but Egypt and Pakistan, as well.

    You might think that fact alone would place poverty high on the national agenda. But in this week's throne speech, Prime Minister Stephen Harper devoted no more than 98 of 4,000 words – less than 3 per cent – to the subject.

    More than a decade of tax cuts at the federal level and in certain provinces has not put a dent in the rising number of people in poverty, despite being among the advertised benefits of tax reduction.

    With an estimated 1 million children living in poverty, we risk raising a new generation of Canadians unable to contribute to our economic progress. And the continued decay of impoverished urban and rural communities threatens their demise, as gangs, drug-dealing and prostitution take over once livable neighbourhoods.
    p.s. Screw you all children of Canada. No help for you you.

  2. Bunch of links re poverty series from The Star.

  3. Myriam Canas-Mendes loves her job as an outreach worker at the Stop Community Food Centre where she organizes public forums, connects recent immigrants to government services and helps out in the centre's breakfast and lunch programs.

    The pay is between $10 and $12 an hour depending on the task. That's considered fair by advocates who are pushing Queen's Park to raise the provincial minimum wage to $10 from $8.

    The problem is the single mom of two doesn't get enough hours to make ends meet. And so the 34-year-old Canas-Mendes has to rely on welfare to supplement her income.

    Except that doesn't provide enough money to live on either.

    Welfare does include basic health benefits – which her part-time job doesn't offer. But it denies her $226 a month in federal child benefits that she would receive if she were able to get full-time hours.

    It's a vicious circle. And it traps people like Canas-Mendes and her family in poverty.

  4. Steve HarperCon, you couldn't do what this woman has done for ten seconds of your miserable life.

    Two jobs, almost invisible

    Around 9:30 p.m., when most families are getting ready for bed, she escorts her two sons, aged 6 and 13, down a narrow carpeted corridor in their concrete highrise. Clad in flannel pyjamas, backpacks over their shoulders and sleeping bags and pillows in their arms, the boys wilfully, though not eagerly, accept the journey as part of their routine. They reach a doorway and, with a final hug, their mother leaves them in the care of a neighbour for the night.

  5. My push to the left occurred in 1977, give or take a year. One of the part-time jobs I held as a university student was Building Custodian (glorified janitor) at the Monsignor Boyd Family Centre in Fredericton, NB.

    One night I had a group of Tories rent a room for a political event. Premier Richard Hatfield was there, as well as Prime Minister wannabe Joe Clark.

    After the event concluded one of the distinguished local organizers asked to use the office phone, and I thought nothing of it until I returned about 10 minutes later and found my leather jacket gone. My co-worker said, "Yah, I thought it was strange the guy who left the office (same guy who used the phone) was wearing a coat and had one over his arm." The jacket had sentimental value as it was not only high quality heavy leather, but had been given to me by the road construction crew I worked with the previous summer.

    But I got off easy in New Brunswick compared to the robbery Grant Devine and his band of merry thieves committed here in Saskatchewan. I'm still paying for that.

    For a bit of humour, you might want to see how I depict Stephen Harper in this video (at 6 minute mark):

  6. The statistics given in the article are quite sobering when you consider that history often repeats itself. At the beguining of he French revolution the nobility were enjoying quite the life and the peasants were living in real poverty while financing a war. The trouble with history repeating itself is that insurrection or revelution brings a measured violent response and I think the "authorities" are practicing as we have been witnessing lately with any dissent. If you listen carefully you might here the sound of the guillotines being sharpened.