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Author Topic: "NDP cosies up to business"
phoebe
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posted 16 July 2004 10:12 PM      Profile for phoebe     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Today's
Vancouver Sun reports that Carole James made overtures to the business community in a speech to the Coalition of B.C. Businesses:

quote:
James said she has "opened the door" to a dialogue between the NDP and the province's business community.

"I've been very clear about the fact that I want business and labour and communities at the table, and the ball is now in their court."


I have to say that I'm pleasantly surprised. I didn't support Carole's leadership bid precisely because she represents the status quo within the party, a party which, in my view, needs to re-evaluate its relationship with labour, and a party which has been successfully (although, to some degree, unfairly) vilified as hostile to business.

Carole is either maturing in her role as leader, or is finally getting some sound advice, or both -- because the last few months have shown a clear shift in the direction of moderation.

Frankly, when the leadership race was won by a candidate whose campaign was bank-rolled by public sector unions, I thought we'd just lost the 2005 election then-and-there. Fortunately, I think I was wrong. Carole is showing that she is capable of building the kind of coalitions that might finally bring some stability to the wild pendulum swings that characterize politics in this province. Now that would be progress.

Don't get me wrong. I despise Philip Hochstein. But I also hate the fact that the NDP usually plays right in to Hochstein's fear-mongering and anti-union rhetoric. I'm just glad Carole's catching on.


From: vancouver | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Klingon
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posted 17 July 2004 02:36 AM      Profile for Klingon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Capitalists are P’Tachk! I should kill them where they stand.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves, folks. It's true the NDP has been unfairly maligned as "anti-business."

However, the NDP quite rightfully stands in opposition to undemocratic profiteering cliques that control huge amounts of capital (that the rest of us involuntarily give them), markets and businesses and use these as a coercive dictatorial club over the economy and society.

The fact the Phil Hochstein, head of the anti-union sweatshop leaky-condo-building construction lobby, can say BC's flat lined economy is "booming" shows exactly who these types are.

First, contrary to the inaccurate statements in the article, the BC Business Coalition does Not represent small business. The fact the BC Chamber of Commerce and the Retail Council are on its board proves this. This is a clique of very wealthy powerful brokers who act as fundraisers for the Liberals in the corporate circles.

Second, it was formed to expressly attack the right of workers to organize, to undermine any laws or regulations that try to make corporations accountable and to drive down wages and roll back democratic rights.

As for Carole James, I think she did quite well at this gathering. She said she supports higher wages because they are the main stimulus of markets and economic activity--something that the corporates, for all of their diatribes, can't deny.

She also said she likes reducing superfluous regulation for small business (which, again, this group does not represent), but not at the expense of environmental and health and safety standards.

Finally, accepting an invitation to one meeting of a corporate lobby does not constitute "cozying up" in any way.


From: Kronos, but in BC Observing Political Tretchery | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
captain_easychord
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posted 17 July 2004 04:06 AM      Profile for captain_easychord     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm all for this sort of excursion, so long as it's just optics. Really, it's very good optics. Vaughn Palmer put it well; as little was accomplished with Carole and Hochstein, Gordo would NEVER be able to get half this far at a BCFed convention. With that (very fair)comparison, Gordo is the extreme ideologue and Carole is the sensible, consensus-focused moderate.

I'll be ok as long as I receive word that this is only optics, though. If the NDP's not going to be antagonistic towards big business, we might as well join the Liberals and try to be their social-policy conscience. I'll admit to some degree of personal antagonism, but I really do see that as a major function of the NDP. No matter what we tell the Vancouver Sun, we need to keep a healthy class analysis at the root of our game. Phil Hochstein isn't on our side. It's nothing personal, but if we're the working class, he's out to fuck us.


From: The West Beyond the West | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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posted 17 July 2004 08:53 AM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I agree. Canada needs at least one political party that is not slavishly devoted to furthering the interests of Big Business, and the NDP is it.

We do, however, have a lot of ground to make up concerning small, independant business. In the past, the media, liberals, tories and our own rhetoric have convinced most in the small business sector that the NDP is anti business, not differentiating between the mom and pop convenience store and General Motors.

Now that the rapaciousness of Big Business runs unchecked, courtesy of the liberal/tory/business Family Compact, and this is negatively impacting the independant business person, we have a chance to champion some of their interests.

There was an article in yesterday's "London Free Press and Church Bulletin", reporting on Jack Layton meeting with cattle producers to listen to their plight. And we should be vocal in our support of the small business people that are being squeezed out by government support of big business.

The opportunity is there. We should take advantage.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
steam.machine
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posted 17 July 2004 01:03 PM      Profile for steam.machine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The opportunity is there. We should take advantage.

Tommy I totally agree. The NDP has been successfully painted as anti-business by the media and corporate circles. And you know what? The NDP has let them do it for far too long.

The NDP has a glorious opportunity to champion the cause of small and medium size businesses. They put their finances on the line and their businesses live or die by the effort that they put in. They also tend to treat their workers better because they work by them side by side on a daily basis.

I think the NDP should make a clear statement supporting the thousands of men and women who choose to be self-employed. The NDP also needs to be talking about incentives and support measures that help a new business get off the ground and survive the first few years of operation.

Build a coalition to the small and medium size business community and you have a powerful ally in defining business policy.


From: Calgary | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 17 July 2004 02:59 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by steam.machine:
The NDP has a glorious opportunity to champion the cause of small and medium size businesses. They put their finances on the line and their businesses live or die by the effort that they put in. They also tend to treat their workers better because they work by them side by side on a daily basis.

Conversely I could point out that the hypercompetitive nature of the small business sector (which is what resembles the free market the most), business owners that have an even marginally worse cost structure than their competitors will find themselves driven out of business. It's just the nature of the beast.

This can, in turn, force them to be even shittier to their workers than bigger businesses, which likely have some monopoly or oligopoly character in their sectors, which in turn lets them be a bit better on OHSA-type stuff and wage settlements.

Small business-owners can be some of the cheapest skinflints out there, and it's because the free market makes them that way.

Romanticizing small and medium business is not something the NDP should be doing.

Nevertheless, I should point out that just as big businesses often screw the rest of us, they also often screw small businesses. A classic example is the fact that larger businesses can often avoid more of the corporate income tax than small businesses because they can hire fancy-ass lawyers and accountants, or when all else fails, just bribe the politicians.

This, in effect, unfairly shifts the tax burden off large business onto small business, which can ill afford to carry that burden.

The NDP would do well to point out this particular form of screwing.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Christopher Mac
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posted 17 July 2004 04:15 PM      Profile for Christopher Mac     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Klingon:
Capitalists are P’Tachk! I should kill them where they stand.


are you a moron...what do you think got Star Trek on TV...it sure as hell wasn't some government socialist program


From: New Glasgow | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Hinterland
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posted 17 July 2004 04:29 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
For an economist, you're awfully thick there, CM.
From: Québec/Ontario | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Klingon
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posted 17 July 2004 04:48 PM      Profile for Klingon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"are you a moron...what do you think got Star Trek on TV...it sure as hell wasn't some government socialist program"

You are P’Tachk! Moron is a human weakness (especially capitalists)!

Actually, what got Star Trek on TV was the same as what got everything else on TV--good or bad--as well as the TVs and the studios built and paid for: the labour of the artists, techies and tradespersons in the industry and the millions of working people out there who created the consumer market for the program.

In other words, it may not have been a "government program" (as if a sci-fi show would need one), but it was the utilitarian non-profit socialistic economics of consumer spending and working people trading their skills that made it happen--just like they make everything else in our economy happen.


From: Kronos, but in BC Observing Political Tretchery | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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posted 17 July 2004 05:47 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"Small business-owners can be some of the cheapest skinflints out there, and it's because the free market makes them that way.

Romanticizing small and medium business is not something the NDP should be doing."

I don't disagree, Dr. Except in many cases it isn't the free market who makes them that way. Some are just plain assholes.

But from what I see, small business owners live in an economic strata that I occupy. They may like to think of themselves as something different, but they are working class for the most part.

Surely, there is common ground that we can build on. I think we have more in common with each other than they think they have with the tories, liberals or corporate Canada.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Dagmar
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posted 17 July 2004 06:02 PM      Profile for Dagmar   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:

I'll be ok as long as I receive word that this is only optics, though. If the NDP's not going to be antagonistic towards big business, we might as well join the Liberals and try to be their social-policy conscience. [/QB]

Why does the NDP have to be antagonistic to big business? Isn't it the role of government to be fair and even-handed and to make sure that there is an even playing field for everyone. One doesn't have to be antagonistic to do this, only fair-minded.

Good job Carole!


From: Santa looks a lot like Daggy! | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Dagmar
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posted 17 July 2004 06:03 PM      Profile for Dagmar   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by DrConway:

Romanticizing small and medium business is not something the NDP should be doing.

If the NDP wants to be government, it is exactly what the NDP should be doing.


From: Santa looks a lot like Daggy! | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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posted 17 July 2004 06:15 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dagmar:

Why does the NDP have to be antagonistic to big business? Isn't it the role of government to be fair and even-handed and to make sure that there is an even playing field for everyone. One doesn't have to be antagonistic to do this, only fair-minded.

Good job Carole!


Because the last thing big business wants is a level playing field for everyone, or anything approaching fair mindedness.

Don't you get it? They want everything that is wantable, and anyone who stands in the way of that is being "antagonistic".


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
phoebe
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posted 17 July 2004 06:39 PM      Profile for phoebe     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Tommy_Paine:

The fact that "big business" (whatever that is) considers those who stand in the way of maximizing the bottom line to be "antagonistic" does not mean that those of us who do not view the world as one big profit-making opportunity have to be similarly antagonistic toward said "big business". Most of us rely, in one way or another, on the economic activity that is generated by "big business". Let's not all stick our heads in the sand and pretend otherwise. I think Carole is wise to acknowledge that there are certain commonalities of interest between working people and those that help create that work. That doesn't mean we have to let business walk all over us -- there are differences in interests, clearly -- but let's recognize that there is an advantage to almost everyone in promoting a strong economy, and, like it or not, one that includes "big business".

[ 17 July 2004: Message edited by: phoebe ]


From: vancouver | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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posted 17 July 2004 06:45 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Who is saying otherwise, Phoebe?
From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 17 July 2004 10:00 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dagmar:
If the NDP wants to be government, it is exactly what the NDP should be doing.

Lying about something doesn't change what it actually is.

Small business is gruelling work for long hours and rather crappy pay, not so different from some entry-level minimum wage jobs.

Romanticizing this into some Brave Adventure distorts the perception of small business and obscures the fact that small business in particular is fundamentally hostile to government because government interventionism often adversely affects their cost structures, and while it might well affect their competitors' cost structures the same way, the owners of those businesses don't care about that. They just care that all of a sudden the gol-darned guv mint passed another law or regulation they don't like.

It is, in Hobbes's words, "nasty, brutish, and short."


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
saskganesh
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posted 18 July 2004 12:56 AM      Profile for saskganesh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by DrConway:

Conversely I could point out that the hypercompetitive nature of the small business sector (which is what resembles the free market the most), business owners that have an even marginally worse cost structure than their competitors will find themselves driven out of business. It's just the nature of the beast.

This can, in turn, force them to be even shittier to their workers than bigger businesses, which likely have some monopoly or oligopoly character in their sectors, which in turn lets them be a bit better on OHSA-type stuff and wage settlements.

Small business-owners can be some of the cheapest skinflints out there, and it's because the free market makes them that way.

Romanticizing small and medium business is not something the NDP should be doing.

Nevertheless, I should point out that just as big businesses often screw the rest of us, they also often screw small businesses. A classic example is the fact that larger businesses can often avoid more of the corporate income tax than small businesses because they can hire fancy-ass lawyers and accountants, or when all else fails, just bribe the politicians.

This, in effect, unfairly shifts the tax burden off large business onto small business, which can ill afford to carry that burden.

The NDP would do well to point out this particular form of screwing.


fair enough. but unless you emabrace small progresive businesses they'll vote Liberal.

do you want a conspiracy theory? NDP likes multinationals more because it means bigger unions and so more dues. address that.


From: regina | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
phoebe
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posted 18 July 2004 03:02 AM      Profile for phoebe     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Tommy_Paine:
Who is saying otherwise, Phoebe?

Um, you are.


From: vancouver | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 18 July 2004 03:46 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The fact that "big business" (whatever that is) considers those who stand in the way of maximizing the bottom line to be "antagonistic" does not mean that those of us who do not view the world as one big profit-making opportunity have to be similarly antagonistic toward said "big business".

Yes it does. By virtue of the fact business immediately regards anyone who proposes regulating business activities as antagonistic.

Consider it this way: Why does this thread exist and why does a capitalist party, the NDP, need to appeal to business?

Because business views the NDP as antagonistic because the NDP would propose greater environmental and labour protections as well as higher taxation rates.

Put another way, if you call yourself an environmentalist and say there ought to be zero tolerance for oil spills, business will call you an extremist radical and demand government treat you as a terrorist. But if you call yourself an environmentalist, accept corporate donations and argue a certain amount of oil spills into the oceans and protected areas must be tolerated in the interest of business and such acceptable levels should be determined in conjunction with industry standards and consultation and any eventual law on controlling such spills should be subject to voluntary compliance, then the industry will call you a moderate. And still work to undermine your efforts at even the slightest level of control.

You might say I'm a cynic. You might say I am pessimist. But I submit to you the above is exactly what is being proposed by industry right now.


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
phoebe
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posted 18 July 2004 04:14 AM      Profile for phoebe     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by WingNut:

Put another way, if you call yourself an environmentalist and say there ought to be zero tolerance for oil spills, business will call you an extremist radical and demand government treat you as a terrorist. But if you call yourself an environmentalist, accept corporate donations and argue a certain amount of oil spills into the oceans and protected areas must be tolerated in the interest of business and such acceptable levels should be determined in conjunction with industry standards and consultation and any eventual law on controlling such spills should be subject to voluntary compliance, then the industry will call you a moderate. And still work to undermine your efforts at even the slightest level of control.

Apples and oranges. The difference is that environmentalists have no community of interest with polluters. Working people, however, benefit from work, the opportunity for which is often generated by "big business"; hence, common ground between labour and business. My point is simply this: the interests of labour and business are not mutually exclusive. Just because Hochstein pretends they are doesn't mean the NDP should.

[ 18 July 2004: Message edited by: phoebe ]


From: vancouver | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 18 July 2004 04:28 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Pears and peaches. Because the interests of business and labour are not mutually exclusive, does not mean business is genuinley interested in exploring any meaningful alternatives.

First, I would argue, workers either are, or better be, environmentalists because a dead planet means massive layoffs.

But, more to what you are interested in, we can argue until we are blue in the face that business benefits from well paid workers who are able to spend their incomes on what businesses produce as opposed to just subsistence. But business will continue to lobby for lower minimum wages, lower welfare rates, and more restrictions on unions.

Sames goes for health care. We can point to study after study showing Canaidian businesses benefit from universal health care through healthier employees and savings on reduced health benefits. They don't care. They would rather have the profits of selling private health care.

How about a real life example: The Ontario NDP under Bob Rae thought they could cozy up to business and, in doing so, pissed off their own constituentcy. The result was an immediate defeat at the ballot box. And business? They threw all their money behind their traditional tory allies who then smashed education, slashed heatlh care and introduced a 60 hour work week for their business buddies.

Look, why don't the mice try to make an accomodation with the cat? I know the cat is looking forward to the meeting.


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Vansterdam Kid
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posted 18 July 2004 04:39 AM      Profile for Vansterdam Kid   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes -- yes -- business wants to get the NDP out of power if at all possible. And of course they'll work better with a Conservative or Liberal government, because of what many people on this thread have already said much of which I agree with at least somewhat. But I see nothing wrong with Carole James meeting with the Business community. I know if an NDP government is elected in BC, 'Big Business' will still try to get the right-wing alternative to replace it but if James can minimize that threat by showing the business community that she will run a tight ship then good on her. Even though, imho at least, a more helpful thing for her to say would be her saying something along the lines of *without actually saying it because of the obvious political ramifications and bluntness of it* that:
"I'm not going to be running a Clark like gov't where my ministers run around like chicken with their heads chopped off when political trouble comes so if you think that my gov't will be a push over think again. I won't be governing from too far to the left but don't think that because of that I'm going to be a pushover. I will run a tight ship so if you think that the next NDP government can be seen illegitimately then you are wrong".
I would much rather have a successful NDP government ala the Saskatchewan and Manitoba model, *successful in electoral terms that continues to provide progressive government* than the strategically inept *in realpolitik terms* of the Harcourt-Clark-Dosanjh era (or the one term Rae gov't in Ontario -- I don't know how successful the Yukon NDP was so I really can't comment on them).

From: bleh.... | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Ainslee Jarvis
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posted 18 July 2004 05:00 AM      Profile for Ainslee Jarvis     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Exactly. I think the Manitoba government is an excelllent example of competent, progressive government that looks out for working people, but is not seen as antagonistic to anyone.

There is no use in the NDP being antagonistic to big business, or anyone else for that matter. Governing, by its very nature, ought not to be antagonistic in a progressive democracy.

In terms of promoting real progress and a strong sustainable economy, it is important for any government to work constructively with all stakeholders in the province. Cooperation and pertnership are far more desireable than one-sided dominance by either business or government.

[ 18 July 2004: Message edited by: Ainslee Jarvis ]


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 18 July 2004 12:16 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think you are missing the point. Yes,yes, partnership and cooperation. Business demands governments cooperate and be partners. They offer neither except when they can directly profit.

Business says to the NDP, in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, "we will tolerate you so long as you govern like the Liberals or Conservatives." And the NDP says back, "yeah, okay."

So what remains is a business party, not supported by business, that takes its support from labour and others for granted because the alternative is even worse.

How is that progress?


quote:
But even within the limits of a social-democratic framework, the Doer government is hamstrung by its choice to accept the neoliberal economic regime it inherited from the far-right Tory government of Gary Filmon. This is most notable in its decision not to rescind the stringent balanced-budget legislation imposed by the previous regime. This legislation prevents a government from running a deficit in any single year, requires a referendum to approve any significant tax increase, and stipulates that a hefty $75 million be spent to pay down the provincial debt each year.

For a party that claims to represent the interests of the poor and powerless, it is also notable that the Doer government has refused to raise Manitoba¹s welfare rates over its term in office. These rates stand at the reduced level established by the Filmon government back in 1995. In real terms, welfare rates are almost 25 per cent less than what they were 12 years ago. Is it a wonder Manitoba has the second-highest child-poverty rate in Canada?

The Doer New Democrats chose to accept nearly all of the regressive amendments to the Manitoba Labour Relations Act introduced by the Filmon government. It also rejected the recommendation of its own appointed Minimum Wage Chairman, John Godard, a professor of business, who argued that the standard approach of adding an arbitrarily chosen hourly increase to the minimum wage should be rejected in favour of a system that ties the minimum wage to a universal standard of just pay, like Statistics Canada¹s Low-Income Cut-Off. Instead, the Doer government chose the two-bits-an-hour route. And, when assembly-line workers at Motor Coach Industries, a large bus manufacturer, chose to go on strike despite threats of plant closure and relocation to the south, the premier intervened on the side of the company, urging workers to accept a humiliating contract.


http://www.canadiandimension.mb.ca/v37/v37_2edm.htm


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Dagmar
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posted 18 July 2004 01:19 PM      Profile for Dagmar   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by WingNut:
[QB]I think you are missing the point. Yes,yes, partnership and cooperation. Business demands governments cooperate and be partners. They offer neither except when they can directly profit.

Business says to the NDP, in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, "we will tolerate you so long as you govern like the Liberals or Conservatives." And the NDP says back, "yeah, okay."

So what remains is a business party, not supported by business, that takes its support from labour and others for granted because the alternative is even worse.

How is that progress?

QB]


(1) How are the Manitoba and Sask NDP "business parties", if they are not supported by business? Business consistently supports whatever or whomever supports its interests, because it acts solely out of self-interest. So, if the NDP is not supported by business, it's because the NDP does not serve the interests of business.

(2) Working co-operatively with business on common issues [note to Wingnut: this category would exclude all of the examples you cite, and any other issue where the interests of business and labour were at odds] does not make a party a "business" party any more than a "business" party would suddenly become a "labour" party simply by co-operating with labour on certain issues.

(3) The "progress" flows from the fact that (a) parties that give up the old "business versus labour" dichotomy enjoy greater electoral success and electoral stability; (b) these parties are free to govern in the interests of the people as a whole, as opposed to the special interests to whom they are typically beholden; and (c) as a result, these parties are free to make decisions which will incrementally improve the quality of life for their constituents. That is real progress. And isn't that what all working people want?

[ 18 July 2004: Message edited by: Dagmar ]

[ 18 July 2004: Message edited by: Dagmar ]


From: Santa looks a lot like Daggy! | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
phoebe
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posted 18 July 2004 01:36 PM      Profile for phoebe     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think in hindsight my posts were a tad insensitive. I do appreciate that there are a good many activists for whom antagonism is their raison-d'etre, and I realize now that the prospect of co-operating with the 'enemy', even where such co-operation is in the service of the values that such activists purport to espouse, must create some degree of cognitive dissonance in the psyches of such individuals. I'm sure that's not a pleasant experience, so for that, I apologize.
From: vancouver | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Christopher Mac
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posted 18 July 2004 02:11 PM      Profile for Christopher Mac     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Hinterland:
For an economist, you're awfully thick there, CM.

Not really...just the truth...if you lived in one of those nice and cozy socialist nations Star Trek would have never been made...simple fact...klingon you obviously are another capitalist denying idiot...face it people want freedom in every form, freedom from government inteference in their life's choice whether they be social, economic or cultural etc. Socialsim does not reward success, it taxes it...capitalism rewads success. Capitalism isn't perfect I'll admit...but it is the worst system except for all the others as Churchill would have said.


From: New Glasgow | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
beluga2
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posted 18 July 2004 02:33 PM      Profile for beluga2     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I agree. Let's get rid of government interference in the economy.

Starting with all the corporate charters granted by government (the only reason corporations exist in the first place, after all). Revoke 'em all!


From: vancouvergrad, BCSSR | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 18 July 2004 02:51 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
(3) The "progress" flows from the fact that (a) parties that eschew the old "business versus labour" dichotomy enjoy greater electoral success and electoral stability; (b) said parties are free to govern in the interests of the people as a whole, as opposed to the special interests to whom they are typically beholden; and (c) as a result, said parties are free to make decisions which will incrementally improve the quality of life for their constituents. That is real progress. And isn't that what all working people want?


The Liberal Party of Canada beckons www.liberal.ca


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Dagmar
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posted 18 July 2004 02:53 PM      Profile for Dagmar   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Geez, Stockholm. It's getting pretty old. That is pretty much your response to everything, isn't it.

If you are unable or afraid to have real discussion about issues, why are you here?


From: Santa looks a lot like Daggy! | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 18 July 2004 03:44 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Show us some evidence that there is ANYTHING that the NDP stands for that you actually agree with and maybe people will take your criticisms of the NDP as a so-called NDP supporter seriously.
From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Christopher Mac
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posted 18 July 2004 04:03 PM      Profile for Christopher Mac     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
OK...I'll tell you some things the NDP advocate that I agree with...

Jack Layton and Canada’s NDP will fight AIDS by:

Ensuring cheaper, generic drugs are available to Africa and the developing world for AIDS and all life-threatening illnesses, such as cancer, malaria and tuberculosis, and by reducing the length of patents for prescription drugs in Canada.
Honouring Canada’s commitment to the Global Fund for AIDS relief by tripling existing funding.

Jack Layton and Canada’s NDP are working for solutions to turn the rhetoric of women’s equality into reality by:

Introducing proactive and effective pay equity laws, including timely, efficient, non-bureaucratic ways to help workers and employers resolve disputes and funding for education, training, information and enforcement.
Working towards applying pay equity law to all employers in the federal sector regardless of size and to all employees regardless of employment status (full-time, part-time, temporary, casual, contract).
Working with provinces and territories to provide stable, long-term federal funds to create an additional 200,000 high quality, affordable, publicly funded child care spaces within four years.
Ensuring women have access to safe, therapeutic abortion services.
Providing stable funding for women’s centres and educational programs designed to combat sexism and violence against women.
Dedicating some of the recent increases in Sport Canada funding to increasing access to programs for women.


Jack Layton and Canada’s NDP will build diversity by:

Allowing immigration levels to rise to the equivalent of one per cent of the population.
Working with provinces and territories to respect foreign qualifications of professionals.
Improving the immigration and refugee system to make it speedier, fairer and more accountable.
Amending the current immigration laws, which currently bar most immigrants that would have been admitted during the Trudeau era.
Eliminating Paul Martin’s head tax on immigrants, effectively regulating and enforcing tighter rules on private immigration consultants and their fees.
Freezing immigration fees to prevent gouging those who seek to make Canada their home and allowing immigration fees to be used as credit towards education and skills training in Canada.
Allowing people without status who already call Canada home the opportunity to apply for legal status, in the context of humanitarian and compassionate relaxation of the rules.

just a few...


From: New Glasgow | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 18 July 2004 04:05 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I think in hindsight my posts were a tad insensitive. I do appreciate that there are a good many activists for whom antagonism is their raison-d'etre, and I realize now that the prospect of co-operating with the 'enemy', even where such co-operation is in the service of the values that such activists purport to espouse, must create some degree of cognitive dissonance in the psyches of such individuals. I'm sure that's not a pleasant experience, so for that, I apologize.

Thank you for the overtly and overly patronizing comment. Subtle must be yoru middle name. If I was equally patronizing I might suggest some "activists" are so eager for power they are prepared to sell out every principle in their rush to get into bed with their potential ticket.

But I would never say that.

quote:
(1) How are the Manitoba and Sask NDP "business parties", if they are not supported by business? Business consistently supports whatever or whomever supports its interests, because it acts solely out of self-interest. So, if the NDP is not supported by business, it's because the NDP does not serve the interests of business.

You can call yourself a rose and still be a dandelion, you know. You might be a cyclist and reject riding, ever, a certain bicycle. It is still a bicycle.

They are business parties because they adopt the language, goals, and strategies of the business parties. They speak of debt reduction, productivity, tax cuts, rationalization, etc ..., while maintaining the draconian policies of earlier governments in order to avoid alienating the already alienated business community.

quote:

(2) Working co-operatively with business on common issues [note to Wingnut: this category would exclude all of the examples you cite, and any other issue where the interests of business and labour were at odds] does not make a party a "business" party any more than a "business" party would suddenly become a "labour" party simply by co-operating with labour on certain issues.

Agreed.

quote:

(3) The "progress" flows from the fact that (a) parties that give up the old "business versus labour" dichotomy enjoy greater electoral success and electoral stability;

It will never happen. And not because we would not allow it but because business will not allow it. You think of any example form health care, employment insurance, minimum wage, welfare, affordable housing, any example, and in every case business interests opposed the introduction, have lobbied against any and every improvement, and has never given up, even after decades, at attempting to undermine and roll back these advances.

We can agree business is vital.

But we must also ackwoledge that any NDP government will govern only with the will of the electorate and any prgressive change will always be over the opposition of business interests.

The only time the NDP will ever win the support of the business community is when the NDP stops being the NDP and gives up any pretense of progressive government. Because, in the end, progressive government is predicated on the regulation of capital and capital will always oppose such regulation.

[ 18 July 2004: Message edited by: WingNut ]


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Erik Redburn
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posted 18 July 2004 04:15 PM      Profile for Erik Redburn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Christopher Mac:
Not really...just the truth...if you lived in one of those nice and cozy socialist nations Star Trek would have never been made...simple fact...klingon you obviously are another capitalist denying idiot...face it people want freedom in every form, freedom from government inteference in their life's choice whether they be social, economic or cultural etc. Socialsim does not reward success, it taxes it...capitalism rewads success. Capitalism isn't perfect I'll admit...but it is the worst system except for all the others as Churchill would have said.

Capitalism, however defined, is hardly "freedom" and most people want some government "intervention" in the economy. Our freedoms in fact depend in part on the limits placed on others, particularly those in positions of power. Stating that capitalism and socialism(communism) are the only options available is just another blanket assertion, often used to redefine the limits of debate. It doesn't work anymore among thinking human beings.


From: Broke but not bent. | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Dagmar
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posted 18 July 2004 04:41 PM      Profile for Dagmar   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Stockholm:
Show us some evidence that there is ANYTHING that the NDP stands for that you actually agree with and maybe people will take your criticisms of the NDP as a so-called NDP supporter seriously.

I guess you haven't read my posts praising Bev Meslo and also Carole James.

As for the proof that I'm a New Democrat, do you want me to whip it out...?


From: Santa looks a lot like Daggy! | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Christopher Mac
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posted 18 July 2004 05:26 PM      Profile for Christopher Mac     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Erik the Red:

Capitalism, however defined, is hardly "freedom" and most people want some government "intervention" in the economy. Our freedoms in fact depend in part on the limits placed on others, particularly those in positions of power. Stating that capitalism and socialism(communism) are the only options available is just another blanket assertion, often used to redefine the limits of debate. It doesn't work anymore among thinking human beings.


I am sorry if I sounded if I am in favour of NO government intervention in the economy, there should be some forms of EI, a small small welfare state, a universal 2 tier health care system, free early childhood, primary and secondary education...as well as a form of subsidies for post secondary (however not a universal system wherby everyone can recieve free post-secondary) etc. I am not a mega-capitalist...just a centre-right economics guy...


From: New Glasgow | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Klingon
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posted 18 July 2004 05:27 PM      Profile for Klingon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
K'pla! There is no greater dishonour than insulting the person exposes you as false and dishonest.

CM is the classic example of how corporate capitalist apologists try to defend the indefensible. Folks should really read this to see just how these freaks operate:

"if you lived in one of those nice and cozy socialist nations Star Trek would have never been made...simple fact"

This "simple fact" is a lie. First, he cleverly fails to describe what he means by "cozy socialist nations." Chances are he's going to try to pull the tired old crap about the state capitalist Stalinist regimes of Eastern Europe supposedly being socialist.

Notice also how he ignores the facts I outlined that it is the labour and creativity of artists, techies and trades people that produced Star Trek, like everything else, and millions of working people who by making non-profit investments in our economy as consumers create the market for Star Trek to flourish.

Capitalists, CEOs, senior bureaucrats, etc. produce nothing. They only control the money and the process.

"klingon you obviously are another capitalist denying idiot"

This is the usual type of insults and lies these corporate apologists use when they realize they have no reasonable position to take against someone. They resort to lies, and rhetoric and slander and everything else to defend their worthless religion.

"face it people want freedom in every form, freedom from government inteference in their life's choice whether they be social, economic or cultural etc."

Here is more of the same. He takes a page out of what is historically socialistic thinking and tries use it to defend capitalism as if these types of economics are conducive to building freedom and culture. Just look anywhere in the world today and back through the last 400 years of history to see just what crap this argument is.

Capitalist economics of every variety are based on exponential accumulation of wealth by various select elites via the exploitation of the working producing/consuming population and environment.

They are the economics behind every modern day war, depression, dictatorship, corruption, ecological destruction and restricted opportunity for the vast majority of people, who are forced to act as the losers to pay for a privileged undeserving clique.

"Socialsim does not reward success, it taxes it...capitalism rewads success."

This is of course yet another worn-out bald-faced lie. Here he even failed conveniently to define what he means by "success."

If success means, as noted above, a privileged dictatorial elite or class accumulating wealth created by other people and used as a coercive tool to wrest even more wealth out of these same people (hence the "profit" motive), then capitalism is it.

But if success means reward for hard work and innovation, cooperating respectfully and sharing wealth and skills through trade and a democratic framework and common interest, building sustainable communities and expanding liberty and opportunity as much as possible to as many people as possible, then socialism is where it's act. History again shows the examples of this.

Capitalist economics are not and never were about expanding liberty and opportunity, creating sustainable democratic communities and workplaces, sharing the wealth we all create to improve ourselves both individually and collectively as we choose. That is what socialism is about.

Again, look to history to see the facts, not vindictive spoiled apologists who can’t even engage in a debate without acting like the spoiled privileged brats they are.


From: Kronos, but in BC Observing Political Tretchery | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Klingon
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posted 18 July 2004 06:02 PM      Profile for Klingon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
K'pla! Now on to more relevant things.

Other than CM's goofy insults, this is a pretty good discussion emanating from the article about Carol James address to the BC Business Coalition.

But it seems like we're missing some things here. First of all, the NDP isn't a capitalist party. It is a democratic socialist movement that advocates the democratization as much as possible of our economy and our institutions (that's what social democracy means).

If by the term "business" we mean the corporate capitalist institutions that control most of our money, trade, businesses and markets, then it's not a matter of the NDP being "anti-business" so much as it is the NDP being for the democratization of business. That is probably the biggest fundamental of socialistic economics (along with sustainability, social justice and mutual cooperation).

This is why the NDP/CCF legacy is about not only setting up social programs, public health care and education, and human rights, but about democratically organizing local economics by setting up cooperative ventures, credit unions, mutual aid networks and, of course, helping workers organize into union in capitalist-controlled businesses.

It's putting our socialistic economic values into practice and making them work for people that put us on the map politically.

We have to stop depending so much on welfare state policies and hoping that capitalist corporations and banks, and the rich club who control them pay their "fair share" in taxes.

The fact is the corporations' money is our money. Just like the government's money is our money. We should get more into talking about democratizing these corporations, revitalize our involvement with creating community-based businesses, non-profit services, labour-sponsored ventures, self-employed workers and cooperatives.

This truly frees markets while allowing for democratic public interest values to lead.


From: Kronos, but in BC Observing Political Tretchery | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Klingon
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posted 18 July 2004 06:52 PM      Profile for Klingon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
K’pla once more. The small business posts here are very provocative.

Both scenarios apply to the small business situation in Canada. Some treat their employee fairly well, since the proprietors work right along side them. In fact, the majority of unionized workplaces in BC here in the small business sector, with quite often even the proprietor being a union member.

Then again, there is no shortage of horrid working conditions in small business, with owners who are greedy billionaire-wannabies, indoctrinated corporate apologists, and skin-flinting con artists.

But the main reason for this isn’t because the proprietors are screwballs. In fact, what I have found is that most small businesspersons are trying to earn a decent secure living, like most other working people, not looking to make millions by screwing people. Most small business is in fact working class, since the person who owns the business is quite often the same person who’s serving you from behind the counter.

The main problem is that most small businesses are under-capitalized. One of the biggest curses of capitalism is that it centralizes the wealth created by working people into select hands and denies any access to by the population.

Most of the wealth created by the workers in these small businesses often goes to pay the banks, big suppliers, landlords, etc., with little left over to pay decent wages and benefits. Furthermore, when wages go down in general (like is happening in BC thanks to the BC Liar regime), consumer spending slows as people’s buying power declines; small business is the first to suffer (small business start-ups have slowed, closures have risen since the Liar took office in 1991).

This something the NDP must address, and in more innovative ways than just tax cuts directed at small business, like both the Clark and Harcourt governments did in BC, but via the basic socialistic strategies I mentioned above. This could include working with the labour movement to provide small business development shares via labour-sponsored venture capital funds and providing relatively inexpensive union benefits plans. We also can look at bulk buying, marketing and financial services co-ops for small businesses in various sectors. This could help them stand up better to the corporate big-box chain stores.

As for "big” vs. "small" business, these terms are also highly subjective. For example, from my perspective as a self-employed union worker (as legions of people are, contrary to what the media says), a five-outlet company with a few hundred employees creating $20 million a year in wealth is hardly a small business. Yet compared, to, say, Microsoft, this outfit is microscopic.


From: Kronos, but in BC Observing Political Tretchery | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Erik Redburn
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posted 18 July 2004 07:14 PM      Profile for Erik Redburn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Christopher Mac:
I am sorry if I sounded if I am in favour of NO government intervention in the economy...I am not a mega-capitalist...just a centre-right economics guy...

I'm not objecting to your political beliefs Chris (though I strongly disagree about two tier healthcare) so much as with these issues being framed by false dichotomies, rest can at least be debated in reasonable terms. I sometime snap at radicals over this too, but most every 'socialist' now rejects comparisons with Soviet style communism/capitalism -as has already been stated in no uncertain terms.


From: Broke but not bent. | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 18 July 2004 07:19 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Christopher Mac:
a universal 2 tier health care system

Spot the contradiction.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Christopher Mac
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posted 18 July 2004 11:24 PM      Profile for Christopher Mac     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by DrConway:

Spot the contradiction.


Nope, you have a universal system in which the government provides people with universal health care, and allows for private clinics etc. for those willing to pay...it will in turn make the system work better for everyone and give people the freedom to choose...right now we are the OECD nation in the world that does not legally allow for some form of private participation in the health care sector...however as we humans are always adapting to the circumstances we are seeing a trend towards private and cooperative health clinics...people want the freedom to choose there own form of health care...whether it be private or public. Not to mention the fact that it would give hospitals some competition...hospitals are allowed to be extremely unaccountable due to the fact that we have no market competition...thus why there are many cases of malpractice in the Canadian system...no accountability...


From: New Glasgow | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Amy
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posted 19 July 2004 01:13 AM      Profile for Amy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
As far as I know, when I visited Guatemala, there was 'universal' 2 tier healthcare, but the public tier was constantly short of things like bandages, syringes, doctors, nurses, money for drugs, etc. That's what I can see happening if 2 tier healthcare gets implemented here... all the 'high priority' people will take out loans or use savings to pay for treatment. then governments will say something to the effect of "oh, hey, no one (important) uses the public facilities anymore, they don't need very much funding", so people who can't get loans get screwed immediately, people who do get loans get screwed in the long term, and people who use savings have none left at the end of treatment. good for everyone, i say!
From: the whole town erupts and/ bursts into flame | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Vansterdam Kid
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posted 19 July 2004 02:26 AM      Profile for Vansterdam Kid   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Wingnut are you suggesting that the MBNDP and SaskNDP are as bad as the PC's and Sask'a'Tories respectivley? Or only slightly nicer versions?
From: bleh.... | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 19 July 2004 04:49 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Christopher Mac:
Nope, you have a universal system in which the government provides people with universal health care, and allows for private clinics etc. for those willing to pay...it will in turn make the system work better for everyone and give people the freedom to choose...

Like I said, spot the contradiction.

Just in case you can't, let me drop you a hint: What do you think will happen when doctors realize they can cherry-pick the wealthiest sick people and leave the rest of us peons to the incompetent sucks who graduated med school with a C+?

Answer will be forthcoming in 24 hours.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 19 July 2004 11:35 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Wingnut are you suggesting that the MBNDP and SaskNDP are as bad as the PC's and Sask'a'Tories respectivley? Or only slightly nicer versions?

There are some clear distinctions. One, right of the top, would be the lack of corporate money in NDP coffers. The NDP certainly is not beholden to particular business interests as are the Liberas and Conservatives.

But let's acknowledge that the NDP, when in government, governs not much differently than a Liberal or traditional conservative government.

**Traditional meaning brokerage party as opposed to ideologically driven as per Mike Harris or Gord Campbell.


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Klingon
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posted 19 July 2004 12:04 PM      Profile for Klingon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
K'pla!

Major kudos to the Good Dr. Conway on a measured response to the idiocy, dishonesty and brutality of "universal two-tier health care."

While I eagerly await the Dr.'s further contribution, I should add five quick info points based on research of the various health commissions, Conference Board and CCPA, and BC and federal government stats.

1. If a system is two-tier, then it's not universal, since one tier will get something different for its money than the other (it wouldn't be two-tier if it didn't).

2. The Dr.'s prediction of what will happen under a two-tier system is already happening now in BC under the corrupt reign of the BC Liberals. Some doctors are literally blackmailing patients, telling them to pay thousands of dollars for operations or risk their lives waiting in line.

3. Private for-profit health care service is far more expensive and inefficient than universal public care (also evident in BC). This why we see premium raises, service cuts, lay-offs, union-busting, hospital closures and de-listing of all sorts of services from coverage: to pay the extra money to cover the huge cost of corporate profit.

4. The biggest cost increases to our health system has been the private for-profit costs of pharmaceuticals as our system is bilked by huge drug firms taking advantage of lavish patent laws brought in by the Conservatives.

5. The main cause for the wait lists and shortfalls in the public system is that the federal Liberals have taken over $30 billion a year in funding out of the system and used it to balance the budget and waste it on corporate and high income tax breaks that do nothing for the economy.

Of course the corporate capitalist apologists and liars out there never want to address these problems. But they are going on in our system for sure.


From: Kronos, but in BC Observing Political Tretchery | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Christopher Mac
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posted 19 July 2004 02:47 PM      Profile for Christopher Mac     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by DrConway:

Like I said, spot the contradiction.

Just in case you can't, let me drop you a hint: What do you think will happen when doctors realize they can cherry-pick the wealthiest sick people and leave the rest of us peons to the incompetent sucks who graduated med school with a C+?

Answer will be forthcoming in 24 hours.


hmm...well seeing as the government forces all professionals in the medicene practice to work at a hospital for so many hours regardless of whether they own a private clinic or not, it shouldn't be much of an issue...med professionals are then able to mainatain a practice on the side...the same thing happened with people in physio about 10 years ago...lefties cried that it would be the end of the world...guess what...it wasn't!


From: New Glasgow | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Christopher Mac
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posted 19 July 2004 02:51 PM      Profile for Christopher Mac     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
and waste it on corporate and high income tax breaks that do nothing for the economy.


have you been living under a rock...those tax cuts are allowing us to remain competitive (at least somewhat) with the U.S. so we can keep jobs in Canada...I guess that's why Canada has the best performing G8 economy right now (as far as stability is concerned)...

as for your "star trek was created by people" bullshit, well sure it was but that's not the point, the capitalist system was what funded the employees of the show's crew, it was fed by the demand of consumers eager to watch a good show...


From: New Glasgow | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 19 July 2004 02:58 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
it was fed by the demand of consumers eager to watch a good show...

Then why was it cancelled?

Tell me, how many people use physio as compared to medical doctors? Of those who use physio regularly, without state subsidy, what is their average income?

Why did art and music exist before capitalism?


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
ghoris
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posted 19 July 2004 03:13 PM      Profile for ghoris     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by WingNut:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wingnut are you suggesting that the MBNDP and SaskNDP are as bad as the PC's and Sask'a'Tories respectivley? Or only slightly nicer versions?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There are some clear distinctions. One, right of the top, would be the lack of corporate money in NDP coffers. The NDP certainly is not beholden to particular business interests as are the Liberas and Conservatives.

But let's acknowledge that the NDP, when in government, governs not much differently than a Liberal or traditional conservative government.


Let's not forget that the political cultures of Manitoba and Saskatchewan are quite different than those of Ontario or B.C. For one thing, the social-activist/trade union movements are not nearly as strong or influential in the prairie provinces as they are in B.C. or Ontario. The Manitoba and Saskatchewan parties have a somewhat different history, more rooted in the populist agrarian movement than in urban trade unionism and fabian socialism. Manitobans and Saskatchewanites (Saskatchewanians?) in general are politically much more moderate and far less given to wild swings in ideology than Ontario (Bob Rae-Mike Harris) or B.C. (Glen Clark-Gordon Campbell).

Therefore I think it's only natural that the Manitoba and Saskatchewan parties reflect a more moderate, centrist approach to government. Not saying that I agree or disagree with it, but I don't think it's in any way part of a conscious choice to 'govern like Liberals or Tories'.

By the way, I also dispute your claim that the NDP governs like traditional 'brokerage' Tories, at least not in Manitoba or Saskatchewan. Let's not kid ourselves - Grant 'Let's Privatize Everything, Damn The Cost' Devine was just as ideologically motivated as Harris or Campbell. Same goes for Gary Filmon, although he always managed to put on a nice, moderate face for the voters. Part of the reason why he was able to get away with it was that the NDP had moved so far left in the 1980s (in Manitoba terms) that it had created an opening in the centre that first the Liberals, then the Tories, could exploit.

[ 19 July 2004: Message edited by: ghoris ]


From: Vancouver | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Dagmar
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posted 19 July 2004 03:29 PM      Profile for Dagmar   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ghoris:

Grant 'Let's Privatize Everything, Damn The Cost' Devine was just as ideologically motivated as Harris or Campbell. Same goes for Gary Filmon, although he always managed to put on a nice, moderate face for the voters. Part of the reason why he was able to get away with it was that the NDP had moved so far left in the 1980s (in Manitoba terms) that it had created an opening in the centre that first the Liberals, then the Tories, could exploit.

[ 19 July 2004: Message edited by: ghoris ]



Exactly. The Sask NDP is still struggling with the Saskatchewan Party and has only been able to hold them off by appealing to the centre. In other words, the NDP in Manitoba and Saskatchewan has been able to prevfent repeats of Filmon and Devine by appealing to moderate voters. It's time that the BC NDP did the same and I am pleased that Carole is now going in this direction.

It is really easy to sit on the sidelines and remain ideologically pure. It takes courage to be able to put together a winning coalition and actually be in a place of power and responsibility, as opposed to just complaining.
The Manitoba and Saskatchewan NDP are serving working people by building that coalition and by taking government and making steady progress, albeit slow. The BC NDP, somewhat like the Federal NDP, is at a crossroads. The Federal NDP seems to be drifting towards just being a collection of special interest groups. BC can either follow the example of Manitoba and truly serve working people, or it can devolve into a rag tag collection of special interest groups. I'm glad to see that the BC NDP seems headed in the direction of Manitoba.


From: Santa looks a lot like Daggy! | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Christopher Mac
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posted 19 July 2004 03:39 PM      Profile for Christopher Mac     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by WingNut:

Then why was it cancelled?

obviously because it wasn't making money near the end...I am not going to lie, I have never watched the show...I am just using it as an example...


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DrConway
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posted 19 July 2004 03:42 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Christopher Mac:
hmm...well seeing as the government forces all professionals in the medicene practice to work at a hospital for so many hours regardless of whether they own a private clinic or not, it shouldn't be much of an issue...med professionals are then able to mainatain a practice on the side...the same thing happened with people in physio about 10 years ago...lefties cried that it would be the end of the world...guess what...it wasn't!

My answer now forthcoming...

The answer is: the effects of that differential separation of medical talents to those with money leaving the only-so-so to The Rest of Us essentially boil down to Crappy Care for Peons and Great Care for the Wealthy.

The British system is an excellent example of the dramatic effect of the destruction of universality. The NHS is now widely regarded as a joke, while anyone with any horse sense pays a doctor.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sir George Williams
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posted 19 July 2004 03:43 PM      Profile for Sir George Williams        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If I didn't have such a strong distaste for Gordo and his cronies I would seriously consider not voting in the next election.
Nowhere in this discussion (admittedly I read it very quickly, skimming parts) have I even seen any lip service being paid to the underprivileged, the poor.
I know, I know that's not how one wins elections. It's the goddamn centre which gets you into government. But what about the poor, the underprivileged? What about the middle class -which is the centre- being tired of paying for social services?
I remember Joyce McPhail announcing with her customary smirk no less (she could have 'cried some crocodile tears' saying the cupboard was empty and she had no choice even though it broke her heart as a social democrat blah blah blah) that she was cutting welfare rates by around ten percent. Technically it was correct in terms of the total amount paid per month. However, since rent didn't go down the cut of fifty dollars was really over 20 percent!!! (Even Gordo hasn't cut it that much.)
Then the NDP spent about a million dollars per job "saved" at Skeena Cellulose. Do they still exist? (I doubt it)
That idea of catering to small business was floated by Alexa wasn't it with her idea of a Via Rail train travelling across the country.
I doubt the strategy would significantly increase votes for the NDP (many small business owners probably vote NDP anyway; they are not all profit maximising machines) but it would antagonise a lot of people like myself.
In the last federal elections everybody trumpetted how wonderful a stewart of the environment the NDP is. Explain to me, if you can, why Mike Harcourt told the EU to mind their own business and the logging in Clayoquot Sound continued? I travelled a lot all over BC during the Glen Clark government and the size of the clear cuts (never mind that I am against all clear cuts; I'm for selective logging) all over BC were horrendous and all along the governement claimed that clear cuts were being reduced. That's not what I saw with my own eyes.
Maybe almost all politicians are liars and have to be in this idiotic system. (But I do realise that it is better than a military dictatorship. And I'm NOT saying there are no differences between the BC Liberals and the NDP - there are.)
But the lies become very apparent, very quickly to those who get screwed. That's why in this moronic system you always get a change of government after a party has been in power for a few terms.
Before you flame me let me tell you that whenever I voted in my life (with the sole exception of 1976 in Quebec and Levesque's PQ wasn't that far from social democracy.) I voted for social democrats even though I consider myself an anarchist.
(Please note that anarchism for me is non-violent in nature and an unrealisable ideal just like 'democracy'. As Anatole France said 'it points in the direction of all progress'. It's 'people's power' if you wish.)

[ 19 July 2004: Message edited by: Sir George Williams ]


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 19 July 2004 03:49 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It is a poor example. As is any example of human ingenuity. People would create music and art even if no one was to appreciate it but the creators themselves. In fact, as many argue, capitalism, and its patent system, does far more to stifle and kill creativity and innovation than anything to protect it.

Today industry is patenting folk remedies that have been handed down for generations. In other words, seeking patents on that which they did not create. That is stealing, isn't it?


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sir George Williams
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posted 19 July 2004 03:53 PM      Profile for Sir George Williams        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I am no great lover of capitalism but believe me we wouldn't have semiconductors or airplanes (to give but two examples of large industrial enterprises) without that rapacious system.

I am not justifying the ripoffs just stating the obvious about necessary capital for large enterprises


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WingNut
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posted 19 July 2004 03:56 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Nowhere in this discussion (admittedly I read it very quickly, skimming parts) have I even seen any lip service being paid to the underprivileged, the poor.

Then you missed my posts.

quote:
the NDP in Manitoba and Saskatchewan has been able to prevfent repeats of Filmon and Devine by appealing to moderate voters.

But if they maintain the same fiscal and social policies of their predecessors, what is the victory? And why should I care?

From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sir George Williams
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posted 19 July 2004 04:00 PM      Profile for Sir George Williams        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Maybe I didn't miss your posts and I'm just not familiar with Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

I don't get the message in your last 2 sentences.

What do you not care about?

[ 19 July 2004: Message edited by: Sir George Williams ]


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WingNut
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posted 19 July 2004 04:00 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I am no great lover of capitalism but believe me we wouldn't have semiconductors or airplanes (to give but two examples of large industrial enterprises) without that rapacious system.

That is quote the statement given they managed to build the pyramids and invent the printing press without capitalism.

And if memory serves me and the story told had a basis in fact, the silicone of the silicone chip was discovered by accident during an experiment in digging holes in sand.


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 19 July 2004 04:01 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I don't get the message in your last sentence.

That was a response to a different post.

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Sir George Williams
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posted 19 July 2004 04:03 PM      Profile for Sir George Williams        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
WingNut

Are you for slavery? (Pyramids)

The invention of the printing press was not a large scale enterprsie like building airplanes or space shuttles.

The silicone doesn't turn into semi conductors spontaneously.

This is getting ridicolous

[ 19 July 2004: Message edited by: Sir George Williams ]


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WingNut
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posted 19 July 2004 04:12 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes, I am for slavery. Isn't capitalism wage slavery?

But seriously, the invention of the airplane was undertaken by two brothers as opposed to a corporate ideology.

And where would air flight have been in Canada, and most places for that matter, without government intervention and investment?

I do not oppose capitalism. I oppose the worship of it. I oppose the lifting of corporations to not just personhood but to the position of priviledged personhood. I object to the decimation of the planet in the short term interests of capital and I object to the subordination of all human activities, wants and needs to the demands of capitalism.

Beyond that, I think capitalism, if properly harnessed, can be good for people.

Edited to add:
Sand was turned to silicone during a university experiment. Academics. Not economics. And NASA, the space shuttle, is a publically funded agency.

I do agree it is getting ridiculous.

[ 19 July 2004: Message edited by: WingNut ]


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 19 July 2004 04:16 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There's always been a helluva lot of government support for basic R&D which corporations then appropriate(*) for pennies on the dollar and reap huge profits therefrom.

(*) More accurately, they steal it, but I promised myself I wouldn't be too antagonistic towards the likes of big pharma today. Several governments are often prohibited by law from selling anything for a profit, so if a government agency's people want to take R&D and turn it into something useful they often just form a private corporation (a la Mark Andreessen and Mosaic), licence it to themselves for a few bucks, and then all the profit accrues to them.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sir George Williams
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posted 19 July 2004 04:20 PM      Profile for Sir George Williams        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by WingNut:
Yes, I am for slavery. Isn't capitalism wage slavery?

But seriously, the invention of the airplane was undertaken by two brothers as opposed to a corporate ideology.

And where would air flight have been in Canada, and most places for that matter, without government intervention and investment?

I do not oppose capitalism. I oppose the worship of it. I oppose the lifting of corporations to not just personhood but to the position of priviledged personhood. I object to the decimation of the planet in the short term interests of capital and I object to the subordination of all human activities, wants and needs to the demands of capitalism.

Beyond that, I think capitalism, if properly harnessed, can be good for people.

Edited to add:
Sand was turned to silicone during a university experiment. Academics. Not economics. And NASA, the space shuttle, is a publically funded agency.

I do agree it is getting ridiculous.

[ 19 July 2004: Message edited by: WingNut ]


No no no! Capitalism is not slavery.

The Wright brothers weren't the only ones and I was talking about 747s etc

NASA did not build the shuttle.

Governments have been involved in capitalism from the beginning transferring all sorts of goodies tp private enterprise and they still do. (Not only with respect to NASA)

I never talked about corporate personhood. I talked about limited liability.


There'e a big difference there.

And didn't I make it clear several times that I was no adherent of capitalist religion or even an admirer of the damn system?

So please stop baiting me

[ 19 July 2004: Message edited by: Sir George Williams ]


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Dagmar
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posted 19 July 2004 04:25 PM      Profile for Dagmar   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Not to beat a ridiculous horse to death even further, but

(a) slaves did not build the egyptian pyramids. People were conscripted for public service a few months of the year in the farming off-season. Young men were conscripted to build public monuments in lieu of taxes. People thought it an honour and a privelege to do the work, though I may not necessarily concur.

(b) Egypt was a mixed agrarian/market system, which was the forerunner of capitalism.

By the way, you might say the same about Gutenberg and the printing press. Only when there was a market for books, only when the feudal system gave way for commerce, did it make sense to find a way to 'mass produce' books.

[ 19 July 2004: Message edited by: Dagmar ]


From: Santa looks a lot like Daggy! | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 19 July 2004 04:26 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I agree, there is a big difference.

But where you and I might agree, corporations are busy pushing the envelope on personhood. To the detriment of all of us.


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sir George Williams
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posted 19 July 2004 04:30 PM      Profile for Sir George Williams        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There were corporations for a long time before that concept of 'corporate personhood' was invented.

It was with respect to a US railroad towards the end of the last century, or the beginning of this one.

BTW government giveaways to corporations aren't restricted to the corporate cronies of Gordo and his ilk. For example, the 240 million given to Skeena Cellulose was a nice present from the NDP to corporate shareholders (in an attempt to save union jobs)


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 19 July 2004 04:32 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
By the way, you might say the same about Gutenberg and the printing press. Only when there was a market for books, only when the feudal system gave way for commerce, did it make sense to find a way to 'mass produce' books.

Maybe so. But the question is being framed by whom?
How did capitalism become sysnonymous with corporatism? And if the market existed before either capitalism or corporatism, then we can conclude, to function, it requires neither.

Canada has been quite successful as a mixed economy. And as a pragmatist, myself, I believe we take the best that any system has to offer. I simply reject worshiping any system. Especially one with so many dogmatic adherents.

[ 19 July 2004: Message edited by: WingNut ]


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sir George Williams
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posted 19 July 2004 04:37 PM      Profile for Sir George Williams        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dagmar:
Not to beat a ridiculous horse to death even further, but

(a) slaves did not build the egyptian pyramids. People were conscripted for public service a few months of the year in the farming off-season. Young men were conscripted to build public monuments in lieu of taxes. People thought it an honour and a privelege to do the work, though I may not necessarily concur.

(b) Egypt was a mixed agrarian/market system, which was the forerunner of capitalism.

By the way, you might say the same about Gutenberg and the printing press. Only when there was a market for books, only when the feudal system gave way for commerce, did it make sense to find a way to 'mass produce' books.

[ 19 July 2004: Message edited by: Dagmar ]


Just how do you know that? (Egyptian farm labourers? Next you'll tell me they owned their land too.)

The markets re the printing press ahve got nothing to do with it. (And many markets are created by inventions.)

The point of the discussion was the scale of enterprise and the necessary capital to carry it out. Gutenberg was running an artisan shop


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sir George Williams
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posted 19 July 2004 04:42 PM      Profile for Sir George Williams        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The corporate form of organisation developed a long time before capitalism came into existence.

It was appropriated by capitalists for their own purposes and the important 'invention' was the concept of limited liability which led to people investing money in enterprises knowing they wouldn't lose everything they owned if the enterprise went belly up.

An excerpt from the Encyclopedia Britannica:

... The corporate form itself developed in the early Middle Ages with the growth and codification of civil and canon law. Several centuries, however, would pass be­fore business ownership was subsumed under this ar­rangement. The first corporations were towns, universi­ties, and ecclesiastical orders. They differed from partnerships in that the organization existed independently of any particular membership; but they were not, like modern business corporations, the "property" of their participants. The holdings of a monastery, for example, belonged to the order itself; no individual owned shares in its assets. The same was true of the medieval guilds which dominated many trades and occupations. As cor­porate bodies, they were chartered by government, and their business practices were regulated by public statutes but each guild member was an individual proprietor who ran his own establishment, and, while many guilds had substantial properties, these were the historic accruals of the associations themselves. By the 15th century, the courts of England had agreed on the principle of "limited liability": Si quid universitati debetur, singulis non debetur, nec quod debet universitas, singuli debent ("If something is owed to the group, it is not owed to the in­dividuals nor do the individuals owe what the group owes"). Originally applied to guilds and municipalities, this principle set limits on how much an alderman of the Liverpool Corporation, for example, might be called upon to pay if the city ran into debt or bankruptcy. As applied later on to stockholders in business corporations, it served to encourage investment because the most an individual could lose in the event of the firm's failure would be the actual amount he had originally paid for his shares.

The actual incorporation of business enterprises began in England during the Elizabethan era. This was a period when businessmen were beginning to accumulate substantial surpluses, and overseas exploration presented it­self as an investment opportunity. This was also an age that gave overriding regulatory powers to the state, which sought to ensure that business activity was consonant with current mercantilist conceptions of national pros­perity. Thus, the first joint stock companies, while financed with private capital, were created by public charters setting down in detail the activities in which the enterprises might operate. In 1600, Queen Elizabeth I granted to a group of investors headed by the Earl of Sunderland the right to be "one body corporate," known as the Governor and Company of Merchants of London, trading into the East Indies. The East India Company was bestowed a trading monopoly in its territories and also was given the authority to make and enforce laws in the areas it entered. The East India Company, the Royal African Company, the Hudson's Bay Company, and similar incorporated firms were semipublic enterprises acting as arms of the state, as well as vehicles for private profit. The same principle held with the colonial charters on the American continent. In 1606 the crown vested in a syndicate of "loving and well disposed Subjects" the right to develop Virginia as a royal domain, including the power to coin money and to maintain a military force. The same was done, in subsequent decades, for the "Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England," and for William Penn's "Free Society of Traders" in Pennsylvania.

[ 19 July 2004: Message edited by: Sir George Williams ]


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sir George Williams
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posted 19 July 2004 04:47 PM      Profile for Sir George Williams        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by WingNut:

How did capitalism become sysnonymous with corporatism.

[ 19 July 2004: Message edited by: WingNut ]



They grew and grew and grew. That's how.

BTW in terms of numbers (not the value of output) there are a hell of a lot more businesses which aren't inorporated than corporations.

Of course all of them together in Canada don't have anywhere near the sales of, say, GE.

And capitalism didn't develop in ancient Egypt; that's utterly ridicolous. It wasn't a market economy either.


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Rufus Polson
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posted 19 July 2004 04:59 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by steam.machine:

They also tend to treat their workers better because they work by them side by side on a daily basis.

While I'm all for small business and do think we need to have stuff in platforms that takes them into account, this is rose coloured glasses. No they bloody don't. Ever work for a small business? My kids have been working for various small businesses. The pay is horrible, often late, and sometimes just disappears; needed tax information like T4 slips is often not forthcoming. The shifts are even worse than the big franchises. In many small businesses a "coffee break" is this odd hypothetical thing that is rumoured to exist. Often the conditions are unsafe. They ignore labour laws routinely. I'm sure that the outfits jumping on the "training wage" with the most glee are often small businesses.
Small businesses are a microcosm of big business: The person who owns it gains directly by cutting expenses and screwing the workers. They also save effort if they, for instance, make up the schedule without thinking too hard. As a result they often schedule in ways that leave them little gaps to fill, so they end up handing people two-hour shifts separated by four hours or similar insanity.

This is the kind of reason co-ops are better.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sir George Williams
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posted 19 July 2004 05:06 PM      Profile for Sir George Williams        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Rufus

"This is the kind of reason co-ops are better." (Don't know why the quote tags don't work anymore)

I agree. But have you ever been involved in a small co-op? (I'm not talking about the co-ops advertisng on TV)

I have ( about 25 families; a food co-op or more like a buying group)and getting the people to do their share of the work was always a drag

[ 19 July 2004: Message edited by: Sir George Williams ]


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Klingon
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posted 19 July 2004 05:24 PM      Profile for Klingon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
K’pla! It’s amazing how this debate has gotten so varied in terms of what we are talking about: from Carol James sparring with an elite corporate lobby, to capitalism vs. socialism to who built the pyramids and who invented what. Very interesting. A few points:

>” those tax cuts are allowing us to remain competitive (at least somewhat) with the U.S. so we can keep jobs in Canada”

More crap. Anyone who has taken the time to look at some of this country’s strong and weak points compared to the US can see that corporate tax breaks amount to sweet ^%&-all. If you rack up the jobs creation stats with the tax breaks, it adds up to practically zippo. Add to this that since the signing of those useless so-called “free trade” deals (NAFTA, etc.) there has been large-scale job loss in Canada in many sectors, as firms close shop here and move to the US where they can be closer to their larger markets.

Part of my work involves an industry that is closely tied with, and largely competitive with (albeit on a small scale) with the US.

The two main strengths for us are the skills of our highly trained unionized work force and, especially, THE LOW DOLLAR. Believe me, when I say how I have seen how interest grows toward Canada when there is a 30-36 per cent exchange advantage.

> “as for your "star trek was created by people" bullshit, well sure it was but that's not the point, the capitalist system was what funded the employees of the show's crew, it was fed by the demand of consumers eager to watch a good show...”
The only bullshit I see around here is what your kind keep spewing out ad nauseum. First, you acknowledge that “people” create the wealth (as in the production), then say that’s not the point (which it is) and attribute everything to the capitalist system, then go back to admitting everything is fed by the consumers (as in all those “people” you dismiss) “eager to watch a good show” (which, BTW amazingly you later say you’ve never seen).
The undisputable facts are that it is the creativity, labour and skills of workers of various kinds that create the value and wealth by turning natural resources into tradable goods and services. It is also these same working people that create the economic stimulus and the jobs by creating the markets for those good and services.
Capitalists, bureaucrats, CEOs and other positions of privilege or power create very little. Rather, they just own and/or control the process and use it to their own wealth-accumulating interests at everyone else’s expense. That’s one reason why I am in favour of democratizing our economy as much as possible give working people and our communities, who pay for everything, the freedom to be the main beneficiaries of the we work and pay for and to set the standards and agendas for how our economy will function. That’s one of the main fundamentals of socialism.
>” I am no great lover of capitalism but believe me we wouldn't have semiconductors or airplanes (to give but two examples of large industrial enterprises) without that rapacious system.”

Wrong. To say this is deny any human innovation or ingenuity prior to the industrial revolution. Throughout all history, people have invented new things and ideas in response to challenges and changes in their surrounding environment as it affects them (e.g.: without small pox and other deadly viruses, there would have been no vaccination, since there would have been no need).

Most new technologies, inventions and other innovations don’t come from corporate executives, capitalists, and other bosses. Rather, they come from working people: often poorly paid or unpaid artisans and artists, research students on grants, university researchers, and, at best, salaried engineers, architects, scientists etc. (often unionized). And, as has been said here already, the majority of these are working in government-funded agencies or non-profit societies (or are self-employed artisans) not for-profit corporations.

Some argue that in some of these cases, it is the profit motive (as in making lots of money) that drives inventors. But the truth is, most of these folks’ ideas and creations are inspired by what they see as a physical need by people as a whole-not by greed.


From: Kronos, but in BC Observing Political Tretchery | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 19 July 2004 05:26 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by phoebe:
I think in hindsight my posts were a tad insensitive. I do appreciate that there are a good many activists for whom antagonism is their raison-d'etre, and I realize now that the prospect of co-operating with the 'enemy', even where such co-operation is in the service of the values that such activists purport to espouse, must create some degree of cognitive dissonance in the psyches of such individuals. I'm sure that's not a pleasant experience, so for that, I apologize.

No. Before, you were being honest, although I think you were basically wrong. Now you're being condescending and snotty. Guess what? You don't have a monopoly on the truth.

Look. The problem with declaring peace on business is they'll take any concessions you give 'em but they won't declare peace back. So if you give co-operation on issue A hoping for co-operation in return on issue B, the record shows that you simply won't get it. They see it as a fight. They are in a class war.

And they don't care if it creates a stagnant economy--people assume they ought to, but they don't. A stagnant economy where rich people have 90% of the wealth gives them both more stuff and far more privilege over the rest of us than a healthy economy where rich people have 40% of the wealth. They're going for that 90% and they'll accept whatever collateral damage the process inflicts on the rest of us.

Given these realities, while it's cool for a leader of the NDP to go and speak pleasantly to business leaders, she'd better be aware of the truth. Because the truth is she can give them concessions all day and they'll still sucker-punch her to get in someone who isn't making concessions to them, but rather pitching for them. It happens every time. She'll get a lot farther keeping her guard up and getting her licks in than standing there saying "I'm not fighting".
I did that once, you know. In grade eight I briefly decided I was a firm pacifist. But I wasn't into running away. So when this kid wanted to fight me I said "Well you can fight, but I'm not going to." I had vague hopes that he wouldn't be willing to keep hitting someone who wasn't fighting back. The kid pounded me for fifteen, twenty minutes until someone broke it up, while I stood there and took it; lucky he wasn't all that big. But I had a major collection of bruises and my jaw was painful to move for some time. I have since revised my stance on pacifism. If someone's fighting you, you really need to be fighting back.

The NDP should certainly talk in a reasonable way. But it should not actually put any concessions to business in its platform, and it should not govern as a compromise party. And if it does things that are good for business in ways that also help the rest of us, they should not do them in a way that requires business co-operation or expect business to be grateful; neither will happen.

The right don't govern as a compromise, they govern from the right. If the right govern from the right and the left govern as a compromise, what you get isn't a compromise. It's a drift to the right. Middle of the road people really should hope the NDP governs from the left, because that way between the extremist Liberals and the extremist NDP they'll end up on average with government from the centre. But if middle of the road people push the NDP to the centre, what they'll end up with is the Liberals pushing right and the NDP doing nothing. A punctuated rightward surge, with no redress.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sir George Williams
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posted 19 July 2004 05:27 PM      Profile for Sir George Williams        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Klingon

You forgot Egypt's market economy.

Now if I only knew what K'pla means. (I've heard it often enough but don't know.)

Care to tell me?

Now P'tak: That is self-explanatory because of the tone.

P.S. What you don't seem to get is that I am not talking about the creativity of inventors. I am talking about businesses which need LARGE amounts of capital.

Of course all creativity and inventions come from human beings not some institution like capitalism.

But somehow you have to finance the stuff

[ 19 July 2004: Message edited by: Sir George Williams ]


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 19 July 2004 05:44 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Now if I only knew what K'pla means. (I've heard it often enough but don't know.)

It's a Klingon term that, roughly translated, means "I cry in the shower so nobody can hear me".


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sir George Williams
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posted 19 July 2004 05:49 PM      Profile for Sir George Williams        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
thanks if you are serious. (I have my doubts )
From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 19 July 2004 05:49 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The problem with declaring peace on business is they'll take any concessions you give 'em but they won't declare peace back.

Precisely.

From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
ghoris
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posted 19 July 2004 06:05 PM      Profile for ghoris     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I agree that there's really no point in trying to appease business interests - they know where they stand and who they are going to support, and it ain't the NDP. We can give them all the concessions in the world and they'll still bankroll the Liberals and Tories and use the corporate media to demonize the NDP. The Ontario NDP under Bob Rae learned this lesson the hard way.

That being said, I don't think it helps to be overly antagonistic towards business. Not because I expect business to play ball if we make nice, but because of the optics vis-a-vis moderate voters. If we at least make the effort of offering the olive branch to business, and are rebuffed, then we get credit for trying and it's business who looks bad. I think if the party comes across as overtly hostile to business, then that will scare off a lot of the moderate voters that the B.C. NDP needs to win. But if we at least appear willing to build consensus, then we will have a more positive image to present to voters.

(This is not some sort of grand principled vision, I realize, this is from a pure electoral politics / strategic point of view.)


From: Vancouver | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 19 July 2004 06:32 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
(This is not some sort of grand principled vision, I realize, this is from a pure electoral politics / strategic point of view.)

Which is also required.

From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Dagmar
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posted 19 July 2004 08:07 PM      Profile for Dagmar   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rufus Polson:

No. Before, you were being honest, although I think you were basically wrong. Now you're being condescending and snotty. Guess what? You don't have a monopoly on the truth.


But Phoebe does have a good point. I'm tired of NDP 'purists' who don't want to make any overtures to business or the 'middle of the road' which comprises the majority of the electorate. Those who do are called traitors. Well, if these purists actually cared about working people, as they claim to (as opposed to their precious ideology) these purists would get off their asses and work to make overtures to business and the middle of the road voter, get elected, and work hard to bring slow but steady progress. This benefits working people more than, say, sitting around on the computer, blasting people like Carole, who are actually willing to do the work.

A leftist ideologue is no friend to working people at all because he/she doesn't have the courage or the gumption to actually work within the system to achieve change. He/she would rather criticize from the sidelines. Someone like Carole, or Gary Doer does a helluva lot more for working people than leftist 'purists'.

[ 19 July 2004: Message edited by: Dagmar ]


From: Santa looks a lot like Daggy! | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sir George Williams
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posted 19 July 2004 08:41 PM      Profile for Sir George Williams        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
A leftist ideologue is no friend to working people at all because he/she doesn't have the courage or the gumption to actually work within the system to achieve change.

And screw those who can't work and have to depend on social aid for survival?

I'm not saying you stated that but isn't that what the NDP did when McPhail cut welfare by over 20 percent?

And why would it be different under Carole (if she wil be the next Premier)?


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 19 July 2004 09:04 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, such a speech. Maybe our friend, so willing to compromise, could explain to us what is a "leftist purist?" Someone who would not cut welfare payments? Someone who would not maintain welfare cuts? Someone who sees the poor, the environmentalists, the teachers, the students, the working poor, labour and others not as a collection of special interest groups but a speople needing a voice? Someone who recognizes business has any number of expensive, well organized, lobbying groups and ownership of the media and thus does not need the NDP joining in with a "me too!"?

Please do expand on your slur so we can better understand on how you pigeon hole anyone with a different point of view? have you called anyone a communist lately? Look out! Here comes the red bait.


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Robert James
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posted 19 July 2004 09:23 PM      Profile for Robert James     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dagmar:

But Phoebe does have a good point. I'm tired of NDP 'purists' who don't want to make any overtures to business or the 'middle of the road' which comprises the majority of the electorate. Those who do are called traitors. Well, if these purists actually cared about working people, as they claim to (as opposed to their precious ideology) these purists would get off their asses and work to make overtures to business and the middle of the road voter, get elected, and work hard to bring slow but steady progress. This benefits working people more than, say, sitting around on the computer, blasting people like Carole, who are actually willing to do the work.

A leftist ideologue is no friend to working people at all because he/she doesn't have the courage or the gumption to actually work within the system to achieve change. He/she would rather criticize from the sidelines. Someone like Carole, or Gary Doer does a helluva lot more for working people than leftist 'purists'.

[ 19 July 2004: Message edited by: Dagmar ]


Dagmar, I have to respectfully disagree.

While I can certainly identify the sort of people your post is directed toward, I think you are mistaken in the broader sense. First, to say that 'leftist ideologues' are no friend of working people and insinuate they do nothing but sit on their behinds articulating clever but non-productive complaints about the injustices of the system is just not true. Many people who profoundly believe the capitalist system is inhumane and rotten to the core BOTH rail against it and pursue micro-level efforts to ameliorate its effects. Many social activists you might appear to include in your definition (that is, again, 'leftist ideologues') participate/organize/contribute to communes, workers' co-operatives, collectively-run/owned/administered enterprises and work on behalf of and in tandem with working people to better their living and working conditions. To simply paint all of these people with one brush you already dipped in a small pool of colour (and the ideologues who do 'nothing' are certainly in the minority) is just disingenuous.

As to the point about James and Doer or others we could similarly place in such a category. While I reserve the right to judge James's contribution to the lives of working people for a later date, I am not as snowed as you are into thinking leaders who get elected somehow have more purchase on defending/advancing the interests and concerns of working people. Sure, some do in fact pursue and accomplish these goals. But that is because of a commitment to do so. One that, I might add, is shared by many 'leftist ideologues' (though the methods might be disagreed upon).

In short, a 'purist' commitment to one's ideals does not exclude or preclude an ability to act on and implement them. Nor does a willingness to compromise one's ideals to the point that they are no longer recognizable entail 'progress' or benefit for those they were originally intended to help.


From: on hiatus | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
phoebe
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posted 19 July 2004 10:01 PM      Profile for phoebe     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rufus Polson:

No. Before, you were being honest, although I think you were basically wrong. Now you're being condescending and snotty. Guess what? You don't have a monopoly on the truth.



You're right: (1) I was being snotty. (2) I don't have the monopoly on truth.

No one does. Frankly I think both 'sides' of this thread have made sound points. To my mind the overall point is this: idealism untempered by pragmatism is ineffective, and pragmatism uninformed by idealism is pointless.

[ 19 July 2004: Message edited by: phoebe ]


From: vancouver | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 20 July 2004 02:36 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Fair enough, Phoebe.

I'd say, though, that there is an implicit compromise that comes out of these "sides". The "ideologue" side has generally been clear that it's not *talking* nice to business or *sounding* moderate that bugs them, it's actual acts of appeasement and wishy-washy policies. On the other hand, near as I can make out the "moderate" side don't actually have a problem with the ideologues' *policies*, they'd just prefer we shut up about them during an election campaign.

So the compromise would seem to be, basically, "Speak softly and carry a big stick". I think we can all live with that--as long as we're clear that Ms. James hasn't dropped the stick.

But also, we should be aware that there are electoral consequences to putting down the stick. And even to shutting up about it. Wooing the moderate voter is a good thing, to be sure. But if you look at the Republicans and their success in the US, how do they accomplish it? Fraud, yes, but aside from that--they put a lot of effort into energizing their base, looney though it is. If Ms. James spends so much effort being "moderate" that she fails to energize her base, she may get a surprise.

Given that in BC it's basically a two-horse race, she may do better with a Jack Layton-style strategy than he did. What I noticed Jack doing was that he backed a lot of very sound, fairly left policies without describing them in leftist terms. The result was that confirmed leftists could mostly see that he was solid from looking at the policies, and the base was energized. But without left-wing language, in many cases the media couldn't tell the policies were left-wing. They just seemed like common sense, which is what most left-wing policies are. So the media treated him as a moderate. It wasn't enough in the end to get him far against the strategic voting thing. But in BC, the NDP aren't a trailing third party and there's no strategic voting issue. That general tack could work well.

One thing that I suggest would be a left policy, good for small business, and that thanks to certain activist public campaigns small businesses might even realize was good for them, would be pledging to damn well put BC Hydro back and maintain it thoroughly public and keep the prices in line. Even most big businesses aren't too happy with the BC Hydro privatization plans, which the Liberals still don't seem to have given up on. It's quite clear that private power means high and unpredictably fluctuating prices. Moderate and above all predictable prices are very important to business. And they're kind of nice for the rest of us, too. And politically, the BC Liberals sold off a chunk of our BC Hydro to an *American* firm with, I believe, some crony associations to Campbell and crew. Hammer on that and we can make 'em stink like a two-week-dead walrus: A decision made out of a combination of corruption and rabid ideology to hand our assets to foreign firms which will result in both business and consumers taking it in the neck in price hikes and be bad for our economic growth. The NDP will put back what was broken and safeguard our assets.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Vansterdam Kid
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posted 20 July 2004 05:01 PM      Profile for Vansterdam Kid   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Rufus, Phoebe I think you've both made excellent points in regards to the overall point of this thread's contents.

Rufus, The BC Hydro strategy is a great idea. You've highlighted a potentially strong wedge issue between the BC Liberals, and the business community. Of course those who want to privatize Hydro will be supportive of the Liberals with hope that the business will be privatized, however other business know damn well that privatization means higher energy costs and thus less profits. While by most accounts it won't be enough for them to support the NDP it could be enough to disrupt their support for the Liberals, also it will send a message to the electorate that the NDP is the party that will support sound management decisions, in the best interests of British Columbians, whereas the Liberals do things based purely on ideological *and 'other'* commitments.


From: bleh.... | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Klingon
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posted 20 July 2004 05:57 PM      Profile for Klingon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
K'pla! Good debate.

I totally agree that trying to appease the various corporate power cliques totally out off whack the NDP values, as well as just a useless waste of time in respect to improving our economy.

However, the fact is these power cliques constitute a tiny minority of people, even within the ranks of what we consider the "business community." It is obviously beneficial to make contact and build positive relationships with some of these other elements.

I learned the other day that after the BC Business Coalition honchos dumped all over Carol in the press after her speech (as was expected), several business people at that meeting quietly approached her, offered their business cards and said they would like to meet with her separate from the Coalition. So, it appears her words didn't totally fall on deaf ears.

While it's true our capitalist dominated economy is based on fundamental class antagonisms and clash of basic interests, it's also true that forward-thinking elements within the ruling classes can find common ground with the forces of the working class and public interest.

Obviously, most of BC's corporate class isn't going to support the NDP no matter what it does. But some elements of it clearly do have some interest in our policies and as much disgust with the current policies and attitudes that dominate business circles in BC (such as their support for the BC Liberals).

The BC NDP recently evolved our small business/self-employed caucus into a full Standing Committee on Small Business. We have already engaged the support of many credit union managers and board members, small business owners and self-employed professionals (many who are already party members but never put this aspect of themselves to use) on policy development, recruiting new members and working with the labour and environmental movements (something considered taboo in many business circles).

So it remains to be seen how well we do and how far we can go on this front. But we are certainly going to be better off than we were before.


From: Kronos, but in BC Observing Political Tretchery | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 21 July 2004 08:09 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I would suggest that, as I think Klingon pointed out a while ago, one problem that small businesses have is with access to credit. Same with many actual people.

One thing the NDP could promise which big business parties could not would be to improve access to credit, either by regulating the banks (and credit unions) or potentially stepping in with public microcredit and perhaps "minicredit" lending. The latter would probably be a harder sell, easier to portray as looney-left bureaucracy run amok, even though I think it's a good idea. Such a policy would again be the kind of thing which helps both small businesses and ordinary citizens, as opposed to some other sorts of pro-small-business policies like pushing "labour flexibility" which help small business, in the short term anyhow, at the expense of workers, dividing them.

In general, I'd be in favour of helping small business in ways that put their interests and working people's interests together rather than helping one at the other's expense. Another issue that's important to both small businesses and workers is rent. Rent control need not be solely a matter of residences; small businesses are often forced to move or forced out of business when a property becomes fashionable or the developers want to go upscale, and the rent goes through the roof. Small businesses also I believe have problems in that rents get raised to what the market will bear, i.e. whatever leaves them with just enough left to survive. If they become more successful their success can be skimmed away by their landlords. And while many people own their own homes, relatively few small businesses own their own premises. I can see measures for rent control that emphasized both homes and storefronts as potentially both very useful and very popular. And relatively hard to attack--indeed, a case where a policy to benefit the poor becomes much more ironclad in that to bash it, suddenly you need to not only poorbash but also small-business-bash. If the people advancing it had that "so, you're not only against the poor but against the engines of this province's prosperity" counterpunch ready, it would be very politically viable. But if it's presented as one policy, it would be hard for opponents to cherry-pick. When it's a policy just for residences, they can say "Well, I'm not really bashing the poor, it's just that rent controls are a distortion of the market". But if they want to oppose *just* the portion that deals with residences so as not to look like they're trashing small business, their ideology looks fake. The response then is "So when it benefits small businesses it doesn't distort markets, but if it benefits the most vulnerable in society suddenly it does? Isn't this just an excuse for victimizing the people you've already done x,y,z to?"--Heartlessness only flies when the heartless person can look like they're being the voice of reason. If they've got a contradiction right in their message, they just look like bastards.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sir George Williams
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posted 21 July 2004 10:41 PM      Profile for Sir George Williams        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Rufus

"regulating the banks?

I thought this thread was about the BC NDP.

http://tinyurl.com/63rza

[ 21 July 2004: Message edited by: Sir George Williams ]


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 22 July 2004 03:42 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sir George Williams:
"regulating the banks?

I thought this thread was about the BC NDP.


And?
Just because the foundation of bank definition is federal doesn't mean provinces can't regulate them. Health care is provincial, and yet there's this thing called the Canada Health Act.
Most businesses end up being regulated, often in different ways or different spheres, by more than one level of government.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sir George Williams
rabble-rouser
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posted 22 July 2004 04:23 PM      Profile for Sir George Williams        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Rufus

I am not a constitutional expert (or even very knowlegable about it).

But I'd be surprised if the provinces have the power to regulate banks.

Health is a provincial jusrisdiction (I believe) and the federal government 'muscled' in.

I could be wrong and you could be right though.

But I'm positive that the government -provincial or federal - cannot force the banks to provide loans to small business at fovourable rates.

This was your point, wasn't it?

Maybe this helps. (I only had a quick look)

"...the exclusive Legislative Authority of the Parliament of Canada extends to all Matters coming within the Classes of Subjects next hereinafter enumerated; that is to say, ....
14. Currency and Coinage.
15. Banking, Incorporation of Banks, and the Issue of Paper Money.
16. Savings Banks

http://tinyurl.com/5yro7

Scroll down a bit.

[ 22 July 2004: Message edited by: Sir George Williams ]


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged

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