babble home
rabble.ca - news for the rest of us
today's active topics


  
FAQ | Forum Home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» babble   » current events   » canadian politics   » Ontario NDP Socialist Caucus Conference Report

Email this thread to someone!    
Author Topic: Ontario NDP Socialist Caucus Conference Report
Sean Cain
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3502

posted 22 May 2006 11:06 PM      Profile for Sean Cain   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Socialists Prepare for NDP Federal Convention in Quebec City

Over thirty activists, based in fifteen different NDP constituency associations spread across southern Ontario, gathered in Toronto on May 20 -- their goal: to take the fight for anti-war, anti-imperialist policies, and for greater democracy and socialism, to the New Democratic Party federal convention in Quebec City, September 8-10, 2006.

The NDP Socialist Caucus Conference adopted a package of thirty-three bold policies, designating sixteen of them as priority resolutions. The latter feature calls for: removal of Canadian troops from Afghanistan and Haiti, solidarity with Palestine, social ownership and economic democracy, abrogation of the global corporate trade deals (FTA, NAFTA, etc.), elimination of university tuition fees, repeal of the federal Clarity Act, a massive increase in social housing construction, along with measures to enforce leadership accountability and to strengthen democracy in the NDP.

In a separate discussion on plans by NDP officials to change the party's federal constitution, SC conference participants approved a structural proposal that would increase local riding, youth and union representation on the NDP Federal Council, the highest party body between conventions which meets twice a year.

Decisions on policies and perspectives were influenced by two informative panel discussions held during the day:

The first was titled “Canadian imperialism in Afghanistan and Haiti: Where does the NDP stand?” with speakers Ali Mallah, a CUPE Toronto district V.P. and human rights activist, Mazen Jaafar, Alternate V.P. - Workers of Colour, Canadian Labour Congress, and Kabir Joshi-Vijayan, a young member of the Toronto Haiti Action Committee.

The second panel addressed “The Future of the NDP," and included Jean Smith, long time NDP and anti-war activist, Simon Black, past NDP candidate in Mississauga-Erindale, and Willie Lambert, President of the Oakville Labour Council and currently a candidate for president of the Canadian Auto Workers’ Union.

The conference set in motion plans to publish the SC newspaper "Turn Left," to convene SC meetings at the site of the federal convention in Quebec City, to field SC and Left candidates for NDP federal executive, and to staff a literature display table and a caucus room at the major party gathering.

The following persons were elected to serve on the Ontario component of the Socialist Caucus steering committee, charged with implementing the decisions of the conference and working in conjunction with other sections of the SC across the country: Peter Cassidy and Jeff Dickhout (Hamilton Stoney Creek), Betty-Jane Antanavicius (Guelph), Raychyl Whyte, Tony Crawford and Sean Cain (Oakville), Ross Ashley (Toronto St. Paul's), Judy Koch (Toronto Danforth), Elizabeth Byce and Barry Weisleder (Toronto Trinity-Spadina).

The NDP Socialist Caucus was formed in 1998 at Toronto. It is a group of NDP members aiming to strengthen democracy in the party and move it to the Left. There is more information about the SC at its website: www.ndpsocialists.ca

[ 22 May 2006: Message edited by: Sean Cain ]


From: Oakville, Ont. | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7791

posted 22 May 2006 11:46 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"The NDP Socialist Caucus Conference adopted a package of thirty-three bold policies, designating sixteen of them as priority resolutions. The latter feature calls for: removal of Canadian troops from Afghanistan and Haiti, solidarity with Palestine, social ownership and economic democracy, abrogation of the global corporate trade deals (FTA, NAFTA, etc.), elimination of university tuition fees, repeal of the federal Clarity Act, a massive increase in social housing construction,..."

Pretty much in complete opposition to the current neoCon regime. How will the electorate respond, is the big question. The polls I've seen show dropping support for the "mission" (ha!) in Afganistan, and I think folks are getting fed up with trade deals that sell the country out. On the face of it, this should be a recipe for a massive shift to the NDP next time around.


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
a lonely worker
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 9893

posted 23 May 2006 01:18 AM      Profile for a lonely worker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sean thanks for posting this. I will definitely visit the link. BTW, any positions on legalising marijuana and the environment?
From: Anywhere that annoys neo-lib tools | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Scott Piatkowski
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1299

posted 23 May 2006 03:04 AM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sean Cain:
The NDP Socialist Caucus was formed in 1998 at Toronto.

Then who were those people calling themselves the NDP Socialist Caucus in the 1980s and early 1990s?


From: Kitchener-Waterloo | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sean Cain
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3502

posted 23 May 2006 06:46 AM      Profile for Sean Cain   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Scott Piatkowski:

Then who were those people calling themselves the NDP Socialist Caucus in the 1980s and early 1990s?


I honestly don't know, although I've heard that there was a "Left Caucus" in the NDP based in the West during the 1980s.


From: Oakville, Ont. | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3138

posted 23 May 2006 10:09 AM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
"The NDP Socialist Caucus Conference adopted a package of thirty-three bold policies, designating sixteen of them as priority resolutions. The latter feature calls for: removal of Canadian troops from Afghanistan and Haiti, solidarity with Palestine, social ownership and economic democracy, abrogation of the global corporate trade deals (FTA, NAFTA, etc.), elimination of university tuition fees, repeal of the federal Clarity Act, a massive increase in social housing construction,..."

and if the NDP adopted these policies it might vye with the catastrophic British Labour Party platform of 1983 for the honour of being the "longest suicide note in history".


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7791

posted 23 May 2006 10:56 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stockholm:
...and if the NDP adopted these policies it might vye with the catastrophic British Labour Party platform of 1983 for the honour of being the "longest suicide note in history".

Oh, I don't know. The polls (last time I looked, which was over a week ago) showed declining support for the Afghanistan mission, and on the ploitical talk shows (Newman, Duffy) there seemed to be anger over the various trade deals that sell out Canada. Why not take all this to the electorate and see?

PS: I haven't seen any polling on Canada's efforts in Haiti for quite a long time, btw.


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3138

posted 23 May 2006 11:20 AM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That may be so, but its a very far cry from there being national support for a Canadian unilateral withdrawal from all trade agreements and standing alone on the outside alongside Cuba and North Korea. Canadians may be having second thoughts about the current nature of our MILITARY role in in Afghanistan, but that doesn't mean that they want Canada to withdraw from all peacekeeping operations in the world and become totally isolationist either.

Right now, we have low unemployment, low inflation, high economic growth and and low interest rates - I don't see bread riots in the streets or anywhere near the level of discontent that would be needed for this kind of extremist platform to appeal to more than a handful of aging ideologues at a few university campuses.


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4140

posted 23 May 2006 11:43 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Good luck to them. Mind you, building unity to eviscerate the Conservatives is more important to me than getting good policies in the NDP; that unity can use some help in Parliament from the NDP but its center of gravity will be outside Parliament.

The trade union and other movements have to step up to the plate and play the leadership role that the current NDP will not or cannot.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Sean Cain
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3502

posted 23 May 2006 04:09 PM      Profile for Sean Cain   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stockholm:

Right now, we have low unemployment, low inflation, high economic growth and and low interest rates

Um... no. We have blistering high unemployment that is hidden in the false recording systems of the Ministry of Finance which fail to take into account underemployment, those who have given up on finding work, and others who have not bothered to apply for EI, which says nothing of the 20 to 30% unemployment rates in hundreds of rural areas in Canada, especially in the East.

"Low inflation and high economic growth" say very little for the skyrocketing costs of oil, housing, and education and the radical increases in homelessness and poverty in Canada, especially for children and single women. It also says nothing for the increasing economic inequality over the past twenty year period. But I'm sure you knew this already.

Regarding the other Socialist Caucus priorities like reducing the workweek and creating more jobs, lowering tuition fees, progressive taxation and investments in social housing, since when have these ideas been unpopular with working class and modest-income Canadians?

As for democratic control of resource industries, a recent poll showed that 47% of Canadians favoured public ownership of the oil industry.

The NDP has recently slipped to 15% after running on probably the most moderate (and downright boring) campaign ever, even against a now leaderless Liberal Party and a Prime Minister who still isn't trusted by a large number of Canadians.

[ 23 May 2006: Message edited by: Sean Cain ]


From: Oakville, Ont. | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
otter
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 12062

posted 23 May 2006 04:18 PM      Profile for otter        Edit/Delete Post
And once again we see the greatest threat to the Canadian citizenry, namely homelessness and poverty, relegated to the bottom of the agenda.
From: agent provocateur inc. | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8273

posted 23 May 2006 09:22 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Scott Piatkowski:
Then who were those people calling themselves the NDP Socialist Caucus in the 1980s and early 1990s?
I was in the NDP Socialist Caucus in 1967.

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7791

posted 23 May 2006 07:13 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
sorry for the thread drift - didn't see the other posts about TAT down.

[ 23 May 2006: Message edited by: Boom Boom ]


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
sidra
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11490

posted 23 May 2006 08:37 PM      Profile for sidra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Right now, we have low unemployment, low inflation, high economic growth and and low interest rates - I don't see bread riots in the streets or anywhere near the level of discontent that would be needed for this kind of extremist platform to appeal to more than a handful of aging ideologues at a few university campuses. -Stockholm


It is more than a matter of economic performance. It is also about How a nation's wealth is shared.
Please read on...

"UN criticises Canada for neglecting poor, disadvantaged"

quote:
OTTAWA, May 22 (Xinhua) -- A UN committee has criticized Canada for not caring enough for its poor and disadvantaged despite the country's economic prosperity, local media reported Monday.

The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights scolded Canada in a report for failing to heed its earlier recommendations aimed at improving the lives of aboriginals, youth, single mothers, African-Canadians, people with disabilities and women, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported.

The UN watchdog group released the document Monday after an examination earlier this month of Canada's compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, an international treaty that protects such rights.

It noted that Canada ranks at the top of the UN Human Development Index and praised it for improving equal pay for equal work, extending maternity benefits and plans to improve health care.

But despite the country's wealth, ".. poverty rates remain very high among disadvantaged and marginalized individuals and groups such as Aboriginal peoples, African-Canadians, immigrants, persons with disabilities, youth, low-income women and single mothers," the report said.



http://tinyurl.com/r4z6v

[ 23 May 2006: Message edited by: sidra ]


From: Ontario | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8273

posted 23 May 2006 08:51 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stockholm:
...I don't see bread riots in the streets or anywhere near the level of discontent that would be needed for this kind of extremist platform to appeal to more than a handful of aging ideologues at a few university campuses.
If the object of formulating a policy for the NDP was to appeal to as many people as possible without actually having to change anybody's mind, we'd just need to adopt the policy of the Conservative Party.

Instead of tail-ending public opinion the party should be leading it. We should stand up for what's right, not what's popular.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sean Cain
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3502

posted 23 May 2006 09:16 PM      Profile for Sean Cain   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by a lonely worker:
Sean thanks for posting this. I will definitely visit the link. BTW, any positions on legalising marijuana and the environment?

On the environment, yes. The Socialist Caucus has prepared resolutions on alternative fuel cars, social ownership of primary industries (including hydro) and sustainable development.

As for marijuana, we haven't passed any resolutions per se, but you can be sure that we would support decriminalization and legalization.

The other resolutions that the Socialist Caucus has prepared for Convention in Quebec City are located at www.ndpsocialists.ca.


From: Oakville, Ont. | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1258

posted 03 June 2006 05:35 PM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Right now, we have low unemployment, low inflation, high economic growth and and low interest rates - I don't see bread riots in the streets or anywhere near the level of discontent that would be needed for this kind of extremist platform to appeal to more than a handful of aging ideologues at a few university campuses.

Everything that the left fought for and built in the thirty years following the Second World War has been gutted universally accessible quality education and health care, affordable housing income support for the unemployed and disabled. We have ever increasing gaps of economic disparity. thousands of people living on the streets but to you this is happy days. Being interested in economic equality and social justice is extremist. Your only solution to anything is to further embrace the idiocy of neo-liberal economics.
Just because your own narrowly defined narcistic self-indulgence isn't under threat you have no need to be concerned.
It is pathetic that people who are essentially red tories try to paint themselves as being progressive.


From: Republic of Parkdale | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Stephen Gordon
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4600

posted 03 June 2006 06:30 PM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sean Cain:

Um... no. We have blistering high unemployment that is hidden in the false recording systems of the Ministry of Finance which fail to take into account underemployment, those who have given up on finding work, and others who have not bothered to apply for EI, which says nothing of the 20 to 30% unemployment rates in hundreds of rural areas in Canada, especially in the East.


Stockholm's assessment of the data is correct. The employment rate - employment as a fraction of the working-age population - is at an all-time high.

And the Department of Finance doesn't publish employment data; StatsCan does.


From: . | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Erik Redburn
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5052

posted 03 June 2006 08:30 PM      Profile for Erik Redburn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Not really true, unemployment was significantly lower on average at onetime, nowadays they've narrowed it down to those Seeking work as opposed to percentage of able bodied adults working, but then most women weren't generally included in the total at onetime. But then most Canadians could raise a family on one income either. And part time jobs weren't usually included in the totals. And not as many people disappeared off the radar screen by becoming homeless. Etc. Onething we can guess pretty well is that this mini-economic boom won't last much longer than the housing bubble does, less if the financial markets starts to deflate under the weight of hidden inflation and personal debt.
From: Broke but not bent. | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Ken Burch
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8346

posted 03 June 2006 08:51 PM      Profile for Ken Burch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stockholm:
That may be so, but its a very far cry from there being national support for a Canadian unilateral withdrawal from all trade agreements and standing alone on the outside alongside Cuba and North Korea. Canadians may be having second thoughts about the current nature of our MILITARY role in in Afghanistan, but that doesn't mean that they want Canada to withdraw from all peacekeeping operations in the world and become totally isolationist either.

Well, what alternative would YOU propose? changing the party's campaign song to "Don't Worry, Be Happy"?

How is the NDP going to prosper by watering its principles down and not standing for very much, which is the alternative to the Socialist Caucus approach?

(On the other hand, I don't know if I'd be proudly announcing that these proposals, good as they are, are the work of "over 30 NDP activists".

I think that was about the total combined membership of the People's Front of Judea and the Judean People's Front.
..and the People's Popular Front of Judea, splitters.)

quote:
Right now, we have low unemployment, low inflation, high economic growth and and low interest rates - I don't see bread riots in the streets or anywhere near the level of discontent that would be needed for this kind of extremist platform to appeal to more than a handful of aging ideologues at a few university campuses.

That will always be a tough situation for a left-of-centre party to make headway in. But centrism and support of the status quo won't help there either, because people who basically back the status quo won't vote against the biggest parties of the status quo no matter what.

Besides, would you really WANT a Blairite NDP to get elected? They'd undoubtably get Canada into a war just to prove they weren't peaceniks, like Tony did.

[ 03 June 2006: Message edited by: Ken Burch ]

[ 03 June 2006: Message edited by: Ken Burch ]


From: A seedy truckstop on the Information Superhighway | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Erik Redburn
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5052

posted 03 June 2006 09:45 PM      Profile for Erik Redburn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
There still lots of room between revolutionary Marxism and neo-Liberalism. Just give it another year or two, maybe less, the foodbank lines maybe growing again sooner than some seem to think. This economic miracle is another debt induced, oil fueled, gold plated illusion. You heard it here First -lol!
From: Broke but not bent. | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1258

posted 03 June 2006 09:56 PM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The number of people using food banks has steadily been increasing since they first started many people using them are also employed.
From: Republic of Parkdale | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5594

posted 03 June 2006 10:01 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stephen Gordon:

Stockholm's assessment of the data is correct. The employment rate - employment as a fraction of the working-age population - is at an all-time high.


But what kind of jobs are they ?. Unemployment was nil next to zero in Caesar's Rome. There were two classes of people: the wealthy and slaves.

The truth is that Canada's full-time payroll job creation numbers were more than halved in the 14 years after 1989 compared with the same period before FTA.

Only about 40 percent of the unemployed qualify for UI-EI-O benefits compared with the 1970's. $49 billion dollars was stolen from Canadian workers employment insurance fund by the Libranos. It was all part of their conservative ideology to force Canadian's to work harder for less pay. At some point, it suddenly became much harder to be counted as unemployed in Canada. Even though UI and social welfare were easier to obtain and more generous in the 1970's, unemployment skyrocketed in the 1980's under Mulroney after cutting and slashing and scorched earth policy on social spending. And we've been paying down the enormous debts racked up since that decade of conservative political ideology. Canada still does not rank in the top ten most economically competitive nations with countries spending as much as a third of their GDP's on social programs.

And so now we have flexible labour markets. The U.S. and Canada, one-two, own the largest lowly paid, non-unionized and low skilled workforces among richest nations.

Personal savings rates in Canada are as pathetic as our new McService sector economy. We were supposedly developing a knowledge based economy, but we still rely on shipping our raw materials south at an ever more frenzied pace since NAFTA. Almost everything Canadian's buy will be our raw materials made into finished products by American-owned companies or their offshore branch plants and shipped back to Canada as toilet paper, furniture, finished building materials, our own natural gas with tariffs attached, electronics, toys, clothes, greeting cards and so on.

And we own some of the worst child poverty rates among developed nations as a result of all their economic quackery and gross mismanagement of Canada's natural wealth.

Whatdo we call it when people work for a few rags on their backs and drafty roach-infested apartments ?.

[ 04 June 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Erik Redburn
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5052

posted 03 June 2006 10:20 PM      Profile for Erik Redburn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by N.R.KISSED:
The number of people using food banks has steadily been increasing since they first started many people using them are also employed.

This is true, my mistake.


From: Broke but not bent. | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Dana Larsen
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10033

posted 04 June 2006 08:06 PM      Profile for Dana Larsen   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I like much of what I see in those proposals.

I would rather see a vote on Canada's continued participation in our international treaties, rather than just saying we'll drop out of everything.

I'd argue there should be a national referendum before Canada signs any major international agreement.

It's unfortunate the Socialists don't have an explicit policy for marijuana legalization and against the whole drug war.

The international drug war is a primary agent of global instability, political corruption, financial domination, growing corporatism social injustice, cultural genocide, and war.

There will be an eNDProhibition caucus meeting at the convention as well. I invite the socialists to attend. I'd also be honoured to speak to the socialist caucus about the importance of opposing the drug war.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
leftcentered
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 12688

posted 04 June 2006 08:17 PM      Profile for leftcentered        Edit/Delete Post
Dana stated: "I'd argue there should be a national referendum before Canada signs any major international agreement."

If you like national referendum for international agreements, would you like them for issues within Canada, such as taxation levels, social issues, political reformation, etc.?

Do you not think that Canadians should have a say on the more important internal issues before the elected MP's and judges make those decisions for us?


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Dana Larsen
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10033

posted 05 June 2006 11:38 AM      Profile for Dana Larsen   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
If you like national referendum for international agreements, would you like them for issues within Canada, such as taxation levels, social issues, political reformation, etc.?

Do you not think that Canadians should have a say on the more important internal issues before the elected MP's and judges make those decisions for us?


Yes I agree. I would prefer more referendums, and more ballot initiatives in Canada.

The people should be voting on issues, instead of just voting for parties.

Perhaps every year we could have a national referendum day where we vote on whatever ballot initiatives and major issues are facing us each year.

Having a workable ballot initiative system in BC would do far more to reduce the "democratic deficit" than changing how we elect MLAs.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sean Cain
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3502

posted 05 June 2006 12:06 PM      Profile for Sean Cain   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stephen Gordon:

Stockholm's assessment of the data is correct. The employment rate - employment as a fraction of the working-age population - is at an all-time high.

And the Department of Finance doesn't publish employment data; StatsCan does.



Well... In fact, both do, and much of Statistics Canada's information regarding employment, inflation, economic growth, savings and investment, etc. comes from the Ministry of Finance as well as the Bank of Canada and even Human Resources and Social Development.

Anyway, regardless of the employment rate, you still did not respond to the increasing levels of poverty, inequality, homelessness in Canada and the huge levels of unemployment that persist in many rural areas.

What would YOU do to change this?


From: Oakville, Ont. | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stephen Gordon
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4600

posted 05 June 2006 01:07 PM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post
Try to implement the Nordic model in Canada.
From: . | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Ken Burch
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8346

posted 05 June 2006 05:07 PM      Profile for Ken Burch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It wouldn't be bad, so long as everyone wasn't required to play chess with Death.
From: A seedy truckstop on the Information Superhighway | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Stephen Gordon
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4600

posted 05 June 2006 05:35 PM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post
How about a hockey game against the Empire's storm troopers at Elsinore Breweries instead?
From: . | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Erik Redburn
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5052

posted 05 June 2006 05:55 PM      Profile for Erik Redburn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Cute. Now where did you Get this from?

"So where does the notion that generous social programs mean lower economic growth come from? Because a large govt sector requires correspondingly large tax revenues. The story as it is usually told goes as follows: Increasing taxes distorts incentives. If people face higher tax rates on employment income, they will work less. If investors face higher rates on capital income, they will invest less. Since both factors of production have been reduced, output goes down as well. Conclusion: raising taxes will reduce output and total income.

That story is correct, so far as it goes."

Looks an awful like Friedman's discredited NAIRU theory to me. Lots of people just work harder if their income gets lower or taxes are raised, the labour market doesn't operate like the stock market.


From: Broke but not bent. | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stephen Gordon
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4600

posted 05 June 2006 05:59 PM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post
Did you read the next sentence?
From: . | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4790

posted 05 June 2006 06:02 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What was it?
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Stephen Gordon
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4600

posted 05 June 2006 06:05 PM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post
The same thing, with the signs reversed:

quote:
The only substantive qualifier would be that empirically, there’s almost no evidence that workers work more when take-home wages increase. In fact, there’s quite a bit of evidence that many workers will respond to an increase in wages by reducing their hours worked. Instead of taking the increase in income, they take it in the form of extra leisure.

From: . | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Erik Redburn
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5052

posted 05 June 2006 06:39 PM      Profile for Erik Redburn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Workers seeing extra leisure time as added wealth maybe the only hope our growth economy has. Long as they can still make ends meet, enjoy their weekends, and sock away a few dollars for the future. Back to my point, what empirical evidence is there in the First Place that lower wages or higher taxes lead to workers taking more time off or quitting less rewarding work, instead of simply trying to work Longer hours? (as is my experience) Or was the vague use of the term 'work less' meant to apply to what their employers decide?

See, I heard in the US there was much jubilation that higher employment wasn't accompanied by higher wage demands during the nineties. (not including upper management) Was that because these classical theories on economics were Wrong, or because workers simply had no choice but to take whatever they could with a shredded social safety net? Conversely, did the increase in after tax revenues by upper management translate into greater outcomes for their companies or greater reinvestment in their industries? Or did most of it just end up offshore? (sorry, but these are the kind of questions I ask, what trends do these numbers really Represent?)

[ 05 June 2006: Message edited by: EriKtheHalfaRed ]


From: Broke but not bent. | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stephen Gordon
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4600

posted 05 June 2006 06:51 PM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post
I agree that we could probably get away with increasing income taxes without worrying too much about people responding by withdrawing their labour.

The more contentious issues are the ones involving increasing consumption taxes and lowering taxes on capital income.


From: . | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Erik Redburn
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5052

posted 05 June 2006 08:02 PM      Profile for Erik Redburn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Thank you Stephen, and I apologise for going off on a bit of a rant. My ten minutes in front of tv was aparently enough to hex the Oilers I see so I might as well get back to this asa I dig through my old files again.
From: Broke but not bent. | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sean Cain
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3502

posted 08 June 2006 05:41 PM      Profile for Sean Cain   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stephen Gordon:
Try to implement the Nordic model in Canada.

So you're saying that an NDP government should almost double sales taxes and (further) reduce corporate taxes in this country in order to institute an economic model.

... And you think that the Socialist Caucus' ideas of social ownership of the oil industry, reduction of the workweek and the elimination of tuition fees would be unpopular?

Stephen, I would whole-heartedly agree with a vast majority of policies of the Nordic model, but it is under severe strain and would be under even greater pressures here in North America because of NAFTA.

I'm not saying that the Nordic model (minus the high sales and lower corporate taxes) shouldn't be implemented, but we need more than a larger welfare state and strong unions to build a better way of life.

This is where social ownership and workplace democracy is vital.


From: Oakville, Ont. | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stephen Gordon
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4600

posted 08 June 2006 06:44 PM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sean Cain:
[QB]
... And you think that the Socialist Caucus' ideas of social ownership of the oil industry, reduction of the workweek and the elimination of tuition fees would be unpopular?


I don't know, but I do think that they're poorly thought out. I'm not aware of any analysis that suggests that these policies would generate outcomes that we'd be happy with.

The advantages of the Nordic model are several:
- It makes use of basic, textbook economics.
- We have several real-world examples to copy.
- Parties who follow these policies get elected. And then re-elected.

[ 08 June 2006: Message edited by: Stephen Gordon ]


From: . | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5594

posted 08 June 2006 07:14 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes Sean. Our in house economist has been advocating consumption taxes for Canada, just like the Nordic countries. I think smokers already pay an arm and a leg for a carton of cigs, so maybe they should raise taxes on things like: beer, wine, pickled walnuts, Napoleon brandy, industries that pollute and so on and so forth. taxing the poor to pay the poor
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Lord Palmerston
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4901

posted 08 June 2006 07:46 PM      Profile for Lord Palmerston     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
But Stephen, hasn't the Nordic model been threatened since the 80s? Hasn't it become less distinctive? Denmark is considered a great "success" but it's also the most neoliberal.
From: Toronto | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5594

posted 08 June 2006 08:11 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
In the Nordic countries and much of Europe, however, the beast remains well fed. According to the OECD, Sweden, Denmark and Finland devote almost a third of their GDP to social transfers. Germany and France devote about a quarter. America redirects only 14% or so of its national income in this way.

And then the 2004 Economist article goes on to complain about European nation's lagging performance. But Denmark and the Scandinavian countries have consistently ranked high in Jeffrey Sachs' and Harvard Business School's top ten nations list for Economic Competitive Growth Index several years running. Canada, Japan and England, three of the more politically conservative nations plowing significantly less of our GDP's back into social programs, are trailing the top ten. Conservative Australia has just made the number ten spot, but they do have labour in every territorial and provincial government.

And the very controversial nation here at rabble, Singapore, was a fourth world basket case in 1965. Their economy is a free market liberal democracy with tendencies toward autocratic rule. However, Lee Kwan Yew is said to have been a social democrat for many years. His policies picked that country off its knees, and now Singaporean's are said to be earning fifth highest incomes on average in the world with highly equitable income distribution. Singapore's is a diversfied and bustling economy and has risen further, faster than Hong Kong.

[ 08 June 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stephen Gordon
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4600

posted 09 June 2006 12:52 PM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Lord Palmerston:
But Stephen, hasn't the Nordic model been threatened since the 80s? Hasn't it become less distinctive? Denmark is considered a great "success" but it's also the most neoliberal.

What happened in the 80's is that Sweden found that the tax mix they had first adopted wasn't working. So they moved to the current mix, and things got better. Social spending wasn't cut, they're just financing it in a way that doesn't slow growth.


From: . | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Erik Redburn
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5052

posted 09 June 2006 03:06 PM      Profile for Erik Redburn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The problem with arguments For a "Nordic model" is they may not be exportable. All such constructs should take into account a variety of different countries (within a reasonable range, developed with developed economies mostly) as Well as their comparitive performasnce over Time. Otherwise the formulations may just be excluding other driving factors that are purely circumstance related.

For example, in North America income taxes have already been lowered as has capital gains as has corprate taxes, while flat taxes like service fees and the GST have increased. Have the results in the last generation been desirable from a social democratic-society first perspective? I don't see it. Even in Scandinavia I think it should be noted that theyve been involved in sizable 'privatization' of public industries and like everyone else they're under ongoing pressure from trans-nation capital, even with a large somewhat more regululated, protected European market. (Is Scandinavia itself even doing Better than they were a generation ago or just in comparison to other more standard liberalized economies? etc)

Another possible way of looking at it is whether we really Want more capital tied up in the financial and stock markets anymore, is there really much hard evidence that this huge inflationary-deflationary phenomena has paid off as far as investment in new businesses (rather than debt financed mergers or privatization of what of public monopolies) or jobs (rather than the usual downsizing to pay Down these aquired debts) or correcting imbalances in pricing? (like too low prices in food production) Not to mention reinvestment in public services that have taken such a hit. Those I thought were about the only real justifications for these capital markets in the first place, making high rollers even wealthier being just a motivating byproduct.


From: Broke but not bent. | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 518

posted 09 June 2006 03:06 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
There are a million wonderful things about the Nordic model.

Here's an example. My friend gave birth to a disabled child. His cognitive abilities are extremely poor, although he can speak and recognise numbers.

He is now 23 years old. He works at a grocery store as a stockboy. 90% of his wages are paid by the state, thus providing an incentive to the employer to employ someone with his limitations.

At age 23, he is purchasing his first home, a condominium. The state allows him to designate a part of the 90% they pay him (through the employer) as mortgage payments. They guarantee the loan with the bank, so there is very little risk.

The result is that someone who might be on the street here, or living off relatives, will have his own home, and thus his own retirement fund when he turns 62.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Erik Redburn
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5052

posted 09 June 2006 03:20 PM      Profile for Erik Redburn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That's great. Most Nordic countries have invested more in social systems than we have but then they've also paid more in taxes than us on average. Still do I believe. I don't know if any of that is an argument for their eventually shifting to a flatter consumption tax model - any organizational, social or technological advances would likely happen anyhow in such socially inclined nations. Our GST OTOH sure hasn't seemed to improved things over earlier more progressive tax regimes. We barely even Have a manufacturing sector anymore outside Windsor and Bombardier central -though That was the major rationale given at the time, making our industry more competitive within 'liberalized' global markets.

[ 09 June 2006: Message edited by: EriKtheHalfaRed ]


From: Broke but not bent. | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stephen Gordon
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4600

posted 09 June 2006 03:24 PM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by EriKtheHalfaRed:
The problem with arguments For a "Nordic model" is they may not be exportable.

People have said that before; the most common argument says that the Nordic model is only possible when the country is ethnically homogeneous. I'm not convinced.


From: . | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Erik Redburn
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5052

posted 09 June 2006 03:36 PM      Profile for Erik Redburn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
How does this address my point about increased flat taxes showing not-so good (social) results here as Well as the States? Ethnicity and historical relationships between groups is rather different between Canada and the States too, Canada eg having a longer working relationship with Aboriginal people (exploitive as it was) and not depending on slave labour to the same degree, but rather poorer white working class and immgrants. OTOH more divisions Between European language communties (as mentioned), more 'multicultural' rather than 'meltingpot' now but more Empire oriented before, etc etc. More 'collective' government oriented supposedly. Yet the results seemn more similar on our side of the Atlantic than Their's. I dunno, I still don't see it.

Edited cuz I'm a clutz.

[ 09 June 2006: Message edited by: EriKtheHalfaRed ]


From: Broke but not bent. | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stephen Gordon
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4600

posted 09 June 2006 03:42 PM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post
I don't understand the point you're making.
From: . | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Erik Redburn
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5052

posted 09 June 2006 03:54 PM      Profile for Erik Redburn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ok, I'm wandering over too much ground here. My main point was simply that there Has Already been a movement Away from income, capital gains and corprate taxation in NA and towards more payrolls taxes, user fees and sales taxes yet they don't seem to show the same positive results Here. Disparity of income has gone up not down, and our public services are still much reduced. (I can give you some numbers too if you like, I'm not just making this up) So how come? Maybe it Is more a cultural, attitudenal thing overall.
From: Broke but not bent. | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5594

posted 09 June 2006 04:33 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by EriKtheHalfaRed:
Even in Scandinavia I think it should be noted that theyve been involved in sizable 'privatization' of public industries and like everyone else they're under ongoing pressure from trans-nation capital, even with a large somewhat more regululated, protected European market. (Is Scandinavia itself even doing Better than they were a generation ago or just in comparison to other more standard liberalized economies? etc)

The socialists in Norway feel there is no pressing need to privatize and still have the largest public sector as a percentage of the economy. Norway is also a net creditor nation.

And the Swede's, for example, have banned the building of more private hospitals in 2004 with concerns over quality of service. The social democrat government in Sweden has focused more on job creation than privatization gimmicks over the last ten years.

I think one of the reasons corporations do thrive in Scandinavia is the regulatory controls implemented by social democrats are fairly easy to comply with. And Denmark is said to have the best infrastructure in the world. Corporations don't have to worry about spending on social safety nets or paying high corporate taxes. The corporate tax rates are lower than in the U.S.

Yes, we pay lots of taxes. But I agree, Canadian's do not receive the same level of public services that Scandinavian's and Euro's do for their tax dollars. If it's not high speed rail service we're doing without in North America, then it's daycare and doctor shortages. Increasing private foreign-ownership of our economy in Canada since Mulroney-Chretien hasn't translated into increased direct foreign investment on R&D, nor have we experienced phenomenal growth rates in Canada. And the liquidation of Canadian corporations and public assets has not transformed us into a more competitive nation. We do need to get federal corruption under control, and that means ditching the two old line parties for full effect.

[ 09 June 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Erik Redburn
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5052

posted 09 June 2006 07:27 PM      Profile for Erik Redburn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Maybe it's a matter of relative extent, where we started etc, as I've heard a lot about privatization in Scandinavia on late night public radio, mostly in Finland and Sweden, but I'll have to see what there is in print now, maybe there's a reversal of policies again. I'd like to get more of an idea of timing here as well, otherwise it's almost impossible to separate cause from effect. Speculating about the effects of different levels of national 'solidarity' and Their relative effects on economies means little to me either, unless they can be connected to some tangeable mechanisms or policy differences. Or maybe just unavoidable circumstances. (IE: Canadian infrastructure costs using different policies, compared to similar policies in different sized nations or climes)

ETA: And I was thinking more in terms of the general pressures of maintaining employment, wages and taxation competing in more globalized markets, rather than purely national policies. EU limits the effects somewhat, higher degree of national ownership maybe, perhaps the smaller size of the nations makes it easier for them to rely on a handful of internationally competitive companies like Nokea or Husqvarna, easier to regulate nationally, I don't know.

[ 09 June 2006: Message edited by: EriKtheHalfaRed ]


From: Broke but not bent. | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stephen Gordon
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4600

posted 09 June 2006 07:33 PM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post
What's the big deal about privatisation? You can have strong social programs without nationalising industries. No-one's giving points for style here.
From: . | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Erik Redburn
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5052

posted 09 June 2006 07:45 PM      Profile for Erik Redburn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I was just suggesting there that lower progressive taxation maybe maintained easier with lower public ownership. In comparison to their previous record, as much as ours. What my point revolves around there.
From: Broke but not bent. | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5594

posted 10 June 2006 12:18 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stephen Gordon:
What's the big deal about privatisation? You can have strong social programs without nationalising industries. No-one's giving points for style here.

I'm not an economist, Stephen. I read a few books , a few news journals, and maybe as newspaper now and then. I just don't see the wisdom of handing so much control of Canadian corporations, and therefore a significant amount of economic decision making, to foreign-based multinationals. Erik above mentions Nokia and Husqvarna. I think Canada used to make our own chainsaws at one time. we know that Nokia and Ericsson still do a good deal of R&D in their home countries. They are big, and so is Siemens AG still based in Munich with manufacturing plants in Kanata, ON and across N. America. Newbridge Networks was a flagship of Canadian innovation in telecommunications and supplying much of the U.S. military and U.S. banks with the most advanced switching equipment for VPN's and intranets. Newbridge is now owned by French telecom giant, Alcatel. There were a lot of good people lost their jobs when that takeover happened a few years ago. The French have kept the core of the company intact and with most of the braintrust people staying on, but it remains to be seen just how much of Alcatel's R&D budget will be spent in Canada. This is just one example that I'm aware of. And note that Nortel did not pack up and move to the Carolinas because John Roth said Canadian taxes were too high in 2001.

Mel Hurtig scares the living daylights out of his readers in "The Vanishing Country." He says the takeover of Canada by foreign multinationals is on since FTA and NAFTA. He likens the Americanization of Canadian corporations to the liquidation of Eaton's. I think he is saying that no developed country in modern history has allowed this much foreign ownership of its economy. How good can it be for us to allow this to happen to our economic sovereignty?.

As far as privatization gimmicks go, Britain went on a privatization binge since Margaret Thatcher and John Major. Tony Blair hasn't swerved from that agenda. Stephen, why isn't Britain listed in the top ten most economically competitive nations if privatization is a good thing?. Opinion polls say Germans and Swedes aren't thrilled about the idea.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Ken Burch
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8346

posted 10 June 2006 01:42 AM      Profile for Ken Burch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
duplicate post.

[ 10 June 2006: Message edited by: Ken Burch ]


From: A seedy truckstop on the Information Superhighway | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Ken Burch
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8346

posted 10 June 2006 01:42 AM      Profile for Ken Burch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Duplicate post.

[ 10 June 2006: Message edited by: Ken Burch ]


From: A seedy truckstop on the Information Superhighway | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Ken Burch
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8346

posted 10 June 2006 01:43 AM      Profile for Ken Burch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, Steven, part of the "big deal" about privatization is that it means, effectively, giving up forever on the idea that any of the economic decisions in a society(and remember, those are the only decisions that REALLY affect most people, other than the decision to enter a war, of course)should be made on any basis other than the enrichment of the few.

If you concede that society should forever be run on the principle that "greed is good", than how can you still advocate for any level of social and economic justice within that society, given that the natural self-interest of the market is always against any broad definition of justice or the public interest. Yes, there will still be a few nice philanthopists around(like our Mr. Rockefeller with his dimes)but we know what that class...and I do mean CLASS...will always choose to do in the end, when it really matters. And that decision won't be "well, let's do what makes life better and happier for most people".

Embracing privitization, in the end, isn't just sacrificing "style points". It's accepting the death of dreams.


From: A seedy truckstop on the Information Superhighway | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Stephen Gordon
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4600

posted 10 June 2006 04:46 AM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Ken Burch:
[QB]If you concede that society should forever be run on the principle that "greed is good", than how can you still advocate for any level of social and economic justice within that society, given that the natural self-interest of the market is always against any broad definition of justice or the public interest.

If markets function properly, the pursuit of self-interest does work for the public interest - this is the point for which Adam Smith is famous. Since Smith, we've learned a bit more about how to formalise it (we call the the first and second welfare theorems now), and we've learned more about the cases where markets will fail, but his basic point still stands.


From: . | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
unionist
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11323

posted 10 June 2006 05:56 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
How do you argue with an economic ideology that says it's ok for a family to own a railway?
From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Stephen Gordon
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4600

posted 10 June 2006 11:14 AM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post
Huh?
From: . | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5594

posted 10 June 2006 01:56 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That's very good, Stephen. Who would have thought we'd be discussing Adam Smith in a thread with this heading?.

If the Bilderberg societies of the world and Adam Smith want to thwart socialist plans for nationalisation from the grave because it would interfere with the smooth running of markets, then what's wrong with, say, a green tax on oil extracted from tar sands ?. Or what would be wrong with our governments asking for a better rate on stumpage fees, like some Americans are saying we should be collecting from big logging companies ?. There must be a free market mechanism to allow it. And if there isn't, why not create one if opinion polls say we need to clean up the environment and save the world from choking on our own pollution?.

Stephen, I think capitalists are very good at making luxury items for the wealthy and middle class. And that's what they should continue to do. To each according to his ability and need. We don't need them impregnating themselves in our health care systems and precious resources. All they know is how to profiteer and use up finite raw materials as fast as possible without much regard for any thing or anyone else but themselves. Someone has to stand up to predatory capitalism and say,

"Look here chaps, there is a price to pay for raiding our natural resources. What cannot continue forever will stop." Capitalism based on plastic widget consumption cannot go on forever with weak and ineffective governments like ours aiding and abetting them.

[ 10 June 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sean Cain
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3502

posted 10 June 2006 11:01 PM      Profile for Sean Cain   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stephen Gordon:
[QB]

If markets function properly, the pursuit of self-interest does work for the public interest - this is the point for which Adam Smith is famous.


Perhaps you'd like to tell this to the billions of people on earth who consist of the "public interest" and live on less than one dollar a day, have no access to water, education, housing or health care, or to the thousands of people today who will die of starvation and malnutrition.

Yes, Smith did make this point... 230 years ago, and he was as wrong then as he would be today.

Regardless of whether or not markets function or fail, it means the continuation of inequality, exploitation, unemployment and misery.

When is comes to understanding the real world of capitalism, I prefer to quote good ol' John Maynard: "Capitalism is the astounding belief that the wickedest of men will do the wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone."

What matters, of course, is what we do with capitalism. Try to mend it, or replace it with a democratic economic system based on participation, equality and freedom.

Problems - Solutions = Problems

[ 10 June 2006: Message edited by: Sean Cain ]


From: Oakville, Ont. | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Erik Redburn
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5052

posted 10 June 2006 11:24 PM      Profile for Erik Redburn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The 'markets' nolonger function at all like Smith's imagined ideals (though he seemed somewhat aware of the pitfalls even then) so it's a little like using an eighteenth century map of New France as a tour guide to present day Montreal.
From: Broke but not bent. | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5594

posted 11 June 2006 10:19 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is im-possible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty and jus-tice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary.

A regulation which obliges all those of the same trade in a particular town to enter their names and places of abode in a public register, facilitates such assemblies...

A regulation which enables those of the same trade to tax themselves in order to provide for their poor, their sick, their widows, and orphans, by giving them a common interest to manage, renders such assemblies necessary.

An incorporation not only renders them necessary, but makes the act of the majority binding upon the whole.
The Wealth of Nations, Book I, Chapter X


Has anyone observed EnCana, Alcan or Magna International building social housing or handing out cheques to orphanages in Canada lately?.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Lord Palmerston
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4901

posted 11 June 2006 10:56 AM      Profile for Lord Palmerston     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I've always found the Wealth of Nations to be filled with contradictions.

I find that neoclassicals, social democrats and Marxists alike give Smith a bad wrap. To the neoclassicals, he was the genius who argued for unrestrained free markets. To the social democrats and Marxists, he was the villain who argued for unrestrained free markets.

[ 11 June 2006: Message edited by: Lord Palmerston ]

[ 11 June 2006: Message edited by: Lord Palmerston ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Erik Redburn
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5052

posted 11 June 2006 03:51 PM      Profile for Erik Redburn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Lord Palmerston:
I've always found the Wealth of Nations to be filled with contradictions.

I find that neoclassicals, social democrats and Marxists alike give Smith a bad wrap. To the neoclassicals, he was the genius who argued for unrestrained free markets. To the social democrats and Marxists, he was the villain who argued for unrestrained free markets.


I agree, some lefties tended to assume that the neo-cons had actually Read the Wealth of Nations in full, when cherry picking a few out-of-context quotes, so they naturally went into opposition mode. One of the examples where immediate straightout Opposition actually Gives the other side more legitimacy than they deserve. (and ya, Smith was mostly imagining an idealized local market where labour Too could pick and choose who they do business with, and no One business or Combine was large enough to dominate a particular marketplace)

I've never liked the way some on the left have allowed rightwingers to claim that they Do represent 'free enterprise' and 'individualism', either, prefering instead to argue against individual choice. Nothing could be further from reality when it comes to applied corporatism.

[ 11 June 2006: Message edited by: EriKtheHalfaRed ]


From: Broke but not bent. | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stephen Gordon
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4600

posted 11 June 2006 04:00 PM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by EriKtheHalfaRed:
I've never liked the way some on the left have allowed rightwingers to claim that they Do represent 'free enterprise' and 'individualism', either, prefering instead to argue against individual choice.

This is a point I've tried to make many, many times: markets are not the natural enemies of progressives. Those who claim otherwise simply don't understand how markets work.

[ 11 June 2006: Message edited by: Stephen Gordon ]


From: . | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Erik Redburn
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5052

posted 11 June 2006 04:18 PM      Profile for Erik Redburn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
On that we agree too. There does seem to be some confusion on the left nowadays between the proper definition of "markets", which exist in most Every economy to a degree, and Big Money Interests or un-regulated Capitalism Gone Wild. (rather than regulated by fellow lobbyists behind the scenes) Thereby missing how better to manage, regulate or encourage them, at times.
From: Broke but not bent. | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged

All times are Pacific Time  

   Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | rabble.ca | Policy Statement

Copyright 2001-2008 rabble.ca