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there have been a great deal of quaint explanations of the differences between the right wing and left wing, republicans and democrats, socialism and conservatism or whatever names one chooses. but unfortunately these explanations rarely point to the heart of the matter.

we live in a nation with borders and we are citizens, at times unwillingly. we are governed by a democracy in which every person has an equal say, or so we choose to think. most people if given the opportunity have used democracy to decide that the wealth of a nation is the property of everyone who lives within its boundaries. that the wealth of a nation should be enjoyed by all. and why wouldn't they?

anyone who has ever worked for a living knows that it is impossible given any talent to amass a fortune being paid by the hour. true fortunes are only possible by the manipulation of resources whether they be natural resources or labor. the idea is to benefit from the work of others or the wealth of some commodity that is not tied to the hours that one works but to the efficiency of the system that manipulates that commodity.

private ownership is also key because without it then one does not own the benefits of such a system. but private ownership is not a right even though those who "own" large portions of our nations wealth would have you believe that it is. it is a system supported by our democratic choices. it can be removed at any moment. the most blatant example of this is the annexing of wealth, property and lives in the time of war. yes, even ones life is the property of a nation in bad times.

we need entrepreneurs. we need the movers and the shakers to make our economy move. but to what extent? the progressive tax system which is also a product of our democracy makes a statement regarding this. it says that after a certain income then portions of the wealth of an individual that was made manipulating the wealth of the nation must be returned back to its citizens. our present day economically powerful are very wealthy indeed! the average holdings of the top ten percent of the united states is ten million dollars while the bottom forty percent is fourteen hundred! the thirteen thousand richest families have the same economic holdings of the poorest twenty million people!

unfortunately, it is simply human nature not to want to give back what you believe you have rightfully taken. given the chance, a person will amass great wealth and then feel that it is their right to remove that wealth from the country altogether! to move it to a tax sheltered environment! it is in a wealthy persons best interest to manipulate our democratic environment to their own ends and they are in the best position to do so. to donate to political parties and shape the ideals of those parties. to own newspapers and television stations and publishing houses that promote those same ideals.

right wing politics is dominated by the ideals of the wealthy. the support for regressive taxation, the downsizing of government, the removal of regulation, the movement of wealth across international boundaries without penalty.

so, why would anyone who is not one of the wealthiest of a nation vote for conservatism or the right wing?

any talk of socialism is always met with accusations of communism by the right and their paid mouths! how is japan, germany, sweden, denmark like china? they have national health care in common. they have post-secondary and vocational education supported by the government. now, what does the united states have in common with china? the fact that the countries wealth is concentrated and controlled by a minute fraction of the population!

the current situation in Haiti should be a warning. there is a point where wealth is held by such a small percentage of the population that even a democracy is only democratic in name. when those who have had no opportunity to share in this wealth rise up and take back a nation, often violently, then the ensuing havoc may give rise to non-democratic forms of government. forms of government just as susceptible to the greed of a few.

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Good post, but I've a quibble.

the current situation in Haiti should be a warning. there is a point where wealth is held by such a small percentage of the population that even a democracy is only democratic in name. when those who have had no opportunity to share in this wealth rise up and take back a nation, often violently, then the ensuing havoc may give rise to non-democratic forms of government. forms of government just as susceptible to the greed of a few.

The coup in Haiti was not a populist uprising, but perpatrated by elements of the haitian ruling class, including former elements of the Duvalier regime and, apparently, backed by The U.S. , France and Canada. It's a similar situation as occurred in Venzuala in (IIRC) 2000, when that countries wealthy elite formented a coup attempt against President Chavez. Like Haiti, the coup was spun by the Western media as a populist revolt, when Chavez actually enjoyed (and still enjoys) vast popular support among the poor and working class.

If anything, however, these examples illustrate the lengths ruling elites will go to preserve the status quo, squash populist reform movements, and retain their slice of the pie by any means necessary.

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i stand corrected by anyone who knows more about the situation in haiti than do i...

so what you are saying is that the democratically elected president was forced out because of progressive policies that he attempted to enforce... not at all unusual. see chile 1973 etc... now known to have direct u.s. support due to declassification...

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so what you are saying is that the democratically elected president was forced out because of progressive policies that he attempted to enforce... not at all unusual. see chile 1973 etc... now known to have direct u.s. support due to declassification...

More or less. Read the Haiti thread in International Politics for more on the situation there.

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More or less. Read the Haiti thread in International Politics for more on the situation there.

In particular, read the end where BD illustrates a frightening ignorance about economics.

The crazy advisors that have trouped through Haiti have no doubt worsened the situation but the Haitians themselves have largely made a mess of the place. IME, most Haitians sigh with a huge shrug when asked to explain the situation there.

Finally, ordinary working joes today are far wealthier, and command much more, than the movers and shakers, king and queens of centuries past. So, what exactly is your point cgarret? When you talk of wealth, what do you mean? (Is it absolute or only relative?)

BTW, what does this thread have to do precisely with Canadian politics?

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Oh, Pellaken, stop talking nonsense. There will not be a populist uprising, especially not in Canada. The government just stole $100m from the people and the polls still say they'll win the next election! Can you see this nation of sheep actually rising up for anything? As for the rest of the world, why would there be a populist uprising? People have a lot more to lose from an uprising than they could possibly gain. Right now most people have good jobs, cable TV, broadband internet, a new car every few years, and freedom in so very many aspects of their lives, and life is good. What would they throw that away for, descent into Marxist hell?

Oh, and the people need a leader like they need a hole in the head - and the two usually come together. Concentration of power is a very bad thing. Very, very few leaders are like Churchill (and only because there are limits on their power, not because of personality), most are like Hitler, Stalin or Pol Pot.

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well, if and when there will be popular uprising is yet to be seen. i don't think that bush, martin, harper or campbell will see consecutive terms. it takes the power of fanaticism to turn people off and people forget so easily past fanatics.

i am disappointed that this post doesn't get more response. the post regarding the conservative leadership race is so much more popular! it seems that people are more interested in the sport of politics then what it actual can do for them personally...

or maybe its just to long... the intellect of sound bites! ha!

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you've forgotten to point out the inevitable freeloaders to what you are describing - those who feel they should be getting back but don't do anything. if something could be put in place to eliminate that then i'd listen more seriously otherwise i've always thought opinions too far left to be utopian. i'm heavily biased, though, because my family had to run from the commies in '81.

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i am disappointed that this post doesn't get more response. the post regarding the conservative leadership race is so much more popular! it seems that people are more interested in the sport of politics then what it actual can do for them personally...

First, this thread falls under the category Cdn Politics. Don't be surprised that people want to talk about Cdn Politics here. (There is another category for philosophical debates about capitalism, rich, poor, democracy, meaning of life.)

Second, when you state:

right wing politics is dominated by the ideals of the wealthy. the support for regressive taxation, the downsizing of government, the removal of regulation, the movement of wealth across international boundaries without penalty.

I simply don't know where to start.

I'll try by noting that the average joe today is far wealthier than kings or queens several hundred years ago. Does this make today's average joe right wing?

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Quote

_______

I'll try by noting that the average joe today is far wealthier than kings or queens several hundred years ago. Does this make today's average joe right wing?

______________________

No it makes them unionists,who have far to much freedom in this country. they have wages that are insane, pensions , etc.

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No it makes them unionists,who have far to much freedom in this country. they have wages that are insane, pensions , etc

:blink:

I give a big "Yikes!" everytime I see someone say there's sucha thing as "too much freedom".

I'll try by noting that the average joe today is far wealthier than kings or queens several hundred years ago.

I highly doubt this. I sure don't see too many palaces around.

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No it makes them unionists,who have far to much freedom in this country. they have wages that are insane, pensions , etc.

I agree. It's an absolute scandal that those guys on the assembly line in Oshawa are pulling in 30 or 40 bucks an hour. And have you seen their pension? And don't get me on to those unionized plumber and electrician types. Plus, we all know they work under the table. Manual labour? Min. wage max, I say. Anything else and they're thieves. And they get uppity.

I highly doubt this. I sure don't see too many palaces around.

I bet Henry VIII would have happily given up Hampton Court for an Olds 88 and a plasma-screen home theatre. I won't get into the triple by-pass, penicillin or, more likely for HM, in-vitro fertilization

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i've mentioned in other posts about the right wings reliance on jealousy of unionized labor by non-unionized labor.

again, the labor movement is based on the idea that workers are not just slaves. that if money is being made using canadian labor and raw materials then workers get a piece of the action. so why is it that workers who participate in profit should not expect a fair share of this profit? why should it be concentrated to the "owners"? more importantly, why would a voting public vote to have this wealth concentrated? they do so because the are duped!

what people who support this union bashing seem to be ignorant of is that organized labor have made north america what it is today! they are the success of north america! before organized labor in north america we lived in a time when 90% of the continents wealth was in the hands of 5% of the people. this was a time of the Hearst's, the Rockefellers and the Vanderbilt's! have you seen the mansions that these families left behind! they were kings and queens! labor lived in complete poverty. there were no laws protecting labor. there was not minimum wage.

the rise of labor meant the rise of the middle class. more of the population had more money and were spending it. economies grew directly proportional to this money! economies have been dwindling proportionate to the disappearance of organized labor ever since! a process that has been taking place over the past thirty years as the right wing attempts to take more control of the nations wealth.

most importantly, working people who are union bashers have no concept of the idea that unionized labor produces a pressure to keep non-unionized labor wages higher! without unionized labor then wages would plummet for everybody!

my own theory on the success of this hysterical union bashing is that our grandfathers and great grandfathers who lived before organized labor are gone! they were our social memory.

just to let everyone know... i am not a member of a union. no, i am an incorporated individual! my accountant ensures that every year i pay less effective tax than the poorest of canadians!

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Well said cgarrett. I don't undertsand the attitude of people who bitch about the wages of "uppity" unionized workers.

It seems to be part of some "race to the bottom" mentality that would rather see someone else deprived of what they have than see everyone brought to a higher standard.

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I don't undertsand the attitude of people who bitch about the wages of "uppity" unionized workers.

It was a "joke" BD, don't you have a sense of humour?

But let's be honest. A union is a form of monopoly that, like many monopolies, eventually dies because it prices itself out of the market. Most unionized labour in Canada now is in the public sector.

again, the labor movement is based on the idea that workers are not just slaves. that if money is being made using canadian labor and raw materials then workers get a piece of the action. so why is it that workers who participate in profit should not expect a fair share of this profit?

What stops any worker from buying shares in publicly traded companies and benefiting that way?

what people who support this union bashing seem to be ignorant of is that organized labor have made north america what it is today!

Argghhhhh! And I suppose advances in technology have nothing to do with it - or were they due to unions?.

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august1991

monopolies! a great subject but maybe best left for another post... suffice it to say for now that while there is lots of lip service paid to the subjects of capitalism and democracy, there is very little discussion regarding the quality of capitalism and democracy that we have and how we can be constantly improving the quality of these institutions of our society. a capitalism that is entrenched with monopolies is no better than state run economies and it is easily argued that a democracy with two candidates is not much better than a democracy with one (ie. communism)!

in any case regarding your post, yes there is nothing preventing anyone from investing in publicly traded companies. but how much do people who make minimum wage have to invest?! statistics cited by economists regarding the recent bush tax plan that made dividend earnings tax free projected that these tax savings would be enjoyed almost exclusively by the richest 5% of the population!

don't even get me started on the stock market! look at the rise of 'dumb money' via rrsps and the subsequent feeding frenzy on that money by insiders during the tech bubble! again, another post...

please be more specific regarding how 'technological advances' produced the middle class of the twentieth century... or how these advances created the economies of growth experienced during this time period...

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my experience with unions is limited to a few personal examples but i think they demonstrate why unions are not always viewed favourable

a buddy of mine is a welder. he's worked at privately owned, small shops most of his life. thru a contact, he got a job at a big unionized plant. he loved it because he said it was a joke - you work half as hard for more money.

a family friend worked in some sort of a printing shop that was unionized and got lambasted for 'working too hard' and making others look bad.

i think unions are a necessity. but i also think there is a problem when they get too powerful. and if u think those two examples above are isolated or something, you really need to have a look around. just my two cents to add understanding why not everyone is an enthusiastic 'unions are greatest' supporter.

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i can't say that unions are always the right idea for every situation. they can be bloated bureaucracies just like large corporate entities. power structures at the top can cause all kinds of problems...

but the idea that if unionized members aren't working hard enough then they are free riders is more hysteria aimed at the base emotion of jealousy.

if people are working in a union (particularly in the private sector) and not working too hard and making lots of money then what is the problem? if they were not in a union then they would be making less money and working harder and who would be benefiting more? the owners would be benefiting. the owners who are already have a profitable business with unionized labor. i bet many of these owners aren't working too hard either and making extremely good money...

this is simply the enjoyment of a nations wealth. for example, if you work in the forestry sector and you are a unionized worker then you are enjoying the wealth of a natural resource. of course, Slocan, Interfor and Warehouser (all foreign) would prefer that they make ever increasing profits but they wouldn't be there in the first place if they weren't making enough profit to make the venture worth while. the trees are there for the taking so should the workers enjoy this wealth? should everyone enjoy this wealth through taxation of the parties involved? or should the owners enjoy the wealth? i think that you would agree that its a mixture of all of these options...

on this topic, people should think seriously when they hear conservative and right wing parties state that we must decrease taxes to the rich and corporations in a blanket manner. there is no reason to give tax breaks to profitable businesses. if we are lacking in an industry that we need to become more self-sufficient then we should give tax relief in that industry to encourage investment and offset risk. and then when that industry becomes profitable then that industry can fall back into the regular tax structure. but not a cut to the entire 10% of the population that own 55% of everything! just for being rich!

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what is truly troubling are those who treat labels, such as conservatism, liberalism, right/left wing, socialism etc, as some sort of favorite hockey team!

there are people posting here that admit to being lifer conservatives or liberals!

there are issues and policies held by political parties. examine them, investigate their significance and vote for the ones that best describe the canada in which you want to life!

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Thanks for the voting advice cgarrett but most people on this site seem to be politically aware and are probably knowledgeable about whom they vote for and why.

Your earlier example about the logging industry is a bad example. This is an industry that has been loosing money for a few years. Many of the mills on Vancouver Island and interior BC have closed. They have been challenged with our dollars strength, trade tariffs, high wages, technology improvements and environmental compliance.

The growth in the logging sector is in Eastern Europe. They are kicking our butts and that is why mills are closing. Next time European countries protest our forestry industry be a little more Macavellian.

Somethings we have control over and others we don't. Reducing taxes in a competitive market is sometimes the only way to make corporations competitive. Capital will move to competitive markets.

The notion that we can just show up and make money is ridiculous.

For us to enjoy wealth we have to produce it.

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willy

you're points are well taken... and i agree with you on some specific points.

we need industry to have a stronger economy. but why should we provide tax relief for profitable industries that we possess? tax relief should be provided in areas of industry that we require to become a self sufficient and strong economic force. tax relief to promote investment and offset risk in these specific areas.

but most conservative governments advertise broad based tax relief to all industry. even the profitable ones...

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