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Mighty AC

Russell Brand Revolution

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Transparency would be awesome. But each time they make the claim to make government more open and transparent, we see the opposite most of the time. And transparency only comes out when they have been caught with doing something wrong.

That's part of Brand's point. We can't really trust those that run the system to make changes that limit their own perks, power and privilege. Though, with enough support I think it would be possible to elect a government with a mandate to shift the paradigm.

I wonder if it would be possible to get enough Canadians involved in a "Citizens Assembly" type process to create a platform for change. People from all across the country would debate and decide on a package of necessary changes. This package could be promoted by a joint effort of service organizations like Avaaz, Lead Now, etc. With enough backing candidates or entire parties could be persuaded to sign on to support the publicly created platform. The same service organizations could then help promote these candidates during an election campaign.

To be honest, I think we are far to apathetic to do something like this; but, the people working together to create their own platform would be a beautiful thing.

Edited by Mighty AC

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Ask them about a specific regulation, whether it be rules for banks and finance, or workplace standards, or environmental standards, or whatever, and they'll probably think the regulation is actually a good idea.

A rather broad statement to make. The reality is a little different. You could give a list of 10 regulations which make a lot of sense and I could give you another 10 which are brain dead stupid. No one I know of believes there should be zero regulations - just that the tendency for governments and bureaucrats to go overboard is real. A government that is not constantly asking how to cut red tape is likely going to create too much. Edited by TimG

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I wonder if it would be possible to get enough Canadians involved in a "Citizens Assembly" type process to create a platform for change.

Dress it up - it is just going to be a rehash of the NDP or Green party platforms - and will have about the same amount of popular support.

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The entire 'corporate interests have too much power' narrative is a myth designed to vilify political views that the speaker dislikes.

I dont think its a myth at all. You can objectively track the influence of corporations on politics by the ammount of money that goes into purchasing influence. Its grown astronomically over the last few decades. Its not a myth... if you take the time you can follow the money and watch it turn into policy and decisions.

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I dont think its a myth at all. You can objectively track the influence of corporations on politics by the ammount of money that goes into purchasing influence.

Lobby groups of all kinds have been pouring money into swaying public opinion. One of the biggest advertisers in BC elections are public sector unions. What is special about corporate money? The bottom line is in Canada money does not convince politicians to adopt policies that are unacceptable to their voter base. The main issue is people who disagree want to paint the choices and some undemocratic plot instead of acknowledging that there are a significant number of voters who disagree with them. Edited by TimG

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You could give a list of 10 regulations which make a lot of sense and I could give you another 10 which are brain dead stupid.

You could, but then you didn't.

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A rather broad statement to make. The reality is a little different. You could give a list of 10 regulations which make a lot of sense and I could give you another 10 which are brain dead stupid. No one I know of believes there should be zero regulations - just that the tendency for governments and bureaucrats to go overboard is real. A government that is not constantly asking how to cut red tape is likely going to create too much.

Let me give you one involving taxation. Say I'm a corporation. Let's say my name is Apple. Okay, let's say I have about $100 billion in cash laying around. Now, I can invest that in more plants and then hire more people. Or.. let's say I just stick it in the stock market. The S&P500 is up something like oh, 30% or thereabouts this year. That means I could get close to 30% return on my investment. Now, as a matter of coincidence, Apple's ROI is 29%. So I could earn the same return without putting one dime into new plants and hiring people, with a lot less fuss. And since capital growth is only taxed at 15% my tax bill would be waaaay lower.

Why would I hire anyone? Why would I expand?

And btw, Apple's ROI is a higher than most companies. Texas Instruments is 19%, Johson and Johnson is about 18%. Conoco Philips is 15%, Time Warner is 11%. So why go through the hassle of investing that money in expanding when you can simply put it into the stock market?

Edited by Argus

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Let me give you one involving taxation. Say I'm a corporation. Let's say my name is Apple. Okay, let's say I have about $100 billion in cash laying around. Now, I can invest that in more plants and then hire more people. Or.. let's say I just stick it in the stock market. The S&P500 is up something like oh, 30% or thereabouts this year. That means I could get close to 30% return on my investment. Now, as a matter of coincidence, Apple's ROI is 29%. So I could earn the same return without putting one dime into new plants and hiring people, with a lot less fuss. And since capital growth is only taxed at 15% my tax bill would be waaaay lower.Why would I hire anyone? Why would I expand?And btw, Apple's ROI is a higher than most companies. Texas Instruments is 19%, Johson and Johnson is about 18%. Conoco Philips is 15%, Time Warner is 11%. So why go through the hassle of investing that money in expanding when you can simply put it into the stock market?

Why would you expand? The same reason and only reason any business does. If you're current manufacturing capacity cannot handle current and expected demand.

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If you reject the system or reject the parties and people running and see no good alternatives, I think it's better to spoil your vote than not vote all. At least spoiled votes shows are officially counted, and therefore you show you your rejection rather what appears like only apathy (even when it's not, in Russell's case).

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So what, if anything, needs to be changed either here or in the US to improve democracy? Also, what is the best way to achieve the kind of support necessary for to get it done?

Do we need to tweak the electoral system or the parliamentary system? Do we need more checks and balances? Do we need more transparency and ways to shield policy makers from influence?

The Westminster-style of parliamentary government has some horrible flaws. Compared to a US-style system, our system has a lack of checks and balances and, more significantly, separation of powers. The PM is far too powerful, and the parties are far too hierarchal, and the cabinet remains in the legislature as well. It would be like imagining if Obama or Bush Jr. were in the House of Reps, led with a majority, and therefore controlled the large majority of bills/laws/policy, plus appointed almost all of the Senate and Supreme Court judges. (yes I know the Governor General technically appoints Senators/judges but give me a break).

The US system also has some flaws, but I think it has a system where elected officials are more equal in power, and therefore are more democratically representative.

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Why would you expand? The same reason and only reason any business does. If you're current manufacturing capacity cannot handle current and expected demand.

Of course, Shady.

I think the point Argus is making is that it's false to think that corporations would hire more people if they just had more money. For reasons that both you and Argus have just explained. You clearly understand that... so perhaps you should go back to Elephant Team HQ and explain it to the rest of the gang.

-k

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Why would you expand? The same reason and only reason any business does. If you're current manufacturing capacity cannot handle current and expected demand.

Sure, If they can make some money doing so. But who says Capitalists must meet demand? As Argus and Kimmy have pointed out - there's more money

having cash sit in various investments than actually meeting consumer demand. Therefore, in pure economic 101 style, Apple and others sit on their cash because thats where the money is.

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A rather broad statement to make. The reality is a little different. You could give a list of 10 regulations which make a lot of sense and I could give you another 10 which are brain dead stupid.

Well, my list could be far longer than 10, and I bet you'd run out long before I would.

I am sure that there are some regulations out there that are bad ideas, and I am sure that there are others that are implemented in an inefficient way. I don't doubt that.

What I do doubt is the premise that slashing regulations will create waves of new jobs. It's an idea that gets repeated so often by Elephant Team types that they accept it without question. It's the present-day version of "Brawndo has the electrolytes that plants crave." It gets repeated over and over by people who never stop to wonder whether plants really crave electrolytes or whether Brawndo is good for plants.

No one I know of believes there should be zero regulations -

Of course not. Rich Guy Team is generally much in favor of regulations that make it easier for them to stay rich or become richer. Yes to longer patents! Yes to taxes or levies or barriers to entry for technologies that threaten their own!

Some US states are in the process of passing laws that make it illegal for Tesla to sell cars directly to consumers. Why? Do these states hate the free market? Do they hate electric cars? Do they hate innovation? No, none of that. It's because car dealerships are big campaign contributors. That's how Rich Guy Team really feels about regulations.

- just that the tendency for governments and bureaucrats to go overboard is real. A government that is not constantly asking how to cut red tape is likely going to create too much.

"BAH! Too much red tape!" It's really just sloganeering, isn't it? "Electrolytes! They're what plants crave!"

-k

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What I do doubt is the premise that slashing regulations will create waves of new jobs.

But too much regulation will kill jobs. You seem to love trite slogans. Here is one for you: everything comes with a price. All regulations increase costs which cumulatively will strangle business even if every one of the individual regulations seems to be justified. In many places in the US businesses have to hire outside consultants that do nothing but manage the paper work required for compliance. This favours large incumbents corporations and hinders new start ups from entering a market. This is bad for the consumer and bad for the economy.

Of course not. Rich Guy Team is generally much in favor of regulations that make it easier for them to stay rich or become richer.

In the US the Coke and Pepsi parties are equally guilty of corporate cronyism and I oppose it no matter which party is to blame. My solution to corporate cronyism is to reduce what government is allowed to do since a smaller government reduces the opportunities for corporate cronyism.

"BAH! Too much red tape!" It's really just sloganeering, isn't it? "Electrolytes! They're what plants crave!"

And the "Rich Guy Party" is not adolescent sloganeering? Edited by TimG

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You are mixing up cause and effect. Conservatives understand the importance of resource extraction to the economy and try to pass laws that encourage economic development that also happen to be good for oil corporations. If the conservatives were really motivated by the what the oil industry wants they would not be discouraging Chinese takeovers of Canadian corporations.

You believe that it is a coincidence that our government is slashing environmental regulations, eliminating impact studies and subsidizing an already mature and profitable industry? Wow. Do you work for the party? Do you and PIK share a cubicle? Edited by Mighty AC

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You believe that it is a coincidence that our government is slashing environmental regulations, eliminating impact studies and subsidizing an already mature and profitable industry?

For starters - your entire statement is a combination of fabrications and political spin.

To have a real discussion over the motivations of the government you would have to look in detail at the regulations that are being "slashed" and the rational provided by the government. When it comes to environmental regulations the provinces have the constitutional power over that domain and eliminating federal regulations is generally a worthwhile thing to do because there is no justification for having two levels of government regulate the same thing.

Of course, you are such a partisan that you actually believe your political talking points are facts rather than propaganda.

Edited by TimG

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But too much regulation will kill jobs. You seem to love trite slogans. Here is one for you: everything comes with a price. All regulations increase costs which cumulatively will strangle business even if every one of the individual regulations seems to be justified.

You know just enough to not know anything at all. In one post you say you're not for eliminating all regulations. Then n this post you're strongly implying that there should be no regulations because they ALL strangle business. While that's certainly true, are you really so blind to the reasons we have regulations? Perhaps you would like to go back to the days where people were maimed and mutilated on the job; kids worked in factories instead of going to school; people worked 12 hrs a day 7 days a week in order to live in company homes; slaves and indentured servants plied fields; food killed people because it wasn't inspected properly; babies died choking on hazardous toys or injured themselves with sharp edges; companies dumped toxic waste into the rivers and atmosphere, poisoning our communities. We wouldn't want the companies to have to pay out if their pockets I'd they don't have to, I guess.

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Then n this post you're strongly implying that there should be no regulations because they ALL strangle business. While that's certainly true, are you really so blind to the reasons we have regulations?

I suggest you learn to read. You clearly don't understand the point I was making and I am not even sure where to start explaining it because your interpretation is so bizarre.

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I can read just fine, thank you. Your entire argument is based on the idea that regulations are bad because they cost companies money. I'm sure the millionaires thank you for your support.

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I can read just fine, thank you. Your entire argument is based on the idea that regulations are bad because they cost companies money.

But that is not what I said:

"All regulations increase costs which **cumulatively** will strangle business even if every one of the individual regulations seems to be justified"

It is clear to me and most other readers that I was taking about too many regulations - not all regulations. My point was it is not enough to justify every individual regulation if the total weight of all regulations becomes too oppressive. That is why it is necessary to focus on the most important regulations and simply reject regulations that may seem reasonable when looked at in isolation because regulations are never applied in isolation.

Your entire rant is nonsensical given that context.

Edited by TimG

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Too many regulations which you talk about ALL of them being "seemingly justified". It's quite obvious that you've no concern for debating the justification of any regulations, as your resistance to any and all regulations in your rhetoric clearly shows.

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Too many regulations which you talk about ALL of them being "seemingly justified".

Are you aware of what the clause "even if" means? Apparently you don't.

Frankly, your logic is like that of drug addict: some regulations are good therefore more is better. Of course drug addicts discover pretty quickly that too much of a substance that is beneficial in small quantities is life destroying.

Edited by TimG

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If you reject the system or reject the parties and people running and see no good alternatives, I think it's better to spoil your vote than not vote all. At least spoiled votes shows are officially counted, and therefore you show you your rejection rather what appears like only apathy (even when it's not, in Russell's case).

I agree. If you bow out of the system then that means you are leaving it for the others to decide.

At this point we typically get 60% voter turnout. I have a hard time believing that 40% of the people don't vote because they don't have someone good to vote for. Rather, they don't vote because they aren't informed enough to make their decision. I would guess that only 5% or less of the 40% would have actually taken the time to inform themselves on the candidates and parties and then decided not to vote.

I personally like the victim role that Brand takes up by saying that 'society' made him additcted to drugs. I have zero respect for the guy.

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Argus, kind of like the rules of insurance being written,.... by insurance companies!

drift ergo removed

Edited by Guyser2

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