Friday, May 25, 2012

Advance of fascism

Perhaps my concern in an earlier blog post about trending toward fascism missed an important proof.

In July 2010, the chairman and cofounder of the Blackstone Group, one of the world’s largest private-equity firms, provided an example of how the dreaded condition threatened oppressed billionaires who face a risk, a small risk, of losing freedom from tax rates imposed on their maids and butlers.

Stephen Schwarzman was addressing board members of a nonprofit organization when he let loose. Schwarzman said of the struggle with the administration over increasing taxes on private-equity firms.
“It’s a war. It’s like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.”
More reading: Egos and Immorality, Paul Krugman, New York Times, May 24, 2012
"...If Wall Streeters are spoiled brats, they are spoiled brats with immense power and wealth at their disposal. And what they’re trying to do with that power and wealth right now is buy themselves not just policies that serve their interests, but immunity from criticism...

"In fact, overall business productivity in America grew faster in the postwar generation, an era in which banks were tightly regulated and private equity barely existed, than it has since our political system decided that greed was good...

"Those are, however, questions that the wheeler-dealers don’t want asked — and not, I think, just because they want to defend their tax breaks and other privileges. It’s also an ego thing. Vast wealth isn’t enough; they want deference, too, and they’re doing their best to buy it...

"Think about where we are right now, in the fifth year of a slump brought on by irresponsible bankers. The bankers themselves have been bailed out, but the rest of the nation continues to suffer terribly, with long-term unemployment still at levels not seen since the Great Depression, with a whole cohort of young Americans graduating into an abysmal job market..."
H/T (again) Susan H.

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6 comments:

  1. Ah...history and the lessons learned. This whole financial mess, brought about by political "subversion" of the taxpayers to the benefit of the wealthy and the corporations, has all been engineered. Susan H. makes a compelling argument, for a tighter reign on the leashes of power and greed.

    Post war growth was brought about by regulated bodies controlling the the "greed" factor. If we want to see "sustainable development" at a level playing field, regulation will once again be required. The taxpayer is the "chump" throughout all this, while the "capitalist" bankers and corporations, take "socialist" bailouts and the common man, continues to pay for less and less

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  2. Harper encourages shopping across the border. One man said, they save $7,000 per year. Canadians save mega bucks by gassing up their vehicles in the U.S. We can only conclude, Harper gets huge donations to keep prices high in Canada. Harper is all about power and greed, and to hell with the people. Read: Harper gives a speech in New York, at the Council of Foreign Relations. This was, Sept 25/2007

    Harper and his so called Conservatives have been a litany of, lies, deceit, corruption, dirty tactics, dirty politics, thefts and they certainly don't mind, cheating to win. This is the litany of the Campbell/Clark BC Liberals as well. The BC Liberals forgot to tell us, they all work for Harper. Besides henchman Campbell, we now have Conservative henchman Boessenkool, placed within the BC Liberals. Then Liberal Van Dongen, went to the BC Conservatives, who also support Harper and his Enbridge pipeline.

    All Harper wants is, the very poor and the very wealthy. Harper thieves from us, to give to the wealthiest corporations in the world. He also gives them huge tax reductions.

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    Replies
    1. Remember, the people who can shop in USA is a small percentage of Canadians who live near the border. Physical crossings of the border are limited by inadequate staff and facilities by policy of the federal government. People who try to use commercial shipping services, mail and courier, find themselves restricted by federal policies.

      In a personal situation, I need an odd shoe size, one that is almost never available in Canada without expensive special orders. A few years ago, I found an American mail order shoe service that could satisfy my needs in 2-3 days at prices about half that I had been used to, with shoes from same manufacturers.

      In the last year, I aimed to buy shoes again from same supplier. They have stopped shipping to Canada, saying that too many obstacles had been placed by Canada. These obstacles were aimed at eliminating competition in the Canadian market place.

      That, of course, means that I need to go back to using badly sized shoes and/or pay far more that I had been paying these past few years to buy shoes from the same manufacturers. These government policies aimed at supporting non-competitive market places costs Canadians tens or hundreds billions each year. Retailers like Amazon and Target have been setting up to join Canadian retail markets not to lower prices but take advantage of high Canadian prices.

      Great profit opportunities for a few giants, the companies that provide support to the Harper Government an get beneficial treatment in return.

      Fraser Institute and other free market "think tanks" don't talk much about improving competition in free enterprise, they are tasked with arguing for fewer public services and lower taxes. They care little for ordinary citizens.

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  3. The students in Quebec have got it right, instead of standing around sniveling,as most weak needed Canadians do, they have decided to fight for their franchise.
    They know that if they give in to this tuition hike the flood gate will open to all sorts of new charges.
    They also know that what ever they pay will just be given back to the corporate thieves in less taxes in payment from the bought off politicians.
    They also know that what we have now did not drop from the skies like manna from the monied establishment and governments, it had to be fought for with a lot of lost lives, blood,sweat and tears,something most Canadians have forgotten of refuse to recognize.
    CGHZD

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  4. Norm, I seem to recall that eighty percent or so of Canadians live within 100 miles of the border, the southern climes being the favored part of Canada. Many big cities, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal are much closer than that. TO folks attend Sabres games, cuz it's cheaper and they can get seats, same with Winnipeg, folks there were a big part of the North Star fan base and when the Jets left a team was put into the twin cities again, the Wild. Apparently it is hardly anymore expensive to see the Canucks play in Phoenix or San Jose than in Vancouver, and if you have any other reason to go, well........

    Even here in the Kootenays it was often cheaper to spend an eight hour round trip drive to Spokane to buy truck and trailer loads of building materials, because often they were made right here, but available so much cheaper in Spokane and of course duty free, being Canadian made anyway. Also at one time many mills wouldn't even make first rate highest grade lumber/plywood available in the domestic market. I remember seeing a pile of clear timbers at a yard in Castlegar, and I wanted some for a quality project I was doing, I was told I shouldn't even be looking at them as they were slated for export only! I used to have friends and spend time in Spokane, and always managed to score all kinds of stuff with better choice and lower cost, especially with the even then duty rates after 48 hours.

    To add a small plug, Kalesnikoff Bros. in Thrums, (who supplied wood for the Owelympic oval in Richmond) always considered the local market at least equally if not maybe even first.................

    Also back when I was going there often, local merchants offered many good deals at par (with the $CAN at 60-70 cents) etc. to attract Canadians. Beyond Spokane heading south they looked at Canadian money as if it were counterfeit, but towns that depend on Canadian customers bend over backwards to provide pricing and service often lacking here at home, especially in the hospitality realm. In most states a liquor license is easy to obtain, unless you are a felon or something, and whether you stay in business or not doesn't depend on having one of the few licenses available in your community but on satisfying your customers.

    When I first immigrated to Canada I was stunned to find that maple syrup from Quebec was more expensive here than in California at the time. Indeed the only thing I found at a better price here than there was a Russell Boat Knife from Nova Scotia! Years ago I inquired about a small pair of Paris cork boots for a lady friend in Oregon who worked in the woods there and admired my Pierre Paris boots, as I have small feet too, for a man (I had identical pairs one vibram and one with drive in corks), this was after they merged with Dayton, and when I mentioned who they were for they wanted to charge her more......some way of doing business! I pointed out that I thought that was a shitty attitude, it wasn't as if they were gonna have to ship them. I've found that often Canadian merchants have a sense of entitlement that is greater than the dog eat dog competitiveness on the retail level in the U.S.

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  5. I don't shop in the States for the same reasons I don't shop at Wal-Mart. In fact I don't even go off-island to shop any more. Maybe it's partly becoming a "senior." I've run out of stuff I need, have way too much stuff I no longer need, and can get pretty much anything I do need somewhere between home and Nanaimo.

    On a serious note, we're not "trending" toward Fascism, Norm. It's here. Modern fascism is an inescapable incident of our evolution into a true, petro-state. What amazes me is how quickly we were overtaken by it.

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