Are we all in a for a little Shock Doctrine?

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Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture
Are we all in a for a little Shock Doctrine?

Based on breakthrough historical research and four years of on-the-ground reporting in disaster zones, The Shock Doctrine vividly shows how disaster capitalism – the rapid-fire corporate reengineering of societies still reeling from shock ... The Shock Doctrine follows the application of these ideas though our contemporary history, showing in riveting detail how well-known events of the recent past have been deliberate, active theatres for the shock doctrine, among them: Pinochet’s coup in Chile in 1973, the Falklands War in 1982, the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Asian Financial crisis in 1997 and Hurricane Mitch in 1998.

 --Excerpted from the summary of Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

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"A crisis is a terrible thing to waste," Harper said Tuesday after making a joint $500-million transit announcement with McGuinty.

"For Canada, the (economic) crisis does represent an extraordinary opportunity to invest in today's needs, and in the process, prepare our country for renewed growth when the recovery comes."

Canadian Press

remind remind's picture

Oh yes, watch for more things like the toxic waste recycling plants in a pristine water shed to happen.

George Victor

The economic system (theology) that was introduced by shock tactics to other countries, has slipped into being a part of our way of life, FM.  See Robert Reich's Supercapitalism. It's a story of what the U.S. has become,of what we've almost become, and informs us where the current economic failures flowed from.

Reich, you'll recall, was sect. of labour in Clintopn's admin.  He's a part of Obama's crowd, but I've forgotten in what capacity.

In a chapter titled "A citiaen's guide to supercapitalism", Reich begins:" to reprise: Supercapitalism has triumphed as power has shifted toconsumers and investors. They now have more choice than ever before, and can switch evermore easily to better deals. And competitionamong companies to lure and keep them continues to intensify. This means better and cheaper products, and higher returns. Yet as supercapitalism has triumphed, its negative social consequences have also loomed larger."

 

Easy to see the creation of those assets like the ABCP crapola, in this.

ANd see the Janszen article from Harper's.

PM Harper is now desperately trying to shore up what's left for his cheering section. And Ontarians will recall the crisis that Snobelen, first minister of education in Big Bill's cabinet, was overhead to be fomenting (accidentally taped). 

But  coming from Stephen there's-opporunity-in-the-market Harper, it's a sign of his flexibility.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

From pogge.ca:

And assets to be named later

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...this kind of thing is a pattern with Flaherty. Now the speculation has begun.

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The Harper government, under pressure to prevent the federal deficit from ballooning, is pressing ahead with an asset review that could lead to the sale or privatization of several well-known Crown corporations, including Canada Post, Via Rail, the Royal Canadian Mint and the agency that oversees security at Canada's airports.

Emphasis added. Under pressure from whom? To the extent that the deficit we're facing isn't the result of a financial crisis that can best be mitigated with government spending, it's the result of Flaherty's ideology. And any pressure to reduce the deficit through the sale of assets like the Post Office is self-imposed. It's the result of the same ideology that saw Flaherty push ahead with policies such as the cuts to the GST against the advice of just about everyone in a position to offer an informed opinion.

This kind of asset sale is a policy that Flaherty would have loved to pursue under any circumstances. The current economic situation is merely providing an excuse. This is what disaster capitalism looks like.

 

thorin_bane

Don't worry it's only peoples lives, not like the wealthy aren't eating. Sure some of them have seen their protfolios drop, but look at the "buying opportunities"

madmax

buying opportunities :) 

Just like Stephen Harper Said during the election.

Fidel

Steve Harper and Dalton McGuilty are Bob Rae Keynesians now. Theyll rack us up some debt in a jiffy and use that as an excuse to be fiscal Frankensteins for the next two or three generations, or whatever Warshington instructs our stooges to do. They'll blow tens of billions of taxpayer dollars down a black hole like it was water and have nothing to show for it after they're thrown out of power and rewarded with corporate board appointments for jobs well done as corporate hirelings in power.

gulcher

Catchfire wrote:

From pogge.ca:

And assets to be named later

Quote:
...this kind of thing is a pattern with Flaherty. Now the speculation has begun.

Quote:
The Harper government, under pressure to prevent the federal deficit from ballooning, is pressing ahead with an asset review that could lead to the sale or privatization of several well-known Crown corporations, including Canada Post, Via Rail, the Royal Canadian Mint and the agency that oversees security at Canada's airports.

Emphasis added. Under pressure from whom? To the extent that the deficit we're facing isn't the result of a financial crisis that can best be mitigated with government spending, it's the result of Flaherty's ideology. And any pressure to reduce the deficit through the sale of assets like the Post Office is self-imposed. It's the result of the same ideology that saw Flaherty push ahead with policies such as the cuts to the GST against the advice of just about everyone in a position to offer an informed opinion.

This kind of asset sale is a policy that Flaherty would have loved to pursue under any circumstances. The current economic situation is merely providing an excuse. This is what disaster capitalism looks like.

 

 This writer does not understand economics.  To say that the current financial crisis is a result of "Flaherty's ideology" is short-sighted. 

"To the extent that the deficit we're facing isn't the result of a financial crisis that can best be mitigated with government spending, it's the result of Flaherty's ideology."

How can one surmise that running a deficit has little connection with government overhead?

 Sure, you could look at Canada Post or VIA Rail and see "asset", but in reality they're oversized, inefficient bureaucracies that cost billions to run.

 The "current  economic situation" is "providing an excuse"?  For what?  For the government to try and reduce their bloated spending practices?  That doesn't sound like an excuse...more like an epiphany.

 I wouldn't worry about it though, I've yet to see any evidence of Flaherty or Harper as being anti-Big Government, no matter what they might say to the contrary. 

No, like any other false-conservative, they'll likely just cut spending on one thing, and shift that money to something else - thus not reducing (and maybe even increasing) the size of government.  Ho hum.

Fidel

gulcher wrote:
 Sure, you could look at Canada Post or VIA Rail and see "asset", but in reality they're oversized, inefficient bureaucracies that cost billions to run.

Canada Post is a profitable revenue generating public enterprise. Only a neoliberal Tory's eyes would light up with dollar signs at the prospect of  a tidy commission for pawning it off to corporate friends of the party. 

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 The "current  economic situation" is "providing an excuse"?  For what?  For the government to try and reduce their bloated spending practices?  That doesn't sound like an excuse...more like an epiphany.

Neoliberal economic ideology doesnt work. Everything from the privatized money creation to running public enterprises according to a conservative business model has been the rule around the world for economies now plunging into economic depression. And this has been the end result for smaller economies since Chile and Thailand and now Iceland, Ireland, Latvia and so on.

Harper and Flaherty are now trying to have everyone believe theyve spun 180 degrees the other way on economic theory since parliament was prorogued. Before the election last October, Harper and Flaherty were arrogant in denying that there was anything wrong with the economy then and projecting budget surpluses for the next while. They're not saying those things anymore, and John Baird is now trying to make his party out to be a bunch of Bob Rae Keynesians.

 

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No, like any other false-conservative, they'll likely just cut spending on one thing, and shift that money to something else - thus not reducing (and maybe even increasing) the size of government.  Ho hum.

Conservatives love big government. Canada has more government per capita than even the Americans. At least we did have before Republican Conservatives created all that Homeland stupidity bureaucracy. And conservatives in all the English-speaking countries are still clinging to obsolete electoral systems invented before electricity like their political lives depend on it.

 

gulcher

Fidel wrote:
  a profitable revenue generating public enterprise

A bit of an oxymoron isn't it?

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Only a neoliberal Tory's eyes would light up with dollar signs at the prospect of  a tidy commission for pawning it off to corporate friends of the party.

If you're referring to the pseudo-Cons currently running the "Conservative" Party of Canada, I'd have to agree.  But, aside from "a tidy commission", "corporate friends", or any other hyperbole...Canada Post, like other Crown corporations, is a creeping bureaucracy where smart money goes to die.  I cite CUPE's power as one glaring inefficiency.

Even if what you say is true, that CP is profitable, I highly doubt the margin is anywhere near as high as it could be in the private sector.  Then again, we'd need a truly free market in this country to bring that idea to fruition, which we definitely do not, nor are we ever likely to, have.

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Neoliberal economic ideology doesnt work. Everything from the privatized money creation to running public enterprises according to a conservative business model has been the rule around the world for economies now plunging into economic depression. And this has been the end result for smaller economies since Chile and Thailand and now Iceland, Ireland, Latvia and so on.

If you're using "Neoliberal" as your label for what's been passed off as "free market" capitalism or conservatism over the past century or more, hey no argument here.  That system has positively run us, and the nations you'd just mentioned, straight into the ground.  But, to me neo-liberalism refers to actual free market capitalism, which is something we haven't ever really seen put into practice.  It's like someone who criticizes communism by decrying Stalin...that's not apples and apples.

 A lot of people who deride neo-liberalism (Chomsky in his book "Profit Over People" is a prominent example) are, in my opinion, aiming that criticism at the wrong target.  In other words, Chomsky et al are blaming unfettered markets and deregulation for problems that were created by anything but.

Looking to ours or the American system as an example, what we're witnessing in terms of an unraveling is not, in my opinion, a product of lax regulation, but rather too much of it.  Not too much conservatism, but pretty much none at all. 

All we've had are large governments that require large inflows of cash to run.

Large governments spend vast amounts of public money creating onerous amounts of regulation on the private sector.  It's a constant cycle of interference.  Even in times where "conservatives" come to power, sure they cut spending or they'd "deregulate" in certain areas, but in reality they'd take those savings or "oversights" and apply them to some other program that would more befit their ideology i.e. defence, justice, communications, or homeland security.

 

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Harper and Flaherty are now trying to have everyone believe theyve spun 180 degrees the other way on economic theory since parliament was prorogued.

I don't think they've spun any way, they've always been big government...that hasn't changed.  They may have decided to focus spending on areas that might be more pleasing to Canada's political left, but they've hardly turned their back on the idea of spend, spend, spend.

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Before the election last October, Harper and Flaherty were arrogant in denying that there was anything wrong with the economy then and projecting budget surpluses for the next while. They're not saying those things anymore, and John Baird is now trying to make his party out to be a bunch of Bob Rae Keynesians.

Yep, no argument here, they don't understand economics.  Scary considering they're running the show, isn't it?  Especially considering Harper (and perhaps even Flahery, I don't know) has what...his masters, possibly even a PhD in economics?  Do I have that right?  What were they teaching him?  Perhaps he should ask for his money back.

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Conservatives love big government. Canada has more government per capita than even the Americans.

Truth!

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At least we did have before Republican Conservatives created all that Homeland stupidity bureaucracy.

Agreed.

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And conservatives in all the English-speaking countries are still clinging to obsolete electoral systems invented before electricity like their political lives depend on it.

 If this is in reference to our archaic first-past-the-post electoral system...we are in complete agreement.

Fidel

gulcher wrote:

If you're using "Neoliberal" as your label for what's been passed off as "free market" capitalism or conservatism over the past century or more, hey no argument here.  That system has positively run us, and the nations you'd just mentioned, straight into the ground.  But, to me neo-liberalism refers to actual free market capitalism, which is something we haven't ever really seen put into practice. 

I meant neoliberal as in Milton Friedmanite political economy. As American Greg Palast referred to it, Pinochet's Chile was the ersatz genesis fable. Neoliberal economics is, I believe anyway, an attempt by capitalists to pursue where they left off after 1929 with deregulated capital and industry. Our trade agreements signed with the US in 1989 and 1994 were key to the neoliberal agenda in Canada as was Mulroney's sweeping changes to Bank of Canada Act in 1991 after having bailed out our increasingly deregulated banks in the 1980s.

The achilles heel for capitalism has been stagnation. And with stagnation there are associated crises. Too many crises of capitalism have resulted in deep economic depressions and world wars.  Concentration of wealth in the hands of a few eventually catches up, and what we end up with, and as Keynesians and New Dealers described the 1930s depression, was that there was too much money in the hands of the rich while the poor and middle classes held not enough. The new liberal capitalism was an unprecedented period of accumulation and concentration of wealth in the hands of a few around the world. And at the same time, there was unprecedented destruction of the environment over the last three decades.

It was the age of financial capitalism. And capitalists began to realize that the writing was on the wall for commodities based capitalism back in the 1970s during the energy crises. Falling rates of profit have been a problem for capitalists since the 1960's. Today the big money capitalists, seeing that the wriiting is on the wall, want to further neoliberalise our economies with service based economy. Health care, education and child care around the world represent more than $6 trillion dollars in public spending every year.

 Big money capitalists realized that pouring concrete for new factory footings is the hard way to make money.  And so they sought to live off compound interest and speculating on hedge funds, near money and all sorts of complex derivatives since 1987 or so. Trillions of dollars floated around the world and changed hands from one day to the next. Meanwhile the reality is that there are nearly seven billion people in the world and the majority of humanity lives in grinding poverty.

gulcher

Fidel wrote:
I meant neoliberal as in Milton Friedmanite political economy. As American Greg Palast referred to it, Pinochet's Chile was the ersatz genesis fable.

In my mind Pinochet is not an example of neo-liberalism, but rather despotism.  It's true he did enact some "free" market policies, but I'm not sure how free anyone could claim them to be when they were being instituted at the barrel of a gun. 

Factor in that Chile's largest industry/export, copper, remained nationalized under Pinochet's dictatorship, and that he spent an inordinate amount on the military relative to the country's GDP, and I think it's fair to say Chile was hardly the bastion of free market capitalism.

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Neoliberal economics is, I believe anyway, an attempt by capitalists to pursue where they left off after 1929 with deregulated capital and industry.

I'm not certain I understand your reference here to "after 1929".  The crash occurred that year, yes, but it was hardly followed by deregulation. 

Neither Hoover nor Roosevelt had the political will to allow the market to work free from intervention or regulation, and in my opinion it was Roosevelt's refusal to have government get out of the way and allow the unraveling to take place, that allowed what would have been a severe one/two year recession to turn into a prolonged "Great Depression".

And that's my overall point...we've not seen an example of a truly free market capitalist society at work.  The system is constantly being regulated, manipulated, stimulated, poked, and prodded by governments who haven't ever known better, or perhaps knew all too well, the follies of intervention.

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Our trade agreements signed with the US in 1989 and 1994 were key to the neoliberal agenda in Canada as was Mulroney's sweeping changes to Bank of Canada Act in 1991 after having bailed out our increasingly deregulated banks in the 1980s.

Those trade agreements, in my opinion, are not examples of neo-liberalism either.  They are chock full of regulation, and served to create new agencies, and endless amounts of red tape.  Deals like NAFTA and GATT have nothing to do with "free trade", and certainly are not condusive to free markets.  Freedom does not come from government agreements or increases in spending on anything.  Look at the amount of money spent on trade disputes under NAFTA, the arbitrations, the secret tribunals...it's a vast web of wasted money.

I feel the same about the 1980s deregulation you mention.  The deregulation of the banks wasn't the problem...the problem was that governments wouldn't allow the mismanaged banks to fail when they'd foolishly loaned out money to those who had no hope of paying it back.  Plus the government more than doubled the amount of deposit insurance for everyone in the 80s...expensive! 

Government intervention in this way did nothing to discourage those non-sustainable practices, and so it's no wonder the poor management was allowed to continue to this day. 

Deregulation also should mean that the government lets you fall on your own sword if you're unable to properly run a sustainable business - but again, we've not seen that kind of deregulation, true deregulation.  Now THAT would be the free market at work.

Put all that together with already top-heavy government, spending more money than they could afford on various programs...and then consider our fiat - backed-by-nothing - currency, and it's no wonder we went into a recession.  It's too bad no one learned anything from it. 

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The achilles heel for capitalism has been stagnation. And with stagnation there are associated crises.

I agree stagnation is an achilles heel...but not for true free market capitalism, but for Keynesian-style economics which we've seen evidence of time and again.  I think the potential for growth in a free market capitalist system is much higher than that of what's been mis-labeled as the same.

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Too many crises of capitalism have resulted in deep economic depressions and world wars.

I don't want to be rude, but that's a bit of a broad statement. I mean, you're definitely entitled to your opinion, but I respectfully disagree.  I think depressions are caused by government tinkering, not the lack thereof.

 Right now we're witnessing governments do all they can to create money and enter it into the system as a means to "stimulate" the economy.  But, in my opinion, what they're actually doing is forcing (or attempting to force) the bubbles that have inflated over the decades to stay inflated or to re-inflate. 

The reason housing prices in the U.S. are falling is because the market is trying to make a correction as there are simply too many homes that have been built, and too many of those homes that are way over-valued.

 To be clearer, when the government steps in and throws money at the mortgage lenders, they're saying that they want those lenders to be able to continue to loan money at will.  They want people to continue being able to go into debt and finance home purchases, among other things.

In other words, they are propping up the price of something that HAS to fall because the market is flooded. 

Because of this and other policies...we don't have, nor have we ever had a free market...and it is this practice across all industries that prolong what would be recessions into what become depressions.  Again, in my opinion.

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Concentration of wealth in the hands of a few eventually catches up, and what we end up with, and as Keynesians and New Dealers described the 1930s depression, was that there was too much money in the hands of the rich while the poor and middle classes held not enough.
 

Right, but the government is not an institution capable of balancing that out.  All the government can do is to create debt, and that's not doing anyone any good.  I think people across the spectrum would be better off if the free market were allowed to live up to its name. 

You're always going to have people who are wealthier than others, that's capitalism...but I think true free market capitalism is a much better system for creating diversified wealth, than any others I can think of.  I agree that concentrated wealth is a problem, but to me it's a problem related to more to statism or the various forms of collectivism than it is to free market capitalism.

 

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The new liberal capitalism was an unprecedented period of accumulation and concentration of wealth in the hands of a few around the world.
 

Not to sound like a broken record, but if by "new liberal capitalism" you mean free market capitalism, I disagree.  I definitely agree we have seen an unjust amount of accumulation and concentration of wealth in the hands of the few, but again that's not the free market at work, but something else.

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And at the same time, there was unprecedented destruction of the environment over the last three decades.

I'm not sure I see the connection.  Can you expand on that a bit?

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It was the age of financial capitalism. And capitalists began to realize that the writing was on the wall for commodities based capitalism back in the 1970s during the energy crises.

I don't fully get your meaning, but all I can say for the energy crisis (I assume you're talking about the 1979 Iran crisis?) is that the government did respond with some sort of price controls, no?  A terrible policy in my opinion.

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Falling rates of profit have been a problem for capitalists since the 1960's. Today the big money capitalists, seeing that the wriiting is on the wall, want to further neoliberalise our economies with service based economy.

I agree, the American economy has become too much of a service-based economy, and has experienced a hollowing-out of its manufacturing sector.  They're no longer thought of as an exporter, and haven't been for some time.  I don't equate this with a failing of neo-liberalism though...well, not my definition of neo-liberalism anyway.

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Health care, education and child care around the world represent more than $6 trillion dollars in public spending every year.

An enormous waste of money in my opinion.

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Big money capitalists realized that pouring concrete for new factory footings is the hard way to make money.  And so they sought to live off compound interest and speculating on hedge funds, near money and all sorts of complex derivatives since 1987 or so.

Again, a lot of this type of activity would have been cleared long ago if government would allow predatory lenders and bad banks to fail whenever they over-extend themselves to debtees who have no means of paying back their loans, or who lack the personal responsibility needed to NOT get themselves into these back-breaking debts in the first place.

All of these sub-prime schemes, and hedges on hedges grew into a flawed system where the bank managers could spend like cowboys knowing the government would be there to catch them if they fell.

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Trillions of dollars floated around the world and changed hands from one day to the next. Meanwhile the reality is that there are nearly seven billion people in the world and the majority of humanity lives in grinding poverty.

I agree...and that sounds like a pretty convincing clarion call for  governments of the world to adopt true free market principles.

FYI - I'm sorry for the length of this post...concision has never been my strong-suit...I'll work on that.

pogge

gulcher wrote:

 This writer does not understand economics.  To say that the current financial crisis is a result of "Flaherty's ideology" is short-sighted.

 Then I guess it's a good thing that I didn't say that. I said that the deficit Flaherty was projecting was in part a result of Flaherty's ideology and I was referring to a report from Kevin Page, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, of a deficit of up to $13 billion resulting from Flaherty's past performance before we ever take the stimulus spending into account.

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How can one surmise that running a deficit has little connection with government overhead?

How can I discuss an issue with someone who insists on arguing with things I've never said?

gulcher

pogge wrote:
Then I guess it's a good thing that I didn't say that.

I guess so...uh...who are you?  I have no idea who wrote what was originally posted, the poster was quoting text from an outside source, and I was responding to what the writer of that piece said.  Are you saying you're the writer and you've been mis-quoted?  Confusion ensues...

 

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I said that the deficit Flaherty was projecting was in part a result of Flaherty's ideology

 You did?  Where is that in the post I replied to? 

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and I was referring to a report from Kevin Page, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, of a deficit of up to $13 billion resulting from Flaherty's past performance before we ever take the stimulus spending into account.

 News to me, as well.

 

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How can I discuss an issue with someone who insists on arguing with things I've never said?

haha, and who are you again?  I wrote in reply to the author of what was quoted by "catchfire"...I have no idea who you are, or what you said...I can only go by the words that were there in plain black and white.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

So for Gulcher, the problem with today's conservatives (Harper and Bush both, from what I gather) is that they're not right-wing enough for him?

Boy, did he pick the wrong forum to join.

Personally, I'm not ever going to join in his pig-piles here. Any contact with the likes of him makes me feel filthy. Looking at his lies makes my brain hurt. 

If the old forum posts were still available, we'd have more than eight years of threads that could demonstrate that his ideological idiocy has been put to rest here dozens of times over the years. But alas, rabble.ca doesn't seem to care that they've turned babble into a clean wall for ideological taggers like gulcher to come and smear their shit on.

pogge

gulcher wrote:
I guess so...uh...who are you?  I have no idea who wrote what was originally posted...

Then I guess you don't follow links and read the entire article for context before you assume that the author "doesn't understand economics." In fact you don't even note that my name is pogge and the source for the post was pogge.ca.

 

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I said that the deficit Flaherty was projecting was in part a result of Flaherty's ideology

You did?  Where is that in the post I replied to?

In the post you replied to. Not too observant, are you? That would explain the confusion.

gulcher

Lard Tunderin' Jeezus wrote:

So for Gulcher, the problem with today's conservatives (Harper and Bush both, from what I gather) is that they're not right-wing enough for him?

Boy, did he pick the wrong forum to join.

Personally, I'm not ever going to join in his pig-piles here. Any contact with the likes of him makes me feel filthy. Looking at his lies makes my brain hurt. 

If the old forum posts were still available, we'd have more than eight years of threads that could demonstrate that his ideological idiocy has been put to rest here dozens of times over the years. But alas, rabble.ca doesn't seem to care that they've turned babble into a clean wall for ideological taggers like gulcher to come and smear their shit on.

And good morning to you sir!  Sleep well?

gulcher

pogge wrote:

Then I guess you don't follow links and read the entire article for context before you assume that the author "doesn't understand economics."

Don't worry, I've just read it all...and I can see some liberties were taken with what you'd actually said.  I do apologize for assuming the original summation was a direct quote.

Quote:
In fact you don't even note that my name is pogge and the source for the post was pogge.ca

And of course I noted that...but if I visit the Star Trek forum, I don't just assume the guy who's named himself "Picard" really is Patrick Stewart on the other end, know what I mean?

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I said that the deficit Flaherty was projecting was in part a result of Flaherty's ideology

You did?  Where is that in the post I replied to?

In the post you replied to. Not too observant, are you? That would explain the confusion.

Well, to be fair..."the deficit Flaherty was projecting was in part a result of Flaherty's ideology" was not in the post I replied to.

thorin_bane

LTJ I would put him into the flying monkey variety. Not even subtle about his ignorance. Good on him/her. It will make it's stay here a whole lot shorter. None of the 2 weeks to break them in and then having babblers defending them only to find out 2 months and 100's of posts later it was just a confidence troll(con man lite). Or we could have some fun with it. But what is the point of using up bandwidth on it.

 

You know what my question is, why does one troll, I have never gone to a rightwing board looking for debate when you know there won't be one, nore what the attraction is of derailing a board for a few weeks. What kind of mother issues do you have to insist on such behavior. Lets be clear there is no debate on the above posts. It is monkey shines, nothing more.

gulcher

Lard Tunderin' Jeezus wrote:

So for Gulcher, the problem with today's conservatives (Harper and Bush both, from what I gather) is that they're not right-wing enough for him?

My problem with Harper and Bush is that they call themselves conservatives when they act like anything but.

gulcher

thorin_bane wrote:

LTJ I would put him into the flying monkey variety. Not even subtle about his ignorance. Good on him/her. It will make it's stay here a whole lot shorter. None of the 2 weeks to break them in and then having babblers defending them only to find out 2 months and 100's of posts later it was just a confidence troll(con man lite). Or we could have some fun with it. But what is the point of using up bandwidth on it.

 

You know what my question is, why does one troll, I have never gone to a rightwing board looking for debate when you know there won't be one, nore what the attraction is of derailing a board for a few weeks. What kind of mother issues do you have to insist on such behavior. Lets be clear there is no debate on the above posts. It is monkey shines, nothing more.

I'm assuming this is in reference to me.

I can assure you, I'm not a "troll", I'm merely here to talk politics...something I enjoy doing...and is one of the reasons this forum exists, I assume.

Your post is fairly harsh, have I offended you in some way?  Debating issues is fine, but the personal stuff is a little much.

It's Me D

I'm not a big fan either.

gulcher wrote:
Well, to be fair..."the deficit Flaherty was projecting was in part a result of Flaherty's ideology" was not in the post I replied to.

pogge (via Catchfire) wrote:
To the extent that the deficit we're facing isn't the result of a financial crisis that can best be mitigated with government spending, it's the result of Flaherty's ideology.

Thats pretty f'ing clear...

gulcher wrote:
Your post is fairly harsh, have I offended you in some way? Debating issues is fine, but the personal stuff is a little much.

You've likely offended most babblers but its not through personal attacks so I'll congratulate you on passing the first test of trolling... anyway people are right to be offended because asinine statements like the following are not an attempt to "debate issues" in any meaningful way:

gulcher wrote:
Fidel wrote:
  a profitable revenue generating public enterprise

A bit of an oxymoron isn't it?

gulcher wrote:
In my mind Pinochet is not an example of neo-liberalism, but rather despotism.

gulcher wrote:
Quote:
Health care, education and child care around the world represent more than $6 trillion dollars in public spending every year.

An enormous waste of money in my opinion.

And thats aside from your treatment of pogge which was inappropriate and especially silly when you're new and trying to pass muster as a bonafide babbler and not just a troll.

Finally:

gulcher wrote:
And that's my overall point...we've not seen an example of a truly free market capitalist society at work.

And I for one f'ing hope we never do!

It's Me D

Temporalhominid wrote:
hmmm, I don't know how to make links any more....

Just highlight the text you want to use as your link and press the link button below (infinity-lookin thing)... then you get to put in the URL (and also to choose open link in new window!)... hope that helps! 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

It's Me D wrote:

Temporalhominid wrote:
hmmm, I don't know how to make links any more....

Just highlight the text you want to use as your link and press the link button below (infinity-lookin thing)... then you get to put in the URL (and also to choose open link in new window!)... hope that helps! 

http://www.rabble.ca/comment/reply/63939/992373?quote=1#comment-form

For some reason, it doesn't work when I do that.

It's Me D

Wierd, do you get the pop-up where you type the URL at all RP? Or does it not even get that far?

gulcher

It's Me D wrote:

I'm not a big fan either.

gulcher wrote:
Well, to be fair..."the deficit Flaherty was projecting was in part a result of Flaherty's ideology" was not in the post I replied to.

pogge (via Catchfire) wrote:
To the extent that the deficit we're facing isn't the result of a financial crisis that can best be mitigated with government spending, it's the result of Flaherty's ideology.

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Thats pretty f'ing clear...

Yes, I agree...I was mistaken to refute comments taken out of context.  I've apologized for that, it was wrong, I should've read the linked piece and then replied - hindsight.  I'll be sure to watch that in the future.

gulcher wrote:
Your post is fairly harsh, have I offended you in some way? Debating issues is fine, but the personal stuff is a little much.

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You've likely offended most babblers but its not through personal attacks

How so?  Thus far, all I've done is to post my opinion with regard to other members' posts...isn't that the idea of this forum?  I'm not sure where the offensiveness comes in.

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so I'll congratulate you on passing the first test of trolling...

So, a troll is someone whom may have a different political opinion than you?

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anyway people are right to be offended because asinine statements like the following are not an attempt to "debate issues" in any meaningful way:

gulcher wrote:
Fidel wrote:
  a profitable revenue generating public enterprise

A bit of an oxymoron isn't it?

gulcher wrote:
In my mind Pinochet is not an example of neo-liberalism, but rather despotism.

How about debating those points, instead of just resorting to name-calling?  You disagree with my classification of Pinochet as a despot?  You believe public enterprises are by their very nature, "profitable"?  I'm more interested in debate and discussion of politics, than I am in throwing around insults.

gulcher wrote:
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Health care, education and child care around the world represent more than $6 trillion dollars in public spending every year.

An enormous waste of money in my opinion.

Again, a point up for debate, clearly, so why not explain why you disagree instead of putting up a wall?

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And thats aside from your treatment of pogge which was inappropriate and especially silly when you're new and trying to pass muster as a bonafide babbler and not just a troll.

I'm not trying to pass anyone's muster, I'm here of my own free will to discuss politics, not engage in some kind of cyber pissing contest.  I agree it was dumb to not read all of the originally posted article and then write a response, I've apologized to pogge...you guys are keeping me in check pretty well here...haha, so I will make effort not to make that mistake again.

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Finally:

gulcher wrote:
And that's my overall point...we've not seen an example of a truly free market capitalist society at work.

And I for one f'ing hope we never do!

Ok, fair enough...mind if I ask why?

TemporalHominid TemporalHominid's picture

the Harper Tories have a minority government , but Ignatieff appears to be willing to give Harper a blank cheque

case in point

Jim Prentice the "Environment Minister" and Ignatieff both dismissed the Nat. Geographic article about the  Alberta Tarsands 

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National Geographic is not going to teach me any lessons about the oilsands
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff

Liberal , Tory same old story.

hmmm, I don't know how to make links any more....

thanks D that appears to work

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

It's Me D wrote:
Wierd, do you get the pop-up where you type the URL at all RP? Or does it not even get that far?

Yes, I get the pop-up, enter the url and a title, even choose open in new window but it just doesn't update when I click update. 

It's Me D

RevolutionPlease wrote:
Yes, I get the pop-up, enter the url and a title, even choose open in new window but it just doesn't update when I click update.

How odd... what do you mean by update? My link pop-up button says "insert" and my post comment button says "post comment"; do you have an update button or did you mean one of those?

 

RE: GULCHER

gulcher wrote:
Again, a point up for debate, clearly, so why not explain why you disagree instead of putting up a wall?

gulcher wrote:
I'm not trying to pass anyone's muster, I'm here of my own free will to discuss politics, not engage in some kind of cyber pissing contest.

Thats just it, most of your statements I quoted are not up for debate here. Discussions on why public enterprise is inherently inferior, why Pinochet wasn't our fault, and why no one should have a right to health care take place all over the net. Babble isn't for that type of discussion, its for progressive discussions which begin with some shared principles... principles which you obviously don't share. Its not a "cyber pissing contest" but babblers do have to pass muster by demonstrating that they are here to meaningfully contribute to the discussion (and not just in sheer volume of posts).

gulcher wrote:
Ok, fair enough...mind if I ask why?

You'll find most of us are more than satisfied with the amount of capitalism we have now... in fact I dare say most Babblers would like rather less Wink

Jingles

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onerous amounts of regulation on the private sector.

Christ on a crutch. Did ya hear the one about the "rational actor"?

gulcher

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Thats just it, most of your statements I quoted are not up for debate here.

Why?  I thought this was a political forum.

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Discussions on why public enterprise is inherently inferior

You find that isn't debatable?

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why Pinochet wasn't our fault

Who's fault?  Canada's?  Yours?  Mine? 

I believe he was installed by the CIA to carry out an agenda fronted by the American corporatocracy.  What's your opinion?

Don't assume that because I believe Pinochet was a despot (which is actually what I said), and not a true free market capitalist, means that I'm okay with the fact he was in power or that he did the terrible things he did.  Nor am I a fan of the Americans' interventionist foreign policy that saw him installed in the first place...quite the opposite, actually.

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and why no one should have a right to health care

Again, this is your assumption.  Not once did I say on this board that "no one should have a right to health care".  I'm not sure what you base that assumption on.  Do I believe government health care is wasteful, inefficient, and leaves a lot to be desired?  You betcha.  But to go from that to saying that I don't believe people have a right to health care is a leap in logic.

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Babble isn't for that type of discussion, its for progressive discussions which begin with some shared principles... principles which you obviously don't share.

Try me.  So far it's clear you don't know what my principles are...as your assumptions have shown.

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Its not a "cyber pissing contest" but babblers do have to pass muster by demonstrating that they are here to meaningfully contribute to the discussion (and not just in sheer volume of posts).

Have I been disingenuous in any way?  No.  I have however, put forth my opinion, and you just happen to disagree.  But the fact that you don't agree with whatever I've said doesn't automatically render them "meaningless" in the general sense.  Unless, that is, Babble is making an effort to not be inclusive...which I highly doubt.

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You'll find most of us are more than satisfied with the amount of capitalism we have now... in fact I dare say most Babblers would like rather less Wink

That's completely fair, and I respect your point of view...but why does that preclude any type of discussion or debate?  I ask because, you and others here, are coming across rather defensively.  And really if you feel confident in your beliefs, and have the strength of your convictions, then what's the harm in debating the issues with someone who may not always agree?

Jingles

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but why does that preclude any type of discussion or debate?

This may come as a shock to you, but these things have been discussed and debated to death already, and no one is really keen on rehashing it for every disciple of Dave Rutherford that google this place. Believe it or not, you aren't our first.

gulcher

Jingles wrote:

Quote:
but why does that preclude any type of discussion or debate?

This may come as a shock to you, but these things have been discussed and debated to death already, and no one is really keen on rehashing it for every disciple of Dave Rutherford that google this place. Believe it or not, you aren't our first.

Your first what?  Nothing like being lumped into some arbitrary grouping.  Don't just make assumptions...I try not to do the same.  I'll have to google Dave Rutherford, because I have no idea who that is. 

And as far as babble's concerned...I've been a member here twice before when I was active within the NDP/and for a short time the Greens...the last time I visited babble would've been right around '05/'06...and I was trying to convince people to vote for Olivia Chow. 

But whatever, life got in the way, and I let my membership fall by the way side.  Point is, I used to read rabble religiously, and that's how I originally discovered babble, not through some random googling.

Assumptions!

Fidel

gulcher wrote:

Fidel wrote:
I meant neoliberal as in Milton Friedmanite political economy. As American Greg Palast referred to it, Pinochet's Chile was the ersatz genesis fable.

In my mind Pinochet is not an example of neo-liberalism, but rather despotism.  It's true he did enact some "free" market policies, but I'm not sure how free anyone could claim them to be when they were being instituted at the barrel of a gun.

It was to be an economy based on private banking, foreign investment, and financial services. The Chicago boys under Pinochet privatized everything from state banks to welfare services. And by the end of the experiment, the percentage of Chileans living in poverty doubled from 20% to 40%.  

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Factor in that Chile's largest industry/export, copper, remained nationalized under Pinochet's dictatorship, and that he spent an inordinate amount on the military relative to the country's GDP, and I think it's fair to say Chile was hardly the bastion of free market capitalism.

It didnt prevent rightwing ideologues from using Chile as a model for globalizing the new liberal capitalism. Scientists are telling us that if the other 85% of humanity adopts "this", the consumption based economies here in the west, then humanity will strip world resources bare in nothing flat and choke on the pollution.

Fidel wrote:
Neoliberal economics is, I believe anyway, an attempt by capitalists to pursue where they left off after 1929 with deregulated capital and industry.

gulcher wrote:
I'm not certain I understand your reference here to "after 1929".  The crash occurred that year, yes, but it was hardly followed by deregulation. 

Neither Hoover nor Roosevelt had the political will to allow the market to work free from intervention or regulation, and in my opinion it was Roosevelt's refusal to have government get out of the way and allow the unraveling to take place, that allowed what would have been a severe one/two year recession to turn into a prolonged "Great Depression".

Hooverites claimed to have tried Keynesian methods by raising taxes. But they actually raised taxes for the middle classes and poor and lowered them for the rich. The Hooverians claimed that the depression was due to supply side problems - that manufacturers werent producing enough for people to buy. New Dealers like Galbraith claimed the opposite- that there wasnt enough demand. And that rich people had too much money and the poor and middle classes not enough. 

The first experiment in laissez-faire capitalism lasted about 30 years from turn of the last century to 1929. The Chilean experiment occurred from 9-11-73 to 1985, about 16 years. This experiment in new liberal capitalism in the more robust mixed market economies lasted about 30 years with Nicholas Sarkozy announcing, "Le laissez-faire, c'est fini"

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And that's my overall point...we've not seen an example of a truly free market capitalist society at work.  The system is constantly being regulated, manipulated, stimulated, poked, and prodded by governments who haven't ever known better, or perhaps knew all too well, the follies of intervention.

Some economists would argue that re-regulation, bank nationalisations, and global "financial disarmament" are needed today. Capitalism has been tried in various experiments since 14th century Italy. What we need today is a more robust economic model not based on consumption and debt-driven growth. "If something cannot go on forever, it will stop" - Herb Stein

"Where the military is, prices are high" - old Chinese proverb

"When money arrives, all is green, bustle and abundance. And when it leaves, all is trampled down, barren and bare" - an even older Chinese proverb

jas

gulcher wrote:

And as far as babble's concerned...I've been a member here twice before when I was active within the NDP/and for a short time the Greens...the last time I visited babble would've been right around '05/'06...and I was trying to convince people to vote for Olivia Chow...

Assumptions!

Funny though, you didn't bother mentioning that in your introductory post,  so I don't think it's fair to accuse others of prejudging you, based on some of what you've posted. You would know that, too, if you've alrady been here a few times.

 

Jingles

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Assumptions!

 

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Looking to ours or the American system as an example, what we're witnessing in terms of an unraveling is not, in my opinion, a product of lax regulation, but rather too much of it.

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Sure, you could look at Canada Post or VIA Rail and see "asset", but in reality they're oversized, inefficient bureaucracies that cost billions to run.

When we read ideological nonsense like this, we know.

Fidel

Harperites already announced their intention to spend half a trillion dollars on the military

[url=Harper">http://ca.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idCATRE51Q49Y20090227][=... the colder warrior concerned about "Russian aggression"[/][/url]

Meanwhile the Russians are merely trying to avoid further encirclement by the USSA and NATO thugs

George Victor

Dry Gulcher:

"In my mind Pinochet is not an example of neo-liberalism, but rather despotism.  It's true he did enact some "free" market policies, but I'm not sure how free anyone could claim them to be when they were being instituted at the barrel of a gun."

--------------------------------------------------------------

In fact, it was Allende's great error that he did not arm the people first.

And if others had read the book  they would not have bothered with the far simpler product of your mind. 

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

jas wrote:
gulcher wrote:
I've been a member here twice before when I was active within the NDP/and for a short time the Greens...the last time I visited babble would've been right around '05/'06...

Assumptions!

Funny though, you didn't bother mentioning that in your introductory post,  so I don't think it's fair to accuse others of prejudging you, based on some of what you've posted. You would know that, too, if you've alrady been here a few times.

Note too that he assiduously avoids mentioning what his former pseudonyms were. 

George Victor

pseudomorph

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

We will be in for quite a bit of shock doctrine I expect, especially with Ignatieff as the opposition leader.

The contention that our crown corporations are bloated and money losers is a conservative myth. They have be pared down to the bone thanks to Paul Martin's cost saving policies of the 90s. And still, they manage to out perform the private sector. Even the CBC with its ill guided mismanagement is reporting a shortfall for the first time in a decade or more. They are not operating on billions of dollars of debt like CanWest Global.

And what about the great performances from the automotive giants? What of all the  deregulated US banking and investment firms?  Where are the private sector efficiencies? Where is the nimble reaction that the free market is complemented for?

Privatization of crown corporations is just an ideological move. Recently, the Swedish right wing coalition made a similar move to privatize many crown corporation including the highly successful Absolute Vodka that was raking in billions of dollars. Not. A. Money. Loser. It was sold on the ideological principle of "less government". 

Fidel

And that's why the Liberals are propping them up. They havent entirely backed away from the disasterous neoliberal ideology. Liberal, Tory, theyre the same fuckin party.

gulcher

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It was to be an economy based on private banking, foreign investment, and financial services. The Chicago boys under Pinochet privatized everything from state banks to welfare services. And by the end of the experiment, the percentage of Chileans living in poverty doubled from 20% to 40%.

 Yes, I agree the installment of Pinochet was wrong, and "Chicago boys" style of economics completely misses the mark.

Sure, the idea there was to privatize all of those industries, but it was destined to fail because the population itself was being held under strict rule, and the entire system was being tied into other markets that also, were not free (i.e. the US and others). 

Pinochet, and the "Chicago boys" were stupid to think that privatization whilst keeping the people under their thumb would result in a sustainable economy, and it didn't. 

A truly free market cannot work without a truly free society.  In other words, you cannot will a private entity to work as a free enterprise or capitalistic entity...if it "works" from a free market standpoint, it's as a consequence of the liberalities that surround it.

 

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It didnt prevent rightwing ideologues from using Chile as a model for globalizing the new liberal capitalism. Scientists are telling us that if the other 85% of humanity adopts "this", the consumption based economies here in the west, then humanity will strip world resources bare in nothing flat and choke on the pollution.

I would agree with this if we're talking in terms of what's been passed off as a "free market" here in the west.  In my opinion, what we've had is a two-headed monster of over-sized, spend-crazy government - merged with over-sized, plundering corporations.  i.e. not true free market capitalism. 

And I agree, if the rest of the world adopted that same form of collusion in the form of mandated consumption...well, we'd have to find another planet to live on.

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Hooverites claimed to have tried Keynesian methods by raising taxes. But they actually raised taxes for the middle classes and poor and lowered them for the rich.

I agree, that was just as short-sighted.

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The Hooverians claimed that the depression was due to supply side problems - that manufacturers werent producing enough for people to buy. New Dealers like Galbraith claimed the opposite- that there wasnt enough demand. And that rich people had too much money and the poor and middle classes not enough.

Either of those ideas leads to government intervention where none is needed, in my opinion.

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The first experiment in laissez-faire capitalism lasted about 30 years from turn of the last century to 1929. The Chilean experiment occurred from 9-11-73 to 1985, about 16 years.

I think we might differ a bit on our definitions of "laissez-faire".  To me, laissez-faire means the government should not interfere with the function of the markets.

I think the roughly 30 years from the turn of the century to 1929 is not a good example of laissez-faire, as it was during this period of time that our western governments became more involved in the markets.  For instance, the United States instituted the income tax in 1913, and Canada followed suit shortly thereafter in 1917.

Likewise in 1913, the US government decided to allow the newly created Federal Reserve a private monopoly on the creation of money.  It was the existence of the Federal Reserve, and the government's allowance of that body to keep interest rates artificially low, i.e. fix/interfere with the price of money no matter what the market was trying to indicate - that inflated the credit bubble in 1929.

When that bubble burst in 1929, Hoover - as you've correctly pointed out - interfered with the market correction by raising taxes on people who were already hurting, and by trying to prop up businesses that were poorly managed in the first place and should have been allowed to fail. 

Unfortunately, the Roosevelt administration came in and also prolonged the problem by increasing taxes on would-be employers, and by trying to keep the bubble inflated with the creation of more credit, more debt, and with price-fixing.

Both sides proved very well that government interference in the market only prolongs the suffering.  Too bad the governments of today fail to see that. 

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This experiment in new liberal capitalism in the more robust mixed market economies lasted about 30 years with Nicholas Sarkozy announcing, "Le laissez-faire, c'est fini"

Sarkozy, like other world leaders, is mistaken in his belief that what we've seen as far as an economy over the past 30-35 years is "laissez-faire".  Actually what we've had in the west is quite the opposite. 

Our current crisis was not caused by a lack of government oversight and regulation, but by principles of economics that have nothing to do with allowing the market to work, free of interference. 

Principles such as centralized banking i.e. interest rate manipulation, and easy creation/access to credit, coupled with an irresponsible adherence to fiat currencies, are big components of how we've gotten ourselves into this mess.

You put that together with the fact that we have a service-based economy, relying on consumption/spending (70% of U.S. GDP is based on consumption), as opposed to a production/savings based system...and it's clear why we're in so much trouble.

Our system has never been laissez-faire, and we may want to think about trying it if we're ever to see ourselves out of this mess.  You cannot get out of debt by spending money aka creating more debt.

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Some economists would argue that re-regulation, bank nationalisations, and global "financial disarmament" are needed today.

I agree, I think guys like Paul Krugman are among them.  I don't agree with them, however.

 

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Capitalism has been tried in various experiments since 14th century Italy. What we need today is a more robust economic model not based on consumption and debt-driven growth. "If something cannot go on forever, it will stop" - Herb Stein

I completely agree, which is why I believe governments have to stop this unsustainable practice of "stimulus" spending, as all that is doing is depreciating the value of their own currencies.  Governments have it backwards...they think that by spending money, throwing money into this broken system that they'll somehow get it going again, but really we're in this mess because we've over-spent and over-consumed...and doing more of the same certainly won't solve that problem.

I'm not sure who said it...but there is that old saying about the defintion of insanity...and I think it definitely applies to the decision-makers in pretty much all our western governments.

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"Where the military is, prices are high" - old Chinese proverb

Totally agree...that's why we should be cutting military spending big time, in my opinion.

This whole war in Afghanistan is ridiculous, and a ridiculous waste of money.  The US...that's a whole other ballgame...they spend something like a trillion a year to maintain their empire.  Insane! 

If the US were serious about fighting their economic troubles they'd recognize they've become a military industrial complex that spends waayy too much on their "defence".  If they really want to be a "world leader" they would set a good example and close all of their bases around the world, end the occupations and bring their troops home.  The way they have things set up is totally unsustainable.

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"When money arrives, all is green, bustle and abundance. And when it leaves, all is trampled down, barren and bare" - an even older Chinese proverb

I agree with that one too.

gulcher

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Funny though, you didn't bother mentioning that in your introductory post,  so I don't think it's fair to accuse others of prejudging you, based on some of what you've posted. You would know that, too, if you've alrady been here a few times.

 

Then again, you could just NOT pre-judge instead of finding ways to justify it...I know I try not to.

And I would know what from having been here before?  That people like jumping to conclusions on this board?  That hasn't been my experience up until now.

 

gulcher

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Looking to ours or the American system as an example, what we're witnessing in terms of an unraveling is not, in my opinion, a product of lax regulation, but rather too much of it.

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Sure, you could look at Canada Post or VIA Rail and see "asset", but in reality they're oversized, inefficient bureaucracies that cost billions to run.

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When we read ideological nonsense like this, we know.

You're who determines what is "ideological nonsense" and what isn't?

Ideology exists on all sides.  Could I not claim that anyone expounding on the virtues of publicly-run entities is also spouting "ideological nonsense"?

If you believe that government is more capable of running efficient, profitable businesses than is the private sector...I'd be more interested in hearing why you believe that is so.  Otherwise, why get involved in the conversation at all?  To name-call?  Isn't that a waste of time?

gulcher

George Victor wrote:

Dry Gulcher:

"In my mind Pinochet is not an example of neo-liberalism, but rather despotism.  It's true he did enact some "free" market policies, but I'm not sure how free anyone could claim them to be when they were being instituted at the barrel of a gun."

--------------------------------------------------------------

In fact, it was Allende's great error that he did not arm the people first.

And if others had read the book  they would not have bothered with the far simpler product of your mind. 

I would rather that the people had been enabled to arm themselves, not have the government do it for them.

Which book?  'The Shock Doctrine'?  I've read it...in fact, I liked it enough that I ended up giving it to a friend, insisting they read it.  I think Klein made some very salient points, and I definitely learned things from the book, but I think we differ on the solution(s).

Forgive me, if this isn't the "book" you're talking about.  For instance, if by mentioning "the book" you mean, the bible...well, I'm an atheist, so can't help you there.

gulcher

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Note too that he assiduously avoids mentioning what his former pseudonyms were. 

haha...yes, it's all one big conspiracy...watch out!  To be honest, I haven't the foggiest what my former nicknames were...maybe some variation on my name (which I'm not about to share given the level of vitriol pointed my way here) or a radiohead reference...I don't remember, the two times I was here, neither time was for very long.  A couple of weeks or so...life gets in the way sometimes.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

 

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Our system has never been laissez-faire, and we may want to think about trying it if we're ever to see ourselves out of this mess.

 ~ sigh ~

Another utopian libertarian, able to deny all real-world examples because they aren't up to Ayn Rand's ideals.

I'm all for a death match: let's lock him in a room with a utopian Marxist ("Communism has still never been tried"), and see who comes out alive.

gulcher

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We will be in for quite a bit of shock doctrine I expect, especially with Ignatieff as the opposition leader.

The contention that our crown corporations are bloated and money losers is a conservative myth.

If that were true, do you think your taxes would be this high?

They're not seen as money losers because the losses are hidden or absorbed as a "public expense" which the government uses as an excuse for taxation, and for the creation of money out of thin air.

 

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They have be pared down to the bone thanks to Paul Martin's cost saving policies of the 90s.

"pared down" doesn't do anything...it still results in the expense being on the books...i.e. the creation of debt.  Public entities do not run in a vacuum and are funded either by us or by the creation/borrowing of money...also a form of debt.  Public entities by their very nature are a debt on society.  If they were funded by private individuals out of their own pockets they would not require everyone's financial input...meaning they wouldn't need to borrow money to run.

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And still, they manage to out perform the private sector.

In what sense?  Qualitative?  Quantative?  And what areas of the private sector are you talking about?  Are you saying that every public entity earns more, or has a higher profit-margin than every private entity?  I don't think the facts would bear this out.

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Even the CBC with its ill guided mismanagement is reporting a shortfall for the first time in a decade or more. They are not operating on billions of dollars of debt like CanWest Global.

The CBC is a debt because it depends on public subsidy to run.  CanWest is failing because it is poorly managed.

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And what about the great performances from the automotive giants?

The "automotive giants" are companies that have also been managed very poorly.  They've allowed too much overhead without providing a viable product that will sell well enough to offset those costs. 

They should be allowed to fail so that people who know what they're doing can step in and set up new companies that will provide value without spending too much on private jets, office furniture, and tons of other wasteful things. 

But instead, governments step in, and prop these failing companies up...in turn putting that debt onto the heads of its constituents. 

Great, now the auto companies are going to become public entities too.  It's not sustainable to have the government run everything...it didn't work in the Soviet Union, and it won't work here.  This collusion of business and government has gone on for decades now, and it is why we're in this mess.

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What of all the  deregulated US banking and investment firms?  Where are the private sector efficiencies?

They could be private sector efficiencies if we actually had a private sector.  The notion of privacy in the system we currently have is a joke...the governments and corporations that have built up around them have been in lock-step for so long they don't know where one ends and the other begins.  That's why this unraveling is hurting so much.  And now these two entangled entities are thrashing about trying to figure out what's wrong, when really the solution, in my mind, is very clear.

Allow the companies who were poorly run to go bankrupt, and make room for people to come in who can run businesses in a much more efficient way. 

Don't use taxpayer money, or create money out of thin air and add to public debt by giving poorly managed companies more money to do more of the same. 

Scale back the size of government, so it does not spend more than it can afford, and get government out of running businesses, as all that's doing is making the bureaucracy larger and even more expensive.

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Where is the nimble reaction that the free market is complemented for?

There isn't, nor has there ever been a "free market".  And there can be no "nimble reaction" because the government won't allow the correction to happen.  Instead they artificially lower interest rates in an effort to keep people borrowing and spending...when really they should be encouraging everyone to save, and only spend what they have.  Too much consumption on credit is a huge part of the problem.

The government gives money to the auto sector, basically allowing them a get out of jail free for years of top-heavy management, high overhead, and the construction of energy inefficient cars the market is telling them no one really wants or can afford anymore.

The government in the US gives money to mortgage holders who have fallen behind on their payments without giving a thought that the prices of homes have to come down because they've become unaffordable to the average income earner.  All this practice is doing is trying to ensure that people continue to go into debt to purchase homes. 

The market is trying to say that there are already too many homes, and their prices are being kept artificially high.  By the same token the government gives money to lenders who have loaned money to people who had no hope of keeping up their payments. 

The whole thing sends a terrible message to people who have been disciplined and spent within their means, and has only served to prop up a system that is broken and must be cleared to allow room for something more sustainable.

Likewise, government gives out student loans, and increasingly pumps more money into that sector, and more and more people are graduating every year up to their eyeballs in debt. 

Really the market is trying to indicate that the price of tuitions is too high and must come down so that it is affordable to people without resorting to high amounts of debt.  BUT, the government won't allow this correction, instead they subsidize with our money and ensure that the practice of high tuitions continues.

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Privatization of crown corporations is just an ideological move.

And the opposite is not?

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Recently, the Swedish right wing coalition made a similar move to privatize many crown corporation including the highly successful Absolute Vodka that was raking in billions of dollars. Not. A. Money. Loser. It was sold on the ideological principle of "less government". 

Actually, Absolut's parent company, V&S was a terrible money loser.  At the time of sale the company was about $530 million in debt...public debt.  Considering the government sold the company for a little over $8 billion, I'd say it was a good move...I hope each and every Swede received a cheque for their share...somehow I doubt it though.

Also, think of the reasons behind why the Swedish government held on to that company for so long?  It goes back as far as the 1850s.  Since that time the Swedish government has controlled the public's alcohol consumption via a monopoly over its sale.  I don't think the fact that they also owned one of the largest distributors of said alcohol is condusive to personal liberty, do you?  So, call the sale of Absolut what you will, but I think it's a refreshing change of policy.  I'd rather decide how much alcohol I'd like to drink, and from whom I would buy it, thank you very much.

I don't think it's the government's place to tell its constituents how little or how much alcohol they can drink, nor should they be enabled to define its source...on that we might have an ideological difference.

gulcher

Lard Tunderin' Jeezus wrote:

 

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Our system has never been laissez-faire, and we may want to think about trying it if we're ever to see ourselves out of this mess.

 ~ sigh ~

Another utopian libertarian, able to deny all real-world examples because they aren't up to Ayn Rand's ideals.

I'm all for a death match: let's lock him in a room with a utopian Marxist ("Communism has still never been tried"), and see who comes out alive.

 Yes, because "all real-world examples" seem to be working just fine.  *eye roll* 

gulcher

Fidel wrote:

And that's why the Liberals are propping them up. They havent entirely backed away from the disasterous neoliberal ideology. Liberal, Tory, theyre the same fuckin party.

 No argument here.

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