ONDP convention next weekend in Hamilton

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North Star

M. Spector wrote:

Blah, blah, blah!

If she's so fucking labour-friendly why didn't she even mention the public-service wage freeze at the convention?

She's so fucking terrified of the NDP being seen as labour-friendly that she'd rather hand hundreds of millions of dollars to fucking capitalist employers as a reward for giving people McJobs than raise a word of protest at making the public sector workers pay for the financial crisis of the rich.

Compared with Rae Days, this is at least as big a betrayal.

In some ways it may even be bigger. I think but please correct me if I'm wrong there were some unions that still supported the ONDP back in 1995. Now, I'm not sure who is still on Andrea's side. The OFL is pissed. That leaves OPSEU who were not vocal at the convention but some of its rank and file were. I would hope that ONDP inaction on the wage freeze issue would at least force the OFL & OPSEU to work together a little closer.

In a telling moment, Muclair's speech on Sunday was far more left wing than Horwath's was. The unions reps were far cheering far louder and giving Mulcair a hell of a lot more standing ovations than they gave to Horwath. It's precisely because of Horwath's background that she has to double down on labour more than Mulcair has to. Mulcair mentioned something about working with all of the NDP's traditional supporters actually. 6 months ago I would never have imagined any of this.

Freedom 55

Life, the universe, everything wrote:

So the NDP is garnering increased support because they are doing the exact opposite of what you and others have been suggesting, perhaps creating ideal conditions to bring the Liberals down, and we are all suppose to think you are saving us from something.

 

I don't care that they're gaining support if it comes as the result of supporting/advocating bad policy. I care about them doing the right thing.

Life, the unive...

You have no idea what they are doing yet, so your claims are nothing but histronics.  It is clear few posting have any strategic sense.  The NDP is now positioned to hold the Liberals over a barrell and to get real concessions, exactly because they did the opposite of what you were calling for.  If the Liberals blink we get a much better budget, if they don't we get an election fought on a much stronger footing.  If the NDP had followed your Hudak inspired strategy of burn the bridges even though we are on the wrong side, the Liberals would be in the drivers seat - because the NDP didn't things look much more promising to fight an election on an anti-austerity footing, or to actually have the budget substantially altered.  So far the NDP is batting about .750 or so and the arm chair coaches about .008

Freedom 55

Life, the universe, everything wrote:

You have no idea what they are doing yet, so your claims are nothing but histronics.  It is clear few posting have any strategic sense.  The NDP is now positioned to hold the Liberals over a barrell and to get real concessions, exactly because they did the opposite of what you were calling for.  If the Liberals blink we get a much better budget, if they don't we get an election fought on a much stronger footing.  If the NDP had followed your Hudak inspired strategy of burn the bridges even though we are on the wrong side, the Liberals would be in the drivers seat - because the NDP didn't things look much more promising to fight an election on an anti-austerity footing, or to actually have the budget substantially altered.

 

You're right... I have no idea what may be going on behind closed doors. All I have to go on is what's been made public, and none of it looks very good. If it ultimately turns out that Horwath has played McGuinty and manages to eliminate the nastier elements of the budget, I'll give credit where it's due. I'm not sure how that will happen given how low she set the bar with her "demands", but I hope my pessimism is proven wrong. In the meantime, I see nothing wrong with people making it clear to the NDP that we do not want an austerity budget.

 

Life, the universe, everything wrote:

the arm chair coaches about .008

 

LOL, yes, I remember the armchair coaches saying that an election was to be avoided at all costs.

Life, the unive...

Your right on the last part.  I suggested in the Ontario polling thread that we might all have missed the strategy, including me.  Who knows, but something seems to be happening in the polls and it suggests to me the Liberals are painted into a corner and it would not surprise me at all to see an election underway next week.

Grandpa_Bill

This from The Toronto Star online:

Ontario gudget:  Andrea Horwath's tax-the-rich proposal 'hugely popular,' poll suggests

Just more populist nonsense, eh?!

Grandpa_Bill

Freedom 55 wrote:

Grandpa_Bill wrote:

So, Radwanski wrote this in The Globe:  "The closest [Horwath] comes to traditional NDP doctrine is calling for a surtax on people making more than $500,000 per year. But other big asks - [including] . . . caps on the pay of public-sector executives - are more populist than left-wing."

They both sound more populist than left-wing to me.

Decades of research have produced a factual base that demonstrates the close connection between income equality and a host of health and social well-being indicators:  physical & mental health, education, violence & imprisonment, teenage births & child well-being, etc.  Take a minute to look at the data:  The Equality Trust.

So, Freedom 55, whether you call me populist, left-wing, or just plain bat-shit crazy, I'm for Closing the Gap between high and low incomes by any means available.  Doing so will be good for all of us:  people on Ontario Works, low-income earners, public sector union members, CBC staffers (on- or off-air), Air Canada pilots, . . . and, oh yeah, retired folks like me--with grandkids, but without a pension!

If the NDP caucus at Queen's Park can move the province towards income equality by taxing/capping high incomes, I'll say this:  It's a good start!

Freedom 55

Grandpa_Bill wrote:

Freedom 55 wrote:

Grandpa_Bill wrote:

So, Radwanski wrote this in The Globe:  "The closest [Horwath] comes to traditional NDP doctrine is calling for a surtax on people making more than $500,000 per year. But other big asks - [including] . . . caps on the pay of public-sector executives - are more populist than left-wing."

They both sound more populist than left-wing to me.

Decades of research have produced a factual base that demonstrates the close connection between income equality and a host of health and social well-being indicators:  physical & mental health, education, violence & imprisonment, teenage births & child well-being, etc.  Take a minute to look at the data:  The Equality Trust.

So, Freedom 55, whether you call me populist, left-wing, or just plain bat-shit crazy, I'm for Closing the Gap between high and low incomes by any means available.  Doing so will be good for all of us:  people on Ontario Works, low-income earners, public sector union members, CBC staffers (on- or off-air), Air Canada pilots, . . . and, oh yeah, retired folks like me--with grandkids, but without a pension!

If the NDP caucus at Queen's Park can move the province towards income equality by capping incomes, I'll say this:  It's a good start!

 

If you think I'm arguing in favour of income inequality, you've misread me. And as an anti-poverty activist - and even more relevantly; as a disabled person who has been on OW and is currently on ODSP - I am accutely aware of the social determinants of health.

I'm saying that Horwath's proposals are more style than substance, giving people the impression that income inequality is being addressed without actually doing so. Which is why I say it's more populist than anything else.

Caps on executive salaries and a slight increase in taxes on income above $500,000 do not narrow the income gap. They just slightly slow its growth. Horwath's "demands" don't include an increase to OW. They don't raise the minimum wage. They don't protect public workers. So while all of those groups have their incomes frozen, and their purchasing power eroded by inflation, the income gap continues to widen - not shrink - because anyone with a salary of $418,000 a year is almost certainly going to be making quite a bit through investment income in addition to their salaries. That's something that is not only practically impossible for the working poor; it's also legally impossible for people on social assistance who have limits imposed on their allowable assets.

Freedom 55

Grandpa_Bill wrote:

This from The Toronto Star online:

Ontario gudget:  Andrea Horwath's tax-the-rich proposal 'hugely popular,' poll suggests

Just more populist nonsense, eh?!

 

You're the only one who's used the word 'nonsense' in this thread. And your rebuttal to the argument that Horwath's proposal is populist is that it's "hugely popular"?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Populism is by definition "popular"!

Brachina

The NDP does not support the wage freeze, which is why Dalton put it in seperate bill.

Not that it matters the wage freeze will get smashed in court, its illegal, that's why Dalton threatened layoffs, which btw are a completely,bluff because the NDP won't give the okay for that.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Who gave the NDP a veto over layoffs?

Funny, if the NDP "does not support the wage freeze" and a million Ontarians are hopping mad about it, why didn't Horwath even mention it once at the convention?

As for the "separate bill" canard, if there is $zero in the budget for wage increases, the wage freeze is a done deal once the budget is passed. And even if a separate vote were held on the wage freeze, the NDP would not be able to stop it. The only way to stop it is to amend the budget before Tuesday.

Unionist

M. Spector wrote:

Populism is by definition "popular"!

Isn't that a popular misconception?

*ducks for cover*

Brachina

It is going to be crushed in courts, I'm really not worried about it.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Yes, we all know what great friends of labour the courts are!  

We can rely on Liberal and Tory judges to defend the public sector workers, where the NDP refuses to do so!

Grandpa_Bill

Freedom 55 wrote:
 

I'm saying that Horwath's proposals are more style than substance, giving people the impression that income inequality is being addressed without actually doing so. Which is why I say it's more populist than anything else.

Caps on executive salaries and a slight increase in taxes on income above $500,000 do not narrow the income gap. They just slightly slow its growth. Horwath's "demands" don't include an increase to OW. They don't raise the minimum wage. They don't protect public workers. So while all of those groups have their incomes frozen, and their purchasing power eroded by inflation, the income gap continues to widen - not shrink - because anyone with a salary of $418,000 a year is almost certainly going to be making quite a bit through investment income in addition to their salaries. That's something that is not only practically impossible for the working poor; it's also legally impossible for people on social assistance who have limits imposed on their allowable assets.

Thanks for taking the time to respond in some detail with these comments, Freedom 55.  They help me understand what you know about the topic of income inequality, which may be a great deal more than I know.

Here are a few comments from me in response:

(1)  As I understand it, the NDP proposal for a surtax on high incomes applies to taxable income, which includes income from all sources, not merely employment income.  However, as you point out, the $418,000 cap on public sector executive salaries effects only employment income from public sources.

(2)  Reducing income inequality (Closing the Gap) involves reducing the income range, i.e. reducing the spread between the lowest incomes and the highest incomes, irrespective of what happens to the great numbers of people with incomes somewhere in the middle.  Improvements in health and social well-being for a society are demonstrably related to reduced inequality, regardless of the absolute levels of income or the distribution of incomes across the income range.

(3)  Your claim that "caps on executive salaries and a slight increase in taxes on income above $500,000 do not narrow the income gap" may seem self-evident to you, but I feel it needs arguing and would like to learn why you make this claim.  If you mean that it doesn't do nearly enough to narrow the income gap, then I agree.

(4)  I didn't intend to refute your claim that the two NDP proposals (capping executive salaries and taxing high incomes) are populist.  I was rather trying (but perhaps failing) to say that the is it left-wing or is it populist or is it just plain bat-shit crazy question is of the utmost indifference to me.  Your remark above (Horwath's proposals are more style than substance) makes clear to me what you meant and there is some truth to what you say.

(5)  In my message to Andrea Horwath, I urged the position proposed by Doctors for Fair Taxation, which involved four additional high-income tax brackets.  The actual NDP proposal for a single surtax on taxable incomes over $500,00 is a poor relation of the DFT proposal, but nevertheless, at least for me, a good start, especially in view of the fact that we really have not yet had an adult conversation about taxes, eh?!

 

Freedom 55

Grandpa_Bill wrote:

(2)  Reducing income inequality (Closing the Gap) involves reducing the income range, i.e. reducing the spread between the lowest incomes and the highest incomes, irrespective of what happens to the great numbers of people with incomes somewhere in the middle.  Improvements in health and social well-being for a society are demonstrably related to reduced inequality, regardless of the absolute levels of income or the distribution of incomes across the income range.

(3)  Your claim that "caps on executive salaries and a slight increase in taxes on income above $500,000 do not narrow the income gap" may seem self-evident to you, but I feel it needs arguing and would like to learn why you make this claim.  If you mean that it doesn't do nearly enough to narrow the income gap, then I agree.

 

You're right. I mistakenly used the phrase 'income gap', when what I was really referring to was the wealth gap. So, yes, I think you're correct in saying that the proposed surtax would narrow the income gap.

The point I was trying to make is that even if these proposals are adopted, the gap in actual wealth will continue to widen. Executives making $418,000 a year, and people with annual incomes above $500,000 are already so far ahead of those of us on social assistance or working for poverty wages that they can absorb a salary freeze or a modest tax increase and still pull further ahead because they can make money off of their accumulated wealth... a luxury that is unavailable to people living hand-to-mouth.

If McGuinty agrees to a 1% increase in ODSP for 2012, that will only mean an additional $132 per year for a single person on disability. So, even if a CEO's salary gets capped at $418,000, I am willing to bet that almost all of them will have investment incomes greater than $132, widening the gap between the rich and the poor. [And that's just people on ODSP... Horwath's proposals do nothing to raise the incomes of OW recipients, minimum-wage workers, and public service workers.]

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Freedom 55 wrote:

So, yes, I think you're correct in saying that the proposed surtax would narrow the income gap.

I don't agree with that at all. In the first place, the term "income gap" commonly refers to pre-tax income, not after-tax income. So taxation levels are irrelevant to the determination of the income gap.

But more important, the income of the super-rich only has to grow at an annual rate of 2% to completely wipe out the effects of the surtax. And at [url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/economy-lab/da... rate the income gap has been growing[/url] over the last twenty years, that's a foregone conclusion. So the income gap will continue to widen without a pause, surtax or no surtax.

Fidel

Well if the NDP isn't going to promise Disney World in one shot, to hell them!! We'll stick with the timber wolves we know in the two old line parties on the right. 

Maybe if the Hudaks get in they will revive merciful beheadings in addition to crackdowns on "welfare cheats" while handing money to the rich handover fist. Just wind-back the clock and let's get started, shall we? Let's let hundreds of thousands of unemployed and those on welfare rolls gamble with our excellent FPTP game of chance. Lady Luck is sure to win it for us this time six months l8r. 

Freedom 55

Fidel wrote:

We'll stick with the timber wolves we know in the two old line parties on the right.

 

Yep, that's what Horwath seems to be saying. The NDP could bring McGuinty down, but they seem determined to play the long game while Ontarians suffer.

Freedom 55

M. Spector wrote:

Freedom 55 wrote:

So, yes, I think you're correct in saying that the proposed surtax would narrow the income gap.

I don't agree with that at all. In the first place, the term "income gap" commonly refers to pre-tax income, not after-tax income. So taxation levels are irrelevant to the determination of the income gap.

But more important, the income of the super-rich only has to grow at an annual rate of 2% to completely wipe out the effects of the surtax. And at [url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/economy-lab/da... rate the income gap has been growing[/url] over the last twenty years, that's a foregone conclusion. So the income gap will continue to widen without a pause, surtax or no surtax.

 

Makes sense.

Grandpa_Bill

M. Spector wrote:

the term "income gap" commonly refers to pre-tax income, not after-tax income. So taxation levels are irrelevant to the determination of the income gap.

There are two common approaches to reduce income inequality:

  1.  reduce differences in pay before tax through high income caps and low income minimums (Japan)
  2. increase taxes on high earners and redistribute the money through benefits to low earners (Sweden)

So taxation levels are NOT irrelevant to Closing the Gap and the term "income gap" does NOT commonly refer to pre-tax income.

Grandpa_Bill

I see these potential benefits to the current NDP proposals, both the surtax and the high-income cap

(1)  they open the door to an adult discussion of taxes in this province

(2)  they open the door to a discussion of the entire Ontario personal income tax structure (brackets & rates)

(3)  they open the door to a discussion of caps on high-income earners in the private sector

(4)  they open the door to a discussion of income inequality in general, including wage and benefit minimums and GAI

 

autoworker autoworker's picture

Freedom 55 wrote:

Unionist wrote:

every fucking traitor I've ever encountered in the labour movement came from the labour movement. We workers prefer to judge people by where they stand rather than by where they came from. Too often, where they came from is where they left.

 

[img]http://peacepipe420.com/images/uploads/fbnlike.jpg[/img]

It's funny how Unionist feels free to comment on Ontario's politics, but nobody from the ROC can comment on Quebec without incurring heaps of scorn.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Grandpa_Bill wrote:

There are two common approaches to reduce income inequality:

  1.  reduce differences in pay before tax through high income caps and low income minimums (Japan)
  2. increase taxes on high earners and redistribute the money through benefits to low earners (Sweden)

So taxation levels are NOT irrelevant to Closing the Gap and the term "income gap" does NOT commonly refer to pre-tax income.

So you're quoting yourself as an authority to contradict what I'm saying?

"Income inequality" may be mitigated by redistributing it through the tax system from the richest to the poorest. But that's NOT the same as reducing the income gap. Income remains income, whether it's taxed or not.

Number 2 doesn't apply anyway, unless the tax revenue collected from the highest earners is given to the lowest earners. And even if that were the case, as I pointed out, a 2% surtax on earnings over $500,000 wouldn't even begin to make a dent in the growing income gap.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

autoworker wrote:

It's funny how Unionist feels free to comment on Ontario's politics, but nobody from the ROC can comment on Quebec without incurring heaps of scorn.

No, it's just you.

Unionist

autoworker wrote:

It's funny how Unionist feels free to comment on Ontario's politics, but nobody from the ROC can comment on Quebec without incurring heaps of scorn.

I do feel free. It's a blessing!

As for the ROC, it is recognized by only [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_relations_of_the_Republic_of_China]23 rather insignificant states[/url] in the world. Québec is not among them. Neither is Ontario or Canada, for that matter. I've conveniently provided the list if ROC commentators wish to avoid heaps of scorn.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Long thread.

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