Why the global rich fear violence in the streets

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Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Ok, well as fun as this flame war has been, let's call it off now, eh? All this conflict is disturbing the view from my perch in the ivory tower.

Caissa

Your campus can still afford ivory? With all of the attacks on education we had to down-grade years ago.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Well, thanks to the enormous government grants (and equally enormous babble salary) I receive, I am able to afford and bring my own. I hear German Studies has to make do with plaster of Paris.

Roscoe

Catchfire wrote:
Ok, well as fun as this flame war has been, let's call it off now, eh? All this conflict is disturbing the view from my perch in the ivory tower.

Flame war? I can't help but notice that no effort was made to stop this kerfuffle while I continued to ignore my pet stalker but the full weight of babble officialdom descended - on me - not the stalker, the moment I responded.

Maybe it was fun for you but it was merely a continuation of the babble double standard for me. 

I think I should apologise to you. My words reflected the disappointment and letdown I felt that that all your fine thoughts and words on progressive issues are only for those who share your ideology.  

Roscoe

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Roscoe, I think that the nationalizing of risk (or should we just come out and say it -- nationalizing of loss) often looks like national control when it is the opposite.

Smart right wingers have long ago learned that the best way to defeat the left is to damage the government's ability to do anything. Years ago they understood that cutting taxes would help disable collective action but more recently the attempts to cripple the government have been more sophisticated.

In Canada, massive military spending and unneeded crime agenda spending together with wasteful stimulus spending (much on not needed things while core infrastructure was often ignored) helped strip the government of any money to be active in the economy. Together with tax reduction the process is complete. It is very important to watch the right wing for wasting public money-- not just because their priorities are wrong but because the wasting of money could be an objective in itself.

This is because they have little interest in the collective finance of government and a great interest in setting conditions for government 'non interference' in the market economy. If that means flushing away a lot of money leaving no room left for all those things they do not believe in, the population should not assume it is all accident.

It is interesting to note that the government padded defence spending massively, even after saying it would soon reign in spending. It can reverse a small amount of that to pretend that the defence department is doing its bit. And it is-- the defence department has done more than its share already-- its job was to help create the context for the government to say it could not afford what people want government to do. In other words the defence department has the job of making money disappear from government finances.

It is critical that people do not assume that the right wing governments waste more money than centre and left governments because they are less competent. The important distinction is they have no interest in governments having balanced budgets and the capacity to spend. Many hate government and when trusted with it use that trust to break it down. F35 jets have a dual purpose-- their first bombing run is on the government's ability to do the kinds of things right wing politicians want it not to do.

Once people understand this dynamic they have a chance at understanding our political process. For some, realizing right wingers don't screw up the nation's finances because they are stupid comes as a dawning realization of just how much we have been had.

The acknowledgment that the rich are getting massively richer right through this ongoing economic crisis/adjustment is a realization that is painful but essential.

While I agree with you, I also think that the average individual does not want to engage the issue out of simple laziness. Literacy on fiscal issues is not compelling for many people and they are easily duped into attacking strawmen a la the Tea Party or the BC anti HST crowd.

The rich are getting massively richer during this economic crisis, not by increasing productivity and production but by cashing in on a deflationary economy and investing in corporate entities that profit from restricting government's ability to respond.

SNC Lavalin (a great beneficiary of government policy), recently bought AECL from the feds. CN Rail made a great deal to 'lease' BC's BCRail trackage for 99 years and buy their rolling stock so that the Campbell government could state that BCRail was not 'sold'. The BC government kept senior management of the BCRail crown corp on the payroll at $1 mil per year with no assets or staff to manage to reinforce the farce.

What will it take to force the masses awake? How can the people take their country(s) back?

Roscoe

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

It is okay to angry about an ignorant comment or personal attack but there is no evidence that Roscoe is the enemy here. Seems in fact clear to me that he/she isn't. And we don't need to make him in to an enemy when we already have enough. And Roscoe, most people here are not your enemy either but the approach can mess things up (my 3.5 cents....).

Thanks for that, Sean.  You and people like you are the reason I participate in babble. I won't be driven off by the few who resent that I'm a well to do retired oilfield contractor. I was born in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver and spent much more of my life with my head down than I have enjoying my obviously ill gotten gains.

Thats what this is all about. I'm not ideologically pure enough for some. I don't toe the party line.

Roscoe

Rebecca West wrote:

Roscoe wrote:

laine lowe wrote:

Roscoe, you have absolutely no idea of what systemic racism, denial of opportunity and general belitteling can do to a community, especially their youth. For many FN communities in Canada it comes down to fighting gang influence, substance abuse and/or suicide. I'd rather see riots than what we see with FN youth.

Interesting kerfuffle. What gives you the right to unilaterally decide that I "have absolutely no idea". 

Hardly a "unilateral" decision - your lack of knowledge shows in your posts - in their inaccuracy and in your considerable arrogance in presuming to know better than others who have a demonstrated (not blabbed about, but actually shown)  knowledge and experience with the issues.

And attacking Catchfire on the basis of his position in academia shows the kind of intellectual bigotry, celebrating ignorance in favour of education, that is the hallmark of the far right.  Doesn't exactly bolster your position, which is ... what exactly IS your position here on these progressive boards?

Really? what lack of knowledge of aboriginal affairs in my posts do you refer to , Rebecca?  I don't presume to know better than 'others'. I know better than many "others" period.

I didn't "attack" Catchfire "on the basis of his position in academia". I "attacked" him for the disappointment I felt that an individual of his intellect and abilities would not only overlook the obvious but also overlook the drive-by above his post in order to join the pile-on.

I won't bother to "attack" you for the same blindness, Rebecca.  Its interesting that stalking, drive-bys and personal attacks toward me are ignored while any defense by me is immediately considered an "attack".

What exactly is my position here on these progressive boards? The same position as my posts indicate  - a progressive viewpoint that leans toward solutions rather than endless fingerpointing.

I voted for Jack Layton, hold progressive views on feminism, same sex marriage, equal opportunity, poverty reduction and a host of other issues.

 

 

NDPP

Tax the Mega-Rich, Says Maybe the Mega-Richest

http://www.commondreams.org/further/2011/08/15-1

"...These and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species.." -  Warren Buffet

talk is cheap - maybe you are Warren, maybe you are...

6079_Smith_W

@ NDPP 

Why the scorn?  Maybe you should judge an ally based on his actions and words rather than his bottom line.

 

Sean in Ottawa

Roscoe wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

It is okay to angry about an ignorant comment or personal attack but there is no evidence that Roscoe is the enemy here. Seems in fact clear to me that he/she isn't. And we don't need to make him in to an enemy when we already have enough. And Roscoe, most people here are not your enemy either but the approach can mess things up (my 3.5 cents....).

Thanks for that, Sean.  You and people like you are the reason I participate in babble. I won't be driven off by the few who resent that I'm a well to do retired oilfield contractor. I was born in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver and spent much more of my life with my head down than I have enjoying my obviously ill gotten gains.

Thats what this is all about. I'm not ideologically pure enough for some. I don't toe the party line.

Thanks for that-- but I want to add that I think we are a very passionate bunch generally here. At one point we may think we know each other but we don't very well and find that we are surprised when we hit each other's buttons or have our own hit. As well people are not generally "trained" in mass communication here so some things come out more clumsily. There is the risk of offense and worse of permanent damage between relationships. I have had people blow up at me and I have at others-- as a rule I try to limit my memory of such incidents and after a short time treat them as everyone else. In the end I find myself realizing I just had a good exchange with someone who I fought with some time ago.

Forgiveness and patience goes a long way. So too is a realization that we have invisible nerves that others can't see because we don't know each other well enough. On some topics some of us are just learning -- on others we might be dealing with a lifetime of sacrifice and effort or personal pain. And we are not always in a position to express that well, and sometimes we just don't want to.

I don't always practice what I am preaching because I'm just as human as everyone else here. My behavior goes up and down based on what is happening to me in the real world so sometimes I am more patient and kind than others.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ NDPP 

Why the scorn?  Maybe you should judge an ally based on his actions and words rather than his bottom line.

But don't quote anything from other threads to show why you judge them as less than an ally.  That would be sickening and just way over the top. right 6079.  You slammed me for laying out quotes (their words) to show why I thought someone was right wing and now you are demanding NDPP judge someone based on their words.  Since I don't know most people on this board I can't in fairness judge their actions. 

Roscoe's support of an industry that is in the process of destroying a large part of my province and the province next door to me means he is no ally of mine.  I don't care what he is worth that is irrelevant. IMO  His support for the oil patch is not progressive it is in opposition to everything that our country needs to do to go forward with any kind of social justice issues. 

That he happens to have a posting style that is dismissive of many left wing views and the posters that present them means that I respond to him because I don't like attacks on my allies.  Just like in real life I don't let loud mouths dominate conversations when they are presenting ideas I disagree with.  

I gave him the courtesy, so far, of accepting he is what he claims to be which is more than he has given me.  He is a FN's entrepreneur from East Van who made it in oil.  Unusual life story but not implausible.  No more implausible than mine and I know when I say I have done something I am telling the truth.  Respect is a two way street.  He wants respect but fails to give it by dismissing others life experience and demanding deference to his self perceived expertise.

NDPP

6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ NDPP 

Why the scorn?  Maybe you should judge an ally based on his actions and words rather than his bottom line.

 

NDPP

I am..

'the first rule is not to lose. The second rule is not to forget the first rule.' WB

http://www.thestreet.com/story/10743465/warren-buffet-is-a-hypocrite.html

Lefauve

Warren Buffet is a men  that i respect a lot it one.

Of the few rich people who really understand social economic

and pointed out that the current situation is not good. 

 

I will like harper to meet him.

 

6079_Smith_W

Northern Shoveler wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ NDPP 

Why the scorn?  Maybe you should judge an ally based on his actions and words rather than his bottom line.

But don't quote anything from other threads to show why you judge them as less than an ally.  That would be sickening and just way over the top. right 6079.  You slammed me for laying out quotes (their words) to show why I thought someone was right wing and now you are demanding NDPP judge someone based on their words.  Since I don't know most people on this board I can't in fairness judge their actions. 

Roscoe's support of an industry that is in the process of destroying a large part of my province and the province next door to me means he is no ally of mine.  I don't care what he is worth that is irrelevant. IMO  His support for the oil patch is not progressive it is in opposition to everything that our country needs to do to go forward with any kind of social justice issues. 

That he happens to have a posting style that is dismissive of many left wing views and the posters that present them means that I respond to him because I don't like attacks on my allies.  Just like in real life I don't let loud mouths dominate conversations when they are presenting ideas I disagree with.  

I gave him the courtesy, so far, of accepting he is what he claims to be which is more than he has given me.  He is a FN's entrepreneur from East Van who made it in oil.  Unusual life story but not implausible.  No more implausible than mine and I know when I say I have done something I am telling the truth.  Respect is a two way street.  He wants respect but fails to give it by dismissing others life experience and demanding deference to his self perceived expertise.

I'm sorry, did I walk into something? Was I even talking to you or about Roscoe?

I was commenting about NDPP saying "talk is cheap" about Warren Buffett's comment that rich people like him should be taxed more.

Buffett is  right. What's the big deal and why the gratuitous slam?

(edit)

Oh I think I just realized what you are on about - only took me two hours. How many days ago was that? 

I'm sorry NS, but I don't think it is fair to go rooting through people's posting history in order to work up a profile on them and label them. And speaking of dragging in shit from other threads, I don't think it has anything to do with the subject of this thread.

Sorry, but I agree with what Buffett said. If someone wants  to dig up shit on him fair enough, but I don't see how it  has any bearing on his comment. He's still right that the wealthy should be taxed more.

 

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Buffett is their buffer from the common folk. Don't trust his claptrap. Is he volunteering his billions to help?

Didn't think so. It's easy to talk when you have the lawmakers in your lap.

Lefauve

RevolutionPlease wrote:
Buffett is their buffer from the common folk. Don't trust his claptrap. Is he volunteering his billions to help? Didn't think so. It's easy to talk when you have the lawmakers in your lap.

I dont say that i admire him, only respect compare Dick Cheney, his just ok.

Here about his charity:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/06/16/us-philanthropy-buffett-gates-...

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Charity is no a solution it is a panacea.  When assholes like Buffet start lobbying for 50% tax rates on all their sources of income so that democratically elected governments can chose the priorities then he will have my respect.  

In the meantime the "deserving" as defined by billionaires might get some services but none they can control or prioritize.  Just more rule by the oligarchy IMO.  Not a whiff of democracy in the whole idea just our "betters" taking care of us. 

6079_Smith_W

Of course taxation is what is most important, not charity. I think taxation was the whole point of his editorial. He did't actually say what tax rate he supports, but he did say that the 39.9% capital gains tax several decades ago was not too high to slow investment.

Through their campaign they are asking the wealthy to give away half their fortunes and he has personally pledged to give away 75 percent of his own, so that might give some indication of what he thinks a fair rate might be.

Not perfect I guess. On the other hand, I don't suspect he cares too much what others think of him. Personally I don't know what kind of a person he is nor do I really care, but I am happier to see someone of his class and influence saying these things than having them unsaid.

 

Bacchus
Sean in Ottawa

Northern in fact Buffet has many times stated that he did not believe charity is the answer and that tax rates ought to be much higher on the wealthy. He does have my respect because he speaks from a political perspective that is not in the interest of his class but is in the wider social interest. I have heard him speak out directly against the concept of charity on the same basis as I do and he has spoken in favour of a collective society. He is not a communist-- certainly. But he is far more to the left than most Americans and a leader in that regard -- and the fact that he is coming from wealth he uses as credibility quite effectively.

If you consider the history of the left-- people of means who spoke from conviction in spite of their wealth have always been important and a lot has been done because of it. They realize that they have a responsibility because society is so unequal that it is hopeless if some of them do not speak out. He does. And no doubt he has lost friends because of it since I am sure in the circles he lives in these are not popular statements. Indeed it takes no more courage to be poor calling for better policies to address poverty than to be rich calling for those when you think about it. I appreciate anyone who stands up for themselves but I also appreciate the wealthy who stand up for what is right -- and recognize how very, very, very rare that is.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

He is talking the talk and it is good that someone from his "class" is speaking out.  But if I am not mistaken he made his money more as an outsider than a Wall Street icon.  He also does not have a lavish lifestyle so he appears to be a very unique billionaire.  I hope he gives his money away soon because when he dies not all his heirs wil carry on his tradtion. 

If he really wants to save the American capitalist system he would start an infrastructure fund to provide cities and towns with capital to rebuild the rotting infrastructure.  But his fellow "class" members are probably far more enamoured of the Chicago School and want to see as little government of any kind as possible.  

The Koch brothers are giving away lots of their money to worthy tea bag "charities."  

Sven Sven's picture

Northern Shoveler wrote:

If he really wants to save the American capitalist system he would start an infrastructure fund to provide cities and towns with capital to rebuild the rotting infrastructure. 

For a little context: If we not only taxed 100% of Buffett's income but went many steps further and confiscated all of his wealth (~$45B), it would be enough to run the federal government (which is now spending ~$3.4T) for about four days.  Or, if we looked at all governmental spending (federal, state, and local) in a year (~$6.8T), it would fund government spending generally for about 48 hours.

Now, if we took a less radical step and simply confiscated 100% of his income for 2010 (about $40M), then that would be enough to run fund all governement spending for about three minutes!!!

Sean in Ottawa

I don't like to speak in terms of expropriation, confiscation etc. -- a reasonable share going each year is fair-- not interested in all-- at all.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Roscoe and Northern Shoveler, if you can't figure out how to stop attacking one another (and that goes for passive-aggressive third-person smears too), then ignore each other. If you can't do that, you'll be taking a break. Stop polluting this thread with your personal vendetta. You're grown men: act like it.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Sven wrote:

Northern Shoveler wrote:

If he really wants to save the American capitalist system he would start an infrastructure fund to provide cities and towns with capital to rebuild the rotting infrastructure. 

For a little context: If we not only taxed 100% of Buffett's income but went many steps further and confiscated all of his wealth (~$45B), it would be enough to run the federal government (which is now spending ~$3.4T) for about four days.  Or, if we looked at all governmental spending (federal, state, and local) in a year (~$6.8T), it would fund government spending generally for about 48 hours.

Now, if we took a less radical step and simply confiscated 100% of his income for 2010 (about $40M), then that would be enough to run fund all governement spending for about three minutes!!!

I spoke about rebuilding infrastructure and you give me the sum total of government spending.  That is out of context to what I was speaking to.  I think I read somewhere he was going to give up 99% of this wealth and too me that sounds like a good start to an infrastructure renewal program.  If he can talk other billionaires into kicking in then they might stimulate the economy in all the right ways.  

You had no comment on the idea of employment standards and a living wage, so what do you think of those methods of flattening out the difference between the rich and the poor?  To me they are critical in making any society fairer in its income and wealth distribution.  

Freedom 55

milo204 wrote:

this raises an interesting question.  When the rich attack us, it is in our homes and our communities.

why the hell when we protest do we do it in a public space like a downtown area, etc.  Why not go to the rich neighborhoods and protest to the actual people who are committing this violence instead of protesting to their infrastructure?

perhaps if we disrupted their actual lives and communities in the same way they disrupt ours, it might be a more effective and direct message?

 

This does happen, but it tends to make liberals uncomfortable, which I suppose is why it doesn't happen more often than it does.

[url=http://www.ocap.ca/node/424]Night March on Rosedale[/url]

Also, people attending Montreal's Anarchist Bookfair have marched through Westmount at least a few times over the years. And there was a march through Ottawa's Rockliffe Park years ago.

In addition to these visits to the neighbourhoods of the rich, I'd include the many disruptions of fundraisers and visits to constituency offices that OCAP and allied groups have staged over the years in that same category.

[url=http://www.ocap.ca/node/842]Poor People Crash Lavish Liberal Dinner Party[/url]

[url=http://www.ocap.ca/node/389]OCAP crashes Liberal fundraising dinner, confronts McGuinty[/url]

[url=http://www.ocap.ca/node/852]Anti-Poverty Activists Shut Down Office of Minister of Community and Social Services[/url]

[url=http://www.ocap.ca/node/929]McGuinty Fundraising Dinner Crashed[/url]

Doug
Unclefred Unclefred's picture

When the rich attack us their weapons of choice is "money."  We are unarmed in such a battle.  Alternative economic systems, like the LETSystem can help take that weapon away from them.  Worker cooperatives can also help and are a good first step towards democratising the economy.  Note that if we did in our neighbourhoods what the IMF does internationally, we'd be arrested for loan sharking and racketeering.  Non-violent - non-cooperation is a wonderful strategy.  Everybody should see the movie Gandhi again or for the first time if you haven't seen it yet.  It's an inspiration.

NDPP

Crime and Punishment - And Destruction and Death  - by Arthur Silber

http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2011/08/crime-and-punishment-and-de...

"If we broaden our perspective, and if we look beyond particular developments and attempt to grasp what is happening over a larger period of time, the nature of the horror that awaits us takes on a clearer shape: The West's ruling class is embarked on a program of killing and elimination."

Freedom 55

milo204 wrote:

perhaps if we disrupted their actual lives and communities in the same way they disrupt ours, it might be a more effective and direct message?

 

Yes! More of this...

[url=http://www.ocap.ca/node/966]Poverty Protest at Loblaws This Afternoon[/url]

Quote:

After entering the store and splitting up into small groups, the OCAP members and supporters began filling up their carts with $250 of groceries each. Upon ringing in these groceries, cashiers were presented with vouchers for 250 “Dalton Dollars” -- featuring a prominent picture of McGuinty, alongside the words “to be used in place of the Special Diet Allowance”.

The loss of the full Special Diet on July 31st, inevitably means more hunger, more evictions, more ill health and more misery for huge numbers of people who are already forced to live on hugely inadequate welfare/ODSP rates. The groceries in the carts that were brought to the Loblaws checkouts are only a tiny fraction of the food that McGuinty and his Government have taken from poor people this month.

ruth67

NDPP wrote:

Crime and Punishment - And Destruction and Death  - by Arthur Silber

http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2011/08/crime-and-punishment-and-de...

"If we broaden our perspective, and if we look beyond particular developments and attempt to grasp what is happening over a larger period of time, the nature of the horror that awaits us takes on a clearer shape: The West's ruling class is embarked on a program of killing and elimination."

nice blog!

6079_Smith_W

Heard this on the radio yesterday - a group of millionaires in France have asked the government to apply a new tax on anyone earning more than 1 million Euro annually.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/24/france-tax-patriotic...

 

 

NDPP

Warren Buffett's Hypocrisy Exposed  -  by David Degraw

http://daviddegraw.org/2011/08/warren-buffetts-hypocrisy-exposed-part-1-...

"Warren's bypocrisy is stunning!"

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

NDPP wrote:

Warren Buffett's Hypocrisy Exposed  -  by David Degraw

http://daviddegraw.org/2011/08/warren-buffetts-hypocrisy-exposed-part-1-...

"Warren's bypocrisy is stunning!"

The Dead Cat Bounce, a tune for the era.

 

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