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The push is on to reinvent American capitalism

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019

In today’s America, just 16,000 families account for US$6-trillion in assets. That is equal to the total wealth of two-thirds of all U.S. families. While so many go wanting, thousands have so much wealth they couldn’t spend it all if they lived to be 800. It’s irrational, and one of the many reasons rethinking capitalism is overdue… Mr. Trump triumphantly points to continued good growth and near record-low unemployment numbers… But … Republicans are vulnerable on the inequality issue. Their tax cut was a giveaway to the wealthy and to Corporate America.

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America’s rich are facing a reckoning. It’s about time

Tuesday, February 5th, 2019

A new Politico/Morning Consult poll released this week, as well as a recent Fox News poll, showed overwhelming support for more taxes on the wealthy. Even among Republicans, a majority are in favour of making the rich pay a greater share… They want to replace the neo-liberalism of the post-1980s with an economic paradigm which redistributes downward instead of up. It’s a tall order. Making the coddled class pay a larger share is necessary start.

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The abuses pile up: the PM hunkers down

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Jun 7, 2012
The current cause of high dudgeon is the government’s Trojan Horse omnibus budget bill, the 425-page extravaganza with 753 clauses. You’ve heard of a three-ring circus. This is more like 300, with provisions far afield of the budget, such as the elimination of the oversight body for our intelligence agency, CSIS… Opponents of the bill include many on the conservative right, including pundits who criticize the legislation as yet another example of the PM’s contempt for due process… what is apparent is that he is gradually stripping away the power of oversight bodies in the system. It has the obvious effect of leaving him and his inner sanctum with all the more power.

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The Tories’ Dirty Tricks Catalogue

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

29 Feb 2012
The Conservatives have been caught up in many shady activities since coming to power. The revelation that they may have been behind a robocall operation to suppress voting for opposition parties would rank, if proven, among the more serious offences… To the misfortune of Team Harper, its record on duplicitous activities is hardly one to inspire confidence that its hand are clean. There follows a list — is Harperland becoming Nixonland? — of dirty tricks, black ops and hardball tactics from the Conservatives’ years in power.

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The ‘freedom’ show on the Rideau

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Feb. 24, 2012
Conservatism has contradictory impulses. The pursuit of freedom and the pursuit of order run at cross-purposes… the Conservative government has a nationalist bent, evident in its elevation of military values, populist anti-intellectualism, moral certitude on foreign policy, law-and-order fixation and message-control mania. This kind of nationalism requires state-driven conformity, not liberty. And so, while Conservatives are supposed to cherish government that is off the backs of the people, what we have is something closer to the opposite.

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A banner year for the new conservative agenda

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Dec. 27, 2011
It was a year in which a country built by moderate Liberals and moderate Tories saw the forces of moderation shrink… it was a big year for ideological advances. They came in such areas as crime and punishment, in foreign policy – where Canada has become one of the hawks of the Western world – on the gun registry, on citizenship and immigration, on the military, on the Wheat Board and on the environment… With his authoritarian, l’état c’est moi approach, Mr. Harper is starting to make Mr. Chrétien look like Twinkletoes.

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Under this PM, the state is everywhere

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Nov. 29, 2011
Conservatism, as defined by Ronald Reagan, was about getting government off the backs of the people. Conservatism, as practised by team Harper, is more akin to an Orwellian opposite. State controls are now at a highpoint in our modern history…. The propaganda machine has become mammoth and unrelenting. The parliamentary newspaper The Hill Times recently found there are now no fewer than 1,500 communications staffers on the governing payroll… State surveillance, the rationale being security, is being taken to new levels.

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The weirdo PM who showed the way

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Nov. 08, 2011
His exemplary displays of centrist brokerage politics, his placing of national unity at the forefront and his securing of Quebec were pillars that endured for decades. But the fracturing began under Mr. Trudeau and was accelerated by Mr. Turner, who clashed with both Mr. Trudeau and Jean Chrétien. The party took sides, dividing into long-lasting Trudeau/Chrétien and Turner/Paul Martin blocs.

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Higher taxation is back on the table

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Oct. 25, 2011
Social justice is not a phrase to which modern-day Conservatives are winsomely attracted. But they might do well to pay heed. Both here and abroad, the climate is changing… The Milton Friedman foundation, from which the past three decades of economics have taken their cue, is on shaky ground… the long run of wreckage being witnessed now may result in another great turn… Canadians have a history, until recently at least, of accepting higher taxation levels as the price for a more just and egalitarian society.

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Smoke, mirrors and a Harper majority

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Mar. 29, 2011
Truth, as we know, is a moving target. Facts need not matter. In politics, it’s about who brings the most megaphones to the table. Whatever gets repeated the most is the reality. With more ads, with more media support, with more resources, the Conservatives drown out their opponents. Their fictional universe overshadows those of the other parties.

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