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Debunking billionaire claims of heroic capitalism

Thursday, March 14th, 2019

… the arrival of modern capitalism has resulted in vast numbers of people being forced to give up a self-supporting existence and ending up as impoverished labourers… Even in the four decades since 1981, there’s been no decline in global poverty… an exception occurred in the period following the Second World War (1945 to 1975) when equality actually increased… largely due to the very progressive tax systems enacted by governments, notably in the Anglo-American countries, including Canada.

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Mitt Romney blurts out the truth about neo-conservatism

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Sept. 24, 2012
… about 30 years ago, a new breed of “conservative” slithered onto the political scene. Stealing the moniker of conservatism, this new breed embraced the inequality of traditional conservatism (driving it skyward) while unburdening itself of the responsibility for others and the public good… Modern conservatism — or neo-conservatism — has infected Canada too, coming to fruition under the Harper majority government

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Though business sits on $500 billion, workers’ salaries are under seige

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

August 27, 2012
The point of job security — a key right won by unions — is to give employees security against arbitrary firing. But removing that sort of security — leaving workers fearful and therefore malleable to the demands of their employers — has been a central aim of the right and segments of the business community… As long as the right can keep workers envious and suspicious of each other, the focus won’t be on those at the top, where the benefits have actually gone… Labour’s share of Canada’s national income has fallen from 65 to 60 per cent since 1990, partly because of policies like privatization and deregulation

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They shoot baby hippos, don’t they?

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

July 02, 2012
the European countries that face serious debt problems — Greece, Spain, Italy — have never been big social spenders. The big social spenders are the northern European nations, particularly the Nordic countries, yet they have even lower debt levels than Canada. Indeed, the IMF data show that Sweden, Norway and Finland all have net surplus-to-GDP ratios… Of course, governments should never risk adding to the national debt by spending on frivolous items — like unneeded, overpriced military hardware. But investing in the well-being and development of Canadians isn’t frivolous. And Canada (and Ontario) are far from any sort of debt crisis.

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It would help if Andrea Horwath had a billionaire onside

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Apr 19 2012
Conservatives have managed to peddle policy changes — notably tax cuts for the rich — that offer no benefit to ordinary citizens and in fact undermine public welfare by depriving government of revenue needed for social programs. They’ve pulled this off partly by being sneaky, but also by forcefully defending their positions. This has enabled them to present themselves as tough and principled — even when there’s no principle beyond enriching themselves and their allies — giving them an aura of strong leadership. By contrast, their opponents have often come across as unable or unwilling to articulate the case for progressive policies.

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Rich have succeeded in keeping tax hikes off the political agenda

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Feb 13 2012
Drummond’s long-awaited report… will lay out a deficit-shrinking program of austerity that is expected to have harsh implications for public employees from hospital cleaners to daycare workers, as well as delivering service cuts with devastating impacts on the poor, the sick, women in shelters and the disabled… But… he presents a friendly banker’s face to the affluent, who are to be spared paying any additional taxes as their contribution to the province’s deficit fight. Premier Dalton McGuinty made that clear when he declared tax increases off the table in Drummond’s search for ways to reduce Ontario’s $16-billion deficit.

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Ottawa favours foreign businesses over Canadian employees

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Jan 16 2012
Ironically, the Harper government has complained forcefully about “foreign” interference from outside environmentalists protesting a proposed pipeline across the Rockies. But when it comes to foreign companies stripping Canadian workers of half their wages and then moving operations out of the country, the government hasn’t a negative word to say. Harper is of course staunchly pro-capitalist, and has aggressively lowered corporate tax rates, while refusing to link lower taxes to investment or job creation.

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Occupy moves us into a new era

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Nov 21 2011
Are occupations really necessary to draw attention to their cause? Perhaps not. But I’d trust their judgment over mine. After all, they’ve managed to change the public discourse, putting inequality front and centre — something activists and writers, myself included, have failed to accomplish despite decades of trying.

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How to make inequality obsolete

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Oct 24 2011
While Flaherty seems determined to shelter the rich from progressive taxation, there was no such catering to them on the part of Henry Simons, a founder of the conservative Chicago School of Economics. Simons considered excessive inequality “unlovely” and supported progressive taxation, arguing that capitalism would never survive in a democracy if the general public didn’t benefit from it… The Occupy Wall Street movement has made unbridled greed — so distasteful to Adam Smith and Henry Simons — suddenly controversial.

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The great northern tax haven

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Sep 26 2011
For years, Canada followed the U.S. and U.K. almost lockstep in cutting taxes on the rich. Now that those countries are heading in the opposite direction, Canada is suddenly marching to its own drummer… The lack of controversy here is surprising, given that Canada also has deficit problems and, like the U.S., has seen a huge concentration of income at the very top in recent years. Canada’s ultra-rich — those in the top 0.01 per cent — now have a bigger share of national income than at any point in Canadian history…

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