Posts Tagged ‘corporatism’

Bill C-38: A Mockery of Democracy

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Conservative ethos tends to embody efficiency, which can be highly effective in the business world. When it comes to handling democratic rule, being too efficient brings the people on par with dictatorship.

Why even waste precious time debating and voting on issues when it’s so much easier to just have one guy make the final decision? Way less red tape that way.

The Tories Omnibus bill is a fine example of this mentality. Slash environmental protections, supersede food safety, gut the fisheries act, bilk old age security, change dozens of laws, then wrap it all up under the pretense of pertaining to the budget. Fast track it through parliament and voila! A more corporatist Canada without all the fuss.

Over the next few days, something like 1000 amendments will be voted upon – the oppositions’ vain protest over the bill – while we get to watch as they all get shot down one-by-one by the majority government, our democracy violated with every silenced critique.

But don’t just take my word for it. Listen to none other than Stephen Harper himself, who in 1994 criticized the use of Omnibus bills saying:

I would argue that the subject matter of the bill is so diverse that a single vote on the content would put members in conflict with their own principles. How can members represent their constituents on these various areas when they are forced to vote in a block on such legislation and on such concerns?

The bill contains many distinct proposals and principles and asking members to provide simple answers to such complex questions is in contradiction to the conventions and practices of the House. Dividing the bill into several components would allow members to represent views of their constituents on each of the different components in the bill.

Eloquent words. If only Harper would listen to his younger self.

 

Canadian Pharma-biz Novartis Bullies UK Rivals

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

If you are a frequent visitor to my blog, you’ll have noted that I’m quick to hop on the soapbox to decry corporatism whenever I can. Your probably like… ‘there goes Rick again, lambasting the very institutions our modern societies depend upon to survive. Doesn’t he know we’d die off without them?’

Well, yes, dear reader, I know that corporations are not without their merit, and I am aware that competition and innovation in the business world are great things. So, just to be clear, know that I am not anti-capitalism nor am I anti-business. Instead, understand that I am anti-corporatism, and therein lies the distinction. (more…)

Pick ‘n Choose Channels

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

When you go into a restaurant, you aren’t usually forced to order the buffet. When buying music, you’re given the choice to get just a single track instead of the entire album. While shopping for clothes, you can buy a shirt without having to buy socks you won’t ever wear.

Yet when you order television in Canada (outside of Quebec), you have to take entire packages just to get the stations you really want. There is no pick and choose option that lets you fine tune your cable line up to meet your specific demands. (more…)

Corporations Against Corporatism

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a massive right-wing lobbyist group which fosters the collusion between global corporations and state politicians to vote behind closed doors, rewriting state laws that govern all Americans. (more…)

Lessig and Hedges: Combating Corporatism

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

Today’s offering is a delightful interview featuring two intellectual heavyweights, Lawrence Lessig and Chris Hedges, discussing and analyzing the Occupy movement and how it stands to rival the rise of Corporatism across America and the world.

Some key points:

  • A fraction of 1% of the population own the political landscape in America
  • Corporate forces have gutted opposing institutions, like community, education, and unions
  • Politicians at the State and Federal level are wholly owned subsidiaries of the Corporate State
  • It is this underlying corruption which is stirring the people’s uprising, like Occupy
  • The system could be too broken to fix, and will likely need to be purged
  • This uprising, like a sleeping giant, is only just starting to awaken
  • The pending revolution is imperative for the people to undertake
  • A crucial factor for the revolution is to get the police on side with the protesters

 

Canadians Must Crush C-11

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Well-funded lobbyists representing the special interests of media giants have, for many years now, been engaged in an all out war against the Internet as we know it. The free exchange of information fostered by the Net represents a threat to their business models. Unwilling/unable to change themselves, these behemoth corporations are looking to change the Internet, even if it means destroying everything good about it.

Here in Canada the latest front in the battle against online liberty takes the form of Bill C-11, a piece of proposed legislation that has already garnered an extensive list of dissenting organizations, representing millions of Canadian voices.

The proponents of Bill C-11, much like those who pushed the outlandish SOPA bill until it was shelved due to unprecedented public uproar, largely consists of Hollywood film studios, major record labels, and other high-level mucky-mucks who earn their keep in the entertainment industry.

Several proposals in C-11 would create what is essentially a digital lock, allowing courts to order websites blocked from Canada without the need for any proof of copyright infringement or due process. In other words, they want the right to censor the Internet on a whim, and to hell with what any of you whiny citizens may want.

Clearly this bill would be a bad thing for the majority of freedom-loving Canadians. Worse still, should this bill pass, it would give the precedence for other countries to follow suit. ‘Look, the Canucks are doing it… we should too!’

If you haven’t already done so, you need to step up to the plate. Write or call your MP, your MLA, and any other politician you can think of. Plead with your friends and family to get involved. Without sufficient backlash from the Canadian people, this bill will pass. And then the next one, then the next one, until the Internet is nothing but a portal to corporate products and their corresponding commercials.

If my words aren’t enough to motivate you, then I’ll leave you with this inspiring call to action from Redditor Stormy_Fairweather:

SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, C-11, TPP, PCIP… the writing is on the wall. Those who would rule are terrified of the internet. They are doing everything they can to choke it, to control it, to bring it under their rule.

We MUST not allow it, for the future of our species, it is time to fight, it is time to overthrow our masters, it is time we stopped being domesticated and embraced the greatness within us. Every man should be his own master, and if we do not make this happen then we will all be slaves.

For Humanity!

 

Capitalism is Failing – World Economic Forum Founder

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Attention Occupy protesters! You have a new, albeit unlikely, devotee: Founder and Chairman of the Davos World Economic Forum, Professor Klaus Schwab.

Yesterday, in front of some of the world’s wealthiest and most influential people, Schwab declared that “Capitalism, in its current form, no longer fits the world around us.”

“We have failed to learn the lessons from the financial crisis of 2009,” he goes on. “A global transformation is urgently needed and it must start with reinstating a global sense of social responsibility. The time has come to embrace a much more holistic, inclusive and qualitative approach to economic development.”

Failing to change, remarked the professor, could risk sinking the world into “dystopia”, dragged into the abyss by a “morality gap” of inequity that has “undermined social coherence”.

Wow! This dramatic shift in the narrative is a huge testament to the effectiveness of the people’s uprisings taking place around the world. Finally, issues like income inequality, social disparity, and the impact they play in global security, are taking the forefront of the debate.

There can be no peace as long as people are starving. Now, with the cards on the table, the pressing problem of poverty on our planet can be addressed by those with the most power to do so.

As for the rest of us, we just have to keep making as much noise as we can, so that our leaders have no choice but to create the more just global civilization we all desire.

Poverty in the World’s Richest Country

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

The Grinch is alive and well in America. Only instead of stealing presents from under the tree, modern day Scrooges have been pilfering the pockets of entire populations.

In his latest article, Les Leopold unveils 6 sneaky ways corporate elites function as reverse Robin Hoods, stealing from the poor to give to the rich:

1 in 2, have fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income. 1 in 5 American children live in poverty. What’s going on here? You would think we were a poor country.  But we’re not. We’re filthy rich, but the money is hidden away by the 1 percent while poverty rises all around.

Just how are the richest of the rich getting away with the greatest robbery of all time? Leopold breaks it down for us:

1. Productivity continues to rise but the 99 percent doesn’t share in the benefits. The productivity lines and wage lines have pulled apart so that trillions of dollars that once went to the average American are now going almost entirely to the super-rich.

2. Large corporations pay next to nothing in state and local taxes. A recent joint report reveals that 265 large corporations avoided $42.7 billion in taxes from 2008 to 2010.

3. Money that should go toward the common good pours into the pockets of the 1 percent. The overall tax rate for the super-rich has plummeted from 70% to less than what the average secretary pays.

4. The biggest corporations are sitting on a mountain of cash, yet they refuse to invest more than $1 trillion in cash because of the lack of consumer demand.

5. Hedge funds have over $1.917 trillion in misused investment capital. Most of this speculative capital serves no broader economic or social purpose, jumping in and out of the markets in nanoseconds using high-speed automatic trading techniques that extract hidden taxes from the rest of us.

6. Many of the 1 percent cheat on their taxes. The tax revenues lost in the U.S. are estimated to be $337 billion a year according to a November report by the Tax Justice Network.

So there you have it. While the rest of us are sipping our egg nog and enjoying the company of our friends and family, behemoth businesses are tirelessly enriching the wealthy few while systematically crushing the middle and lower classes.

Santa might be tempted to give these corporate fatcats a well-deserved lump of coal in their stockings, but they’d probably just use it as a tax write off.

Not All One Percenters Fear the Uprising

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

It can be easy to label every rich person as a tyrannical scrooge type pinching every penny, but it’s simply not true. Most multi-millionaires and billionaires don’t fear the Occupy movement or the impending redistribution of wealth. A lot of them, when asked, said they’d be willing to pay more in taxes. Some, like Warren Buffet, even go so far as to deliver eloquent speeches pleading for us to do so.

But there are a select few of the super-rich who tow the line for the rest of the financially fortunate. These individuals (and their cronies and paid-for politicians) are the ones responsible for a system-wide shift which has incrementally stripped entire populations of wealth and power.

It is this minority of the 1% – those with an insatiable greed – who must be reigned in. Not only do they need to be held accountable, steps must be taken to prevent others from doing the same. Whether it’s through public awareness or regulation, the processes by which today’s oligarchs have amassed their dangerous concentrations of power needs to be disrupted.

This won’t happen without a fight, which is why we have to rise up. But in the end, the majority of the super-rich will capitulate and cooperate without too much of a fight, so long as they get to remain amongst the wealthiest people on earth.

Bank Lobbyists Terrified of Occupy Movement

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Lobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford sent a proposal to the American Bankers Association, offering to implement an $850,000 strategy to undermine the credibility of the Occupy Wall Street protesters. The plan was leaked to MSNBC host Chris Hayes, who made the memo available on the net.

The authors of the proposal have exposed just how scared the banking industry really is. Should the Occupy movement co-opt the Democratic party in the same way the Tea Party did the Republicans, according to the lobbyists, such events could “have very long-lasting political, policy, and financial impacts on the companies in the center of the bullseye.”

The document goes on to caution that Tea Party protesters could potentially join forces with Occupy Wall Street because “well-known Wall Street companies stand at the nexus of where [OWS] protesters and the Tea Party overlap on angered populism. [...] This combination has the potential to be explosive later in the year when media reports cover the next round of bonuses and contrast it with stories of millions of Americans making do with less this holiday season.”

Of course, for less than a million dollars, how much could the lobbyists really hope to accomplish? JP Morgan Chase dumped $4.6 million directly into the NYPD, and so far the cops have only exasperated the situation.

But, like you’ve read here many times before, the occupy movement will not be stopped. There is too much at stake, and too much already wrong with our system for us to simply give up. The point of no return has been breached and now we cannot stop until we’ve reclaimed democracy for the world.