Wednesday, January 21, 2015

They Didn't Know What They Were Doing Or . . .


In last Sunday's New York Times, Paul Krugman tried to answer the question, "Why do conservatives hate good government?" His answer was pretty convincing:

Well, the political scientist Corey Robin argues that most self-proclaimed conservatives are actually reactionaries. That is, they’re defenders of traditional hierarchy — the kind of hierarchy that is threatened by any expansion of government, even (or perhaps especially) when that expansion makes the lives of ordinary citizens better and more secure. I’m partial to that story, partly because it helps explain why climate science and health economics inspire so much rage.

What they seek to establish is a rigid, class society -- where everyone knows his or her place. In today's Toronto Star, Carol Goar argues that Stephen Harper is well on his way to establishing such a society, where movement between the classes is non-existent. A poll from Pollara suggests that:

A substantial chunk of the adult population — 45 per cent — is trapped below the middle class. They think they’re stuck there for life, no matter how hard they work.

“The key finding (of the poll) is that Canadians have very low confidence in their social mobility.They don’t think they can move up.”

Consider some of the poll's other numbers:

  • Half of Canadians (49 per cent) said they were worse off financially than their parents.

  • More than half (55 per cent) were pessimistic about the employment outlook for their adult children.

  • Eight out of 10 working Canadians said their salaries were not keeping pace with the cost of living.

  • More than three-quarters (79 per cent) were worried about being able to afford health care as they aged.

  • A sizeable majority (85 per cent) agreed that “income inequality is no longer about the gap between rich and poor; but between the very rich and everyone else.”

  • As Reformers, the Harperites sold themselves as the champions of the little man. But once in power, they became the little man's worst enemy. With everything they have touched, the Harperites have produced the opposite of what they promised.

    Either they didn't know what they were doing. Or they lied.


    mogs moglio said...

    Ya Owen I find it disgusting when I was growing up one adult could stay home while the other worked a forty hour work week. That supported a family of five. Now I talk to young couples who have children and both are working three part-time jobs because full-time is thrown out the proverbial window. Temporary Foreign Workers rule what? This is not the Canada I grew up in.

    The Harper-cons gotta go cause that is what they are smoke and mirror con artists. Let's get Canada back on track eh?

    I posted @ Montreal Simon's blog all Canadians who are listening cut off the revenue flow to the cons. How? Defer your income tax payment this spring legally it ain't against the law but it will throttle Harper-cons stream of revenue. This will give the other parties a better chance of success of unseating the cons forever...

    Lorne said...

    Well-stated, Owen. it is a shame, though, that the huge numbers of Canadians who feel such economic impotence don't realize that any chance of improvement will come only if they tune into politics and demand change. I know this is something I have often commented about on your blog, but I don't see that there is any other way.

    Owen Gray said...

    It makes good economic sense to share the wealth, Mogs. But that idea hasn't dawned on these folks.

    Owen Gray said...

    In a true democracy, Lorne, there isn't any other way. But you have to value democracy to make it work.

    Pamela Mac Neil said...

    The only saving grace Owen is that they are starting to show themselves for the incompetent buffoons they are. Harper is having a problem controlling the message and facts don't lie. The postponing of the budget was a big red flag, for all Canadians to see, that not all is what Harper says it is in the PMO. Harper also appears to be desperate, not a good place for a cornered rat to be.By the way, I'm reading Andrew J. Bacevich's "The New American Militarism" and it is answering some of the questions I had. It's also a good read. Thanks for recommending it.

    Owen Gray said...

    Harper's current economic problems should remind us of his inability to understand what was happening in 2008, Pam.

    And Bacevich is, from my perspective, one of the most insightful commentators around.

    Hugh said...

    Owen Gray said...

    Another sign, Hugh, that the boy wonder never understood his metier.

    Anonymous said...

    We live in a corporatocracy, where our governments turn against the people, acting only in the best interest of a small handful of large multinational conglomerates.

    They hate democracy, but also hide behind it, because they know that if TRUE democracy existed - choice, options, etc - that's the most compelling and dangerous form of risk.

    And risk is not good for the bottom line.

    Therefore, in a corporatocracy, propaganda and manipulation of the masses is vital to fooling people into THINKING they have freedom.

    We are far from it.

    Owen Gray said...

    We are far from it, Anon. Orwell knew that we were much closer to slavery.