Jagmeet Singh, NDP Leader

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progressive17 progressive17's picture

Pondering wrote:

Cost of dollar store goods would go up a bit but few Canadians want to save 50 cents at the expense of child or slave labour or dangerous factories that could collapse on workers. 

If Canadians are quite happy to buy billions of dollars of goods from slave labour places like Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, through Dollarama and similar corporations, why would they not want to buy billions of dollars of goods from slave labour places like Bangladesh, India, or Pakistan through Dollarama and similar corporations, under any other circumstances?

Canadian consumers are absolutely unconcerned about slavery. It is just silly to think otherwise. If a slave labour country like Bangladesh, India, or Pakistan can produce something for 20 cents when a Canadian company would have to charge $2.00, Canadian consumers will ALWAYS buy from the slave labour country like Bangladesh, India, or Pakistan.

You are saying that because Canadians do A, they will do NOT A for an arbitrary reason based on an opinion which skirts the economic fact of supply and demand. 

Canadians buy because of the dollars in their pocket, not because of the goodness of their hearts. Just like you do. Everyone acts in their own ruthless self-interest. Just like you do.

Pondering

progressive17 wrote:

If Canadians are quite happy to buy billions of dollars of goods from slave labour places like Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, through Dollarama and similar corporations, why would they not want to buy billions of dollars of goods from slave labour places like Bangladesh, India, or Pakistan through Dollarama and similar corporations, under any other circumstances?

Canadian consumers are absolutely unconcerned about slavery. It is just silly to think otherwise. If a slave labour country like Bangladesh, India, or Pakistan can produce something for 20 cents when a Canadian company would have to charge $2.00, Canadian consumers will ALWAYS buy from the slave labour country like Bangladesh, India, or Pakistan.

You are saying that because Canadians do A, they will do NOT A for an arbitrary reason based on an opinion which skirts the economic fact of supply and demand. 

Canadians buy because of the dollars in their pocket, not because of the goodness of their hearts. Just like you do. Everyone acts in their own ruthless self-interest. Just like you do.

I shop at Dollarama. I bought bubble liquid just this week. Boycotting is about as useful as eating all the food on your plate because children are starving in China. Even though I am so low income I don't get a tax deduction for charitable donations I still make them. Paying more for a product doesn't ensure that slave labour (or close to it) wasn't used to create it so I am not going to buy bubble liquid at a fancy toy shop. 

In my view the government should be a representative of the people on issues that are best dealt with collectively. That's why trade deals exist. 

I would pay a dollar more for a t-shirt if I knew that money was going to ensuring safe factories or a living wage in the context of that country. I'm not being offered that choice. Even if I were unless everyone else does it too it won't have any real impact. I'll just be paying more for everything. If everyone pays more for everything it has an impact on wages and on expectations. If cars get more expensive everyone waits longer to switch. 

Just because people don't act individually doesn't mean they are unwilling to act collectively. 

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Just because you don't act individually makes you a hypocrite. Nothing more, and nothing less.

Pondering

progressive17 wrote:

Just because you don't act individually makes you a hypocrite. Nothing more, and nothing less.

Perhaps I should add that there is an argument that boycotts only harm the workers even more. That in some countries if a boy isn't allowed to participate in brick-making the family could starve. Workers willingly enter dangerous buildings because it is worth it to them to risk their lives for the dollar. Taking that choice away from them isn't helpful. Building in a framework for verifiably more humane conditions would be more helpful from their perspective. They would rather not starve for your principles. 

I'm also not going to boycott buses because they still use fossil fuels. Do you never buy clothing? NEVER. If you buy any clothing, even made in Canada, you do not know the labour conditions under which it was made if you don't know where the thread and fabric was manufactured, and where they were dyed and printed. Even if you buy Quebec produce it might have been picked by mistreated Mexican temporary workers. 

Are you restricting yourself to foods produced locally with verifiable working conditions? So who is the hypocrite? 

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Yes, I am very careful what I buy. All local foods, made in Quebec by identifiable companies which have to abide by workers' standards.

You have weasled your way around your scandalous hypocrisy by trying to accuse me of hypocrisy. Then you justify slavery by saying that if you do not buy from the slavemaster, the slave will suffer. If the slavemaster is made to suffer, the slaves will go free, as has happened for the past 10,000 years.

You are part of the problem, and then you say we should deal 'collectively' with a problem, meaning you get to dictate to the non-existent 'collectivity' without participating in the solution yourself, or setting any kind of an example. This is frankly tyrannical.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

progressive17 wrote:

Yes, I am very careful what I buy. All local foods, made in Quebec by identifiable companies which have to abide by workers' standards.

You have weasled your way around your scandalous hypocrisy by trying to accuse me of hypocrisy. Then you justify slavery by saying that if you do not buy from the slavemaster, the slave will suffer. If the slavemaster is made to suffer, the slaves will go free, as has happened for the past 10,000 years.

You are part of the problem, and then you say we should deal 'collectively' with a problem, meaning you get to dictate to the non-existent 'collectivity' without participating in the solution yourself, or setting any kind of an example. This is frankly tyrannical.

Look, "prog", I have my OWN issues with Pondering, but your comments toward her and towards a lot of other folks here are at least edging towards abusive.  Could you please de-personalize this a bit? Jeez!!!

Pondering

Thank-you Ken. 

progressive17 wrote:
Yes, I am very careful what I buy. All local foods, made in Quebec by identifiable companies which have to abide by workers' standards. 

There have been reports that the standards are not being adhered to and workers are being abused and robbed. You can at least grow your own produce for the summer. 

progressive17 wrote:
 You have weasled your way around your scandalous hypocrisy by trying to accuse me of hypocrisy. Then you justify slavery by saying that if you do not buy from the slavemaster, the slave will suffer. If the slavemaster is made to suffer, the slaves will go free, as has happened for the past 10,000 years. 

No, I'm saying we need to transform their working conditions so they are no longer slaves rather than boycotting them. That is best achieved by acting collectively through trade deals. 

progressive17 wrote:
You are part of the problem, and then you say we should deal 'collectively' with a problem, meaning you get to dictate to the non-existent 'collectivity' without participating in the solution yourself, or setting any kind of an example. This is frankly tyrannical.  

This is a democracy. I can't impose anything on anyone. I can only promote the solutions I think would be most helpful. We are much more powerful collectively than individually. That is why unions exist. It's why countries exist. It's why communities exist. We gather together for mutual benefit. 

I don't see how trade deals can be avoided in a modern world. Even North Korea wants to trade. So even though trade deals have been imposed on us collectively I realize they are required. The issue therefore is the terms of  collective trade deals not their existence. "Free trade" is a misnomer of astronomical proportions. This are just mega trade deals. They exist to provide stability to companies investing internationally which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Industries all have a voice at the table. So do lower levels of government. It is not unreasonable to want labour representatives at the table. I would also add consumer protection groups. 

As individuals we don't get to sit at that table so we act collectively or not at all. If we don't act then the deal is imposed on us. That is tyranny. Walmart and Dollarama and the like are so big that boycotting them makes no difference at all.  Acting individually to impact global working conditions and corporate taxation is ineffectual therefore useless. I'm not into useless gestures. 

It seems you support trade deals being designed to favor multi-national corporations rather than workers and citizens who want to improve their lives and the lives of others at the same time. 

JKR

Pondering wrote:

Lets have a conversation about how corporations play countries off against one another. We can add some rules about minimum taxation and taxes being paid in the country in which the profits are generated. Lets start adding inspection of factories for goods headed to Canada. We should have a minimum international standard on child labour and the most basic safety assurances that factories are not in danger of collapsing. We don't have to impose western standards but neither should we be accepting goods created through slave or child labour.  It is our responsibility to ensure that the factories we are buying from are being environmentally responsible within reason. That is, they don't have to adhere to our regulations but they can't be dumping raw sewage into the drinking water either. It's time for minimum world standards linked to trade. 

I think Canada is not in position to dictate to other entities like the US, Mexico, the WTO, the EU, China, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, etc....

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

progressive17 wrote:

If Canadians are quite happy to buy billions of dollars of goods from slave labour places like Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, through Dollarama and similar corporations, why would they not want to buy billions of dollars of goods from slave labour places like Bangladesh, India, or Pakistan through Dollarama and similar corporations, under any other circumstances?

Canadian consumers are absolutely unconcerned about slavery. It is just silly to think otherwise. If a slave labour country like Bangladesh, India, or Pakistan can produce something for 20 cents when a Canadian company would have to charge $2.00, Canadian consumers will ALWAYS buy from the slave labour country like Bangladesh, India, or Pakistan.

You are saying that because Canadians do A, they will do NOT A for an arbitrary reason based on an opinion which skirts the economic fact of supply and demand. 

Canadians buy because of the dollars in their pocket, not because of the goodness of their hearts. Just like you do. Everyone acts in their own ruthless self-interest. Just like you do.

I shop at Dollarama. I bought bubble liquid just this week. Boycotting is about as useful as eating all the food on your plate because children are starving in China. Even though I am so low income I don't get a tax deduction for charitable donations I still make them. Paying more for a product doesn't ensure that slave labour (or close to it) wasn't used to create it so I am not going to buy bubble liquid at a fancy toy shop. 

In my view the government should be a representative of the people on issues that are best dealt with collectively. That's why trade deals exist. 

I would pay a dollar more for a t-shirt if I knew that money was going to ensuring safe factories or a living wage in the context of that country. I'm not being offered that choice. Even if I were unless everyone else does it too it won't have any real impact. I'll just be paying more for everything. If everyone pays more for everything it has an impact on wages and on expectations. If cars get more expensive everyone waits longer to switch. 

Just because people don't act individually doesn't mean they are unwilling to act collectively. 

Progressive17 -- some of what Pondering is writing here is very central to many progressive thinkers. She is stating that she values a collective good and collective action. She does not always consider individual action to be effective and supports a collective action instead.

I agree with her on this -- this is a strong principle it is even behind unions.

One of the greatest philosophical problems with people who are right wing is that they do not understand that there is a collective good and that by actiging collectively we are more effective. It is also the reason why we want a government that acts on behalf of all the people to do things that we cannot do alone.

Instead of abusing ponedering here, you could take this as objective proof that her basic philosophy is progressive. Remove party politics and the fact of acting collectively is really the point.

Pondering

JKR wrote:
 I think Canada is not in position to dictate to other entities like the US, Mexico, the WTO, the EU, China, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, etc....

Canada is insisting on the ISDS. We can propose the addition of minimum working standards. It would gain a great deal of support from workers in all countries. Corporations are multi-national. Workers must also operate on the multi-national level so that they can't be played against one another. 

JKR

Pondering wrote:

JKR wrote:
 I think Canada is not in position to dictate to other entities like the US, Mexico, the WTO, the EU, China, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, etc....

Canada is insisting on the ISDS. We can propose the addition of minimum working standards. It would gain a great deal of support from workers in all countries. Corporations are multi-national. Workers must also operate on the multi-national level so that they can't be played against one another. 

How should trade deals insure that countries don't engage in protectionism? What use are free trade deals that don't protect free trade? What should Canada do if foreign countries have no interest in adding minimum working standards to trade deals? Why would workers from poorer countries support free trade deals that put their pooter countries at a disadvantage? Why would poorer countries not act in the interest of their workers and businesses? Are richer countries willing to give financial aid to poorer countries to help them achieve higher labour and environmental standards? Why have the economies and iving standards in poorer countries improved drastically under international free trade deals? Why have living standards throughout the whole world improved under free trade?

Pondering

JKR wrote:
Pondering wrote:

JKR wrote:
 I think Canada is not in position to dictate to other entities like the US, Mexico, the WTO, the EU, China, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, etc....

Canada is insisting on the ISDS. We can propose the addition of minimum working standards. It would gain a great deal of support from workers in all countries. Corporations are multi-national. Workers must also operate on the multi-national level so that they can't be played against one another. 

How should trade deals insure that countries don't engage in protectionism? What use are free trade deals that don't protect free trade? What should Canada do if foreign countries have no interest in adding minimum working standards to trade deals? Why would workers from poorer countries support free trade deals that put their pooter countries at a disadvantage? Why would poorer countries not act in the interest of their workers and businesses? Are richer countries willing to give financial aid to poorer countries to help them achieve higher labour and environmental standards? Why have the economies and iving standards in poorer countries improved drastically under international free trade deals? Why have living standards throughout the whole world improved under free trade?

There is no such thing as a free trade deal. All we need for free trade is to agree to drop all tariffs. Voila. Free trade. All trade deals have conditions. You seem to be suggesting that Canada is helpless and must accept whatever terms are dictated by other countries. Ever heard of Canada's supply management of dairy products? Trade sanctions have been applied to countries for all kinds of reasons. 

I'm not willing to allow international corporations to have more power than elected governments or to dictate what can be in trade deals. 

As to improvements in living standards, with fairer trade deals those improvements would be even more dramatic. 

JKR

Pondering wrote:

As to improvements in living standards, with fairer trade deals those improvements would be even more dramatic. 

I think middle and lower income countries would benefit from more trade with higher income countries. I think free trade has been a great eradicator of poverty throughout the world.

Pondering

JKR wrote:
Pondering wrote:

As to improvements in living standards, with fairer trade deals those improvements would be even more dramatic. 

I think middle and lower income countries would benefit from more trade with higher income countries. I think free trade has been a great eradicator of poverty throughout the world.

So they have reached maximum benefit? The trade deals haven't hurt anyone? I don't agree that trade deals can't be improved. 

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

JKR wrote:
Pondering wrote:

As to improvements in living standards, with fairer trade deals those improvements would be even more dramatic. 

I think middle and lower income countries would benefit from more trade with higher income countries. I think free trade has been a great eradicator of poverty throughout the world.

So they have reached maximum benefit? The trade deals haven't hurt anyone? I don't agree that trade deals can't be improved. 

I think the claim is always that and there is potential.

But a deal can be structured either to lift the standards of the lower income country or to exploit that difference.

Trade with labour and environmental standards serve to increase these but without these it is more likely to simply allow richer countries to get away with labour standards unacceptable at home and severe exploitation of the environment. China's decision to no longer accept for "recycling" materials that cannot be recycled shows some fatigue with this. Parts of Africa accept grabage that pollutes the country in ways we would not allow here.

josh

Pondering wrote:

JKR wrote:
Pondering wrote:

JKR wrote:
 I think Canada is not in position to dictate to other entities like the US, Mexico, the WTO, the EU, China, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, etc....

Canada is insisting on the ISDS. We can propose the addition of minimum working standards. It would gain a great deal of support from workers in all countries. Corporations are multi-national. Workers must also operate on the multi-national level so that they can't be played against one another. 

How should trade deals insure that countries don't engage in protectionism? What use are free trade deals that don't protect free trade? What should Canada do if foreign countries have no interest in adding minimum working standards to trade deals? Why would workers from poorer countries support free trade deals that put their pooter countries at a disadvantage? Why would poorer countries not act in the interest of their workers and businesses? Are richer countries willing to give financial aid to poorer countries to help them achieve higher labour and environmental standards? Why have the economies and iving standards in poorer countries improved drastically under international free trade deals? Why have living standards throughout the whole world improved under free trade?

There is no such thing as a free trade deal. All we need for free trade is to agree to drop all tariffs. Voila. Free trade. All trade deals have conditions. You seem to be suggesting that Canada is helpless and must accept whatever terms are dictated by other countries. Ever heard of Canada's supply management of dairy products? Trade sanctions have been applied to countries for all kinds of reasons. 

I'm not willing to allow international corporations to have more power than elected governments or to dictate what can be in trade deals. 

As to improvements in living standards, with fairer trade deals those improvements would be even more dramatic. 

The main point of these deals is not trade, but capital/investment protection.  That it has to be continually pointed out just shows how successful the corporate media brain washing has been. 

Pondering

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Pondering wrote:

JKR wrote:
Pondering wrote:

As to improvements in living standards, with fairer trade deals those improvements would be even more dramatic. 

I think middle and lower income countries would benefit from more trade with higher income countries. I think free trade has been a great eradicator of poverty throughout the world.

So they have reached maximum benefit? The trade deals haven't hurt anyone? I don't agree that trade deals can't be improved. 

I think the claim is always that and there is potential.

But a deal can be structured either to lift the standards of the lower income country or to exploit that difference.

Trade with labour and environmental standards serve to increase these but without these it is more likely to simply allow richer countries to get away with labour standards unacceptable at home and severe exploitation of the environment. China's decision to no longer accept for "recycling" materials that cannot be recycled shows some fatigue with this. Parts of Africa accept grabage that pollutes the country in ways we would not allow here.

Exactly my point. Another example is dumping agriculture products like the US wants to do with us because their farmers are over-producing due to subsidies which are driving down prices so they need to sell more. 

Not one single country has a free trade deal. All countries have limits on trade.  100% free trade would create a race to the bottom and zero taxes for corporations.

josh

JKR wrote:
Pondering wrote:

JKR wrote:
 I think Canada is not in position to dictate to other entities like the US, Mexico, the WTO, the EU, China, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, etc....

Canada is insisting on the ISDS. We can propose the addition of minimum working standards. It would gain a great deal of support from workers in all countries. Corporations are multi-national. Workers must also operate on the multi-national level so that they can't be played against one another. 

How should trade deals insure that countries don't engage in protectionism? What use are free trade deals that don't protect free trade? What should Canada do if foreign countries have no interest in adding minimum working standards to trade deals? Why would workers from poorer countries support free trade deals that put their pooter countries at a disadvantage? Why would poorer countries not act in the interest of their workers and businesses? Are richer countries willing to give financial aid to poorer countries to help them achieve higher labour and environmental standards? Why have the economies and iving standards in poorer countries improved drastically under international free trade deals? Why have living standards throughout the whole world improved under free trade?

Yes, the race to the bottom has been very successful.  

JKR

Pondering wrote:

JKR wrote:
Pondering wrote:

As to improvements in living standards, with fairer trade deals those improvements would be even more dramatic. 

I think middle and lower income countries would benefit from more trade with higher income countries. I think free trade has been a great eradicator of poverty throughout the world.

So they have reached maximum benefit? The trade deals haven't hurt anyone? I don't agree that trade deals can't be improved. 

I agree that trade deals can be improved as trade arrangements are continuously being modernized. I think trade deals are a give and take process between countries who compromise with each other. We can't impose our Canadian standards on others.

josh

Except when it comes to capital, of course.

Pondering

JKR wrote:
I agree that trade deals can be improved as trade arrangements are continuously being modernized. I think trade deals are a give and take process between countries who compromise with each other. We can't impose our Canadian standards on others.

I didn't say they should be identical. I said taking into account differences. For example, I don't think Canada is prepared to give 6 weeks vacation to workers. Nevertheless having labour organizations at the table makes more sense than allowing corporations to decide terms. 

ISDS is unneeded. We have courts that can hear such disputes under our own laws. International corporations should not have more rights than national corporations. We don't even have free trade between provinces. 

JKR

Pondering wrote:

We have courts that can hear such disputes under our own laws. 

If we require it that our domestic courts decide international trade disputes within Canada then we will have to let other countries domestic courts decide trade disputes that our companies have within those countries. Understandably our companies are not comfortable letting biased foreign courts and biased foreign politicians like Donald Trump determine what fair trade is. It seems to me that neutral international arbiters are required to impartially decide international trade cases because domestic courts and politicians naturally favour their own countries' businesses over foreign businesses. I think many Canadian businesses will just move to the US and other countries if they can't count on being fairly treated within those foreign jurisdictions.

Pondering

JKR wrote:
Pondering wrote:

We have courts that can hear such disputes under our own laws. 

If we require it that our domestic courts decide international trade disputes within Canada then we will have to let other countries domestic courts decide trade disputes that our companies have within those countries. Understandably our companies are not comfortable letting biased foreign courts and biased foreign politicians like Donald Trump determine what fair trade is. It seems to me that neutral international arbiters are required to impartially decide international trade cases because domestic courts and politicians naturally favour their own countries' businesses over foreign businesses. I think many Canadian businesses will just move to the US and other countries if they can't count on being fairly treated within those foreign jurisdictions.

Trump is not the first president to disrespect NAFTA and the WTO. Think softwood lumber. As I understood it trade deals were to provide cheaper goods for consumers not force consumers to accept products from other countries. If my municipality wants to hire a local company to stimulate the local economy I am fine with a German company not getting a "fair" shake. I am also fine with a German town deciding they would rather favor a local company than pay a lower price. I don't think Kinder Morgan should be able to sue Canada for interfering in their profit making if we don't buy their pipeline or it doesn't go through. No Canadian company could do that so Kinder Morgan Canada is just a front. 

If Canadian companies don't trust the governments in the countries they are investing in then they shouldn't invest there because as we can see with Trump trade agreements cannot be enforced by international courts or tribunals or the WTO. Any submission is voluntary. When trade agreements are broken it starts a trade war just like the olden days. It's just a bigger agreement with more economy destroying potential because the people who set up these deals did not do it to raise the standard of living of the poorest they did it to generate profits. Any benefit to people is inadvertent or a minimal payment to cheat them out of resources of one sort or another. 

The people working in decrepit factories have a higher standard of living because of it as long as they survive. That doesn't make it okay. 

JKR

Pondering wrote:

As I understood it trade deals were to provide cheaper goods for consumers not force consumers to accept products from other countries. 

...

It's just a bigger agreement with more economy destroying potential because the people who set up these deals did not do it to raise the standard of living of the poorest they did it to generate profits. 

I think the goal of free trade is to increase economic growth and raise living standards for everyone. In economics, "the principle of comparative advantage" shows how free trade increases the economic growth and living standards of countries that trade freely with one another. Here's the wiki page:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_advantage

Quote:

Gregory Mankiw, chairman of the Harvard Economics Department, has said: ″Few propositions command as much consensus among professional economists as that open world trade increases economic growth and raises living standards.″

NDPP

The goal of free trade or protectionism is not 'to increase economic growth and raise living standards for everyone.' It is to increase profits for capitalists. Period. 

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

NDPP wrote:

The goal of free trade or protectionism is not 'to increase economic growth and raise living standards for everyone.' It is to increase profits for capitalists. Period. 

For once, I agree completely with NDPP. Any benefits to workers are an accident, a failure to optimize profits by the capitalists.

Pondering

Thank-you MM and NDPP. 

JKR

Michael Moriarity wrote:

NDPP wrote:

The goal of free trade or protectionism is not 'to increase economic growth and raise living standards for everyone.' It is to increase profits for capitalists. Period. 

For once, I agree completely with NDPP. Any benefits to workers are an accident, a failure to optimize profits by the capitalists.

It seems to me that our economic system is capitalism and without capitalist profits our economic system grinds to a halt and poverty increases for everyone.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

JKR wrote:
Michael Moriarity wrote:

NDPP wrote:

The goal of free trade or protectionism is not 'to increase economic growth and raise living standards for everyone.' It is to increase profits for capitalists. Period. 

For once, I agree completely with NDPP. Any benefits to workers are an accident, a failure to optimize profits by the capitalists.

It seems to me that our economic system is capitalism and without capitalist profits our economic system grinds to a halt and poverty increases for everyone.

It seems to me that your imagination has been stunted by too many years of corporate propaganda. I guess living in the belly of the imperium it is easy to talk about poverty levels since the ones that underpin our societal health are hidden in  unworthy countries not NATO.

MapleInTheEye

NorthReport wrote:

Well said Pondering.

All that is going on here is the usual Liberal, and their supportive groupies, like the CBC media, attacks on the NDP about a year before the next election, combined with a couple of disgruntled ex-NDPers whose candidate did not win the NDP leadership. 

-----

That is not at all what is going on. Some of us are speaking the blatantly obvious: Singh is a latte socialist. He spends more time on instagram and buying incredibly expensive suits than he does on policy initiatives. His interviews thus far have often looked like a nervous schoolboy who didn't study the night before.

This has nothing to do with background or creed. It has everything to do with substance and electability. Singh was a mistake, and if a new leader isn't chosen before the next election, the NDP has zero chances.

I'm personally on the fence with Trudeau. He has done really stupid things (e.g. giving up on vote reform, making Canada look like a joke in India when he played dress-up on his tour, etc.) But he's also done importantly good things (forged a new health accord, took control of the messy pipeline issue and nationalized it - doing something far beyond my expectations of him).

I thought Trudeau was a latte liberal, but his actions in recent months has proven he at least gets economic nationalism and has learned how to fight over it. He finally decided to fight Trump with some fire instead of smiles, and that gained points from me. The fact he's nationalizing a major oil project finally proved he's more than a latte liberal and might have what it takes to advance big initatives on a major scale. I gained a lot of respect for him this year.

If its an election between Singh and Trudeau, I'm opting Trudeau. And the NDP has a lot to worry about if it can't get votes from left voters like me. I do NOT want to see another Ontario redux on the national stage where we get 60% against conservatives and they pull a 40% majority government. And I do NOT want to see an NDP leader who is more interested in dress and decadance than the roots the NDP is supposed to stand for.

There is a Singh disconnect with everyday workers. It is obvious and you those of us who say this are trying to help the NDP in the long run, not hurt the NDP. If you have this big of a disconnect with the base that built the NDP into the movement that it is, then there is a problem that has to be dealt with. You can't expect the outside to fix it, it has to come from within, and that starts with uncomfortable questions.

MapleInTheEye

JKR wrote:
Michael Moriarity wrote:

NDPP wrote:

The goal of free trade or protectionism is not 'to increase economic growth and raise living standards for everyone.' It is to increase profits for capitalists. Period. 

For once, I agree completely with NDPP. Any benefits to workers are an accident, a failure to optimize profits by the capitalists.

It seems to me that our economic system is capitalism and without capitalist profits our economic system grinds to a halt and poverty increases for everyone.

------

When it comes to the global world financial and trade systems built over the past few generations, there are many complicated issues at play.

1) It is clear we need massive financial and trade reforms to protect everyday workers and people in all of our advanced economies. It is just too difficult to compete with countries that allow for massive worker abuse and do not allow worker rights and pay workers pennies on the dollar. You could theoretically reduce corporate income taxes to 0% and we still couldn't compete with $2/hr pay that a textile worker might get in Bangledesh (if they are lucky).

Lowering corporate and capital gains taxes will only serve to suck money out of the public treasury for vital public services, as it doesn't foster bringing high paying jobs back to advanced economies like Canada. So we know lowering taxes isn't the way to go. It makes a bad problem worse, since funds aren't there to provide vital public services to a population already facing huge pressures in the job market.

2) In the pursuit of reforming our financial and trade systems, which I do support more national and economic security, I don't know how you implement reforms when many times tariffs on goods from lower cost developing countries would hurt the poor and average income earners the most. For example: a like-model TV selling for $300 today from China or South Korea could very well increase to $600 or $800 if we implemented trade protections. But that doesn't mean a factory will re-open in Canada as the wage differences are just too extreme. So all we're doing is making purchasing power harder for our own poor and average income earners.

How do you protect the average and low wage workers in an economy as you implement reforms? That is the most difficult question of all.

The entire global system is sick and its hard to see a way out of the current predicament.

Pondering

MapleInTheEye wrote:

How do you protect the average and low wage workers in an economy as you implement reforms? That is the most difficult question of all.

The entire global system is sick and its hard to see a way out of the current predicament.

It is sick, but there are lots of people with ideas to turn it around without trying to go backwards. Unions and consumer groups are part of the answer. Once the right people are in power solutions are available to start going in the right direction. It will take decades but it can take less time than it took for us to get to this point. 

We have allowed corporate interests to design the marketplace to suit themselves  based on the notion of freedom and the false notion that what is good for business is good for workers. Corporations have taken over trade deals to play countries off against one another. 

The key to it all, in my opinion, is getting the masses to turn against the oligarchs. 

The left has had answers for as long as  I can remember. Stop destroying countries creating refugees would be a good start.  

As a small example a town of 8000 in Canada just gave all residents at least 50$ a month for life without raising any taxes. How could a tiny town possibly afford that? Okay, not literally. They just set up their own internet service. Residents buy a 400$ modem and thats it. That's enough to pay for all the infrastructure. Canada wide that  would be a massive savings for the country. 

Obviously internet companies are gouging. 

I am not against capitalism any more than I am socialism. I do believe a mixed economy is best. The problem is that capitalists are running the show. The default is to be suspicious of government taking over any services. That's pure brainwashing. 

JKR

Pondering wrote:

MapleInTheEye wrote:

How do you protect the average and low wage workers in an economy as you implement reforms? That is the most difficult question of all.

The entire global system is sick and its hard to see a way out of the current predicament.

It is sick, but there are lots of people with ideas to turn it around without trying to go backwards. Unions and consumer groups are part of the answer. Once the right people are in power solutions are available to start going in the right direction. It will take decades but it can take less time than it took for us to get to this point. 

We have allowed corporate interests to design the marketplace to suit themselves  based on the notion of freedom and the false notion that what is good for business is good for workers. Corporations have taken over trade deals to play countries off against one another. 

The key to it all, in my opinion, is getting the masses to turn against the oligarchs. 

The left has had answers for as long as  I can remember. Stop destroying countries creating refugees would be a good start.  

As a small example a town of 8000 in Canada just gave all residents at least 50$ a month for life without raising any taxes. How could a tiny town possibly afford that? Okay, not literally. They just set up their own internet service. Residents buy a 400$ modem and thats it. That's enough to pay for all the infrastructure. Canada wide that  would be a massive savings for the country. 

Obviously internet companies are gouging. 

I am not against capitalism any more than I am socialism. I do believe a mixed economy is best. The problem is that capitalists are running the show. The default is to be suspicious of government taking over any services. That's pure brainwashing. 

I agree that mixed-economies that balance the benefits of socialism and capitalism are the best systems we currently have at balancing economic growth with economic and social development and fairness. Looking at international comparisons, the mixed-economies of the social democratic countries of northern Europe seem to be at the forefront of international socio-economic development; social-democratic countries like Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Ireland, Iceland, etc.... These social-democratic countries are capitalist countries that support free trade but they also support intervening in their capitalist economies in areas where capitalism fails. These social-democratic countries recognize that corporations and oligarchs cannot be allowed to control political-economies but they also recognize that capitalism, corporations, and oligarchs create vast amounts of wealth that support societies.

I think it would be great if Canada could catch up to Western Europe's social-democratic countries in providing things like basic levels of housing, transportation, health care, recreation, education, and income. Of our majour political parties, I think Singh's NDP will produce an election platform in 2019 that comes closest to moving Canada toward social-democracy while Trudeau's Liberals will provide half measures toward that goal. On the other hand, Scheers Conservatives will do everything in their power to reduce and remove our social democratic programs and institutions.

robbie_dee

Alex Ballingall, “Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is refusing a salary until party finances significantly improve,” Toronto Star, July 5, 2018

 

Quote:

OTTAWA—Jagmeet Singh is working for free. 

The federal NDP leader — who isn’t on the public payroll because he remains unelected — has never drawn a salary from his party and doesn’t intend to receive a paycheque until its finances “significantly” improve, his press secretary says.

James Smith disclosed the leader’s lack of compensation when asked about Singh’s donations to the NDP since he made the jump from Queen’s Park to federal politics last year. Financial returns to Elections Canada show Singh donated $10 on Aug. 16, 2017: $5 to his own leadership campaign and $5 to the party. They were the only contributions Singh made to the NDP since the 2015 federal election. 

By contrast, Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer have donated more than $100 per month since at least the beginning of 2017, Elections Canada records show. Because of their positions in Parliament — as prime minister and opposition leader — Trudeau’s salary is $350,000 while Scheer earns about $260,000 per year. An MP will earn about $176,000 this year. 

Singh, however, doesn’t have a seat in the House of Commons and has never committed to running before the 2019 election. The 39-year-old criminal defence lawyer was an Ontario MPP from 2011 to last October, when he resigned his seat after winning the federal leadership.

Discussions were held in the months since on how the party could pay its leader without a seat, and the idea was that he would receive the equivalent of an MP’s salary, Smith explained. 

At least one other party would have considered a similar arrangement: the Conservative party constitution says a leader who doesn’t sit in Parliament can draw an MP-equivalent salary from the party. 

But at some point this spring Singh opted to forgo regular paycheques while the NDP strives for stronger financial footing, Smith said. The party does cover Singh’s expenses, such as when he travels for NDP business, but otherwise Singh lives off his personal finances, Smith said. 

“The leader has decided to not receive a salary until the party is in a significantly improved financial situation,” Smith said.

 

NDPP

NDP Claim To 'Dialogue' With Palestinians a Cruel Joke

https://yvesengler.com/2018/07/04/ndps-claim-to-dialogue-with-palestinia...

"In response to the open letter signed by Roger Waters, Maher Arar, Noam Chomsky, Linda McQuaig calling on NDP MPs to withdraw from CIIG, anti-Palestinian groups jumped to the party's defence..."

NDP: true friends of Zionist Israel.

Sean in Ottawa

JKR wrote:
Michael Moriarity wrote:

NDPP wrote:

The goal of free trade or protectionism is not 'to increase economic growth and raise living standards for everyone.' It is to increase profits for capitalists. Period. 

For once, I agree completely with NDPP. Any benefits to workers are an accident, a failure to optimize profits by the capitalists.

It seems to me that our economic system is capitalism and without capitalist profits our economic system grinds to a halt and poverty increases for everyone.

 

***

Easily you could get people on opposite sides speak to this. I will try to give a somewhat more balanced take on this.

Many accept that capital is good at making capital. It is quite crappy at doing anything else. It certainly does not lead to increases in standards or wealth on its own to anyone other than the capitalists.

In a balanced mixed economy, there are restraints on capital to address both the gross move to concentration of the efforts of humans to capital and there are efforts to distribute some of what capital scoops up to reinvest in the public goods that are consumed by capital and necessary for its success. To that, end government can use some control and considerable regulation as well as considerable social supports to the population -- apart form the transactions of capital.

Capital does generate capital but it does not even do a good job of it without a context of a healthy public good. Capitalists hate regulation but they actually need it in order to prosper themselves. The more they push their interests for profit without restraint, the more they damage what they see is their market -- what we recognize as our society.

Capitalists do better where the population is educated, many are working and make good salaries and where there is social sustainability. They are really crappy at delivering on any of this.

So sure, if you want to recognize the ability of capital to make money, you can do so, but also recognize the role of people to provide the work, labour to organize and protect workers, social services to provide what people need, governments to ensure enough general equity for the system to function, taxes to cover the functions of government etc. None of this is any less important -- despite the propaganda.

This is not a communist system and while there are a few communists here, most here do not require state control over all enterprises that produce what people need. However, they see the gross distortion that attention to capital has over everything else. They see the perversion of the capital system that places the need to generate capital above all other human requirements to the point that life itself has become unsustainable socially and environmentally in the direction we are going. They see that capital is not only fairly rewarded for its risk and imagination but sucks up the efforts of people leaving them a disproportionately low share for their contribution -- those providing the work get next to nothing while capital concentrates. The problem is not that capital is not respected enough or seen as valuable enough -- it is seen as the be all and end all and it is now not only in the way of everything else but even a danger to itself.

I could have posted a sharper less respectful reply but I thought a considered response might be more helpful.

 

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