Member since Feb 8, 2009

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Re: “Canada Post wants to eliminate my job as a letter carrier. Here’s why you should care

John Dunn. China has not embraced a free market. Its market is heavily regulated by the state. If it were free market there would be no state run enterprises so that assertion is false. You cite the examples of Chile and Brazil. I find this very amusing as you stated earlier that that my position was immoral because I said rich people should pay more taxes to give the government funds to run social programmes to aid its citizens and somehow you equated this to the states unlimited use of force, but now you embrace to the policies of Chile and Brazil. In the case of Brazil, its shift to neo-liberal economic policy came after the coup by a military junta that disposed the democratically elected left wing president of that country. Funnily enough then US President LBJ sent a wire to the junta thanking them "for restoring democracy" to their country. Now Chile was even worse. Another military coup under Pinochet which pretty much installed an authoritarian police state in which many citizens were kidnapped, tortured, and murdered. I would not call any of these examples you cited as being ideal, free societies that benefited from embracing free markets. What has actually helped many of the poor in Brazil are the Bolsa Familia social programmes that have been established recently that give direct conditional cash transfers to poor families, give free schooling to children, and help build their human capital. This was instated in 2006 and currently 26% of the Brazilian population receive these government subsidies. That's around 12 million families. So no I wouldn't say it is free markets that help the poor. free markets help the rich and help make the poverty gap grow.

13 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Jono on 12/20/2013 at 12:26 PM

Re: “Canada Post wants to eliminate my job as a letter carrier. Here’s why you should care

That is true. But true free market capitalism can never be truly realized as the assumptions it is based on are false so as a theory it may work but as a reality it can never truly exist. It is a utopic ideal just like true communism. The thing that messes it all up is the involvement of actual people. What is referred to as free trade nowadays is the breaking down of trade barriers in the global south so as to open their markets to the global north. A lot of this is done through conditionalities placed on receiving aid from multilateral organizations like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. What broke the stagflation of the 1970s was the internationalization of labour through the breaking down of these trade barriers. Production was moved to the global south so production costs dropped and corporations could then start realizing profits again. What did this in turn do, caused a great reduction in the production capabilities of the global north and an outsourcing of skilled labour to cheaper markets. Some would then argue that jobs were being produced in developing countries, but they were paid at such a low wage that they could not buy local consumer products so that did not help the local economies, profits made by the corporate operations in the south did not remain within those countries as they were repatriated to corporate headquarters in the north, the developing countries were instructed by WB and IMF to keep corporate taxes and minimum wages incredibly low to encourage corporations to set up shop there so no benefit came in that form. Tariffs on imported goods were removed so countries could not protect their own industries from having the markets flooded with consumer products from the north and tariffs were removed so the raw materials could be exported to the north. Sounds like a great economic system you want to keep.

8 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Jono on 12/19/2013 at 6:29 PM

Re: “Canada Post wants to eliminate my job as a letter carrier. Here’s why you should care

Pfft, Friedman. The Chicago school of economics and neo-liberal school of thought is based on assumptions that are ridiculous: mainly that people are rational and have freedom of choice and are completely hinged on a perfectly free market which no matter what is impossible. So the foundation principles of that school of thought can never be realized and are fundamental for that system to function. If the market was truly free and perfect there would be no state intervention or regulation of the market. That would mean that in the 2008 meltdown all the major motor companies would have failed along with all those major financial institutions that the government bailed out (state intervention) and it was due to a lack of state regulation that he situation occurred in the first place. So in this great neo-liberal model we'd all live in a collapsed economy and instead of trying to fight to help maintain services that help our neighbours we'd probably be eating their pets. Instead of continuing in the economic system that only works if there is unlimited economic growth into infinity which seems unlikely maybe we should be working towards a different economic system. But that isn't the purpose of this article, its purpose is to highlight the importance of maintaining a public service that is important to many people who are in a different situation than those who are able bodied, young, affluent. It may not be a service you require, but I don't use a lot of public services, like free clinics, food banks, homeless shelters, or social assistance, but I think those that really do need them should have them available to them. What this article is about is stopping our self-centred view of the world and look outwards to the needs of others and stop asking the question what do I need and start asking what are the needs of others?

18 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Jono on 12/19/2013 at 5:39 PM

Re: “Canada Post wants to eliminate my job as a letter carrier. Here’s why you should care

John Dunn, please go on about Europe. You pick one extreme example of a country whose system is completely different from Those of Norway, Sweden, and Finland. You picked an EU country to compare to non-EU countries. Are you going to choose Greece next? or maybe Germany, no wait they are doing too well economically... France? Belgium, Denmark, The Netherlands? I am not sure what you mean by my statements validating unlimited use of force? Maybe it got lost in the autocorrect. I personally feel that an individual has more freedom to succeed in this world if they don't have to spend their time just trying to find shelter for the evening or a meal. You know, basic needs. This frees them to actually live up to their potential. It's the well to do middle class that sit around talking about liberty is freedom from the state, Adam Smith, John Locke, invisible hand of the market, and other things they learned in Economics 101, but it was actually the Keynesian economics which ruled during the most prosperous era of the 20th century, 1940-1970, and the purpose of welfare economics is to mitigate the negative effects of capitalist growth. It does not discount capitalism, it helps regulate the system so as to prevent conflicts between classes. In the neo-liberal model which seems to be every rich persons' favourite since Reagan the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. If you think that is fine and don't mind your fellow citizens suffering so others can afford greater luxury, I'd say you are the immoral one.

11 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Jono on 12/19/2013 at 3:38 PM

Re: “Canada Post wants to eliminate my job as a letter carrier. Here’s why you should care

Dear John Dunn,

I would like to point out the purchasing of alcohol is not a social service. It is not even a basic food need. It is a luxury item. Privatize it so I can buy cheaper beer and the province loses the revenue from the profits from the sale of said beer. What do they do to recoup these loses? Maybe cuts to services like provincial health care, or maybe hike the provincial tax on alcohol to make up the difference? So where is the savings to the consumer and citizens as a whole? Just so people can buy more beer to get drunk?

A high standard of living is not measured by how cheap products are and how much people can consume. If you look at Scandinavian countries which are the gold standard when it comes to standard of living on every index available, they have high taxes, the costs of consumer goods are very high (especially luxury items; I visited Norway a couple years ago. It cost the equivalent of $12 for a beer at the bar), and they have superb social services and a much narrower income divide between the rich and the poor. Gas is extremely expensive there and many people take public transit versus owning a car. They have great public transit because they can charge the taxes to maintain and expand these systems. There are less grotesquely rich people in these countries but guess what, there are practically no abjectly poor people either. It is what is called a social democracy where the government levies taxes so it may provide services that ensure all its citizens are taken care of. People pay a progressive tax based on what they earn so as to help maintain this high standard of living for everyone. It is called a social contract.

Now you seem to like the idea that development is measured in economic growth and that these profits will trickle down to those in need but it is proven that a rising tide does not lift all boats, just the yachts of the rich while the poor and the elderly are buried up to their necks in the sand and the tide is coming in quickly. I am a Canadian citizen and I believe in the welfare state. By that, I mean the state's primary concern should be ensuring the welfare of its citizens.

(fun fact, Benjamin Franklin who is known as helping establish the USPS in 1775, was actually the joint deputy postmaster general for British North America in 1753 and established the first Canadian post office in Halifax... the more you know.....)

35 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Jono on 12/19/2013 at 2:26 PM

Re: “Canada Post wants to eliminate my job as a letter carrier. Here’s why you should care

The USPS is not the same kind of beast as the Canada Post. There are many differences in the way it is run such as Congressional oversight, while Canada Post is an independent corporations that pays dividends to the government. Canada Post has posted profits for all but the most recent years, while the USPS has lost billions (that's right, billions) of dollars. So I don't think their model is one to envy. Homecare for seniors is not free for everyone. I have spoken to many people and this is a major concern for the elderly. Back in the day it was often the mailman or the milkman who would notice if something was amiss at an elderly person's home and they would be the one to call the police to come check. If you argue it should be the families of the elderly looking after them, what about those whose family lives on the other side of the country or are a widow or widower, or who never married? While it isn't the job of Canada Post to look after the elderly, it is society's and as society has moved on to be more and more self-centred these are the people who are marginalized and left behind. Comparing letter carriers to elevator operators is a hyperbolic argument. If that is your belief feel free to start going and driving all your letters and packages across the country, driving to the bank and utilities to pick up your bills, constantly call all your friends to see if there is a wedding to attend and if you are invited. Be modern, be independent, push your own damn buttons.

57 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Jono on 12/19/2013 at 11:30 AM

Re: “In-Flight Safety: Band of brothers

I was at this show and was very disappointed as were my friends. We unfortunately arrived late and were not able to see Boxer The Horse (who were really the act we wanted to see) Dog Day lacked energy and did not build sufficient energy to lead into the main show. The final song was very anticlimactic. As for In Flight Safety. Besides the epileptic light show that invoked thoughts of a low budget Cold Play video they lacked stage presence and weren't very engaging. My friends and I ended up leaving before they were even half way through their set. Not a great show to start off the final weekend of the Marquee. At least the Last Waltz delivered and made a great farewell to such a great venue.

Posted by Jono on 02/08/2009 at 8:30 PM

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