Monday, January 23, 2017

The Haves Certainly Have It

This from today's Letters To The Editor, to which I have nothing to add:
Re: Two richest men as wealthy as poorest 30 per cent, Jan. 16

It is telling that this news report was not a front-page headline in the Star.

As if the world needed any more data on the abject failure of capitalism and the neoliberal free market experiment, Oxfam has released yet another report once again documenting the egregious and unconscionable wealth of a minuscule number of individuals in Canada and around the world.

Report after report has documented the skyrocketing expansion of inequality around the globe and the inexorable march of wealth to the top of the social ladder. If capitalism were a new drug being developed to cure cancer and it failed in all but a few cases out of billions it would be abandoned immediately but we continue to prescribe the economic thalidomide of capitalism to the world’s population without remorse.

However, despite this overwhelming and incontrovertible evidence, the world media, economists and politicians seem blasé regarding its dismal and destabilizing failures and the deep and comprehensive reforms that are needed to ensure that global wealth is shared equitably. There are no front-page hue-and-cry headlines calling this an economic crisis or extended coverage of this issue on the news channels. This gross status quo inequality seems to be accepted and normalized as an inherent part of capitalism that cannot be changed.

In fact, with the election of Donald Trump in the United States, the American public has decided to firmly put on its rose-coloured glasses and double-down on the neoliberal nightmare of “cancer capitalism.”

Despite this political St. Vitas Dance, there is a desperate need for a government regulated, moderated and managed economic system that is actively structured to serve the needs of all in society as the historian and economist Karl Polanyi asserted. Such a system places clear limits on wealth accumulation and claws back excess wealth and profits through progressive taxation.

If we were smart enough to invent capitalism, we are smart enough to invent its replacement.

It is time to radically change our global economic system to serve the needs of humanity, not a few humans.

Robert Bahlieda, Newmarket

Do you find it amusing that we the public anxiously follow the media to be aware of the daily interaction between nations, cultures, religions, terrorists, politics and, oh yes, economies? Such a multitude of players in mankind’s unfolding history and future.

But perhaps there’s really only 16 – based upon the knowledge (and fact) that eight men own half the world’s wealth. Perhaps there are 16 players served by millions who accommodate them for reward while billions of others live in war and death and poverty and the rest of us are relegated to being blocks of pieces on an endless series of game boards that lead to millions of winners and billions of losers — just sayin’, perhaps.

But history says nations fade as empires rise. And our supposed representatives in governments are silenced by their parties who serve the players and their accommodators. Global democracy with globalization is sadly our “paradise lost” because globalization without global democracy is the globalization of poverty.

Ask yourself this. When it comes to big banks, big business, big oil, big money (non-pursuit of offshore accounts) and big talk, is Justin Trudeau really that much different than Stephen Harper?

Randy Gostlin, Oshawa


  1. "Cancer capitalism." That's a phrase that needs to be repeated, Lorne. Again and again.

    1. Unfortunately, most MSM seem not to have gotten the memo, Owen.

  2. It's still on YouTube - that clip of George w. Bush, white tie and tails, greeting an assembled crowd of our betters. "I call you my base, the Haves and the Have-Mores."

    1. I remember it well, Mound. The passage of time has done nothing to blunt that salutation.