the big pomegranate

Avanti o popolo!

Stop the gravy train! Miller is wasting my tax dollars! Where did my money go! Apparently We The People Of the World finally found out who was responsible for our misery: governments, public services, social securities, health care systems, you name it. Everything that has the public label is evil, foul, corrupt. Omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, the Hydro Hydra can only be defeated by the White Knights of the Wrong Bible, also known has the Market Forces Addicts, the Private Property Maniacs, the Liberalidealists, the Tea (douche) Baggers or Palin-dromes (dammit I'm mad), the Happy Bullies Drivers, the Hard Core Gun Lovers and the Planet Wasters Big Daddy Dig Baby Diggers. Councillor Kyle Rae spent $400 of taxpayers' money on a leather bound fetish party in a city-owned park! Shame, shame -yelled the hard working crowds from the burbs, coming out of their Mc Mansions without even finishing their third steak, jumping in their SUV, rushing to City Hall without even taking a minute to run over some cyclist, shooting point blank VoldeMiller and his Tax Eaters and offering the throne to Sir Robert Ford the Just- that is as soon as he will be done with his important Football Coaching duties. I am aware that this last sentence makes me in the eyes of almost everyone a damned leftist core elite diverse tree hugger spandex bummed liberal. Problem is, I am not a liberal, sorry, I am a socialist, yes, but no, it is not the same thing. I know that in this country your choice is limited between Conservarybdis and Scylliberals. But liberalism is to socialism what Mirvish Theatres or the Maple Leaf's Garden Loblaws are to a public library or a community center. Conservatives have more things in common with socialists than liberals do. Conservatives and socialists believe in moral rules. Not the same ones, of course. Socialists believe in rules that promote social equality, social security, affordability, access to health care, access to leisure, access to culture, community life. Conservatives believe in rules that promote family value, private property, security (police and army), religion, freedom (first amendment USC), the environment (yes, the environment is a conservative value, one of the good one, even though a lot of today's conservatives are convinced it is another damned leftist ideal). Liberals only believe in one rule. The rule of the market. The market is deemed always right because it is supposed to represent the ultimate form of democracy. But the market is biased. It always was. Liberalism was born in the London of the XVIIIe century which soon became one of the worst place to live on earth. Pollution, Misery, Crime! London only started to heal when the Labor Party on one side and the Conservative Party on the other became the two major forces in the country and established enough rules and regulations so that the balance of power shifted toward the Light Side of the Force- the Public Force. Canada and the States were built with a conservative framework, not a liberal one. The US constitution protects freedom of speech, private property, democracy. It doesn't leave anything to be decided by the market. But after England and most of Europe, the liberal virus spread to the new continent where it found a particularly receptive host. The first run of global liberalism, in the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century lead to a major depression and to at least a war (WWI was more a consequence of european nationalisms), after that strong public institutions  (a.k.a Big Government) took over everywhere and drove the world through 30 years of peace and prosperity. Then liberalism showed again its ugly face first in the eighties through fake conservatives like Ronald Reagan or Margaret Thatcher and then through fake socialists like Bill Clinton or Tony Blair.  At first it was all fun! Money,  Party, Cocaine! A first big hungover happened in the beginning of the nineties and a smaller one at the beginning of the new century. But liberalism is so addictive that as soon as the economies recovered a little, new guys came, snorted whatever was left on the floor and the party resumed. Louder, Bigger, Higher. Until 2007 and another hungover. But the liberals are still in power everywhere in the world. Obama is not Roosevelt, Cameron is not Churchill, Harper is nothing, the power is not belonging to the states anymore, it is belonging to corporations who are now so strong that not only, by outsourcing, can they crush the unions representing the workers who gave their sweat and blood for them, not only, by offshoring, can they humiliate the nations who nurtured them, but can even indulge in racketeering by forcing governments to bail them out. Numerous studies have shown that the global happiness of a given population will always diminish when this population is exposed to the Market and his inevitable disciples Consumerism, Advertising, Upselling, Customer Service and Globalization. Consumers goods and services are like drugs. They do not give any pleasure but you cannot help desiring them. Have you seen the faces of people on a giant McCruise in the Carribean? Or people living in Monster Houses or in Exclusively Exclusive Condos. Or people driving their SUV or Ferrari? Or people eating behind the smoked windows of an fancy restaurant in Yorkville? Do they seem happy? No. Yet they are living the dream of most of the people in most of the world. The worst is that hardly anyone seems to mind. US citizens seem to be way more mad at their government for the 2007 bailout than at the corporations that sunk the economy, begged for help, took the money and wasted a big part of it in indecent salaries & bonuses for the same guys that were sleeping when the ship hit the iceberg or even steering the ship towards the iceberg, and another big part in indecent corporate spending to carry these same guys around the world, entertain them and offer them social protection, insurance and golden retirement. Here liberaelians from Canada can step in and rightfully claim that there was not bailout in Canada and therefore, at least north of Lake Ontario, liberalism do work, the market is always right and corporation should be allowed to do whatever they want with their money which is not only 100% private sector money but also generates huge tax revenues and therefore is good for Canada, right? Yes but no. Private sector money comes from the consumers, who are none other than the taxpayers who were so mad about Kyle Rae $400. Taxes are the source of income to finance services provided by the government the same way the monthly fees of your phone plan is the source of income to finance the Rogers services. Therefore corporate waste should piss people at least as much as public sector waste, way more actually given that the amount wasted are incomparably bigger. But no,will object the libereagol, we are free to choose a different phone provider or to have no phone at all but what about the Precious tax dollars that are taken away from us without our consent my Precious. Nasty little government who took our tax dollars. We'll carefully watch how they spend it and get really mad if they waste a single penny, oh, yes Precious. Yes, but again no, the City of Toronto taxes which ignited the People Anger that brought us Rob Ford are the fee that you pay to obtain services from the City of Toronto. If you think the taxes in Toronto are too important, you are free to move to Mississauga or Hamilton. Living in Toronto is like having a plan with Rogers, it is expensive, but you get a lot of service in return. Living in Mississauga is cheaper but you live in the middle of an urban desert. And as far as I know Toronto doesn't require you to wait three years before you can move elsewhere. Liberarguer (who probably actually did move to Mississauga and had to sign with Rogers for three more years to get his new iPhone 4 is shaken but not beaten and launches his proton torpedo: quote- the painful truth is most private companies are run a lot more efficiently than governments- unquote. Yes but no. Governments appear less efficient than private companies because their inefficiencies are subject to more public scrutiny. The recent crisis proved that corporations are not being even loosely watched by anyone, so much so that some even lied to their shareholders about their finances. In public institutions, every penny has to be accounted for. This is how the Creatures of the Burbs learned about Kyle Rae $400. Corporations are not transparent, not democratic and not accountable to those who are affected by them. Therefore they can -against all evidences- proclaim that they are efficient. However, everywhere in the world where private corporations took over public services like health care, transportation, security, schools, they proved way less efficient. Some shiny example like the US private health care system or the big Universities seem to speak in favor of private corporations but theses institutions eat way more money than their public counterparts and the fact that they are profit driven make them choose options that are arguably not the best for the public service they are supposed to offer. Of course, I am aware that private initiative is unbeatable for extracting energy, processing food, building houses, producing consumer goods, offering consumer services, innovating in engineering, process, management, training etc. I am a socialist, not a communist. I believe in the genius of the individual, on the benefits of trade and on the power of competition.  But first of all, production, service and innovations are way better handled by human-sized companies managed by real entrepreneurs rather than by oversized global corporations overstaffed by overpaid barons who all reached long ago their level of incompetence and are mainly preoccupied by looking important and systematically hiding the consequences of their multiple failures. Second, I think that the Public Institutions -which are the Organs of the People's Power- should be able to control, regulate and interfere if need be with the operations of private companies. Private property is important and deserves to be protected. But never at the expense of what should be the primary concern of every Democracy, the Security, the Well Being and the Happiness of Us the People.

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