Neoliberal jerks:https://fischerzed.wordpress.com/2018/0 ... like-that/
Business Economics 101 (Or something like that)
August 6, 2018 at 1:23 pm
There’s an old joke that goes something like this: At the first meeting after the Cuban Revolution , Castro is doling out jobs. “Is anyone here an economist?” he asks.
Che puts up his hand. “Right. You’re the minster for the economy.” Che looks a bit shocked, but says nothing.
After the meeting Che approaches Fidel ans says, “I’m happy to rake care of the economy, but you know, I’m not an economist.”
Fidel snaps back, “Why did you put up your hand when I asked if anyone was an economist.”
“Oh,” Che replies, “I thought you said was anyone a communist.”
Now, it turned out Che was neither an economist nor a communist, (sorry, left-communist snark here), and while the new Progressive Conservative government of Doug Ford certainly never claim to be communists, its grasp on basic economic principles doesn’t appear too solid either.
The cancellation of the Liberal government cap-and-trade pollution policy was an ideological one, but part of the money was earmarked for school repairs – The Toronto District School Board was scheduled to receive $100 million for repairs to plant and infrastructure, and as a parent who still has one kid in the school system, I’m OK with money being spent on schools. Where does that money go now? Presumably it says with polluters.
A few years ago when Ford’s brother Rob was the Mayor of Toronto, the Fords railed against a 5 cent charge for plastic bags in grocery stores. which the previous Mayor David Miller had instituted in order to reduce plastic bag use Outrageous they said. No longer would Toronto collect that money. Funny thing is, most of the stores I shop at still charge me for a plastic bag. .
Last week, the government announced it was cancelling the province’s basic income pilot program. This caused much consternation, since the Conservatives had maintained prior to the election they would be continuing with the program. Minister Lisa MacLeod more or less fessed up to the broken promise, but fell back on the time honoured tradition of claiming the previous government had left them with less money than they had assumed, only to claim the next day that the media’s reporting was….wait for it…fake news.
But it’s not all bad news. One of the other campaign promises was the return of the buck-a-beer. Currently in Ontario the minimum price a brewer can sell a bottle or can of beer for is $1.25. Prior to 2008, the minimum was $1. Ford’s idea is to reduce the floor, so while your kids’ school may have holes in its roof, the air is too polluted to go outside, and you may have been pushed deeper into poverty, at least you can save some money on beer. Maybe…because there’s no guarantee that brewers will actually sell at the minimum price (a quick survey of LCBO and Beer Store prices indicate no one’s selling anywhere close to that minimum now).
I’m not an economist either. I took a few classes in school, and read a few books since then, but I do remember a couple of things. One of the basic principles of capitalism is profit maximization. The other is externalities. I.e., if you can get someone else to pay for some of the messes you create, you can make more profit. Oh wait, now I get it: Business and the wealthy enjoy socialism; the rest of us get capitalism.
Last week, the right-wing Toronto Sun featured an article by John Snoblen, a high school dropout who was a Minister of Education under a previous Tory Government. Snoblem, who applauded Ford’s decisions to date, was most famous for being caught arguing that in order to more easily accomplish their policies, it was necessary to create a crisis.
That’s the way the game is played. I’m not suggesting that the old Liberal policies represented a moment toward a fairer society etc., but the new Conservative government’s early decision suggest that this is a taste of things to come.