Ireland too now falls prey to the predators

The predators make a windfall off government bonds.
By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

Ever wonder why the rich and the super-rich and the banks and corporations they control are never asked to share in the suffering they cause?
Ever wonder why the rich and the super-rich and their banks and corporations continue to grow even wealthier while everyone else rapidly falls behind?
A quick look at Ireland – the so-called Celtic Tiger – may help us to understand.
But first a looke at the wider practices of the corporate capitalist “democracies.”

Please login to view this content. (Register here.)

G20 confab is already doomed to failure

By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

The G8 and G20 confabs in Seoul, South Korea, in the coming days are doomed to failure before they even begin, because they simply don’t have the proper items on the agenda.
It is feared the G20 meeting will get bogged down in a concerted effort to avoid a global currency war which appears to be the most imaginative plan the world’s leaders have to address the current economic crisis.
But just as a currency war will not solve the global crisis, neither will avoiding such a war solve the crisis.
The problem is much deeper.
The problem, in a nutshell, is that the masses – the poor, the working class and the middle class – have been economically marginalized in most advanced western industrial nations in order to further enrich the already inordinately rich.
The problem is a crisis of corporate capitalism, perhaps the ultimate crisis that will eventually prove to be its undoing.

Please login to view this content. (Register here.)

Flaherty fumbles economic recovery

Jim Flaherty's pleased the rich are doing well again.By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

Conservative federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty delivered his fall economic statement today and it turned out to be a “Three Dressed Up As A Nine.”
Flaherty – like his boss, Stephen Harper – is still sticking to the line that Canada is no longer in a deep recession but the facts would tend to belie his utterances.
First of all, the record deficit for the last federal fiscal year (2009-2010) is now slated to come in at $55.6 billion rather than the most recently predicted $53.8 billion.
Secondly, unemployment and underemployment remain unacceptably high – even if we were still in a recession, which we are. When one worker in six cannot find long-term, full-time employment at a living wage, you are in a recession, if not a depression.

Please login to view this content. (Register here.)

Wall St. executive bonus season opens

It's always bull season on Wall St. when executives want bonuses.By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

Wall Street’s annual executive bonus season has arrived and, once again, the geniuses who brought the global economy to its needs two years ago are in a mood for self-congratulation.
In fact, they are congratulating themselves to the tune of $144 billion U.S. in executive bonuses, all of the million-dollar-plus variety.
That of course is a new record, four percent higher than last year’s previous record executive-bonus payout. One would be drawn toward the conclusion that they must have saved the world.
But that is not the case. Profits were down a staggering 23 percent from the past year.
But why quibble over a few percentage points?

Please login to view this content. (Register here.)

Global market economy tests Venezuela

President Hugo Chavez remains popular despite the difficulties.
President Hugo Chavez remains popular despite the difficulties.
By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

The minor setback suffered by Venezuela’s ruling socialists in that country’s recent legislative elections underscore the huge challenge facing any socialist national economy struggling to survive in a global market economy.
The path of President Hugo Chavez’s 21st-Century Socialists would probably be a lot less difficult if Venezuela’s economy were relatively self-sufficient.
But Venezuela’s is a resource-based economy that relies heavily on oil exports to bolster its GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
And the deep global recession of the last couple of years has cut the world oil price to little more than half of what it was before the 2008 economic meltdown.
Please login to view this content. (Register here.)

The sleazy bid to privatize Toronto Transit

Will the venerable TTC lead Canadian transit into decline?
Will the venerable TTC lead Canadian transit into decline?
By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

There is a sleazy campaign afoot among people with vested interests to privatize the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission). The last thing Torontonians need is a privatized “public” transit system.
Sure, the idea sounds great. The myth is that the creation of another PPP (Public-Private Partnership) will magically solve all the TTC’s financial woes.
But it won’t. It’ll only make them worse.
True, the privatization of a transit system makes some savings possible through a drastic reduction in the wages and benefits of even more working-class people.
But those ill-gotten savings are almost invariably more than offset by huge increases in executive compensation and the demand for a large corporate profit margin.
Please login to view this content. (Register here.)

One book every Canadian should read

The writings of Linda McQuaig never fail to inspire.
The writings of Linda McQuaig never fail to inspire.
By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

Toronto author Linda McQuaig – one of the most prolific and pertinent non-fiction writers North America has to offer – has come out with another blockbuster with her current bestseller.
The Trouble with Billionaires explains in very-well-researched detail how little of the private wealth amassed by the super-rich rightly belongs to them and how much of it rightly belongs to society at large.
The book also makes quite evident the fact that no one should ever be allowed to amass a fortune of a billion dollars or more.
Please login to view this content. (Register here.)

Firefighters watched as house went up in flames

Forgetting to pay a fire-fighting fee cost the man his home.By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

A Texas homeowner has learned the very hard way not to trifle with his regressive tax burden.
In recent years, federal, provincial or state, and local governments across North America have been on an orgy of tax redistribution as tax cut after tax cut after tax cut for corporations and the very wealthy have been partly offset by a slew of regressive taxes – such as user fees and co-payments for health, education and social programs.
These regressive taxes serve a single purpose – to deny to the very neediest any access
to a wide range of government subsidies generally available to the less needy and the very greedy.

Please login to view this content. (Register here.)

Will North Americans just accept austerity?

Will North American masses have the courage and solidarity to stand up for themselves?By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

In recent weeks we have seen a great upsurge in mass protests across much of Europe as its citizens are being asked to accept drastic government “austerity” to pay for the massive bailouts over the last couple of years of global banks, financial institutions and corporations and the billionaires and mega-millionaires who control them.
In effect, middle-class, working-class and poor Europeans are being asked to tighten their belts – several notches – for many years to come and those European masses are beginning to reply with a measure of defiance.
The likely upshot of the public resistance to government austerity will be some sort of compromise that will lighten the burden on the masses.

Please login to view this content. (Register here.)

The billionaire Queen begs for charity

Multi-billionaire Betty Windsor no longer wants to pay to heat her own lavish digs.
Multi-billionaire Betty Windsor no longer wants to pay to heat her own lavish digs.
By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

While millions of cash-strapped Britons are wondering how they will pay for heating fuel this winter, the multi-billionairess queen of England – Queen Elizabeth – has applied for winter heating assistance for her many palaces from a United Kingdom government fund set up to help the truly needy to just survive.
It should come as no surprise that the richest woman in the world – with a net worth of over $2 billion U.S., at last count – is queuing up at the public trough.
Right-wing demagogues like to attack low-income Britons, Americans and Canadians for feeling they have some sort of entitlement from government when the struggling global economy leaves them behind.
But it’s always the billionaires and the mega-millionaires – or their loyal lackeys – who are standing at the head of the line-up for public largesse.
Please login to view this content. (Register here.)