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COMMENTARY · 4th October 2011
Merv Ritchie
More Protests Planned - And a solution at the end of this writing.

It is so simple even a grade five student should know. Taking something that isn’t yours, or that you didn’t work for, is wrong. Economics is no different it is just that “economists” have spent decades attempting to make it a mystery so only they can explain it. Since none of them have gotten it “right” in the past few years maybe listening to a non-economist would be a fine idea.

Thousands are in the streets protesting in the financial districts all across North America. A small group began on Wall Street complaining about what they see is at the root of the problem. They can see it but they just don’t understand it and can’t put their finger on a solution. They are simply yelling at the ‘Wall’ that is not going to move.

Back in the early 1970’s I had an exchange of ideas with my older brother. The two of us used to debate politics and social issues in great depth. I have three other brothers and with one I exchanged heavily in the political thought. We came by it honestly. Our Parents provided the perfect breeding ground.

Our dad was a very prominent lawyer such that he ran for the Progressive Conservative Party in Saskatchewan and due to that we enjoyed supper with the former Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker twice at my parent’s home in Saskatoon. We entertained virtually every Saskatchewan political figure in our home in the 1960’s including the convicted murderer, Colin Thatcher (the Saskatchewan Progressive Conservative Cabinet Minister and Premiers son) , and the Judge who jailed him. I remember one party of over 90 of the Provinces most influential men entertaining (drinking) at our seven level home on Saskatchewan Crescent. My 4 brothers and I were all dressed in black and white with bowties serving them. Dad was of Scottish decent whose ancestors arrived in Ontario in 1800. His father (my grandpa Tom) was a World War One navy man who took up farming in the Peace River area in Alberta after he got out. He took a wife from Nova Scotia and went to break raw soil in the 1920’s near Berwyn Hill. A true pioneer who lived off what they grew. Pure hard work.

My mom was a pure blood German who suffered through the Second World War. She arrived in Canada with her parents and younger brother on one of the first refuge boats from Germany after the war ended. She and her brother had been captured by the Russians as they were attempting to escape their advance on Danzig. She was an attractive 17 year old girl. Her Uncle though, who spent the last years of the war as a German Prisoner in a Russian Concentration Camp, became a frequent speaker at our dinner tables. He was an admired orator and spoke with intense passion about social justice and Christianity.

This was the rather intense background my brain would be molded in.

I was born in 1958 and my entire life was thrown into the political and economic world. I remember running as a toddler delivering my dads election flyers into residential mailboxes along Saskatoon city streets. I remember watching by dads eyes go red and my mom crying when Kennedy got shot. I participated in every election as a ‘Pro’ Progressive Conservative, right through to shaking hands with Stanfield to holding a Rally for Joe Clark in Vancouver. There was virtually nothing political, from the “Hippies” and Vietnam to the Reganomics with Thatcher and Mulroney, which my family didn’t discuss with ferocity. We argued it, debated it, agreed and disagreed. Our dinner table was always interesting.

The most significant determining factor that changed our world was Unions. We were brought up to understand how bad they were. They were the ‘communists’; the worst of the worst.

In the mid seventies one of my brothers got a job operating equipment. He lied to get the job. The guy asked him if he could run a back hoe and he said yes. I can’t remember if he had ever even sat in one before that. My brother could be a bit of an arrogant ass at times and as he got better at the controls he figured he had it mastered. After he told someone off, “You think you can do better?” the guy jumped in and made the backhoe dance between the front bucket and the back hoe leaving him standing in awe. It was sometime during this job that he was forced to get a Union Card. It was required at a job site his boss’s company was to work at and it required them joining the Operating Engineers. My brother was spitting mad. He swore up and down, called it as he was taught, communistic. This was right in the mid seventies and I was just completing high school. Suddenly things changed. Our debates shifted and we came to have a better understanding of the western world, politics, economics and unions.

When work ran out the Union sent him to upgrading courses, fully paid for by the local, to improve his skills. Every year as work went up and down he became trained on more equipment, operating the largest excavators on the largest pipeline projects in BC. He travelled, got paid well and was provided the highest level of education, all courtesy of the Union. Today, more than thirty-five years later, he continues to pay his membership dues out of respect. It is not that he needs the Union anymore. He is working as an electronics engineer making a salary well into the 6 digit range. He has earned everything he has. His career, his wages, his homes, his acreage, his toys, his education, his morals, everything.

If you asked him about the right wing today, the Progressive Conservatives, Wall Street, Realtors and Anti Union activists; well you would get a serious education and it wouldn’t take long.

He recently related a story to me about the young men he guides and instructs questioning him about his Union affiliation, which he proudly displays. He explains it was the Union that taught him everything he knows. The Union provided the foundation for his success.

But I know he worked hard for everything and despises those who take without producing. His harshest venom is for realtors and bankers, those who take without producing anything and this goes for Wall Street, Insurance Agents, Police who cheat and lie and Politicians too. Those who leave nothing of value, did nothing to advance anything but take money and the fruits of work/labour without contributing, are the lowest of the low.

And this is the reason for the collapse of the economic system of the world, which those who take and produce nothing seem at a loss to explain. Bankers, Realtors, Brokers and more have been skimming off the top producing nothing of value. They like to claim they are facilitating. Nice word but the only thing truly facilitated is the promotion of ignorance and the collapse of the western world. The bankers have convinced almost everyone money cannot be produced unless “they” produce it and the governments have to get it from them and pay interest on it. The realtors have convinced everyone they cannot sell their own home without great risk, and the Wall Street Brokers, the worst of the worst, have convinced everyone you can make millions simply by investing in their game; that you don’t have to do anything. And it gets worse.

There are hundreds, thousands, millions of men and women walking freely down the streets, allowed to run free, that do not have the slightest idea how to check the oil in their car, what mixed gas means, how to even properly use a shovel. They don’t know how to grow food, use a gun or fix the plumbing in their home. Many couldn’t fight their way out of a cardboard box yet they take the profits, skim the interest and margins off the sweat and hard labour of the working man and woman; doing and contributing absolutely nothing.

Today we see the result. The ‘right’ has taken everything they thought they ‘rightfully’ could take without doing anything, leaving nothing ‘left’ for the ‘left’.

Now they are caught in their own trap. It took the wages, the Unions, the training, the skill of the productive man and woman of the western world to produce the products and structures to feed the system.

That asshole on CBC, the commentator from ‘The Lang and O’Leary Exchange’ who is also on the Dragons Den that says, “Greed is Good”, Kevin O’Leary, is all wrong, completely wrong. He is the mascot for the cause of the Wall Street protests and failings of the economic system.

I watched and lived the Conservative lifestyle as I grew up. I even benefited. Our dad, due to his connections in the political and legal world, ensured we were never treated like the commoner, the “Blue Collar” man. We were expected to be part of the “White Collar” crowd. Mom was horrified when I became a Heavy Duty Mechanic and went to work at the Coal mines in BC. We were supposed to become one of the takers, living a high life without doing a damn productive thing.

In the late sixties I recall a Minister addressing the uprising against the corporate world that is very similar to the Wall Street protests today. He advised how the protesters couldn’t tear down the system until they had something to replace it with. There was nothing then and it appears there is nothing being put forward today.

On September 22, 2011 on BBC’s show, ‘The Hub’ with Nik Gowing, the head of the IMF (The International Monetary Fund), Christine Lagarde, spoke about her role as the new IMF leader. Just prior to her statements a question was asked by a viewer, “Will the IMF have the ability to lead” referring to the economic crisis facing the world. A panelist with Lagarde, Mohamed El-Erian spoke first. He stated the following;

“The key issue is we need a conductor, right? Think of an orchestra. You have Europe wanting to play its own music, you have the USA wanting to play its own music and the emerging world wanting to play its own music and it looks up to the conductor. The US can no longer play the role of the conductor. The G7 is not represented enough. The G20 is still in a development phase so people will look to the IMF. People expect the IMF to be the conductor and if we don’t get that conductor it’s going to be a messy orchestra.”

Gowing turned to Lagarde and asked, “How is your conducting Madame Lagarde?”

She replied referring to the world economists in the audience, “In this building there is a fantastic orchestra; huge talents, incredible. Now as far as conducting, all I can do is roll up my sleeves, but it’s more complicated than that because what we need to do is facilitate for political leaders to take the credit for the solution. That we are prepared to engineer, suggest, propose, measure, identify the road map we can provide. The credit for it the politicians will want to have it. And that’s fine, I don’t want to be a conductor but I’m very pleased to be a facilitator and if that has to be behind the scenes, that’s fine.”

This quote above was word for word from the leader of the entire western worlds, in fact the entire worlds, financial regulation organization. How comfortable are you after reading that bit of baffle-gab idiocy?

Dominique Strauss-Kahn was the previous leader of the IMF and he didn’t want to be a facilitator, he wanted to be a conductor. He spoke about the large financial institutions exposing all the Countries of the world to the problems, crossing borders to take advantage of Countries with weaker regulations. He demanded that all countries work together to play (continuing the analogy) beautiful music. He identified many of the difficulties the common working “blue collar” worker faced with the typical IMF ‘austerity measures’. He was also a socialist and a promoter of policies to assist a peaceful civilization. He stated at a conference in April 2010 that a good comprehensive economic policy would provide economic and social stability. Without this there would be instability and war. He complained that all the G20 nations were not working together and he was attempting to reign them in.

He openly stated that he was likely going to be set up and shortly after he was, with the sexual assault allegation.

My boy brought some homework to the house last week. It was about the fall of the Roman Empire. As I said at the beginning of this writing, the solution to the economic crisis we all face is easy enough for a child to understand. Facilitators are the last thing we need. We need people to work. We need to stop expecting to get something for nothing.

Like our present day Democracies, the paper describes the Roman political system; Romans ignored their past traditions and concentrated only on the easiest way of governing. They forgot about a senate that would debate issues and gave the ruler the sole power of Authority in all matters.

This is the way our democracies run today, even in the First Nations Communities where, as we recently reported, the Haisla took away their Hereditary Chiefs right to offer sober second thought.

The Roman office of the Tribune, the protector of the rights of the poor and the defender of morals were forgotten. The paper states it was armies not politics that settled political issues. The police and military became a way to hold power, not against invaders but against their own people.

And finally, the point of this entire writing, one of the identified reasons for Rome meeting its demise was “The virtues of hard work and self control […] lost out to greed laziness, and pleasure.”

Today our society is hooked on Viagra, mood altering drugs and investment returns while sitting on the couch. People want to “Facilitate” without breaking a bead of sweat.

The people gathered on Wall Street, yelling without a clear direction, feel the problem. They want to work but all the money, all the investment opportunity has been stolen by those who want to do nothing. The struggle may not end without the complete collapse of our society because, just as the new IMF head stated, the political leaders just want the credit for something. She doesn’t even want to conduct. Lazy, lazy, lazy right wing bums, just like those I grew up around, and grew to despise.

There is truly only one solution. National Governments retaking their sovereignty from the bankers and internationalists. Printing their own money to circulate among the working people to rebuild and grow their country. No one collects interest, or percentages of profit for doing sweet ‘f’ all. Each national, sovereign government could print their own for their own country and a world trading exchange note could then be created. But no more playing with peoples lives and futures by the stock exchange trading of their currency.

And the only way to get this is by having a strong leader who kicks all the lobbyists, industrialists and bankers out of the legislative houses. And then a secret ballot needs to be introduced in every single legislative house in the Country, from Municipalities, to State, Territory and Province. Forcing our elected representatives to stand and display how they voted is to expose them and the entire system to the imposition of the money masters, that which has caused the entire downfall of our once growing and expanding social fortunes.

Two single, simple demands, should be used to unite everyone protesting. These two simple changes, without bringing down our entire way of life, could change everything.

First, the secret ballot in every legislative house, barr none. I, and we all should, trust that the majority of those we elect (we choose them)will always do the right thing. Currently they have to do as they are told. This measure would destroy party politics.

Second, money is printed and circulated by national governments, without interest. This would immediately fuel new infrastructure projects and have everyone fully employed.

We are now returning to the dark ages of slavery and bondage. There is a solution, the only question now is, is there a leader?
Taxed To The Max
Comment by Robert Sallows on 11th October 2011
Well said and written and sadly so true...