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Joe Shlabotnik

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Home country: Canada
Current location: Rust Belt Ontario
Member since: Fri Sep 23, 2011, 09:36 PM
Number of posts: 5,604

Journal Archives

You are correct in that the failure is all around.

I believe it is systemic. We have a had a failure of leadership since the 1980's in both the Conservatives (egregiously) and Liberal (more sublime). And I agree that the NDP failed by not speaking out about the bailout at the time also, because to do so would not have been politically expedient (ie further casting them as the dreaded socialists and weakening their drive towards the centre.)

In the past when great national challenges arose, Canada had the leadership to confront those tasks. Whether through linking the country by rail, and later by the Trans-Canada highway, being early players in nuclear energy and aviation or by confronting the fuel crisis in the 1970's, by creating Petro-Canada. They were bold, risky and visionary steps taken, and were not handouts to the banking industry that we are now beholden to. They were investments to our infrastructure and future generations, not a band-aid solution used to stabilize one bubble only to create a debt nightmare down the road.

Similarly there is great failure of Canadian citizens by being gullible, disinterested and self serving and not demanding both visionary and transparent leadership and also a vibrant antagonistic press. It is deeply disturbing that as you state, "Despite Access to Information requests for the data, the Bank of Canada refuses to release it,". However the Globe and Mail did run a small article about this a few years back, and alternative media did cover the story. The initial $76 billion was not a secret. The established media in this country decided on behalf of Canadians that it was either not important enough, or that Canadians wouldn't/shouldn't care.

As much as I like to skewer the Conservatives, it is true that there is enough blame to go around.
Posted by Joe Shlabotnik | Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:43 PM (0 replies)

If we were forced collectively to have an AA style confrontation/intervention

about what our values really are, then it would become apparent that our concept of having a job, is outdated and destructive. That confrontation is coming whether we like it or not, via financial collapse and serfdom or environmental degradation and/or catastrophe.

No one expects something for nothing. We praise ourselves, and place a high value on hard work. But having a 'job' is so 20th century. We have the ability and technology to live well in a world that invests in equality, but rather chooses to marginalize many. If we asked ourselves, do we need 2 cars? so we need a nebulous banking system? do we need the MIC? do we need to be spying on each other? do we need to manufacture something overseas and ship it all around the world, so some underpaid person can pay $2 less for it? We are caught up in catch 22 of servility to the PTB for both our jobs and the continued justification for our jobs to exist. We perform a lot jobs that are both unnecessary and destructive.

Our greatest collective failing is our own inability to accept that the world with which we've been conditioned to believe is unchangeable, is in fact changeable. Change is inevitable, but are we willing to remain ignorant, divided and silent and let it change for the worse? We have the resources, education, science and technology but lack the imagination and will.
Posted by Joe Shlabotnik | Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:00 PM (0 replies)

There is much work to be done before the next election.

9 out of 10 people on the street did not know this. While the bailout is greater than I though (I was aware of the 2 initial bailouts totaling 76 billion), most people fell hook line and sinker for the notion that Canada's banking system was solid, robust, and admired throughout the world. Some Serious questions need to be asked.

Why didn't the official opposition (Liberal party) make this known? Did they not read the legislation, are we to believe that they were unaware? My guess is that they were equally complicit in protecting the banks, and could be equally blamed (and rightly so) in creating the banking industry friendly environment.

The Conservatives campaigned on the notion that our banking system and economy are strong, and that our banks did not need a bailout. When confronted with the CMHC asset buy-up, their brief explanation was that it was a preventative move. So what was then? The banks didn't need the money but took the generous offer, or the banks were in deep shit? You can't have it both ways.

As the article states "It would have been cheaper to buy every single share in these companies,": indeed, except that the Conservatives would never consider the thought (Gasp! thats something some Commie like Chavez would do!). In fact if the Conservatives were that concerned about Canada's debt, it would have been an opportune time to renegotiate its obligations. But they are not interested in long term sustainability let alone public ownership. They'd rather feed money to banks, and big oil, and pray that China doesn't have a recession while they're still in power causing oil prices to drop, and completely deflating Canada's already gutted cardboard economy.

Why did this major piece of news get such small mention when it happened. Is the press stupid, or complicit?

Will this be brought up during the next elections? Will this vanish from the news, and from the conversations of everyday Canadians?

Lastly when will Canadians stop drinking the Tim Hortens cool-aid and wake up to the fact that we've been lied to, sold out, ripped off and used since the the 1980's by condescending politicians, neo-liberal economists, and a neutered press thats in bed with them.
Posted by Joe Shlabotnik | Mon Apr 30, 2012, 02:10 PM (1 replies)

Completely agree with this article.

But would add that the environment MUST be central to our thinking, or else we are just re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. A few wind turbines here and solar park there, and buying a Chevy volt aren't going to cut it. Even the well intentioned desire to help out someone struggling is window dressing as long as most people (middle class and poor people included) have the "I get mine first" attitude. A financial system based upon the notion of ever expanding growth is an unsustainable dream. What is needed is: A) for people to finally wake up and realize that the dream is just that, and B) the realization and hard decisions need to be made immediately to create a sustainable sphere of existence within a planet of limited capabilities. In short, our Values must change from what we'd Like to have or do, or believe, to what we Must do.

Such a collective cultural shift has never been attempted or accomplished on a global scale through out all mankind's history, but If we don't make these choices, the earth will make them for us. Judging by our history, I'm not optimistic (and glad that I don't have any kids), but if there is any single bright light, its that for the first time in history mankind has the ability to communicate and coordinate globally. Part of the question will be however, will that ability to communicate be tolerated by the PTB, or those that seek to exploit it as well.

As much as I'd love to see us return to a New-deal type of manufacturing society with high middle class wages, one must realize that that system is also based upon endless production and consumption, and therefore unsustainable too. Perhaps the best bet is to try and return to that type of society for the short term (say 20 years), in order to ease the pain of transitioning the global economy to the next and more intelligent level. Clearly Globalism was the wrong turn, its time to back up to the mid 70's and make the right turn this time. The pipe dreams of some, through the exploitation of others, and the phony paperwork and ideologies that legitimatize our present day world are a disaster.
Posted by Joe Shlabotnik | Tue Apr 24, 2012, 01:54 PM (0 replies)

The system is broken

The bar keeps getting raised, and the goal posts keeps moving. This is an obscured form of Austerity.

I can't believe sometimes that my 2 grandfathers got good paying jobs at GM when they could barely speak or write English, that my dad and father in law got good paying jobs at GM when they were high school drop outs. At 40 I'm a college grad and unemployed. I can't even fathom what my nieces and nephews are in for. The only thing that seems likely is to expect less and less, all for more effort and expense, and at the cost of actually being able to live deliberately, independently and blossom as well adjusted individuals.
Posted by Joe Shlabotnik | Sun Apr 22, 2012, 06:38 PM (2 replies)

Cars suck now.

I bet a considerable chunk of the price of purchasing a new vehicle covers all kinds of bells and whistles and mandatory safety features. Not getting all of this crap is not an option anymore, nor is repairing your own vehicle. I'd love to go out and buy a new vehicle without an alarm system, without air bags everywhere, without stickers everywhere telling me how to properly seat my nonexistent child, without back-up cameras, without on-star and without a black box tracking me. I don't need a killer stereo, heated seats, power windows/mirrors and for gods sake I want a goddamn cigarette lighter and ashtray not a power-point and jumbo sized cup holders.
Posted by Joe Shlabotnik | Wed Apr 18, 2012, 12:21 AM (1 replies)

without a realistic definition of whats at stake and what constitutes victory

the notion of a 'winning' will be limited to lip-services paid and at best incremental improvements. As long as the majority of the 99% share the same values of what constitutes wealth as defined by the 1%, then deposing the current 1% is mainly an act of retribution and likely futile. The belief that wealth can be quantified by money and fed only through constant growth is the root of the problem. Fighting for a bigger piece of the pie is understandable, but no-one is willing to admit that the pie itself is carcinogenic. Instead of growth, the new reality must be entirely about Equality (social, legal, medical) through Sustainability (environmental, intellectual, spiritual), or else we're all going down. Its bigger than individuals, parties, or nations.
Posted by Joe Shlabotnik | Sun Apr 15, 2012, 05:39 PM (0 replies)

The NDP and Green party's official policy positions

call for a re-balancing of debt created currency with government created currency, but neither party talks about it. Its too controversial and misunderstood among by the vast majority of people who think government issued money = hyper inflation and Wiemar republic era wheel barrows of cash. This thinking is exactly what mainstream economists, and globalists want everyone to think. In reality a resource rich country like Canada, could ween itself off of bank debt comfortably over a span of 10-15 years, without a drastic default, and maintain a strong banking position if there was the political will to do so, and if the public was better educated. Whether its a forgotten policy point by the NDP, or a secret agenda (a good secret agenda for a change), who knows. Gradually distributing government created currency through infrastructure projects and necessary government spending should be a national security and sovereignty issue of greater importance, and Canadians should learn that national control of the money supply is exactly how Canada prospered up until the mid 1970s.
Posted by Joe Shlabotnik | Tue Apr 3, 2012, 05:55 PM (0 replies)
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