Unregulated capitalism the problem

Roger Pratt mentioned too much borrowing and spending as the primary causes of financial crises in a number of countries.

Re: “The real problem,” Letters, March 23

Roger Pratt mentioned too much borrowing and spending as the primary causes of financial crises in a number of countries. He made the case that the level of workers’ benefits and salaries are currently unaffordable, along with welfare, daycare and help on paying for pharmaceuticals.

Finally, he urges students to discover that socialist countries like Cuba and Venezuela have more crime and pollution problems than capitalist countries do.

Mr. Pratt’s comparison of socialist vs. capitalist countries assumes a level playing field where there isn’t one. Since 1959, the US has been doing its level best to destroy the economy of Cuba, and due to its proximity and power it is a wonder it didn’t succeed.

Similarly, since 1999 when Chavez took over, the US economic jackals have been trying to bring about coups and economic disruption in Venezuela.

The US was in credit during the Bill Clinton administration. George W. Bush’s two big tax cuts for the very rich, lowering corporate taxes, plus several current wars of aggression are principal causes of the US economic disaster. We must add on to that the amazing stupidity of repealing the Glass-Steagall Act and other financial regulatory laws which brought about the world wide financial crash of 2008.

This was compounded by the policy of bailing out “too big to fail” banks (having passed laws that allowed them to become too big) with trillions of taxpayers’ money, giving little or no relief to parties who had been hurt by the banks’ intransigence and downright fraud.

In Canada there would be enough money to go around if we seriously closed tax loopholes and increased taxes on the uber-rich and the corporations. There would be enough money if Stephen Harper stopped building prisons when the crime rate is at its lowest for decades. If the Canadian government defence forces were used for just that, defence, we would save billions on high tech fighter planes to bomb other countries. Apparently Harper now wants a Canadian military base in Japan; that’s not defence.

The reason why all this money is spent in a way that is not for the common good boils down to the pathological greed of a very few, and how the system has been rigged such that they get their own way.

Corporations help write the laws that give them tax loopholes and lowered taxes when they are pulling in record profits. Their men advise government, or take government positions, and then return to their parent company and rich rewards.

When politicians retire, they often join big corporations as directors when favours done are returned. Government officials who are supposed to regulate the activities of corporations often become more like their helpers, and join them when the time is right.

Capitalism in the 21st century has become predatory, crony, fraudulent and highly destructive. It is intermingled with government in a way that fits the definition of fascism.

Keith Newberry

Slocan

 

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