Saturday, March 28, 2015

The economy is the most important consideration. Except when it isn't.

It's interesting, how all conservatives, such as Alberta's governing PCs,  firmly oppose higher corporate taxes because of nebulous, highly debatable and entirely theoretical negative economic impacts. 

But anti-gay laws with real, unambiguous, no doubt about it, BIG MONEY negative economic consequences? Well hey, who cares if Salesforce, a company that invested 2 and a half BILLION dollars in Indiana last year says they are now firmly cutting ties with the state over its anti-gay legislation? Who cares if GenCon, the largest gaming convention in North America is making plans to move their annual convention out of Indiana to the tune over 50 million dollars being pulled out of the state's economy EVERY YEAR? So what if the NCAA is seriously re-evaluating any plans to host future events in the state which could add up to hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact.

Add in potential losses in the millions from the tourist industry, jobs from the tech industry and the huge economic loss caused by an exodus of Gay Indianans and the only question remaining is just how many billions of dollars this new law will cost the state of Indiana's economy.

The entirely theoretical risk to jobs and economic growth cited as a reason to never even consider making corporations pay a fairer share of the tax burden is turned on its head with the argument that treating gays like shit is more important than the devastating effect it will have on the state's economy. 

It's almost as if it was never a good faith argument and Republican Governor Pence is happily abandoning it until the next time someone suggests 'Hey maybe our budget problems could be helped by making corporations pay a higher share?' at which point it will be swiftly resurrected.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

New Rule

I propose a new rule: if a government passes a law that is overturned by the courts for blatantly violating the constitution the costs of promulgating and defending that law should be paid out of the governing party's coffers. Why should the rest of us be on the hook for millions of dollars in partisan political theater?
Today, the House of Commons passed Bill C-2, the Respect for Communities Act. Pretty title, but like so much Conservative legislation, the meaning of the title, like the bill, is cruelly ironic.
What the Respect for Communities Act does is effectively block the establishment of new supervised injection facilities like Insite. The bill could make it much harder for Insite to stay open, and it effectively prevents a similar health service from opening in any other Canadian city.
Insite arose as a community response to epidemic-levels of HIV and Hepatitis C infections and overdose deaths in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. A decade of research shows that Insite saves lives, and those of us close to the ground understand the central role Insite plays in the tapestry of specialized healthcare the most vulnerable Canadians need.
Despite the evidence, the site has not operated without controversy. When the last federal Conservative government refused to grant an exemption to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) that would allow Insite to keep its doors open, our community took the fight to protect Insite all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. It was only through the judicial branch that this life-saving site was able to stay open.  
This new legislation will face the same fate so much of the government's attempts at legislation of being overturned by the courts - at great expense to the rest of us.  They KNOW this.  They are already preparing their judicial activism rants.

How much of our money is this government wasting on political theater and legislation they know will be overturned?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The art of exclusion

Public 'art' at the Convention Center C-Train station in Calgary.  Not art designed to communicate or foster understanding, its only goal is exclusion. 

It's an anti-homeless measure like pretty decorative doorstop spikes designed to keep away the shivering souls who would sleep on top of the grates for the warmth.

Sometimes I fucking despise this city.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

You haff your papers?

Maher Arar just announced on Twitter that the US government's No Fly list is now being applied domestically IN CANADA.

If you are on a foreign government's shit list you just lost the right of travel within your own country.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Do we Albertans ever get tired of being bent over and Punked you ask? (Spoiler: "Thank you sir, may I have another?")

The PCs finally face a tiny piece of reality and start talking about revenue, but since they are dedicated servants of the elite the goal of any new revenue generation will be to have it fall mainly, if possible COMPLETELY on the middle class and the poor.
Cut spending, hike taxes, find a climate-change policy, reform health care, control public-sector pay— Premier Jim Prentice’s core agenda sure sounds familiar. 

That’s because so much of it was ex-Premier Alison Redford’s agenda, and Ed Stelmach’s before her. 
In fact, if you consider promises to diversify the economy and sock away cash savings, Prentice is still following the agenda Peter Lougheed pursued for 14 years from 1971 to 1985 
The whole Prentice enterprise often looks like a dismal reflection on decades of PC rule. The same party keeps picking new leaders to solve the same old problems.
Lame justifications about 'driving away investment' a bogieman of ancient vintage just keep slamming up against the fact that we could raise 10 billion dollars in new corporate taxation alone, filling our 7 billion dollar fiscal hole with enough leftover for long delayed infrastructure improvements BUT STILL have the lowest corporate taxes in Canada.
The goal is to use the crisis du jour of low oil prices to protect ideologically based wealth distribution upwards and attack organized labour and public services.
At some point we have to stop falling for this.

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