Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Conservative's Sick Relationship With Big Oil

It's pretty much a given that our current federal Government fellatiates big business and the "1%" on a fairly regular basis.  Hell, our majority Government are nothing more than "bitches in suits" to Alberta Oil and the Tar Sands. And our Conservative government are pretty arrogant about it, believing that servicing the syphilitic members of the affluent is not only an honour and a privilege, but also  what's in the best interest of the country. They carry out their mission from the Godless with ruthless abandon, systematically severing the heads from all those who threaten their status with the corporate world. And they demand gilt embossed business cards in return for all the time they spend on their knees.

But let's say, for the sake of argument, that these Neo Cons truly believe in what they are doing, thinking that reshaping the country by burying our social values while giving free reign to the Corporatist minority is really good for the country. Let's just imagine for a moment that they really aren't reptilian aliens bent on world domination and enslaving the entire human population. It's a stretch I know, but bear with me here.

To say that these guys are capitalists with a capital "C" is pretty much a given. But I would go beyond that, calling them "Corporatists", meaning that they value the 1% over and above all other human beings, believing that these "movers and shakers" are superior beings, here to bestow their greatness upon all the land and that  reducing the population to nothing more than indentured servitude is in everybody's best interest. They believe that their brand of economics, based on the Calgary School, the Chicago School and the Fraser Institute is vastly superior to anything that has come before it. Never mind that their philosophies are nothing more than rehashed Classical or Neo economic Liberalism. They believe that a robust and completely unfettered Corporate class will make everything right in our land. That their unbridled success will in someway benefit all of us as well as our country and our society in general. The theory behind this being that the "invisible hand" of Capitalism will make things even out, make sure that the wealth somehow trickles down to us lowly surfs and that the laws of supply and demand will regulate the market place.

The problem is, the "invisible hand" doesn't exist. It is nothing more than a mythical creature, about as credible as the existence of Unicorns, or perhaps more appropriately, Minotaurs. The proof of which is in the ever widening gulf between the rich and the poor and the reality that 1% of our population holds over 35% of all the wealth in the world and that our financial institutions are able to hold on to literally, trillions of dollars and are refusing to share it. 

Where was the "invisible hand" when the housing bubble burst in the States? When large financial institutions got fat off of peddling false hopes to the population? Was there any omnipotent self-regulating deity around to tell the banks that what they were doing was killing the economy and bankrupting millions of poor working schmucks like you and I? Nope! They had an angle and they worked it to the max, at the expense of you and I, then received trillions of dollars in bail-out money from the American Government just so they could keep their doors open... and give bonuses to their execs, and to subsequently hoard it. They behaved like gluttonous spoiled kids in a candy store with no parent about to moderate their sugar intake. Nope, no self-regulating Capitalist Gods were present then. 

The heart and soul of Capitalism is Consumerism. In order for Capitalism to work, there needs to be a healthy population with money in their pockets  who are able to "consume". The advent of the labour movement and the subsequent rise of the middle class made for a very healthy Capitalist society in the mid 20th century. People had rights and freedoms as well as a chicken in every pot and two cars in every garage. Our way of life seemed vastly superior to the more oppressive communist regimes of the time and it ultimately buried communism on the world stage. In the end, the Berlin Wall fell and all seemed right with the world.

The most industrious of all industrialists, Henry Ford had a lot to do with that. Love him or hate him, Ford realized that if anyone was going to buy the millions of cars he was mass producing, he was going to have to pay his workers better. So he did. They in effect, became the consumers of what Ford was producing. And this arrangement seemed to work for everyone. And that model was replicated over and over again to the benefit of the workers and the industrialists alike.

But now, the Corporatists seem hell bent on exterminating the Labour movement and driving down wages because these wages are supposedly undercutting their profit margins. Like it's our fault that these guys can't be as rich as they want to be.  I wonder what Ford would have to say about an industrialist who blames the market place for their inability to succeed. But then, he once said that:"A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business". Looking at our financial institutions today, very prophetic words I would say.

Like it or not, we the consumers, are the cattle that feed the Corporate giants. They are supposed to keep us fat and healthy so that they, in turn, can become  fatter and healthier. It's supposed to be a symbiotic relationship. Except the Corporatists, the ones who produce nothing, are behaving more like  cancerous organisms and are looking at killing off their entire heard of consumers in their gluttony.  In so doing, they are dooming their own fate, not to mention that of our country and the entire world.

And while we're on the subject of cancerous organisms, lets take a look at our Corporatist loving Conservative Government's slavish love affair with the Tar Sands. Our heads of state have told us repeatedly that they want Canada to be an energy super-power. And that of course, means scouring every last drop of oil from the Tar Sands, regardless of the impact on the environment. This crazed consumption of a natural resource that neglects the impact on the surrounding environment is much like how a cancerous organism reacts with it's host.

But besides the environmental catastrophe unfolding before our very eyes on a daily basis, lets look at the economic logistics of this. The Conservative's idea of becoming an energy super-power amounts to putting all of our eggs into a very leaky, oily basket. The entire world knows that fossil fuels are killing the environment and we need to find alternative energy resources. And the entire world is beginning to mobilize to that end. Hence, other countries who are investing for the future, are becoming world leaders in alternative sources of energy.  But besides that, fossil fuels are non renewable. That means that we can and will , run out some day. Many scientists already claim we are much closer to that day than we think, hence the panicked rush to look for oil in the arctic, despite the environmental impact and the titanic logistical undertaking involved.

But even before the last drop of crude is sucked from the soil, there will come a tipping point at which the demand will exceed the supply. We may already be there. Why else would we all be so willing to pay such outlandish prices for a tank of gas.  It has been determined that a global oil shortage will occur long before the mass implementation of new sources of energy to power our cars and heat our homes. Hence, economic melt-down because of the myopic vision of our world leaders and their love-fetish with oil.

So building a strong Canada for the future, based on Oil, is like investing heavily in building a buggy whip factory next to one of Henry Ford's factories. It is remarkably short sighted not to mention stupid from an economic stand point. And this from a Prime Minister who claims to be an economist. He should be asking for his money back from the University of Calgary.

Looking then at the Federal Government's sick relationship with the cancerous Corporatists and their destructive, shortsighted investment in the Tar Sands, they must either be high-priced concubines, or at best, simply have rocks in their heads.

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