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Michael Hardner

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Everything posted by Michael Hardner

  1. Even if such a system would work, the conditions requiring that to happen would be impossible to produce. And in the end, countries with no advantage at all would become virtual slave states, wouldn't they ? I'm asking here, not telling.
  2. Hmmm... Sweal, have you modified your stance on this in the last year or so ? I have read your arguments on this in the past, and you seem to have added a nuance. Or maybe no one asked you about 'futile relativism' before...
  3. Exactly, Sweal. If their opponents had no access to advertising and it's cousin PR then they probably would have won. North American politics is based on the idea of the individual, but our political campaigns are fought with mass-marketing which is philosophically at odds with the former. Hence our dilemma. Steps have already taken to reduce the effect of mass advertising. I think this is a good idea to try out. Those of you who oppose the Liberals would have to agree right ? I mean, with all the money they spent and with Canadians being such sheep etc. etc. etc.
  4. Great thread going here. I'm learning a lot. takeanumber seems to be mostly arguing against economic absolutes such as "government has no place in trade" Are you saying the government has no hand at all in the building of new plants ? Ernie Eves delivered his last budget at an auto plant, I believe...
  5. The Liberals' campaign consists of mainly of pushing the 'fear' button. If Harper can take this wind out of Martin's sails, there won't be much left to run on.
  6. I agree, but Harris isn't it. He has floated trial baloons a few times, and the poll numbers just don't look good. Mr. Harris might as well get used to being in the boardroom. I think Mr. Harper has an excellent chance at winning if he stays on. The east will be familliar with him next time around, and unless the "new" Liberals prove to be superlative managers, they will not be able to live up to their promises. Harper will only need to reign in the social conservatives, and Martin will have no attack left.
  7. Eureka: Hugo may have been referring to Soviet funding of radicals in the West, such as peace groups etc. I don't think there's any doubt that that happened, but to what degree it had an effect is anyone's guess.
  8. There's always a tipping point at which it's a net negative to society for corporations to exist. Many jurisdictions give tax breaks or other financial incentives to corporations for locating there. Corporations pay taxes and employ people in return. Where is that tipping point ? How do we determine what makes sense and what doesn't ?
  9. Auguste1991 says: I wouldn't call myself a leftist, but others might. Corporations helped build (N) American into what it is today, and even leftists have to acknowledge what they have done to improve millions of lives. But how do we decide who owes what to whom ? Are we indebted more to the corporations or they to us ? I propose better modes of discussion and clear, good-quality information from moderate representatives of both sides of the political divide to help guide us into the future. We need this becasue we've now stumbled into something called a Global economy which might be the road to an unprecedented global cooperation and wealth. Or perhaps not. The working people of North America have been judged as being overpaid. So they're asked to accept outsourcing, layoffs, reduced benefits and so forth. And they have done. But when will the system balance itself out ? Can we trust the current modes of information to tell us that the pendulum has swung enough the other way ? If it's truly a race to the bottom as some have suggested, then the only signal we will have that it has gone too far will be violence and upheaval. If the problem is that CEOs are making hundreds of times the wages of the lowest employee, that's not really a situation that will spark wide outrage. People have even accepted lower wages and benefits while the richest do better. What will cause a problem is loss of homes, hunger and disease happening amidst pockets of increasing wealth and affluence. The media systems we have now cannot tell us whether things are getting better or worse. The internet may be a thousand points of light, but without any prevailing authority. If we as a society can't agree on answers to simple questions such as "who are we ?" "what are we doing ?" "what do we want to achieve ?" then we shouldn't be surprised at our lack of direction.
  10. Crosbie is/was a very smart man with good political sense. I heard tell that his thick Nfld accent was a bit of a put-on though.
  11. Don't forget to mention the doctors, cops and other civil servants in the same breath, though. Yes, salaries account for something like 80% of government expenditure in any department.
  12. You don't blame the thermometer when you have a fever do you ? People need to start rejecting shallow thinking, shallow values and poor health choices. The media will improve only after the people do.
  13. Hjalmar: They serve the members of the union, yes. It is what's called a symbiotic relationship, I believe. Corporations help society and society helps corporations They can do this, yes. Envirionmental disasters, price-fixing, are some examples. Wages would go down, and the buying power of these workers would be lowered as well. You don't know this. It's conjecture. Even an economic genius wouldn't be able to predict all the cofactors that would result from such a radical move. We could pay a dollar an hour. That would be competitive. Obviously, the business world will try to get the best deal they can. It's up to the people to decide what's fair and what isn't.
  14. Well... we don't. I've yet to see any evidence of this. An anecdote about somebody's friend in Ottawa who thought that Albertans all wear cowboy hats doesn't cut it. Even if they did think that, such things don't constitute negative stereotypes. Regional thinking isn't useful anymore. It's a borderless world. You have might have more in common with a call centre operator in India than with a fisheries worker in Nfld.
  15. To answer BBM's question. A minimum wage earner takes home about $1100/month before taxes. I believe welfare pays about $500 to single people.
  16. Well, NOT being allowed to watch sure isn't. I'd like to see more bundling available, too. But don't blame the CRTC for the lack of bundling. There's a scarcity of it with many major US cable operators too. They know that bundling would lead to less revenue.
  17. This idea that the government should butt out of civil unions seems to meet approval from the right and the left. It certainly would make polygamy easier. Let's get something straight. Henry the 8th dealt the worst blow against marriage when he instituted a church that allowed divorce, which is expressly forbidden in the Gospels. Marriage hasn't meant the same thing since. The issue of gay marriage seems worse to those who hold contemporary prejudices, but historical perspective tells us otherwise.
  18. I can't imagine any couple wanting to have children, but deciding against it because of the prevalent custody laws. I suspect that the usual suspects are to blame: careers, education, and so forth. Then the State must rectify it. Custody and child support laws aren't a bad thing on the whole, but there are elements of the law that should be changed.
  19. If found guilty of murder ? I don't think that would happen.
  20. Sorry, Bro. Are you saying the market system doesn't work ? It seems to work for pro athletes and doctors. Why not teachers ?
  21. Bro: I was just saying that this hasn't been their whole agenda. EI, for one. Maybe you don't count this as a social benefit, as it is insurance. Your points here support the fact that something has been done in 35 years. Whether you support it or not is a different question.
  22. Playful: Actually, I don't think it ever was banned in Canada. I certainly don't recall a test case. It seems that most schools just dropped it voluntarily over the last 25 years or so. Also, there shouldn't be anything wrong with any theist saying The Lord's Prayer as it makes no reference to Jesus himself, just God. Any Jews, Muslims, Buddhists on the board can correct me if I'm wrong. These holidays were co-opted and promoted as mini business booms a long time ago. I hear a lot about this not being allowed to speak, but it seems to me that any examples I hear are abuses of the system. Here's another example from DAC: I looked into this matter after a discussion on another board, and discovered that a text was being debated as 'promoting' homosexuality. That text was a reader for children that included two male neighbours who were living together. That was it. Of course, their sexuality was implied but that was all. Does that promote homosexuality ? Or does it just acknowledge it ? I personally don't think you can make anybody gay or straight anyway, but surely our books should reflect the reality of the world out there. Shouldn't they ?
  23. I should point out that the survey results don't mean that a kid will do better in one system or the other. The professor can only rule out so many cofactors. That said, it's a well-known fact that teaching college graduates are paid better in the public system, so they will attract better people.
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