Archive | November, 2011


29 Nov

We are in a system that is bound to fail.  The monetary system we live in is based on greed, competition, accumulation of unnecessary material wealth, and disregards the survival of all living organisms on Earth. The technological modernization of corporations is mainly used to increase the profits of few, leaving the rest unemployed.  Even without corruption, the monetary system will not sustain as technology will continue to advance, increasing unemployment and leaving only few with monetary wealth1

Most know how fraudulent the banking system is.  Henry Ford in the early 1900s said “if we knew the origin of money there would be a revolution tomorrow”.  Abraham Lincoln and J.F. Kennedy tried to change the banking system but were assassinated before they were able to do so. Most do not know that in Canada and the US, the government issues money through private banks which make huge profits just for being administrators at the detriment of the people. A substantial amount of our taxes go to pay interest on fraudulent government debts predominately held by private banks and ultimately ending up in the Elite’s pockets2.

In our current state, it is only a matter of time before the earth becomes uninhabitable due to environmental pollution3. The Elite in partnership with most governments and corporations are mainly interested in short-term profits that benefit few, disregarding the environmental impact on the planet.  An example is the nuclear power plant that is being reconstructed in the earthquake prone zone of Japan, despite objection from its people. The impact of the recent nuclear leak on the oceanic life as well as on land is vast and has not yet been adequately assessed4.  Another example is the leak of oil by British Petroleum Ltd.  The corporation still managed to make 3.2 billion British pounds (5.1 American dollars) in profit in the three months after paying penalty for the damage5. The resulting environmental impact is irreversible. The corporations do not have to follow any guidelines.  As long as the penalty is low enough, the corporations will continue and operate for profit, neglecting the damage it is doing to the environment.  Further, corporations unnecessarily pollute the environment.  An example is that automobiles are made to last only a short term, for maximum profits, regardless of the waste that is produces.

Thanks to the people who protested against the Keystone XL pipeline. The project was wrong in many ways.  If the governments were not working for the oil corporations, the money that would be spent on the project would be enough to provide all the houses that benefit from this energy with solar panel, or geothermal energy, eliminating the need for energy from oil, unnecessary environmental risks, and utility costs.

Furthermore, our food supply is contaminated by insecticides, growth hormones and unknown effects of Genetically Modified Foods6.  Pharmaceutical is another major corporation. In the US, 80% of pharmaceuticals given to patients are unnecessary, and most cause further complications7.

There is also the moral dilemma that is ignored. There is enough food currently produced to feed 9 billion people8 (current world population ~ 7 billion), yet our governments focus is to trigger wars, prejudices and suppression in order for the corporations to make maximum profits that benefit the Elite which is less than 1% of the world population. The rest of us are programmed to feel happy to have a job, criticizing the jobless as lazy, without realizing the slavery we are in, with the false illusion of security.

The developed nations promote unnecessary projects in developing nations giving World Bank and IMF loans that come with absurd interest rates. This is intentionally done so that, as the developing nations become poorer, trying to pay for the project, the corporations benefit by exploiting their resources1.

The military itself is a major corporation connected to the Elite.  The wars are manufactured to justify printing of new money at the expense of taxpayers.  Hence the reason to trigger wars and keep the people distracted in the prejudices that arise while the Elite build an empire, ultimately to achieve a new world order.  Another familiar notion of this is “divide and rule” with the addition of “make money and control”.  The hierarchy of power is incorporated into most corporations and governments, to distract the knowledge of the real Elite. 

There are many people around the world who are aware of these aristocracies our governments play on.  They have researched different solutions.  We are the majority and if we are awakened, we can change the system. The greater the number awakened, the smoother the transition into a system that is sustainable.

The Elites have not yet managed to control the internet. The mainstream Medias are owned by our governments and should not be taken seriously.  It is hard for the Elite to let go of the power and will try their best to hold onto it. They are not aware of their losses such as the connection to the community, the feeling of intimacy which comes with surrender, life of meaning etc.  Human nature can range from violence to compassion. By understanding this, we should try and bring the 100% of us together for the future survival of all species on Earth.  After all we are all guilty of silence, obedience and passive participation that show the unconsciousness, in order for the current system to have prevailed9.

There are many movements and movies available on the internet. Some of them are the “Venus project”, the “Thrive movement”, the “Anonymous”, the “Zeitgeist movement”, the “System Change” by the council of Canadian, and the newly active “Occupy movement”.  There are informational clips and movies on You Tube.   “The Guardian”, “Aljazeera”, “The real news network”, “Wikileaks” are some of the places where we can get independent information.  There are other movies such as “The 11th Hour“, “The Meltdown”, “The Corporation”, “The Inside Job”, “Why we fight“, “Sicko“ and clips on You Tube such as “Oh Canada” that are educative.  There are many other people and organizations that have sacrificed their jobs and lives in order to try and change the aristocracies of the world. 

We can evolve into a global resource based system where there is no competition, authority, greed, corporations, politicians or countries.  This global resource based system can be based on sharing the available resources of the planet with careful consideration of the environment.  Human potential will thrive when there is no need for accumulation of wealth.  In time we will have abundance of everything we need to live in a utopian style of living.  

This idea has been studied by the Venus project for approximately 75 years and the Zeitgeist movement for approximately 25 years.  There are other ideas from the Thrive movement that could be used during the period of transition. The Anonymous movement explains beautifully why we should break free of our ideology of using labels and names. It explains how, only when one is anonymous, one is free and truly only bound by natural law.  Names can be slandered, destroyed, and trolled, but ideas cannot. The anonymous movement is also one of the few movements that are actively involved in day-to-day monitoring and bringing practical solutions to end the corruption of the current system.

These concepts given here may initially be rejected by most of us as we are programmed from the time we were born into the monetary system.  We are brought up to expect rewards, respect authority, follow rules without question, save for the future, and aim to be “successful”. We have been praised for the ability to keep a job, however unfair the system may be. We have been brought up to accept competition, gambling, wars and violence that our governments promote as a distraction. They have constantly tried to brain wash us with unnecessary material consumption, patriotism, prejudices and misinformation.  We have become insensitive to the feelings of our fellow humans and other species of the Earth that suffer directly from the current system.

This is our time for social awakening.  We need to awaken as many as possible to make the world a better place for the future of all habitants.  Consciousness starts from within us.  We want to protest for what we think is wrong without violence. Any solutions attained by violence will not be sustainable as violence only promotes violence. It also confuses authority, as authority can only understand and respond to violence.  We should remember that authority can only exist by our consent. 

We are the 100%, unconscious at different levels. If we are capable of feeling angry at the Elite, it means that we can understand them and have the capacity to play their role at a different level of unconsciousness. Our strength comes in enlightening the Elite as much as enlightening the ones around us.

There may not be an ideal solution. This is a time where we can all contribute ideas in order to evolve into a sustainable society.  There may not be utopia, but we may be able to achieve a sustainable balance and thrive in a healthy environment.  In the current system, if the military is removed, there are enough resources for the entire planet.

If the current system prevails, not only the human species, but all the other species on earth will be destroyed in a matter of time3.  There are many other planets in the universe that may be habitable.  They are too far for us to travel in our lifetimes.  Looking at the environment of the planets close to us, Earth could only be described as heaven10.  

It should be noted that the removal of currencies is the only solution. Any system similar to the monetary system will not survive as it will eventually breed greed, neglecting the environment. Humans by nature get great satisfaction contributing into their community.  It is amazing to imagine a resource based system where everyone lives in harmony, embracing diversity, and sharing resources without the motivation of money.

To those who have saved for the future and are unable to look outside their comfort zone, not wanting any changes,  remember that we are only temporarily on this planet.  We owe it to nature and future generations to leave the environment free from pollution.  We owe it to ourselves not to trust this article or any other articles, but to do our own research and follow our conscience. 

We are living in interesting times when we can evoke change to the betterment of all living species on Earth. We are lucky to be alive, be able to contribute, and see the beginning of a newly evolving Era.

Remain strong.  Remain knowledgeable.

References:  Paraphrased from  1. Jaque Fresco, Venus project.  2. Justine Walker.  3. David Suzuki, Environmental Activist.  4.  Elizebeth Grossman, Yale Environment.  5. Jessica Satherly, Daily Mail, U.K.  6.  Joseph Mercola, M.D.  7. Deepak Chopra, M.D.   8. Elisebeth Brawl, Metro World News   9. Chris Zaporoski, Social Awakening, Common Ground.  10 . Carl Sagan, Astrophysicist.


Occupy Xmas – Mandi Schrader

28 Nov

We are entering the season of tinsel, ad nauseum canned carols and maxed out credit cards.

I’m not a Christmas lover. From the tacky red-and-green motifs, the bags and bags of paper purchased only to be torn up and wasted, the packed shopping centers and ugly sweaters it is not my favorite holiday for many reasons. Years of playing angels in my old church pageants didn’t help either. Angel I am not.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the spirit of warmth and light, peace on earth and family love. I love the spirit of generosity and hope. I love the cookies my mom sends every year. I love candy canes.

I hate the mall mobs, the stress, the pressure to spend spend spend and the measurement of love by the cost of a gift. And seriously can someone please write some new songs?

I challenge everyone out there, Occupiers and Occupy haters alike to rethink Christmas this year. I challenge you to make it about helping others; giving of yourself, not your wallet.

If you must spend money on gifts, go to locally owned small businesses. Support the people in your community, not the big box stores. Teach the kids that Christmas is about love, not video games. Go caroling door to door. Meet your neighbors or get to know them better. Leave your credit cards at home.

I have always been inspired by Dolly Parton’s stories of growing up in the back woods with 11 brothers and sisters. The family only ever had money for one gift. They hid it somewhere in the house and on Christmas morning all the kids searched for it. The one who found it, kept it. She spoke of those days with warmth and joy. No one ever demanded the latest trendy item, they had what they had.

I’m not suggesting we make everyone compete for one present. I AM suggesting that we reconsider the values that send us all into debt over the holidays. In whatever way we can, let’s stand up for peace, joy, good will towards ALL.

We of Occupy have joined together with people who once called us squatters, people who understand that whatever our methods we are doing this to make a better world. You can be part of it. Join us at Common Ground Calgary.

This isn’t just about Christmas, Yule, Hannuka or Kwanza. It is a fire we hope to light in the hearts of everyone and keep it glowing throughout the year. Together we can change the world. With kindness, courage and love we will succeed.

A new way of doing

28 Nov

Occupy and Anti-Occupy unite! We don’t have to fight each other anymore. The bridge is here:

Common Ground for people who care and want to get past all the stupid arguing. Brilliant.


Solution #2- Integrate Rather than Segregate! – Kym Chi

27 Nov

Integrate rather than segregate is actually one of the most valuable permaculture principles.  It speaks to looking at how things can work together as a whole instead of separating everything that is different and grouping everything together that is the same.

We see this a lot in our society whether it be in schools with cliques, in agriculture with monoculture, in our communities with cultural differences and in our current class system with upper, middle and lower class.  When we have too many of the same things grouped together in a system it eventually causes for that system to become stagnant as it ends up with too much of one thing and not enough of another.

How can we go about fixing this?

I know that when I was younger I was taught that being different was bad, that thinking outside of the box was silly.  How many other children are being taught this?  Most of us are taught to think within the current system instead of being encouraged to think of ways things could be different.  We perpetuate the cycle of segregation and we constantly fight integration.  The reality is that integration is the natural way.  If you look at a thriving natural system you see that there is a lot of diversity to make that system function.  It operates successfully and abundantly only because of the diversity it offers.  If we took this model into our current system we could also operate more efficiently.  I propose that we spend more time encouraging students in schools to think outside of the box.  This can be done by offering various teaching styles to students, surveying students and asking them for ideas on how we can do things differently and rewarding them for having different ideas instead of making them feel outcast or silly.  Encourage children to learn from each others differences and understand the value in diversity instead of being fearful of it.  The reason why I focus so much on schooling as our youth are our future and I know much of the thought patterns I have struggled to turn around come from my childhood and youth, we should start there.

Breeding openness to ideas amongst our youth will also open up our next generation to diversity and acceptance.  It will allow for others to really see the value in differences and alternative ideas.  In turn we will have a diverse system with enough of everything to make it function as a whole.

Love and Light,
Kym Chi

Why Don’t They Occupy? – James Jesso

26 Nov

The whole world is in an uproar and the Occupy movement is sitting smack dab in the middle. As if a stick stuck in the spokes of claiming business as usual during the most precarious times our civilization has ever seen.

We are facing the degradation of the environment, which is resulting in increased storm activity and sporadic weather patterns. We participate in a global economic system that creates abject servility in most of humanity to prop up destructive lifestyles indoctrinated by western culture and further grind the gears of a broken-down machine called the military industrial complex; a system on the verge of a collapse, an event will dwarf the Great Depressions of the 1920’s. We have mostly turned a blind eye to the nearly complete bastardization of North American democracy in the Untied States and Canada on behave of our disproportionately elected representatives. We are suffering the loss of the familial and social values of community, compassion and empathy, resulting in a drastic increase in homelessness, mental illness and crime. We are controlled into a total manipulation of our lives perpetrated by bias media conglomerates that are controlling our view of the world, furthering an agenda of sensationalism and profit instead of accurate depiction of the NEWS. We are seeing the results of the values of corporate profit-seeking utilizing psychological science and the corrupted media to convert our lives from ones of creation, wonder and honest relationships into that of good worker bee consumers, effectively materializing our emotional experience and creating an industry around useless products.

At a deeper level we are living out the cultivation of a fear-based forfeiting of our personal power to the systems that operate around us in the hopes that that system will take care of us. When in reality this system has been infiltrated and manipulated by egocentric, greedy intentions and whose function is only to extract your human essence as a resource and exploit it in the efforts of creating more profit, taking from us more then we are able to give and leaving us spiritually void, confused and over consumptive. We are left to try to fill this espoused void within ourselves through a material satisfaction presented up by the same system that helped us deplete ourselves. A material satisfaction that ultimately does nothing to enrich our souls and only results in a deeper sense a void, effectively stealing from our ability to embrace the true wonder of life.

The Occupy Movement is an uprising of people around the world, from all races, ages, sexual orientation, religions, political affiliation and every other diverse aspect of our existence standing up and saying “It doesn’t have to be like this. We don’t want it to be like this. We see where it is broken and we want to try something new. Let’s talk about this and make a real, lasting, mutually beneficial change”. From an aware and realistic perspective, this is exactly what the entire planet is in need of right now. So why isn’t there a higher ratio of people on this planet signing up?

Though there are infinitude different contexts and personal reasons for resistance, I will attempt to address 3 generalized reasons: Projection, apathy and personal gain.


Without going into depth on the psychology and philosophy that founds these upcoming ideas, to me, the Occupy movement is an externalization of an inner sense of unrest that is universal throughout the collected consciousness. It is people standing up to take their power back and use it in the effort to create a lasting change that is beneficial to all people. However, part of this process requires some level of taking responsibility for the role you have played in creating the problems we face. Not very many people are ready to do that.

A lot of people around the world – especially in places like Canada where we have been blinded to the tyrannical actions being taken by our increasingly fascist government – don’t support occupy because they are resistant to accept responsibility for their own destructive actions and inactions. When we see people

talking ignorantly about Occupy, writing brash blog rants, coming down to try to circumvent intellectual rapport with childish rhetoric or just sitting at home hating Occupy, what we are seeing is the their own inner frustration with themselves being projected onto an event that forces an address of the source of this anxiety, lack of self-love and inner confusions.

Though the source is the broken societal system being run and perpetuated by the same people that we have forfeited our power over to in hopes of security and prosperity, it is hard to look up and accept that the people you put so much trust in have betrayed you. So instead you hate the person who attempts to reveal the truth to you, fearing the lost sense of identity that will come when they accept that the paradigm they have built their identity off of was a fallacy.


I find that a lot of people in my demographic: 20 something, intelligent, somewhat engaged, working hard to get by, struggling but ultimately working it out as best as possible, are the ones showing the most perverse apathy, or at least here in Calgary. Though many of our grandparents and parents were forced out of their small towns and into the city in search of social-economic prosperity and bought heavily into the system, the generation of current young adults — if not deeply invested in capitalizing off the currently established system of disparity — have lost most trust in the government. With a shrug and a Whatever they allow their power to make change be forfeited over to accepting that there is nothing that can be done: “that’s just the way it is”. So they go about living their current social context knowing that they’d love to see real change but instead of creating even minor action, they just focus their energy into social culture. Avoiding dealing with the frustration of recognizing the power being stolen from them by failing to embody their true inner power to create a better world, even when that opportunity to do so is laid out in front of them.

When we become so manipulated by the current establishment that we allow the apathy it breeds to inform our decisions, we leave room for those in power to make the choices that deeply affect us to be based on the influence of corporate lobbyists. Because these lobbied opinions are the only opinions our supposed representatives hear, these choices not made with human welfare and the progress of humanity’s true value in mind. These choices end up being most beneficial to large corporations and the investment portfolio of country itself.

As young privileged Canadians, we mostly have yet to truly experience the suffering that that would inspire us to step outside of this indoctrinated apathy and take responsibility for the world we will eventually inherit, complete with all is broken parts and debt. I wonder how much social-economic and political violence against us it will take to shake such self-centered and weak-minded thinking out of the Canadian youth.

Personal Gain

The currently established system does benefit some, which may be part of the problem but is also part of what continues to hold it up. There are many people, especially in Alberta who have and continue to gain from the puerile extraction of both environmental and human resources for the purpose of profit gain. People who have worked really hard to climb the corporate ladder and see Occupy as a threat to that. Though this is incredibly egocentric, destructive and selfish, I don’t believe it is reason to cast-out, hate or judge the people in this position. They have identified with a dying system and to see a new form of social life starting to thrive off their host’s soon crumbled ashes is terrifying. So on behave of the system they identify with they fight out like a wounded animal cornered by animal services, whose only intention is to help them get back to health.

I know there are people who recognize the severity of global disparity and actively choose to continue to profit of it for their own interests, some who have even had a hand in creating this situation in effort to profit off it. But I also know that that perspective is not universal amongst the “%1”. Like the projection I

spoke of earlier, they do not want to face up to taking responsibility for their actions or forfeit the lifestyle they have worked for, so there is a subconscious deletion of any information that does not support their current view of reality. To a person in this situation – certain outspoken Calgarians are a great example – there really is no problem here.

With the direction this machine is moving, I highly doubt they will be able to avoid the truth of our world forever. As cost of living and resources rises with debt and inflation and the personal rights of being a living natural person are further circumvented, eventually they will feel the violence being perpetrated by the current system and their choices will change.

Regardless of how hard this dying system fights to avoid the recognition of its inevitable demise, change is already here. Regardless of whether or not Occupy camps are taken down, change is here. However, what that change looks like will be determined by what our choices are. Do we continue to forfeit our personal power and allow apathy to further the destruction of every valuable aspect of organic human life for the sake of a small group’s benefit? Or do we take responsibility for our lives and for life in general and actually make some level of effort?

Reading articles and watching YouTube is great, keep informing yourself. However, if you think that just posting links or complaining on Facebook or twitter will accomplish anything, you are sadly mistaken. Awareness is key, but without intelligent action to go with that awareness, it is valueless. Put your energy into something bigger then your own social interests and help create the world you know in your heart is possible.

Stop listening to mainstream media’s lies, stop projecting your problems on other others and stop perpetuating hearsay. Start being honest, embody your inner power and BE more. You’ve already got everything to you need to change the world; you just have to own it.

James W. Jesso

Why I Occupy – Donna Clarke

25 Nov
Everybody who disagrees with the Occupy movement seems to think that if you work hard you can be successful in this city, country or world! (This, I realise, is a bit of a presumption.) SO WHY AREN’T I RICH AND SUCCESSFUL? I went to university and got a degree and a large debt. I paid off that debt in full. I have worked for over 20 years. I work hard. I work a full time job during the day and two evenings a week. I don’t have any benefits with either job. I need $5000 in dental work. I pay my taxes. I do not have a luxurious lifestyle. I take public transit or ride my bicycle. I seldom drink and don’t do drugs. I have volunteered at a few inner city community centers. I don’t have a TV or own property. I help out my friends when I can and have been too generous at times. I am $12,000 in debt and don’t have any savings. If i broke my leg tomorrow I would be unable to pay my bills. i want to live in a just society where people care about each other, where I am safe and secure. THIS IS WHY I SUPPORT THE OCCUPY CALGARY MOVEMENT.

Regarding “Occupy Harper” and the Omnibus crime bill – James Jesso

25 Nov

Dear Prime Minister Harper,
I have followed Bill c-10 for sometime now and it has become obvious that the majority of informed Canadians, many of their representatives and organizations including the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, are against it. Today marks a Nation wide protest and outcry against this bill and I felt it appropriate to take some time to write to you and let you know that I am also personally against this bill.

In fact, I am appalled that it has even come to the point that it has in the house. Canada is supposed to be a land of opportunity and peaceful community and to implement this type of law, one that exists in contradiction to the facts surrounding crime rate in Canada and what policies are most effective for reducing crime, seems grossly ignorant.

Tracy Velázquez, executive director of the Washington-based Justice Policy Institute, has publicly stated “If passed, C-10 will take Canadian justice policies 180 degrees in the wrong direction, and Canadian citizens will bear the costs.”

In addition to the obliviously ignorant justification towards the mandatory sentences proposed by this law and further perpetuation of a fascist state that was once a democratic Canada, it is a far too expensive decision. We are already cutting spending on important aspects of our country such as civil service jobs, education, healthcare, Environment Canada (which I am completely opposed to your destructive decision to cut its federal spending) and many other areas as well. According to the John Howard Society of Manitoba, who calculated the costs of this perturbation of Canadian values, the cost surrounding this bill will be $2 billion a year in total. This number includes both federal and provincial costs and averages out to $1400 per tax-payer.

It is absolutely ridiculous that we would spend such money on a policy change that has been shown through the example of other areas in the world to be ineffective. Judge John Creuzot of the Dallas County Court out of Texas, known for their tough on crime policies has said “You will spend billions and billions and billions on locking people up, and there will come a time where the public says, ‘Enough!’ And you’ll wind up letting them out.” This man speaks of personal experience; do we really need to pay to learn from the same mistakes?

Furthermore, if it is crime that we are worried about maybe we should begin to make laws that address the main reasons for crime, such as social-economic instability and encumbrance. We could start by creating laws that prevent the further hindering of Canadians through a debt load earned by the federal government borrowing money from Charted Banks. Where the responsibility of paying the gross compounded interest charged by these private corporations is placed onto the backs of Canadian tax-payers. Maybe we could start to use the Bank of Canada for these loans and the generation of money instead of the private banking corporations?  Using the bank of Canada as it was intended to be used when it was created. Maybe we could even increase funding of social programs instead of increasing corporate tax cuts like we have been over the last 10 years?

Crime rates have been steady dropping over the last 30 years. What is it that we have to fix so badly that we would further steal from the pockets of Canadians and the social programs that are supposed to create a sense of well-being and quality of life? In the mist of a world-wide economic calamity, why increase spending on overcrowding our prison system? What is Canada trying to accomplish here? To what extent will the federal government go with creating unnecessary regulations and laws, poorly allocating their spending and making clearly selfish considerations towards political policy, before we start making intelligent decisions?

The Omnibus Crime Bill C-10 is a fast track to not only a North American breed of fascism but also a completely irresponsible allocation of our budget. As a concerned, informed and intelligent citizen I request a complete stop on Bill C-10 or a referendum to decide whether it is to be implemented. Clearly a bill that would not only disrupt the lives of lives of all Canadians but also destroy the once was diplomatic value of Canada, would be decided up by the people not by a party elected into power on 24% of the eligible vote. It would be pretty clear to Canadians and to the world the state of democracy in Canada if this bill passes, as I highly doubt it would pass in a true democracy.

May God bless love, wisdom and compassion onto you are your family today.


The Robin Hood Tax – By Oliva Hawley

24 Nov
We have heard the news talk about the Robin Hood Tax…or have we?  The media may have mentioned it, but have never actually explained to the public what it is exactly.  Well, I am here to tell you all about it and the benefits from adopting this tax.
What is it?
Basically, the Robin Hood Tax (will be refered to as “RHT”) is a VERY tiny tax of 0.05%, to be levied against all financial transactions in order to raise resources for fighting poverty and climate change at home and abroad.  The RHT would cover financial transactions through stock exchanges, futures exchanges and any other facility established for the purpose of trading (exchange trading) by financial market actors.  If you are feeling a bit lost right now, it’s ok.  So was I when I first researched this.  Here is a short rundown of some of the financial jargon I’ve just talked about.
1. Financial Market Actors
     These can be broken down into 3 catagories.
     The issuer is the person with the commodity to be sold, the investor is the person interested in purchasing said commodity and the intermediary is the person who facilitates the contracts between the issuer and investor.
2. Stock and Futures Exchanges.
     The Stock Exchange provide companies with the facility to raise capital for expansion through selling shares of their company to the investing public and Futures Exchange are contracts to buy a specific quantity of a commodity to be delivered at a specific time in the future.
Are you with me still?  Awesome!  Lets continue!
Who will pay?
The banks and other financial sectors.  The RTH would ensure that they would pay their fair share of the economic recovery.  It would levy transactions involving stocks, bonds, foreign exchange and derivitaves (including trade of futures and options related to the stocks, interest rate securities, currencies and commodities.)  It would be limited to financial market actors only.  Ordinary consumer transactions such as payment for good, pay cheques and cross border remittances would not be subject to the RHT.  Short term interbank lending and Central Bank operations would also be exluded.
To put that into layman’s terms…the financial sector would pay and it would take a HUGE load off the average human worker.  Sounds good to me so far!
The purpose of this tax would provide world governments with considerable revenues which could be used for fullfilling social policy goals.  Did you know that the Austrian Institute for Economic Research has estimated that a global transaction tax of 0.05% could yield around $650 BILLION a year???  And that is AFTER a drastic reduction in the market as a result of this tax!
What for?
The money that could be collected from this tax could be used for stimulus packages North AND South as deficits and public debts balloon and to help fill the funding shortfall for acheiving the Milenium Development Goals of the UN and supporting developing countries in their climate change adaptation efforts and their transitions to greener economies.
If you aren’t sure of what the United Nations Millenium Development Goals are, here they are.
Millenium Development Goals of the UN
     1. End hunger and poverty
     2. Universal education
     3. Gender equality
     4. Maternal health
     5. Combat HIV/AIDS
     6. Environmental sustainability
     7. Global partnership
The money would be collected in the individual stock exchanges where trading occurs through electronic settlement systems used on all important exchanges.  Ideally, the RHT would be introduced globally, but this does not preclude contries from introducing it unilaterally.
Who supports the Robin Hood Tax?
Much of the support for the RHT is centered in Europe and other global regions, as well as with the academic community.  France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, Austria, and Belgium, all support the Robin Hood Tax. The United States is warming up to it, as is Brazil. The EU parliament and European Commission have spoken out in favour of the Robin Hood Tax. Former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Yaga Reddy, came out in favour of the tax in March.
Now for the fun part…the Canadian Context.

Between December 1998 and March 1999, Canadians rallied in support of a Private Member’s Motion in the House of Commons, which stated, “that in the opinion of the House, the government should enact a tax on financial transactions in concert with the international community.”

As a result of widespread public support, the motion passed by a resounding margin of 164-83 on March 23, 1999. Canada became the FIRST country in the WORLD to declare its intention to work towards the adoption of a tax to control international currency speculation.

Unfortunately, the current government is showing no leadership on the issue. Stephen Harper and Jim Flaherty have both as yet rejected the idea of the tax.

Members of all three opposition parties have shown support for a tax on financial transactions.

The fact that both our “esteemed” Prime Minister and Minister of Finance have rejected this goes to show just how corporate our government is.

All that we are, is a result of what we have thought.  ~Buddha

Bylaw Bill and the Midnight Raid – Mandi Schrader

23 Nov

Many Calgarians have complained about the city’s lack of action against Occupy Calgary. We at the Free Press would like to make a point of thanking Calgary Police Service for not pepper spraying anyone and continuing to protect our rights as human beings to safety and security of the person.

Despite the serving of 24 hour eviction notices last Tuesday, there was little action taken to enforce them. At least until 11:30 pm Monday Nov 21.

I arrived on the scene to find a police van blocking Macleod Trail and a large group of bylaw officers removing tents under CPS supervision. I approached one officer and asked him to tell me what was happening. he told me they were removing unoccupied tents. I asked him what would become of the tents and the possessions they contained and he assured me that they would be held and the owners could contact Bylaw about claiming them.

This did not turn out to be entirely true. More on that in a moment.

The Olympic Plaza demonstrators were undaunted. Even as the tents were pulled down and tossed into the back of a truck, we unanimously declared, “The Occupation does not end here.” Passages from the charter were chanted and songs were sung into the chilly air as police cameras filmed the demonstrators who stood together to show that the info tent at least was definitely Occupied.

There are still many tents standing. The Occupation of the Plaza continues.

I spoke that night to a bylaw officer who asked that his name be withheld. He said to me, “Our department has laid off three guys this week and asked three more to take early retirement because of budget cuts. We just had to go down by the river and do this same thing to a camp that I think belonged to a homeless family. They are going to come back to find the little they had is gone. This isn’t right.”

It certainly wasn’t  right for one homeless mother to be. She returned after a visit to the hospital to the camp which had served as her only shelter and safety to find all of her belongings gone.

And where did they go? Several demonstrators found that their personal effects had been discarded. Blankets, clothing and other personal effects were dumped in a nearby lot.

CBC radio interviewed Bill Bruce, head of Calgary Bylaw service about his reasons for entering the camp in the middle of the night with no warning. that podcast can be listened to here.

I especially like the part where he terminates the interview. 

Bill Bruce claims that the warning came in the form of 24 hour eviction notices served the week before. The question of why they did not enforce them 24 hours later in the daytime instead of a week later by dark of night remains unanswered.

Later that night a homeless first nations man named John Green wandered into the camp. The man claimed to have been beaten up by CPS officers before being dropped off at the camp where he says they told him, “Go to the tents.”

It is true that Mr. Green was intoxicated at the time and we are unable to verify the story. However if it is true it seems to amount to a kind of implicit acknowledgement of the camp as a safe space for homeless people. 

The next morning, spirits and temperatures rose and attitudes remain optimistic. Though it is only a matter of time before further action is taken. We hope it won’t be done in such a cowardly fashion.

Occunomics 101 – The Alberta Advantage: It has not trickled down

23 Nov

The economic recession that began in 2008 affected Canada more gently than any other G7 country, and Alberta, whose economy is overwhelmingly reliant on energy sector commodities, has fared better than the other provinces. This, in theory, makes us one of the most fortunate populations in the world. But for middle and lower income Albertans, life has only become more difficult over recent decades.

John Ralston Saul, the eminent Canadian economic and political thinker, warned that “the exploitation of natural resources does not tend to produce a stable, balanced economy. To the contrary. Commodity markets were and are subject to incessant devastating swings. This sort of economy almost invariably produces an extreme social divide between a few rich and many poor.” The facts support Saul’s assertion, and this social divide is happening at an increasing pace in Alberta.

In fact, while Alberta’s Gross Domestic Product has steadily risen, our disposable income has not kept up. A report published by the Alberta College of Social Workers with the Parkland Institute states that “the middle class is at increasing risk of collapsing into low income; poverty is growing among those who work full-time, full-year, during a period when Alberta experienced greater economic growth more quickly than any other jurisdiction in Canada or the global north.” The ACSW report summarizes that “despite increased hours of work and a significant increase in the intensity of work, many in the middle-income deciles have little to show for their hard work, except fewer hours to enjoy with their families.” It continues, “Albertans have by far the lowest leisure time in the nation” citing 200 hours less per year than the average Canadian.

Of course, this would not be so worrying were it not the case that Alberta’s cost of living is increasing at a staggering rate: 134 per cent from 1985 to 2005, for example. Alberta food banks report a 75% increase in usage since the recession, with November 2011 breaking all records for Canadian food bank usage. Homelessness in Calgary increased by 458 per cent between 2006 and 2008 (the most recent figures). As well, Canadian personal debt is rising while personal savings are falling, as we borrow more to make ends meet. If unchecked, these trends will gradually squeeze more Albertans into poverty.

But if Alberta’s GDP keeps increasing, having more than tripled since 1985, where is the money going? The ratio of the Albertans with income over $100 000 to those who make less than $40 000 has nearly tripled as well, over the same period. What this indicates is that the so-called Alberta Advantage has benefited the wealthy few, while the rest of us are only working harder to get by.

– Arran Fisher

Canada’s economic resilience

GDP growth by province:

J. R. Saul, “Reflections of a Siamese Twin” Ch. 9

Alberta College of Social Workers Policy Framework 2010

Canadian Consumer Price Index, by city

Alberta food bank usage, Calgary Herald article

Canadian food bank usage

Canadian personal debt, Statistics Canada

Calgary Homelessness Statistics

Human Resources and Skill Development Canada, Satisfaction in LIfe study