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[P]
The death of a great leader

By Inoshiro in Culture
Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 05:15:33 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

On Thursday, the 28th of September 2000, Pierre Elliot Trudeau died.  In his passing, thousands mourned his loss.  1 in 200 Canadians over 18 came to see him before we was finally buried in a state funeral on the 4th of October 2000.  What did this man do to touch all of these people?


Trudeau joined in the liberal party in 1965 after he was invited (with some other higher profile lawyers and teachers) to run for office.  After he won his seat, he worked hard and became the Minister of Justice in 1967.  As the minister of justice, he introduced reforms for the laws on divorce, as well as working to legalize homosexuality, abortion, and contraception.

When he introduced his bill, Trudeau uttered a famous line: "The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation!"  Trudeau meant that laws controlling consensual sex should be kept to a minimum.  This is by far the sanest thing I have ever heard about sexual issues in modern times.  Most politicians seem to feel the need to play towards one special interest group or another, but Trudeau had a vision for Canada of a proper and just society.

When Trudeau took his place as the leader of the liberal party in 1968, he brought new ideas of equality and fairness to the Canadian people.  After the passing of the Official Languages Act in 1969, every product in Canada was labelled bilingually, and any government service could be had in English or French.  This was his first step towards unifying the two halves of Candian society that split along language lines.

When the FLQ, a group bent on separating Quebec from Canada by force of arms, kidnapped two political officials in the fall of 1970, Trudeau used War Measures Act to bring in military force of arms.  Unfortunately, Pierre LaPorte was murdered before these terrorists were finally brought to justice.  When a reporter asked Trudeau about how how far he would extend the powers of the government to deal with these terrorists, he replied that he'd take it as far as neccesary.  The October Crisis ended an era of innocence in Canada.

At the helm for the 1970s, Trudeau steered the waters of the energy problems and heavy inflation.  Along the way he was the first to open diplomatic relations with communist China, abolished the death penalty, and campaigned for the 'non' choice to Quebec's 1980 referendum. 

Internationally, he supported Cuba and looked for ways to aid third-world countries in growing.  During his crusades for nuclear disarmament at a time when his NATO allies (Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher) wanted to add hundreds of new nuclear missiles to their stock piles.  He was quoted as saying, "we already have enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world several times over, why do we need more?"

During these talks with Reagan to get a nuclear disarmament treaty in place, one of the US officials in the White House called Trudeau a "potsmoking peacenick." Trudeau, in his usual media pleasing manner, said that some "third rate pipsqueak" had a problem with peace, but that he'd still work for peace to media while Reagan smiled in the background.  PM Trudeau was directly responsible for a lot of body of the treaties that Reagan and Gorbachev signed a few years later.

One of his last acts as Prime Minister was to repatriate the British North America act, giving Canada its own separate consitution.  The document, called the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was Trudeau's crowning acheivement in office.

In his 16 years as prime minister, he did a lot of things not only to modernize and stabilize the country, but to help the people.  John Lennon is quoted as saying, "If all politicians were like Mr.  Trudeau, there'd be world peace."  He retired in 1984 to private law practice, leaving behind an eventful career.

His funeral took place at the Notre-Dame Basilica, as was attended by many.  Some figures of note included Fidel Castro, Jimmy Carter (Gerald Ford had wanted to attend, but couldn't due to his health), and Leonard Cohen.  A era of Canada was buried with him -- for better or for worse, he changed a nation.  Hopefully we shall see his like in the future.

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The death of a great leader | 112 comments (106 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
Its a good day to learn (3.50 / 12) (#3)
by kunsan on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 04:15:43 PM EST

I consider myself somewhat of a history buff. As I started reading this, I realized I had no knowledge of Canadian history (other than vague remembrances of some part of Canada wanting so succede from whole). It shames me to say it, but I know tons of useless trivia about South American, European, Asian, African, & other nations, but I am utterly ignorant of the history of a country that shares a border with my own.

Thanks Inoshiro, you've lit the fire of someone's curiousity... Time to go fill in some of that missing data.

--

With a gun in your mouth, you only speak in vowels -- Fight Club
Re: Its a good day to learn (3.00 / 4) (#35)
by naasking on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 07:53:24 PM EST

but I am utterly ignorant of the history of a country that shares a border with my own.

You're not the only American, believe me. In fact, it surprises me that I didn't learn much about Trudeau and his accomplishments while I was in school and I was born, raised and currently LIVE in Canada(and incidentally, am still attending school). I had never even heard of the October Crisis until recently.

Methinks that Americans and Canadians both need to do a little studying



[ Parent ]
Re: Its a good day to learn (2.60 / 5) (#41)
by aphrael on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 08:20:50 PM EST

I had never even heard of the October Crisis until recently.

Wow. I'd never heard of it until reading your post. I can only imagine what would happen if something similar happened in the US --- I expect that the government, and popular, responses would be savage.

Speaking of such things, I was reading an interesting article in this month's Current History which alleged that if the US were faced with something similar to Chechnya, the US response would be far, far worse than Russia's has been.

[ Parent ]

Re: Its a good day to learn (2.50 / 2) (#51)
by CrazyJub on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 10:31:57 PM EST

You probably wgo to school in Quebec like I did. If so, you won't learn about it anytime soon. My 10th grade history couse (which aparently hasnt changed in 10+ years according to the Montreal Gazette) does not look kindly on P.E.T. And it kind of ends in the 1960's.

Trudeau was a great leader, and an inspiration for everyone.

[ Parent ]
Trudeau -- A Dissenter's View (2.86 / 29) (#8)
by Lode Runner on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 04:37:06 PM EST

Someday soon Canada is going to wholly absorbed by the USA and you have Trudeau to thank for this.

Anyone who is thinking of turning Trudeau into some kind of Canadian icon should read Eric Margolis's article, "Trudeau, Canada's Great Helmsman".

You can find the article in its entirety at:
http://www.foreigncorrespondent.com/archive/trudeau.html

I've also posted the entire article here. I know this violates copyright, but Margolis's site is slow and I figure it all balances out because this serves as a kind of advertisement for him, which is something he, as a marginalized, outspoken journalist, very badly needs.

---------------------------------

TRUDEAU: CANADA'S GREAT HELMSMAN
By
Eric S. Margolis 8 October 2000

TORONTO - `Speak not ill of the dead,' the ancient sages cautioned. Sometimes, however, we must.

As now, when we watch the memory of Pierre Trudeau, who died last week, being cynically manipulated, grossly distorted, and cloyingly sentimentalized by his Liberal Party heirs to win votes in upcoming elections. Trudeau's sainted ghost is to be used like the corpse of the Spanish hero, El Cid, strapped onto a horse and sent into battle.

Most Canadians have been brainwashed into believing the charming, charismatic Trudeau was a great prime minister who built a strong, prosperous, humane Canada that was morally and socially superior to the United States. This fable was charmingly echoed by the increasingly leftish Toronto Globe & Mail, in one of many weepy hagiographic tributes to St. Pierre: `PM Jean Chretien...considers himself the main defender of Mr Trudeau's liberal vision of a just and compassionate Canada.'

Let me precisely quantify the costs of Trudeau's `just and compassionate Canada,' both for Canadians who wish to continue Trudeauismo, and for Americans who are being told by Democrats that socialized Canada offers a far more successful and humane culture than the USA:

  • In 1968, when Trudeau went from rich, socialist professor who had never held a real job in his life to prime minister, Canada's national debt was a modest $11.3 billion; the federal deficit was zero. When Trudeau left office in 1984, the debt had mushroomed to $128 billion; the deficit to $25 billion annually. But this was just the beginning.
  • Canada's Great Helmsman created a vast bureaucracy, and massive welfare programs to buy votes for his Liberal Party. He restricted trade and free markets, imposing confiscatory taxes.

Trudeau drove Canada so far left that today's opposition Canadian Alliance - a moderate centrist party by world standards - is routinely termed `rightwing' or `far right.' The state-owned Canadian Broadcasting Corp (which I call the Ministry of Truth), teachers unions, the monoculture leftiss academia, and left-leaning media keep brainwashing Canadians that high taxes and big government are good for Canada and the essence of national identity. Anyone who questions rule by bureaucracy, deficit spending, unlimited immigration, or social engineering is denounced as a far-right racist.

When Trudeau entered office, Ottawa spent 30% of Canada's total economic output(the same as the USA). When he left, government spending had skyrocketed to almost 53%. With half of Canadians working directly or indirectly for Ottawa, the nation became infected with bureaucratic and union work ethics - state-sponsored laziness.

Trudeau and his successor quickly learned a basic strategy of Europe's socialist governments: if the state can employ over half of voters, they will always vote for the party of government.

Government is supposed to serve taxpayers. But under Trudeau and his Liberal Party, it became Canadians who labored to serve an increasingly disdainful, autocratic government. Canadians were gulled into believing that when Ottawa taxed them ten dollars, and gave back two, they were getting `benefits' and `social services.'

Many adored Trudeau - but I'd also be adored if I had a hundred billion of borrowed taxpayers dollars to give away.

  • In 1970, the US, Switzerland, and Canada were the world's three richest nations. Canada's robust dollar traded around US $1.06 - ie 6% more than the US dollar. Today, thanks to Trudeau's socialism, and Brian Mulroney's failure to uproot it, the dollar has sunk to a pathetic, humiliating $ .66 cents.
  • C$100 invested in Canada in 1970 would be worth only 66 cents today. Little wonder foreign investment, the lifeblood of Canada's growth, dried up. Most Canadians didn't understand their assets have depreciated, in real value, by 33%. By relentlessly devaluing the dollar, Ottawa literally stole people's savings.
  • After Trudeau retired, his unstoppable socialist juggernaut picked up speed. Canada's federal debt - the amount Ottawa borrowed in the past that remains unpaid - has skyrocketed to C$ 576 billion - $54,000 per taxpayer.
  • Almost third of your current federal taxes go to paying interest on this debt - just like on a credit card with an unpaid balance. In 1999 alone, Canadians paid $41.5 billion debt interest, four times what Ottawa spent on defense.
  • Add $ 2.3 trillion of unfunded pension liabilities, and the figure rises to a staggering $244,000 owed per taxpayer. Canada's `just' and `compassionate' society is built on a mountain of debt, passed on to coming generations.

In 1970, Canda had one of the lowest debts -and lowest taxes - among industrial nations. Today, Canada ranks as one of three leading debtor nations, with socialist-run Belgium and Italy. While Ottawa's annual deficit was ended by imposing crushing taxes, the monster debt overhang remains. The US is projected to pay off its entire national debt by 2012. At Ottawa's puny repayment rate, it will take Canada 288 more years!

  • Behind the charade of peacekeeping, Trudeau destroyed Canada's once powerful armed forces, leaving the nation a helpless military eunuch, with virtually no international influence, and totally dependant on the much-reviled `aggressive' US for national defense.
  • The crown jewel of Canadian socialism, state-run medicine, is a mess. `The cruel, heartless, capitalist' US spends 13.5% of national income on health; Canada spends 9.5%. Unemployment in Canada's `compassionate, gentler' society has run 3.5-5 points higher than in the US. Canada's smartest, most entreprenurial people are fleeing south. Canada has become an economic, intellectual and cultural backwater - bureaucratic Ottawa, writ large.
  • Trudeau was ardently anti-American, even allowing Cuba's intelligence service to operate against the US from Montreal. He despised the free market, tried to transform Canada into another socialist Sweden, and fawned on marxist dictators like Mao, Nyere, and Castro.

Thirty years ago, Canada was rich, powerful and respected. Three decades of bullying Trudeau socialism undermined Canada's economy, the core of a nation's strength, and encouraged separatism in Quebec.

The immense historic economic damage inflicted by Trudeau and his successors on Canada may have fatally weakened this once robust nation to the point where joining the US becomes inevitable. This prospect, trillions in debt, and a 66 cent Canadian rupee are Trudeau's real legacy. The great grandchildren of today's Canadians will still be paying for Pierre Trudeau's `just and compassionate society'.

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2000

For more by Eric Margolis, point your browser at:
<A HREF="http://www.foreigncorrespondent.com"www.foreigncorrespondent.com



Re: Trudeau -- A Dissenter's View (3.00 / 6) (#9)
by Matrix on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 05:08:10 PM EST

Yes, but his government tried to do some good things too. Putting the right to free speach and private ownership of property in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was one. But, IIRC, that got blocked by the NDP.

And compare it to how much the RECENT Liberal government has messed up things.


Matrix
"...Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions. It's the only way to make progress."
- Lord Vetinari, pg 312 of the Truth, a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett
[ Parent ]

Re: Trudeau -- A Dissenter's View (3.00 / 1) (#54)
by Dr Caleb on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 12:04:27 AM EST

From what I read in my copy of the 1981 "Charter of Rights and Freedoms" (ISBN 0-662-51913-2) Section 2:

2. Everyone has the following fundemental freedoms:
a) freedom of conscience and religion;
b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other communication;
c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
d) freedom of association.

This is from a copy passed before the British Parlament passed it in 1982, but I found no mention of private ownership of property.


Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Ahhh... (2.00 / 1) (#81)
by Matrix on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 03:00:43 PM EST

Hmm... Ok, then. Are you sure there weren't editing changes between the 1981 and 82 ones?


Matrix
"...Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions. It's the only way to make progress."
- Lord Vetinari, pg 312 of the Truth, a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett
[ Parent ]

Mmmm.. (3.50 / 2) (#91)
by Dr Caleb on Sat Oct 14, 2000 at 03:16:10 AM EST

No, I'm not sure, that's why I quoted the dates etc ;-)

I sure hope they kept it pretty much the same....


Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Re: Trudeau -- A Dissenter's View (3.22 / 9) (#11)
by aphrael on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 05:18:46 PM EST

I've also posted the entire article here. I know this violates copyright, but Margolis's site is slow and I figure it all balances out because this serves as a kind of advertisement for him, which is something he, as a marginalized, outspoken journalist, very badly needs.

This brings up an interesting issue that I think badly needs to be considered by the people running K5. Their position on copyright issues, i'm certain, is that if your post violates copyright, it's *your* problem --- you own the post and are the only person responsible for it.

The problem is, that may not hold up in US courts, if it's ever brought to the test. The rough analysis of the law i've been able to discern by watching cases as they are decided is that *if you exert no editorial control over content*, you are in essence a common carrier and so not liable if someone whose post you are carrying violates local law --- but if you do exert editorial control (say, like oldskool prodigy), you can be held responsible for not actively preventing posts which violate local law in the same fashion that you exert editorial control.

As I read this, it means that, while slashdot would be immune to copyright violation suits based on user posting, K5 would not, because the admins actively kill spam and trolls (but not copyright violations).

I seriously hope Rusty has at some point conferred with a lawyer about this.



[ Parent ]
Re: Trudeau -- A Dissenter's View (3.00 / 4) (#17)
by Michael Leuchtenburg on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 05:52:29 PM EST

This is why the "admin's deleting stuff" model should go away, and only the "trusted users marking stuff way down" model should remain. That's enough to make it so we don't have to deal with crap, and it protects the admins from legal retribution as the user community is doing the deleting, and is even choosing the people who can delete (as opposed to just marking down).

[ #k5: dyfrgi ]
[ TINK5C ]
[ Parent ]
OFFTOPIC: Feeding The Trolls (3.00 / 1) (#71)
by AndrewH on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 12:11:05 PM EST

This is why the "admin's deleting stuff" model should go away, and only the "trusted users marking stuff way down" model should remain.

The presence of a large amount of undeleted junk at Slashdot encourages disrespect for the site and is a major cause of the troll culture there. You may be suprised how many of the trolls post regularly here, and may be unaware that the two most active stories in the Slashdot Hall of fame were spammed by a K5 contributor.

If you still have ways to control the S/N ratio without deleting posts, a lot of people would be interested to hear it.


John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr — where are you now that we need you?
[ Parent ]
I think you misunderstood me (4.00 / 1) (#102)
by Michael Leuchtenburg on Sun Oct 15, 2000 at 01:44:33 PM EST

I wasn't saying "Don't delete posts". Well, I guess I was. I was saying "Don't delete posts in a way that leaves you legally vulnerable."

Marking a post down to 0 essentially "deletes" it. It can't be seen except by trusted users (and currently, I assume, people with the godly moderator status, however Scoop represents that, such as Rusty and Inoshiro). Thus the s/n is controlled, as you don't see the noise.

Maybe to reduce the load on trusted users, posts marked 0 by some percentage of the people that moderated it could be fully deleted? Then even the trusted users s/n ratio would be preserved, though still not as much as the untrusted users. The trust doesn't mean they must look at them, just that they can. Might be nice to let them turn that off, if they can't already (I've never been trusted; I post frivolously).

About how many trusted users are there at any given time, anyways?

[ #k5: dyfrgi ]
[ TINK5C ]
[ Parent ]

Re: Trudeau -- A Dissenter's View (2.44 / 9) (#18)
by ubu on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 06:01:04 PM EST

Good posting. Even if nobody pays attention, at least the facts are there. The topic write-up made me wonder if I were thinking of the same Pierre Trudeau.

Ubu
--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
Re: Trudeau -- A Dissenter's View (4.00 / 9) (#20)
by Spinoza on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 06:30:51 PM EST

This is really tawdry stuff from an obvious ratbag with a chip on his shoulder. Margolis clearly has some considerable political differences from Trudeau, but that doesn't justify this sort of smearing. The article is entirely one-sided, packed with cheap shots and statistical smoke and mirrors tricks. To read this, one would think that Canada were a banana republic on the brink of collapse!

Margolis' characterisation of any government service as "socialism" marks him as a single-minded libertarian who places his personal (and somewhat outmoded) principles of economics before the greater good. While you may agree with Margolis on these issues, I would still like to hear why a Canadian dollar valued at $0.66 should be considered "humiliating", or what a C$100 investment in 1970 would be worth today in real terms and not the almost certainly oversimplified analysis provided by here.

Finally, I would like to know what is so wrong with reducing a nation's military. If only all nations were willing to become "helpless eunuchs", world peace might be achievable. Of course, rabid militarist flag-wavers like Margolis would have considerable trouble with the idea that a nation does not need an army.

[ Parent ]

Re: Trudeau -- A Dissenter's View (2.20 / 5) (#26)
by magney on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 07:21:23 PM EST

And if all but one nation became "helpless eunuchs", that one nation would rule the world in short order...

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

Re: Trudeau -- A Dissenter's View (3.50 / 4) (#30)
by Spinoza on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 07:30:13 PM EST

Oh, then we had best all waste as much taxpayer money as possible on guns and bombs and killing machines, then. Seems sane enough...

[ Parent ]

Re: Trudeau -- A Dissenter's View (2.50 / 2) (#56)
by Dr Caleb on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 12:10:06 AM EST

You've obvoiusly never been near a military base recently. More aptly your post should read "waste as much taxpayer money as possible on sticks and rocks and loud insults,..."

Until Britan delivers our new submarines (first class 1970's technology!!) West Edmonton Mall will have more submarines than the Canadian Navy!!


Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Re: Trudeau -- A Dissenter's View (2.33 / 6) (#33)
by ubu on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 07:49:26 PM EST

I would still like to hear why a Canadian dollar valued at $0.66 should be considered "humiliating",

It'd be humiliating if spending in the public sector consumed so much of the domestic product that the dollar fell 33% in value. Trudeau's policies basically raped the future to pay for a present orgy of giveaways and pointless, counter-productive government expansion.

The generation that approved this mismanagement won't have to pay the price, of course. The nice thing about government spending is that you can embezzle for decades and leave someone else holding the bill. "Ha ha, f*** you, we did it for our ideals."

Ubu
--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
Re: Trudeau -- A Dissenter's View (4.66 / 9) (#44)
by Spinoza on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 08:57:33 PM EST

I suppose I was being a little too offhand in my comments, and this might have made it easy to miss my point here. I was trying to point out that Margolis argument does not make any sense from the point of view of economics. He presents an isolated statistic (The value of the Canadian dollar) entirely outside of any meaningful context, relies on the reader to make the judgement he offers ("Oh, that's bad"), provides some value laden terms to help them along, and then bases further arguments on his cock-eyed appraisal of the situation.

What must he think of the Japanese yen, I wonder, considering it is not worth even 66 US cents.

Claiming that this single statistic is in any way indicative of the status of an economy is ludicrous! Where, in his article, has he detailed Canada's gross domestic product and it's changes over the last 30 years? This is a much more sound indicator of the nation's growth than the value of it's currency. If he is going to talk about currency values and national debts, he should probably include balance of trade figures as well.

How about Canada's distribution of wealth? This would probably be an interesting statistic to throw on the pile, as well.

Remember, in a modern economy, the value of currency can be used as a "handle" to control interest rates and inflation. Sometimes it is necessary to slow an economy down, or risk an out of control business cycle. Claiming that the Canadian dollar's 66c value in US terms indicates that Canadians are all exactly 33% poorer than they were in 1970 in real value as Margolis puts it, is pure rubbish, and overlooks the importance of fiscal and monetary policy in maintaining an economy. This 33% figure is pure fantasy, and yellow, yellow journalism.

[ Parent ]

Re: Trudeau -- A Dissenter's View (2.50 / 4) (#63)
by ubu on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 04:39:28 AM EST

What must he think of the Japanese yen, I wonder, considering it is not worth even 66 US cents.

I would assume that he admires the yen, considering the fact that it has grown tremendously in strength against competing currencies over the last 15 years. When you look at developing countries that use currency boards to stabilize their economies, which currencies do you see? Deutsche marks, US dollars, Japanese yen. Anyone using Canadian dollars? Didn't think so. The reason? Left as an exercise for the reader.

How about Canada's distribution of wealth? This would probably be an interesting statistic to throw on the pile, as well.

Why? Anyone with power of taxation can redistribute wealth as they like. It doesn't prove anything about economic strength, all it does is prove that the government is foolhardy. This notion that distribution of wealth has anything to do with prosperity is a tired relic of the European age of mercantilism and class warfare.

Remember, in a modern economy, the value of currency can be used as a "handle" to control interest rates and inflation.

You state this as if it were fact, rather than a demand-side nostrum with devastating consequences in economies worldwide. If Canada's dollar had been fixed to gold, it could never have been devalued that way. Then again, Canada wouldn't have been able to throw away so much money on the margin, either, but that's another benefit.

Claiming that the Canadian dollar's 66c value in US terms indicates that Canadians are all exactly 33% poorer than they were in 1970 in real value as Margolis puts it, is pure rubbish

He claims that the Canadian dollar is worth 66c in Canadian terms. 1970 Canadian terms, anyway. That devaluation has done more than make Canadians 33% poorer, it has sent investment overseas and disincentivized productivity and entrepreneurship. I worked with many Canadian refugees down here when I was with Nortel Networks, and I've seen the effects.

Ubu
--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
Re: Trudeau -- A Dissenter's View (4.20 / 5) (#64)
by Spinoza on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 06:24:34 AM EST

So 66c is only humiliating for Canadians. OK. Whatever.

If anyone with power of taxation can redistribute wealth however they see fit, why do certain wealthy economies persist in worsening their distribution of wealth? Hardly seems humanitarian, now does it? Democratic government is supposed to govern for everyone, you know. In any case, this may not seem like an indicator of economic success to you, but it certainly presents an image of an government that looks after everyone. Doesn't Trudeau deserve some credit for establishing a system that cares about its citizens?

I would like to know why you think monetary policy has been a failure. With a little more illuminating discussion than this trivial scoffing you offer, please. And don't waste my time claiming that currency should be indexed to gold. This sort of nonsense would have priced Canada's exports right out of the market, while making imports dangerously cheap. This would not have been good for their balance of trade, now would it?

As it happens, The factors which placed the C$ at it's value of $1.06US in 1970 were far from normal. It was at a time when US demand for Canadian raw materials had been at an unusual high for some time, thanks to the Vietnam War. The US dollar was down by almost ten percent against gold during this period, and was trading poorly against all major currencies. Unless you wish to credit Trudeau for ending the Vietnam war, you can hardly blame him for Canada's currency not maintaining its 1970 value.

Finally, Margolis made the claim that the 66c value indicated a 33% drop in the wealth of Canadians in real value. Not Canadian value. This figure is not indicative of anything of the sort. This is why I am wondering about the actual GDP per capita in Canada now and in 1970. I wonder how it has changed. I certainly doubt it has dropped by a third. In fact, Canada's GDP per capita has increased by five percent compared to the US since 1980. In other words, the average wealth of a citizen of Canada compared to a US citizen is 5% higher than it was twenty years ago. Assuming population levels are increasing at similar rates in both nations, Canada's economy is growing faster than the US, despite what you might think Trudeau has done to it. Where is this figure in the article? It seems important to me, somehow...

[ Parent ]

Re: Trudeau -- A Dissenter's View (3.57 / 7) (#34)
by klamath on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 07:51:08 PM EST

The article is entirely one-sided

That's obvious. But why bother rehashing the same stuff that has been in every single newspaper in Canada for the past week? It might be news to you, but no Canadian needs reminding of Trudeau's accomplishments. The purpose of this article was to present an opposing viewpoint, not agree with the hundreds of articles written recently prasing Trudeau.

Margolis' characterisation of any government service as "socialism" marks him as a single-minded libertarian

I don't know much on Margolis' political views (I doubt you do either), but his implied position that immigration should be more restricted does not make him a libertarian.

Finally, I would like to know what is so wrong with reducing a nation's military.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Margolis says anything directly in favour of military spending. He just says Canadians pay 4 times more in interest on debt than we spend on defense -- which is rediculous. I agree the military should be scaled back everywhere (the US especially), but it doesn't change the fact that Canada's current debt is embarrasing. And your unfounfed contention that Margolis' is a "rabid militarist flag-wavers" is far more rediculous than anything found in the article.

[ Parent ]

Re: Trudeau -- A Dissenter's View (2.00 / 3) (#42)
by blp on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 08:29:09 PM EST

Finally, I would like to know what is so wrong with reducing a nation's military. If only all nations were willing to become "helpless eunuchs", world peace might be achievable.

World peace would happen, not because there were many peaceful nation but because thier would be one that realized no one else could defend themself, raise an army and take it all.

I can no longer sit back and allow: Communist Infiltration, Communist Indoctrination, Communist Subversion and the International Communist Conspiracy to sap and inpurify all of our precious bodily fluids.
[ Parent ]

Re: Trudeau -- A Dissenter's View (2.12 / 8) (#24)
by Woodblock on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 06:49:04 PM EST

Although I support a great many of Trudeau's achievements, I was apalled recently when I learned of Trudeau's soft stance on socialism. While in the process of socializing Canada, he also sent millions of dollars to other countries, particularily in Africa, to help pay for the Stalinization of their argiculture and the calculated starvation of any people opposed to collectivized farming.
-- Real computer scientists don't use computers.
[ Parent ]
Re: Trudeau -- A Dissenter's View (3.66 / 9) (#25)
by weathervane on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 07:04:26 PM EST

This article is hogwash. Brian Mulroney borrowed much more than Trudeau and it certainly hasn't done his image any good. Lately every right-wing political hack in the country has been trying to rehabilitate his image, but ordinary people still spit at his name. The same ordinary people who turned out in droves for Trudeau's funeral.

Many of Trudeau's policies are flawed. The introduction of deficit financing was certainly a bad day in Canadian history. But at the time, nearly every economist agreed with the general principle. Even Richard Nixon admitted that "Everybody's a Keynesian" in the 1970's. And there was a serious financial crisis at the time, in some ways comparable to the 1930's. The key difference was that there was no collapse in living standards. Quite possibly the difference was the widespread use of deficit financing.

But Trudeau's greatness does not lie in specific policies or accomplishments, not even in the Canadian Constitution. It lays instead in his style, candor, and razor intellect, the likes of which haven't been seen before or since in Canadian (or American) politics. It lay in his clear and strong belief in Canada as a true nation, not a haphazard stack of 12 Post-It notes, ready to pulled apart as needed. Clear and strong beliefs of any kind are rare enough in politics these days.

Compared to him, Stockwell Day and Jean Chretien are little munchkins, pathetic creatures waiting to have a house dropped on them. I was considering voting Liberal to hold back the Alliance, but Cretin's crass opportunism has turned my stomach at the thought. "Hey, the old man's death gave us a spike in polls! Let's hold an election!" Bah.

Even those who fought against Trudeau admitted his greatness. In a way having an opponent of his stature strengthened and edified those who opposed him. In this I am reminded of Hunter S. Thompson's eulogy for Nixon, which started, "I never spoke well of the man while I was alive, and I'm not about to start now", but ended saying, "opposition to Nixon defined and elevated our generation".

P.S. My paycheck comes from the feds. But still, I won't vote for the 'party of government', AKA the Liberals, and I never have.

[ Parent ]

this is crap and here's why: (3.00 / 4) (#88)
by misterluke on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 07:53:25 PM EST

The quoted article is so full of unfounded, inaccurate and misleading assertions that it would take me way too much space to draw attention to them all. Forgive me whilst I stand on this here soapbox. Here goes. First off, one wonders how Trudeau, of all people, could be responsible for Canada's, ahem, inevitable absorption into the US. Is it because he so aggravated the American establishment with his policies of nuclear disarmament and trade with Cuba that they feel they must invade us to protect their international interests? Bullshit. Trudeau made his name taking stances the US hated, and that could do nothing but help promote a stronger Canada. Secondly, it's funny how the article mentions how bad things are now compared to how bad they were before Trudeau took power. Obviously, those problems are his sole responsibility and not those of the ( aw hell, let's see some mindless leftist jargon here, too, just to balance out all that way-right language in the article ( insert aggravating emoticon here ) ) capitalist American running dog who succeeded him. I wasn't alive for much of Trudeau's time in power, but I remember Mulroney, and I remember Mulroney jumping off the sinking ship that was the Progressive Conservative party just in time to see them kicked out of office for, among other things, a skyrocketing national debt. The best thing about Trudeau, though, as seen through my anarcho-communist university-educated ivory-tower socialist eyes was that the debt was not that big of a deal if it was used to promote the welfare of the people ( gagging on Marxist horseshit, excuse me ). The economy was a tool to serve the people and the nation, not the other way around. And incidentally, the only place in the whole world where the Alliance party would be considered centrist is the United States, or maybe France. Just about everywhere else in the developed world has far more left-leaning governments than we North Americans ( Mexico included ). Sorry about that mental core-dump, but, well, you know.

[ Parent ]
Trudeau the helmsman (2.50 / 2) (#105)
by Phil the Canuck on Mon Oct 16, 2000 at 02:33:29 PM EST

First of all, Eric Margolis is a "marginalized" journalist because he's a dipshit (IMO, of course).

Second of all, Trudeau's policies and actions built a national identity around Canada. Far from leading towards joining the US, Trudeau gave us our own direction. "That asshole Trudeau" (quote - Richard Nixon) removed the nukes from our planes, almost removed us from NATO, had a strong relationship with Cuba, was the first of the western leaders to open relations with China, and many more things that have helped shape our international identity. An identity that I'm personally comfortable with.

Trudeau was Canada's last great statesman. RIP the days when politicians spoke their minds rather than filtering everything through a PR machine.

------

I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver
[ Parent ]

Margolis (2.50 / 2) (#106)
by Lode Runner on Mon Oct 16, 2000 at 03:05:09 PM EST

First of all, Eric Margolis is a "marginalized" journalist because he's a dipshit (IMO, of course).

Gotta agree with you on that. Despite his interesting stories, I never liked Margolis much myself because of his politics.

Now even though you should Margolis with a grain of salt (and sometimes a whole salt mine) it was quite refreshing to hear something besides the usual panegyrics you guys are heaping on Trudeau, who wasn't all that great...

To be fair, I imagine Americans will take Reagan's death much the same way Canadians are reacting to Trudeau's pasing.



[ Parent ]

Trudeau's legacy (3.00 / 1) (#107)
by Phil the Canuck on Mon Oct 16, 2000 at 03:33:13 PM EST

I only commented on one aspect of Trudeau's legacy. I'm not looking to saint the man. He had plenty of faults. However, his memory deserves a great deal of respect. If I believed that any of today's leaders had even half the intellect of Trudeau, I'd vote for them regardless of politics.

As for Reagan's legacy, it doesn't measure up. Much of what Canada is today is a result of Trudeau's influence. Even after retiring, he held significant influence (think Meech). Whatever you think of either man's leadership, Reagan didn't have that kind of impact.

------

I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver
[ Parent ]

Reagan vs. Trudeau (3.00 / 2) (#108)
by Lode Runner on Mon Oct 16, 2000 at 05:29:25 PM EST

If I believed that any of today's leaders had even half the intellect of Trudeau, I'd vote for them regardless of politics.

Many Americans would say the same thing about Reagan. Of course they didn't see him as intellectual but they admired his honesty and warmth. Now, we all know that Reagan's "human" side isn't all it's cracked up to be, but hey, neither is Trudeau's so-called intellect.

As for Reagan's legacy, it doesn't measure up. Much of what Canada is today is a result of Trudeau's influence. Even after retiring, he held significant influence (think Meech). Whatever you think of either man's leadership, Reagan didn't have that kind of impact.

Trudeau's influence is overstated. I think he was more the product of an emerging Canadian culture than a shaper of it. Reagan is the same way. Reagan... I think he was as important to Americans coming of age in the 1980s as Trudeau was for Canadians in the 1970s. Much of what the world attribute to "American arrogance" can be traced to Reagan (ex. "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!", or bombing Arabs ). Moreover, many young American liberals' political outlooked was formed as a reaction to Reaganomics and his various blunders.



[ Parent ]

What's the big deal? (2.84 / 26) (#10)
by Signal 11 on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 05:17:09 PM EST

For those of us who are americans, I'd like to point out that about 1 in 200 adults in canada showed up for this guy's funeral. This has never happened in modern history in the US for any of our leaders. Some food for thought.


--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
Re: What's the big deal? (2.28 / 7) (#13)
by ubu on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 05:37:38 PM EST

It's a good thing, too. In the US we don't venerate our magistrates for their activism. Politics has never been considered a noble calling in the States, only a civic duty.

Ubu
--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
Re: What's the big deal? (3.00 / 3) (#31)
by naasking on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 07:35:04 PM EST

Actually, you don't venerate them because they are mostly corrupt and don't stand for anything that hasn't been approved of by their media spin doctors.

And I don't think any of your politicians view their job as a civic duty.



[ Parent ]
Re: What's the big deal? (2.00 / 4) (#39)
by ubu on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 08:00:16 PM EST

How our politicians see it is of no relevance to how the people see it. As far as we are concerned, politicans serve us. They don't "lead" us. We would be the last nation on earth to suppose that politicians had anywhere to "lead" their constituents -- except down the road to serfdom.

Ubu
--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
Re: What's the big deal? (3.66 / 3) (#66)
by Biff Cool on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 09:15:32 AM EST

How our politicians see it is of no relevance to how the people see it. As far as we are concerned, politicans serve us. They don't "lead" us. We would be the last nation on earth to suppose that politicians had anywhere to "lead" their constituents -- except down the road to serfdom.
I don't think anyone in America believes this is how it is.  We believe that politicians should act that way, but not that they do.  We think that our politicians go to office to make deals behind our backs line their pockets with corporate money.  No matter who they're voting for in this election, that's what most people expect out of politicians now.

And we do have politicians whom we venerate:

  • George Washington
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • FDR
  • JFK
  • Any other Kennedy
  • Sonny Bono


My ass. It's code, with pictures of fish attached. Get over it. --trhurler


[ Parent ]
Re: What's the big deal? (1.73 / 15) (#14)
by ConceptJunkie on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 05:38:18 PM EST

Well, since there's only about 6000 people in Canada, that's no big deal! ;)

[ Parent ]
Re: What's the big deal? (2.16 / 6) (#40)
by chaz on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 08:20:37 PM EST

Well, that's OK. there are only 2000 people in the USA who count as humans (and most of them are physicists).
I say "Nuke the USA while we can"

I find parochial, insular, selfish attitudes offensive.

But I also know you were joking.

(Posted by a european with a nuclear strike force)

[ Parent ]

Re: What's the big deal? (1.88 / 9) (#15)
by AgentGray on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 05:40:32 PM EST

Isn't that like 1/2 a percent of Canada's population?

I imagine if the math is done right, it would be the same number of people and a surrounding area of ever so many miles that surrounds where he was laid in state.

Still, that says something...

[ Parent ]
Re: What's the big deal? (2.47 / 17) (#19)
by trhurler on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 06:09:12 PM EST

Yes, and when Castro dies, just about every able bodied person will be there. That doesn't mean Castro is a great man. I know very little about this man's career, but I do know that he was a socialist, and I do know that socialism is a failure both theoretically and in practice. It and its variants have destroyed more lives than any force except religion. I'm sure he advocated some good things, and I'm sure he fought for some good things, but so does Castro; so did Nixon. Being dead does not make him great. Don't get me wrong; I'm sorry he's dead, but I'm not going to accept the idea that it is ok to refer to the acts of an unbridled statist as "greatness."


--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Re: What's the big deal? (3.90 / 11) (#21)
by caine on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 06:40:17 PM EST

Let's clear up some things here. Castro is a communist, not a socialist, and comparing him to Trudeau is really unfair. Additionally I have to point out that I live in Sweden, a glorious example the socialism works quite well both in theory and practice. Sweden hasn't been at war for a good bit over 100 year. That's a lot more than the US can say. We have a good social security net, we have a clean enviroment, and we're the most connected people in the world (both wired and wireless. (and yes, we _are_ past Finland)). When someone's murdered in Sweden it's still a big thing. It's not the thousands of people that die every day in the US (even counting per capita, we're way below you). And just as importantly our legal system isn't totally fucked up, and corporate powers doesn't dictate our lifes (although it's getting worse and worse as in the rest of the world). All in all, Sweden is a really nice place, and proof that socialism works just fine.

--

[ Parent ]

Re: What's the big deal? (3.00 / 7) (#29)
by ubu on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 07:30:12 PM EST

Falling standard of living, mounting national debt, huge budget deficit, disintegrating family structure, an exploding class of citizens (600,000, or 10 percent) who cannot earn their own living by working, etc., etc. Sweden's exports have been priced out of the international market, and its major domestic industries have been steadily eroding in effectiveness against competitive international producers. And I'm sure you haven't forgotten the 102% tax bill Astrid Lindgren received in the early 1970s.

Definitely the rising star of Europe. Not. Quite the opposite, it's fast becoming the biggest embarrassment to national socialism in the world.

Ubu
--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
Re: What's the big deal? (3.50 / 4) (#32)
by naasking on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 07:41:01 PM EST

disintegrating family structure

I think the US has nothing to teach Sweden about this.

The fact that the US has so many natural resources and was not shy about using them since it was established are only reasons that the US is such an economic powerhouse. But that's changing even now. Resources will start running low and as other countries catch up, the US's power will start failing.

That's my theory anyway.



[ Parent ]
Re: What's the big deal? (3.00 / 4) (#38)
by ubu on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 07:58:02 PM EST

Interesting theory. Explain Japan as an economic powerhouse. Also Hong Kong, Taiwan, Switzerland, and New Zealand, all of which are prosperous despite a lack of abundant natural resources.

Ubu
--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
Re: What's the big deal? (3.00 / 1) (#98)
by naasking on Sat Oct 14, 2000 at 08:21:54 PM EST

Japan:
Completely different production model from the US. Completely different social and economic structure which is inherently more flexible and efficient. This is the reason why Japanese cars had the upper hand on American cars for many years. Japan is also not as big an economic powerhouse as the US, IMHO. I was stating that the reason the US is so powerful is because of their natural resources(for the most part, it's not the only reason).

Hong Kong:
Cheap labour. Companies outsourcing production to companies in Hong Kong with cheap labour, cheap facilities. Hence overall production costs decrease, which is obviously attractive.

Taiwan:
Same kind of deal as Hong Kong. I'm a little fuzzier on Taiwan though, so I won't so anything else on it.

Switzerland:
Not an economic powerhouse. Very specialized. VERY good at what they do specialize in so they hold alot of sway in those departments. Their specialties being: the obvious bank accounts and their security and freedom from any outside intrusion, and information(which is a lesser known skill of Switzerland).

New Zealand:
I have no info or background whatsoever on New Zealand, so I shall not comment for I shall merely be weakening my argument, and I'm sure some intelligent poster will point out my many errors with any assumptions I make.

Note: These are of course, my opinions based on what I know. They very well could be flawed, and if you thinks so, then please comment.

[ Parent ]
Re: What's the big deal? (1.30 / 10) (#53)
by trhurler on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 11:12:45 PM EST

The fact that the US has so many natural resources and was not shy about using them since it was established are only reasons that the US is such an economic powerhouse. But that's changing even now. Resources will start running low and as other countries catch up, the US's power will start failing.
European exports wouldn't even exist if not for massive government subsidies. European companies wouldn't exist if not for massive taxes on imports from Asia and the US; the cost of production of European goods is absurd. European militaries cannot protect their own countries without US aid; we're there by invitation, rather than because we forced our way in. You're not catching up; you're just becoming better at pouring money into ventures that are nothing more than copycat versions of US companies. We create modern industry, you copy it. We create computers, you copy it. We create the Internet, you copy it. We create wireless phone service, you copy it. We create biotechnology, you snub it, and as a result, you will probably have to import food just to avoid shortages in the next 30 years.(Your governments tell you that you "overproduce." This is false; what actually happens is that you produce as much as the market will buy at your vastly inflated prices; were it reasonably priced, you could sell much more than you are capable of producing.) Eventually, you will copy that too, though.

Our economy(and many European AND American casualties, unfortunately,) won World War II for you. We've spent the last 60 years protecting you and letting you pretend you are our equals, which has given you peace(mostly.) While we shouldn't be doing all of this, it is true that where we go, things tend to get better for people. We spend more money on foriegn aid than most of your countries produce in total(which should be changed, btw.) We are the reason for your standard of living, and for the fact that you're still alive at all - try not to forget that when you go off on the "asshole American."

I know it isn't polite to rub your nose in it, but it isn't polite to bite the hand that feeds you, either. I'm sick of US-bashing. We do far more for you than you will ever do for us, and we don't ask for much of anything in return. We really should stop that.


--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Re: What's the big deal? (2.00 / 1) (#97)
by naasking on Sat Oct 14, 2000 at 08:21:36 PM EST

First off, who's "you"? I'm not European, if that's who you mean by "you". I'm Canadian.

We create wireless phone service, you copy it

Europe is five years ahead of the States in wireless tech.

Oops... gotta go... finish this later... :-)

[ Parent ]

Re: What's the big deal? (1.85 / 7) (#49)
by trhurler on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 10:14:16 PM EST

Castro is a communist, not a socialist,
This is a matter of degree, rather than principle. The principles are identical.
Additionally I have to point out that I live in Sweden, a glorious example the socialism works quite well both in theory and practice.
Despite the typical Swedish arrogance displayed in claiming this, it is simply not true. Your economy is headed downward at a rate unequalled by any peaceful nation in the world. Your standard of living decreases annually. Your unemployment rate considerably exceeds ours.
Sweden hasn't been at war for a good bit over 100 year. That's a lot more than the US can say.
This is not something you should say to someone whose country lost half a million people so that you wouldn't have to learn to speak German, and then spent the last 60 years making sure you wouldn't have to learn Russian. Fine, you're a bunch of head-in-the-sand pacifists who figured that since you're blonde white guys, maybe the Third Reich was better than fighting, and whose pathetic socialist economy can't afford real national defense in modern times. I can deal with that. I can't deal with you mocking people who saved you from your own foolishness by risking and all too often by giving their lives. That's outrageous.
and we're the most connected people in the world (both wired and wireless. (and yes, we _are_ past Finland)).
Yeah, but if it weren't for the Finnish wireless industry, you wouldn't even have phones to talk on. Be serious.
It's not the thousands of people that die every day in the US (even counting per capita, we're way below you).
I live in a city of roughly 2-3 million people. Annually, there are maybe 200 homicides. Yes, a few places are very, very bad. However, since we're free to move as we like, I don't have to live there. Even in the worst places in the US, your chances of being murdered are on the same order as your chances of being struck by lightning provided you use common sense when moving around(especially at night.) Also, while crime rates in much of Europe are quite low, they are rising in most places, while ours are dropping almost everywhere.
and corporate powers doesn't dictate our lifes
Nobody dictates anything to me, with the exception of the government, which insists(with a smile and a gun held behind its back, of course,) that I fork over a ridiculous amount of my money to be used for things I disagree with. Corporations don't tell me what to do(heck, not even the one I work for, in general,) and they never have or will. If they try, I can ignore them. Try ignoring your local government official, and see where that gets you. (Hint: the answer is, in prison or a cemetary.)


--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Background checking? (4.71 / 7) (#65)
by caine on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 08:20:56 AM EST

Background checking doesn't seem to be your strongside.

Despite the typical Swedish arrogance displayed in claiming this, it is simply not true. Your economy is headed downward at a rate unequalled by any peaceful nation in the world. Your standard of living decreases annually. Your unemployment rate considerably exceeds ours.

Our economoy has been heading up again the last 7-9 years. Our standard of living is STILL better than anyone in the last 90% of the US population can even dream about. And it's been increasing again with the economy (see indepented researchers on bot these points if you don't believe me). Our unemployment rate is dropping rapidly, and the diffrence here is that we do not have the kind of tons of unknown people which aren't in statistics as you, and of those who are employed in the states, many earn minimum wages.

This is not something you should say to someone whose country lost half a million people so that you wouldn't have to learn to speak German, and then spent the last 60 years making sure you wouldn't have to learn Russian. Fine, you're a bunch of head-in-the-sand pacifists who figured that since you're blonde white guys, maybe the Third Reich was better than fighting, and whose pathetic socialist economy can't afford real national defense in modern times

Hmm, ok, I actually agree here. Sometimes you have to take a stand, and the Swedish goverment during WWII was spineless, hiding behind our neutrality.

Yeah, but if it weren't for the Finnish wireless industry, you wouldn't even have phones to talk on. Be serious.

Err? I can tell you we had both normal and mobile phone industry before Finland did. I can agree that Nokia is a better company than Ericsson, mobilephone wise, but that doesn't change a iota when it comes to how the people uses phones and internet.

I live in a city of roughly 2-3 million people. Annually, there are maybe 200 homicides. Yes, a few places are very, very bad. However, since we're free to move as we like, I don't have to live there. Even in the worst places in the US, your chances of being murdered are on the same order as your chances of being struck by lightning provided you use common sense when moving around(especially at night.) Also, while crime rates in much of Europe are quite low, they are rising in most places, while ours are dropping almost everywhere.

200 homicides isn't low enough! Yes, I don't think that the homicides are unique for the US, but apparently, something in the US is causing them to esculate very quickly. This will probably spread around the world, because a lot of countries are getting more and more US-like every day (Sweden too I have to admit, but much more slowly than most), but it doesn't mean it should be tolerated or that it's within an acceptable level. ALL parts of a town should be safe. And Swedish crimes have been dropping the last 15 years, especially the more gruesome ones, such as murder, rape and so on.

Nobody dictates anything to me, with the exception of the government, which insists(with a smile and a gun held behind its back, of course,) that I fork over a ridiculous amount of my money to be used for things I disagree with. Corporations don't tell me what to do(heck, not even the one I work for, in general,) and they never have or will. If they try, I can ignore them. Try ignoring your local government official, and see where that gets you. (Hint: the answer is, in prison or a cemetary.)

Most US prides themself with that "US is the land of the free", but in search for the freedom, the US goverment has done so many bad choices, that the US resembles a dictatorship if nothing else. You can flee your goverment as little as I can mine (if not less), but the diffrence is that my goverment is controlled by the PEOPLE, whereas your is controlled by corporations. This seems to be something very hard for a US citizen to get through his head. For a Swede, the goverment isn't an enemy, because the people is the goverment. The people that are elected aren't multimillionares or sons of former presidents, they're normal sensible people like you and me. And we don't just have 2 parties to vote for (pest or cholera) but around 10 major parties, and multitude of small ones. Anyone can actually start a party and if not on a govermental level, at least have a fair chance to get in on a communal (city district) wide level. And a Swedish city has quite a lot of control over itself. It's not someone sitting in the other end of the country that decides what happens in your town. It's the people you know, can go and talk to at anytime and that you like, that controls it, because it's those people you voted for.

--

[ Parent ]

here's a fun fact (3.33 / 3) (#112)
by streetlawyer on Tue Oct 24, 2000 at 06:47:01 AM EST

Although Sweden does indeed have a higher unemployment rate than the USA, an unemployed person in Sweden enjoys a standard of living that would put him at the fourth quintile of US employed incomes.

Think about that; say you're a Martian and you've just found out about the economies of two countries. You discover that in country A, the economy is able to support people in idleness at a standard of living higher than that for which one fifth of the population of country B has to work forty hour weeks for.

Which country would you say was the one with the "economic disaster"?

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Does that cross get heavy? (4.50 / 4) (#72)
by Spendocrat on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 12:21:37 PM EST

This is not something you should say to someone whose country lost half a million people so that you wouldn't have to learn to speak German, and then spent the last 60 years making sure you wouldn't have to learn Russian. Fine, you're a bunch of head-in-the-sand pacifists who figured that since you're blonde white guys, maybe the Third Reich was better than fighting, and whose pathetic socialist economy can't afford real national defense in modern times. I can deal with that. I can't deal with you mocking people who saved you from your own foolishness by risking and all too often by giving their lives. That's outrageous.

What's outrageous is the proposition that the US joined the war simply over concern about people in Europe. You act as if the US had no vested interest in keeping a tyrant from taking over Europe. The US is in it for the US (as we've seen time after time in conflicts around the world) and to try to pretend you were *simply* doing everyone else a big favour is perposterous.

What's really outrageous is the amount of time it took the US to get it's shit together and join the Allies in fighting Germany. Europe lost far mroe people by virtue of America's selfishness in coming late to the party than the US lost by showing up at all.

[ Parent ]

Well, yeah, but that isn't what I said... (1.33 / 3) (#74)
by trhurler on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 12:47:02 PM EST

What's outrageous is the proposition that the US joined the war simply over concern about people in Europe.
I didn't say we did. What I said is, we saved the asses of anyone who is free in Europe today(Germans included) and it is really, really tactless to go bragging about how Sweden has been at peace for 180 years; spinelessness is not a virtue.
What's really outrageous is the amount of time it took the US to get it's shit together and join the Allies in fighting Germany.
What's really outrageous is that you act as though the US had some obligation to fight other peoples' wars for them while half of THEIR countries sat around and mumbled about neutrality. Next time, we really ought to just LET someone overrun Europe. It isn't as though he's coming after us next; we've got enough nukes and naval power to guarantee his troops never even get here, and if they do, we've got 200 million privately owned firearms and the best military in the world. (As for some pipedream that the US economy depends on Europe, forget it. Precisely the opposite is true, although it is not popular to point it out. Everything you have that is "modern" came from the US originally, and you export absolutely nothing that we can't get elsewhere except for overpriced champagne and similar goods that nobody needs.)


--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Overestimation. (3.00 / 4) (#75)
by Spendocrat on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 01:03:24 PM EST

You overestimate the power of the US military at the time. Fighting a war on two fronts against both Japan and a Germany fully in control of Europe would have buried North America. Besides, you act as if the US is the only reason that the Germans were beaten, as if the Europeans weren't defending themselves in any way the whole time. The Europeans were still reeling from the last war. (The terrible terrible economic theory that was being epoused at the time didn't help at all either.) If they'd simply folded right off the bat, the US would have been facing a war it very possibly might have lost.

WRT the original topic:

The real issue seems to be that some americans can't get their heads around the fact that some people *like* their countries and the way their countries operate much more than the way the US operates (or the way a lot of people in the US perceive their country operates).

You'll note that some people even believe that paying taxes to support a government is a good thing, because they feel government is a good thing.

[ Parent ]

Maybe, but (1.25 / 4) (#77)
by trhurler on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 01:42:52 PM EST

You overestimate the power of the US military at the time. Fighting a war on two fronts against both Japan and a Germany fully in control of Europe would have buried North America.
This isn't what would have happened. Japan dragged us into the Pacific by a cowardly sneak attack, as you might recall, and would have done so regardless, because they were of the opinion that if they destroyed our existing naval backbone, we wouldn't be able to come back from that. Without having to spend resources in Europe, we would have crushed Japan much more quickly. Then, when Hitler came calling, he would have had his ass handed to him; unlike Germany, where he confiscated them all, the US populace has widespread access to firearms, and would have no compunctions whatsoever about firing them at foriegn invaders. In the day of WWII, those firearms were comparable to personal military weaponry. German armor, when it was possible to transport it such a distance, would be effective, but there wasn't enough of it to control a country this size, so garrisons would be left without such support, making them good targets for roving bands of guerillas(who would vastly outnumber the Germans.) Even if such an invasion could be mounted and start making progress, actually maintaining occupation of the US would have been utterly impossible.

That all, of course, assumes the Germans could even reach our shores. The large navy we'd have needed to beat Japan would have come in real handy in sinking German troopships, which would probably have doomed any invasion anyway; the German navy never equalled what we fielded in the Pacific. By that point, we were well equipped to deal with submarines, which had been relegated mostly to picking off supply convoys; attacking a carrier or battleship group in an attack sub as of the mid 1940s was suicide. Without that edge, the Germans would have had a very, very bad time of it. The few troops that might have "luckily" reached our shores would have been slaughtered to a man by mobs of armed men and boys who had been led by propaganda to the point of not even thinking of the Germans as human beings. And of course, that's assuming they weren't met by our military, which, while not what it is today, was not insignificant.

The only import that we would have lost that really mattered at that time was rubber; we could produce our own oil at the time. The rubber situation would have been bad, but not critical - we didn't use as much then. The Europeans, of course, would have suffered horribly, which is part of why we got into the war; our leaders may be self-interested, and compassion alone might not have brought us into that war(I hope not!) but it is certainly not the case that they are inhuman monsters who could care less about the fates of millions of people.
Besides, you act as if the US is the only reason that the Germans were beaten, as if the Europeans weren't defending themselves in any way the whole time.
They fought, but it was our economy that won that war in the final analysis. WWII was the war that proved that in a large scale conflict, whomever has the sounder economy and supply lines will eventually win. Germany easily could have clobbered Europe, because nobody but the British and the Russians could put up more than a token resistance in the long term, whereas the Germans had a massive industrial base and expanded their control of natural resources very rapidly by attacking weaker countries. This is why the US supplied the UK so early on, and also why our sending over relatively few troops compared to the European forces had such a huge impact; they brought with them a LOT more supplies, in an ever-growing and continuous stream.
The real issue seems to be that some americans can't get their heads around the fact that some people *like* their countries and the way their countries operate much more than the way the US operates (or the way a lot of people in the US perceive their country operates).
Oh, I can comprehend that they like it. What I take issue with is their claims of ethical and political superiority; if they like living as serfs, then let them eat cake, which btw is almost certainly what their leaders think too. However, for them to suggest that the US is wrong for not blindly following them into servitude is ridiculous.
You'll note that some people even believe that paying taxes to support a government is a good thing, because they feel government is a good thing.
I believe that government is a good thing - but I believe it should be very, very small. Ours is not. Theirs are not.


--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Lies, damned lies, and trhurler's theory of WW2 (4.50 / 4) (#95)
by Inoshiro on Sat Oct 14, 2000 at 11:15:33 AM EST

"This isn't what would have happened. Japan dragged us into the Pacific by a cowardly sneak attack," [rest of rehtoric about how the US military power at the time could've taken on the world by itself, really, for sure this time.. or at least resisted being taken over, maybe, probably...]

If the Japanese got the drop on the US because the US was stupid enough to 1) ignore the war raging on in the rest of the world, assuming it didn't affect them and 2) put all their naval eggs in one basket, I see the Japanese more as a force of Darwinian evolution. Kill the stupid. A sneak attack is not cowardly -- do you expect to get a signed invitation to join the war, or a letter saying that part of the Japanese Navy was going to be dropping by to kick the tires on some vessels to see how they performed in battle? Please. You fight wars to win.

"Germany easily could have clobbered Europe, because nobody but the British and the Russians could put up more than a token resistance in the long term,"

No, I'd have to say that the German invasion of Russia was stopped quite effectively. Maybe you don't understand what it's like to be in -40C weather in equipment designed to keep you warm and mobile in 10C or 0C weather. I live in a place that gets that kind of weather, and being exposed to it 24/7 is probably not fun -- I know I can't stand 20 minutes of it. The properly equiped (in terms of weather protection, not weaponry) Russian military had a lot of Germans surrender to them.

I suggest you go read a history book with an open mind. You can't simplify the situations, as you do, to prove a point about something unrelated. That's just silly. As for enjoying where a person is.. well, I have to say, the purpose of life is enjoying it. If you enjoy life where you are, then you are well looked after. I know I'm happy living the way I am in Communist Canada :-P



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Wasn't meant to be a sneak attack, really (3.00 / 2) (#96)
by Spinoza on Sat Oct 14, 2000 at 05:09:32 PM EST

"...a letter saying that part of the Japanese Navy was going to be dropping by..."

There was one. It just got delayed by a day, and arrived late. I think someone was seeking confirmation because they didn't really believe they were about to attack the US, but I could be wrong on that one. Big cock up there, anyway.

[ Parent ]

Re: What's the big deal? (2.66 / 6) (#37)
by weathervane on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 07:57:14 PM EST

Castro is a great man, like him or not. He has stared down the world's most powerful superpower and resisted invasion, starvation and all out warfare. He engineered a guerilla campaign against enourmous wealth that nobody believed could work. He was forced towards communism by the refusal of Eisenhower to recognize his regime; naturally he turned towards the other available 'sponsor', the USSR.

Stalin and Hitler were also great men, and nobody thinks much of them or their policies. Greatness does not depend on superficial agreement with this or that policy. It lies in impact, in strength and conviction.

The hostility towards socialism of small men who have never experienced anything remotely similar to it is laughable. They prefer homeless men and millions without health care and neighborhoods that come straight out of the third world in the shadow of the heart of money in the universe. Fine. Enjoy being an Ugly American. But don't expect us to agree with your way of seeing things.

[ Parent ]

Re: What's the big deal? (3.00 / 9) (#47)
by trhurler on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 09:26:43 PM EST

Castro is a great man, like him or not. He has stared down the world's most powerful superpower and resisted invasion, starvation and all out warfare. He engineered a guerilla campaign against enourmous wealth that nobody believed could work. He was forced towards communism by the refusal of Eisenhower to recognize his regime; naturally he turned towards the other available 'sponsor', the USSR.
We differ on what "great" means. Success and greatness are not related in my eyes. Castro was a communist long before Eisenhower was elected. He is not a communist for practical reasons; he is a communist because he believes in communism.
The hostility towards socialism of small men who have never experienced anything remotely similar to it is laughable. They prefer homeless men and millions without health care and neighborhoods that come straight out of the third world in the shadow of the heart of money in the universe. Fine. Enjoy being an Ugly American. But don't expect us to agree with your way of seeing things.
The hostility towards freedom of small men who have never experienced anything remotely similar to it is laughable. They prefer chains and guns. Fine. Enjoy being a euroserf, or eurotrash, or whatever cheesy epithet you prefer. But don't expect us to agree with your way of seeing things.

Now for my real answer, since I try to actually say something intelligible when I state a position: socialism is incompatible with liberty. Socialism is the imposition of government force in order to achieve "desirable" goals. Put plainly, it is the confiscation of property, followed by handouts to politically favored and/or connected groups. I know this socialism.

The US is not what you are told. There are not hordes of homeless people here, and we have more shelter beds than are needed; shame and/or obstinance are the problem here. We have some bad neighborhoods, but most are not, and nobody with ambition is forced to live in such a place. The majority of those deemed "poor" by government standards have air conditioned apartments, cable tv, microwave ovens, cars, stereo equipment, and so on. Health care for those without private insurance, while far from ideal, is far better than what the vast majority of the world's population gets. A job that includes insurance as a benefit is a virtual guarantee to anyone who seriously pursues a career in the United States; there is no literal enforcement of this, but we have the lowest unemployment anywhere and opportunities to enter fields like IT and plant science are innumerable. The only real hurdle some people face is literacy problems, and this is something which can be overcome.

Our problem here is that we are too socialist. We take way too much money, especially from people known as the "lower middle class." Were it not for this, most people would be able to save enough to retire independently wealthy; as it is, you have to move up the economic ladder a few rungs to really get there. We pour most of that money into things that either don't matter or don't work. Then we berate ourselves for not wasting even MORE money. I won't do it.

I will not pretend that it is capitalism which is destroying neighborhoods, when in fact it is the so-called war on drugs. I will not pretend that it is capitalism which is responsible for lack of charitable endeavor, when in fact it is confiscatory government taxes which leave people with too little for themselves, much less anyone else. I will not pretend that the best health care in the world should be destroyed in order to marginally improve health care for a few people who haven't earned it anyway. I will not pretend that there is a right to take what you have not earned, or that this benefits anyone in the long run. Take your socialist dogma, which has failed worldwide, and is still failing in many countries, day by day, penny by penny, pound by pound, life by life, and tell it to someone stupid, because I will not help you in your consensual hallucination of a false utopia.


--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Re: What's the big deal? (4.85 / 7) (#55)
by weathervane on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 12:06:59 AM EST

First, Castro.

CNN has a site about Castro's life which confirms what I said about Eisenhower's rejection of his regime forcing him to embrace communism. Castro's early platform was based on a return to democracy.

Of course we can question his sincerity, particularly in light of later events, but we have no real indication of communist involvement before Eisenhower approved secret CIA plans to overthrow Castro. Castro explicitly criticized communism (even calling Batista a communist) as late as 1960.

Canada is no less free a country than the United States. I can say what I want about people, travel where I like, and join the Communist or Libertarian party if I wish to. (Oh, wait, I can't do that in the U.S.) I can buy and sell property, work where I like, and have much less cause to fear wiretapping and absurd legal intrusions than Americans do.

Yes, I pay taxes: so do you. Mine are higher, but I get more for them. Consider too that your health insurance premiums come from somewhere - in effect they are hidden payroll taxes. However, I am free to quit my job if I so please. I am not indentured by my health insurance, a serious problem for families with sick children.

American health care is excellent for the top percentiles, but as a whole is it a disappointment. Despite spending more per capita than any other country in the world American life spans are low, infant mortality is terrible, administration costs are out of control, and it all costs you just as many taxpayers dollars as a more sensible system would. Cuba pays much less for better lifespans, lower infant mortality, and an effective clinic based system that doesn't do triple bypasses for people who are about to die next week from cancer.

The World Health Organization ranks the U.S. medical system 37th in the world, after such socialist nations as ... well, all of them. Cuba came 39th.

American unemployment is low, but many states have extremely low wages, and there are lots of terrible low paying jobs out there. As the joke goes, there are twice as many jobs today as 10 years ago, and I have 5 of them. In addition, the unemployment rate is artifically depressed by the prison populaion, which at 2 million would likely add another 1.5% to the figures.

And yes, some people with ambition are forced to live in bad neighborhoods. Leaving aside children, wives, those caring for parents, and the like, many people are tied to a neighborhood by bonds of community. Others have ambitions that perhaps weren't realistic (being a sports or music star) but were nonetheless real. There may be a cultural problem at work, but saying that poor people lack ambition by definition is pretty ignorant.

Oh yes, one other thing. The U.S. has some of the lowest income taxes in the world, yet it has low charitable donation rates and negative savings rates. How would lowering taxes change this, if previous reductions have had the exact opposite effect from what you've predicted?

Well, there's your facts and figures... signing off from the socialist utopia in the snow.

[ Parent ]

WHO is not a reasonable measure of healthcare (1.00 / 2) (#78)
by trhurler on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 02:28:54 PM EST

The World Health Organization ranks the U.S. medical system 37th in the world, after such socialist nations as ... well, all of them. Cuba came 39th.
Yes, and the WHO uses socialist standards of "good" and "bad" to rate things. So what? This is like me saying that in my arbitrarily defined world, where 1 is the largest possible number, I have as many cars as anyone ever has or will.

People who can afford to do so come to the US from their socialist health-care utopias for treatment. Our uninsured rate is dropping, and our medical care -quality- is second to none(nobody else is even close, actually.) Now, if you count the way WHO does, by saying "how many people are there who have limited or no access to health care," we look somewhat bad, but remember that there is not a soul in this country, including illegal immigrants who would be deported without so much as a hearing in your "enlightened" countries, who can't get emergency treatment. Honestly, I'm not sure we owe people that much, and I'm damned sure we don't owe them more if they can't pay for it; health care does not grow on trees. It costs money, and that means it costs human effort, which means the cost is human time, which is human lives. Need is not a blank check drawn on the accounts of those who are not needy. Doctors are not slaves. Nurses are not slaves. Moreover, and this is the battle that I think we need to fight, citizens at large are not slaves - and should not be treated as such so that some homeless guy who drank until his wife kicked him out the door because he was so drunk he couldn't beat her anymore can have regular prostate exams.


--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Re: What's the big deal? (3.20 / 5) (#46)
by maketo on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 09:14:37 PM EST

Socialism and communism - go read your books and learn the difference. As for the theoretical side - it is humane, and it envisioned a better society. Unlike America where ten percent of the population holds ninety percent of the wealth, corporations run the government and happyness is only measured in what and how often you can buy, "the other side" had a better idea. You being ignorant and probably on the "lucky side" of the social gap in the United States should try and open your mind.
agents, bugs, nanites....see the connection?
[ Parent ]
Re: What's the big deal? (2.28 / 7) (#52)
by trhurler on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 10:38:13 PM EST

Socialism and communism - go read your books and learn the difference.
The difference exists only in the minds of utopians who admit that communism failed but still have hope for the methods employed by it. Both are systems of confiscation and redistribution; the only difference is how much and how soon.
As for the theoretical side - it is humane, and it envisioned a better society.
Please show me the humane side of bureaucracy. I am here to tell you, it does not exist. Bureaucracy is the most inhumane of inventions, worse even than organized religion in this regard.
Unlike America where ten percent of the population holds ninety percent of the wealth,
And the other ten percent of the wealth is roughly equal to the private holdings of all of Europe... let's not forget that detail, eh? :)
corporations run the government and happyness is only measured in what and how often you can buy,
You've been watching too much American television. This just isn't true.
"the other side" had a better idea.
Actually, it was popular here for awhile too. Still is, but of course it isn't making much progress. As for "better," that is entirely a matter of perspective. Personally, I like the fact that if I work hard and save money, I can better myself. I'm not at all fond of the idea that some lazy slacker who doesn't even bother to find a job should be given my money, which I worked for.
You being ignorant
Of what, precisely?
and probably on the "lucky side" of the social gap in the United States
If you mean I'm not homeless, that's true. If you mean I'm making or have been given more money than I'm worth, you're wrong. I'm middle class, but only because my parents worked their way up and saved money. And yes, I hope I can make a LOT of money. As yet, I'm not making all that much, but I hope to end up filthy rich - by earning money. I hope to provide services of such quality that someone will give me this money - because he makes even more as a result of me. If and when you can tell me what's wrong with that and why I should have my money, which I work for, taken from me only to be given to losers who don't even try to get an education or a good job and prefer to live off the dole, please do. Otherwise, as far as I'm concerned, YOU are the ignorant one.


--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Re: What's the big deal? (4.75 / 4) (#61)
by sec on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 02:02:48 AM EST

Please show me the humane side of bureaucracy. I am here to tell you, it does not exist. Bureaucracy is the most inhumane of inventions, worse even than organized religion in this regard.

You really ought to read your history books.

The late 19th century was a time of almost unfettered capitalism. Social programs were virtually nonexistant. Communism grew steadily throughout this time. In the early 20th century, it had taken over in Russia, and in other places (including Canada and the United States), Communist takeovers were feared.

Eventually, the Communist tide ebbed. Why? Because the Western capitalistic countries adopted selected policies from Communism and Socialism which provided the 'little guy' with some degree of protection from the fierce world of unbridled capitalism.

So, it seems that you have a choice: put up with a limited amount of government intervention (socialism) or end up with something radical (like Communism) on your hands.

Which do you choose?



[ Parent ]

Sure... (1.50 / 2) (#70)
by trhurler on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 12:07:12 PM EST

Eventually, the Communist tide ebbed. Why? Because the Western capitalistic countries adopted selected policies from Communism and Socialism which provided the 'little guy' with some degree of protection from the fierce world of unbridled capitalism.
For a guy who talks down to me about history, yours is certainly bad. Communism was, in its heyday, primarily supported by academics and other well-to-do do-gooders - not the working man. The reason it never caught on here is that for all the complaining about capitalism, it raised our standard of living at a never before heard of pace; our poor people had amenities not known to kings a century earlier. Socialism actually "won" in the US, though, as far as most of the people in power were concerned. FDR pushed his sweeping federal takeover legislation through, and ever since, the federal government has grown at a rate far exceeding the growth of the country as a whole by any measure. At this point, we no longer live in a representative federalist republic; our government is essentially an oligarchy of socialists who are constrained in their efforts to implement full blown socialism only by popular resentment and their own ineptitude(remember Hillarycare? The much vaunted effort by the feds to literally take over 1/7 of the US economy? It was a disaster, but only because the people hated the idea; the government loved it, of course.)


--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Re: Sure... (4.00 / 2) (#80)
by sec on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 02:44:50 PM EST

For a guy who talks down to me about history, yours is certainly bad. Communism was, in its heyday, primarily supported by academics and other well-to-do do-gooders - not the working man.

My history is just fine. Who do you think got beat up during the Winnipeg General Strike, the Regina Riot, and a number of similar incidents? Who do you think formed the backbone of the Red Army? It sure as heck wasn't the academics.

The reason it never caught on here is that for all the complaining about capitalism, it raised our standard of living at a never before heard of pace; our poor people had amenities not known to kings a century earlier.

Correction: it raised the living standard of the merchants and industrialists. The people who actually did the work were barely paid enough to survive. It was only due to the impact of 'socialistic' policies that the ordinary person's standard of living was raised.

[overblown rhetoric snipped]

You know you're a redneck if... you consider the current US government to be controlled by socialists. :P



[ Parent ]

Clarification... (3.00 / 1) (#82)
by sec on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 03:05:56 PM EST

Neither the Winnipeg General Strikers nor the Regina Rioters were communists, but:

a) The powers that were mistook them for communists.

b) They were in it for much the same reasons that the Russian communists supported communism.



[ Parent ]

Context... (1.50 / 2) (#85)
by trhurler on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 04:12:12 PM EST

Who do you think formed the backbone of the Red Army? It sure as heck wasn't the academics.
I don't recall a Red Army in the western hemisphere. I was talking about the reasons that the US never became Communist; -here,- the support was primarily academic, as it was in most if not all of the world except for asia and some of central and south america.
Correction: it raised the living standard of the merchants and industrialists. The people who actually did the work were barely paid enough to survive. It was only due to the impact of 'socialistic' policies that the ordinary person's standard of living was raised.
This is both partly untrue and partly misleading. The average standard of living DID rise at an unheard of pace. However, it had previously been very low, and population density caused problems, just as it still does today. Given more time, living conditions would have improved regardless of the trend towards socialist "reforms." As for considering the US government to be controlled by socialists, that is precisely what most of them are. They admit it in private, when talking to their friends; there was a famous quote awhile back, some senator talking to an aide, something like this: "We shall never achieve our dream of a socialist United States while private citizens still own firearms." The Clintons tried to foist national health care off on us. The Democrats are in favor of banning firearms, nationalizing health care, heavily subsidizing certain "favored" industries, and so on. This IS socialism, whether you like the particular form it takes or not. The sad irony is that the opposition is also socialist, and only disagrees on the details of what should be controlled, when, and how. The only real opposition socialism has here is a tiny third party.


--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
It's incredible... (2.00 / 1) (#99)
by nevauene on Sat Oct 14, 2000 at 09:47:05 PM EST

... how obtuse and naive you are.

For a guy who talks down to me about history, yours is certainly bad. Communism was, in its heyday, primarily supported by academics and other well-to-do do-gooders - not the working man. The reason it never caught on here is that for all the complaining about capitalism, it raised our standard of living at a never before heard of pace

You, friend, live in an infinate ivory tower of illusion. From the very beginning of this thread you've made it abundantly clear that you are an utterly dogmatic follower of some objectivist/neo-right-"libertarian" creed, who cannot help but characterize anything you perceive to be even remotely 'socialistic' as a giant evil bureaucratic leviathan. this all based on some ill-conceived, vaguely defined, fucking asinine ideal of a free and beautiful capitalism, a meritocracy. In other words, a capitalism that will never exist.

The assertion that the working man has not historically supported left-wing / "Communist" / socialist movements, that he has perhaps been all for Wonderful Capitalism instead, is fantasy, and hardly backed up by the historical record -- which you have obviously taken in through a very narrow ideological filter. The revolutions and agitations of the past few hundred years are not the product of a cabal of Evil Left Academics, they are a product of the people getting fucked by your dream system actually doing something about it. A wanna-be self-made ubermensch like yourself may wish to refer to all these insignificant underclasses as "the mass". Don't worry. Nietzsche himself was only a wanna-be ubermensch.

Please show me the humane side of bureaucracy. I am here to tell you, it does not exist. Bureaucracy is the most inhumane of inventions, worse even than organized religion in this regard.

Well it's a good thing you were sent here to tell us, oh Bearer of Truth and Light. Capitalism, corporatism, chauvinism, don't make it anywhere on your otherwise fairly accurate "most inhumane of inventions" list, oddly enough. Couldn't include the sacred cows eh?

> Unlike America where ten percent of the population holds ninety percent of the wealth,

And the other ten percent of the wealth is roughly equal to the private holdings of all of Europe... let's not forget that detail, eh? :)


What that has to do with anything, I don't know. It's a nice context-smashing brain fart to skirt around the issue of the absolutely absurb and sickening concentrations of wealth in Amerika The Free. You are one of those irritating people who talks about Logic and Rationalism with sparkling idealistic flair, and yet you 'argue' with rhetoric, fillibustering, total nonsense at times. You fall back on all your Precepts and dogmatisms much more often than you use any critical thinking or attempt anything near a real discourse. And it's very boring cause we've all heard from hundreds of other drones before. So here I am giving you some of your own medicine, which you richly deserve.

Look, I could go on quoting you, at length, but what's the point? As soon as you wanna make some arguments with meat, and actually address capitalism's myriad failings and injustices, feel free. But actually I suggest you go outside for a walk around. Go to all those bad places with the stigma and OPEN YOUR FUCKING EYES. Life isn't what your self-serving idealism renders it into being, it's what it is.

For the record, I am not a statist, and unlike the Canadian media I do not believe that Jesus Christ was reborn and died in Mr. Trudeau. Far from it. But I'll take his at least half-idealistic stab at Evil Bureaucratic Socialism over the current Amerikan system, or your proposed Magical HappyHappyland of Freedom, any day of the week. You talk of meritocracies, but what you really want are aristocracies (like those in a certain Ms. Rand's books), and eventually neo-feudalisms. You, and people like you, have a hierarchy fetish. Get over it, and go see the world outside of your books and your fairly limited imaginations.


There is no K5 Cabal.
[ Parent ]
Re: What's the big deal? (4.00 / 4) (#59)
by Dr Caleb on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 12:26:37 AM EST

Think of the Trudeau's as Canada's equivalent of the Kennedy's, without the money.

Now imagine that the reining Kings of 6 countries, the Queen of England's grandson - Prince Andrew, Fidel Castro, Former President of the U.S. Jimmy Carter, and 4 former Prime Ministers of Canada - including the current one, all show up to "this guy's" funeral. Just imagine though, Jimmy Carter and Fidel Castro sitting on the same church pew, not 10 feet from each other! It happened, for "this guy".

That would never happen ethier in the U.S.

Canada has lost a great man, that is the big deal.


Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Canadians (1.25 / 24) (#12)
by The Holy Chicken on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 05:37:24 PM EST

Wow. As a general rule I don't like Canadians, particularly the French ones, but it sounds like Trudeau was certainly a great man. I'll have to try to learn more.

Also, it's probably inappropriate considering the content of the story, but here are the plans for the invasion of Canada that are currenly hanging on my wall.

Re: Canadians (2.40 / 5) (#28)
by naasking on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 07:30:10 PM EST

As a general rule I don't like Canadians...

Umm... care to explain?

Is that part of your sarcasm?



[ Parent ]
Re: Canadians (2.00 / 2) (#48)
by The Holy Chicken on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 10:10:51 PM EST

I know it's terrible to stereotype, but some of the Canadians I have met have ruined my perception of the country's citizenry as a whole.

[ Parent ]
Re: Canadians (4.20 / 5) (#60)
by d721970 on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 12:33:22 AM EST

That's too bad, but you know how it is... there are yahoos everywhere. As a Canadian attending school in "the States", I'm sorry that your experience with my countrymen has not been more neighborly. I tell you what, I'll apologize on their behalf; sorry :) Now will you give us another chance?

The thing is, we both know that bad experiences with people belonging to any group can color our perceptions of that group even though it's not rational. Frankly, when I read the word "French" in your original post I immediately thought, "that explains it." Which, of course, is horrible. We have to take people as individuals.

This is something that's bothersome to me. Lately, it has become fashionable on both sides of the border to bash the other side. I'm sick of hearing people talk trash about their neighbor. There are some cultural differences, especially between Quebec and English-speaking North America, but they are not so severe that they should create a rift between neighbors. Honestly, the differences between western Canada and California, for example, are really no more severe than the differences between California and Texas.

I wonder how this kind of intolerance has become popularized... Oh well, I'll fight it one person at a time (though, your help would be appreciated :)

Thanks for reading,
Dave

[ Parent ]

It's worse in Quebec (3.25 / 4) (#87)
by Broco on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 04:59:30 PM EST

Most of the bashing I've seen between English Canadians and the US seems to be light-hearted and half-serious. I don't think it's much to worry about.

What's far worse is the rampant racism and hate against all English-speaking people found in Quebec, especially the rural areas. Many people here tend to view English speakers as their "historic enemy" and think that the rest of Canada is out to either exploit them or assimilate them into their evil English-speaking collective. I'm not exaggerating: a lot of people I know would indeed agree with those opinions, as I expressed them. The meaner ones will hurl hate speech at passing Anglos.

I'm not the target of this, since I speak French fluently, but it still sickens me. Separatism is not so much about the protection of our culture as it is about the hate of another's. And these people don't consider themselves racist because we've always been taught that racism is hatred of colored people.

Historically the bourgeoisie in Quebec has always spoken English, so the lower French-speaking classes developed a hatred for the language of the upper classes. Now, positions of power have nothing to do with language, but the hate stayed, especially in rural areas where people don't meet many English-speaking immigrants.

And the government helps fuel it with Quebec history and literature courses, which put a great deal of emphasis on difference of language. Last week in our literature course, we saw 3 blatantly separatist videotapes, including one which did nothing but gratuitously insult everything English in an angry tone. "It's part of our culture," was the excuse. I'd have to agree ...


Klingon function calls do not have "parameters" - they have "arguments" - and they ALWAYS WIN THEM.
[ Parent ]

speaking as an outsider (4.00 / 2) (#89)
by enterfornone on Sat Oct 14, 2000 at 01:52:46 AM EST

I live in Sydney, Australia where we have just had a lot of tourists over the last month. If i was to take the North Americans I met to be representative of the population as a whole I would have to say that US Americans are quite arrogant and self centered while the Canadians are very friendly.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Re: Canadians (3.25 / 4) (#43)
by ambiguous on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 08:45:15 PM EST

That's not an invasion plan, that's a waste of a map and a marker. Here are our invasion plans for america and the world !!
"Against one that is insane, insane measures are often best." -- Pirx The Pilot ("The Hunt", Stanislaw Lem)
[ Parent ]
Odd agenda (2.00 / 1) (#79)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 02:35:13 PM EST

The last time I checked, Canada was in North America so the objective of....

Decontaminating the world of American influence.

... seems a little odd. It'd be a bit like Sierra Leone making a bid to take over the world in order to rid it of African influence.

[ Parent ]

Any particular reasons for that? (3.00 / 5) (#57)
by bigbird on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 12:21:04 AM EST

As a general rule, most of the world does not like Americans. Go figure, as almost every American I have met has been polite, friendly, and well worth knowing. Same for French Canadians. I fear that you will miss out on many positive experiences if you habitually characterise people on the basis of superficial things such as nationality, language or skin colour. There are a few idiots in every group, but to generalize on the basis of what sounds like a few bad experiences is a good way to waste your life

Apart from that, Inoshiro took a lot of editorial license with his glowing description of Trudeau, as has the entire Canadian media establishment. He was a great politician, in the same manner that Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Kim Il Sung and Lenin were awesome politicians.

The legacies of his policies, however are another issue entirely. Let me count the ways - a crippling deficit, a welfare state, a bloated public service, brutal levels of taxation, fiscally unsustainable health care, the piece of crap called the constitution (opinions vary, obviously, but property rights are important to me),the Young Offenders Act, official bilingualism, regional transfer payments which distort labour markets, and the National Energy Program. Many of the people in the region Inoshiro lives (western Canada), especially those who were no longer in diapers during Trudeau's imperium, have somewhat less positive memories of the man, as outlined in other posts.

bigbird


For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
[ Parent ]
Canadian national debt et all. (4.33 / 3) (#68)
by Inoshiro on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 10:27:23 AM EST

I like official bilingualism. The French are as much a part of us as Laura Secord and Tim Horton's doughnuts! I'd be more willing to point my finger at Brian Mulroney for not bothering to adjust the social programs as the world economy changed. Note how the national debt (which climbed in every country during Trudeau's era, due to the world economy of the time) increased exponentially under his huge-chin rule! Why do you think the Tories were thrown out by the Grits so monumentally in 1992?

Trudeau certainly didn't leave Canada with 600 billion in national debt.. It was closer to 60 billion. Still large, but something that could've been paid off by 2010.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Re: Canadian national debt et al (2.33 / 3) (#90)
by bigbird on Sat Oct 14, 2000 at 03:14:26 AM EST

O.K., where is my flamethrower....just kidding.
I like official bilingualism.
I do not, and resent having to pay for it. I could live with the difference of opinion here, as long as official bilingualism was financially supported only by those who actually want it.

[Lecture mode on] There is a huge difference between DEBT and deficit, which you do not appear to have learned. A DEBT is the total owing, whereas a deficit is the amount by which annual spending was greater than income. As an example, if I have a $200,000 mortgage, I have $200,000 in debt. If, however, I spend $20,000 more in a year that I earn, I have a deficit, which I can deal with by declaring bankruptcy, or by adding the deficit to my debt, and creating a voracious compounding monster (kind of what Trudeau did).[Lecture mode off]
Trudeau certainly didn't leave Canada with 600 billion in national debt.. It was closer to 60 billion. Still large, but something that could've been paid off by 2010.
In your wildest dreams, Inoshiro. The DEFICIT alone was around 35 billion in Trudeau's final year, and the accumulated debt around 150-200 billion. As for 2010, unlikely, but possible. Maybe if we had elected the Reform party in 1988 :)

The debt to GNP ratio is probably a better way to look at Trudeau's real legacy to Canadians. The GNP, or Gross National Product is the dollar value of all goods and services (production) of a country. We can think of it as Canada's income. The more debt we have, the higher the proportion of our income will be required to service (pay interest on) that debt, which reduces the options available for financial management in a country (due to the joys of compound interest). Just ask Brazil or New Zealand about that. Under Trudeau, the debt to GNP ratio ballooned (Trudeau resigned in 1984). You will note that debt to GDP was stabilized by the Conservatives a year or two after Trudeau left office (GDP is similar to GNP, and was adopted for government reporting in the last 10 years or so).

There is a history of the national debt in the 1995 report of the Auditor General of Canada (a good information source for this kind of debate):
1986-1991
9.41 A few years later, a new government and a new Minister of Finance noted with alarm the run-up of public debt, which had increased some tenfold in less than two decades, and with it, spiralling interest charges.
Hmmm, who ran the country for the previous two decades? Hint - begins with a "T". Please note that the 1995 report was issued under another Liberal administration, lest you fear any undue bias. This is probably my favorite chart. Based on the debt increase from 1969-1984, Trudeau should have been in the rocket ship business.

As for Mr. Mulroney, I will not apologize for his mistakes. Please note that the accelerating ratio of debt to GNP from Trudeau slowed under his management, from 1984-1989 (the rise from 1989 and onwards is inexcusable, although I recall higher interest rates compared to GDP growth than Trudeau enjoyed in the early 70's as well as a severe recession in Ontario from 90-91. Both of these factors would make an inherited debt load difficult to manage, as the spending on debt financing was consuming 25-35% of the federal budget. Mulroney was not left with much room to maneuver).

bigbird


For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
[ Parent ]
Re: Canadian national debt et al (3.50 / 2) (#94)
by Inoshiro on Sat Oct 14, 2000 at 10:55:34 AM EST

In my opinion, the French are as much a part of Canada as my left hand is a part of my body. It may not be used as much (as my right hand is dominant), but that doesn't mean I'll cut it off because it uses energy that could be distributed to other parts of my body -- it's a part of me. Always has been, hopefully always will be. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that people are far to quick to sieze on differences and magnify them out of purportion -- especially if they think it will get them some more of whatever it is they are after. To deny the French is to do to them what you say the Federal Gov't has done to Alberta and the western provinces. Do you dare to support such hypocrisy?

As for Trudeau's economic policies.. do you care to explain what the debt to GDP bit is about specifically? I can see that it drops around the turn of the century, again when WW1 starts, in 1929, during WW2 (later shooting up incredibly!), and then dropping again past 1964 until the late 1970s. If I use this as a metric for the general health of the economy, I can see that Trudeau's increases in spending on social programs was too much for the economy of the time to support. But I think I am misinterpretting what the debt/gdp ratio is.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Re: Canadian national debt (3.00 / 2) (#101)
by bigbird on Sun Oct 15, 2000 at 03:21:45 AM EST

In my opinion, the French are as much a part of Canada .....
You totally missed my point. I no longer wish to see a french sticker covering nutritional or cooking information on imported Asian food that I buy. This does not mean that I am proposing division of the country. There is a difference between being an official language (which I support) and the social engineering of Official Bilingualism as instituted by Trudeau. As far as hypocrisy goes, spare me. Based on the progression of a typical discussion here or on /. I am only one post away from having someone compare me to a Nazi, because I am using reason (with references to facts) against your primarily emotional argument. Hypocrisy on a grand scale is the Quebec sign law in a country with two official languages. Hypocrisy is forbidding the children of anyone other than english speaking Canadians from being educated in English, which is still an official language in this country, to the best of my knowledge. Even foreign immigrants to Quebec are forced to have their children educated in French.
As for Trudeau's economic policies.. do you care to explain what the debt to GDP bit is about specifically?
Go to the reports section of the Auditor General of Canada's site. Look at Chapter 9 of the 1995 report, especially Section 9.19. Another place you may wish to look is a site I found using Google which discusses debt in Canada. I do not totally agree with the analysis made by Mr. Fraser, and he does not provide many references for his data sources or graphs, which concerns me. However, it is of some interest.

If you really want to improve your knowledge of economics, an introductory university course may be a good idea. Try reading The Economist, and learn by osmosis. Awesome news source, and with articles like the Big Mac Index, how can you go wrong by reading it? Also, try reading The Trouble with Canada by William Gairdner. I read it around 9 years ago, and found that he did a very good job in describing what he observed happening in this country. Based on your writing to date, it will likely challenge many of your beliefs in the same manner that reading Das Kapital would oppose mine.

bigbird

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
[ Parent ]
LOL (3.00 / 1) (#109)
by Inoshiro on Tue Oct 17, 2000 at 11:27:17 AM EST

You nazi! -- just kidding, couldn't resist. I agree that Quebec has some weird laws. But I do support Trudeau's laws on the rest of Canada. I don't think I've seen all the problems you probably have, as that's why we differ in our opinions.

As for the rest, I'll try, but economics doesn't tend to intrest me.. I am a code and logic guy, but that might not be enough :-/



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Economics (and more) should interest you (3.00 / 1) (#111)
by bigbird on Wed Oct 18, 2000 at 04:03:11 PM EST

Everything is connected (TM). When it comes to government, the areas of economics, social policy and freedom are completely intertwined. The social policies of Trudeau have economic effects : increased taxation, reduced growth, and reduced employment (because of disincentives such as UI/EI, welfare, and increased corporate payroll and income taxes). There is also an impact on freedom any time you increase the breadth, scope, influence and capacity of government through new programs.

By controlling the funds for large federally mandated programs such as health care, the federal government can bend provinces to their will, as they attempted to do by attaching new strings to recent health care funding provided to the provinces. Health care is provincially mandated, and we have a situation where some mandarin in Ottawa is trying to override regional preferences as expressed by democratically elected provincial governments.

My own understanding of economics, history, and many other areas could stand improvement (which I very well may never get around to). However, I believe it is a good thing to recognize the linkages between freedom, social policy, economics and government, and not look at any policies or laws and their impacts in isolation. Even k5 has a section called "Freedom and Politics", illustrating the connection, and the value many k5 users place on their freedom.

bigbird

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
[ Parent ]
And yet the "right" (3.75 / 4) (#69)
by Spendocrat on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 10:38:03 AM EST

Did shit-all to correct what they see as the terrible, horrible legacy left by Trudeau.

I"m on a Canadian Alliance mail-list and they're still bitchning and moaning about what a terrible person Trudeau was (great respect from the proponents of "the campaign of respect, eh). What no one on the right ever talks about is how the next 8 years of Tory government were worse. Nothing got "fixed" from the Trudeau years; the deficiet and debt just kept movin' on up.

You can cry all you want about the welfare state, but none of the parties today are doing anything better. What have you seen from the Alliance or the Tories that improves things in terms of economic fairness in Canada? Nothing. Because no party right or left has has had a leader with any balls since Trudeau left power.

[ Parent ]

Re: Canadians (4.25 / 4) (#58)
by mercy on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 12:25:08 AM EST

Planning on invading again eh? You might want to check out what happened last time that happened, specificly 1812. :)

[ Parent ]
Excellent article! (2.17 / 17) (#16)
by maynard on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 05:43:39 PM EST

This is really why I read K5. I tip my hat Inoshiro, this is insightful, politcally aware, documented, and very well written.

Cheers,
--Maynard

This comment should not be rated above 2

Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.

A great man indeed. (4.21 / 14) (#22)
by erotus on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 06:40:44 PM EST

Trudeau was a bit of a hero and the father of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He is held in high regards all over Canada. I am American, however I met many Canadians in my lifetime and they've all spoken highly of Trudeau. He created the atmosphere for a unified, kinder, more civilized nation. Don't believe me?

I've been to Canada several times and I can only say that I enjoy every visit. When I was doing phone support for AST computers we recieved calls from the US and Canada. Canadians, no matter how bad the problem, were always polite, curteous and civilized. Americans would bitch, curse, and scream over the slightest issue with their computers. "What has happened to civility in America," I would ask myself.

Canada has been rated as the best country in which to live by the UN many years in a row. My fellow Americans, say what you will, however, I have been to Canada and it is like a much nicer, cleaner America. I know, the American experience really depends on what state you live in. Vermont and it's culture is surely different from that of Mississippi. We can move to another state if we want to live in a more civilized environment.

It is my hope, that one day, America too will have leader as influential, intelligent, and respected as Trudeau. Until that day, I will have to live with the ridiculous bi-partisan politics. Gore, Bush, it's the same old thing, different candidate.

Re: A great man indeed. (3.25 / 4) (#23)
by aphrael on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 06:43:50 PM EST

Canadians, no matter how bad the problem, were always polite, curteous and civilized.

And traveling Canadians are *great fun* to go out drinking with. :)



[ Parent ]
The kidnapping and terrorism (3.30 / 10) (#27)
by naasking on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 07:26:06 PM EST

When a reporter asked how far Trudeau would go to end the crisis, Trudeau answered in ominous words... "Watch me."

Very memorable...



My favourite Trudeauism... (3.41 / 12) (#36)
by Greener on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 07:55:33 PM EST

...was his response when asked if he ever smoked marijuana. I can't remember hs specific words but it was something like the following:

You mean in Canada or outside Canada?



Not just a great poltician, but he had character. (3.77 / 9) (#45)
by xtal on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 09:08:10 PM EST

Ok, Trudeau wasn't the best economist. He put the country pretty far into debt - but that wasn't why this man was great. He had some pretty far left views compared to the Americans, but he had views of his own. He had character. He had dignity, and he didn't apologize about it. When the FLQ started shit in Quebec, he didn't dick around - he called in the Military and ended that quick like. On more than one occasion could be seen making interesting jestures at people who were being idiots. After watching the recent debates, both the choices south of the border are spineless meat puppets that are scared shitless of taking an opinion on ANYTHING. Bush only slightly less so than Gore (at least he said he wasn't down with gay marriages. I can respect that, right or wrong, Gore was just a numpty).

Trudeau wasn't like that; He had balls about him, and while slightly before my time, he's one of the few politicans in recent memory that I can actually say I have some respect for, even if I don't agree with some of his policies.

There was once a time when you elected a leader for a vision and to get something done. Somewhere along the way the media got involved and villifies people for speaking their mind - apparently nobody is insulted by being bald-face lied to anymore. Can't hurt anyone's feelings, you know.

Trudeau will indeed be missed.


Steered the waters of the energy problems (cough) (3.16 / 6) (#50)
by bigbird on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 10:24:22 PM EST

And you are from the praries, Inoshiro? Recall the National Energy Policy?

Trudeau bled the west for the benefit of central Canada, and threw Alberta into a recession because of the NEP. From the Albertan PC Party website (biased, but who isn't? At least they do not lie about being a neutral reporter):

If Albertans were apathetic about politics in 1979, they were not in 1980. The Liberals, under Pierre Trudeau in Ottawa, introduced the National Energy Program, a program which was to devastate portions of the Alberta economy. It singled out the resources of western Canada for totally different treatment from those of the other regions. It was to siphon $60 billion from the Alberta economy over the next few years. It aroused bitter reactions in the west which even now have not disappeared.
Trudeau showed his lack of respect for westerners on a train outside of Salmon Arm one day. That is the only image I will ever recall of him.


For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
I am from the praires.. (4.33 / 3) (#67)
by Inoshiro on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 10:17:49 AM EST

You say that he bled the western provinces. You neglet to mention that of BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, only Alberta has the oil reserves. I've spent my life either in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, or Calgary, Alberta. I can say that Calgary sure doesn't look like a recession has hit. When I lived there (I spent about 9 years of my life there), it seemed to be ticking along nicely. Ditto for my visits to Edmonton.

Even if he did add taxes to the oil to aide social programs, so what? In the world of economics, you know that getting money by being a resource exporter is never a long-term solution to a proper economy. You need to have skilled labour, and produce a product that the rest of the world will always have a need for. Oil is a non-renewable resource, but good products which are offered for a reasonable price are always in demand.

I can honestly say that Trudeau was the kind of politician I can respect. Maybe Alberta was hurt, maybe not. Either way, it seems fine now. Short term suffering for long term prosperity? Maybe that's what it was. If you can prove that Alberta is sliding into a desperate recession that it will never, ever arrise from, I'll agree that the program was wrong. Otherwise it seems like a strawman used as an excuse to separate from Canada -- just like the language issue is the strawman in Quebec.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Maybe not Alberta.. but Canada? (3.00 / 1) (#73)
by slycer on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 12:45:18 PM EST

Ok, maybe Alberta is not slipping into a debt it will never recover from (in fact it's not, by a long shot), however, before Trudeau came to power, the Canadian dollar was valued higher than the American, the economy was good, and there were very little west/east tensions. So, maybe not Alberta, but did he really do much good for Canada?

[ Parent ]
Of course it was better then (4.00 / 1) (#84)
by Inoshiro on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 03:24:33 PM EST

You seem to forget, Canada is primarily a resource exporter. At the time (1968), the US was sucking in goods and services for its war effort in Vietnam. By buying lots from us, they propped up our dollar. Other things in the world economy also affected us. Now we buy lots of things from the US, and the situation reverses.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Canadian dollar. (4.00 / 1) (#104)
by mindstrm on Mon Oct 16, 2000 at 03:54:21 AM EST

Consider the Loon compared to the rest of the world's currency, not the American dollar.

Part of the reason we slip behind the US in dollar value is the crazy growth in the US economy.



[ Parent ]
Canadian Dollar (4.00 / 1) (#110)
by Greener on Tue Oct 17, 2000 at 08:02:25 PM EST

Isn't the current federal government keeping the dollar low on purpose as it's good for our economy. Low dollar = more incentive to buy goods from and visit Canada. I come from a town in southern British Columbia and I know the low dollar means an influx of tourists from the US and around the world who all spend money in Canada.

Unfortunately most Canadians don't realize the benefit of a low dollar and continue to complain about the high cost of going anywhere. I know a trip I'm planning would be easier If the Canadian dollar was higher.

P.S.
Any Aussies reading this please e-mail me if you have any suggestions on what to see and do down there. I'm planning on visiting for several months and I really want to get to know the country.



[ Parent ]

Re: NEP and the Praires (3.66 / 3) (#76)
by camcanuck on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 01:28:47 PM EST

No matter how you slice it the NEP (National Energy Program) did more harm than good. I really believe that Trudeau had good intentions, but the NEP was a huge blunder. It caused a lot of financial hardship and most certainly did spark a depression in the region but perhaps most importantly it created a huge disdain for the Federal government which is still very engrained today. This only further deepened the divisions between western and eastern Canada. The west in general and perhaps Alberta even more so than other provinces feel the Federal government cares very little about their well being. Your point about not wanting to be resource exporter forever brings up a very good point. Essentially the NEP allowed the rest of Canada (more specifically Eastern Canada) to move away from a resource based economy, but forced Alberta to remain there. Iíve started rambling a bit here, but to sum it up the NEP was a major contributor to the current East/West divisions in Canada and therefore must be noted as one of Prime Minister Trudeauís few mistakes.

Just for the record:
  • I have lived in Calgary for over 20 years
  • Trudeauís other mistake was not getting Quebec to sign the Charter in 1982. But I don't know if ANYONE could 've done that.


  • [ Parent ]
    Re: I am from the praires.. (2.50 / 2) (#83)
    by sec on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 03:18:57 PM EST

    Actually, there are oil deposits in Saskatchewan (North Battleford, Kindersley, and Estevan areas) and Manitoba (Virden area). Alberta has by far the most, though.

    Any particular reason you didn't count Manitoba as a western province? :)



    [ Parent ]

    Were you around in the early 80's, Inoshiro? (2.66 / 3) (#92)
    by bigbird on Sat Oct 14, 2000 at 04:44:16 AM EST

    I would guess that you are around 22-24. That means that during the Trudeau-created recession in Alberta from approximately 1981-84, you would have been maybe 6-8 years old. At the most.

    Next time you are in Alberta, look at the ages of buildings, both residential and commercial. You will see a lot dating to the late 70's (such as Mill Woods in Edmonton), and relatively few from 1980-1990. Same for bridges and highways. Do not apply the prosperity you saw in the late 80's and early 90's to a period ten years earlier.

    As for oil, drive through Lloyd someday, and drop by Pierceland (near Cold Lake, on the Sask side). Heavy crude, and lots of it. There are also significant crude reserves in the southeast and southwest of Saskatchewan. In fact, Sask can boast the highest increase (not highest total, though) in greenhouse emissions for all of Canada due to increased oil and gas exploration in the past year. I know several people who made a living drilling oil in Saskatachewan since the 1960's.
    Even if he did add taxes to the oil to aide social programs, so what?
    We are not talking taxation here. Restrictions on investment, ownership, and price controls are a tad more serious than your utoptian wealth redistribution.From Encyclopedia Britannica:
    Canada suffered greatly in the worldwide recession of 1981-82, but the impact was made worse by Ottawa's failure to control its spending and its miscalculation in anticipating that future increases in energy prices would help pay its bills. That expectation was the basis of the National Energy Program (NEP), introduced in the fall of 1980, which was designed to speed up the "Canadianization" of the energy industry and vastly increase Ottawa's share of energy revenues. The NEP created a fierce conflict between the central government and the energy-producing provinces (particularly Alberta), chased private investment capital out of Canada, and drastically reduced exploration for conventional oil and gas. When oil prices declined, NEP policies made the recession even deeper in Alberta.
    I cannot see how you can rationalize this away, Inoshiro. I do not believe in Robin Hood where the government is involved. There is no such thing as the "greater good" when it is defined by bureaucrats.
    In the world of economics, you know that getting money by being a resource exporter is never a long-term solution to a proper economy.
    But the Saudis and Kuwaitis will tell you that it is a great medium term proposition. And based on your other replies, I would guess that economics is not one of your strong points. Control of resources is a matter of provincial jurisdiction in this country, and Trudeau betrayed a founding principle of this nation with the NEP.
    Short term suffering for long term prosperity? Maybe that's what it was.
    It wasn't. Do a little research. There was no long term prosperity built into in the NEP; any prosperity you see in the west happened after the damage caused by Trudeau was repaired by Mulroney. It was simple theft, stealing provincial revenues to fund Trudeaus social engineering and excessive spending.
    If you can prove that Alberta is sliding into a desperate recession that it will never, ever arrise from, I'll agree that the program was wrong.
    The length of time you deliberately cripple an economy for is irrelevant, as I pointed out above (theft is still theft). I imagine that a careful reading would show that legislation such as the NEP would violate your beloved constitution. The welfare of any other region in this country should not come at the expense of another. The Maritimes are too often used as a whipping boy, so I will use a generic BC interior town as an example. Imagine the sawmill / mine / smelter has just shut down, and there are 1500 people out of work, and the town will cease to exist. Cries of desparation will pour forth to the government, pleading for federal assistance, to save their community, their way of life, the lifestyle they inherited from their fathers,grandfathers and great-grandfathers and so on. There is no economic reason to support these towns or people. If they cannot prosper, they should move to a better place with brighter economic prospects, and the country would be a better place for it. By transferring wealth from prosperous areas to economic black holes, you interfere with market economics, and reduce the incentive for people to create wealth. BC recently wasted close to a billion dollars supporting two dying industries: the shipping industry (fast ferries) and a single pulp and paper plant in a cabinet minister's riding (Repap, I believe). I shudder to think about the federal tax money wasted on Devco, or the cumulative cost to Canadians of policies such as agricultural marketing boards or tariff barriers which support crippled industries such as our clothing manufacturers. Tell me what this money would have done if it had been invested in education, R&D, or better yet, left in the pockets of taxpayers to promote investment (the real driver of the economy, not the government as you seem to believe).

    I can honestly say that Trudeau was the kind of politician I can respect.
    Trudeau believed in big government. While I did not like him, or agree with any of his policies, he was highly skilled at the essentials of modern politics: he had flair and style, the media ate out of his hand, and he could both build coalitions and play people one against the other (opposite, yet related skills) like few have been able to since. And he certainly did not lack in deciciveness!

    I would hope that even his most ardent supporters would admit to the media frenzy being a bit much, though. You would think he was singlehandedly responsible for molding Canada from a lump of clay, if you were to listen to the radio, watch TV, pick up a newspaper or read a news magazine over the past two weeks. While there is a cultural taboo about criticizing the dead, it is a wee bit too early to nominate him for a sainthood. Ever since Diana died in that Parisian tunnel, the huge public outpourings of emotion when anyone famous dies have been greatly overdone. And what about Mt. Logan? Why try to name a western mountain after him, thats what the Laurentians are there for.

    bigbird

    For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
    [ Parent ]
    Good points, but... (3.33 / 3) (#93)
    by Inoshiro on Sat Oct 14, 2000 at 10:40:57 AM EST

    "But the Saudis and Kuwaitis will tell you that it is a great medium term proposition. And based on your other replies, I would guess that economics is not one of your strong points"

    Indications are that their oil is running out, and will do so quickly. One can hope, anyways. No, as you've observed here and elsehwere, economics is not my strong suite. I have enough of an understanding to save sanely for my own retirement, as well as be fairly smart about sustaining myself with an income, but that's the extent of my knowledge.

    I very much agree that if a becomes economically inviable due to changes in the environment, it should be accepted with dignity. You should note that I didn't mention anywhere that I supported Mr. Trudeau's transfer payments or economic balancers. They are a humane thing, but they don't make sense when the people and country would be better served by it becoming a ghost town (like many settlements in the late 19th century).

    As for the media frenzy, it should be noted that Mr. Trudeau was never overly comfortable with most media figures, and was known to curse or assault them if antogonized :-)



    --
    [ イノシロ ]
    [ Parent ]
    Going waay offtopic here (2.50 / 2) (#100)
    by bigbird on Sun Oct 15, 2000 at 01:55:44 AM EST

    Indications are that their oil is running out, and will do so quickly.
    I had expected better research and a more reasoned and careful reply from you, Inoshiro. This is kuro5hin, after all.

    For oil supply, please take a look here. 1995 data, which clearly shows 55 years left of Saudi crude at 1995 extraction rates, over 116 years for Kuwait. Before anyone pipes up about increased production rates, petroleum geologists expect to find 50-330 Billion barrels of undiscovered, recoverable oil in the Middle East. The current persian gulf production rates are close to 7 billion barrels a year (1995), and proven reserves in the gulf are over 300 billion barrels. Increasing production is not as easy as opening a tap. Saudi and Kuwaiti 1999-2000 production rates are almost identical to those in 1995.

    You should note that I didn't mention anywhere that I supported Mr. Trudeau's transfer payments or economic balancers.
    It would have been nice to see some discussion of these issues in your story, to act as a bit of a balance to the glowing praises.

    bigbird

    For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
    [ Parent ]
    a sad irony of the American media... (3.50 / 6) (#62)
    by your_desired_username on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 02:34:12 AM EST

    During the late 80's, the American press projected the illusion that nuke-buying, arms-deal-forgetting Ronald Reagan was primarily responsible for the disarmament treaties he and Gorbachev signed. Trudeau was almost never mentioned, and when he was, the public's response was something along the lines of 'Trudeau? Isn't he a cartoonist? I never understood his stuff.' (*Gary* Trudeau, a rather different man from Pierre, is the author of Doonesbury - a cartoon strip which is usually a political satire.) I did not know about the part Trudeau played until a few years ago.



    The bouncer's comment (3.00 / 4) (#86)
    by qts on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 04:23:40 PM EST

    I'm minded of the occasion when he tried to gain entry to some event. Upon being asked who he was, he said "Pierre Trudeau" and the bouncer replied, "That's what they all say", and denied him entry.



    Trudeau (3.00 / 1) (#103)
    by mindstrm on Mon Oct 16, 2000 at 03:48:11 AM EST

    I think, the big thing with Trudeau was:
    He was *already* wealthy and happy. So he didn't have to be a lying asshole in order to be successful; he already was successful, so he focused on doing what was right for the country (or what he thought was right) rather than simply trying to convince everyone to re-elect him.


    The death of a great leader | 112 comments (106 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
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