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Tuesday, January 20, 2015


PPCT.  Who Pays the Piper Calls the Tune.  Why is this so hard to understand.  If politicians are being supported financially by rich individuals, banks, the Corporatocracy, by the arms manufacturers, these individuals and companies will call the tune.  The politicians will do their bidding.  Right wing governments seem to be particularly prone to this, having a built in sympathy for big business but left wing parties are also supported by big business.  Why should we be surprised when, even the left rarely does what is good for the people who elected them.

Look around you.  Is the middle class participating in the economy or is more and more money being accumulated by the top 1%.  Are the rights of workers being eroded, even down to the petty level that companies no longer have to give their workers a tea break*.  Are companies being allowed to  avoid taxes by various dodges such as joining with a small company in a foreign country with a different tax system.  Are companies sending their manufacturing overseas.  If you see these symptoms, you are in a country in which the government is in Thrall to big business.

* Recent move by the government here in New Zealand

Here is a particularly insidious example.  In the US of A, the land of democracy and freedom, the land in which the government is for the people and by the people, (yeah right!!) a vast majority of those same citizens agree that many gun reforms are necessary.  Agreement is pretty universal that one shouldn't be able to buy assault rifles, not buy guns with huge manazines, not buy heavy machine guns, for heaven sake and so forth.  It is agreed that there should be background checks and, for instance,  insane people and criminals should not be able to buy guns.  And yet the American Government ignores the people.  Who do you think is paying the piper in this example.  Follow the money.  Even more strange, a significant proportion of the NRA (National Rifle Association) agrees with the need for many of the suggested reforms.  Guess who is making money from a lack of gun control.  Always follow the money.

The only way out of this is to give politicians a set amount of money from the public purse and a set amount of air time on Government radio stations.  They should be afforded free time in halls and civic centres to address people and of course they can use the internet to their hearts content.

It would be worthwhile to provide each politician with a standard web site with the information arranged in a standard form so that any citizen, once he had got used to the format, could easily search for whatever information he is looking for.

These standard web sites could also be linked horizontally where, for instance, if you were looking up the voting record of a particular politician on a specific bill, you could jump sideways to another politician to see how he had voted on the same bill.

Part of the information would be entered for them such as their voting record, their history, any convictions they have had and so forth and the rest of the web site would be for them to present their case.They would be allowed to apply for a correction to any of these permanent records but not to alter them themselves in any way.

Does this sound expensive; giving politicians money for their campaigns from the public purse.  If you think so, just look at the cost of the present system.  Money is being concentrated in the hands of the now famous 1%, The rich are paying far less than their fair share of taxes, corporations are avoiding taxes and they send their manufacturing overseas and join with small overseas companies to avoid taxes.  Even Warren Buffet says that he pays a smaller tax, by percentage, than his secretary.  Big business is taking their profits overseas and are still allowed to operate as if they are American businesses and the middle class is being gutted.   The cost of the present system is huge and effects all of us.

Worse still, there is a very good chance that the present system will destroy our civilization due to sudden climate change as we push the light switch just that little bit too far.  It may send us back into a dark age or even a stone age.  Fossil fuel is being burnt in greater and greater amounts each year and governments are not taking the simple, well known, technical measures that would address this*.  All of this, despite report after report by the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) that we are heading for hell in a hand basket.

*With the exception, surprisingly, of China.  Yes she is building more coal fired power stations and her output of Carbon dioxide is increasing but at an ever reducing rate.  China is going flat out to change over to renewable energy and is likely to be the star in this endeavour amongst the countries of the world.

A good start would be to simply transfer the estimated trillion dollars of subsidies from the fossil fuel industry which is hugely profitable and give it to renewable energy companies.

The next step might be to institute Tax and Dividend a la Jim Hansen.  Neither of these measures and a host of other simple, well understood, necessary measures will be taken as long as politicians are financed by vested interests.


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