A Money Coach in Canada

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1. Goldman-Sachs invested $450M in Facebook. Don’t want anyone of my readers to be the last to know!

2. ” a third of all income growth in Canada in the past two decades went to the richest 1 per cent of Canadians.”
Holy smokes, eh? Full article at the Globe and Mail and an extended reflection on this can be found on Mike Todd’s blog.

3. Big Thought of the Day: When we talk about the economy, and jobs, it’s easy to become detached. We never quite believe it “can happen here”. About a year ago I became weirdly interested in Detroit after becoming (equally weirdly) addicted to Sam Roberts’ Song Detroit ’67 below.

Check out these recently published photos, Ruins of Detroit. Then watch the video below for ghosts of what Detroit once was. Our politics, our policies and our spending can make or break a city.

Detroit ’67 Music Video from Dave Pawsey on Vimeo.

I do my own investing. And I remain convinced I’ve done pretty darn well. It isn’t rocket science.
I started with a couple basic economic courses, then over the years have learned to read the financial pages.

Care to join me and become savvy about the world of high finance?

Thursdays are in-the-know days here on my blog, in which I’ll link to a handful of the current week’s articles I found interesting.

This week:

1. An OpEd in the New York Times:
“Seriously, what we’re looking at over the next few years, even with pretty good growth, are unemployment rates that not long ago would have been considered catastrophic — because they are. Behind those dry statistics lies a vast landscape of suffering and broken dreams. And the arithmetic says that the suffering will continue as far as the eye can see.”
The columnist argues for a repeat of the New Deal, ie. the government should employ folks to work on infrastructure. Doing so will create jobs, which in turn will create economic growth.

2. How much Cdn CEOs made during 2009. For example, Jim Shaw (think Cable company) made $11,557,119.

3. And the BBC did a nifty 90 second explanation of GDP. Worth knowing!

DSCF4958.jpg

Argh!

Just when I was getting sleepily comfortable with my worldviews, Harvard’s Michael Sandel had to mess with my head.

I’ve been cool with taxes for quite some time now. I wasn’t always. As a teen and into my twenties, I saw no reason why my hard-earned money should fund other people’s issues. I vividly recall being thrown back when my boss at the time, whom I admired greatly, was completely at ease with taxes.

Over the years, I’ve become at ease with paying taxes too. Now, when I hear “tax cuts”, I warily wonder which services we are going to lose. And beyond paying for items I use myself – universities, health, safety via police – I also want to live in a society where the hungry are fed and the homeless are housed. That society just feels better to me.

Until I considered it from another point of view. This other point of view forces a clash between my deep-seated sense of independence (I’m nothing if not “my own person”) and my commitment to fundamental rights and freedoms versus my desire for a kind, compassionate society and .

The reasoning goes like this:

1. Taxation = the taking of our earnings.

2. Taking of earnings = forced labour

3. Forced labour = slavery

ERGO: Taxes are a form of slavery.

If I don’t have the sole right to the fruits of my labour, that’s like saying the state is a part owner of me.

Readers. Agree? Disagree? Is this way of posing the issue a red herring?

Paul – I bet you have something to say 🙂
And maybe you, Canajun Finance?

If you have time and inclination, here’s the lecture:

SEN. SANDERS is filibustering as I type this. He’s been going since 10:30am EST, I believe — and incredibly, his voice is still in good shape AND he’s still interesting! Here goes a bit of a liveblog (disclaimer! I may get some of this wrong. Do fact checking if you’re basing anything on this):

peaceful • patriot

We support a $400/year tax break for every worker in America. When they have the money, they spend it, which creates more jobs. Yes, we want more workers to have more money in their pockets.

But lowering the payroll tax is not a good idea. The idea originated from conservative Republicans whose intention was to destroy social security. One way you do that is to divert funds intended for the social security trust fund.
Here’s the problem. Historically, the reason social security works is that the fund is *funded*. Even just stopping this for one year, the accusation will become “now your taxing employers”. It’s a backdoor method for breaking social security. What are the odds that the Republicans will allow the tax cut to expire?

What this issue is about, is breaking the bonds we’ve had since the inception of social security. Historically, it’s *always* been paid for by the workers.

The real debate about social security is not about finances. It has a $2.6Trillion surplus. For the next 29 years, it can pay for every person who will need it. It’s just wrong to say the fund is going bankrupt.

Another problem with this Agreement – it provides businesses with tax cuts. Almost all economists understand that if we’re serious about creating the kinds of jobs we desperately need, as rapidly and effectively as possible, the way to do that is not to provide corporate tax cuts. Corporate America is sitting on $2Trillion cash. Instead, what we have got to do is make significant investments in our crumbling infrastructures – our bridges, our roads, broadband, dams. In every single one of these areas, our infrastructure is crumbling.
It doesn’t get better all by itself!

According to Society of Civil Engineers, we should be spending about $2trillion (?) dollars on our infrastructure, excluding Alaska (me: why did he exclude Alaska?).

It’s also water systems. The mayor of Rutland, Vermont showed me a pipe. It was in bad shape. It was laid by an Engineer who later went to war. Guess which war? THE CIVIL WAR. And that pipe’s still being used.

(me: when to Filibuster-ers use the loo??)

Compared to China, our (US) investments in Rail is inadequate. China is investing in high speed rail, thousands of miles, and 100s of new Airports.

So one of my objections is We can do better in job creation be investing in infrastructure, than we can by giving tax cuts to businesses.

Some Americans can’t get cel phone service, or decent broadband. When we make those investments, we not only provide jobs, but make our nation stronger.

Another objection: I was quite disturbed to hear about one of the compromises that was struck – to extend unemployment benefits to (by?) 13 months. How can we turn our backs on these workers? What happens to those families? Do they lose their homes? Do they move out onto the streets? How do they take care of their kids? There are parts of this country where it’s very, very hard to get a job. I get upset at the Republican’s willingness to support this extension to be considered as “a major compromise”. For the past 40 years, whenever the unemployment rate has been above 7.2%, (today, at 9.8%), regardless of Republican / Democrat gov’t, unemployment benefits have been extended. So what kind of compromise are the Republicans offering? It’s just continuing sensible bi-partisan policy.

We are offering tax cuts to 98% of Americans. And THIS IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH for Republicans? We have to give tax cuts to the top 2% too?

So Mr. President, while there are some good provisions in this Bill, and extending the tax breaks to 98% of Americans, if the American people demand it, we Can Do Better. I don’t know if you or I alone will be able to convince our Republican friends to make this into the kind of proposal we need to work for Americans. The way we defeat this and come back with a better proposal and millions of people write their congress-people and say “Are we NUTS? Do we really think that at this time, we need to give the richest 2% a tax break at this point in our history”

Republican strategy is pretty clear. They want to destroy social security. We’re hearing more and more about raising retirement age (me: personally, I think that has to happen).

********
OK. This blogger’s pooped. Filibustered out. PLUS, he finished (big OOPS – I thought I was watching a livestream but it wasn’t! He’s already done!)

TRUTH WILL OUT (Julian Assange) Wikileaks.org - Poster for Wikileaks.org
Holy Smokes, eh?

If you have a “take” on any of this, I’m sure interested in reading it!

Barely 2 weeks after I finished reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, and I seem to be seeing it happen before my very eyes!

If I understand it correctly the sequence of events are as follows:

1. November 28, 2010: Wikileaks releases all kinds of highly-sensitive documents of the U.S. under their mantra of “keeping governments open” . (is that goal objectionable?). This debacle is now being referred to as CableGate.

2. Dec. 7th, 2010: Juliann Assange, founder and editor-in-chief of wikileaks is arrested in the UK for alleged sex crimes committed in Sweden. While I am a feminist and want to see justice done for any woman who was a victim of sexual violence, the time of this seems just a wee bit too.perfect. Assange’s accounts are frozen, and folks can no longer donate to Wikileaks via Paypal.

3. December 8, 2010: Netizens are in an uproar and the eerie ANON takes down Mastercard’s website.

Here’s what they (ANON) say about themselves:

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