STATIONBREAK.CA

Devion's Views #134

TALES OF GOUGING, TRICKERY, INJUSTICE, UNFAIRNESS, POWER AND POLITICS    Nov 4/17

Gather 'round everybody, its story time again.

It all started with finding a way to pay for World War One.

It has evolved into the biggest legal money grab ever concocted by the powerful.

THE "SYSTEM"...at its simplest:

The principal annual task of our Federal, Provincial and Municipal "ministers of money" is to take the incomes of the 99% (the poor and middle class) and spend most of it on the 1% (the rich and powerful), their real bosses.

"But Grandpa, my teacher says they work for us. Isn't that true?"

Sweetheart, let me explain further.

They do this by extracting income taxes and multiple hidden taxes (myriad fees, etc.) from the 99%; and just like going to the dentist to have a tooth pulled, they do it without local anesthesia to numb the pain and it really hurts.

THE TAKE:

1) The Feds take 50% of the 99%'s annual income,

2) The Province(s) take 20-25% of the 99%'s annual income,

3) The Municipality(s) take 10-15% of the 99%'s annual income.

This leaves the 99% only 15-20% of their income for a meagre subsistence, while the 1%, who control compensation for the poor and middle class, stuff their pockets.

"Grandpa, what do they do with all the money they take from the 99%?"

They give most of it to the 1%, who receive lucrative government contracts, in exchange for financing the election campaigns of the politicians who give them the contracts.

"Grandpa, that's not fair, is it?"

It's called pay-back, or scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours with the suckers' money.

What's left over is spent on whatever is the political bosses latest priorities, i.e. pet projects.

If they haven't collected enough from the 99% and want to spend more, they borrow using the 99%'s credit card.

THE BIG IRONY:

The 99% have no real say in any of this. The 1% have truckloads of money which enables their priviledged access and influence. 

THE BIG CHANGE:

When the 99% get so fed up they throw them out, elect a new bunch who, in time, revert to the same old games and the cycle repeats itself, ad infinitum.

HONOURABLE BIG DOG AND HIS SHELL GAME:

Of all the "ministers of our money" the one with the biggest bite is the Fed, Slick Willie M.

Recently, Slick stepped into a steaming pile of cow-pies. Everybody found out that not all of his holdings were in a blind trust. That broke a House rule. It made a real bad smell in the House where the games are played.

Turned out that when Slick Willie's company proposed a revamp of pension plans to the government, his party tabled Bill C-27 a.k.a. "How to screw pensioners". This resulted in a substantial increase in the value of Slick's shares, estimated at $9 million.

The embarrassing stinkeroo threatened his future as BIG DOG.

Willie had to find a quick way to rescue his tarnished halo (reputation) or his boss, Justin-the-Hunk, would be forced to throw him off the Sunny Ways bus.

What to do? What to do?

His platoon of tax and political advisors huddled, and came up with a plan that could be categorized as a slick shell game:

If Slick donates the $9 million to charity:

a) He avoids paying tax on the $9 million gain,

b) He claims the donation as a tax deduction of $9 million,

c) His generosity is applauded and he remains BIG DOG.

And "Presto", problem disapears, n'est-ce-pas?

But wait a minute, what if the real financial impact of this scheme on Slick's actual net worth is...zero?

Has Slick Willie M's team of financial tricksters played us for fools, using the deceptive, evasive ploy "now you see it, now you don't"; a shell game?

The result appears to be just moving the $9 million out and back in again. Deception at its finest.

                           THE ACORN NEVER FALLS FAR FROM THE ACORN TREE

Many, especially Westerners, remember when Trudeau-the-First gave the finger to Alberta farmers as his train departed the station.

Pierre-the-Charmer was known as an overly frugal penny-pincher when it came to his own money.

His reputation with taxpayers' money, however, was anything but. Regularly using the taxpayers' credit card to run up annual deficits, without regard to the burden on those who would eventually have to pay for the Liberal spending spree.

Not two years into his mandate, Trudeau-the-Second is running annual deficits of $20 billion (and counting) with the support of Slick Willie M and his caucus.

Justin Pierre James Trudeau likes to make-believe he is pro-the-West, having spent much of his younger years in B.C., and visited the western provinces many times during his campaign and since becoming Prime Minister.

Federal politicians realize a political reality: In order to become government, the support of Quebec voters is necessary.

Quebecers know this, use it effectively as a political "weapon", frustrating voters in the Rest-of-Canada.

What sticks in the craw of taxpayers, especially in the West, e.g. Alberta, is that Quebec continues to be classed a "have-not" province, receiving $11 billion in tax transfers. Albertans are really hurting and need financial help, yet continue to be classed a "have" province, forced to contribute to Quebec's annual transfer payment.

Especially galling to the Rest-of-Canada is watching Quebec politicians:

*Give Bombardier one billion dollars,

*Provide its citizens the most generous social programs in the entire country; programs other provinces can't afford,

*Oppose pipeline-East that would help Alberta and the national economy,

*Implement laws contrary to Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms,

*And threaten to play the separation card whenever they don't get their way.

Unrest grows in the Rest-of-Canada at the obvious unfairness of Quebec's "not-have" status.

Will Trudeau-the-Second do anything to redress the imbalance? No.

Why not? Because he can't.

He represents the federal riding of Papineau, Montreal, Quebec. His political hands are tied by the aformentioned political reality.

Fact: The distribution of seats across the Provinces/Nation is out of whack with contemporary reality and violate a basic democratic tenet, Representation by Population.

Consequently, just like his Dad, Trudeau-the-Second will continue to be perceived as giving the Italian salute to the Rest-of-Canada, in order to retain favour with Quebec voters.

                                   WE'RE NOT HAPPY 'TIL YOU'RE NOT HAPPY

Only one guess per reader. If you guess incorrectly, proceed to the back of the class, sit on the stool and put on the spiky tinfoil hat.

Which of our two national airlines has earned this deserved reputation?

Clue: The airline that has the chutzpah to boast during pre-flight announcements, "we are very pleased to announce (in both official languages) that our company has been voted best North American airline for the sixth year."

Recently, I travelled Air Canada Rouge Victoria-Toronto to visit family.

Rouge is the no-frills, no-discounts, no-comfort, no-fun, ride from Hell.

Sweating passengers board, not yet recovered from the "security screening" ordeal, pulling luggage the size of small cars down teeny-tiny aisles, laden with overstuffed backpacks to begin competing for limited overhead storage bins.

Sqeezing their derriere's into compacted seats, concerned exposed elbows and knees are endangered by food and drink carts; trapped souls packed into this metal tube like live sardines.

Another surprise, there is no screen on the seatback in front of your eyes. Not to worry, the cheerful flight attendent will rent the AC Ipad for only $10.

Blood pressure rises as the throng ponders having paid the advertised "low, low price" of $685 for a one-way ticket that requires additonal payments: tiny seat rental $26, stowed luggage bag $25, stale sandwich $10.25, plus GST and PST. Now sit back and "enjoy" your zero-frills, no-comfort, overpriced ride from Hell.

Just suppose you booked a round-trip ticket, Victoria-Toronto, and have the misfortune of a medical emergency.

You contact AC, several days before the original return date, to request an open return explaining the reason.

The AC agent provides a new reference number explaining "Call when you know the return date".

When you call and ask "given the circumstances could AC waive the $100 change fee".

The answer is a polite but a firm "NO".

The agent hits you with more bad news, "due to the complex tiered ticket pricing system used by AC for round-trip  tickets, you will only receive a credit of $254 to apply against the return fare."

Protesting "why not the $685 originally paid?" is pointless and not worth risking a heart attack.

Accept you have just been gouged $1,000 for a one-way ticket home, by a polite but unsympathetic monopoly.

A warning should be painted on the tail of their sardine cans. The face of the Devil with glowing red (rouge) eyes would be appropriate.

The 99% really need a break.

A start would be to allow real competition to challenge the monopolies, the airlines, banks, media/internet/phone conglomerates, etc.

Will Slick Willie and his boss even consider it? Nope. Why not? It would displease the 1%. How else could they afford to give themselves multi million dollar compensation and performance bonus'?

Ron Devion, No Guts, No Glory 

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