Thursday, September 11, 2008

Green Shift Tax=GST

The green PM Brian Mulroney gave us the GST a tax on consumers, a regressive tax, one the Liberals promised to abolish but never got around to doing so. Stephne Dion and his Liberals now offer their of the GST with their Green Shift Tax. Again the average Canadian faces another Gouge and Screw Tax aimed at consumption rather than producers/production.
The Liberals new Green Shift is not green but it certainly is a shift, from taxing producers of greenhouse gases to those who consume the products.
In other words same old same old.
Brought to you by the folks who signed Kyoto but who had no plan to deal with it.
The Conservatives have no plan period, so this election anything they do is sheer opportunism; hence their diesel tax reduction. Which will not bring down the prices of your vegetables, furniture, or tropical fish, or anything else transported by truck.
The only party that is actually proposing a Green plan that meets the needs of capitalism is the NDP. New Zealand this week adopted a carbon cap and trade plan, Chicago has a cap and trade commodities market in place, Quebec supports cap and trade, and is creating its own market for it as well, hoping to use its hydro power as a carbon offset against the greenhouse gases produced by more inefficient coal powered utilities in Ontario and of course against the greenhouse gases produced in Alberta and the Wests rapidly expanding oil and gas fields.
Cap and Trade is the Kyoto solution for capitalism to address the climate crisis. Create a market place for trading emissions, make it a cost of doing business but market it based on an investment model.
Why the Liberals and Conservatives don't get this is simple because they fare old party's of the aristocracy and as much as they have adapted to bourgeoisie parlimentarism they fail to understand how capitalism functions. It sees a problem and it sees an investment opportunity. The Liberals and Conservatives being the old party's of the state only understand taxation not investment. They are lousy capitalists. Ironically for the libertarian ideologues of the free market it is the statist socialists who understand real world capitalism best.
The Whigs and Tories of old understood only taxation, they inherited their titles and their title to capital. With the rise of the workers movement there came the call to universal sufferage in Europe and these two old parties of the ruling classes of their day adapted. However what they did not adapt to was capitalism.
The new workers parties of Social Democracy on the other hand educated by Marx's Kapital knew of the the new world being born by their labour.
After 100 years of battle inthe parilments of capitalist democracy, honed through booms and busts and failed revolutions, they came to an post-modernist understanding in the ninties, in order to pose an alternative to the neo-con agenda of revival of 19th Century lazzie faire Austrian School economics
they needed a different social agenda. So they added eco to eco-nomics.
The Kyoto accord is not some socialist agenda to overthrow capitalism, despite its characterization as such by such neo-con mouthpieces as Stephen Harper, rather it is very much a 'market' solution to overproduction of emissions. And capitalists like it, they understand it, they endorse it which is why in states in the U.S. across Europe and around the world cap and trade is their prefered choice over carbon taxes.
But because business and its mouthpiece political party, the Conservatives, of all lands oppose carbon taxes does not mean that we as workers should support them. They are after all the most regressive form of tax that on consumption rather than production.
Nor should we be fooled that creating new stock markets based on cap and trade will actually have any real impact on the environment.
Rather we need to pose the one alternative to the crisis of capitalism and it's impact on our world, workers control of production. Nothing less will halt capitalisms ultimate entropy which is the climate crisis.

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Werner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Werner said...

If the Liberals were in any way serious about clean technology why don't they begin with an increase in the basic income tax deduction? Then perhaps they could convince all us brainless proles to spend some the money (which the state would have otherwise stolen) on things like grid interconnected photovoltaic systems. In Germany there are over three hundred thousand of these with a total working capacity of approximately three megawatts. The electric companies over there are paying up to seventy five cents per kilowatt hour for power fed back into the grid. As someone who actually works in the solar industry I can attest to the fact that the marketplace is a far,far better mechanism for promoting these ideas than Dion's managerial mindgames. No wonder people get mad and start voting for shit that is even worse. If the Liberals want to be useful they COULD mail out a ten page brochure to every household in Canada proclaiming the reasonableness of such solutions ... otherwise get out of the way. But I won't hold my breath on that one.