Israel’s disgust over Netanyahu pt 1

REF

Israel is abuzz with disgust over Netanyahu’s craven avoidance of Syrian refugees. It shows that the prophetic, the “Jewish” is alive in many sectors of Israeli life. Herzog the Labour leader correctly panned Netanyahu for his disgusting amnesia about Jewish history. Instead of welcoming refugees( all Muslim from next door Syria) Netanyahu built walls and showed the ugly face of Zionism a movement which hijacked authentic Jewish values of compassion. Zionists created the new Jew, the tough Jew which turned its back on the 3000 year religious tradition of compassion, solidarity, introspection etc. Zionism not Judaism became the new religion.
Up until the new Jew created by Jabotinsky, Ben-Gurion et al there was the long memory of what it was like to live under Pharaoh, to be a refugee, to be a person under brutal occupation. That biblical memorry was eviscerated by Zionism. Israel became amnesiac, forgot its covenantal identity under God and turned into Pharaoh and Goliath.
Yet, yet the prophetic has never totally died. You can not wipe out a historic memory about what it is to be “Jewish” and not “Israeli.”
Yossi Sarid a former Knesset member wrote this yesterday, a very typical lament from the best of Israel:
And more than anything else I am ashamed now – on the eve of the New Year and before Yom Kippur – because of its locked gates when refugees from all over the world are begging for a gate to open. They are terrorizing us with numbers – soon the country will be filled with them, in addition to our enemies. Don’t look at the streaming masses but at those who are among them; don’t look that those who are coming, but at those who are here.
Israel today is infamous for its brutal treatment of Ethiopian and Suidanese refugees. Forget about Syria.They’re  Arabs, non-Jewish and not welcome.

Stephen Klein wrote this:

Something here smells of anti-non-Semitism. Israel had no problem in 1991 taking in 14,500 destitute Ethiopian Jews in one weekend. And I bet that if 50,000 destitute ultra-Orthodox Jews from New York showed up on Israel’s doorstep tomorrow asking for all the benefits offered to “olim,” new Jewish immigrants, Netanyahu wouldn’t say, “Sorry, we’re too small to absorb you.”
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31 Comments »

  1. 1
    mushafta Says:

    Like Harper Netanyahu is a complete joke! But there can be no stopping a wave of compassion for our Muslim brothers and sisters.

    The walls of Jerusalem will not be there forever!
    And neither will these monstrous bullies!

  2. 2

    Thanks for that, Ted. I feel better now

  3. 3
    mushafta Says:

    Don’t tell me you’re agreeing with Harper and Netanyahu on the refugee issue Francesco. I would imagine you are inside with us about admitting large numbers as U.S. Cardinal Collins and other bishops.

  4. 4

    Are you on Trudeau’s side? And you know my position. Isn’t Harper making the move to bring in refugees? Should Harper be allowing them all in? And if so, have you considered the implications, the long term repercussions? Have you considered how this is going to affect the lives of others?

    Most importantly, I’d like to know how large is the “large numbers” you refer to? What number do you think we should bring in? And, how did you arrive at that number? I.e., let’s say you think we should bring in 25,000. Why not 50,000? Or 100,000? Or, why not all of them? How do you arrive at your number? If you can explain that to me, especially if the number you put forth is less than the total number of refugees. That way I can determine whether or not you know something Harper does not, or whether you calculations are more reasonable than Harper’s. After all, he is a idiot. Which means you are smarter than him, more insightful than he is, you have information that he does not.

  5. 5
    mushafta Says:

    On helping refugees and the current refugee crisis is pretty clear, for he said in Matthew 25:35 “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” Jesus words clearly must apply to the Syrian refugee crisis. For we are all created in God’s image.

    Now how many? Jesus told us to forgive our brothers/sisters 70×7. That’s a lot but no exact number.

    There is no exact number here either. Open the door- let them in!
    Netanyahu has shut his door tight.

    This is not the Jesus model.
    Collins has at least listened to Francis and acted. That’s a good start.

    Harper for his own sake is changing course. I doubt it will be big enough.

    It’s all about need Francesco.. Not numbers! Why is there no security threat felt by the countless thousands Germany is taking? Canada and the U.S. Could take lots more but fear and paranoia reigns.

    Maybe 25,000 or even 50,000. Possibly 100,000. It’s all about what we can afford and the need at that end. We are called to help save their lives. That’s the gospel.

  6. 6

    “It’s all about what we can afford”. Ah! You’ve acknowledge that resources are scarce. Now we can discuss economics. As long as you live in the world of your imagination, a world of Eden, there’s no comprehending economics.

    Now the question is: “What can we afford?” That you have to be able to determine. Harper has a degree in economics–not Trudeau, and not Mulcair. He’s thinking about just that. What can this country afford. Printing money is not the creation of wealth, as so many believe. That just devalues the money we already have.

    I don’t know how much we can afford. That is a crucial detail that certain people are in possession of, but not me. Before we write them off as idiots, we should have our own counter figures–otherwise we just reveal ourselves as self-righteous idiots.

    You mention Israel, but why don’t you mention the many other surrounding wealthy Muslim countries that will not take in any refugees? Afraid of retaliation?

    And what might be the reason they are shutting their doors? Could it be that they know something we naive North Americans do not?

    In response to my question how many, you cite Jesus’ 70 X 7. He was talking about forgiveness, not the number of people you can take into your home. That’s a very loose and non chalant use of Scripture.

    You got the general principles, nevertheless, i.e., I was hungry, you gave me…and you said why we cannot necessarily take them all in; after all, what do we do with next year’s refugees from another troubled part of the world? Do we just keep taking them in and taking care of them with tax payer money? What will happen then? And then what? And after that? In economics, there are no solutions, only trade offs. Everyone who studies economics learns that quickly. Only those who do their economics in their imaginations fail to realize this. If the billions of dollars goes here, it does not go there–resources are scarce. What are the repercussions of it not going there? And after that? These are the questions prudent leaders ask, not the reckless and inexperienced idealists like Justin, who has never worked a day in his life, because his father set up a trust fund for him to look after him.

    You have to have an answer to that question: How much can we afford? before you go off bad mouthing anyone who puts forth an answer. Again, you reveal your bigotry: conservatives and Israel = bad; reckless left and Muslim world = good.

    Reality is not simple. But your narratives are simple.

  7. 8
    mushafta Says:

    Francesco- you certainly weave a beautiful narrative! So you hold up Harper as an astute well educated economist! Give me a break! Where are Newark he got his economics degree I have no idea, but this man has been absolutely reckless with the economy. If it hadn’t been for $120 a barrel oil it wouldn’t be in power right now. A couple of monkeys from a California zoo could’ve managed the Canadian economy with that kind of money! The guy’s a fraud! Even Flaherty had to straighten him out at times but he’s no longer around and they’re keeping Oliver well out of sight as he’s a liability. They’re getting thinner as the days get shorter!

    I don’t think I need any lectures with regards to our the affordability of taking in these refugees. You still haven’t told me how Germany can manage to take an 800,000. As for these other countries – Muslim countries that are not taking them in, well that is their problem. But it is my contention that we are much wealthier today because of the refugees that we have taken it and our economy is stronger because of them.

    You still haven’t said anything about Pope Francis and his demands that we entertain these poor refugees. Neither was Jesus an economist.
    The theme of the gospel is taking care of the poor. And Francis seems to have hit the nail on the head with this vital theme of scripture that we care for our brothers and sisters in need.

    Are we to watch newscasts after newscasts with the millions of homeless and starving migrants dying on the shores of Europe and do nothing about it? Is that your answer? And now Harper brings in an Australian bigot who has no time for Muslims whatsoever based on some disparaging words he once uttered directing them back home when they arrived on the shores of Australia. You call Harper a Christian?
    And what of Alexander? There’s another racist bigot managing the influx of refugees insuring we take in a bare minimum.

    Just how many deficits has Harper had in the last 10 years? And you call this man an economist ?

    If you like Pope Francis and you need to answer this question. Why is he insisting that we care for these refugees? What is he demanding that we get involved with the poor? Why are you not taking him on ? You say nothing about his assault of capitalism. Why are you not taking him on? He has introduced and encyclical on climate change. Are you in agreement with this?

    • 9
      mushafta Says:

      The bright and well educated Francesco who has no trouble chastising Ted Schmidt on a myriad of issues will not denounce Pope Frances! But bare in mind- he is no fool and those who do his research are no dummies! Come on Francesco- let me hear you take him on before he socks it to the Republicans you so venerate!

  8. 10

    Why would I want to chastize Pope Francis?

    Okay, here’s my position. We should open our doors wide and bring in well over 100,000 refugees. I am in total agreemet with Terence Corcoran: see National Post. So I’m with you on this one.

    As for Pope Francis, he’s a good ole fashioned Catholic Pope. If you follow his homilies every day, you see he’s a son of the Church, as he said originally. If you get Pope Francis filtered through the Toronto Star or New York Times, you have got a caricature. The pope himself has complained about this media spin.

    As for his views on Capitalism, what he says must be understood in context. He does not understand economics any more than he understands physics or forensic psychology. He’s not speaking as an economist. He speaks as a pope. HIs experience with “capitalism” is the capitalism of the developing world, which is not capitalism, but cronyism. There have been some very good commentaries on what he said, on how what he says is correct, but not quite the way he thinks. Too much to get into here.

    But a Pope or bishop’s charism is very limited to faith and morals, not science. We should have learned this after the Galileo affair. Economics is a science. Catholic social teaching is an aspect of morality. It’s very general. It has to stay that way. The Pope cannot pronounce on a concrete policy, at least not as Pope. That would destroy the ‘universality’ of the Catholic Church, that is, the ‘Catholic’ nature of the Church. For example, he cannot say that a Catholic must vote for Stephen Harper, or that Canada must accept no less than 20,000 refugees, etc. Prudential judgments are not infallible.

    But read Pope Francis every day, follow his homilies, read his writings in their entirety, not an isolated paragraph or two.

  9. 11
    mushafta Says:

    Surely you jest Francesco! You downplay Francis’ economics equating it with cronyism? And you uphold Harper’s brand? Never before have we had such a secretive government. Never before such pork barrel politics, concentration of power in the PMO, omnibus packaged bills, erosion of our democracy. Shame on you!

    Francis did not write this stuff alone. Multiple hands played a role. He is no dummy. Coming from the third world is an advantage nothing less.

    You need to read his stuff and critique it. He has slammed capitalism and you know it full well. If capitalism was such a success why are we in such a state of economic disaster world wide? Europe is crumbling. The States are in ruins and you’re trumpeting capitalism like it was the only thing there is.

    You surprise me Francesco!

  10. 12
    mushafta Says:

    Francis called on rich people to share their wealth. “Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills.”
    “How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses 2 points?”
    So what say you to this? Francis is bringing compassion and mercy into his new economy. He is brining justice and balance.

    You really need to check him out Francesco!

  11. 13

    Surely you jest Francesco!

    No, I don’t.

    You downplay Francis’ economics equating it with cronyism?

    We have a major hermenutical problem here. You are not a careful reader, Ted. I did not equate Francis’ economics with cronyism, I said that what we have in the developing world is cronyism, and when Francis speaks against Capitalism, he’s speaking against the fruits of crony capitalism and third world corruption.

    And you uphold Harper’s brand?

    Another hermeneutical problem. Harper is also guilty of compromising with cronyism, to some degree. That’s the incentive structure of politics vs economics. Sometimes the politically expedient option is not the economically expedient option. The difference between Harper and the rest of them is that he knows he’s violating his own principles, the others just believe that government is supposed to take care of all our problems.

    Never before have we had such a secretive government. Never before such pork barrel politics, concentration of power in the PMO, omnibus packaged bills, erosion of our democracy. Shame on you!

    You inference. Did I say I like Harper? “Man is a machine for jumping to conclusions” (Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman)

    Francis did not write this stuff alone. Multiple hands played a role. He is no dummy. Coming from the third world is an advantage nothing less.

    The problem is you treat Francis as if he has departed from the living tradition of Catholic Social Teaching. Pope John Paul II affirmed the free market and spoke against the welfare state, and previous popes condemned socialism. Francis is not in conflict with that. If he were, you’d have to explain why anyone should take any pope seriously, since they evidently speak on their own authority, and not on the authority of their office.

    You need to read his stuff and critique it. He has slammed capitalism

    No he hasn’t. First of all, he doesn’t really understand capitalism.

    If capitalism was such a success why are we in such a state of economic disaster world wide? Europe is crumbling. The States are in ruins and you’re trumpeting capitalism like it was the only thing there is.

    Economic disaster is not the result of capitalism, but Keynesianism. We don’t live in a capitalist world. It is moving towards capitalism, however. You think Europe is capitalist? You could not read the sum total of economic regulations of the European union within the remaining time you have on this earth, it is that large. Have you been paying attention to what has happened to Greece? Italy? These are capitalist countries? Study those countries and states that have the greatest economic freedom and report back with your findings. I don’t think you understand capitalism. Do you think Ontario is capitalist?

    And why would you say the States are in ruins?

    Francis called on rich people to share their wealth. “Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills.”

    Well that’s true. Economy’s of exclusion must become a thing of the past. Who is going to argue with that? That’s what a heavy regulated economy does, it excludes. Deregulate and you have inclusion. Toronto’s taxi cabs do not want to include, they want to exclude. They don’t want to compete; that means lower prices. Do you know how long it takes to open up a business in Italy? as compared to Canada?

    “How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses 2 points?”

    That’s a great question. And the answer is that human beings are indifferent and self-centered, not Christ centered. How is it that we have ignored the Syrian crisis for this long, ignored the persecutions of Christians in Syria, but after a picture of a drowned kid, we now pay attention? Before, we yawned and went right to the sports section.

    In any case, what does all that have to do with the free market? That’s human beings.

    So what say you to this? Francis is bringing compassion and mercy into his new economy. He is brining justice and balance.

    He’s not saying anything that hasn’t already been said by the two previous popes, or even the popes before them. He’s just reiterating basic Catholic teaching. You treat it as if it is radically new. It’s not.

  12. 14

    Pope Dabbles in Economics, by Sheldon Richmond

    Pope Francis wrote in his recent apostolic exhortation, “Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality.”

    He’s right — but not in the way he intends. Before I elaborate, let’s look at what else Francis said.

    He complained that “Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.”

    Here he’s partly right and partly wrong.

    “In this context,” he went on,

    some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.

    Again, he’s partly right, though again not as he intended, and partly wrong.

    He further stated, “This imbalance [i.e., inequality] is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace.”

    Here he has things precisely backwards.

    “In this system,” he added, “which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule.”

    He’s got a point, to which I will return shortly.

    When I say the pope gets some things right, just not in the way he intends, here’s what I mean: In an important sense, we do have “an economy of exclusion and inequality.” But it is not the free market; rather, it’s interventionism, corporatism, crony capitalism, or just plain capitalism — that is, the abrogation of the free market on behalf of special, mostly business, interests. The reigning system is riddled with exclusion and inequality, the victims of which are society’s most vulnerable people. It’s easy to overlook this because the system produces a great volume and variety of consumer goods that even low-income people can afford. (The system needs consumers, though without intervention we could expect prices to be lower.)

    It is true that those we call the poor in this country have household products that most middle-class people lacked, say, 40 years ago, and many things that no one had less than 20 years ago because they hadn’t been invented yet. It is also true that poverty worldwide has been much diminished in the last few decades, thanks to the demise of central planning and the introduction of limited market-style reforms (that nevertheless fall short of Adam Smith’s “system of natural liberty,” which consistently applied would include land reform).

    But these are not the only measures of well-being. People are excluded and treated unequally to the extent that governments prevent them from breaking away from traditional (and, in the present context, oppressive) wage employment and setting out on their own or in cooperative ventures with peers. The prospect of self-employment, particularly among low-income people with government schooling, is next to impossible due to taxation, product regulation, occupational licensing, zoning and other land-use restrictions and exclusions, building codes, maximum-residential-density and other sprawl-inducing requirements, street-vendor and taxi-cab limits, minimum-wage laws, “intellectual property,” and more. Government has myriad ways to make what’s been called a comfortable subsistence much more expensive. All this is decreed on behalf of vested interests who want to preserve their current advantages.

    “The poorer you are, the more you need access to informal and flexible alternatives, and the more you need opportunities to apply some creative hustling. When the state shuts that out, it shuts poor people into ghettoized poverty,” Charles W. Johnson writes. (See his “Scratching By: How Government Creates Poverty as We Know It,” and Gary Chartier’s “Government Is No Friend of the Poor.”)

    This is exclusion and inequality of a most vicious sort. And it is not ameliorated by cheap smartphones or big-screen televisions equipped with TiVos. Those things might take some of the sting out of working under someone’s arbitrary authority at a mind-numbing job, but they don’t rectify the injustice or knock down the tollgates the state erects on the road to individual advancement.

    In other words, the pope is wrong when he says, “Today everything comes under the laws of competition.” It is precisely this legislated suppression and prohibition of competition that cause “masses of people [to] find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.”

    There’s not too much competition, but too little, because suppressing competition is how those with access to political power keep potential rivals at bay. As noted, these restrictions make low-income people (and others) dependent on wage employment: government regulations largely destroy self-employment and cooperative ventures as alternatives to a job, which diminishes workers’ bargaining power and leaves them more vulnerable to the caprice of politically protected oversized and hierarchical firms, not to mention to dips in the economy and resulting structural unemployment brought on by governments’ central banks and bubble-inflating favoritism. (With the falling cost of computers and other capital goods, it is more and more feasible for people to start home-based manufacturing businesses. For details on what’s possible, see Kevin Carson’s The Homebrew Industrial Revolution.)

    So when the pope writes that our social problems are “the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace,” he’s got it exactly wrong. The autonomy of the marketplace was compromised from the beginning by those who used the state to secure privileges that could not be obtained in a freed market.

    When he says, “In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule,” he is guilty of self-contradiction. One of the things that was devoured, long ago, because it stood in the way of (politically generated) profits, or rents, was the free market. (This has also had environmental implications, as when 19th-century courts chose to give priority to industrialization over common-law protections of property.)

    Finally, the pope shows his confusion when in a single paragraph he equates the free market with the “sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.” Whatever you wish to call the prevailing economic system, as I’ve demonstrated here, it is not the free market. A freed market would have no eminent domain (the victims of which are the economically disfranchised), subsidies, corporate bailouts, government debt-fueled speculation, and all the obstacles to individual advancement listed above. (This is not the first time I’ve brought free-market ideas to the attention of the Vatican. See this.)

    The pope’s concern with the poor and excluded is well-placed. We should not tolerate their condition or its causes. But what the poor and excluded need are freedom and freed markets — really free markets, not “the prevailing economic system” — so they may be liberated from the oppression that holds them back.

    When the pope laments that the prevailing ideologies “reject the right of states [i.e., governments], charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control,” one must suppress the urge to laugh. When have states ever looked out for the common good? It is states and their elite patrons that preserve the exclusion and inequality that the pope abhors by squelching the social cooperation inherent in freed markets and the bottom-up — not trickle-down — progress they make possible. It is states that embody the worst sense of the “survival of the fittest” principle by defining “fit” in terms of prowess in navigating the halls of power. We know whom that includes and excludes.

  13. 15
    mushafta Says:

    Francesco, you state: So when the pope writes that our social problems are “the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace,” he’s got it exactly wrong. The autonomy of the marketplace was compromised from the beginning by those who used the state to secure privileges that could not be obtained in a freed market.

    When he says, “In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule,” he is guilty of self-contradiction. One of the things that was devoured, long ago, because it stood in the way of (politically generated) profits, or rents, was the free market. (This has also had environmental implications, as when 19th-century courts chose to give priority to industrialization over common-law protections of property.)

    Finally, the pope shows his confusion when in a single paragraph he equates the free market with the “sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.” Whatever you wish to call the prevailing economic system, as I’ve demonstrated here, it is not the free market. A freed market would have no eminent domain (the victims of which are the economically disfranchised), subsidies, corporate bailouts, government debt-fueled speculation, and all the obstacles to individual advancement listed above. (This is not the first time I’ve brought free-market ideas to the attention of the Vatican. See this.)

    So you will have to educate me! Break it down into simpler terms please. Give me some concrete ideas as to how Francis is wrong. What has he got wrong? His stuff is simple enough for ordinary folks to comprehend.

    Please let me know as I am all ears!

  14. 16

    I’m not sure how to make this simpler, without beginning a course in economics on this blog. It is so clear.

    Consider a regulation like the minimum wage. Economists tell governments NOT to raise it. This is just an example, one among many possible examples. Why do they advise them not to raise it. They are not business men, they are economists. They do not work for a corporation that seeks greater profits. So why would they advise governments NOT to raise the minimum wage. Because that will have the effect of creating more unemployment. To raise the minimum wage is to raise the price of labor. When anyone raises the price of something, the result is that it becomes unaffordable for some people. If the price of ipads went up 5% or 10%, I might not be able to buy one. If they went down 25%, I’d buy a new one tomorrow. It’s the same with labor. Raise the price of labor, and small businesses will have to hire less people, fewer students. Coca Cola will have no problem, but not the mom and pop store. They will feel it. And those who can afford the new price of labor will be sure to hire only those who will give them their money’s worth, which means they are not going to hire those without work experience. Entry level jobs in which young workers get experience, develop certain life long skills, etc., are cut. Sort of like if the minimum price for a pair of jeans is 80$, I am not going to buy the no name brand, but Levis, because they are better quality, last much longer, etc. Get rid of the price floor and the no name jeans drop down to 20$, I might buy one or two of them.

    And look at the evidence, the statistics. Unemployment among black youth in 1948 was a tiny fraction of what it was in the mid-1960s, after the introduction of regulations intended to help them. Look around the world, and compare employment rates before and after minimum wage laws.

    Allow the price of labor to be set by the market, and you will have a lower unemployment rate. You will have less crime, and a higher growth rate, as history witnesses. The evidence is there. But for most people, when a Premier promises to increase the minimum wage, they think “Oh, isn’t he/she nice. She’s going to make sure we make more money”. But they fail to think beyong stage one. It never turns out that way. If I have a determinate amount of money, say enough for 7 dollars an hour x 8 hours x 5 entry positions, and the government forces me to pay them 12 dollars an hour, I now need an extra $1000. I don’t have that, we are barely making ends meet, business is slow. I have to lay off 2 workers. I can only emply 3 instead of 5. That’s a 40% drop in employment. Most people don’t see it that way. They imagine 5 people making more money. So these two are unemployed, but they need to be supported, so government needs to raise taxes in order to support these unemployed. This makes it much more difficult for small businesses to continue, and the process has just begun.

    Then you have licencing regulations. For some occupations, it is unnecessary, it merely serves the interests of those already working in that particular field, keeps out competition, makes it far more expensive.

    Think of the agreement the unions made with the government, to give seniority to supply teachers. What’s the result? Schools cannot hire who they want, cannot hire those who are great teachers. There are so many teachers who are married, some even have children, who have been supply teaching for 3 or 4 years, are very qualified, have real talent, but cannot get a permanent position. They are excluded. In favor of who? In favor of supply teachers who have been supplying for about 10 or 15 years. Why? Because no one wants to hire them; they are not good teachers, which is why they could not get permanent positions. But the union has this idea that justice demands that they be hired first, regardless of their quality. Principals tell us that this is not working. They are forced to hire poor quality. That would be like the government saying that you must purchase these products first before you can purchase those products, because this company has been in business longer and their sales are down, primarily because no one wants to buy their product, i.e., their automobiles; people want this new brand, because it is more reliable, fuel efficient, etc. That’s not freedom.

    That is an example of a government regulation that stifled free competition and is keeping young teachers out of work. Another regulation: extending teachers college for 2 years. Why? People do not need two years to learn how to be teachers. It is for the sake of preserving the jobs of the professors. They have to cut enrolent in half, they can’t accept so many to teachers college. But that means half of the teaching jobs at Education Faculties will have to be cut. So, to protect their interests, they negotiate with the government to extend teachers college to 2 years, thereby protecting their jobs. The result? Students now have more debt, because they need to borrow for an extra year. They also have to wait longer to start working, and they will have to work longer to be able to retire. The 85 factor will take some into their late 60s.

    This is not the free market; this is not free competition. Now, multiply this by thousands and thousands of examples, whether it is construction we are talking about, the restaurant industry, steel production, etc. Governments want to stay in power, they want to be re-elected, and they do things to get re-elected, like settle quickly with the teachers so that they will vote Liberal in the upcoming election–if there were no election this year, there would not have been any settlement in Ontario, and we would have seen job action.

    Now, re-read what Seldon Richmond in post #14 wrote, just one more time, and you will begin to get it.

    The point is, you must study economics. It is a complicated science, but you cannot do economics from very general principles of altruism any more than you can steer a car in a crowded city from 30 thousand feet in the air on an airplane using remote control. You have to be in the thick of it, on the street, knowing the weather conditions, etc.

  15. 17
    mushafta Says:

    Well thank you Francesco!
    One question though.
    Corporations make huge profits like oil companies etc.
    Do they equitably share that or continue for decades to pay low wages? Methinks the latter.
    So now you have a thing called greed and avarice- not good according to the gospel. Not good. Who controls this? The market economy? I suppose.
    And I believe Francis is hitting on this one. There’s just no Christianity imbedded in Christianity.
    Maybe I’m dumb and naive but this current system is not working- and all the name calling Harper does about the Liberals and the NDP messing up the economy does not cut it for me. I doubt they could do any worse than Harper.

  16. 18

    Corporations, some of them, make huge profits. But they don’t pay low wages. Again, you fail to grasp what actually takes place. It is not profits that come first, and then the wages. It’s the wages that come first, the profits only many years later. It’s trickle up, not trickle down. They couldn’t continue unless they paid their employees. Businesses take losses for their first few years, often their first ten years. But they still have to pay the bills, and pay their employees. And well established corporations that make huge profits pay their employees well, which is why many want to work for them. They want to keep their best resources, their most experienced employees. It would be too costly to lose them. Toyota pays and treats their workers so well that the workers voted not to unionize. No need.

    If a corporation decides not to pay their workers well, the workers whose knowledge is worth much more than they are getting, then what typically happens is that they are picked up by those who are willing to pay them what they are worth. That’s why corporations collapse. They are put out of business by smarter entrepeneurs. The more competition, the more choice there is for workers with experience and knowledge. The less competition (the greater the cronyism), the less leverage do workers have. The free market is the friend of the poor, not a government of politicians who want to keep their jobs.

    You are right, the current system is not working. Canada is way too left, even those on the right. But make no mistake about it, an NDP or Liberal government will take us on the road to Greece. Every economist will tell you that. Government does not create wealth.

  17. 19
    mushafta Says:

    Well you impress me greatly Francesco, but still I find it difficult to believe Francis is so wrong. I have images of him coming to Wall Street and kicking butt all day long. He’s a powerful figure and a rock star to boot. His word carries considerable weight. Many have declared what he has written about capitalism akin to the writings of Marx. He’s not backing off his denunciation of capitalism. Absolutely not.

    I know this stuff is not simple. But I cannot help think that Francis has something to offer.

    Thanks again!

  18. 20
    mushafta Says:

    Question in unions Francesco…
    What should we do about them?
    I know Harper hates them. But why? I thought they were necessary. British coal miners would still be risking their lives were it not for unions. Likewise many other skilled trades and professions. Are you
    Ok with unions Francesco?

  19. 21

    Well you impress me greatly Francesco, but still I find it difficult to believe Francis is so wrong.

    No one said he’s “wrong” without qualification. What he says about exclusion is right, only he just doesn’t understand how he is right. Nonetheless, Popes have been wrong before. As I said, their charism does not extend to scientific or prudential matters, as should be obvious to any thinking Catholic. Only Catholic fundamentalists treat every utterance of their Popes to be infallibly true.

    The overall message of his encyclical is not wrong.

    I have images of him coming to Wall Street and kicking butt all day long.

    Imagination is a dangerous thing. We usually imagine the world that we want.

    He’s a powerful figure and a rock star to boot. His word carries considerable weight.

    Not really. No one listens to what he says when what he says conflicts with their own position. He condemned abortion. Who listened? He called same sex marriage an anthropological degredation. Who listened? He says a few misinformed things about climate change and capitalism, and all the lefties lift their head up out of their slumber and start cheering.

    Many have declared what he has written about capitalism akin to the writings of Marx.

    Well, such people either have not read Marx ever, or they have not read Pope Francis–except in isolated bits, or they are just plane dumb. Marx was an economist. Marx was no dummy. He was rightly concerned about the injustices of the Industrial revolution. It was his historicism that was the biggest problem that derailed his economics. Karl Popper brilliantly refutes historicism. It is profoundly unscientific, because it is unfalsifiable. But Marx was brilliant. It is structures of incentives that render Marxism inefficient. A bureacracy is simply unable to allocate scarse resources–human beings just don’t have the capacity to know what amounts need to be allocated where. The knowledge required is far too vast. It is prices that do that. Soviet economists have given us a good look at the Soviet Union after it fell, and the inefficiencies are well documented. They show that only prices allocate resources efficiently.

    He’s not backing off his denunciation of capitalism. Absolutely not.

    By now, he may have an advisor that has informed him of the problems with what he’s saying and not saying. He’s a humble pope and open to learning.

    I know this stuff is not simple. But I cannot help think that Francis has something to offer.

    Of course he has something to offer.

    As for union, everyone has the right to associate.

  20. 22
    mushafta Says:

    You have been most gracious Francesco taking the time to set me right in these matters. Thank you!

    There is considerable talk surrounding the election on how to grow the economy now that oil has taken such a huge hit.

    What’s the best strategy as you see it? Imagine yourself as minister of finance.

  21. 23

    This is what Pope Francis preached on today

    Today’s Gospel presents us Jesus who, on his way towards Caesarea Philippi, asks the disciples: “Who do people say that I am?” (Mk. 8,27). They respond that some believe he is John the Baptist reborn, others Elijah or one of the great Prophets. The people appreciated Jesus, they considered him a “God-sent”, but still could not recognize him as the foretold and long-awaited Messiah. “But who do you say that I am?” (v. 29). This is the most important question, with which Jesus speaks directly to those who have followed him, to verify their faith. Peter, in the name of all, exclaims with candidness: “You are the Christ” (v. 29). Jesus remains struck by Peter’s faith, He recognizes that it is the fruit of a special grace of God the Father. And now He openly reveals to the disciples that which awaits Him in Jerusalem, that is that “the Son of Man must suffer greatly…be killed, and rise after three days” (v. 31).

    The same Peter, who just professed his faith in Jesus as Messiah, is scandalized by these words. He took the Master aside and reproaches him. And how does Jesus react? He in turn reproaches Peter, with very severe words: “Get behind me, Satan!” He calls him Satan! “You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do” (v. 33). Jesus sees that in Peter, as in the other disciples – and in each one of us! – the temptation by the Evil One opposes the grace of the Father, that it wants to deter us from the will of God. Announcing that He must suffer and be put to death to then rise, Jesus wants those who follow Him to understand that He is a humble and a servant Messiah. He is the obedient Servant to the will of the Father, until the complete sacrifice of His own life. For this, turning towards the whole crowd there, He declares that he who wishes to become his disciple must accept being a servant, as He has made himself a servant, and warns: “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me” (v. 35).

    To undertake the discipleship of Jesus means to take up your cross – we all have it – to accompany Him on His path, an uncomfortable path that is not of success or of passing glory, but that which takes us to the true freedom, freedom from selfishness and from sin. It is to operate a clear rejection of that worldly mentality that places one’s “I” and own interests at the center of existence. That is not what Jesus wants from us. Instead Jesus invites us to lose our life for Him and the Gospel, to receive it renewed, realized and authentic. We are sure, thanks to Jesus, that this path brings us to the Resurrection, to the full and definitive life with God. To decide to follow Him, our Master and Lord who made Himself the Servant of all, requires a strong union with Him, the attentive and assiduous listening of His Word – remember to read everyday a passage from the Gospel – and the grace of the Sacraments. There are young people here in the square, young men and women. I only want to ask you: have you felt the desire to follow Jesus more closely? Think about it, pray and allow the Lord to speak to you.

    May the Virgin Mary, who has followed Jesus to Calvary, help us to always purify our faith from false images of God, to adhere fully to Christ and his Gospel.

    After reciting the Angelus prayer, the Pope said the following:

    He said the Angelus???? He believes Mary was a virgin? He believes Jesus rose from the dead? He believes in the Devil or Evil One? Holy smokes, he sounds like a normal pope!

    But the second he says anything that dovetails even slightly with the left wing ideology of contemporary political ideologues who have no use for the above homily, it’s all over the media in an attempt to convince the world that this pope is radically different from the previous and “is on our side”.

    He just made Father Robert Barron a bishop. Sounds like a pretty conservative pope to me.

  22. 24

    Keep the corporate tax low, attract investors, do not raise taxes, take in lots of refugees, the economy will recover by itself, do not vote NDP or Liberal, and be skeptical of polls and the Toronto Star.

  23. 25

    Look at JF Kennedy and what he did. He lowered taxes like no one lowered them before, and all that did was increased government revenues. Money came out of hiding and people began to spend and invest, and he collected more in tax revenues than anyone previous. If you want to increase tax revenues, lower taxes, especially corproate taxes.

  24. 26
    mushafta Says:

    Greatly appreciated Francesco!

  25. 27
    mushafta Says:

    I’m just wondering what you think Francesco of Gwyn’s article on Harper today in the Toronto Star. It seems from his view that Harper is finished. I have to agree with many of his points however the votes have yet to be counted.

    Stephen Harper is done:
    Gwyn
    Canadians are ready to return our country to its former position as a moral leader on the world stage.

    As soon as the election is held, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper will cease to be Canada’s prime minister, writes Richard Gwyn.
    Published on Sep 15 2015
    Richard Gwyn
    COLUMNIST
    This election is over.
    Its details, such as the counting of the votes and the official declarations of the winners in each riding, have of course still to be completed.
    The election’s essence, though, is already part of our history. And this is that as soon as the election is held, Stephen Harper will cease to be Canada’s prime minister.
    The task still ahead of Canadians will be to determine whether Harper’s successor should be New Democrat Leader Thomas Mulcair or Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.
    For a great many voters, though, the challenge of making a choice between these two contenders matters incomparably less.
    In actual fact, the challenge that has already been met and decided upon by most Canadians is not exactly that of defeating Harper, no matter that this will be the practical consequence of a decision that’s already been taken.
    Instead, what’s happened is that for many Canadians this election has now become a way to return this country back to its character of old or to the national character that many of us think Canada once possessed – no matter that sometimes our memory of this golden past exaggerates our supposed condition of high-mindedness.
    Certainly, there really once was a Canada of Nobel Prize-winner Lester Pearson, and of peacekeeping, and that, even if only middle-sized, could have played a part in creating the United Nations and an international ban on landmines. Indeed a country — one for which Harper in fact can claim a share of the credit — that takes in more outsiders of all kinds than does any other country on the globe.
    For some time now many amongst us have feared that this country — in essence, a kinder, gentler one — has been vanishing inexorably.
    The first person to say this out loud (myself then as unhearing as anyone else) was former prime minister Joe Clark. In 2013, in a remarkable book, How We Lead: Canada in a Century of Change, Clark warned that “this outward-reaching country” was “turning inward” and giving up on ideals such as of peacekeeping and of using foreign aid to benefit the global poor rather than our own exports.
    The most recent commentator was another former prime minister. He – Jean Chrétien — this weekend delivered an attack on Harper’s foreign policy with a degree of anger and scorn that has seldom been equalled in our political history.
    Harper’s slowness to respond to the refugee crisis in the Middle East, declared Chrétien, had “shamed Canada’, and made its citizens seem “cold-hearted”. The “peace-seeking, progressive country that Canada once was” no longer existed.
    Chrétien’s closing cry was: “Let’s take our place back in the world.”
    Uttered two weeks ago, these same words spoken by the same person might well have been dismissed as just partisanship. Today, they explain why the election is already over.
    One incident has changed everything, not just in Canada but among huge numbers of people in many countries around the world.
    The agent of transformational rage and disgust and so the rise of a determination that things could be done differently was as small as any such catalyst has ever been. The agent was a three-year-old. He was Alan Kurdi, the asylum-seeking boy who drowned near Turkey and whose body then floated ashore there to be photographed looking as peaceable as if he were taking a brief rest on the sand.
    Almost instantly huge numbers of Canadians understood that everything had changed. They now are doing all they can to ensure that as many as possible asylum-seekers escape death by coming to this country, this despite all the practical difficulties, even the risks, of doing this.
    Harper didn’t understand what was happening. Belatedly, he’s going to make some changes. Some may well be good ones. But they’re far too late. He wasn’t listening; instead, he was listening too much to himself.
    This is why this election is no longer about who should be prime minister. It’s about the kind of country we should have.
    Richard Gwyn’s column usually appears every other Tuesday. gwynr@sympatico.ca

  26. 28
    mushafta Says:

    Say Ted!
    I’m sure you are aware that Pope Francis is coming to the U.S. Next week.
    But more importantly, will Fr Sarducci be accompanying him? And, why has not Fr Sarducci been made a cardinal by now? What a wonderful thing for him to be appointed as Cardinal to the Torinto

  27. 29

    I found the article to be nothing more than a gust of self-righteous hot air. The problem with most of these journalists who are hopelessly left is that they fail to appreciate the limits of human knowing. They also believe that if they assert something loud enough, it will happen.

    I’d much rather watch Father Guido Sarduci. Far more brilliant and enlightening.

  28. 30
    mushafta Says:

    You heard it right here Ted! Another proud supporter of the soon to be consecrated Cardinal😇.. Fatal her Guido Sardduci!
    Bravo Francesco…but I think Fr Guido would disagree with you on the Palestinian issue! Just wait until Sept 22 when Francis turns the tables in the U.S.! If Trump is still running first God help all of us!

  29. 31

    I didn’t know I had a position on the Palestinian issue. I thought I said it was too complex for me. Isolated acts, such as bulldozing houses and shooting Palestinians are obviously unjustified, but so too is using resources to build tunnels and purchase weapons in order to destroy “little Satan” or Israel. This is one area where it is not black and white. If you were the leader of the Palestinians, I have no doubt in my mind that a permanent peace deal would be reached in days. The problem is those in power are not as reasonable. Hate has a way of doing that, darkening the mind.


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