Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Daily Digest June 9, 2009

ARCHIVED at http://cdndailydigest.blogspot.com/

Next minister dragged into Raitt tape controversy: Jim Prentice

More of Lisa Raitt critiquing her fellow cabinet ministers..
Posted by Scott Tribe on June 9, 2009, at 6:29 pm |

This time, it's Jim Prentice:
Environment Minister Jim Prentice is the second minister subjected to a less-than-flattering assessment from the natural resources minister. Sources familiar with the tape say Raitt suggests her colleague is pandering to Alberta´s oil sands. What makes that observation surprising is that Raitt - as natural resources minister - is responsible for defending the oil sands, while Prentice is responsible for reducing carbon emissions.
I suspected there was going to be a lot more "material" on here then just Chalk River and her assessment of the Health Minister when we found out there was 5 hours worth of material on this tape. Prentice is the next one, and I wonder if we're going to get a different Lisa Raitt assessment of a new cabinet minister each day for the next week. And Harper really wants to keep her on?

Readers who viewed this page, also viewed:
Apparently , pointing out a minister's inappropriate statements is "cheap politics".

The radioactive tape
Raitt spoke of chance for political gain from all 521 news articles »
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Front/1126411.html Uproar in the Commons over Raitt's remarks
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/ 648051

Uproar in the Commons over Raitt's remarks
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/ 647932

Claims poised to draw Ottawa MP into scandal


Happy trails

Conference sign of hope

Govern for a day by casting ballot

Lebanese election: Status quo a victory

America's first priority must be a stable Iraq

Hezbollah's defeat won't guarantee peace

The real scandal
The new man in Ottawa

Giving now can avoid food bank crisis later

Don't let eHealth go off the rails

Lebanon's prudent vote

Capitalism lives

Stumbling in their haste

Focusing on the fault lines

Forced equality fails

Time for couch potato kids to rise up

Obama is wrong

 We should rethink our eating habits

What we do to the oceans, we are doing to ourselves

No easy way out of eHealth scandal

Buy American: Concern is well-founded

Map staking best for 21st century

Protect us from protectionists

'Tough guys' should be allowed to cry

Ending pixie-dust funding good start

Gulf between strong speech and criminal act big enough

Is Wildrose alliance quick prairie fire or growing blaze?

Lebanese vote hopeful trend

Judge's message: violence isn't sport

Wildrose offers change

Time to put some ice on Michael Ignatieff's raging election fever


Feds, Mohawks can't bridge divide

Foreign affairs: commit more troops to Afghanistan (UK)

Ex-Army chief says Treasury crippling Afghan war (UK)

An elusive Afghan strategy

Accounts Differ on Afghan Grenade Attack

Afghanistan Past & Present

Soldiers cleared of allegations that they beat Taliban prisoners

Canada, U.S. businesses assail "Buy American" rules

U.S. ports take aim at B.C. rivals over subsidies

Canada declares war on Buy America rules

Tories seek union's help in fight against 'Buy American'

Gas lobby group seeks Canadian input
Oil alternative; Canada to benefit because of shale gas discoveries

Say 'no' to Buy Canadian

We are increasingly under America's thumb

U.S. Supreme Court allows Chrysler sale to Fiat

Pentagon Investigates Pill-Popping PTSD Prevention

Middle East news distorted, says Arab journalist

Reforming Iran's Islamic revolution

WHO 'very close' to declaring a pandemic, concerned about Manitoba cases

Real progress on wait times but there's a long way to go

Police jury checks 'not widespread,' Ont. A-G insists

Nova Scotians elect first NDP government east of Ontario

Stelmach Tories praise Ignatieff over Harper

Alberta Tories take aim at Ottawa brethren

Alberta girds for carbon wars

Alberta Tory memo reveals rift with Harper

Political developments not moving voters, poll finds

Top Tory curses Toronto

Baird to Miller: `I'm sorry'

Finance minister looks on bright side

Prosperity returns?
Must be true if Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says it is

Raitt's comments on isotopes shortage 'cynical, arrogant': Ignatieff
PM spokesman calls minister's word choice 'unfortunate'

Canada plans massive expansion of northern park

Canada ignores UN review on clemency

Taxpayers still on hook despite AECL privatization: report

Tories call in Mounties over mint's missing millions

Documents mislaid by Raitt aide reveal details of AECL bid to build Ont. reactors

We're no bully at environment talks: Prentice

We need a new research reactor

There's nothing sexy in feeding frenzy over Raitt tape
The Canadian media made of the proverbial molehill this sad little mountain

Politicians play auto executive

If Harper fixed his moat would we ever find out?

Don't buy spin: Stimulus flowing

'Parachute candidates' don't make huge dent in political landscape: prof

La Cour suprême autorise la vente de Chrysler à Fiat

Harper continue de défendre la ministre Raitt

Les néo-démocrates l'emportent en Nouvelle-Écosse

Un plan qui rallie bien des souverainistes

À la recherche des lingots disparus

Baird présente ses excuses

Changements climatiques - Le Canada rejette le consensus de Bali

Un autre oubli embarrassant pour Lisa Raitt

Une odeur de scandale à Toronto

Stephen Harper continue de défendre sa ministre des Ressources naturelles

Des supporters d'Abdelrazik n'arrivent pas à rencontrer le ministre Cannon

Le Canada ne doit pas répliquer à la clause 'Buy American', dit la Banque mondiale

Les soldats canadiens auraient bien traité les combattants talibans

Des membres des Forces canadiennes échouent des tests de dépistage de drogues

La GRC enquêtera sur la disparition de lingots d'or de la Monnaie royale


Why This Crisis May Be Our Best Chance to Build a New Economy

There not being too much, if anything, inspirational in the news.  when an article with positivge directions came my way somehow through Google Alerts I decided to post it.

It's utopian in my increasingly jaundiced view - but offers directions to work toward.

It may be escapism to read it but perhaps there's a need for that right now.

So be encuraged to take the time to read it through and should you find something of merit let us know.



From: "Paul Arnold"

Turn up your sound and grab some kleenex.

Video: "Currahee"

From: "Suan H.Booiman"
Subject: Nay

The passport is not an insurance policy
Canada has no principles. We are dictated
to be multicultural, bilingual . most people are bilingual
in some languages, that is why "bilingualism in Canada
*meaning English and French", does not bother them.
We are ruled by bureaucrats in the Human Rights Commission,
We are cheap in handing out passports, come for three years
and you are in, no commitment, no obligations. not even
required to speak the English language. (French has been
dictated on to us by the Liberals who stand for nothing
"don't offend" is their motto.
We are so cheap that we allow the ignorance of the opening
line of the Constitution "we recognize the supremacy of GOD".
To: "Phyllis Wagg"
From: Joe Hueglin
Subject: # 1 Hit

Posted on Tuesday, June 9, 2009 · 1 Comment

Dear Editor,

Lisa Riatt's comments regarding the isotope crisis gives the "me" generation a new meaning. Riatt's comments reflect her focus on the political capital she could get out of the issue. She had no concern about the patients who might have their lives threatened by the lack of isotopes and referred to things such as the heavy water leak and cancer as "sexy" issues.

When the Conservative strategy is to use "spin doctors" to place carefully crafted masks over the real face of the individuals that make up the government, trying to hide "private" attitudes that have no place in good governance, they make the glimpses into the reality that the Raitt tape provided an important means for evaluating the hidden reality.

What Conservatives and their supporters do not seem to understand is that Raitt comments reflect an attitude that is extremely offensive to many, if not most, Canadians. Most Canadians have family and friends or even personal experience with the diagnosis of life threatening diseases. That a person in charge of handling the crisis in the testing for these diseases treats the issue as a political opportunity to get her face in the media is outrageous.

The fact that the PMO still has confidence in Ms Riatt is not surprising. She was his hand picked candidate over other Conservatives who wanted the nomination. Prime Minister Harper appointed her as his personal choice for the riding and the party strategists made it clear that if she defeated Garth Turner she would have a cabinet position.

The cold, calculating manner in which she considered the issue from a personal political slant represents the self-interested individualism that Harper admires. They share an ideology in which compassion and caring are considered weaknesses.

It is sad that people who think like the Prime Minister and Ms Riatt so often hold the lives of real people in the palm of their hands.

Phyllis Wagg
West Bay, NS

#2 Hit Isotopes a sexy issue - should anyone see a #3 Hit please send me the journals name and a link if possible.
From: Larry Kazdan
To: letters@straight.com
Subject: Letters to Editor re: Author Yves Engler damns foreign policy, Carlito  Pablo, June 4

Re: Author Yves Engler damns foreign policy, Carlito Pablo, June 4
The quotation "All men are created equal..." is generally considered the foundation of American government, and yet Thomas Jefferson kept slaves.  The problem was not with the principle but with its application.  So too with "Responsibility to Protect (R2P)", designed to be employed only for humanitarian purposes where egregious crimes are being carried out, and whose major thrust is prevention rather than military operations.  However much we protest those "imperialistic" interventions that Yves Engler warns us about, we must continue to uphold the idea that the international community cannot turn a blind eye to horrific acts involving large-scale loss of life or large scale ethnic cleansing whether carried out by killing, forced expulsion, acts of terror, or rape.  Canada has already made a unique contribution in helping to frame the R2P principles.  In supporting its timely and proper implementation, Canada can demonstrate a principled foreign policy that results in the saving of thousands of lives.
Larry Kazdan , Vice-President,
World Federalist Movement Canada – Vancouver Branch
Vancouver, B.C.

From: The Natroses

Hi Joe, 
To John, don't count out the baby boomers just yet. We are the generation that had it good. Most of came out with a round rounded education at the end of high school. Studies have been done on my generation, where each successive generation is getting less and less of the things that really count in this world. A good education, that consists of being fluent in reading and writing. Access to available health care, housing and even back than one could live on minimum wage without denying such necessities such as paying for food or rent. I was brought up in that era where goals were to betterment society, and not just you. I am sure there is a few million people in Canada that remembers the good old days, by just looking at our own children and their children. Before I became 14, I had already traveled across Canada and United States. My father worked at GM. The farm where we lived on paid for the taxes and clothing for us kids. I bet the home-made camping trailer would never be allowed on our roads in today's society. On the radio, I heard a woman who set up her trailer, along with others for the pass 10 years or so. They all got letters from the government, stating that campers can only stay in one spot for only 2 days. Now campers, if they want to take out their family out to the woods, are going to be force to used the pricey provincial or private parks for that privilege. No matter what you do, there is some government agency tapping you on your shoulder, telling you can't do this or that. The same government agency which includes politicians, are the same ones where accountability and responsibility  are code words to stripped the Canadian public well dry in good and bad times.

Governments especially Harper's should really tread careful. There would not want millions coming to Ottawa, all the gray hairs singing in one voice - taking out the guitars and whatnot, singing the old protest songs of the 60s and 70s, putting our heads together using our experience and education to remind politicians of all stripes especially the younger ones, the selfishness, their bone-headed policies and their mindless spending that does little for the welfare of Canadians. If you or anyone thinks that Tamil Tiger protests were trouble, just think what a few million ordinary baby-boomers could do, when we all have nothing to lose - our bank accounts are being drained, some have lost their jobs, worse for some who have lost their pension, and for others it is the lost of freedoms and rights, that were enjoyed for a very long time. The comments on other sites, are coming in. I had a good chuckled especially this one. 

"You don't get it; prison has been my retirement option, since the money spent on looking after criminals will dwarf my pension. I've been counting on spending my later years with someone preparing my well balanced meals, cleaning my clothes, great library to choose my reading material. Off to the health club everyday for a good work out. Congical visits, don't have to worry about house keeping, paying taxes, shoveling snow. Great health care, nothing but the best for us. Only here in Canada, pity."

I had a good laugh, and than one can only cry when you see the actions of ordinary retirees giving away their assets to their children, so they can avail of the drug plans or a senior citizen home or to have more money to maintain their home and pay taxes. Than you have the senior citizens who get divorce, to get two CPP cheques instead of one. I and many others have had it with the mealy-mouth politicians dictating to us how to live, what to live on, and where to go; while the politicians and the over-priced professionals disrespect us at every turn. Just last week, I paid a visit to a rather over-priced dentist, who justified her reason on not accepting dental insurance by calling braces a cosmetic procedure.  Of course, I objected to her reason. Today, I phone another one who answered every one of my questions, and all were reasonable  and the logic was there. What really gets me, is the disrespect that a person gets from a professional or a politician. None of them can tell the whole truth, and much to my chagrin the dentist of last week told me an out-right lie. These people think they can lie, because they think we are ignorant, stupid or the right to lie when they think people are beneath them. Politicians are the worse lot, who think they are a class above everyone else.

The baby-boomers may just have to start up the old protests, but we would be their worst nightmare because most of us are just the ordinary sort who would like to live our lives, in the same way as we were raised in the 60s. There was always something left over at the end of the week, on life's pleasures such as a 6-packed beer or a nice  prime-rib roast for Sunday dinner.

From: "Jacob Rempel"
Subject: " --- recognize the true heroes of caring for a child -- "

Dear Editor, DAILY DIGEST: ---
Mark-Alan Whittle writes: --
" --- I'm left wondering when all levels of government will finally recognize the true heroes of caring for a child, parents, grandparents, and family members who do this out of love and a commitment to family values. If institutional daycare, run by unionized staff, is of such great value to the state, then each and every parent who is tasked with this responsibility should be equally recognized by the state for the value they bring to the children and the business of raising them. Unlike institutional daycare, and their 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. mentality, raising a child is a 24-hour a day job and has a value that should be recognized by the government. Parents, and the multitude of care givers within the family, deserve our respect and acknowledgment."
My response:
I do agree that governments fail to recognize any of our personal good works for our children and family, except when they (governments) abdicate their responsibilities and demand more money from us to keep them and their corporate allies going strong, exploiting our tax money and our natural resources for international corporate profits, leaving even our Canadian corporations in the dust, not to mention our Canadian natural environment badly damaged. That is the depth of irresponsible government. In that matter, only government can protect families today and in the long future.
Canadians have forgotten that for a while, years ago (40s, 50, 60s) , the federal government gave significant monthly dollar amounts of family allowance, specific for each child up to age sixteen years, to every mother in Canada. It made a real difference to stay at home mothers and for children's health and their school success. The present government sends present low value $100 for a few early years, enough for about two days of child care.
You have a problem with unionized child care workers, perhaps also teachers in early learning programs, pre-kindergarten places of child care, and perhaps also with unionized public school teachers. I am a retired teacher and school principal. I have closely observed teachers and child care workers, unionized and not. Even now once a week, I observe the attendance at an early learning program with my 3-4 year old grandson.
Except for some over-worked teachers and other childcare workers, I have never seen a difference between unionized and non-unionized teachers and care givers in terms of hard work and dedication and results. -- Except for one thing, -- that the unionized usually are better paid and they don't quit so often in despair of getting properly paid and getting administrative support. (I have seen results suffer when good teachers suffer burn-out after years of stressful assignments.)
With respect to parents, I note that those who send children to preschool learning programs work with and help child care workers, even as they also do excellent parenting at home.
It's hard to know (I don't), but it may be that some who don't send cannot afford it, and they are in fact working such long hours, at low non-union wages, that their parenting efforts are sabotaged.

--- Jacob Rempel, Vancouver

Subject: NEWS: 119th Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan

The Globe and Mail brings the sad news this afternoon that, "Private Alexandre (Pelo) Péloquin
of the Vandoos, aged 20, was killed (today) during a foot patrol. …Private Péloquin is the 119th
soldier killed as part of Canada's mission to Afghanistan, and the first fatality since the end of April."
The Council of Canadians is calling for the immediate and safe withdrawal of Canadian troops from Afghanistan.
Our statement on the conflict in Afghanistan is at
Other information may be read at
The Globe and Mail report is at
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/canadian-killed-in-afghanistan/article1173477/ .
Brent Patterson
The Council of Canadians


Why This Crisis May Be Our Best Chance to Build a New Economy by David Korten

Wall Street is bankrupt. Instead of trying to save it, we can build a new economy that puts money and business in the service of people and the planet—not the other way around.
Whether it was divine providence or just good luck, we should give thanks that financial collapse hit us before the worst of global warming and peak oil. As challenging as the economic meltdown may be, it buys time to build a new economy that serves life rather than money. It lays bare the fact that the existing financial system has brought our way of life and the natural systems on which we depend to the brink of collapse. This wake-up call is inspiring unprecedented numbers of people to take action to bring forth the culture and institutions of a new economy that can serve us and sustain our living planet for generations into the future.

The world of financial stability, environmental sustainability, economic justice, and peace that most psychologically healthy people want is possible if we replace a defective operating system that values only money, seeks to monetize every relationship, and pits each person in a competition with every other for dominance.

From Economic Power to Basket Case
Not long ago, the news was filled with stories of how Wall Street's money masters had discovered the secrets of creating limitless wealth through exotic financial maneuvers that eliminated both risk and the burden of producing anything of real value. In an audacious social engineering experiment, corporate interests drove a public policy shift that made finance the leading sector of the U.S. economy and the concentration of private wealth the leading economic priority.

Corporate interests drove a policy agenda that rolled back taxes on high incomes, gave tax preference to income from financial speculation over income from productive work, cut back social safety nets, drove down wages, privatized public assets, outsourced jobs and manufacturing capacity, and allowed public infrastructure to deteriorate. They envisioned a world in which the United States would dominate the global economy by specializing in the creation of money and the marketing and consumption of goods produced by others.

As a result, manufacturing fell from 27 percent of U.S. gross domestic product in 1950 to 12 percent in 2005, while financial services grew from 11 percent to 20 percent. From 1980 to 2005, the highest-earning 1 percent of the U.S. population increased its share of taxable income from 9 percent to 19 percent, with most of the gain going to the top one-tenth of 1 percent. The country became a net importer, with a persistent annual trade deficit of more than three-quarters of a trillion dollars financed by rising foreign debt. Wall Street insiders congratulated themselves on their financial genius even as they turned the United States into a national economic basket case and set the stage for global financial collapse.

All the reports of financial genius masked the fact that a phantom-wealth economy is unsustainable. Illusory assets based on financial bubbles, abuse of the power of banks to create credit (money) from nothing, corporate asset stripping, baseless credit ratings, and creative accounting led to financial, social, and environmental breakdown. The system suppressed the wages of the majority while continuously cajoling them to buy more than they could afford using debt that they had no means to repay.

A Defective Operating System
The operating system of our phantom-wealth economy was written by and for Wall Street interests for the sole purpose of making more money for people who have money. It makes cheap money readily available to speculators engaged in inflating financial bubbles and financing other predatory money scams. It makes money limited and expensive to those engaged in producing real wealth—life, and the things that sustain life—and pushes the productive members of society into indebtedness to those who produce nothing at all.
Money, the ultimate object of worship among modern humans, is the most mysterious of human artifacts: a magic number with no meaning or existence outside the human mind. Yet it has become the ultimate arbiter of life—deciding who will live in grand opulence in the midst of scarcity and who will die of hunger in the midst of plenty.

The monetization of relationships—replacing mutual caring with money as the primary medium of exchange—accelerated after World War II when growth in Gross National Product, essentially growth in monetized relationships, became the standard for evaluating economic performance. The work of the mother who cares for her child solely out of love counts for nothing. By contrast, the mother who leaves her child unattended to accept pay for tending the child of her neighbor suddenly becomes "economically productive." The result is a public policy bias in favor of monetizing relationships to create phantom wealth—money—at the expense of real wealth.

In the world we want, the organization of economic life mimics healthy ecosystems that are locally rooted, highly adaptive, and self-reliant in food and energy. Information and technology are shared freely, and trade between neighbors is fair and balanced.

In a modern economy, nearly every relationship essential to life depends on money. This gives ultimate power to those who control the creation and allocation of money. Five features of the existing money system virtually assure abuse.

Money issuance and allocation are controlled by private banks managed for the exclusive benefit of their top managers and largest shareholders.

Money issued by private banks as debt must be repaid with interest. This requires perpetual economic growth to create sufficient demand for new loans to create the money required to pay the interest due on previous loans. The fact that nearly every dollar in circulation is generating interest for bankers and their investors virtually assures an ever-increasing concentration of wealth.

The power to determine how much money will circulate and where it will flow is concentrated and centralized in a tightly interlinked system of private-benefit corporations that operate in secret, beyond public scrutiny, with the connivance of the Federal Reserve.

The Federal Reserve presents itself as a public institution responsible for exercising oversight, but it is accountable only to itself, operates primarily for the benefit of the largest Wall Street banks, and consistently favors the interests of those who live by returns to money over those who live by returns to their labor.

The lack of proper regulatory oversight allows players at each level of the system to make highly risky decisions, collect generous fees based on phantom profits, and pass the risk to others.

A Values-Based Operating System
To get ourselves out of our current mess and create the world we want, we must reboot the economy with a new, values-based operating system designed to support social and environmental balance and the creation of real, living wealth. We have seen what happens when government and big business operate in secret. The new system must be open to public scrutiny and democratic control. Globalization and the harshest form of capitalism have eroded the bonds of community and created vast gaps in wealth between the richest and the poorest. The new system must be locally rooted in strong communities and distribute wealth equitably.

Our environment and our infrastructure have paid a terrible price for the belief that private interests must always win over public ones. A viable system must balance public and private interests. Unregulated speculation is at the root of the current crisis. Society is better served by a system that favors productive work and investment, limits speculation, and suppresses inflation in all forms—including financial bubbles.

The following are five essential areas of action.
1. Government-Issued Money. There is urgent need for government action to create living wage jobs, rebuild public infrastructure, and restore domestic productive capacity. It is folly, however, for government to finance those projects by borrowing money created by the same private banks that created the financial mess.

The government can and should instead issue debt-free money to finance the stimulus and meet other public needs. Properly administered, this money will flow to community-based enterprises and help revitalize Main Street market economies engaged in the production of real wealth.

2. Community Banking. Under the bailout, the government is buying ownership shares in failed Wall Street banks with the expectation of eventually reselling them to private interests. So far, the money has disappeared or gone to acquisitions, management bonuses, office remodeling, and fancy vacations with no noticeable effect on the freeing up of credit.

A better plan, as many economists are recommending, is to force bankrupt banks into government receivership. As part of the sale and distribution of assets to meet creditor claims, these banks should be broken up and their local branches sold to local investors. These new, individual community banks and mutual savings and loan associations should be chartered to serve Main Street needs, lending to local manufacturers, merchants, farmers, and homeowners within a strong regulatory framework.

3. Real-Wealth Investment. Gambling should be confined to licensed casinos. Contrary to the claims of Wall Street, financial speculation does not create real wealth, serves no public interest, and should be strongly discouraged. Tax the purchase or sale of financial instruments and impose a tax surcharge on short-term capital gains. Make it illegal to sell, insure, or borrow against an asset you do not own, or to issue a financial security not backed by a real asset. This would effectively shut down much of Wall Street, which would be a positive result.

The money that has been used for speculation must be redirected to productive investment that creates real wealth and meets our essential needs responsibly, equitably, and sustainably using green technologies and closed-loop production cycles. We can begin by eliminating subsidies for carbon fuels and putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions. We can revise trade agreements to affirm the responsibility of every nation to contribute to global economic security and stability by organizing for sustainable self-reliance in food and energy and managing its economy to keep imports and exports in balance. If we Americans learn to live within our means, we will free up resources others need to feed, clothe, and house themselves and their families. The notion that reducing our consumption would harm others is an example of the distorted logic of a phantom-wealth economy.

4. Middle Class Fiscal Policy. The ruling financial elites have used their control of fiscal policy to conduct a class war that has decimated the once celebrated American middle class and led to economic disaster. Markets work best when economic power is equitably distributed and individuals contribute to the economy as both workers and owners. Massive inequality in income and ownership assures the failure of both markets and democracy.

To restore the social fabric and allocate real resources in ways that serve the needs of all, we must restore the middle class through equity-oriented fiscal policies. There is also a strong moral argument that those who profited from creating our present economic mess should bear the major share of the cost of cleaning it up. It is time to reinstitute the policies that created the American middle class after World War II. Restore progressive income tax with a top rate of 90 percent and favor universal participation in responsible ownership and a family wage. Because no one has a natural birth entitlement to any greater share of the real wealth of society than anyone else, use the estate tax to restore social balance at the end of each lifetime in a modern equivalent of the Biblical Jubilee, which called for periodically forgiving debts and restoring land to its original owners.

5. Responsible Enterprise. Enterprises in a market economy need a fair return to survive. This imposes a necessary discipline. Service to the community, however, rather than profit, is the primary justification for the firm's existence. As Wall Street has so graphically demonstrated, profit is not a reliable measure of social contribution.
Enterprises are most likely to serve their communities when they are human-scale and owned by responsible local investors with an active interest in their operation beyond mere profit. Concentrations of corporate power reduce public accountability, and no corporation should be too big to fail. The new economy will use antitrust to break large corporations into their component parts and sell them to responsible local owners. There are many ways to aggregate economic resources that do not create concentrations of monopoly power or encourage absentee ownership. These include the many forms of worker, cooperative, and community ownership and cooperative alliances among locally rooted firms.

Current proposals for dealing with the economic collapse fall far short of dealing with the deep conflict of values and interests at the core of the current economic crisis. We face an urgent need to expand and deepen the debate to advance options that go far beyond anything currently on the table.

The World We Want
The world of our shared human dream is one where people live happy, productive lives in balance with one another and Earth. It is democratic and middle class without extremes of wealth or poverty. It is characterized by strong, stable families and communities in which relationships are defined primarily by mutual trust and caring. Every able adult is both a worker and an owner. Most families own their own home and have an ownership stake in their local economy. Everyone has productive work and is respected for his or her contribution to the well-being of the community.

In the world we want, the organization of economic life mimics healthy ecosystems that are locally rooted, highly adaptive, and self-reliant in food and energy. Information and technology are shared freely, and trade between neighbors is fair and balanced. Each community, region and nation strives to live within its own means in balance with its own environmental resources. Conflicts are resolved peacefully and no group seeks to expropriate the resources of its neighbors. Competition is for excellence, not domination.

The financial collapse has revealed the extreme corruption of the Wall Street financial system and created an extraordinary opening for change. We cannot, however, expect the leadership to come from within the political system. There is good reason why both the Bush and Obama administrations, different as they are, have responded to the Wall Street crash with bailouts for the guilty rather than face up to the need for a radical restructuring of the financial system. No president can stand up against Wall Street absent massive popular demand.

To move forward, we the people must build a powerful popular political movement demanding a new economy designed to serve our children, families, communities, and nature. It begins with a conversation to demystify money and expose the lie that there is no alternative to the present economic system. It continues with action to rebuild our local economies based on sound market principles backed by national political action to transform the money system and broaden participation in ownership. This is our moment of opportunity.