Nation-Wrecking No! Stop Paying the Rich; Increase Investments in Social Programs!
On August 17, the Prime Minister asked the Governor-General to prorogue the first session of the 43rd Parliament. The second session opened on September 23 with a Speech from The Throne in which Prime Minister Trudeau said he will lay out his government’s “new approach” and the House of Commons will have the opportunity to determine its confidence in his Government.
The new approach is rooted in the claim that the government is now addressing the growing inequalities in the society, championing the 99 per cent against the one per cent. The pandemic didn’t exist at the time of the last Throne Speech; it is a new situation and Canada can’t go back to the old status quo, Trudeau said at a press conference.
As if the inequalities and injustices of the society were not obvious before the pandemic and as if the policy to pay the rich will no longer prevail, Trudeau said the pandemic has “highlighted inequalities that still exist and the vulnerabilities we have as a society.” The pandemic, he said, has “taught important lessons;” this is now a “once-in-a-life-time” chance to set out a plan that will create not the same Canada, but a new Canada.
His plan, to be “unveiled over the coming weeks” and detailed in his Throne Speech, will be “long-term” and address “the fundamental gaps this pandemic has unmasked,” he said. Trudeau told the press conference, “We need to get through this pandemic in a way that gives everyone a real and fair chance at success, not just the wealthiest one per cent.”
In his press conference speech, Trudeau described Canada and the world as being “at a crossroads.” He spoke about the resurgence of COVID-19 in Australia and New Zealand, which are currently in their winter, and said “ours is still ahead.” He called for vigilance and declared that “the fight is still far from over.”
He said parents are not only worried about things such as the return to school. There is also unemployment, difficult choices for women (between children and careers), the “extra barriers” facing “racialized Canadians” and Indigenous people, and young people worrying about their future as they deal with “unexpected burdens.”
Trudeau said that there is “an emerging international consensus” that now is the time to “think boldly and rebuild even stronger.” Low interest rates mean the cost of stimulating the economy is low. Countries with strong fiscal positions, like Canada, have to invest to help people through the crisis.
“Our G7 allies, whether it is Germany or the United Kingdom, or our partners like the European Union or south Korea, they all understand that this is a time to act. And we must seize the opportunity as well. We have a choice to make. We can decide to move forward instead of returning to the status quo. We can choose to embrace bold new solutions to the challenges we face, and refuse to be held back by old ways of thinking. As much as this pandemic is an unexpected challenge, it is also an unprecedented opportunity. This is our chance to build a more resilient Canada: a Canada that is healthier and safer, greener and more competitive. A Canada that is more welcoming and more fair. This is our moment to change the future for the better.”
At the press conference, Trudeau was asked why he is using prorogation when his election platform promised not to do so. He differentiated his use of prorogation from that of former Prime Minister Harper, who used it to avert a confidence motion. Trudeau says his government’s renovated plan (in other words, not his government’s corruption) will be put to a vote of confidence. The 2019 Throne Speech didn’t even mention the word pandemic – how can the plan set then simply remain, he asked.
The standings of the parties in the House of Commons at the time the 43rd Session of Parliament was prorogued were: Liberal – 156; Conservative – 121; Bloc Québécois – 32; NDP – 24; Green – 3; Independent 2. The Liberals need 170 votes to retain the confidence of the House.
The current issue of TML Weekly carries several articles which inform what the pay-the-rich schemes of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland are all about.
What to Expect from the Speech from The Throne
Speculation on What the Throne Speech Will Contain
By Pauline Easton
There is much speculation as to what the Speech from The Throne will contain. The Liberals are consulting with every “stakeholder,” from lobbyists, to bankers, to representatives of big business and Chambers of Commerce, to the heads of big unions which support them. The media report that, in the end, when it is delivered, the government’s “new agenda” will focus on “three main areas: further measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 and avoid another nation-wide lockdown; to help Canadians stay afloat while the pandemic continues; and longer-term measures to structurally rebuild the ravaged economy.”
“Liberal insiders” told Reuters that the government telegraphed some of its priorities to lobbyists. Thus, “most should already have a pretty good idea of what the major themes are, like greening the economy, infrastructure spending, childcare reform, health care (including long-term care homes and pharmacare), and addressing the ‘she-cession’ – where the pandemic has particularly affected women’s jobs. It should include major reforms to the social welfare system and a more concerted effort to tackle climate change.”
By all accounts Trudeau and his Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland are haunted by inequality on one hand, and the striving of the people for empowerment on the other. Exhibiting unparalleled hubris, their pretense is such that they claim they can overcome the trend of the rich becoming richer and the poor poorer by nurturing an elite group of decision-makers – a “social plutocracy” who know how to foster a “middle class” and what’s best for everyone. Anyone who does not fall in line they rail against as dangerous extremists from the “left” or the “right” to be subjected to civil death. A Hill Times’ reporter writes: “Freeland is a more natural front woman for a government focused on inequality than Morneau, a wealthy former executive whose wife is part of the family that controls Canada’s C$10 billion McCain Foods Ltd. empire.
“‘We are living in an age of surging income inequality, particularly between those at the very top and everyone else,’ she said in a speech in 2013, about five months before winning a seat in the House of Commons for Trudeau’s party, which was then in opposition.
“Freeland, while not ultra-wealthy, has been part of that same globe-trotting elite since her career as an editor at the Reuters news service and the Financial Times.”
The slogan Trudeau is repeating from the playbook he has been given by the financial oligarchs is “Build Back Better,” which is also Joe Biden’s campaign slogan in the U.S. presidential election. With an emphasis on massive investments for a “green recovery,” a claim is made of a rebirth of capitalism without addressing any of the real problems of the economy, the natural or social environment or causes for inequality, which is the ever-greater exploitation of the working class and oppression of Indigenous peoples, women, the most vulnerable and the peoples of the world. The irony is that it is what the Trudeau Liberals have repeated ever since they came to power in 2015, when they defeated the NDP in the very last week of the campaign with a surprise announcement of deliberate deficit-spending, often referred to today as “expansionist economics.”
“Expansionist economics” is said to be where the production of goods and services is expanded by the state spending massive amounts of money to boost demand and at the same time facilitate investment. The mantra is that there is no need to worry about how to pay back the loans because the economy will sort itself out on its own. It is disinformation to cover up the policy to pay the rich in every conceivable way. This is not discussed. Even Trump is credited with implementing an “expansionist economic policy” and all of them, whether from the “left” or the “right” are in denial that the results we have today are due to these pay-the-rich policies.
The appropriate political answer to the program to pay the rich is Nation-Wrecking No! Stop Paying the Rich; Increase Investments in Social Programs!
2. “Trudeau opens throne speech consultations with opposition leaders,” Canadian Press, September 17, 2020.
3. “Lobbyists eye ‘high stakes’ throne speech as opportunity for client interests in Liberal reset,” Samantha Wright Allen, Hill Times, August 26, 2020.
5. An article in The Economist in April by Mark Carney, former governor of first the Bank of Canada and until recently the Bank of England, set out his views on the post-COVID economy – crucially, on the potential for the gap to narrow between market values and what people value.
The crisis will accelerate the fragmentation of the global economy with travel restricted until a vaccine is found and applied, Carney said. Debt will inhibit the capacity for corporate growth and private dynamism could be restrained by too deep a relationship with the state. COVID has reinforced the lesson of the 2008 financial crisis that resilience will be valued. There will be lasting consequences for sectors that rely on aggressive household borrowing or a booming housing market.
Carney concluded that we have moved from a market economy to a market society, where an asset has to be in a market to be valued (for example, Amazon the company has a value; Amazon the region does not, until it can be farmed).
“The price of everything becomes the value of everything. The crisis could help reverse that relationship,” Carney wrote, citing climate change as the greatest test of this new hierarchy of values.
Illusion-Making that a Just Society Can Be Created the Neo-Liberal Way
By K.C. Adams
The neo-liberal way perpetuates social inequality and class privilege. This much has been proven by life experience and is not under dispute. What then should we make of the new offensive which suggests that the problem of inequality can be resolved the neo-liberal way?
An ideal of the liberal vision for society is what is called a just society. Of course, this model of society is precisely the one which is in deep crisis in the United States and Europe as well as in countries like Canada. But despite this, the illusion is created that if only the problem of inequality can be overcome, then we can attain the dream of a just society. And how is the problem of inequality to be overcome? By enshrining equality of opportunity – or so neo-liberal wisdom says.
The neo-liberal restructuring of the society has stepped up the trend of the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer. When this is spoken about by those who seek to perpetuate the neo-liberal way, then it is not about creating a more just society at all but to cover up the aim of neo-liberal societies to pay the rich, make the most powerful monopolies competitive on global markets and politicize private interests which willy nilly destroys the public authority. It is precisely this vicious anti-social offensive to eliminate all traces of a public authority in favour of monopoly right, which is accelerating the trend of the rich getting richer and the poor poorer.
Obscene wealth is accumulating at one pole while the ranks of the poor increase, including the percentage of people in abject poverty. Far from addressing inequality, inequality has reached unprecedented levels not only in the oppressed countries of Asia, Africa, Latin American and the Caribbean where oligarchies with obscene wealth thrive but also in the imperialist heartlands.
First, it is important to take note of what is meant when speaking of inequality.
Inequality is both natural and social. Inequality stems from the vast variety of natural abilities of individuals, and the class privilege that permeates the capitalist social system and its division between the working class and owners of accumulated social wealth. Natural inequality is related to natural ability. Social inequality is related to social class privilege, either inherited through hereditary right or acquired through natural right.
Natural inequality of individuals is not something to change or abuse but rather approach in a manner that makes sure that everyone finds their place in society and contributes to the best of their abilities. While the impression is created that this is achieved by making sure everyone has “equality of opportunity,” this is not the case. Society must guarantee the flowering of the natural ability of all and not allow class privilege to negate or misuse it for narrow self-serving purposes. Under current conditions when the state is not in the hands of the working people, this can be accomplished if social inequality or class privilege are restricted and those in the ruling elite are deprived of the power to use the state and their positions of economic and political control to oppress and exploit others and deprive them of their rights and needs.
Myriad statistical studies reveal that class status has a profound effect on natural ability and whether it blossoms or withers and dies. Social inequality negates the broad development of individual ability, which for many individuals is lost to them, the general interests of society and the public good. The working class and its political representatives reject this waste and fight for the rights of all and their empowerment. People have rights by virtue of being human; fundamental to this is the right of each and all to contribute to society to the best of their abilities and in return have society in a harmonious way guarantee their rights and having their needs met.
When members of the working class with natural ability or for other reasons break through the glass ceiling of class privilege so to speak, they are encouraged through wealth and status to join the ruling capitalist elite ideologically and politically, and use their new-found class privilege to consolidate their positions and that of other members of the ruling class in opposition to the working class.
The negation of social inequality for selected individuals of the working class paradoxically strengthens and consolidates social inequality within society as a whole. It nurtures a section of working people dedicated to their new-found class privilege, who use their own acquired substantial resources and influence and the power of the state to deprive the collective of humanity from exercising its right to be according to everyone’s abilities and needs, and the interests of society. Members of this section become ideologues for social inequality and class privilege, as they, through natural right have negated their own individual social inequality and gained the “American” or “Canadian” dream, and now trumpet their new-found class privilege with fanatical zeal.
To oppose the rebellion of the working people against their impoverishment, the greatest liberal principle of equality of opportunity is said to be the key to creating a just society. The need, neo-liberals say, is to rally all those who believe that in a fair society, hard work should pay off.
They are calling on the people to change inequality of opportunity. They are creating the illusion that certain individuals through natural right can join those who have either inherited positions of power and class privilege through hereditary right or acquired their positions, wealth and power through so-called natural right. They say inequality of opportunity negates the possibility of people, especially those who are hard working and possess ability, fulfilling their dream of upward mobility to either professional status with high incomes or becoming owners of accumulated social wealth, and leaving behind the working class not only in class position but also importantly in thinking, outlook, ideology and politics.
According to this outlook, unfair inequality of opportunity causes yet more inequality and loss of hope in the dream which they think motivates every individual on the planet Earth of acquiring social wealth and class privilege. The solution is “equality of opportunity” or “intergenerational mobility” to strengthen the status quo of class privilege and collective inequality through keeping alive the dream of negating social inequality for those who work hard or who in a banal way overcome it by winning a lottery or engaging in criminal activity and corrupt practices.
The neo-liberal position on inequality denies its reality within the natural and social conditions. Natural inequality is not a human weakness but a source of great strength and possibility for the advance of all human beings and the general interests of society. Social inequality and class privilege are expressions of the division of society into antagonistic social classes. It will persist as a backward condition of life for as long as social classes and class privilege remain intact.
The ruling class uses its accumulated social wealth and capitalist state to deprive working people of their rights and block them from opening a door to progress towards democratic renewal and their empowerment, and from creating conditions of social equality and the flowering of all: From each and all according to their abilities, to each and all their rights and needs guaranteed by society.
The neo-liberal way perpetuates social inequality and class privilege. To stop the striving of the people for empowerment and to get the people to conciliate with the anti-social austerity agendas, illusions are created about the capitalist system itself: that it can be fixed and that there is no alternative but to do it the neo-liberal way.
Claims that Schemes to Pay the Rich Address Inequality and Plutocracy
By Anna Di Carlo
When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the resignation of then Finance Minister Bill Morneau and his replacement by Chrystia Freeland at a press conference on August 17, he was asked by a reporter why he had chosen Freeland. The reporter prefaced his question by noting she is “known for wanting to reduce inequalities in the society and wanting to do so by taxing the rich.” Trudeau responded that he and Freeland have been having discussions for over seven years; he knows her views [on inequality]. She has even written a book on the subject, he added.
He told reporters that the pandemic has “highlighted inequalities that still exist and the vulnerabilities we have as a society.”
“We need to get through this pandemic in a way that gives everyone a real and fair chance at success, not just the wealthiest one per cent,” he said.
It is known that Freeland was recruited by the financial oligarchy to run for the Trudeau Liberals, in part because of her 2012 book Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else.
Freeland addresses herself to the concerns expressed by the super-rich at the Davos Economic Forum which purports to address problems of the world economy as a result of promoting unfettered market economies, including the social consequences of a world in which the rich are becoming richer, the poor poorer and the destruction of Mother Earth has created an untenable situation. The introduction to her book describes it as “an attempt to understand the changing shape of the world economy by looking at those at the very top: who they are, how they made their money; how they think, and how they relate to the rest of us.”
The book acknowledges “members of the global super-elite” such as Eric Schmidt, George Soros, Jeff Immelt, and David Rubenstein. Freeland writes they “helped me to understand their world and some have become friends.”
The writing expresses a form of awe for the accomplishments of the plutocrats whose stories Freeland tells. She describes them as “meritocrats,” frequently contrasting them to the “robber barons” of the “first Gilded Age” at the end of the 19th century.
“This book,” she writes, “takes as its starting point the conviction that we need capitalists, because we need capitalism – it being, like democracy, the best system we’ve figured out so far.”
This “end of history” stand on democracy and capitalism indicates that what will follow is not an analysis of concrete conditions so as to draw warranted conclusions, but a dogmatic rendering of how capitalism and democracy can be renewed, both of which have shown the results they give rise to favour the rich and elite rule. She continues:
“But [the book] also argues that outcomes matter, too, and that the pulling away of the plutocrats from everyone else is both an important consequence of the way capitalism is working today and a new reality that will shape the future.”
Freeland’s failure to analyze leads to a failure to predict how the new reality she speaks of will shape the future. Her morbid preoccupation with defeat is due to her dogmatic end-of-history rendering of capitalism and democracy which block providing the real problems of the economy and society with solutions. What she does do is express the concern of some of the plutocrats that if they don’t reckon with what is happening, they may contribute to the demise of the very system that enables them to rise to the top. In this regard, her positions are akin to those of U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden and his backers. But, like Donald Trump, Freeland is also haunted by the spectre of communism.
Writing on the impact of the industrial revolution (in contrast to the current technological revolution), particularly as it unfolded in Europe, along with an account of how the social-welfare state was supplanted by neo-liberalism, Freeland writes that it “was so socially wrenching that it inspired the first coherent political ideology of class warfare – Marxism – and ultimately a violent revolutionary movement that would install communist regimes in Russia, eastern Europe, and China by the middle of the century. The victorious communists were influential far beyond their own borders – America’s New Deal and western Europe’s generous social welfare systems were created partly in response to the red threat. Better to compromise with the 99 per cent than to risk being overthrown by them.” (TML emphasis.)
She then piles on historical oversimplifications by adding: “Ironically, the proletariat fared worst in the states where the Bolsheviks had imposed a dictatorship in its name – the Soviet Bloc. The living standards lagged behind […] But in the U.S. and Western Europe, the compromise between the plutocrats and everyone else worked. Economic growth soared and income inequality steadily declined.”
“This was the golden age of the American middle class, and it is no accident that our popular culture remembers it so fondly,” she adds.
Speaking about the demise of this golden age and the post-war social contract, Freeland attributes the changes in the world economy resulting in today’s inequalities to the twin revolutions: technology and globalization, and to the various economic and political aspects of these two phenomena.
An ardent defender of the neo-liberal globalized world order, she coos: “Globalization is working – the world overall is getting richer. But a lot of the costs of that transition are being borne by specific groups of the workers in the developed West.”
She eyes the current international situation as it has affected the people on a global scale as a new form of “internationalism.”
“We are accustomed to thinking of the left as having an internationalist perspective. Liberals are the sort of people who worry about poverty in Africa or the education of girls in India. The irony today is that the real internationalists are no longer the bleeding heart liberals, they are the cutthroat titans of capital,” she writes.
To explain how this is so, Freeland quotes from The Growth Map: Economic Opportunity in the BRICs and Beyond by Jim O’Neil, former chief economist at Goldman Sachs:
“We are in the early years of what is probably one of the biggest shifts of wealth and income disparity ever in history. It irritates me when I hear and read endless distorted stories of how only a few benefit and increase their wealth from the fruits of globalization, to the detriment of the marginalized masses. Globalization may widen inequality within certain national borders, but on a global basis it has been a huge force for good, narrowing inequality among people on an unprecedented scale. Tens of millions […] are being taken out of poverty…. Vast swaths of mankind are having their chance to enjoy some of the fruits of wealth creation.”
Freeland’s book is filled with quotes from, and stories about, plutocrats, ruling elites and their advisors to show how they are the ones who care. Larry Summers, former Director of the U.S. National Economic Council under President Barack Obama and U.S. Treasury Secretary under Clinton, felt conscience-stricken about elitist admission policies at Harvard when he was its dean. She tells an insider story about how Mark Carney, when Governor of the Bank of Canada, became a key protagonist in “a central battle between the plutocracy and the rest of us” at a private international gathering of bankers. In the same vein, she says that in a public conversation with former Prime Minister Paul Martin and former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, both “members in good standing of the global elite,” they “sounded a lot like the kids camped out in Zuccotti Park.” [site of the Occupy Wall Street encampment in New York – TML Ed. Note]
The Perverse Desire for a “Social Plutocracy”
Where, then, does Chrystia Freeland stand on the issue of the plutocrats and the grotesque income inequality she describes?
The “new approach” claimed by the Trudeau-Freeland-LeBlanc-Duclos team falls into a category described as “social-plutocracy” or “inclusionary-plutocracy,” which is essentially just another term for the 1990s Third Way politics of Tony Blair, Anthony Gidden, the Clinton’s and others, including the Trudeau team.
A social plutocracy is defined by John H. Skinner, one of its advocates, as follows:
“In a plutonomy dominated by technology and offshoring, there is a need for innovative approaches to accommodate major changes. Social Plutocracy could become part of the solution to economic and social problems created by plutonomy if avarice was replaced with altruism. Social plutocracy is based on a society controlled by a powerful minority who, realize that in order to maintain their status, they must ensure economic stability of the masses. A social plutocracy assures that all citizens have the ability to sustain and improve their standards of living. The plutocrats can become a driving force toward necessary reforms in health, education, labour markets, taxation and the environment. Plutocrats have benefited from governmental support and largesse in myriad ways; it is time they help the majority. The U.S. faces a future of continued income inequality and loss of work opportunities unless the plutocrats pursue solutions. Changes can be made without damaging the privileged, while at the same time reducing the threat to their hegemony. Historically, the formula producing disproportionate have’s to have-not’s has led to social unrest and civil disorder. The solution lies in finding a middle ground that does not discourage the free enterprise capitalist system but also accommodates the dignity of those who desire to work, but remain unemployed through no fault of their own.”
A Desperate Plea for Liberal Democracy
In her book, when addressing the political side of plutocracy, Freeland writes about a concept referred to as “cognitive state capture.” The term is said to have been coined by William Butler, another member of the “global super-elite,” who has served as chief economist for Citigroup since 2010. Freeland shares how Butler explained it to her: “It is not achieved by special interests buying, blackmailing, or bribing their way toward control of the legislature, the executive, or some important regulator or agency … but instead through those in charge of the relevant state entity internalizing, as if by osmosis, the objectives, interest and perception of reality of the vested interest they are meant to regulate and supervise in the public interest.”
Notwithstanding such “cognitive state capture” of the liberal democratic state by the economically powerful, when Chrystia Freeland was given the Atlantik-Brücke award in 2018, she delivered a speech desperately calling for its defence.
Freeland cautioned the audience to not be complacent about the “inevitability of liberal democracy.” “[T]he idea that democracy could falter, or be overturned in places where it had previously flourished, may seem outlandish [but] within the club of wealthy Western nations, we’re seeing homegrown anti-democratic movements on the rise, seeking to undermine our open societies from within,” she warned. “[O]ther great civilizations have risen – and then fallen. It is hubris to think we will inevitably be different,” she said.
Freeland referred to liberal democracy as a garden that has to be carefully maintained and protected from the “vines and weeds.” The analogy comes from The Jungle Grows Back: America and Our Imperiled World by Robert Kagan. She read a passage to the audience from the book: “If the liberal order is like a garden, artificial and forever threatened by the forces of nature, preserving it requires a persistent, unending struggle against the vines and weeds that are constantly working to undermine it from within and overwhelm it from without. Today there are signs all around us that the jungle is growing back.”
Freeland shares her opinion on “extremists” threatening liberal democracy with Justin Trudeau, Trudeau spoke in the same way when he rejected the advice of the Parliamentary Committee to adopt a method of proportional representation because it would allow “extremist and activist” voices to be heard.
Politically, the thesis is filled with a wretched disdain for the right to conscience, freedom of speech and of association and for the right of members of the polity to provide the problems society faces with solutions. In her speech, the “vines and weeds” are described as “the preachers of hate, the angry populists of the extreme right and left” who “rail against groups like ours.” “They like to claim that the rules-based international order and multilateral institutions – the UN, the WTO, or EU – and even liberal democracy itself are elite schemes designed to benefit a small minority while marginalizing everyone else. Nothing could be further from the truth. When the jungle grows back, the weakest are the first to suffer.”
She then resorts to the Occupy Wall Street mantra: “But it is also true that in recent decades in our countries, democratic capitalism has served the one per cent better than the 99 per cent. And so, as we cultivate our own plots [her choice of words – TML Ed. Note] in the 21st century, we must take care that they are gardens whose fruits are harvested by the many and not just the few.”
Freeland then once again reveals the extent to which she is haunted by the spectre of communism. She refers to the title of V.I. Lenin’s book, What Is To be Done? (attributing it to “the 19th century Russian socialists”) and repeats the bravado of all those remnants of the czarist forces who since the Russian Revolution declare they are mired in hopelessness, helplessness and despair. “Here is my answer,” she thunders, “it is time for liberal democracy to fight back.”
Freeland repeats the mantra of the financial oligarchy against the political “extremist” threats and defends liberal democratic values which no longer accord with the reality of present neo-liberal arrangements. She is a spokesperson for the “rules-based multilateralism” which she advocates the imperialist system of states must adopt to renew the world order and save itself from overthrow.
In a blunt admission of the havoc and destruction the new imperialist world order has wrought on the world, she says:
“Neither Canadians nor Germans want to live in a world where might is right, where theft and murder and invasion are not only tolerated, but become, in practice, the most effective tools of statecraft. We do not want to live in a world where two or three great powers carve up the spoils for themselves, leaving the rest no choice but to choose sides and be satisfied with the scraps.”
By championing the integration of the Canadian economy into the U.S. imperialist war economy and the Canadian state into the U.S. imperialist state and war government this is, of course, precisely what she does, de facto, stand for.
1. Eric Schmidt: former Google Chairman and Alphabet executive chairman. Currently chair of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Innovation Advisory Board. His current net worth is $14.7 billion.
Georges Soros: Hungarian-American billionaire investor and philanthropist. As of May 2020, he had a net worth of $8.3 billion, having donated more than $32 billion to the Open Society Foundations.
Jeff Immelt: A venture partner of the venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and currently serves on the board of NEA portfolio companies Collective Health, Desktop Metal and Radiology Partners. He was chairman and chief executive officer of General Electric, and before that was director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, chairman of the U.S. Presidential Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and as a trustee of Dartmouth College.
David Rubenstein: Businessman and philanthropist; financial analyst and lawyer; co-founder and co-executive chairman of the global private equity investment company The Carlyle Group. As of June 30, 2020, The Carlyle Group manages $221 billion in assets under management in 389 investment vehicles investing in Corporate Private Equity, Real Assets, Global Credit and Investment Solutions.
2. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister; Chrystia Freeland, Finance Minister; Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs; Jean-Yves Duclos, President of the Treasury Board, former professor at Laval University whose specialty was matters of equalities, social justice, poverty, and the like.
3. Plutonomy is a term that refers to the science of the production and distribution of wealth. The term first appeared in the middle of the 19th-century in the work of John Malcolm Forbes Ludlow. In modern times, Citigroup analysts, beginning with Ajay Kapur in 2005, have used the term to describe an economy in which the rich are the driving force and main beneficiaries of economic growth.
Citigroup analysts advised their clients to take advantage of inequality by building a stock portfolio made up of the luxury items favoured by the wealthy. Fifteen years later, Kapur suggested that antagonism to plutonomy had reached a tipping point. (investopedia.com)
4. Capitalism, Socialism, Social Plutocracy: An American Crisis, John H. Skinner, 2014
5. Atlantik-Brücke was founded in 1952 with the aim of advancing cooperation between Germany, Europe and America to promote “multi-lateralism, open societies and free trade.” Its membership, by invitation only, is said to be comprised of 500 “decision-makers from business, politics, science and the media on both sides of the Atlantic.”
TML Weekly, September 19, 2020 – No. 35