Exposing Lorrie Goldstein

Lorrie Goldstein the associate editor of the Toronto Sun has written an article in the November 13 edition of the paper showing an interesting change in their orientation towards the Occupy protests. Sun media, who is owned by a larger media empire Quebcor Media, has always had a staunchly anti-Occupy position. Its had it columnists write all sorts of petty name calling like referring to people as “homeless drug addicts who refuse to find jobs”, to just making grotesque clearly fraudulent observations like “semen stained ground”. It appears now the associate editor is trying a different different tactic. Going from insulting and berating the people to trying to shift the blame onto them. Let’s take a look at what Goldstein is saying in his article.

“…I agree with them financial fraud on Wall Street and political corruption in Washington are largely responsible for for the global economic mess we’re in today….

…stock markets were manipulated and banks and investment houses bailed out with U.S. taxpayers money…

…regulations governing stock markets were gutted by Wall Street, which bribed politicians into stacking the rules in their favour…

… public anger at corrupt Wall Street executives and their bought-and-paid-for politicians – Republican and Democrats – justified.”

So far so good. He’s admitted that the financial elite are directly responsible for the mess that we are globally in. He acknowledges that the system was manipulated by the most powerful people taking part in it and used it to their advantage at the expense of the vast majority. Hell, he even comes close to hinting that the electoral system is a complete fraud. But then he turns around with all this truth, and maybe even honesty, and hits us with this:

“But I disagree with the Occupiers’ view that capitalism itself is the problem and wealth redistribution by the state is the answer.

…a phenomenon known as crony capitalism.”

Now we get to the heart of what this article is really all about. His argument here is simple and quite frankly predictable. “That’s not REAL capitalism”. Its the now very tiring market fundamentalist excuse for the excesses, the manipulations and greed. Simply deny the very nature of a greed driven system and try to point to a completely abstract conception of it as the way “its really supposed to be”. Goldstein is about one Mises blog post reading away form claiming that corporations aren’t real capitalism. Though I suppose that would be a difficult argument to make being so deeply entrenched in and benefiting from one. Basically his entire statement here (as well as the rest of that part of the article) is just simply denying that a greed based system was responsible for people acting in a greedy manner. Denial.

At this point he begins his offensive against any alternatives to capitalism:

“Whenever this has been tried, the state becomes the ultimate crony capitalist and it does to the public exactly what Wall Street and Congress did to them starting in 2008, only on steroids.”

This is just an outright lie. Socialist countries don’t have stock trades, collateralized debt obligation, or even mortgages for that matter. These countries didn’t have publicly trade companies, that is the whole point of communism. That is what the pro-capitalist camp always screams is an attack on their freedom. How could things that don’t exist be made to function like they’re “on steroids”. What happened, and Mr. Goldstein agrees with me, is that the financial sector was deregulated. In socialist countries there was none of this. The financial sector was based on state-managed plans not investments, which are essentially gambling. This statement is playing on the fact it is published in the Sun, the vast majority of its viewership knowing nothing of what socialism even is.

“But I disagree with the protesters who say they are against the bailout of Wall Street, but in favour of bailing out giant auto companies, which they’ve indicated by accepting the support of the Canadian Auto Workers.

That tells me these protesters aren’t really against government picking economic winners and losers. They just want to pick the winners and losers of which they approve.”

It doesn’t take much to understand why the public was willing to help the auto-manufacturing industry rather than the financial industry. The public wanted to help the working and middle class, the people who lost what they had as a result of the actions of the people in the financial industry. The people wanted bailing out to help the people, not the elites who caused this problem. Basically he’s complaining that the public didn’t want to help the rich, the people he works for, and instead wanted to help themselves, the actual victims.

He is basically calling the public hypocrites for wanting to help themselves, the victims, and not perpetrators, the financial aristocracy. This is just stupid.

From insulting the public he moves on to what was the real point of this entire article: to defend the private sector and attack the public sector.

“I also disagree with the Occupiers’ failure to condemn the roles played by government entitlement programs and public-sector greed in the ongoing global economic crisis.”

There is a very good reason why the Occupiers don’t blame public wage earning workers for the global collapse of capitalism. Public sector employees didn’t cause the global capitalist crisis. The financial elite did, those on the very top with the actual control of the economy caused the mess we’re in. He goes on to give an example citing Greece’s economic woes from what he, correctly, calls “a giant Ponzi scheme”. What he’s deliberately leaving out is the fact that, that investment scheme was put together and and run by Goldman Sachs. He is deliberately leaving out the fact that a giant financial institution is responsible for that particular problem.

Also, given the fact that he is the associate editor of the Toronto Sun, its also quite transparent where he’s going with this wiping up of anti-public sector sentiment. He’s no doubt drumming up anger at the CBC, which Quebcor (who owns the Sun) is at war with to have privatized. Given that the Sun is only read in Toronto and nearby parts of Ontario, its very doubtful he’s trying to reach people actually involved in the Wall Street Occupation. This is intended for consumption in the Toronto and surrounding area to generate hostility towards the CBC.

As if to punctuate his point he gives us this:

“Finally, bribery and corruption are widespread in the public sector.”

Unfortunately he didn’t have the space in the column to cite any example of this. Nor does he ever acknowledge that “bribery and corruption” are something that can happen in the public sector, but are common practise in the private sector. Especially in the banking and fiance sector, which he acknowledges caused the economic mess the world is in.

Finally he concludes with this statement:

“But to ignore those same things in the public sector, and their contribution to the economic tsunami we’re now experiencing, is absurd and blatantly inconsistent.”

No sir, your article trying to pass blame to the public sector for the outright crimes committed by the private sector is “absurd and blatantly inconsistent”.