Category Archives: Economics

Root Canal Injustice – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

RDP Tuesday – Vacant

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Photo: Luka Kauzlaric – Courier Mail

 

“Wherever the real power in a government lies, there is the danger of oppression.”   James Maddison

Root Canal Injustice

Like root canal
without anaesthesia
they drill down to the bone,
and once they’ve sucked your marrow
you can say goodbye to life,
and even when there’s nothing left
they keep coming back for more,
their vacant eyes see nothing of
the pain they leave behind,
they seem so puzzled when
complaints are made or
crying fills the air,
just as Eichmann liked to say,
“there’s orders”
so follow them they do,
and even though you’re innocent
they’ll make a criminal of you,
they’ll lie about your welfare debt
and shaft you when you rise,
their road has long diverged
and the map no longer counts,
their compass has no morals now,
and, though you owe them nothing,
they want a thousand bucks.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Paul, pvcann.com

15 Comments

Filed under Economics, Free Verse, poem, politics, quote

What Does Love Cost – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

dVerse Poets – Poetics

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Photo: charity.org

 

“Anticipate charity by preventing poverty.”  Maimonides

What Does Love Cost?

What does love for others really cost,
what pain to wash their feet,
to serve and walk in other’s shoes,
and feed the hungry too,
what might that mean?
to give my coat and
be vulnerable, what then?
To forgive, no, really forgive,
how would that feel?
To live with an integrity that
values every form of life,
never seeking gain,
just imagine if we were
careless for the things
that alienate, the machine of empire,
the greed and gorge of living,
if we turned our guns to plough-shares
and plastic into roads,
just imagine what love might cost,
and go and cash the cheque.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Paul, pvcann.com

61 Comments

Filed under community, Economics, environment, Free Verse, life, philosophy, poem, politics, quote

To Be A Voice – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

RDP Monday – Rouse

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Photo: shutterstock.com  MLK 1963, Washington march for Civil Rights.

 

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  Martin Luther King Jr.

 

To Be A Voice

As a child I heard your words
and did not know them,
later I could feel them,
roused as
one feels anything so powerful,
they pulsed,
electrifying,
lighting my fire
driving me on,
leaving no escape
nor hiding place,
other than to be a voice
in the same wilderness.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Paul, pvcann.com

24 Comments

Filed under community, Economics, Free Verse, life, poem, politics

How Little – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

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Image: quotesgram.com

“Half the confusion in the world comes from not knowing how little we need.”  Richard E. Byrd

How Little

When the shadow takes all
we lose our deep, inner sight
and chaos presents
so beautifully as need,
as urgency,
wrapped and double wrapped
all shiny and shouting,
like sirens calling us onto the
rocks unaware,
how little we know ourselves,
and how little we really need.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Paul, pvcann.com

30 Comments

Filed under Economics, environment, Free Verse, life, mindfulness, poem

Where Has All The Lustre Gone? – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Lacklustre – Word of the Day

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Photo: huffingtonpost.com

 

Where Has All The Lustre Gone?

There’s a patina of despair
and everyone is jaded,
we’ve been bitten more that twice
by those we’ve elevated,
trust has flown the coop
while ideas cower in darkness
and those with tiny minds,
glove puppets of the bankers,
all come to my house
forever empty handed,
and lately I’ve been
looking for some lustre
but it’s lacking everywhere.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

 

Paul, pvcann.com

30 Comments

Filed under Economics, Free Verse, life, poetry

Abundance Patented – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Cornucopia – RDP Thursday

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Photo: pixabay.com

“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of cancer.”  Edward Abbey.

 

Abundance Patented

Adam’s spawn did play a game,
a nasty little game so spiteful,
turning the earth’s abundance
to a paucity
an economics of scarcity
to benefit the few and
starve the many,
for giggles did they
sup in full view
on the horn of plenty
thumbing their noses at death,
who smiled.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

 

Paul, pvcann.com

17 Comments

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Choking Ourselves?

via Daily Prompt: Premature

The air that we breathe in some places contributes to illness, alergy onset, sets off asthma, and, according some researchers, is now a cause of premature death. The Guardian report below is somewhat singular in focussing on China and India, but it makes the point that air pollution is a serious business. Truth is, no country is absolved of this, we’re all in it. The country that provides the coal, the oil, the petrochemicals, they’re right in it too.

It is a fixable problem. Renewables, especially solar, wind, battery are strong contenders to replace carbon energy sources. But what happened to walking, public transport, bicycles, car-pooling, reducing non-esential travel? These are just as critical in the whole scheme of pollution control as electric cars and solar power. The same can be said of consumption, buying stuff. Our material wealth may be choking us, literally. That is also fixable, reducing consumption is another strategy in reducing pollution.

So, it comes back to each one of us. There are no faceless people to blame, we’re all in it, time to face up to it and deal with our own lifestyles first. To set the example is more powerful than just complaining. Living what we say we believe is far more potent than asking people to do something. The other trick is not to be too self-righteous when one begins to adopt new ways, that just alienates people. The way to invite people into new patterns of living is to show how good it is, and by demonstrating how it pays off. The evidence is what will move people eventually. I suspect that most people simply want to see what works and how it works. We can do that where we are.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

 

15 Comments

Filed under chemicals, Economics, education, environment, life, mindfulness, nature, Science

Core Values

via Daily Prompt: Core

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Are there any angels in Politics? Gandhi, but so few others. No one is perfect, as the saying goes, and perception is probably 9/10 of the problem.

There are a number of political biographies that I read in my teens and twenties, and which have haunted me ever since. Martin Luther King Jnr., Sukarno, Aung San Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandella, Steve Biko, And Patrice Lumumba (photo above). My blood still boils at the injustices they have suffered.

It was the early 1960s, African nationalist movements were in full swing, independence was coming. The Cold War was the context, and African minerals were the agenda, especially uranium, and the West would do anything to preserve their access. If you then place a leader who is a strong nationalist in power and who then pursues independence and who rails against the old colonial powers, you have the risk of losing those minerals. What to do? Kill that leader of course. But first make sure that his country, and then the world, see that leader as deeply flawed, incompetent, corrupt, a communist, an extremist, anti-western, and so on. Then shoot them.

Lumumba was a Pan-African, he wanted to see an interdependent cooperative Africa, and to be free of colonial control. He believed that african nations could be great nations under their own people. He was intensely critical of the colonial powers, in particular, Belgium, who had ruled his own country Congo and had a murky record in governance of Congo. He was for nonalignment – the stance of not choosing sides between the US and the Soviet Union. His main principle of governance was “National Unity.”

No sooner had independence been grudgingly and conditionally granted to Congo by Belgium, that Lumumba had won government with his party Mouvemnet National Congolais (MNC). But then a crisis developed over political direction and dependence on Belgium. Lumumba began to extract Congo from colonial trade and patterns, this caused anxiety in the US, UK, and Belgium, all who were worried that this young primeminister would turn to the Soviet Union for trade and support. The western nations are implicated in wanting to remove Lumumba, but none have been directly connected to the firing squad that murdered him.

Lumumba was deposed, arrested and imprisoned by the military, tortured and later shot. The man who was behind this was Colonel Mobutu Sese Seko (with western suport), who installed a government under his own control, and later in 1965, he overturned that government and became direct military ruler of the Congo until 1997. The only real winners in all of this were the western powers, notably, Congo has never thrived, it has given western nations its minerals at great cost to itself.

Patrice Lumumba had strong core vlaues, his was a selfless desire to lead Congo into a strong independent nation, he wanted his people to have access to health and education, he had hopes to provide modernization, and decolonialisation. He wanted Congo to benefit from its own natural wealth. He talked of an egalitarian community where everyone was valued. For this he was painted as a communist and as a dangerous leader. For these values he was murdered.

In his famous speech before independence, a speech highly criticized by western leaders, Lumumba said: “The colonialists care nothing for Africa for her own sake. They are attracted by African riches and their actions are guided by the desire to preserve their interests in Africa against the wishes of the African people. For the colonialists all means are good if they help them to possess these riches.”

How prophetic! He was absolutely right. He is still right.

Patrice Lumumba’s life ended in tragedy, but it wasn’t completely in vain. He inspired his people to seek the best for Congo. Many of his political ideals have been picked up across Africa, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo, his thinking has been embraced on a number of fronts.

For me, Lumumba’s story is a reminder that there is a cost for integrity in political leadership.  For Lumumba there was no other way, there would have been a cost for him personally had he caved in to Mobutu and the West. He was true to his vision and core values. He was far from perfect, but he died for his vision for the future of Congo, and that vision lives on.

Paul,

pvcann.com

15 Comments

Filed under Economics, history, Philosophy/Theology, politics, quote

Rebel Without A Gun

via Daily Prompt: Rebel

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James Dean? Che Guevara? Arafat, Mobutu, who?

Mohanda Karamchand Gandhi, the quiet revolutionary, and was living proof that violence isn’t requisite for societal, especially political change.

Trained in law in London from 1888, then he initially served the Indian expatriate community in South Africa for twenty-one years, and it is during this time that he formed his social and political views. He opposed the race laws that affected his people, which brought physical and political retribution against him, but he persevered, and peacefully, influencing people and decisions where he could.

But in 1915 he returned to India. There he immediately threw himself into the fight for independence from Britain. Gandhi used law, legislation, and commincation to take the fight through the people for Indian sovereignty. He harnessed the people and the process. Again he was gaoled, and targeted by the British administration. Yet his response was always peaceful protest. He organised peaceful protests, trade boycots, local product fidelity, and more. He hit the British economically, administratively and politically, a very astute leader. One high point was the famous Salt March in 1930 where Ghandi organised a boycot against the British salt tax, he and thousands who joined him along the way, marched 388 kms from Ahmedabad to Dandi on the coast, it captured the nation and wounded the British image irreparably. The administration loathed Gandhi, and Churchill branded him as seditious and dangerous, a Hindu Mussolini! He was a true rebel, but without a gun.

Indian independence arrived August 15, 1947. It was tainted for Gandhi by the seprate agreement of the British to allow the partition of India to include East and West Pakistan as separate states for Muslims. Gandhi opposed the move. Many died in the process, but civil war did not erupt.

Gandhi believed that love could win over hate. His life is testimony that it can, and it can bring down empires and open the door to new visions. His patience won out in the end.

Sadly he was assasinated on January 30 1948, but his life was clearly not in vain. He has been a model for many others of many cultures and beliefs, and an inspiration for peaceful protest for change (Aung San Suu Kyi and Benazir Bhutto come to mind). But he, I’m sure would be the first to acknowledge that what mattered was that he’d managed to inspire his own people, that’s my kind of rebel, peaceful, loving, grass-roots based.

Two quotes of his that I love are:

“the true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.”

“You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.”

Paul,

pvcann.com

38 Comments

Filed under community, Economics, history, life, mindfulness, Philosophy/Theology, politics

Taper Tantrum,

via Daily Prompt: Tantrum

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Graphic: clsinvest.com

Back in the 80s I took a minor in economics just for fun. Some people see economics as smoke and mirrors or star gazing at best. But I found it fascinating, it is a different logic, but it is a logic and it is a diverse as a field of practice, I think that’s what fascinated me.

Back in 2013 there was what economists call a taper tantrum. In the US as in some other economies, when there is a slowing of the economy and the risk is a crash (as per the graphic above) the Federal Reserve pumps money into the market to kick it along a bit (known in the trade as Quantitative Easing). In time spending cannot be sustained so the money must be slowed, and this is called Tapering, in short the money injection into the economy is tapered off rather than abruptly cut. The result in 2013 was what was referred to as an investor tantrum, an angry reaction to the tapering, hence, taper tantrum.

A tantrum about economics is akin to a tantrum about any other issue. When a child or adult has a tantrum it is because they have been slowed or thwarted in some way. One of my children once threw a tantrum in a supermarket because he couldn’t have something that was suddenly imperative. But the supply of money, and parental interest was tapered, and there was a predictable reaction.

The lessons we learned over the next couple of years are lessons we learned for life. Whether child or adult, a temper tantrum requires a particular response (other than ignoring it): empathy (acknowledging the emotions), listening, and resisting blaming. Not always, but often, you’ll get to the bottom of the tanrum, and in the least, you’ll maintain an open communication. Overall, you’re building a strong foundation of trust for the relationship. The principle of valuing the other, listening and holding the space for them to feel that they can trust you to hear their plight helps to diffuse the situation and bonds the relationship. One might taper the negative input, but love and compassion should be qualitatively and quantitatively increased.

I like what Thich Nhat Hanh said: “When you look deeply into your anger, you will see that the person you call your enemy is also suffering. As soon as you see that, the capacity for accepting and having compassion for them is there.”

He was speaking into a different context, but the principle is the same once you trade the word enemy for loved one, friend, colleague … love thy intemperate  neighbour.

the pressure I feel
my heart is drowning fast
ah, look, a warm smile

©Paul Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

12 Comments

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