Friday, April 25, 2014

Deluded Plutocrats

The fact of the matter is that idiots like Rob Ford, Ezra Levant, Bill Kristol, the Koch brothers, ... they believe in what they preach. Sure, they lie shamelessly. But these are really shallow, confused people. They imagine that they're lying strategically. Every lie is an isolated weapon in a battle of ideologies. They are like animals though. Simple creatures, living in the moment, overwhelmed by the totality of existence. They forget their past lies. They forget their past lies to the extent that they're incapable of realizing that their entire worldviews are based on a mountain of lies. The ideology they believe in so fervently is just a bunch of stupid bullshit. The more afflicted of these people sometimes reach the stage where they repeat a lie so often that its origins as a lie become lost in the mists of time and they begin to believe that it is a truth.

Today's CBC has a story about one of these imbeciles. McDonald's Canada CEO John Betts. Apparently, this fellow, who has devoted his life to stuffing cheap beef and other fried foods down Canada's gullet, had a conference call with Canadian McDonald's franchisee's about the story's of their corporation's use of the Temporary Foreign Worker program.

The TFW program used to be a way for Canadian companies to import workers with skills that weren't available in Canada. Skilled workers and professionals don't want employers to be easily able to import cheaper sources of their skills, so there were stringent rules about having to prove that you could not find a Canadian to do the job before you could import them. (Very often, in practice, it was more expensive to hire a skilled foreigner than it would be to hire a Canadian, but that was the nature of things. Without the TFW, it would have been very easy to undercut nurses or engineers or mechanics or skills of all kinds. ) Under the harpercons, the TFW was "expanded" to allow greedy assholes like the Royal Bank of Canada, to import foreign workers to Canada, have their Canadian counterparts train them to replace them, throw the Canadians on the scrap-heap and then send the foreigners back to places like India where they could do the same work for a pittance. As well, hundreds of thousands of foreigners were allowed to take jobs in the unskilled service sector, such as fast-food restaurants like McDonald's.

I say this because there's an idiot in the comments section there saying that the TFW program has always been around but people are making a stink about it now for some mysterious reason probably having to do with irrational harper-hatred. Said person is wrong and is probably yet another example of the deluded specimens I'm talking about.

So, McDonald's CEO John Betts says that these stories about his company's use of the TFW program are "bullshit." Which is to say, "lies." They're not true. They're nonsense. Except:
"Here’s the kicker. The kicker is there’s an element of truth in each of these stories," Betts said
 A "kicker" indeed. Betts appears to be a very incoherent thinker:
"This story has been brewing for a lot of years. And you know at the end of the day we just happen to be the business that got tapped into it and we weren’t the first. Obviously, RBC was," said Betts, referring to a previous CBC Go Public story.
 What "story" is Betts referring to? Why; the "story" of Canadian corporations, such as RBC and McDonald's, to use the harpercon-reformed TFW to replace hundreds of thousands of Canadian workers with cheaper foreign substitutes. That's the "element of truth" to the "bullshit" CBC reports.

What part if "bullshit" then? It's hard to say. Betts says at another point:
"The fact of the matter is we are a big bad company, corporate, you know, bad company and these poor maligned employees are who they are."
You see, there's this "anti-business" mindset in this country. McDonald's is bad for wanting to drive down already poverty-level wages, just to make more profit. The CBC is spreading this "bullshit" story about McDonald's using the TFW program to get cheap labour with less rights and less power than the already fairly powerless minimum-wage workers in Canada. But really, the fact of the matter is that all McDonald's is doing is using the TFW program to get cheap labour with less rights and less power than the already fairly powerless minimum-wage workers in Canada. To drive down wages and increase profits.

Which, you will notice, is exactly the same thing as they're being accused of.

It's like a bank-robber saying "They're calling me a thief, because I'm this 'bad guy' who goes into banks with a gun and demands money or I'll shoot people. All I'm doing is going into banks and demanding money with a gun in my hand."

It's astonishing to think that a functioning human being can have so little in the way of higher thought patterns, isn't it?

What about those "poor maligned workers" who "are who they are"? (Whatever that means!)
"Yes, they are disenfranchised. Some of them don’t work for us anymore. But in the scheme of things, it doesn’t matter."
IOW: Yes. Those robbed banks and their traumatized tellers exist. But they don't matter in the larger picture. Because ...

As I said: Astonishing. The dunce knows what the point is, but he doesn't know what the point is, all at the same time!
"The reality is that we have learned internally that we haven’t done a very good job in a lot more places than we thought and that’s just us on the phone talking."
IOW: "Mistakes were made."  It's all about deflecting responsibility by deliberately painting everything as vague, indeterminate. Unfortunately, there's some people who actually have restaurants to run:
One franchisee in Alberta expressed concern about employees — temporary foreign workers — who won't be able to get their work permits renewed.
"When that happens, every single foreign worker in Alberta is going to leave us. They are scared. The restaurants are going to fall apart. This is how it is on the ground," said the franchisee.
Another franchisee was worried about money he had just paid to Actyl, one of the international recruitment agencies McDonald's pays up to $2,000 for every worker they bring in.
"I paid Actyl Group probably $14,000. So am I out the $14,000 now and the whole nine yards?" asked the franchisee.
So, it''s "bullshit" that McDonald's is flooding the labour market with cheap, exploitable foreign workers, but the restaurant owners have become so dependent on cheap, exploitable foreign workers that they think their businesses will "fall apart" without them.

Betts isn't too worried though. He's spoke with the twisted asshole that is Jason Kenney, and he likes what he's heard:
In a recording of the call given to the CBC, McDonald's Canada CEO John Betts discusses recent CBC stories on the company's use of temporary foreign workers and his resulting meeting with federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney.​
"This has been an attack on our brand. This has been an attack on our system. This is an attack on our people. It’s bullshit OK!  I used those words when I described my conversation with the minister last week. He gets it."
Betts says he was "incredibly impressed" with the minister, adding, "He really knows his stuff. And I’ll say he knows his stuff from a business person’s perspective."
This is Employment Minister Jason Kenney. He stands before the Canadian people, like Captain Renault in "Casablanca" saying that he is "Shocked. Shocked! Shocked to find out that the TFW program is being abused!"

But, in conversations we don't hear, Kenney apparently understands the "business person's perspective" on the need to drive down minimum wages which have stagnated and lost purchasing power for decades now. He understands that the workers' needs for a living wage are nothing compared with the needs of multi-billion dollar corporations for more and more profit.

Let's make something clear. Canadians have NOT gotten more lazy over the years. The adequate numbers of people who worked in fast-food in the 1980s would appear today if super-profitable businesses like McDonald's Canada changed their business practices so that they could afford to pay higher wages to attract people who have rent and grocery bills due to their being human.

The mewling self-pity; the idiotic attempts at sarcasm, the gutless weasel words, ... the whole gamut of Betts's response to this scandal provides us with an excellent case-study of the sort of mentally challenged individuals for who our entire society is designed to serve. As is Jason Kenney. He of the anti-Canadian, anti-worker mentality with prime ministerial aspirations.



the salamander said...

.. brilliant .. factual ..
I'll probably read it 3 or 4 times ..
refer to it again & again
send the link onwards
I'm not surprised ..

thwap said...

Thanks. Apparently I missed the big story of the day. Which is that Elections Canada is a powerless, useless institution.

the salamander said...

.. don't think you missed a damn thing actually ..

While you worry that you can't single handedly save Canada.. The Harper Party is on a daily basis, heroically painting their legacy of failure, secrecy, obstruction, failure, fraud, environmental attack, litigation...

Canada has a patient way of dealing with mealy asshats.. If Stephen Harper thinks he's the crown prince of redefining Canada.. well, just watch..

Think Harper as a snowball, Canada as a glacier.. Poilievre et al as wetass snowflakes.. Canada as the shrieking arctic blizzard

thwap said...

Thanks salamander. I actually needed to read something like that.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, and the problem is still that glaciers take centuries to do anything, just like most Canadians.
Better to sleep with the devil you know than to dare to make anything better, right, Canada?

thwap said...

Thanks Mahesh MSA!

It's genuine, heartfelt applause, admiration and outright worship like yours that keeps me going!