Monday, September 28, 2009

Understanding the Conservative mindset - Go to an Amway meeting

For those wishing to understand the mindset of Harper Conservatives, I think it would prove useful to attend a meeting where they’re pitching Amway. For those unfamiliar, Amway uses a multi level marketing strategy (MLM) and sells just about every household product available. It’s a network marketing strategy wherein individuals build pyramids under themselves, collecting points and earning commissions from everyone under them.

The most successful reps hold frequent meetings to energize their followers, motivating them to continue purchasing Amway products, and encouraging them to bring more and more people into the network. I’ve known a few people who’ve tried it, but none who’ve been successful. When approached I’ve often heard the line, “I’m going to retire with Amway”, to which I typically respond, “I think its harder to retire FROM Amway, than it is to retire with Amway”.

I should make a distinction here, I don’t think ALL of Harper’s base are of this type. There are of course the Über wealthy who have no need of schemes to make money, but their numbers are so small that they border on insignificance. Hence the need to bring in another less affluent but more numerous demographic, the trailer park conservatives.

Basically these are the middle to lower middle class, not particularly wealthy themselves, but they aspire to wealth…and that is the key point here, aspiring to wealth or riches.

This fixation on wealth is extremely important, some would argue it is the basis of our entire economy. Your neighbour gets a new granite counter top, and you want one. You see a new Mercedes in a driveway on your block. Don’t you deserve one as well? How come everyone else seems to have a plasma flat screen in their trailer?

While some are content to have a car that is paid for, and for a home that is affordable, others want to exude affluence. Go to an Amway convention and you’ll hear ‘testimonials’ from those who’ve made it big, talking about their homes, their cars and expensive vacations. I’m not very religious, but I understand the button being pushed, in the Bible it is referred to as being covetous.

And there at the top of the Conservative pyramid are the Über wealthy, telling the great unwashed how they too can have all the things they’ve been unable to attain through Amway or other MLM schemes. They have the answer to all those who’ve watched ‘The Secret’ and countless self-improvement gurus who’ve drilled it into their heads that they deserve it all.

The answer? A Harper led Conservative government that will slash taxes and useless government programs, programs that won’t be needed because these new initiates to wealth will be able to afford it all themselves.

Why do people look at their pay cheques and see so much money being siphoned off by various levels of government? Why are we forced to fork out even more of our after tax dollars for the goods and services we purchase in sales taxes and surcharges?

Its because of things like the gun registry, official bilingualism, entrenched multi-cultural programs, funding for women’s groups, gay groups and just about every special interest lobby imaginable.

Here’s the real skinny folks, it won’t work. We could reduce taxes down to levels not seen since before World War I, and it wouldn’t matter. The balance of rich and poor would not be altered in the least. This is something the Über rich understand well, but they’re counting on the greed of the Julians, Rickies and Bubbles of the trailer park.

We’ve evolved from societies which extolled the virtues of self reliance, preferring low taxes to a collective effort to elevate society as a whole. It brought us child labour, work houses, health care available only to those who could afford it.

An individual who aspires to wealth can still make it big in this country, with our current system of government and with the same levels of social programs available today. That fact is proven out every day, every week and every year.

Eliminating the gun registry, ending official bilingualism, taking our health care and moving it to a private model will do nothing to improve the lives of the vast majority of Canada’s citizens. Taxes might drop, but ultimately the biggest beneficiaries would be those who already have the most…and just like their trailer park cousins, the rich want even more.

But they can’t get more unless they’re able to convince Canadians to elect a government that will give it to them. Here's hoping enough of us are smart enough not to.

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