Necessity for a New Pro-Social Direction for the Economy!
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs — A Mantra for Paying the Rich
– Margaret Villamizar –
The more that cartel parties of the rich fail at provide solutions to problems of the economy, the environment, international relations or on other fronts the more they invent high-sounding justifications for continuing down the same road.
On the front of the economy, pay-the-rich schemes, many of which contribute to deepening Canada’s integration into the U.S. war machine and economy, are touted as being to defend or provide jobs for Canadians. This particular battle cry has risen to a fever pitch during the election with the mantra of jobs, jobs, jobs used to sell more of the same failed “trickle-down” economic policies based on paying the rich under the name of this or that new “strategy.” We are then supposed to have faith that handing over billions of public dollars, mainly to the global monopolies that dominate Canada’s economy, will somehow trickle down to benefit the working people in the form of jobs and prosperity without any mechanism to make that happen.
The facts of life have long shown the bankruptcy of trickle down economics, with many examples in Windsor and elsewhere of governments claiming there is nothing they can do when it comes to holding the beneficiaries of public largesse to account when they lay off workers, close plants or declare bankruptcy. Over the past year the federal and Ontario governments wrote off loans and interest totalling $3 billion that had been given to bail out “old Chrysler” in 2009, saying they had no legal recourse to collect the money from today’s Fiat Chrysler, which is about to shut down an entire shift in Windsor, affecting 1,500 workers. How is this a sustainable way to run a country’s economy?
Those who continue to put forward paying the rich as a solution to problems in the economy are unfit to govern. The “solution” they offer is a driving force behind problems already plaguing the economy and the society. This includes the damaging cuts to public services and social programs or their handover to private interests to make money. Other anti-social measures imposed such as servicing the public debt racked up to pay the rich are put as priority number one by neo-liberal governments of all stripes who claim there is no alternative.
There are other ways the mantra of jobs, jobs, jobs has been used for nefarious purposes as well. Both the Harper Conservatives and Trudeau Liberals used it to counter Canadians’ opposition to their condoning the export of 15 billion dollars worth of armoured combat vehicles to Saudi Arabia, a U.S. proxy for spreading murder and mayhem in West Asia.
Saving jobs was also the story told to justify the attempt of Trudeau and his accomplices to interfere with the functioning of the Public Prosecution Service to try and help a very corrupt and very connected SNC-Lavalin escape punishment for one of its myriad acts of corruption. The Prime Minister, prominent Cabinet members and others hoping to land there, are all using the election to swear allegiance to the holy grail of “jobs,” but of course not adding what they really mean: jobs at any cost.
Working people should reject this farce being played out in technicolour during the election. They have their own experience that tells them what comes from continuing down the road of paying the rich as a strategy for economic development. Not only does it result in great insecurity for them as one jurisdication and government is played off against the other in the competition for “jobs” but it leads to pitting care for the environment against “jobs” and to Canada becoming ever more integrated with the U.S. war machine and servicing its insatiable needs because it provides “jobs.” What is needed instead is a change in the direction of the economy so it is geared to nation-building and serving the needs of the people. The Canadian people should replace the narrow private, often foreign, interests as the decision-makers over such things as how to use Canada’s vast resources, what goods to produce, as well as what kind of trade relations to have and with whom.
Instead of permitting their ranks to be split by lining up behind one or another faction of the rich and their electoral machines vying for power, working people can use the election to their advantage if they speak in their own names about their concerns. This will be a fitting response to all those who claim to champion their interests while offering only more of the same bitter medicine that has failed so many times before.
Margaret Villamizar is the MLPC candidate in Windsor West.