Saturday, February 18, 2017

Talk Is Cheap

At least we know that he knows. Justin Trudeau has said it - corporate elites and their political handmaidens (a.k.a. his own government) are the rot sweeping through world politics. Well Justin - duh.

Justin Trudeau is blaming corporate and government leaders for the spike in global anger rocking world politics, warning that low wages and the shift to precarious part-time work is at the heart of why citizens are opposing traditional powers.

Speaking at the St. Matthew’s Day banquet – an elite, black-tie event in Hamburg with a tradition that dates back centuries – the Prime Minister said companies contribute to public anger when they post record profits on the backs of workers who are underpaid and overworked.

“It’s time to pay a living wage, to pay your taxes, and to give your workers the benefits – and peace of mind – that come with stable, full-time contracts."

“Increasing inequality has made citizens distrust their governments. Distrust their employers,” Mr. Trudeau said Friday evening at the banquet. “And we’re watching that anxiety transform into anger on an almost daily basis. It follows that people’s natural defence mechanism in times of stress and anxiety is to hunker down and recoil inward. To give into cynicism. To retreat from one another. But it’s time for us, as leaders in politics and business, to step up.”

Well, Justin, it's called neoliberalism and you, like every other political leader in our land and most others, are in it up to your gills. Talk is cheap so what are you going to do about it? A lot of the powers governments have to respond to this sort of discontent have been surrendered to globalism, free trade pacts. You and your predecessors did that without so much as a "by your leave." Maybe you want to ditch those trade deals or at least rescind those crippling investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions whereby corporate profits always trump public policy.

Since you brought up inequality, maybe it's time you understood how governments, not markets, create inequality. People like Nobel laureate economist, Joe Stiglitz, can explain it to you or you might pick up one of his books perhaps starting with "The Price of Inequality, How Today's Divided Society Endangers our Future." You'll learn how inequality today has very little to do with either merit or market forces. It comes mainly out of our legislatures where narrow interests are served at the expense of the public interest.

And, if you're a little short of pocket money, you can find it in PDF here, free of charge. It's not a hard read. It's not even particularly long.

While you're at it, we need democratic reform - the sort of things that would make Parliament responsible to the Canadian people, not corporations. We've seen what neoliberalism does. It's a contagion and it rots democratic societies. There are a lot of ways to chip away at that problem. You reneged on electoral reform which means at least you should put your back into other options for democratic restoration.


Lorne said...

Funny, isn't it, Mound, that there was nary a peep out of young Justin when Bill Morneau told the young people of our country that precarious work was their only future, and just suck it up and get on with it.

I guess Trudeau's floral and florid rhetoric plays better on a world stage, eh?

The Mound of Sound said...

It's not that he doesn't know the right thing to do, Lorne. He does. The right thing was at the core of every solemn promise he made and then broke. There is a definite pattern here which is why I wrote "talk is cheap."

Hugh said...

This links shows the $billions in NAFTA Ch. 11 ISDS claims against Canada:

AniO said...

He seems to think pleading with the private sector will be effective. Stop begging and do your job: regulate!