The Canadian conundrum: jobs versus productivity

The loss of jobs to free trade, tax driven automation, sweatshops in developing countries is becoming the “political hot potato of the U.S. elections. While the jobless recovery in the U.S. has produced 317,000 less jobs than experts predicted, the problem is not confined to the States. As discussed in previous Bulletins, 200 million more people are un- or underemployed since 1995.

With Canada’s rural communities–and particularly B.C.’s–devastated by job losses, why hasn’t this become a political issue in Canada?

Instead of job losses being at the centre of the political debate, no one makes a peep when Martin’s government proposes changes to the Tax Act that will make more workers expendable by subsidizing machinery and thereby reducing the cost to companies of replacing workers.

This new proposal to benefit companies by allowing them to depreciate computers and machinery is just the latest incident in a barrage of corporate greed. While the job losses may not be as striking in Canada, the problem is no less real, particularly in forest dependent communities in B.C.

While the media is consumed by the corruption scandal de jour, so far our federal and provincial politicians have gotten a free ride for their policies of tax cuts, subsidies and deregulation to increase corporate productivity. That needs to change.

Only when citizens stand up, organize themselves and demand better from our politicians can we expect change. Dogwood Initiative is working to catalyze just such a civil society response.

Comments are closed.

Send this to a friend