Canada's Cons, Libs, The Fraser Institute, BoM and Homeland Security All in Cahoots on UFO Sighting

Canadians lineup to spend their money in America

There's been 4 stories in the media these last few days that are being reported and commented on as individual issues but are really the same story framed differently. They are: yesterday's Fraser Institute Report on the rising percent of taxes being paid by Canadian families, the the BoM report on how cross-border shopping is at least a $20-billion drain on the Cdn. economy, then there's the dramatic decline in middle-class well-being caused by the Nafta and globalization agenda of both the federal Liberals and Conservatives and, last but not least, how the US Dept of Homeland Security wants to charge every Canadian crossing into Amerika a fee for the privilege.

The Fraser Institute, an infamous right-wing think-tank, yesterday released its findings that in the last three decades the percentage of overall taxation on middle-class and working-class families has risen from about 34% of their total expenses in the early 80s to about 45% today. The early 80s is when the Mulroney-ites, using their 40% of the vote majority govt [the same split as Harpo's is today] - passed the original Free Trade pact with the US. Surprise-surprise, the shedding of good paying jobs = higher taxes on those still employed.

Next a new report by the Bank of Montreal into cross-border shopping showing that it accounts for between 5 and 10 per cent of Canadian consumer spending for items that can be transported, meaning somewhere between $20 billion and $40billion per year. They say cross-border shopping is costing the Canadian economy much more than believed and that new rules, introduced in the March budget, raising duty-free limits will only make matters worse. Two years ago Harpo's gang doubled and tripled the long existing limits. Now on June 1st the duty-free limit on stays longer than 24 hours rise to $200 from $50, while the limit on stays longer than 48 hours rises to $800, from the current two-tiered levels of $400 and $750, depending on the length of stay.

There has never been more Canadians heading south than now and after June 1st that will only grow. Of course the businesses on the US side think Harpo's policies are great but what about the Canadians businesses? What about the jobs lost and the UIC and welfare costs to support those now unemployed? What about all the taxes both the cross border shoppers and the displaced workers aren't paying? Who pays instead? Obviously the folks the Fraser Institute's report talks about.

The first two lead into the 3rd, how the free trade and globalization agenda of both the Conservatives and Liberals in Ottawa are destroying Canada's economy. The story is well summed up by Murray Dobbin's article 'All Hail Justin, You Know, I Mean, Trudeau'. In it Dobbin says, "What accounts for this dramatic decline in the class of people who used to define the nation? In a word, globalization, and the public policies which stem from it and helped create it. Amongst those policies are free trade; lowered labour standards; passive acceptance of de-industrialization; the weakening of labour vis-à-vis capital through cuts to EI and welfare; the virtual abandonment of industrial policies to promote high paying jobs; the use of  "temporary" foreign workers; cuts to the "social wage" which includes post-secondary education; and the transfer of wealth to the uber-rich from the middle class." 

Dobbin concludes, "What [Justin] Trudeau seems unwilling to admit is that the slow demise of the middle class is the result of corporate globalization and to revive middle class fortunes means a direct challenge of all of globalization's elements." It's important to ask: Who benefits from globalization? The uber-rich for sure, but also the upper middle-class, the consumer class, who on whichever side of the border, have the dough to buy all the needless crap they want. Those a$$holes are the ones whose votes the Liberals and Conservatives are vying for. In the type of multi-party, first past the post system, Canada calls a democracy all the parties know that 40% wins a near dictatorial majority.

Finally, comes the one progressive-ish story in the bunch that, and like seeing a UFO - is hard to believe. It comes from the brain-trust at the US Dept. of Homeland Security who is wants to charge a new fee for every vehicle or pedestrian crossing the U.S.-Canada border. As Business Council of B.C. executive vice-president Jock Finlayson said, "A fee would likely reduce the scale of cross-border shopping to the benefit of the B.C. retail sector." A cross border fee of about $3 on every single one of the 350 million individual Canadian residents crossings per year, if adopted, would drain another $1billion directly from the Canadian economy. Combine that with the average 3 hours spent waiting in a lineup that Canadians spend on the weekends just to get into 'the land of the free' and it may well end up that the only buncha neo-cons doing Canada's workers and govt' coffers a favour is Homeland Security.

Did ya see the UFOs flyover last night?.