Mitchell Anderson's series at the Tyee titled 'Secrets to Norway's Petro-Wealth: Lessons for Canada?' is an excellent in depth analysis of the Harper government's petrostate policies and what could and should have been done differently. And there's no better explanation of the predicable situation Harper's petrostate policies have thrown Canada into than this interview with Terry Lynn Karl, who wrote the book on petrostates titled: 'Falling Oil Prices Could Rock Canada's Politics'.
Free Trade is a weapon of the 1%, Fair Trade is a tool of the 99%. Free Trade is a whole globe girdling, planet pulverizing, paradigm. Free Trade is tyranny. As Maude Barlow puts it, " I'm referring to those awkward facts about free trade, like that Canada lost 334,000 manufacturing jobs in the first five years after the Canada-U.S. deal was signed -- a decline that continued under NAFTA and continues to this day. Good paying full-time jobs are more often than not replaced by precarious part-time work, which contributes to Canada's stagnating middle-income wages over the past 20 years. It's a harsh reality of the free trade era that most of the new wealth created -- and free trade does create wealth -- went straight to the top, to the richest one per cent in Canada and globally."
Today's Globe and Mail economic headline: 'TSX plunges to 8-month low' explains that the rout in commodities markets are continuing to spread. What they don't explain and what global 'endless growth' addicts always refuse to confront is why. The fact is that endless growth in a closed system is impossible. The loudly trumpeted capitalist growth fallacy is running into the long predicted limits of growth.
The reality is that demand for needless crap [discretionary spending in economic jargon] is imploding not due to high the minded motives of those few of us folks who see the folly of materialism and live lives of simplicity in response. Instead the demand side implosion is being driven mainly by spiraling personal debts and underemployment, both of which are in turn driven by systemic inequalities of opportunity and education inherent in extractive capitalism and it's fallacious logic of endless growth.
Slow degrowth is inevitable in a mildly deflationary world. Avoiding the alternative - a massive environmental and/or financial collapse - can happen through 'co-operative self-limitation' but it can also happen because even the most addicted consumer, when confronted by reality, starts choosing bread over oreos, needs over wants.
These limits to growth should have been understood by Harper and his advisers. They should have understood that the worst possible policies Canada could follow would be one-sided petrostate policies. Instead the big fool - Harper - pushed on more, more, more short term thinking, more, more, more short-term 'profits' for his benefactors until the inevitable happens.
Harper must be stopped. The best way to do that given Canada's demographics and historic divides is a one time 'coalition of the people' who come together on Oct 19th and vote strategically to defeat the neo-con dictator by voting in each of the 338 separate ridings across Canada for the candidate and party who has the best shot at defeating the Harperites. Canada is at a crossroads, Harper can be stopped. Please be part of the coalition that will stop him. And please join the celebrations from coast to coast to coast on Heave Steve Day when it happens.