Canadian's Long Descent Into Low Paid Jobs and Fears For Their Kids Future Began With Free Trade

One of Canada's many once productive factories now abandoned

Nearly a half century ago i came to Canada as a refugee from one of the Empire's attempts to dictate events in Southeast Asia. What i found was a wonderful place full of all kinds of people who lived very well and happily together. There were plenty of jobs harvesting and processing the huge banquet of resources that were as varied as the people. Sure, like everywhere, there were problems but by and large a healthy, hard working, person could raise a family and have a good life.

Canadians used their abundant resources, now often called commodities in our financialized world, to manufacture the things that other Canadians bought and sold. Canadiams built their homes from the lumber other Canadians cut down and cut up into lumber, they ate Canadian fish caught by Canadian fishermen [and women], baked bread with Canadian wheat and drank Canadian beer.

It was a great community, but that was then. Now things have changed, our resources are commodities and their value is their global market price not the quality of life they provide. Now when a refugee arrives or young person leaves school there's no deckhand jobs in the fishing industry, no chokermen jobs in the woods, no need of much of anybody except to flip burgers or dispense lattes. Now our Prime Minister goes to Davos and begs the billionaires to invest in Canada. What happened? What turned a hard working happy people into fear-filled, debt ridden, people worried that they and their children will soon have nothing?

It started turning bad when interest rates began to climb and the people listened to the bankers who said that all would be fine if they just put their savings and pension plans into the market. It kept getting worse after Brian Mulroney, somehow, convinced enough voters that 'Free Trade' would make them rich and Canada entered the FTA with the US. Within months the manufacturing industries, despite being built by Canadians, started laying off people and moving the jobs to low wage places in the US. Soon interest rates started soaring and people lost their homes to the banks as well as their jobs.

Within a few years the new solution was to have a better Free Trade scheme that included Mexico - NAFTA - and more well paid jobs moved further south along with the corporations who now could manufacture the stuff Canadians needed in low wage Mexico and pocket the profits. The Free Trade schemes eliminated hundreds of thousands of well paid jobs and destroyed our manufacturing base. It did a great job of making the rich richer and left millions ordinary Canadians wondering what happened to their good life.

Next chapter, next scheme, that Free Trade also played a role in, was putting all our eggs in the commodities market game. Canadians were assured by the experts that with manufacturing in decline the market and especially oil exports would save us.  Instead increasing oil exports raised the value of the loonie far beyond what it would have been were the economy to have remained balanced like it was before Mulroney's Free Trade scheme  which further eroded the manufacturing sector [Dutch Disease]

Now here we are the oil price, along with all our once provident commodities, has tanked. Many of the factories that once provided good jobs and a stable market for our commodities have closed, the equipment/machinery is gone, the manufacturing sector can't respond to the plunging value of the loonie and create the jobs necessary the way the economic experts assured us it would. So now we'll watch our new Prime Minister smiling and ass-kissing the billionaires in Davos in the hopes that...that what...that some miracle will happen?

It may someday, but for now commodity prices are plunging and the over extended world is facing a wave of epic debt defaults. Hell, things look so gloomy even Walmart is closing 269 stores. Apparently homeless people don't go shopping no matter how much Walmart rolls back prices. Now even the people who work at Walmart, people who once lived good lives will be hurt badly just as they and so many others have been by the Free Trade schemes of the past or will be if Canadians accept the next crock of lies named the TPP which a study out just yesterday by researchers at the UN and Tufts University says will cost Canada another 58,000 jobs while providing a mere 0.28 per cent increase to GDP growth - effectively zero change -- over the next ten years.

Canada will remain at the mercy of the global cabal at The Bankers and Billionaires' Club until they either rise up to overthrow the system or the system collapses.