Thursday, June 14, 2012

Food for thought

While austerity measures and economic downturns may save money for the owning class, they are decidedly unhealthy for the working class. All over Europe suicides by economic circumstances are on the rise, especially in the fragile nations. In Greece, suicides increased 24% from 2007 to 2009, in Ireland by 16%, in Italy suicides rose from 123 in 2005 to 187 in 2010. Capitalism is a dangerous business. Time to make our lives safe!
The recent federal budget was presented as a reasonably benign affair but careful scrutiny reveals a massive move towards getting government out of all kinds of public services. Apart from the thousands of public service job cuts, the budget ended the National Council of Welfare that advises the government on poverty (ignore it and it will go away!); closed the National Aboriginal Health Centre; trimmed funding for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation by $115 million; scrapped the National Roundtable on the environment; cut funding to Transport Canada that regulates airline safety; cut foreign aid and over 1 000 positions from the Canadian Border Services Agency; eliminated over 2 000 professionals and scientists who protect the safety of Canadians in the food, product testing, and environmental fields. It is a sly and cynical piece of underhand work, and the only way to deal with it is to eliminate capitalism altogether, and soon.
Recent headlines in the business sections of the newspapers have highlighted the doom and gloom of the current recession -- " European
Auto Manufacturers heading into a Fifth Straight Year of Falling Sales"; "Yahoo Looks to Right its Sinking Ship...thousands of Layoffs"; "Tortuous Recovery Spurs China to Lower Growth Expectations"; "Global Growth Fears Hammer TSX"; "Toronto Hydro Dropped by Insurer -- Power Provider Warns Decision to Curb Equipment Renewal Will Lead to Blackouts" This is just the tip of the iceberg, of course, but it's enough to show a system in deep trouble and should make everyone think about something better. Let's work to make that something socialism!
Recent figures released by Statistics Canada revealed that youth unemployment (15-24 year-olds) now stands at 14.7%. However, figures do lie. This does not count the youths who have returned to school because they couldn't get a job, or those who are underemployed in part-time jobs, or those who have used up their unemployment benefits. It is pointless to publish such figures unless the object is to hoodwink the public. One more thing is pointless -- the continuation of a system that creates unemployment. John Ayers

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