Sunday, May 10, 2009

Food for Thought 3

- Are workers better off than ever today? A moot point. It’s a fact that much of our wealth is derived from credit. Canada’s credit cards doubledto 68 million, 1998 to 2008, with 682 000 considered delinquent. Eventhough the present crisis is attributed to bad credit, the card offers arrive every week. The credit card is the golden goose that fueled massiveconsumer spending regardless of the consequences.
- We have no money for hospitals that are cramped by artificial budgets that constantly mean lay-offs, even for nurses. We have no money for education – can’t keep the swimming pools open that have been built into practically every Toronto school. We have no money to eradicate poverty,homelessness etc., but at the G20 meeting in London, one trillion dollars was found to fund IMF loans to countries in trouble, which means they will be in even greater trouble should they accept the loans. Generally, forevery dollar that is loaned to developing countries, $7 comes back, whichis why they will always be ‘developing’.
- Auto workers continue to take criticism, even from other workers, as the cause of their own demise, even though they, like all workers, have absolutely no say in what is produced, or how much. Their hourly wages are continually quoted by the capitalist press including their benefit package, although this is never done in any other case. The facts, of course, that they earn an average of $34/hour, are ignored. Consider this,in 1992, GM produced 4.4 million cars with a workforce of just under 300000. In 2007, GM produced 4.5 million vehicles with approximately one third of that work force. That kind of productivity must have brought massive profits from the workers’ efforts that should have resulted in a very financially strong company.
What happened?
John Ayers

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