By Preston Haskell
Everywhere one looks, the headlines scream out misery regarding foreign corporations abusing their power, abusing their employees, abusing abusing Canadian customs and abusing Canada.In the specific case of the Caterpillar plant in London, Ontario (where workers are fighting a bid to slash their wages and benefits) it is truly is an all-out assault on humanity by this giant corporation.
Demonstrators cast slurs against greedy corporations. Canadian unions defend their cash flow of dues. Politicians do their best to (to speak falsely or) prevaricate. Socialists blaspheming against every private enterprise, while offering only the imperialistic and failed practice of government-run institutions. However, there is more than enough greed to destroy any society. A greedy growing ‘Patrician Class’ suckling on the life-blood of prosperity, on the power hungry unions playing their part in the inequality of Canadian fortune, and all carving up the nation as if they own it.
Caterpillar is not unique! Everyone, but everyone is holding fast to their positions of self-interest. But what position do the remainder of Canadians hold? They are certainly not party to the so-called 99%, which of course is a dastardly canard. They are just the diminishing remnants of a society that has lost its way.
If we do conclude that our society has lost its way, must we also assume that we once had a better way – a better grasp on our destiny, a better management team, and a better sense of equilibrium.
So what is the better way? Who has a better way? During this time of constant war, religious zealots, financial meltdown, unbridled greed and outright corruption, it is becoming more difficult or even impossible to find any country, with the possible exception of Switzerland, which just might have a better way.
What would happen if our upper management bluntly told corporations, both domestic and foreign, that if they wanted to relocate offshore they could sell their goods offshore? Would we not be able to buy from competitors of Caterpillar? Would that mean we would be forced to design and build our own goods? OMG, what a disaster! Would it also mean that we might have to solve labour disruptions by adopting the Swiss style triad system of government-union-management negotiations? Would it also mean creating policy to dampen the run-away disparity between rich and poor?
Does Canada really have to sink to the world’s lowest common denominator by bowing at the altar of greed?
The outrageous behaviour of Caterpillar should be looked upon as a valuable lesson. The lesson is that Canada and Canadians can survive and prosper without the likes of Caterpillar. Canada and Canadians will prosper by competitively designing, manufacturing and exporting goods for both domestic and foreign markets.
Canada can compete very well but we must have a better management team.
Preston Haskell is a resident of St. Catharines, Ontario.
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