Give To The Rich And Powerful – Put The Screws To The Rest Of Us

A Commentary by Doug Draper

 Imagine the complete and utter stupidity of a political leader granting a company millions of dollars in tax breaks with no strings attached and no guarantee that the company will create a single new job, let alone keep its operations in the country that was so generous to it.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper enjoys a photo up in a locomotive after announcing tax breaks for Electro-Motive (the Caterpillar Corporation) in London, Ontario four years ago.

 Well, you don’t have to imagine it. Look no further than Canada’s Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper who, with our tax dollars in hand, went to a manufacturing plant in London, Ontario in 2008. While there, Harper hand Electro-Motive (later the Caterpillar Corporation) that was running the plant about $5 million in tax subsides, only to have Caterpillar, which is swimming in record profits, close the plant this February and put more than 450 Canadians out of work.

And where was Harper this past January while workers for the Caterpillar plant were out on the street fighting for their jobs? Where was he after the corporation shut them out for refusing to accept a bid to reduce their benefits and chop their wages by up to 50 per cent and was already preparing to move its operations to a town in Illinois that has been devastated by the previous losses of manufacturing jobs and whose residents are now so desperate for work they will do it for wages that are dirt cheap. Why didn’t Harper come back and visit the workers on their picket lines and demand that Caterpillar reimburse the tax subsidies if they threw the jobs of these Canadians in a trash bin and left the country.

Instead, Harper was overseas in Switzerland at an economic forum, discussing the possibility of cutting pension assistance for millions of Canadians approaching retirement age. And in a move that didn’t receive much attention in the mainstream media, he and his Conservatives cut corporate taxes in Canada by another $3 billion.

Once again, this latest round of corporate tax cuts, like those the Harper Conservatives add the Liberals before them have rolled out over the past decades, are across-the-board cuts with no strings attached. In other words, corporations enjoy the cuts whether they use them to create jobs or feather the pockets of their own executives and shareholders, even while they are plotting to relocate their operations in regions of the world where they can get the job done for sweatshop wages.

The argument that the Harper government uses, and that provincial governments, including Ontario’s current Liberal government, use, that lower taxes for corporations will trickle down and mean more jobs for the rest of us doesn’t hold. Successive federal governments have lowered the corporate tax rate to about half of the 28 per cent they paid a decade ago and where are all the jobs? Our federal and provincial governments have cut corporate taxes over and over again and we are suffering through some of the highest jobless rates since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

To make matters worse for the rest of us who make up the 99 per cent, cutting corporate taxes means less revenue coming in to cover the costs of health care, education, seniors’ pension and other social programs. It inevitably leads to cutting these programs for people in the middle and lower end of the income ladder.

 Why don’t our governments have the smarts and the courage to say to corporations that they are only going to give tax breaks to companies that show a track record of creating jobs here in Ontario and Canada? Why don’t they have the guts to come out and say what U.S. President Barack Obama said in his State of the Union address late this January?

“If you’re a business that wants to outsource jobs, you shouldn’t get a tax deduction for doing it,” said Obama in his address. “No American company should be able to avoid paying its fair share of taxes by moving jobs and profits overseas. From now on, every multinational company should have to pay a basic minimum tax. And every penny should go towards lowering taxes for companies that choose to stay here and hire here. … My message is simple. It’s time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America. Send me these tax reforms, and I’ll sign them right away.”

I know we have a few politicians leading opposition parties in Canada, like the Ontario NDP’s Andrew Horwath, who are talking like that, but we don’t hear that from Harper, Ontario Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty or any other of our government leaders. And maybe it doesn’t come down so much to stupidity on their part.

It may have more to do with the fact that they more interested in giving tax breaks to the rich and powerful, including those who donate to their election campaigns, than they are in adjusting tax system in ways that encourage the creation of more good-paying jobs in this country.

(Niagara At Large invites you to share your views on this post in the comment boxes below. Please remember that NAL does not post anonymous comments or comments by people using pseudonyms. Only comments attached to real names work here.)

 

 

 

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31 responses to “Give To The Rich And Powerful – Put The Screws To The Rest Of Us

  1. You are right on Mr. Draper except for one thing. We no longer have a government for the people and by the people. As once stated by St. Catharines’ City Councillor Jennie Stevens who said right at Council; ‘We were elected to rule these people!’ Perhaps that is the problem? We elected them predicated on lies and we are surprised that the liars we elected turn out to be a pack of self-serving pompous-ass rulers.
    Keep up the good work!

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  2. Private enterprise at its greedy selfish best.
    Government by and for the corporations at its worst.
    Citizens get screwed.

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  3. Sheldon S. Wolin, Democracy Inc.:” …concentrated power, whether of a Leviathon, a benevolent despotism, or a superpower, is impossible without the support of a complicitous citizenry that willingly signs on to the covenant, or acquiesces, or clicks the “mute button”.

    Corporatocracy would fit in there nicely as well.

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  4. And this from the first Prime Minister to ever sue a company to live up to their obligations under the Foreign Investment Review Act [FIRA] – US Steel, who shut down Stelco after the 2008 Crash, and removed competition from their Pittsburgh plants. Too bad it took 3 years to go through our courts,eh?

    Wonder what Caterpillar did promise under FIRA when they bought Electromotive from GM? Would you mind providing your reference URL for Harper “…granting a company [Electromotive] millions of dollars in tax breaks with no strings attached”?
    -w-

    At least one other piece of info is way off Doug:
    Chrétien abolished the ability of big corporations & big unions to donate to political parties about 10 years ago. The Tories have the largest number of average people donating of any party in Canada – they’ve become the party of Main Street, as the Liberals once were.
    -w-

    I just read an article from 2010 where the CEO of Air Canada lamented that this large corporation (15th largest airline in the world, from a country that is 37th largest) was paying $1B !!! more in taxes/airport rental/no subsidies/etc than if it were located in the USA.
    http://opinion.financialpost.com/2010/09/21/air-canada-chief-weighs-into-potash-controversy/
    He also lamented, “Interestingly enough, we emerged with one gaping question – why is it that culturally and maybe philosophically, Canada and Canadians have a way of tearing down business success stories rather than proactively building global champions.”

    Remember, Companies can Move to other countries, Employees canNot.
    New York State’s minimum wage is $7.50 while Ontario’s is $10.50. We’d better have some other things going for us, or our only employers will soon be government….

    As Canucks, we must do everything we can to encourage companies to both locate and stay here – in exchange for giving us jobs that have provide good quality of life with proper laws about health, education, labour and ecology.

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  5. A reply to Lorne White – When I used the phrase in my commentary “no strings attached,” I was talking about the practice governments in Ottawa and Queen’s Park, regardless of their politicial stripes, have had of cutting corporate taxes across the board, with no regard of which corporation is creating jobs here and which one is eliminating them or are in the process of moving their operations out of the country. I quoted lines from U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent State of the Union address indicating a desire on this part to change that practice in his country.
    As for corporate donations, all companies are doing now is getting their executive members to donate as individuals. When a party gets a disproportionate number of donations from executives in the oil industry or the asbestos business, they know where the money is coming from. The same practice is used in the United States.
    In summary, I believe people should be contacting their MPs and MPPs and urging them to change the way tax breaks are granted to corporations and make sure that they are only given to companies that can show they are creating jobs in Canada. – Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

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    • Perhaps Caterpillar-Electromotive is following Obama’s lead? Do you remember those Domestic International Service Corporations [DISC] the USA invented ~30 years ago to unfairly compete with Canada and others? Do you think they still exist, or that Obama & Congress will bring them back, with their hidden tax subsidies for bringing back jobs to the USA?

      While I generally support your intent to reward corporations who locate/stay here, remember that it was Tariff Wars in the 1930’s that worsened the Great Depression. Are we about to undergo a similar Jobs War and risk creating the Greater Depression today?

      The Yanks began it in 2009 with their Stimulus package which required everything to be ‘Made in USA’ regardless of NAFTA. I almost started a blog to encourage Canadians to to co-operate with the Yanks by Avoiding American products (we wouldn’t need a fancy law – we’d just buy Moroccan oranges, travel to Jamaica instead of Florida, etc.)
      -w-

      If Corporations give extra money to their executives to donate personally, they have to pay them the money to donate, which is then taxed. As well, you assume that those executives aren’t already donating to a political party, and therefore have no further room to donate. Our Election Canada laws are very tight and well regulated – ask any local who belongs to their party’s riding association.

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  6. I loved Ed. Broadbent,s description of these companies that always have their hand out for our tax money, he called them corporate welfare bums, and boy they have made out like bandits these past 4 years,why can’t we put a lein on their property and machinery, when they get these gifts, and when they deliver the jobs for 5 years, slowly lift the leins.They should not be allowed to swipe the machinery that we taxpayers paid for, and take off to some other country.laughing at our stupid , dumb politicians.and their naivety.

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  7. We have to change the system — Get rid of the political party system

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  8. Corporations are really good at spreading bull****. Wait till you see the Superbowl ads. Corporations are so powerful, that busy people on Main St. consistently vote against their own best interests. Here are some clarifications:

    1. The Foreign Investment Review Act is a paper tiger. Basically wallpaper. About as useful as environmental regulations for the tar sands.

    2. EMD was given 5 million in tax breaks in 2008 plus other incentives. Shortly thereafter, in 2010, Caterpillar bought the plant. There is a clear link between the two events.
    3. Corporations find loopholes to donate to and fundraise for political parties. Corporations spent $20 BILLION on lobbying in Canada last year. I don’t have that kind of money to avoctate my positions
    4, The corporate mind-set is so powerful, that people associate the words “union” or “social programs” as being negative.
    5. The WORST and most dangerous LIE of all, though, is the one involving human-caused global warming. People are dying, and we are complicit.

    6. People are also dying downstream of the Tar Sands, and we are complicit.
    7. The steel industry in Canada is almost dead. Corporate tax cuts clearly didn’t have a positive impact there either.
    8. Our current federal government (and the federal Liberals are not much different) is ideologically driven. They have blinders on.

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  9. Here’s another thought. Another reason to reconsider the gold-plated pension plans for MP’s is this: It’s possible if not probable that MP’s are keeping their mouths shut over clear injustices such as the senior pension cuts for fear of losing their perks. Are they serving themselves or the broader public?

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  10. Getting elected either as MP or MMP is like winning the lottery, in the states they finally stopped Senators and Congressmen from using inside information to buy stock in companies or Industries that they regulate, people have finally noticed how these people suddenly become stock rich, millionaires. no wonder those guys wrap themselves in the American flag, they benefit from lack of rules.remember LBJ invested in the companies that paved runways in Vietnam, how about the blatant Vice-President, during George W.Bush war in Iraq, his ownership in Haliburton stock and he recieved millions more while Veep.his wife, was on the board of McDonnel Douglas ,he gave both companies huge, no bid contracts, billions of dollars to Haliburton, where he served as President,nobody investigated this breach of trust. They are all snorting and gorging on tax-payers money.what a disgrace, Veep Spiro Agnew was booted out of office because of bribery in his contruction business.thats how Gerald Ford got that job.

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    • George:

      This isn’t fair – you’re tarring all politicians everywhere with the same brush!

      Even if the Yanks have corrupt politicians [read Lorrie Goldstein, National Post], Ontario and Canada have pretty tight rules against Conflict of Interest. And if Canucks do corrupt things, they almost always get caught by some good journalist who ‘follows the money’. We have a Good system with honest politicians who serve with honour!

      For example, even though George Smitherman gave an exclusive, smelly, sweetheart deal to Samsung under the Green Energy Act (he should have asked the 10+ worldwide Big Wind Turbine companies to compete with bids), I can’t imagine that he benefitted personally … because no journalist has ‘followed the money’ and found his payoff, after 3 years – a free cottage, Caribbean island, Samsung stock, etc. I don’t even like to think that an Ontario politician would ever do such a thing.

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  11. Except for one thing, governments can lift taxes from corporations all they want,but they can’t prove this leads to job creation. It didn’t work under Reagan, nor is it going to work under the current set of leaders either. All this does is create further inequality in this country, as well as grow the size of the deficit, which governments then have no problem dumping responsibility for which in the rest of us that had nothing to do with it in the first place.

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  12. Chris Wojnarowski

    On this one, I think the lot of you are barking up the wrong tree. The Obama administration has been systematically, and from a US nationalistic standpoint rightly, repatriating jobs from abroad at the behest of one of his biggest financial backers, Richard Trumka and the AFL-CIO. Further, Caterpillar has been working hand in glove with the US State department, and most recently has decided to build their new facility in Texas instead of China.

    My research shows me that there are some several hundred new locomotives out for tender by the US Government that goes beyond AmTrack, in an attempt to reduce highway trucking. The directive from the Obama administration is that only companies manufacturing in the US would be eligible to bid.

    Where this becomes relevant is that as a Canadian manufacturer, EMD was disqualified, as would Bombardier. However, EMD had the technology that Cat needed to even get on the bidders list. As part of a Billion dollar strategy, and with the full blessing of the AFL-CIO, Cat made the CAW an offer they could only refuse. In fact, had the CAW agreed to the proposed 50% cuts, Cat would still needed to close EMD in London.

    There is much more to this than appears on the pages of the Star or Globe, and it has to do with bare knuckle US presidential politics. Research shows that Trumka agreed to letting the Keystone pipeline jobs go with only token protest, mostly in Republican states with no upside, in exchange for Locomotive jobs mostly in Democrat states that Obama needs to keep. Trumka understands that if a Republican president gets elected, the locomotive jobs would likely disappear. But if Obama is re-elected, Trumka may have his cake and eat it too as Keystone may still get approved. Either way, Canadian jobs will pay the price.

    It has not escaped me that this may be payback for Canada’s threat to sell oil to China. It has also not escaped me that the US State Department and its surrogates (Soros, Tides, etc…) are hip-deep in trying to prevent the Northern Gateway pipeline from being built.

    It is naïve to think the Canadian government can stop the combined will of Obama, big US labor and big US business. Frankly, I am quite concerned at the fragile nature of our sovereignty.

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  13. Mr. Smith, although I like and most appreciate your opinions as projected on NAL I still cannot let your recent misleading and inaccurate statements go unchallenged.
    You say: ‘Our Election Canada laws are very tight and well regulated – ask any local who belongs to their party’s riding association’. I must tell you that our Election Canada laws are being abused by party riding associations that refuse to submit full political contribution details either accurately or on time.
    You replied to George Jardine’s comment of: ‘Getting elected, either as MP or MMP, is like winning the lottery’, with ‘George, this isn’t fair – you’re tarring all politicians everywhere with the same brush! What’s tarring all politicians everywhere is the conduct of some politicians as can be witnessed on NAL
    And then you go on to intimate that MPP Smitherman’s ‘exclusive smelly sweetheart wind turbine deal to Samsung is somehow innocent predicated on the fact that he has NOT been caught BY JOURNALISTS? This deal struck by MPP Smitherman would require an automatic and authentic arms-length investigation by any good and proper government. This illegitimate deal should be re-tendered! Suspicious political shenanigans should never be the responsibility of JOURNALISTS!
    Corruption has been discovered at every level of Canadian politics and no doubt it will continue to be discovered in the future.
    On the basis of your statement that ‘you ‘don’t even like to think that an Ontario politician would ever do such a thing’ may I suggest you read ‘On the Take’ by investigative journalist Stevie Cameron.
    Mr. Smith, regardless of my reply I would respectfully request that you continue to provide us with your opinions.

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  14. A great book to read about corruption in the canadian government , and both the Liberals and the Conservatives are equally guilty of abuse of power the one book I own is called”On the Take” by Stevie Cameron a reporter for the Globe and Mail and a host for CBC Fith Estate,also Macleans, a recent court case outlined the dealings of a german business man Herr Schrieber who paid for access to Brian Mulroney, and payment in brown paper bags also tax evasion. the whole book is an eye opener. secret bank accounts in New York City.a great read!

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  15. gail benjafield

    Wow. I’ve read and re-read these comments. Although I don’t know who Mr. Smith is, and it doesn’t matter, the opinions cross the gamut. I just heard on CBC radio two separate reports. In one MPP Hudak blames McGuinty for losing EDM (the London, Ontario caterpillar plant), while it was the Harper gvoernment who gave the big thumbs up to EDM by giveing them our money.

    The second report said that firms like Marks Work Warehouse (owned by Canadian Tire, is that right?) are pulling their Caterpillar workboots and other firms are pulling any Caterpillar items off their shelves, in disgust, I gather over what this profitable and greedy firm has done.

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  16. There is a solution to this problem, and I’m not referring to Mr. Smith/incognito issues. This solution would bring us into the twenty first century, and it would help us to shed our dysfunctional colonial mindset. It is the solution of the Green Party Of Canada,which is this: We absolutely need a National High Speed Rail system, made in Canada. Rail creates many jobs, and moves us towards a high tech world rather than a commodity driven , unsustainable, third world economy. It will be OURS, and we won’t be losing our shirts and money, and dignity to other countries. It will also invigorate our manufacturing base despite the high petro dollar. When we finally realize the insanity of exploiting the tar sands for foreign markets, we can put a moratorium on all further development, refine some locally, and then use royalties for HSR and alternate energy. If we’re smart, we’ll be proactive and shut the tar industry down completely within a year, before nature does it for us (i.e no more water left etc.) Harper has said that he wants to clean up the NDP “mess” around here, but the real mess is out west, birthplace of the Reform party.

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  17. Tim Hudak endorses further corporate tax cuts. Even Conservatives realize that the corporations are hoarding the profits, and not reinvesting it into technology. Perhaps Mr. Hudak should work at close to minimum wage and try to pay the bills. I don’t recall seeing him at the picket lines either.

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  18. MPP Tim Hudak is a lot like a weather vane and turns whichever way the wind blows. we in Canada still have the expertize to build Hi-Speed trains Bombardier made trains for the Chunnel , we Know how to build rail lines we did that over one hundred and fivety years ago, let’s all get on the train to our furure,.and that’s Canadian!!! eh.

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  19. I also agree that sovereignty is becoming an issue. Here is a question asked in parliament to which an answer was not given.(A typical parliament ploy: ask a question, get an “answer” that doesn’t respond to the question).

    “Sinopec, owned by the Communist Party Of China, and the seventh largest corporation in the world, plus Petro China, and a number of others, have a 20 billion dollar stake in direct ownership of the oil sands (tar sands). How did Sinopec become co-author of the Prime Minister’s “new foreign policy and energy strategy?”

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  20. Ya know, this discussion of corporate taxes might make sense… IF corporations actually PAID taxes. Except they don’t.
    If corporations paid taxes, they’d go out of business.
    It’s CUSTOMERS who pay taxes. ALL taxes are added to the price. When politicians clamoring for votes promise to screw those evil corporations with higher corporate tax rates, those corporations that want to remain in business simply raise prices. Therefore consumers pay all taxes. So the corporate tax rate affects only you and me.
    And it’s unsurprising that nobody on this site has mentioned the stupid union tactic that failed.
    Those workers might all have jobs if they’d agreed to the wage cut. No, they don’t have to like it. No they don’t have to accept it. And they didn’t. Yet it was much more than they’re making now, isn’t it? In fact, it’s about the same as what Caterpillar workers in the USA rust belt are making. Hmm… too bad those in charge of the union didn’t know about global competition in our global economy…
    One good thing came out of this — a handful of union members learned intimidation, bullying, and threatening are no longer effective. It’s a global economy, and money is transferred with a click of a mouse. So are jobs.
    I don’t like it. And yet that’s how it is.
    “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” – William A. Ward

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  21. The unions in this case stood up to the foreign bully which is Caterpillar. Caterpillar did not want to stay in Canada.

    You have identified the problem as globalization, and you are right. However, we can and should fight globalization. We don’t need to accept these conditions. There are viable options.

    One optionis nationalization. We don’t own enough of our own industries. Most European countries allow about 4% foreign ownership. We allow about 50%, which makes us a branch plant economy.
    We need to add value to our products: technology, expertise, environmental innovations etc. Otherwise we become another run of the mill, corrupt petro state, and all that entails.

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  22. Mr. Dave Chappelle,
    You are quite right that a corporation pays no tax. You are correct that all of a corporation’s costs are paid by its customers. Even the owners and shareholders pay tax on the income profit.
    But, Mr. Chappelle, are you saying that if a corporation threatened to move to a country with a pay scale of a mere $2 per hour then Canadian workers should accept it because it’s better than nothing? Are you saying that this is a natural progression and therefore we must accept our fate?
    Your quote is a canard “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” – William A. Ward
    Is it pessimistic to complain about the wind?
    Is it optimistic to expect the wind to change?
    Is it realistic, to be submissive and to grovel before pirates?
    Only a fool adjusts their sails as if nothing happened and in this case something contemptible did happen.
    Pirates and looters are systematically dismantling Canada’s economic engine and they are doing it through the duplicity of the co-called realist that erroneously assumes there is nothing that can be done.
    Encouraging foreign investment, entering free trade agreements, and doing honest business does not mean giving free reign for pirates to loot Canada.
    Again, our problem is a faulty management team!

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  23. As for unions … they are illegal in China. Are we going to go backwards in time in terms of human rights, workers rights, labour and environmental safety, democratic rights etc., or are we going to defy elements of globalization which endorse and support capitalist excesses?

    I would suggest that those people who deride unions might want to work a shift or two at FoxComm in China. That’s where Apple outsources its manufacturing. Apparently, Apple has more money in the bank than the U.S government. Something wrong with that picture.

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  24. So Mr. Chappelle, you say consumers pay corporate taxes by way of higher prices. Bullocks! Corporate taxes have been going down for the past twenty years or so, while prices went up and up and FURTHER UP. They only pay taxes on their profits, not on their revenues. For many businesses that are not profitable, but have a good cash flow, yes — they are not paying corporate taxes. But nobody has any argument yet to support the flawed notion that cutting taxes on corporations and wealthy investors is going to give us any new jobs.

    As for your other remark about Caterpillar workers having a “choice”. bullocks again! The plant had every intention of picking up and going … they just wanted to go through the drama of all this to show what a bully they are and how they can do whatever they please. I live in Canada, or at least I thought so, where working people are seen to be deserving of rights and some respect.

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  25. Pingback: The Sound of Deafening Silence: A Case for Electro-Motive Workers in London, Ontario | ActiveHistory.ca

  26. Normally I post and move on — I don’t waste time arguing on the Interwebs. In a fit of procrastination I stumbled back onto this page again, so I’m making an exception… this time.

    Mr Taliano — Yes there are options.
    sarcasm on/
    And your idea of nationalization is a good one. Let’s nationalize businesses that are too bloated to earn a profit. Let’s make every business as honest and efficient as Canada Post. Pouring tax dollars into inefficient dinosaur businesses will surely help our national balance sheet. Canadians will all be proud that they’re working to support a few union members in a lifestyle that most working Canadians will never reach.

    Nationalizing businesses will also attract all kinds of entrepreneurs who will beg for the chance to open businesses here in Kanukistan, where their money and assets will forever be at risk of being stolen by politicians and bureaucrats in the name of national pride, or unity, or whatever.
    /sarcasm off

    Foxcomm has the trained workforce and the factory space to supply a fast-moving firm like Apple with the quality goods it desires, within its limited deadlines.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/business/apple-america-and-a-squeezed-middle-class.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

    As for Apple, there is nothing wrong with a corporation having more money than a government. Especially when that gov’t is borrowing trillions of dollars it can never repay, and printing worthless fiat currency while borrowing. At least Apple delivers products and services consumers want to buy. Government only steals from producers at gunpoint. That’s all it can do.

    Mr Haskell — I’ve read a couple of your books. Very accurate — and depressing. (FWIW you may find my books the same.) And you take great pictures.
    As for your first two questions, no, that’s not what I said. Nor do I believe nothing can be done. The realist adjusts his sails. The union did not.

    And I disagree that Caterpillar has looted Canada. The people who sold the plant to Caterpillar were Canadians. They set up that plant with the eventual goal of selling it at a profit. That’s business. Caterpillar is an American company. It offered Canadian workers the same pay as Americans. China doesn’t enter this picture. The looters are the politicians who originally gave our money to Caterpillar.

    Ms Brown — You’re calling “bollocks” at the facts I pointed out does not change those facts into fiction. If it makes you feel better however, feel free.

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  27. I suppose we can agree to disagree. But … if Apple can make that kind of money using Chinese workers in China, while the U.S is suffering an economic crisis, and widespread poverty, then it points to the fact that corporations are interested in the bottom line for themselves, and to hell with the common good. This is why the public sphere in a democracy is meant to control the self-interest of the private sphere through taxes, regulations etc. Ronald Reagan started the ball rolling with the “Government is bad” routine, and it resulted in, among other things, undermining the government’s ability to steer the economy.
    As for Caterpillar, the Canadian government made a mistake by letting them in, and offering incentives, and Caterpillar walked all over us. I would not want to live in the states where Cat will relocate, especially since I might get sick there, and then go broke trying to pay for health care. Nor would I want to live in China where Foxconn is located, or anywhere else in totalitarian China for that matter. Never mind. We can agree to disagree.

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  28. As a life long union member I am proud and saddened by the treatment of union leaders and some union members, at the harsh treatment that they receive in Mexico ,union leaders are routinely murdered and their families subjected to terror by company goons, all they want is better working conditions or the right to form a union, they protest the workers exposure to harsh chemicals, and dangeroud and unsafe working conditions, a right for washroom breaks, rights that we have enshrined in law, Mexico the place that all our good jobs went too, the moment the NAFTA aggreement was signed. Canada should leave NAFTA give the six months notice and get out.

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  29. I believe poverty rates in Mexico are even higher since NAFTA. Corporations went to to China.

    NAFTA has worn out its welcome. It belongs in the land fill.

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