Because of NAFTA, GAT and the World Trade Organization, major industrialized nations that had strong self sustaning economies are now dependant on cheap labor and imported goods.
Canada, which has had a healthy economy and budget surplus’s, is now falling victim to this race to the bottom trade formula. From the Candian Press, “Canada's rich are getting richer while the poor get poorer and the middle class stagnates, according to 2005 census data released May 1, 2008, by Statistics Canada. Between 1980 and 2005, median earnings among Canada's top earners rose more than 16 per cent while those in the bottom fifth saw their wages dip by 20 per cent.
“The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives said the census report should set alarm bells ringing. The biggest economic boom since the 1960s has basically only boosted the rich…leaving the middle class stagnant and the poor worse off.”
“According to the centers senior economist, "In the 1960s, when the economy grew this rapidly, almost everybody got a bigger piece. In this generation of economic growth, the gains are accruing primarily to those on the top."
Sound familiar? The Bush administrations trade policies have ushered in this dramatic gap between the have’s and have nots. Working with other powerful governmental leaders, the citizen workers of these countries have been left out of the profit equation. Why governments refuse to get in on the action, collecting taxes and profiting from free market policies, is still a bit of a mystery to me. I can only surmise that government officials are merely setting themselves up for lucritive positions after public service.
New Democrat MPs said they are "alarmed and worried" about the data. "Most Canadians are stuck in neutral on income. The poorest of us are even worse off than we suspected." He said the economic and social policies of recent years have failed. "Successive Conservative and Liberal governments have blindly assumed that a rising tide lifts all boats," he said. "But obviously not all boats have risen and too many paddlers, in fact, have no boats."
One startling statistic: “Median earnings among those in the middle remained status quo, registering a mere 0.1 per cent increase over 25 years.” Imagine that, two and a half decades and a mere 0.1 per cent increase.
The Center’s conclusion? "It's a wakeup call for Canadians and their governments. You can't keep ignoring this, especially with financial storm clouds from the south moving into Canada. "This is not a sustainable trajectory."
That would make the U.S. that untoward neighbor, with it’s run down house, unkept yard and putrid smoke wafting over everyone in the community.