Not by promising them. Politicians do not know how to create jobs.
Not by giving money to corporations. Corporations are sitting on cash now, and are not creating jobs. Claiming that it is a ‘choice’ between tax cuts and cash incentives is simply a way of rewarding corporations for not creating jobs while hoping they will continue their funding of political parties.
Here’s how to create jobs in Canada. It will work anywhere if government has the guts to do it. (I do not claim to have ‘discovered’ this idea; it’s been around for a while and was a recent column subject in the Toronto Star.)
Revoke all trade agreements. Then the following can be made true:
- If you want to sell cars here, you must make them here.
- If you want to sell clothes here, you must make them here.
- If you want to say ‘Made in Canada’ it must be pretty much entirely made here.
- If you want to run a credit card business here, your call centre must be here.
- If you want to run a bank here, your computers and data must all be here.
- If you want to sell food here, you must make a comparable amount of food here – in processing, growing, fermenting, whatever.
- If you want to sell drugs here, you must make a comparable quantity of them here.
- If you want to buy a corporation here, you must keep all of its operation here. Corporate executives must live here, sign bonds, and expect to be prosecuted should they violate same.
- If you want to move here, you must demonstrate a reasonable ability to make a living (or be supported) here. (We should not be the welfare state of default for the rest of the planet.)
In all cases, a reasonable trade-off is OK. Chrysler can make, say, Imperials here and export them, and import a comparable value of Neons. A generic drug company can specialize in a narrow range, exporting worldwide, and import a comparable value from operations overseas.
Free trade has allowed the concentration of ‘making things’ to be pulled into a few lucky countries. Incredibly, Heinz no longer wants to make ketchup in Canada, and Bicks made a similar decision on pickles. Meanwhile ‘Canadian wine’ can be as little as ten percent Canadian grapes. This while we pave over south-western Ontario, some of the best fertile land in Canada.
Now for the dumb questions:
- Was this ‘soft sucking sound of jobs leaving Canada’ not publicly broadcast, with, as background, Brian Mulroney chanting, ‘Free Trade?’
- In Mexico, where maquiladoras were conveniently staffed by ex-farmers who lost their subsidy (Free Trade), did someone not ask a Vogue representative, ‘What would happen if labour became cheaper in Bangladesh?’ and get the answer, ‘We’d move there in a heartbeat?’
- Is the European Union experiment not now slowly failing, as we watch it force austerity onto the losers of Free Trade? (Radical parties are gaining strength in pretty much all EU countries. Britain is considering exiting its limited EU presence.)
- Is the European Union experiment of free movement of labour not slowly imploding, as countries try to export ‘undesirable immigrants?’
and the final dumb question:
Will we, as voters, have the guts to demand sensible action? To preserve and recapture jobs, exports, and middle-class wealth?
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