cj#319> Schniad: Govt & Corps (2/n)


Richard Moore

Date: Mon, 13 Nov 1995
From: Phil Agre <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: editorial by Sid Shniad

Date: Thu, 28 Sep 1995
From: D Shniad <•••@••.•••>
Subject: My editorial in the TWU Transmitter



   The problem of increasing economic
polarization and growing misery isn't limited to
the States.  The same things is happening here in
Canada.  We have been in an economic "recovery"
since 1992.  As in the States, however, this
recovery has been very one-sided.  Corporate
profits have soared, but unemployment has remained
high while wage increases have barely kept up with
   The recovery has seen business and corporate
profits zoom.  Corporate profits swallowed 44.8%
of the increase in national income between 1992
and the first quarter of 1995. (Over the past 20
years, corporate profits averaged about 10% of
total national income.)  In this period, the
increase in profits was much larger than the total
increase in wages and salaries.
   People like Professor Angell argue that
increases in profits lead to increases in
investment.  But this has certainly not been the
case for the past several years.  Since 1992,
profits as a proportion of GDP have increased by
nearly 32%.  In the same period, investment has
increased by about 5%.
   Instead of being used to increase productive
capacity, profits have gone into huge dividend
increases for shareholders.  Dividends paid out to
foreign shareholders jumped from $1 billion in
1992 to more than $12 billion on an annualized
basis in the first quarter of 1995.
   In 1992, unemployment averaged 11.3%
nationally.  Over the first half of 1995, the rate
had decreased somewhat, averaging 9.6%, but coming
in at 9.8% in July.  This is a far cry from the
rates of unemployment that prevailed in this
country during most of the postwar era.
   There is little prospect that things will
change for the better.  According to a recent
report from the International Monetary Fund,
Canada's "natural" rate of unemployment is 8.75%.
The IMF suggests that if Canada's unemployment
rate drops more than 1% below its current level,
inflation would increase, requiring the Bank of
Canada to raise the country's interest rates,
choking off economic growth and raising the
unemployment rate again.
   Clearly our universities, our media pundits
and institutions like the IMF are not concerned
with the fact that high unemployment and declining
real wages are having a devastating effect.
According to a Statistics Canada report released
in mid-September, the country's rich are getting
richer and the poor are getting poorer.  Canadian
families' real incomes, adjusted for inflation,
have been declining steadily since 1990.
   According to Bob Glossop, of the Vanier
Institute of the Family the situation is serious.
"Even families with two wage earners are having an
increasingly hard time to make ends meet.  All are
feeling increasingly financially insecure,"
Glossop explains.
   For single-parent families, it's even worse.
"You have an appalling rate of poverty among
single-parent families that is in excess of 60
percent at this point with devastating
consequences for the long-term prospects for their
children, educationally, healthwise and so on,"
Glossop says.
   "In addition, you've now seen across various
provinces, particularly Ontario, the decision to
cut back significantly on social assistance and
welfare benefits available to these people.  It
means that these lone-parent families, which have
been struggling in poverty for the past ten years,
are going to be really hitting the wall very soon.
The prospects are pretty bleak," he concludes.


INSTALLMENT 3/N to follow

 Posted by      Richard K. Moore <•••@••.•••>
                Wexford, Ireland (USA citizen)
                Editor: The Cyberjournal (@CPSR.ORG)

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