August 24, 2012

The System’s not Broken, this is Capitalism, CEP President Dave Coles says

In the face of mounting job losses, poverty, community hardship and economic uncertainty in Canada, CEP President Dave Coles told convention delegates that this is not a product of a broken system of global capitalism; it is capitalism.
Coles said that it has been the neo-liberal economic policies of free trade, labour market deregulation, corporate tax cuts and privatization that gained traction among governments in the 1970s that have created income disparity and suppressed worker rights. He also said it’s those policies at the root of the global financial crisis of 2008.
“Some said (the 2008 financial crisis) will be the end of capitalism as we know it,” Coles said. “But capitalism continues to renew itself, and has come back with a vengeance.”
Coles likened the neo-liberal economic policies of the Thatcher, Reagan and Mulroney governments of the 1980s with the Harper government today, who has mounted an attack on important social programs like employment insurance and public pensions.
Coles called the federal government’s current economic agenda a “sinister attack on regulations” citing irresponsible cuts to Canadian marketing boards, environmental programs as well as massive tax giveaways to corporations.
Coles said the union movement responded to this shift in government policy-making like a “deer caught in the headlights.” He said that is what makes the New Union Project proposal so critical in forging a stronger voice for workers to challenge this dominant agenda.
“The New Union Project can bring us together, as a united force,” Coles said. “It gives us hope. It can give us power. The time is ours.”
Coles’ speech was delivered to convention delegates in the morning of August 22, prior to the debate and vote on the New Union Project proposal.

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