The mainstream politicians and economists and the corporate mass media in both Canada and the U.S. are attempting to hoodwink the public once again about the real state and direction of the economy.
The NeoLiberal/NeoConservative horde is attempting to peddle the notion that the recession is now bottoming out. But let the buyer beware!
The putrid potion they are pushing is, at one and the same time, both an effort to deceive the masses – the poor and the middle class – and an effort to lure them into more mindless consumption – usually on credit – than they can afford.
But let’s examine the facts:
Almost half a million Canadians have lost their jobs since last October and hundreds of thousands more have had their hours – and wages – cut. And more than half of the newly unemployed do not even qualify for Employment Insurance benefits.
In the U.S., six million have lost their jobs and millions more have had theior hours – and wages – cut.
Most of these lost jobs – in both Canada and the U.S. – are not coming back anytime soon.
In one fell, lingering swoop close to a million Canadian households have had their household incomes drastically reduced. In the short term, savings and EI benefits will keep many of those households afloat.
But as the savings and EI run out, most of those people will still be either unemployed or underemployed.
Secondly, while government stimulus programs in Canada and the U.S. have begun to pump some liquidity into the economy, they have failed to even halt the rise in unemployment, much less reverse it.
And that stimulus spending is not permanent. Once that money runs out, so too will the short-term jobs it created.
Thirdly, much of the increase in economic output in both Canada and the U.S. in recent weeks has been due to government and corporate incentives for auto purchases and home repairs. That money, too, will run out and the short-term jobs they created will also be gone.
Fourthly, the stock markets appear to be recovering. But it merely a sucker’s recovery meant to lure the middle class back into the market so that their shares can then be bought for a song when the recession inevitably deepens again.
Until such time as drastic action is taken to reverse the extreme concentration of wealth in the hands of the top five percent of the population, there will simply be no real, lasting recovery, regardless of the government hocus-pocus brought to bear on the situation.