Now that the governments of the major economies have almost finished doling out tens of trillions of dollars to bail out the banks, the corporations and the socioeconomic elite, it is time for someone to pick up the tab.
And you can bet your bottom dollar those same governments will not ask those same banks, corporations and billionaires and mega-millionaires to pick up the tab for their own bailout.
That will be left to the rest of us.
Let there be no doubt. Someone has to pay for those tens of trillions of dollars in gimmes for the super-rich and their corporations.
Little has been done to bail out the masses who have already borne the brunt of the global economic chaos.
They have had to contend with massive layoffs, massive cuts in wages and massive cuts in employee benefits. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s much worse still to come.
In the U.S., the bailout will cost every poor and every middle-class man, woman and child more than $100,000 over the course of their lifetime. It won’t be as bad in Canada but poor and middle-class Canadian men, women and children will each have to fork out close to $40,000 to pay for this bailout of the super-rich.
Those sums in and of themselves are a terrible price for the working classes to have to pay to bail out their much wealthier brethren whose greed, incompetence, corruption and criminality caused the global economic collapse.
But the total price will be much harder.
Thanks to free trade, globalization and so-called “trickle-down economics,” most Canadian jobs that pay between $14 and $30 an hour have disappeared. And the political lackeys of the super-rich will see to it that most of those quality jobs that still remain will soon be replaced by McJobs.
If you think the squeeze on the middle class of the past generation has been burdensome, well, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
In addition to fewer jobs, lower wages, and fewer benefits, the working class is also going to have to put up with massive cuts in governments spending on health care, education and social programs.
Our already-tattered social safety net is going to be stretched much thinner.
Over the next ten years, poor and middle-class Canadians and Americans alike can expect a very significant decline in their standards of living.
The only viable alternative to a gut-wrenching tightening of the screws on the masses would be a massive increase in taxes on the corporations and the wealthy, and a massive redistribution of wealth and income from the top five percent of the population to the bottom 80 percent.
But no NeoLiberal or NeoConservative government would ever enact such changes. It would mean abandoning the corporate capitalist delusion that you can forever widen the gap between rich and poor and never have the chickens come home to roost.
Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats would ever do so in the U.S. and neither the Conservatives or the Liberals would ever do so in Canada. They all know which side their bread is buttered on.
The only hope for ever seeing that kind of change would be if the Canadian masses were to rise up as one and force their governments to implement those changes.
I fear, however, that the Canadian masses have forgotten how to rise up in defence of their most basic human rights.
There is much more suffering to come.