As stated in the article, I wrote this back in January 1999 on a web site called “Take One!”:
“We believed that once the recession was over, people who were let go would be rewarded for their sacrifices with a job market that was growing again. Well, things are better, according to the economists. Our economy expands at the time of this writing (January 1999) at an average of over 2%. Yet the downsizing continues. If you read the paper, you already know this to be true. If it’s not a mining company closing down, it’s a government department downsizing, or a factory that has gone to Mexico because of the free trade agreement.
So why the layoffs still?
I suspect that Corporate Canada has opted to make more money by cutting expenses rather than raising sales. It is the path of least resistance. It’s much easier for a company to tell an employee to clear out his or her desk than it is to design a better product that is higher in quality and lower in cost for consumers.
But this way of getting a bigger profit has a high cost. It downsizes an individual. There’s not much value left to a man or woman who loses the ability to earn an income, and cannot afford a place to live, food to eat, and clean clothes to wear.”
I wrote this in response to the growing transcendence of corporations over the will of elected governments, and the establishment of free trade zones that take local jobs out of the economy (resulting in increased unemployment and reduced tax revenue).
For posting this online, I was called a cultural xenophobe and an isolationist.
Fast forward 16 years. How you like me now? The North American Free Trade Act may have made a lot of money for corporations and Mexican workers, but it became the first of many tools used by companies to do more with less. Then there’s the EU, of which Britain has voted to leave via the Brexit referendum.
Good for them. The EU is a horrible example of an economic union that not only restricted trade through a hideously thick layer of bureaucracy, produced by nonelected officials housed in Brussels, it also whittled away the sovereign right of each member nation to determine their political direction unfettered. This was never the intention of the EU in the first place. It was to promote free trade. Not dictate immigration policies that destroy economies and social neighbourhoods. Not add a new layer of taxation that impacts the poor. It most certainly not draft plans for a secret army that would police the entire union. Perhaps even force members to adhere to EU policy or prevent members from leaving the union down the road?
The right of a nation to decide its political course and the right of the individual to determine a future through employment are intertwined. Britain now can decide who it can trade with, has complete control over what current and future tax levels it can set and what product standards it can adhere to. A free market, and I mean a truly free market, not a economic union pretending to be the United States Of Europe, allows personal initiative through the seizing of ample opportunities. This translates into strong economic growth, healthy job creation, increased tax revenue and improved social programs.
It’s a no brainer, and Britain made the smart move. Jolly good show!
Thanks for reading!