Stephen Harper’s Tough On Crime Policy
Corporations make their huge profits by driving down wages, which they do in four ways: 1) using politicians to crush labour (think Mike Harris, Stephen Harper and now Rob Ford in Toronto), 2) get government to introduce laws to permit corporations to roam the world in search of cheaper labour (free trade agreement), 3) robotisation (as in the auto industry), and 4) through immigration (think immigrant farm works).
Having a floating army of laid off or poorly paid workers certainly drives down wages and raises profits, but it also creates a problem for corporations since they need to sell their products to keep their profits up. The solution: the rise of the credit card industry and lines of credit. The result for us: high debt rates. Average family debt in Canada today: $100,000. Total family debt for Canada: $1.4 trillion. The winners: Corporations - every time.
But the effects of unemployment are not just economic. The rates for divorce, homelessness, mental and physical illness always rise; homes are foreclosed upon or abandoned and neighbourhoods deteriorate as a result. Frequently, crime rates also rise as people are unable to meet their needs through work. In the U.S. this was followed in 2000 by the politics of criminalization that saw 2 million people put behind bars.
Viewed from this side of the border, it’s easy to see this as an absolute disgrace. But when it’s happening all around us we somehow seem blind to it. Or accept it as inevitable.
With Stephen Harper’s “Get tough on crime!” policy, Canada has come full circle. We’re emulating the U.S. - closing mental health units then putting the mentally ill behind bars when they can’t cope. Instead of opening up more hospital beds he opens up more jails. On our money.
The media has done such a great job of confusing us on this that Stephen Harper, after all the injustices he has committed against the people, still leads in the polls. It boggles the mind that we’re letting him get away with this.