Wednesday, November 05, 2014

The Bank of Canada Governor and the Young Canadian Slaves

About half the young Canadians I know are either unemployed or have lousy low paying jobs.

Jobs with no guaranteed hours, no job security, no benefits, no nothing.

They are exploited like slaves in their own country, and are struggling to survive.

So you can imagine how I feel about Stephen Poloz's idiot idea. 

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz has sparked controversy by suggesting young people ought to consider unpaid work as a way to gain job experience.

“When I bump into youths, they ask me, you know, ‘What am I supposed to do in a situation?’ I say, look, having something unpaid on your CV is very worth it because that’s the one thing you can do to counteract this scarring effect. Get some real-life experience even though you’re discouraged, even if it’s for free,” Mr. Poloz told reporters Monday in Ottawa.

I've never heard anything so absurd or so callous. It could only come from a guy who makes about $500,000 a year. And it couldn't symbolize better what this country has become.

An aging, selfish, greedy, grasping country that doesn't give a damn about its young.

For what part of this stark picture doesn't Poloz understand? 

Does he not understand that if you provide our greedy business class with a supply of slaves they will come to depend on them, like they did with foreign workers.

And exploit young Canadians even more than they are doing already. 

Unpaid internships are on the rise in Canada, with some organizations estimating there's as many as 300,000 people currently working for free at some of the country's biggest, and wealthiest, corporations.

Chewing them up, spitting them out, replacing them with fresh meat, using their desperation to keep them cowed.

"To go against your employer, you're fearing being blacklisted. You want the experience and you want the reference and feel you have no other choice but to keep quiet."

And if Poloz does understand that, why doesn't he save his sanctimonious advice for those corporate greedsters like Scotiabank? 

Who would throw a thousand Canadians into the street after making a record $6.7 billion profit last year. And like the rest of our useless business class would rather sit on those profits, and their juicy tax breaks, than create jobs in a country that desperately needs them.

But I don't blame Poloz, he is only the ring master in the corrupt capitalist circus. 

I blame Stephen Harper and his foul Con regime who have waged war against young Canadians from the moment they came to power. 

A government bent on lowering the living standard of Canada’s next generation couldn’t do a much better job than Stephen Harper and his colleagues have done.The Prime Minister and his high-octane employment minister, Jason Kenney , have thrown one barrier after the next in front of young job seekers.

They have used foreign workers to steal their jobs, They have made it almost impossible for them to collect E.I. benefits. They have encouraged the provinces to jack up education fees to bury them even further in debt.

They have changed the laws to criminalize them for "crimes" like smoking marijuana, so they can throw even more of them in jail...

While sadly far too many older Canadians either shrug their shoulders or cheer on the Cons. Even though they are killing the future of this country. 

I'm not one of the desperate young. I have a steady income, I don't have to live in my parent's basement, or share a one-bedroom apartment with three or four others. Or worry about whether or not I'll get a shift tomorrow, or how I'm going to pay my bills, and still have enough money for food. I still have my dreams, as humble as they may be.

But I feel their pain and their hopelessness, and their rising anger. And what I tell them is this:

Don't get angry, get even. Get involved, organize, join a union or a progressive party and force them to address your interests, instead of just giving them lip service.

And above all vote to defeat the Harper Cons in the next election. For as long as they are in power their war on you will continue. And they will grind you down and suck the marrow out of your bones.

Believe in yourselves, don't let them crush your spirits and torch your future. I know you can do it, and I will help you. We will help you.

The day of reckoning is coming.

The slaves will revolt.

And the tyrant will be toppled...

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  1. While I am one of the "older Canadians" that you mention, I assure you that I Don't shrug my shoulders or cheer on the Cons!

    I'm asking young strangers if they vote......and no matter what they say(yes or no)........I meet them head on and ask whether they have any idea what is going on in our COUNTRY! Must admit....most give me blank looks , but I persevere.

    I have a friend who is a little older than me and she says she NEVER VOTES"! Needless to say, I'm trying my best to change her luck yet......maybe next time?????????????

    I don't wish to live in CHINADA!!!!!

    1. hi Kathleen....well of course I'm not saying that all seniors support the Cons, just that far too many do, and are their most faithful supporters. But good for you for asking the young if they plan to vote. I do all the time and i don't take no for an answer. ;) Because it really is quite simple: if we get a good turnout we kill the Cons, if we don't we could still lose...

  2. Anonymous8:23 AM

    Once again you take a perfectly valid, and very important issue, but end up drawing a completely lunatic conclusion. The evidence that your conclusion is false is very simple: our demographic shift began well before Harper's ascendency. Oh wait! I forgot, to the progressive mind, he's a Time Lord...

    But then again, perhaps there's room for correction concerning your disposition.

    You should be able to understand, Simon, that our entire financial system is a large, government mandated ponzi-scheme. The thing is, it will work, and hold together so long as an ever-increasingly numerous cohort of young join the economy, pay into the system, and perpetuate the next generation.

    Leaving aside the progressive pipe-dream of endless growth for a moment...

    What happens when young people are either unemployed, or under-employed, which is what is happening now? But perhaps more importantly than that, how is this demographic shift possible, and how is it enabled?

    This demographic shift has been fueled largely by progressive policies. Perhaps it's first real red-letter day could be traced to the seventh Lambeth Conference. Of course, the situation is far more complicated than that, but one can start with that particular thread, and follow it through.

    And this is where your conclusion becomes sheer lunacy. Harper is making fumbling attempts to stem the tide of this particular issue. Yes, they are mixed, and that is valid criticism.

    However, it is you and your progressive brethren who lamented and rendered your garments when Harper recently announced a significant effort to assist those who sorely need assistance in what is likely to be a failed attempt to kick-start the grand socialized ponzi scheme.

    What you know of Canada is on life support - you just haven't realized how dire the situation is yet, you blame it on Harper because that is the simple answer, where reality is much more nuanced. While Harper's attempts have met with mixed results, the keen observer would in fact detect that at their heart, the goal is to resuscitate and heal the patient. The alternative is not as you'd have us believe to do likewise, but to dose the patient with a lethal injection.

    Sadly, I fear that Canada is already too far gone, and Harper's attempts will prove too little, too late, especially as you're likely to get exactly what you desire. When you do realize just what will happen in that eventuality, well...

    And you wonder why I appear to be so narrow-minded sometimes...

    Oh, but I forgot. It's all just greed, and stupid conservative talking points. Go back to sleep Simon. It's safer where you make your own reality, isn't it?

    1. hi anon...I focus on getting rid of harper because he's the leader of the cult, and nothing will change until he has departed. But of course I don't consider that the magic solution to the problems we face, just the first step. But the numbers speak for themselves, young Canadians have been either screwed or ignored by his government, and in the end they will determine both his future and the future of the world....

    2. Anonymous9:12 PM

      You're wrong - young Canadians - at least this generation of young Canadians - have been screwed by successive governments ever since at least Trudeau, perhaps even before that. [i]Some[/i] of Harper's actions have contributed to that, and some have tried to mitigate it; it's a real mixed back with Harper.

      Unfortunately, however, I think it's probably too late - Harper's efforts can't stem the tide now. For instance, as you rightly point out, the Temporary Foreign Worker program has ended very badly for many. What good Harper tries to do is not going to be enough. Even if Harper had Justin Trudeau's charisma he couldn't get Canadians to do what needs to be done to reverse course. Even Trudeau himself, even if he understood the problem and knew exactly how to fix it, getting the country to co-operate just isn't possible.

      And sadly, young Canadians are too far gone to do what needs to be done. Now that I think it through... We're truly finished. When it will end, I don't know, but it will. And when that comes, whether the government wears blue, red, or orange, it will be the least of your worries.

  3. Anonymous1:03 PM

    I am relating my story anonymous because of certain implications I might face, where I to out myself. I am 35. No longer a 'youth'. I did what I was told. I went to high-school, and then off to College. The whole time, taking on 'volunteer' positions at school and in the community. I joined student groups, became involved in student activities, etc. Outside of school, I volunteer with the not-for-profit sector and organizations that work with kids with disabilities. I graduated from College in 2007. I graduated with a scholarship and I used that to study at University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. I found myself unemployed. At worst, I was told by potential employers at places like Rona's and Starbuck's that I was over-qualified. Meanwhile the 'professional' sector including those organization for which I volunteered, told me that I wasn't qualified enough to be employed because I didn't have a University diploma. Through this time I am living at my parent's home. Where because money was already stretched thin, added to the stress of my not having a job, things escalated till they became violent. Yes. Sometimes, as a young person you become trapped in a home that is not supportive and at worse violent. Where your dad is throwing punches.

    I decided to go to University. That was the problem in the end, no? So I moved out of Ontario to Quebec, where the tuition is cheaper. And where I could have the chance to learn another language, to better my situation and make me a more apt candidate for a job, no? That was 5 years ago.

    Again, I did the same. I not only did University but once more became involved in extra-curricular activities, I also became involved in student politics. I got my University diploma. And still no job. I have nothing. I am thankful that I live in a neighbourhood where my rent is cheap. And that's because I moved in at the right time.

    So. I am a College and University graduate. I speak three languages. I have a scholarship under my belt. I also have so much volunteer in my resume it would make Poloz dizzy. And where am I at?

    I am on welfare. To subsidize whatever else lacks from welfare, I work under the table at $8/hr at a sex-club. Which also involves pulling the occasional trick. That, is my reality. That is my life. I am 35. I am getting old. Men with money tend to like their purchases on the young side. I see no way out of my predicament. Welfare covers my rent and the metropass to get me to the job that puts food on the table. And at this, that job only gives me 2 days of work. If I am lucky.

    So no Poloz, you fucking piece of shit, volunteering leads nowhere. It is a way, for people to use workers like chumps. They don't have to pay taxes, they can evade. And what happens? You create a black market culture. Where everyone lives to makes ends meet and NO ONE contributes anything. Then the middle class bitches that welfare leeches like me do nothing but defraud the system and keep it bankrupted. But here's an idea for the Poloz and his ilk, GIVE ME A FUCKING JOB. GIVE ME A FUCKING JOB SO I CAN CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIETY.

    The most laughable thing about these laissez-faire capitalists that rail against the imagined threat of communism is that, they actually don't want ANYONE but THEMSELVES to be part of the capitalist system. I wish young people would uprise. I remember being part of the student protests in Montreal, I thought there'd be real change. Rather we are stuck with Couillard's austerity bullshit.

    The sad part is that most Canadians have gotten used to Harper. I for one will be voting for the communist party next election. Because the NDP hasn't done much of anything. And voting in Liberals, you might as well re-elect conservatives again. So who do I give my vote to? The communists or the separatists. Or, I could opt out of democracy. In the end, it seems we don't even have that in this country anymore.

    1. Anonymous3:21 PM

      Just to add, this including the $40,000 in student debt I have accumulated.

    2. hi anon...I'm sorry to hear about your situation, but thank you for sharing your story with us. I share your outrage at Poloz's insane remarks, when so many are suffering even those who worked hard like you did to educate themselves. As I said I too blame the capitalist system for being unable to meet the needs of its citizens. And I too remember the student protests in Quebec as one of the most inspiring moments of my life, as was the YES movement in Scotland. Don't worry some kind of revolution is coming, things cannot continue as they are now. So keep up your spirits, your best years are still ahead of you, don't let the bastards get you down...

  4. Let them eat cake, that they pay for themselves of course.

    1. hi Steve....yes Poloz's comments do sound like they could have come from Marie Antoinette. And Poloz should remember what happened to her... ;)

  5. e.a.f.3:30 PM

    Actually the bank of Canada's c.e.o's comments are very timely and consistent with the mother land of conservatism, these days, merry old England.

    England has a new form of SLAVERY. Slavery is work for which there is no pay, and you don't get to make a choice about it. Yesterday's Guardian newspaper, on line, in England, ran an article about people being forced to work for specific '"charities" for free. If they refuse, they don't collect an English form of welfare. One of the complaints was that if people are working "for free/in slavery" then the organization won't hire staff.

    So what this bank of Canada ceo is doing is simply suggesting SLAVERY FOR CANADIANS. Some American states used to have programs where people were forced to work for low wages with companies, which signed agreements with the states. It forced workers to be bused, in some cases a couple of hours to a work site, work 8 hrs and then be bused back to a base. The jobs paid min. wage only. It did not have any regard for whether the person had young children, children who needed care, etc. There might be some documentaries around which covered the situation, because some of the companies who had "contracts" with some of the states, were owned by high profile Americans, who refused to discuss it.

    This work for free/slavery is very much in keeping with American internships for young workers. The problem is though, they rarely get hired, get abused, but hey, the organization gets to have SLAVES.

    I'd suggest the bank of Canada ceo is sending up the trial balloon for the harpercons, to see if they can institute work for free programs. Over the past 30 yrs, we have seen enough programs where the government would subsidize a "new" worker with an employer so they could gain some sort of training. The problem was, when the subsidy ended, the worker 9 times out of 10 got fired. No full time job, no improved wages, etc. This only provided a form of welfare for employers. People, not so much.

    1. hi e.a.f...yes, I wish more Canadians would pay attention to what is happening in Britain, where the Cameron Cons have been out of control for years, and are dismantling the social safety net, privatizing medicare, and causing mass misery. The internship system is totally useless, and what we need here is for the government to force companies to create apprentice systems like they do in countries like Germany.
      I also hope that people saw that video on sexual exploitation of interns, because that too is a real problem.I expected better from Poloz, and i must say I'm very disappointed...