I’m no economist but maybe that is the benefit of my plan. I am not enslaved by ideology or incomplete economic theory. I do have some incomplete education that I struggle to complete so I may participate in the economy as more than a mere consumer/labourer. The old economy is the problem, Capitalism like Communism is a terrible destructive system. To base our recovery on a system that encourages slavery, class divisions, wholesale destruction of resources, poverty, fascism, neo-feudalism and anti-democratic deregulation is to play this crisis again in a decade or two. We need to destroy all the old economic systems in order to have a viable, sustainable future as a species.
The free market is fair trade. Everyone should be able to use their talents to make a living without government, union or corporation dictating who can do what, when and where. Yes democratic regulations are needed to protect the public from all abuses that come from lack of training, fraud, greed, etc. None of the regulations should ‘protect’ a company or economic sector from competition if it is in the best interest of the public. Monopolies should be under democratic control with clear mandates that benefit all in society. Barriers between communities or countries reduce the fairness of trade and freedom of people. Only the subsidized and the unethical should be barred from international trade. The exception of course being the subsidized for altruistic reasons. People earning an honest wage for their honest work is essential for economic recovery. This means the cost of living for at least two people divided by thirty-five hours a week should be the governing factor in minimum wages.
With oil becoming harder to extract and the auto industry starting to petrify it is time to return to rail. Rail is the epitome of land transportation and we should have never let it be destroyed by market manipulation and corruption. Rail is mass transit with efficiency, using minimal resources for maximum effort. Our rail networks in Canada are primitive, serving very few communities for cargo only. Via is a good start to restoring passenger rail but it is not enough to replace the car and bus. If we built our rail networks back up including municipal rail and trams the demand for infrastructure and equipment will surpass the potential of the auto industry. If we national the essential track lines without nationalizing the companies using them we can develop a network using the profit from the track fees. If a company could find profit with new lines they wouldn’t be obligated to sell them to the National Track Authority unless the public good is threatened by the monopoly. The expensive projects of linking the far north, Newfoundland, and P.E.I. would be subsidized as national unity project.
Asymmetrical media is using the current and upcoming technology to personalize and localize media. The resource intense old mediums of print, radio and TV being pushed aside for the internet. The old media would still exist after structural changes to make it more flexible and internet compatible. The move to cheaper more accessible high speed internet as an infrastructure project would give more return to the economy than propping up foreign automakers who are to large and bureaucratic to succeed. To maintain the quality of journalism and to prevent a monopoly of information or spin the CRTC should be allowed to regulate the internet to insure access for Canadian content. Journalist associations should review blogs and news sites and give their opinion on objectivity, accuracy and relevance. Each community should encourage or create a web forum for news information or even gossip if it is identified as gossip not news. The internet can not and should not replace the community centre or town hall as a place to meet and debate the community issues. TV should by pass the cable and satellite providers and run commercial TV online, or pay per view commercial free. Not just individual episodes but the whole stream.
Local and global must be in unison in order for any recovery can work. Small local industries and businesses need the global market for their survival but also need their local market. One without the other is unworkable. The law should protect the small business from the excesses and greed of the transnational corporations who destroy free markets where ever they go. As customers we should look to our local customers first unless it is something the local can not provide efficiently and ethically.
Independence of energy begins at home and every household should seek a level of basic independence in energy production. Environmentally sustainable energy production is the best for the economy and the individual households. Reliance on electrical grids and oil distribution will keep the potential of the economy crippled and unmet.
Sovereignty and security can be used to help recover the economy without starting a war or annexing a week neighbour. A nation that can not or will not provide its own security and the equipment needed for that security is indefensible. Canada must build its own military and police equipment in order to guarantee its independence. A nation as fast and as wealthy as ours should not be relying on foreign made equipment for foreign needs. Starting with logistics and moving towards the resource intense combat equipment can give Canada the foundation to do more for itself and the world. Trains, support ships, airships and a 200 tonne carrying supersonic cargo plane would give an excellent foundation for Canada’s security and create jobs throughout the country. Partnering with our allies will give us a wider base for the brain work and resources and a broader economic recovery but not as a junior partner. The army having its own trains to move equipment through Canada the most efficient way will save them resources in fuel and truck parts that can be spent elsewhere. Providing airships for Arctic monitoring or frontier security as an alternative to expensive to operate aircraft, that can guide helicopters and fighters to where they are needed most will greatly increase or nations claim to our territory. A cargo version would provide lift capability and act as a flying crane.
Education is of great importance in this country even if few realize its effects or benefits. We have an education system well suited to the nineteenth century preparing people for the Fifty’s job market. Manufacturing jobs as we knew them are not coming back. We have plenty of shortages in careers that require tertiary education but we have a system that bars people from tertiary education on mere economic grounds. Every dollar we spend saving American auto companies may be lost to us and only provide short term benefit. Every dollar we spend on all three levels of education and preschool will be returned to Canada many times over. Providing trades, professional, academics and other highly skilled well educated people will protect our economy from further chaos and damage. Equality in education no matter location, economic or ethnic status is important to achieve to meet Canada’s potential as a nation. The current system is racist, classist and corrupted by corporatism to the point a major over haul will be required to fix it. Looking east to Europe and perhaps Japan will give us a new perspective and new ideas that looking south can not provide.
Return to nature isn’t some utopian denial of technology or luxury but using nature more effectively, embracing it and at times leaving it alone.To help stem unemployment and help Canada produce enough food for itself we take an idea from medieval farming. Strips of farms outside of town the right size for one family to farm by hand. Collective farming has proven repeatedly not to work so why I are we allowing corporations to experiment with it again? It failed under feudalism and communism, capitalism isn’t going to be any more successful as it will create scarcity to raise prices. In other areas environmentalism is the economic system that makes sense or cents for that matter. Wasteful, polluting industrial processes and business models is proof the business is badly managed and the executives should be sacked. The problem arises with our self preserving elite cadre of executives barring entry of fresh ideas and denying shareholders full control of their company.
Arts are important in bad economic times as they provide release and reduce stress induced by worry and want. They need to be protected from the destructive forces that seek to control them or limit them. To preserve arts is to maintain a social cohesion required to get Canada through the crisis. Art will generate revenue for Canada but we must invest in the asymmetrical media and more importantly the young and fresh artist who may in some cases be in the old body.
We can’t revert to left right mantras or tired old formulas of recovery. Capitalism and communism has failed us and hence why we are here in the crisis. The way out is through rethinking, reforming and recreating the successful things of the past that we stupidly abandoned and embracing the new technology and applications of technology that are available today.We must remain centred and avoid radicalism of any sort especially the conservative, corporate variety that is out to preserve their hegemony over society regardless of the costs.