A caring economy: Do you really care?


A caring economy: Do you really care?
A caring economy: Do you really care?

How have we come to accept the notion that the economy does not “need” the services of so many of our unemployed, under-employed and “unemployable” young people?
Do we really agree that the exclusion of so many of our young people from the economy in today’s world is an acceptable form of “collateral damage”?
Do we even realize that large segments of our adult population, including persons born in Canada and immigrants, are also marginalized in the same way in today’s economy?
In summary, how have we come to accept the idea that we cannot exert any meaningful influence on the basic structures and operational principles of the economy?
The fact is that most of us have become complicit and complacent in the face of the fallacies used to justify painful realities. “That is the way it is” has been repeated to us trillions of times every year. The words, actions and attitudes that flow into our minds every day carry those misconceived ideas in the form of basic “messages”, messages which are only challenged by a small number of individuals and organizations.
These are some of the basic messages of the system that governs every facet of our lives. And no governing system will encourage people to challenge the foundation on which it rests.
It is my view that we can challenge the thinking that governs our society and that it is in our interest to do so from time to time. When we believe the system is not working for the benefit of our citizens and residents, our own concept of self-interest kicks in and pushes us to change the thinking and processes of our society.
Resorting to anarchy or gratuitous violence is generally ineffective and self-defeating.
One such fundamental change that we require, in the context of the four questions I asked at the beginning of this commentary, is the nurturing of a caring economy. A caring economy is only possible and sustainable when a caring society exercises the political will to tame the excesses of the “free” market.
In fact, in more ways than one, the market is never really free. What appears as a free market is really a production and consumption system in which “owners” of some of the productive resources have a bigger say than other owners / partners in what is produced, how it is produced and how profits are allocated and shared.
For that allocation and sharing to be fair and equitable, the society’s governance structures have a strategic role to play. These governance structures include the three levels of government, the laws, the taxation system, all the various regulatory systems, etc.
Their role is to balance out the inequalities between the three parties in the productive process: the owners of the money, the land and buildings, the equipment and the technology; the owners of the labor and skills that put together all the inputs in the productive process; and the taxpaying public whose monies and shared resources fund the infrastructure, tax incentives, subsidies and other support systems that make the production process efficient and competitive.
Given the reality of that tri-partite partnership, a caring economy is not a matter of generosity. It is about providing for the equitable rights of all citizens and residents because we are all, directly and indirectly, shareholders and contributors in our society’s economy.
A caring economy is, therefore, an essential feature of our long-term vision for a caring society. It is one of the main reasons for our decision to eliminate a federal government that put the interests of the economy ahead of the interests of the people for more than nine years.
If you really care about wanting a sustainably caring economy, it is up to you to pay attention to, get involved in and insist on those aspects of the policies and programs of the incoming government that include the active participation of all segments of Canada’s labor market in our economy.
You should never accept the idea that, as members of the public, you cannot exert any meaningful influence on the basic structures and operational principles of the economy.