Historical Background for the AGM on May 17, 2010

2010 May 04, by Chapter Council

As we head toward our panel discussion on “the poverty industry” at our AGM on May 17, we would do well to recall that the Council of Canadians was founded 25 years ago to counter the free trade, deep integration policies of the Reagan and Mulroney administrations.

The crushing poverty and homelessness that we have today are the direct result of the rise of globalization and its underlying economic philosophy of “neoliberal” “trickle down” wealth. The idea is that by the rich accumulating huge fortunes from exploitation of those who are now referred to as the “working poor”, smaller amounts of this money will eventually infuse all of society with a healthy glow. This fundamentally flawed foundation of “neo-conservatism”, which has been parodied as “tinkle down economics”, simply results in an acceleration of what has always been true in capitalist economies: the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.

This situation has now become so entrenched that even more progressive governments such as the Obama administration in the U.S. cannot escape its grasp, even though Obama campaigned on the promise of a “renegotiation” of NAFTA.

The Council of Canadians will not rest until the wrongs of free trade and its resulting increase in poverty have been righted.

Robert Cory