Garfield Marks, in an eloquent letter (Federal spending priorities are all wrong, Red Deer Advocate, Feb. 6), highlights some of the many cuts being made by the federal Conservative government in an attempt to balance the budget.
Marks points out that the money being wasted on advertising and such by the Conservatives could be better spent. Although to a point this is correct, it is insufficient to provide an answer.
In cutting incomes and social services, the Conservatives are not simply playing politics, their actions are dictated by a need to secure the present economic system.
Marks says, “Governance needs to remain separate and vastly more important than politics.”
But the state is not something separate, something above society.
The reality is that we live in a class society, the majority made up of workers who produce the wealth, a diminishing middle class that is sinking into the working class, and a small percentage that constitutes the wealthy.
This Conservative government is simply trying to run the system in a manner that maintains the status quo and a Liberal government would do more or less the same things.
Indeed, an NDP government that is not prepared to break from the present economic system would follow the same path as illustrated by past Labour governments in the U.K.
The accumulation of debt is the result of overproduction or, if you prefer, overcapacity in the system. What this means is that more things are being produced than can be sold at a profit. Working people cannot afford to buy commodities without resorting to credit and the growth of credit led to the banking crash in 2007-2008.
Despite denials, the government increased state debt by bailing out the banks. The federal government gave $125 billion to Canadian banks via the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.
The Canadian economy is functioning with the use of credit. It is worth repeating the fact that for every $1 received in wages, Canadians are spending $1.65.
Gone are the days when governments behaved in a gentlemanly manner toward each other, changing from Conservative to Liberal and back again. The Conservatives are under severe pressure and will use every means possible to balance the budget short, of increasing tax for those at the top.
However, because the cuts are having such a huge impact on the lives of ordinary working people, their illusions in politicians are disappearing like a desert mirage.
There is not one shred of doubt that the present system is in unprecedented crises. One has only to look south, where the economy of our U.S. neighbour is on the life support, printing money from a high $85 billion but still running at $65 billion per month.
Is anyone seriously suggesting that Canada is not subject to the same market forces that precipitate crises?
We are heading toward a stormy period in which political parties will be tested by the electorate and discarded if they fail to raise or at least maintain living standards. The NDP will at some stage form a government and it will have to turn its face to the past or to a socialist future.
Keith Norman Wyatt