‘We’re coming.’ That’s how you’re quoted in today’s Star: ‘We’re coming.’ For whom? This sounds like the grim reaper.
If you were ‘coming’ for the banks who have posted stunning third-quarter profits and for our province’s élites and corporations, who, along with their (and your) friends in the rest of Canada, have stashed away all of those tax cuts (to the tune of over a half trillion dollars) that you said would trickle down to the 99%, saying, ‘We don’t have any money for tax cuts and corporate subsidies and write-offs and wide-open loopholes,’ – well, I’d understand that.
If you were ‘coming’ to a recognition of the need for equitable wealth redistribution through progressive taxation, a movement towards Golden Era of Capitalism-level marginal tax rates, saying, ‘We don’t have any more money to fund poverty,’ because you’d just been shocked to read the Ontario Common Front’s report that places Canada’s richest province at the bottom of the list in terms of support for our most vulnerable neighbours, the worst in terms of funding for social services and programmes, including social housing, the lowest numbers of hospital beds per capital – and top of the heap in terms of number of zillionaires, university tuition fees, the speed at which our wealth gap is growing, enthusiasm for doing the tax-cutting bidding of our élites, and second in terms of income disparity and child poverty – well, I would be the first one to stand up and applaud, take to the streets with big signs saying, Yeh! to Ontario’s compassionate Poverty-Reducing, Justice-Seeking Province!
But no, you’re COMING for those who gave us the middle class, the weekend, minimum wage, workplace health and safety, who, these days are reminding all of us why their usefulness has not come to an end. Rather than supporting a strong labour sector – as a bulwark against a much more advantaged corporate sector – governments in Canada and elsewhere have turned a tri-partheid arrangement into a bi-partheid arrangement of Government-corporate/financial élites against the rest of us, protecting the right of the powerful to plunder the commons and requiring of the rest of us, compliance, obedience. There’s too much of that going around.
You’re COMING for the wrong thing from the wrong place, Mr McGuinty.
Where have you been? You reward those who put us here and punish those who are bearing the brunt of economic downturn. We DO have the money. We CAN make different choices. Don’t take Jim Flaherty’s route – asking, pleading, begging corporations to give that money to their shareholders : no; tax it back, all of it, back into the hands of those from whom it was taken in the first place. Give it to citizens and First Nations who need the goods provided collectively – health care, housing, day care, elder care, pharmacare, a living wage, healthy food and free (cost-free and corporate-free) schooling, top to bottom (brava/o aux étudiant/es du Québec!); transit within a context of strong infrastructure, clean water, green energy, beautiful, safe places in which to grow up and grow old – more than we need the goods of consumption, yet one more brand of whatever it is they are producing. The latter will happen, when the former is in place, matronised by an informed, healthy, income-/food-/shelter-secure, educated public who make choices, real choices with their and our best interests in mind.
If you’re ‘coming’, come for that vision of Ontario.
Lee A. McKenna