Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Empty Words

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Empty Words

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Empty words


An editorial from the Prince George Citizen, published July 1:

US. President Barack Obama stopped by Canada's House of Commons on Wednesday to offer a patronizing lecture on globalization and the inevitability of progress.

Free trade is the way of the present and the future, he said, even as his aides were informing the Prime Minister's Office that getting a new softwood lumber deal done in 100 days won't happen, nor will it occur within the life of the Obama presidency.

The global marketplace benefits all nations, he said, even as the results of the Brexit vote show how fragile, unstable and unsustainable these markets are. The result of one vote in one country is enough to wipe out hundreds of billions of wealth around the world and foster economic uncertainty and paranoia.

Obama would have everyone forget the beginning of his presidency eight years ago, when the collapse of a single sector of the U.S. economy, the housing market, and the demise of just one Wall Street investment bank was enough to bring the world economy to its knees for years.

Globalization is a house of cards built on a hill of sand on the shore of a stormy ocean but the global ruling elite of political and economic leaders continue to sing the praises of their rickety construct while ignoring both its painful side effects and its risk of collapse.

The majority of the world's masses have not benefited from open markets and free trade, unless the definition of benefit is creating a small ultra-rich global class holding an increasing amount of the world's wealth and forcing billions of people in developing countries to abandon their fields and rural lives for mega-city shantytowns. In Europe and North America, meanwhile, the middle class has been gutted, their jobs shipped to the factories built around those shantytowns in the developing world.

Obama and Trudeau, Bush and Harper, would all agree this is progress. The mainstream political parties debate where the deck chairs on the ship should be but are in full agreement of the boat's direction. These same politicians then express surprise as radicals surface on both sides of the political spectrum - the Trumps and the Sanders - to question these sacred beliefs and then dismay at the unexpected popularity of these malcontents. …

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