Green Gold: The Forest Industry in British Columbia

By Patricia Marchak | Go to book overview

1
A Staples Economy

Conventional wisdom about economic development leads to the expectation that a country which begins with a rich resource base and which exports the resources will eventually create sufficient wealth for the establishment of secondary industry.

In theory, the profits from the resource industries would be first invested in an infrastructure of transportation, communication, and community facilities. These would provide the employment base for increases in population. As the surplus value from the original resource industries accumulates, investments could be made in the machinery for the production of the resource and then for the machinery to produce new manufactured goods out of the resource. Each of these developments would provide more employment, and when the population reached a sufficient density, the economy would become more diverse as it begins to provide consumer goods as well as machinery. Eventually, the country would be transformed into an industrial economy.

This is the theory of incremental growth. It is the conventional wisdom subscribed to by most of Canada’s governments and industries for the past century. The British Columbia governments have always believed it, and have hastened to build the necessary infrastructure of roads, railways, and company towns to facilitate the industrial development that never occurred. They have given away resource harvesting rights to large companies in the completely unfounded faith that sooner or later the give-aways would result in a mature industrial economy.

The argument of this book is that not only has no such development occurred in the past, but that no further development will occur in the future unless positive government action and public investments are directed toward

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Green Gold: The Forest Industry in British Columbia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Tables ix
  • Preface xv
  • Acknowledgments xix
  • Part One- Capital xxi
  • 1- A Staples Economy 1
  • 2- History of a Resource Industry 29
  • 3- "Partners with Industry" 55
  • 4- The Structure of the Industry 82
  • Part Two- Labour 113
  • 5- Class and Human Capital 115
  • 6- Markets, Technology, and Employment 156
  • 7- Patterns of Employment and Unemployment 181
  • 8- Employment Conditions for Women in Resource Towns 213
  • 9- Job Control, Security, and Satisfaction 249
  • 10- Job Control and Ideology 269
  • Part Three- Communities 301
  • 11- The Instant Town 303
  • 12- At the End of the Forest 323
  • 13- Policies for Change 348
  • Appendix A- Methodology and Samples 381
  • Appendix B- Tables Accompanying Chapter 9- Job Control, Security, and Satisfaction 389
  • Appendix C- Tables Accompanying Chapter 10- Ideology 399
  • Bibliography 416
  • Index 437
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