Monday, January 3, 2011

a bleak future for New Brunswick

The Moncton Times edition for Jan. 3 was blessedly short, with most of it obviously prepared as fillers way in advance. That may explain the top story on this third day of the new year, "Metro rings in the new year".
Even the lead editorial was pretty bland stuff. Then....

Then there came a short editorial, "Save Even More! ". This one went beyond the usual sophomoric vitriol of the editorial writer. It almost certainly set the tone for the NB economy for the next few years - as decided by the Alward government in it's "coalition" with big business.

New Brunswick has to reduce its debt. The big business members of the coalition have made it clear this must not be done at any cost to big business. The poor are going to have to bear the burden of reducing the debt (including the additions to the debt which are mainly be benefit the wealthy - such as the new hockey arena, the events centre, the CFL team....

The issue addressed by the editorial concerns guidelines given to government agencies for the coming year. The Liquor Board, for example, has been told to cut two percent of costs in the coming year. This caused the editorial writer to launch into the sort of rant usually reserved for teachers who think their schools should normally be repaired well in advance of ceilings falling during the mandatory chorus of O Canada. Why was the editor foaming at the mouth?

It was because the liquor board agreed to cut two percent of costs in the coming year. That's right. The editor chewed the board out for doing what the government told it to do. They were cutting working  hours (and, so, cutting salaries), and would have the system in place within three months.

What? Why were they only cutting two percent? Why couldn't they cut more? Much more? Why wait three months? And why don't they save still more by going past cutting salaries? Why don't they fire of some staff, too?

Watch for a lot of that tone in the coming year. We're going to nail the poor while running up even bigger debts to help the rich. We're going to cut services, cut education, cut jobs, raise taxes. But all of it in ways that affect only the poor and the middle class. Fire people, cut wages...that certainly is the way to create prosperity - but not for very many of us.

What a gutless newspaper! Can you imagine that paper - or any other paper in New Brunswick - suggesting maybe corporations and the rich are not paying as much as they should? Can you see now what the "coalition" of big business and government is all about?

Get ready for the bargain sales/giveaways of crown lands and provincial parks and resources. Get ready to hear the debt is all your fault. Get ready to be told that you have to pay for it. Get ready for a Moncton Times even more contemptible than it has always been.

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