The number one objective of corporations is to make money, and today their number one method of doing so is to eliminate jobs.
By Don McLean
Published November 26, 2010
City councillors (and many others) believe that we have to attract new corporations to solve Hamilton's unemployment problem. They point to closed factories and 60,000 local residents who work in the GTA.
Not surprisingly, the attracting jobs mantra is also the main justification given for schemes like the aerotropolis, expressways, subsidies to land developers, and sweet deals for new companies to the city.
But the elephant in the room is ignored. The number one objective of corporations is to make money, and today their number one method of doing so is to eliminate jobs. It stares us in the face everywhere.
That's why you can't talk to a living person when you call a corporation, or if you can, they turn out to be located in a country where wages are an order of magnitude lower than Canada's minimums.
That's why bank employees have been replaced by ATMs. That's why store cashiers are now being replaced by "check yourself out" schemes like those at Home Depot and Fortinos.
That's why you're now being asked to check out your own books at city libraries and "pay at the pump" when you buy gas.
I remember - I'm that old - when there were two employees for each gas pump. One put the gas in the car for you, and the other washed your windshield and checked your oil and tires.
I also remember when Stelco had over 12,000 workers instead of the 900 that the new corporate owner just locked out.
Where jobs can't immediately be eliminated, corporate owners ship them to a lower wage country, and use (temporarily) cheap oil to send the products back to us.
Along with employees, the environment usually takes a beating in this "corporations bring jobs" myth. Polluting the air by transporting stuff across oceans and continents is just "good business".
Tearing apart Alberta to get at the tar sands is "driving our economy" - and pushing the Canadian dollar so high that more manufacturers are shutting down or "reducing their workforce".
Replacing family farms with chemically-dependent industrial agriculture is "profitable" - for a tiny handful of corporate winners. The rest of us get the lousy nutrition and the health impacts.
Corporations don't provide jobs - they actively and vigorously do everything they can to get rid of jobs. CEOs get big bonuses for this.
This is called "progress" but appears to be closely linked to a rapidly degrading environment, higher stress levels, growing income inequality, economic chaos, and deteriorating quality of life.
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