Dignity Denied
Unemployment in Canada

Publisher:  The Canadian News Synthesis, Canada
Year Published:  1977  
Pages:  4pp  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX305

This pamphlet examines current opinions about the causes and solutions proposed for unemployment which is at its highest recorded level in Canada.

Abstract:  This pamphlet examines current opinions about the causes and solutions proposed for unemployment which is at its highest recorded level in Canada. It shows that major Canadian newspapers present mainly popular explanations like workers being too choosy, unemployment insurance being too easy to get, high wages being paid for low productivity and immigrants taking away jobs. Each of these explanations is examined and its limitations revealed. It goes on to show that solutions proposed on the basis of such faulty assumptions remain indifferent to the state of unemployment. The recent government budget, for instance, is full of incentives for investments, while allocations to get job creation are minimal. The pamphlet argues that the root cause of unemployment is the private enterprise economy whose main motive is profit. It shows that, historically, it is customary for unemployment to be down when inflation is high.
This situation is shown to have changed because a few large controlling corporations can cut back production and lay off when goods are not selling, instead of lowering prices to compete. Other features particular to Canada which affect unemployment are examined. For instance, the high rate of foreign control gears production to small Canadian markets rather than to international exports so they won't compete with U.S. trade. In addition, the continued Canadian dependence on exporting raw materials means less money going into manufacturing and construction, and, therefore, fewer jobs are created. The basic solution to unemployment is through challenging the assumption that our present economic system is capable of generating full employment. It suggests a recognition of the fact that people and their basic needs are a priority over profit. A list of proposals to be acted on to alleviate unemployment are outlined.

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