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The Canadian Media: A Bunch of Yellow Bellies!

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In just a few short years, the media has become our #1 enemy;

not that it’s that easy to tell since their pages are filled with information that appears to be relevant but mostly entertains. In short, they no longer work for you and I; they no longer give us the whole picture. Instead they work directly for the Corporations, and so spin news stories into right-wing doublespeak. Against us. (Two exceptions: a group of reporters at the Toronto Star and CBC Radio – but not CBC TV)

These days, the media is relentlessly pounding into our brains the notion that tax breaks to corporations must be protected, and corporate assets and revenues must keep growing in order to create jobs - that somehow some of this wealth will trickle down. But none of it has trickled down to Canada’s million and a half unemployed.

But who pays for the billions in corporate tax breaks? We do. We pay for it from our taxes, from our flagging wages, our dying pensions, our butchered benefits, and no job security. And that is the story the media actively and deliberately buries, hides, avoids, pretends doesn't exist.

The media is selectively telling us stories. Consider this...

Hamilton. A city that once boomed with employment, mostly in the form of large manufacturing plants. Thousands of workers (25,000 to be exact) working at jobs paid well enough to support a family, and a pension hearty enough to retire on.

hamiltonjobsThen one by one the plants closed and headed for areas with cheaper labour and virtually no labour laws, leaving workers to fight for a last pay cheque and arguing vainly for benefits. Today Hamilton is a desolate town, its industrial area mostly abandoned with a whole swath of unemployed, unhappy and unhealthy people (click here for more details). The media spin on this tragedy?  “The union demanded too high a wage, forcing the industry to find cheap labour elsewhere!”, and “those pensions just cost too much. They are the reason factories needed to close shop in Canada!” This is the story the media is shoving at us and wants us to believe.

The real story: N.A.F.T.A. – a regulation that callously allows companies to close up at any time leaving workers penniless. No pensions or benefits. In short, trade agreements like NAFTA give corporations the legal right to operate without taking any responsibility for their actions.

On top of this, corporations were given massive tax breaks - to the tune of $60 billion in the last 7 years of Harper’s time as PM alone! That’s $8.5 billion a year OF OUR TAX DOLLARS and INTO THEIR LAPS.

And all the while, from coast to coast, the media sat by and rarely reported on this, printing articles instead saying that it was normal to fund corporations...even if it did come out of our wages, benefits, pensions, and social services. Even if this did force hospital closures and pushed hundreds of thousands more into poverty. This is cruelty in its truest sense; cruelty levied on working families by corporations and politicians and deliberately not covered by the media.

"Consider that if these large corporations paid even half of what individuals do in taxes, we would not only have stronger healthcare..."

Today the media is busy spreading more propaganda, in this case Jim Flaherty’s view that the government is ‘too weak to support the Canadian Pension Plan’. Indeed, we just don't have the money, says Flaherty. Of course we don't have the money, since you've given billions away to corporations.

But consider that if these large corporations paid even half of what individuals do in taxes, we would not only have stronger healthcare, welfare, and social services, we would all be comfortable in the knowledge that we could one day retire...and still afford to eat. But the media knows this is a dicey comparison to make, so they shut right up, and tell the story the corporations want them to tell. Reporters have become more than yellow bellies. They have become accomplices to the politicians and the corporations they cater to.

Consider: Does it make any rational sense that our taxes, our health care, our many social services, our environment and our jobs should be sacrificed to pay corporations to become richer? They are already sitting on trillions of dollars! And they’re not doing anything with it!

Bottom Line: Surely, the least we can expect from the media in Canada is that it report on this cruel paradox. That it tell our side of the story.

 

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