This past winter, in spite of Canada's large expenditures on rearmament, which create employment, over 500 thousand were 'out of work' in this country.
During the 1930's millions wallowed in unemployment and poverty, under 'Conservative' governments, under 'Liberal' administrations, and under socialist (‘Labour') regimes. The party label meant little. The miserable conditions remained unchanged. And it was not until we began preparing for war and plunging into rearmament that employment opened up and 'prosperity' returned.
What a commentary on society that we must depend upon preparations for war and destruction in order to enjoy the material blessings and abundance put here by the Creator!
What a judgment on the political parties and policies which failed to rectify this absurd situation!
Behind the GUARANTEED ANNUAL WAGE demanded by Labour today, is what? What causes the worker's desire for a guaranteed annual wage? Behind it is an apprehension — a fear of being'laid off'and losing his income or purchasing power.
It is not guaranteed employment, but guaranteed INCOME, that the worker seeks.
A moment's thought reveals that the only legitimate reason for large numbers to be unemployed is because industry, our modern power-driven productive machine, no longer requires their services in the chores of production. But if all desired production can be produced without calling upon our full labour force, is that part of it displaced by technology to be deprived of income and purchasing power? Is the man displaced by the machine to be denied the purchasing power to buy back and consume the production of the machine? Is the machine, as it increases production, to throw those displaced into misery and insecurity? Is mounting production to mean lower, instead of higher, living standards for many?
These are the questions the worker asks. They must be answered.
No one would deny that in Canada today we have the resources, machines and techniques to produce more than an abundant life for everyone. It is physically possible. Then surely Labour would be justified in asking for a guaranteed minimum annual INCOME or purchasing power for every individual and family — for even those whose services at the time might not be required in the chores of production.
The problem is not a production problem; it is a money problem. A shoe factory produces shoes, not dollars. General Motors manufactures cars, not money. The producer can only hire and pay for help so long as he can sell his product. To demand that he guarantee annual wages, when he has no guarantee of an annual market, is absurd. Such a demand, within the framework of our present financial system, could well bankrupt thousands of businesses and depress rather than improve living standards....
Money is manufactured by the banking system. Governments can, if they will, pursue a financial policy which will equate consumption with production and make financially possible what is physically possible. Social Credit financial proposals would accomplish just this.
Labour is justified IN THIS COUNTRY and IN THIS AGE in demanding a guaranteed minimum annual PURCHASING POWER. But preceding its realization must be reform in the financial system. Let Labour state its just demands — keeping in mind that first things come first.