By Alan Sears and James Cairns
Monday, 25 April 2011
The 2011 federal election in Canada is taking place at a crucial moment. A massive wave of austerity is heading this way, after sweeping across Europe, the United States and much of the Global South. You just need to look at the attacks on pensions in France, the tripling of tuition fees in Britain, the devastation of public services in California or the elimination of collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin and a number of other states to see the kinds of attacks that are on the way.
The austerity agenda is basically neoliberalism hyped on speed, though it’s being presented as the necessary and inevitable response to the economic turbulence following the financial meltdown of 2008. The mantra of neoliberalism, which has been the core of the pro-capitalist policy agenda since the mid-1970s, is that the resources of the state must be focused on supporting the market system and corporate profitability, pushing people into the market to meet all their wants and needs.
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