On September 2nd seventy-five years ago WWII officially came to an end.
In recent months we have thrown a lot of words and phrases comparing challenges to the circumstances we are currently in. When we look back and truly compare human progress we don’t seem to understand, things haven’t changed much. Society is still failing to see the true manipulation of our reasoning. We have not changed for the good of change ……we have changed for reasons of political expediency.
Take the Great Depression for example. Twenty-five percent of the workforce cued up in bread lines, factories closed and to get assistance you had to prove you were starving. There was one test where you had to show your ribs could be seen under a thin layer of skin.
Small business and some farms went broke. It was said there was no money.
Think for a moment If twenty-five percent were unemployed, it meant seventy-five percent of the upper financial food chain were not without means. So if everyone was in it together where did the money go? We had seventy-five percent still with disposable income and others starving.
That is not in-it-together now is it? It amazes me how adept we are at using words to distort a picture in time.
For ten years the depression dragged on as people became more desperate. There was a solution though it wasn’t there?
A war, a world war. Suddenly there was money everywhere.
Where did all that money suddenly come from and who derived the most benefit from conflict? The answer is simple. The same people who were not starving, and still acquiring wealth. Once war was declared there were jobs, factories working twenty-four seven and they called it the war effort.
Very little is ever said about how the western powers watched as their former enemy built another war machine. When the shooting started who paid the highest price? Not the seventy-five percent but the twenty-five who bore the brunt of starvation and lost opportunity. The nations young men and the down and out were of course the cannon fodder of war.
When it was over the living sought change. Change didn’t happen out of compassion either. It was the product of politics. Successive Liberal governments were supported by the CCF/NDP in exchange for the introduction of social programs we still have today.
It should be noted we have had 14 minority governments, primarily Liberal governments with a few short lived Conservative administrations.
The truth is the minority Liberals were dragged to the table kicking and screaming to adopt these programs. Veterans pensions, old age pensions, family allowance, employment insurance and even medicare itself. Over time we have forgotten our history. We reverted back to the concept where tax breaks and handouts to corporate interests were called incentives and assistance to the poor, handicapped and seniors was somehow welfare. Many of these are shared programs that at times various governments try to say are entitlements, well they are as citizens we paid for them through payroll and income taxes.
So what is the difference between today and yesterday? Our collective vision of government didn’t rally around the average guy out of the goodness of their heart. No, not compassion, it was again economics.
The truth be known the economic well being of the nation is now interwoven. A world wide depression would effect rich and poor alike. The governments are trying to save everyone because the effect of the pandemic coupled with a depression would result in international chaos not seen before.
So what have we failed to learn? The fact is all this immediate assistance will have to be paid for and mostly by average working people and small business. The sooner we know how much and for how long we’re going to pay the sooner we can take the blinders off and pretend things will get back to normal.
The other looming problem is the same destructive populist voices with hollow instant solutions are being listened to again. The same voices that led to the chaos some are trying to prevent.
It is said we are all in this together equally, it’s just some are more equal than others. Sometimes the truth is a hard pill but then….. the truth is the truth.