Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Free trade and trading freedoms

It was exactly 25 years ago today from atop his Langevin Block office in Ottawa, after negotiating reciprocal economics for years, that Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney finally was able to persuade United States president Ronald Reagan to use his fast track authority to ratify a deal with to create and eventually implement the international Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement. Was free trade a positive or negative entity, in light of the perceived brotherly rivalry between the next door neighbours, or pershaps the different lives and times both live in? I would very humble submit that it was neither a positive nor a negative, rather an inevitable necessary agreement but one not so necessarily, as just only 7 years later Canadian prime ministers Mulroney and Jean Chrétien would sign on with United States presidents George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton and Mexican Carlos Salinas and others to pass the intercontinental North American Free Trade Agreement despite major concerns in the areas of labour, environmental and civil human rights!

A quarter of a century later, free trade without fair trade globally seems to have made us a lesser people, culture and society locally, as national security trumped civil liberty at the beginning of this decade and now the world financial crisis, contraction and recession has created a new societal normal. One that continues threatening the proactive lifestyle movement and its successful approach to enterprise, commerce and business, via reducing expenditure, increasing revenue and other measures of austerity at the end of it. As indebtedness, joblessness and lead us into a this new era of doom and gloom forecasting, one lacking progressive scientific revolutions and paradigm shifts, a more inferior new societal normal without the benefits of a Canadian Greater Governmental Good publically safetynetted by reasonable taxes for reasonable services or the Aristotelian Good Life for those going from college to career into this supposed 21st century path to happiness.

Higher education gaining, family unit building and home property ownership, keys to the good life, path to happiness and eventually the North American Dream or the Canadian Ideal, has become naught in the worst and delayed in the best, as their pursuit became trivial and their flight delayed until tomorrow. Instead of moving forward up, inch by inch, one day at a time, as pre 1945-1965 Baby Boom Generations such as the older Research and Development knowledgeable 1965-1985 born Gen Xers are joining the younger Social Media savvy 1985-2005 Gen Yers in giving up fiduciarily in society, declaring bankrupcy morally before they have the hard dollars and common sense to do so fiscally, which has become the truly troubling state of the Dominion these days. Though the deep green vista once filled with hope, optimism and progress for citizens across the nation from sea to sea has been replaced, at least locally, by fears, tears and beers with no real or clear vision of reform in their distant future, understand that amongst the other legendary nation states globally, Canada still leads in the areas of economic, political, social, labour, educational, cultural, environmental, demographic, and other conditions, thus remember that night is always darkest just before the dawn and indeed tomorrow will soon be today!