Posted by: CS | January 7, 2014

Will the Elite Ever Get It?

The Globe and Mail today has a piece by Bank of Montreal Financial Group Vice-Chairman, Kevin Lynch, deploring the “growing tyranny of short-termism in North America” at a time when”the information revolution is changing everything.”

Globalization has created an immense new marketplace, but it has unleashed competition on a scale and of a sort that we have yet to get our minds around, let alone our public policies, business strategies and education curriculum.


We’re now in an era in which globalization and the information revolution have merged to drastically shrink what was the basis of our middle class for so many years: the ‘high-wage middle-skilled job.’

This is 2014, twenty years after the GATT agreement that sold out high-wage Western workers with middle-skilled jobs by enabling global corporations to exchange those high-wage Western jobs for low-wage Third-World jobs in manufacturing, services, design, R and D, back-office accountancy functions, and a thousand other things.

But, apparently, the Vice-President for BMO Financial Group is so #$@%ing inspissated that this obvious fact, indeed this obvious reason for the 1994 GATT agreement and the World Trade Organization, has only just crossed his mind. Moreover, it has apparently only just crossed the minds of the geniuses who edit the Globe and Mail to discuss the destruction by globalization of the middle-class jobs that made the prosperous West prosperous.

So what hope can there be for a solution? Indeed what hope can there be of any intention by the elite to find a solution? If globalization was the means to higher corporate profits through exchanging high-wage jobs in the West for low-wage jobs for the Rest, how can low wages be a problem, and what possible reason can there be to suppose that the elite is in the least bit concerned about it? If the Vice President of BMO Financial Group doesn’t understand that, what does he understand?

But while Kevin Lynch may be slow to catch on to a problem, he’s lightning fast when it comes to a solution. No prob folks: we just gotta “raise our policy game.”

Which means, apparently, that we have to “instill a culture of global instead of local excellence in everything we do,” then we’ll see all those high-wage middle-skilled jobs jobs to come rolling back from China, Bangladesh, the Philippines, etc., etc. The fact that most of the businesses that used to provide those jobs have been shuttered for a decade or more, or the fact that the workforce has been losing skills since those jobs left, is not an issue, apparently. We live in a world of “immense opportunities,” but we mustn’t be “passive bystanders.” Our greatest risk “maybe not taking one.” We must not be “complacent when a sense of urgency and a willingness to change are called for.”

Yes, well, if platitudes can restore middle-class prosperity in the West, then we really do have no problem?


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