Quoth the raven,
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to tout free trade as an antidote to the global economic crisis when he attends the 21-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Peru this weekend.
Free and open markets are the best way to ensure the global economy rebounds quickly, according to Harper, who departs for Lima on Friday morning.
Of course! The best cure for a global crisis brought on by unregulated markets is to deregulate more markets, naturally.
It’s good to see the Conservatives are still as ideological as ever – I was beginning to worry they might respond to our economic stress in a way that made sense.
Fortunately Tom d’Aquino of the completely non-biased Canadian Council of Chief Executives is setting the record straight:
Tom d'Aquino, president of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, said APEC leaders must push hard to keep markets open.
"The worst thing in the world at a time of great difficulty would be if people would try to build up barriers and fortresses against direct foreign investment or the openness of international trade," d'Aquino said.
He’s right, the worst thing a small nation could do right now would be to take steps to maximise their right to economic self-determination and use what little control they have over their economic destiny to try and inoculate themselves against what is essentially a viral pandemic in neo-liberal capitalism.
You would think that if anyone gleaned anything from watching the evolution of the current financial quagmire, it would be that any advice coming from an organisation made up of CEOs should probably be immediately discarded.
Maybe instead someone should try listening to these guys for once.
"History has shown that crises on this scale lead to social and political instability with unpredictable and often tragic results. Working families have an enormous stake in the response to this crisis. Already, for more than two decades social cohesion has been under stress as a result of growing inequality in most countries. Today, those who are losing homes, jobs and pensions as a result of the financial crisis, for which they bear no responsibility, as taxpayers are being called on to bail-out those who are responsible. The G20 governments [they're not talking APEC in this context, but the same principles apply - ed.] must acknowledge the urgent need to begin work on a more inclusive, just and democratic system for the governance of global markets."