Michael Moore’s 1989 film, Roger and Me, which documented the socio-economic fallout of General Motors’ decision to close its factory in Moore’s hometown, really spoke to me.
When I was in high school in the early 2000s, the Smiths Falls Hershey Chocolate factory that employed half the town I lived in was closed and sold for cheap labour to Mexico.
The entire working class in Smiths Falls felt the repercussions of this decision. Many small business owners, like my dad, eventually went bankrupt as their customers became poorer and poorer and many people moved away to greener pastures.
Up until that point my family had always been poor, but this was the first time both of my parents found themselves unemployed at the same time. Simple things like buying groceries to feed my brother and I became challenging financial burdens for my parents.
I recall one morning when my dad fell down the stairs on his way to his failing job as a tool salesman, just before he gave up and quit.
My younger brother and I both laid in our beds that morning, listening to him sob uncontrollably in my mother’s arms before we would both catch the bus to school and pretend everything was fine. It was a time in my life I will never forget; one that has shaped a great deal of who I am today – in the same way Michael Moore’s childhood growing up in Flint shaped him.
The Trudeau Liberals’ have a number of weak talking point defenses for their political decisions and austerity measures. Since the 2015 election, Justin Trudeau has been selling himself as a savior of the middle-class in Canada. Oddly though, as economists and historians will be happy to inform you, the middle-class in Canada doesn’t really exist – and it hasn’t existed for a very long time. Not for about 30 years, in fact.
Here’s a handy explanation for this from one of my heroes, the former leader for the New Democratic Party of Canada, Ed Broadbent: