BY GARY ENGLER | rabble.ca | MAY 21, 2014
Gary Engler is an elected union officer with Unifor Local 2000, the B.C. Media Union. Before spending 20 years as a journalist at the Vancouver Sun, Engler began his writing career as a playwright, with works performed at Theatre Calgary and Factory Theatre Lab. He is the author of one novel, The Year We Became Us (Fernwood 2012). Economic Democracy focuses on building the working-class alternative to capitalism.
Do people exist to serve the economy or
does the economy exist to serve people?
This question came to me as the left side of my brain was reading Thomas Piketty’s important new book Capital in the Twenty-First Century while the right side of my brain watched the news.
There was an item about the B.C. government chopping money from university arts programs to fund apprenticeships because it would produce more taxpayers, which would be good for the economy, followed by a commercial touting the Northern Gateway pipeline, which also would be good the economy. As my right brain soaked in the TV images my left brain was digesting statistics that demonstrated conclusively most wealth is owned by a few people and this inequality is growing.
Do people exist to serve the economy or does the economy exist to serve people?
When the two sides of my brain began acting together I realized this is not merely a rhetorical question. Rather, even raising the issue is subversive, or at least impertinent to those who maintain the status quo.