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recceguy said:You would first have to break the unions or, at least, diminish their power to near zero. This would also include closing loopholes on election advertising and political contributions through second party entities, they set up themselves, to bypass the rules.
Any attempt at giving jobs to the underprivileged, in the areas where unions believe only they have the sole right to participate, will end up in civil unrest and the unions demanding part of the meager wages, for membership, from the workfare participants.
That's one, obvious, route, but ... some pretty smart economists are asking governments to consider issuing long term (50 year) bonds to finance equally long term infrastructure maintenance projects. The target is the underemployed who have some skills and a willingness to work. The problem is that you have to have a lot of project going, all at once, to really create new jobs. First you have to give decent, full time, adequately paid work to the underemployed then demand (for labour) will kick in and there will be new jobs, at lower wages, for the unemployed who have never worked, including new entrants to the labour market.
The problem is fairly narrow: young men who left school with inadequate skills and knowledge. Two generations ago, when i was a youngster, there were jobs for them: in mills, in factories, in construction. Technology and wages killed many of those jobs but we didn't find a way to keep those young people ~ overwhelmingly boys ~ in schools and even if they stayed we had nothing useful to teach them. (When I went to high school most of my classmates were in the so called general (vocational) scheme that led them towards useful employment (at age 16, after 10th grade., in many cases) I was in the "academic" programme, which led towards university, it was already, over a half century ago, dominated (by about 5:4 if my high-school class photo is a good guide) by the girls.)
Those young men, school leavers or graduates of the "general" programme used the be the backbone of our industrial economy. But now we are making the transition to a service (knowledge) economy and there are not enough jobs for the young (mostly) men who leave school with too little academic foundation.
Fifty+ years ago young men and women who graduated from high school in the so called "academic" programme but did not wish to go on to university could, just for example, get a job in a bank. Officially, as far as I can tell, most banks still require only a high school graduation but, in practice, I was told by a very reliable source, a BComm is the norm ~ because everyone the bank hires as an entry level teller is seen as a potential branch manager and the banks have ten applicants for every job; they can, and do, pick and choose. Fifty+ years ago the industrial/manufacturing sector was twice as large a share of the Canadian economy as it is today. See, e.g. this. Services - often moderately skilled but low paid jobs, account for over 75% of the jobs, but natural resources, logging and mining, mainly, are our second largest product in value. But resources, while rich, provide very few jobs, even though the jobs are good, especially for young men, and well paid.
It is one sector that has the most problems in Canada: young, underemployed men. That is the sector which can be helped most effectively by spending on infrastructure. The question is: how do we pay for that spending?