North America's Iron Curtain: They Should Learn From Europeans
steffanileman | March 29, 2009 at 11:19 amby
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While the border issue is still fresh on my mind, I thought I should question why Americans and Canadians are still unable to handle their border, trade and human traffic as the Europeans did decades ago, and there’s an Iron Curtain descending slowly but surely between the two countries, reminiscent of the era of the Soviet Empire and the Cold War.
I was in college when I hitchhiked some 3000 miles across Europe without any hindrance. I walked across two national borders that were unattended. I was asleep when I crossed into Communist Yugoslavia. Even the infamous border of Communist Bulgaria was a cinch compared to the excruciating delays and harassment that visitors and returning residents may sometimes face today at the Canada - US border. This was the continent where there are more languages and antagonistic cultures than we have car brands in North America, and where millions were slaughtered in a brutal war only half a century ago.
If you leave French-speaking Quebec aside for a moment, and Quebecers are very North American and English-speaking when it comes to their pocketbooks and creature comforts, there are virtually no cultural or language barriers between Canadians and Americans. We certainly abhor violence and the thought of living in a place like Downtown Detroit. Americans love their guns and highways, while most Canadians are waiting to get sick so they can use their cheap medical plans they are paying a high price for. Aside from a few differences, mostly in temperament and preferences, we are very much like one nation that should not be separated by a wall. Then why don’t we, potentially the two most prosperous countries sharing the richest continent on earth, have a free flow of goods, services and people to build an even better place to live, for the benefit of the people? What happened to the Free Trade Agreement, and why is it not working like it does in the European Community?
One answer lies in the fact that we, the people, do not own our governments any more. Government agenda is run by multinational corporations and cartels that owe no allegiance to the people that they feed on. The Free Trade Agreement and NAFTA were designed for their profit, and what government gives away to the multinationals they will have to make up for it by dipping into your pockets. If you believe that the profits will somehow trickle down to you, ask the next time you call your phone company or the airline where you are calling. Chances are, your phone bill or airline ticket is paying for somebody’s payroll overseas while you or somebody you know may be unemployed.
Now there is a new rumour, recently revealed by a local Vancouver newspaper, that a new economic agreement between Canada, US and Mexico is in the offing, and the deal will be made in conference rooms at the highest levels of government and Big Business without consulting the electorate.
After hundreds of years of struggle for democracy, freedom and individual rights, Government is turning into the new tyranny of faceless bureaucrats, the big corporation that represents its own interests. On the Canadian side of the border Government has already grown into a behemoth by exploiting fears and insecurities in the name of public interest, a control freak that is out of control.
I think it is a shame that while Big Business, multinationals and cartels can freely move across national boundaries as they please for profit, millions of Americans and Canadians that make up this North American continent are still herded like sheep at border crossings. There is something wrong with this picture...
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Acworth, Georgia, United States
Acworth, Georgia, United States
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