Anti-worker comments from John Bragg, president and CEO of Oxford Frozen Foods Ltd. are the latest in the neo-liberal propaganda war for privatization of public services and seizure of public assets. The ruling capitalist elite are in crisis over where to invest their accumulated social wealth. They are in a blind alley as they refuse to look to a new pro-social direction for the economy. With few options open to them on the front of private enterprise that would boost their profits, they are desperate to pillage public services through privatization and to plunder the public treasury with handouts and public-private-partnerships.
In an article in the Chronicle Herald, CEO Bragg demands the provincial government fire thousands of Nova Scotia public service workers, which according to him “would result in savings of $836 million a year.”  He then directs the government to use the imaginary “savings” to pay down the provincial deficit and debt. He provides no scientific reason as to how destroying public services and firing workers “would result in savings” of any kind. For this to be true, Bragg assumes public sector workers produce no value to replace their wages and benefits. He further asserts, contrary to economic science, that public sector workers preserve or reproduce as value none of the already produced congealed value of the instruments of production and other material used during their work-time. Nor do they according to him produce any added-value that directly boosts the provincial economy and serves the public good.
Bragg merely asserts and gives no proof that public sector work-time produces no value and only consumes and reduces already produced value, the objectified work-time used as instruments of production or material including the value of their own capacity to work. The only possibility of “saving $836 million a year” would be to fire workers who produce no added-value, reproduce no transferred-value and give rise to zero use-value. Who are these workers, Mr. Bragg? These workers, who really only exist in Bragg’s distorted brain, would contradict the very productive essence of human work-time and the progress of humanity through the ages, which has created our modern economy and society. Are they teachers or nurses, Mr. Bragg? Does your brain see them as sewer workers, waste recycling workers, electrical workers, workers caring for society’s most vulnerable, workers dealing with injured workers, seniors, or possibly engaged in police or fire services? Just who are these unproductive useless workers bothering your brain, Mr. Bragg? To give any credence to your nonsense you must at least identify your victims.
Bragg’s socially irresponsible and hateful comments suggest public service workers serve no useful purpose in a functioning society and produce no value for the economy to justify their wages and benefits or even existence. He presents no proof of what he says because he has no proof. His words are worthless and merely propaganda to wreck public opinion and knowledge of how a modern economy functions and its requirements for new social forms and arrangements.
Why does Bragg spout this backward garbage? Because his social class has wealth to invest and nowhere to put its money for a great return. His social class wants to pillage already established public services and seize for itself the value public service workers produce but under the old crisis-ridden banner of privatized enterprise. Members of his social class are no longer builders; they have descended into wreckers and thieves who demand the government pay them to continue their parasitical existence, pay them to continue their lives of class privilege and extravagance on the backs of the working class, the modern socialized economy and society.
The Chronicle Herald by presenting Bragg’s self-serving unscientific and gross distortion of the modern economy without comment exposes itself as an accomplice to proposals that amount to wrecking of the Nova Scotia economy. How dare the newspaper allow such drivel to be spewed in a mass way. At the very least, the writer should have demanded Bragg explain who these fired workers would be, how would their work-time and the value they produce be replaced and just exactly what narrow greedy schemes does he have in mind as to how his social class would privatize and profit from such wrecking.
The modern economy needs new pro-social thinking and a direction that builds on what the working class has already accomplished. It does not need or want narrow greedy anti-social projects that take us back in time and wreck what the working class has already built.
- “John Bragg: Cut civil service to help dig N.S. out of debt” See here
Source: Workers’ Forum, March 3, 2015, No. 2