Category Archives: economics

Stephen Harper Has Offered the Opposite of Good Economic Management

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Stephen Harper has clearly put all of his eggs in one basket.

Any good economist, portfolio manager or leader knows that you diversify in order to moderate risk.

Stephen Harper came to power by pitting parts of Canada against each other.  He has spent decades leveraging Western frustration and reliance on resources with Eastern manufacturing and slightly more progressive attitudes.

He has built a political career on leaning on the oil industry to elevate his regions of choice and it has been at the expense of a diversified economy.

This recent story from Canadian Dimension paints the true story about how obsessed he truly is with the Tar Sands and how he’ll piss away tens of millions of dollars on PR and lobbying for a single industry as opposed to working to promote Canada on a whole.

And once oil hit the skids and tanked to nearly $40 per barrel (while Joe Oliver and Stephen Harper delivered a budget based on $75 per barrel), we’ve all been caught with our collective pants down and our dollar depressed to unprecedented levels.

A proper audit of Stephen Harper’s budget will clearly demonstrate that they have delivered a deficit YET AGAIN and are lying about this reality.

This kind of economic volatility is exactly the opposite of what Stephen Harper has been promising to Canadians.  His last decade of leadership has been a complete nightmare for both importers and exporters that rely on a stable exchange rate.  Those that believe Stephen Harper is ‘stable’ and helps stay the course are idiots.

It’s very clear that Canada needs leadership that will play up the value of our resources but at the same time, will proactively work on balancing our ‘economic basket’ so that we’re not exposed to any single change in global attitude towards something as unstable as the Tar Sands.

I think most will agree that Canada has a LOT to offer.  We have vast environmental, natural, intellectual, mechanical and other resources that the world wants.  We just have to pull our heads out of the (Tar) Sands in order to see this.

The ONLY party that I and other Canadians should support will be that party which talks about moving forward.  I agree that we need to leave the Tar Sands in the ground.  I agree that Canada has for FAR TOO LONG been a resource supplier for those that control us.

Canada will only truly become Canada when we stop relying so much on the demands of other countries.

Who’s willing to bring us forward?

Category: economics, Steve

India’s Blackout Affects Us All

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Try calling an 800 number for any larger company.  You’ll likely wait for hours.

If you’re in the web business, try getting a hold of some of the programmers you hired for a few bucks an hour just aren’t available.  Your web projects go on hold until things recover.

Of course, if you’re a client of one of these web services or larger companies, you should start asking about their strategy to ‘farm out’ so much of their business to the other side of the world when there are perfectly talented and unemployed workers here.

Within a few months, shipments of all of our cheap clothing and other products may be delayed or may not even show up when we’re expecting them.

In the near future, India’s demand for solar power, wind power (despite Stephen Harper’s attempt to malign this important renewable industry) and nuclear will shoot through the roof as they reassemble their antiquated electrical infrastructure.

People in India may even demand change, as certain castes continue to have their own power 100% of the time while corruption and greed prevent decent-sized hydro projects from coming online to serve the mass of the population.

And when that happens, what will be the impact of India turning into itself as an investment and priority as opposed to spending money around the world on investments?  Will we suffer or will we benefit from new projects that we can bid on?

We’re going to feel India’s pain, whether we like it or not.  The question is, how are we going to help them move forward?

Is it time to look into more serious energy programs that will significantly reduce the cost of power for all citizens of the world while also reducing the impact they have?  Should we lift the lid on research done by people like Tesla 100 years ago or invest in fusion or better batteries for renewable resources?

The answer is ‘hell yeah’ and don’t let the Cons and their crooked carbon conundrums slow us down.

Category: economics | Tags: , ,

The Solution to Quebec Student Strikes

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Last week, I mentioned that the students in Quebec should consider a completely different model for education.

I’m relieved to see that I’m not alone:  Google alumni Sebastian Thrun has decided to stick it to the educational ‘establishment’ that hurls generation after generation into insurmountable debt so that they can literally ask ‘do you want fries with that’ and create a whole new approach to learning.

He understands – primarily as a result of his experience with Google – that important credentials (eg. the Google Certified Partner program) can cost students as little as $50, make them qualified to do what they need to do with skills that are VERY MUCH in demand and leverage these talents to start new businesses, help non-profits or join the corporate ranks.

So … why aren’t students in Quebec (and everywhere else) seeing the light and challenging an antiquated model of learning that started with the ancient Greeks and continues today?

Tradition dictates that we run to stand still.  It’s time to get off the treadmill and throw the old ways on their head using new technology.

What an incredible opportunity for these people!

The High Cost of the Truth …

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In a World Filled With Deceit

The Conservatives and their well-oiled, well-bought media machine have latched on to Thomas Mulcair’s telling of the economic truth about the Tar Sands and, like true parasites, they are not about to let go until they’ve bled him to death.

Last week, Thomas Mulcair correctly reminded Canadians that we are suffering from what’s known as ‘Dutch Elm Disease’, a loose economic term that refers to how demand for a popular commodity will destroy other parts of the economy that rely on a competitive or more balanced exchange rate between trading partners.

A thorough Wikipedia article has been created over time and numerous articles are available online.  If you’re in the media, go and educate yourself and read up a little before tearing more strips off those who tell the truth.

Despite the intellectual precedent and discussion about the problem, the absolute tyrannic and sycophantic response from the Conservatives and the media prove how far they’ve gone to the ‘dark side’ of the Tar Sands and oil reliance in this country.

In fact, the Conservatives, especially Stephen Harper who pretends to be an economist, should be well aware of this economic condition and yet continue to play dumb.

It’s safe to say that TRUTH in this country is no longer allowed to exist.

Of course, the best to react:  change the rules.  The NDP should make sure that the Wikipedia post is properly updated to reflect Thomas Mulcair’s comments for a start.  They should also start a contest to create a new ‘Canadianized’ name for the problem.

Austerity: The High Cost of Tax Cuts

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For me, the word is synonymous with cowardice.  And stupidity.  And cruelty.

Austerity is an abhorrent philosophy, but a necessary evil in the age of tax cuts and giving everything away to the corporations that run this planet.

Austerity in Canada amounts to more foulness than I can possibly imagine.

I would accept elements of reduction as they address the vast waste that’s been created, but overall, Canada is a rich nation.

Austerity should not be in our lexicon.

However, since Stephen Harper’s coup of Ottawa politics in 2006, we’ve seen tens of billions in potential revenue slashed from federal finances both in terms of corporate tax cuts and the reduction of the GST (now HST).

These cuts continue a Liberal trend, where corporate taxes were cut from the range of 50% down to the 15% level (and beyond?) that the Conservatives have proposed.

Despite these cuts, we know that corporate tax cuts don’t work.

Guesstimates of the impact of corporate tax cuts are likely in the hundreds of billions of dollars.  They have failed to create jobs in Ontario and elsewhere, although many argue that the explosion in growth in resource-rich areas like Newfoundland, Saskatchewan and Alberta are related.  They’re not:  the boom they’re experiencing is simple cause and effect in relation to ever-increasing commodity prices.

And the GST (now HST).  Have you seen any benefit of ‘saving’ $0.02 when you buy your Tim’s or you go shopping for clothes and other services?  As financial matters get worse because of the structural fiscal deficit that’s been created by Jim Flaherty and the Conservatives, it’s likely that they’ll expand the coverage of the HST to include food items and other basic consumables (eg. hydro bills for basic services), expanding the regressive nature of what should be a potent economic tool for moderating excessive materialism.

So … here we are, hundreds of billions of dollars short, few new jobs to show as a result, and facing the prospect of more taxes (direct or indirect) and we enter the ‘age of austerity’.

Austerity is a philosophy.  It is an affront to human dignity and basic rights for children, in the workplace and in retirement.

All levels of government suffer as a result of these measures.  The provinces slash services and municipalities tow the line by eliminating basic wage increases.

Canadians should be going mad with rage because we’ve given so much away and we’re still VERY RICH.  We need to ask ourselves why are we picking on seniors and the sick and the poor in order to make up for billions on boondoggles like F-35s, mad spending sprees like the ‘Action Plan’ and prisons to house grandmothers caught downloading a song or two?

Because we’re now being lead by a group of hostile and cruel self-absorbed government of crooks, that’s why.