Tag Archives: food prices

Prices: Why Canadians Should Be Outraged!

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I’ve been hearing a lot of talking heads lately yammering on about how we’re facing increases in prices for food basics like bread, meat, produce and other imports from around the globe.

Unfortunately, they’re all morons and they don’t know what they’re talking about.

Canada is a land of abundant resources and a dollar that’s appreciating because of a number of factors, the main one being the decline in the value of the US dollar.  Other factors include demand for our oil, wheat, soy, corn and other consumable products that are increasing in cost to the rest of the world.

As our dollar appreciates, we should be able to buy MORE goods in exchange for fewer dollars.  We should be selling our goods within Canada at Canadian prices, not international prices.

However, because we’ve surrendered our food security and general sovereignty to multinational corporations, most of which price their goods in US funds and then add a 20-50% markup for Canadians, regardless of the value of our currency, we are facing severe price increases.

If you don’t believe me, here’s an example:  Margaret Atwood publishes a book and the US price is $10.95.  The Canadian price is probably something like $14.95.  Canadian paper and Canadian author, but Canadian buyers get hosed.

This is insane.  If Canadians were faced with a 20 to 50% increase in tax rates, there would be rioting in the streets.

What’s also going to happen is that this will spike inflation, prompting our sophisticated economists with the Bank of Canada to hike interest rates, driving up the costs for all of us to borrow money.  Just when we need it most.

However, when the talking heads with mainstream media tell us that these things are unavoidable (eg. Libyan uprisings mean we pay more for food), we owe it to ourselves to call BULLSHIT.

What astounds me is that we live in a land that is filled with political opportunists, but NO SINGLE PARTY has jumped on the opportunity to demand price parity or price improvements for Canadians.

Until then, do yourself a favour and avoid buying from the companies that are behind these lies.  Loblaws and Weston (which is owned by Loblaws) seem to be the central forces behind this big push to increase prices.

Are you unhappy with your mega-corporation?

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It seems 62% of Americans are not impressed with big corporations in the US.  Does anyone know of a similar poll / survey being recorded in Canada?  I know I want less Bell and Rogers in my life …

According to the survey, a large majority of Americans (62%) want major corporations to have less influence in the United States. While this is down from a peak of 68% in 2008, it remains well above the 52% recorded in 2001. Relatively few Americans would prefer to see corporations gain influence, but the 12% recorded this year is the highest to date.

The American people are becoming increasingly angry about the extraordinary amount of power and influence that corporations have in the United States today.  Also, the most recent Chicago Booth/Kellogg School Financial Trust Index found that only 26 percent of Americans trust our financial system at this point.

What’s interesting is that distrust of large entities – including corporations – goes back to the origins of the US.  The origins of the corporation go back to the East India Trading Company, the very same company that Americans (at the time, colonists) rebelled against during the original Boston Tea Party.

In his book entitled “Unequal Protection”, Thom Hartman mentions the East India Trading Company….

“Trade-dominance by the East India Company aroused the greatest passions of America’s Founders – every schoolboy knows how they dumped the Company’s tea into Boston harbour. At the time in Britain virtually all members of parliament were stockholders, a tenth had made their fortunes through the Company, and the Company funded parliamentary elections generously.”

Giant international corporations are not synonymous with “capitalism”.  In fact, they are the anti-thesis of competition, fair trade and market value.

However, I challenge any ‘capitalist’ today to show me where these basic principles exist in the US or Canada.  They don’t and as consumers, we’ve all made the mistake of letting it happen.

It’s easy to reverse this issue.  We need to start taking power from those that control our lives.  Starting with the Usage-Based Billing debate, we need to respond to Bell and Rogers and Canada’s other media monsters with a big F-U and start canceling their services, terminating newspaper subscriptions and boycotting their media and their message.

Americans are showing this distrust towards the corporations that shape their lives and this will come to a head in the US:

As you can see, the gap between those in favor of the size and influence of major corporations and those not in favor has been significantly widening over the past decade.

Not only that, but the latest Chicago Booth/Kellogg School Financial Trust Index shows that Americans have very little trust in the financial system at this point.
The following are some of the key findings from their most recent report….

  • Only 26 percent of Americans trust the nation’s financial system.
  • Only 13 percent of Americans trust big corporations.
  • Only 16 percent of Americans trust the stock market.
  • Only 43 percent of Americans trust the banks.

We shouldn’t be surprised by these numbers.  American resentment of the Big Bank bailouts is growing and more of these people are seen as cry-baby capitalists, wanting socialism for them and capitalism for the rest of us.  Most people are still looking for their own bailouts, but they aren’t coming.  The party’s on and you’re not invited.

Continuing to reduce corporate tax rates, give bailouts and focus on big business will only increase the level of resentment that all North Americans have concerning the companies that interact with them on a daily basis.  Those parties that distance themselves from this noise will do best in the polls in coming months because Canadians and Americans are sick of the disequilibrium.

A final thought:  price increases and more economic instability are right around the corner.  As the US dollar collapses, food and oil prices will start to rise drastically and ‘the average Joe and Jane’ will suffer for it.  Our current slate of politicians can feign ignorance once again (as they did before), but for the record, we see it coming.  There’s an economic shit storm on the way and more bailouts, interest-free loans and other handouts to the biggest in this country will be met with the greatest resistance.

China to Reduce $US Transactions

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Please note:  the opinions expressed in this blog do not constitute financial advice.  Any investment action that you take in response to this article or other articles on this blog (or other blogs, for that matter) should be done with the support or review of a registered financial advisor.

The government of China has announced that it will reduce the volume of $US transactions, mainly out of a requirement to protect local economies from the volatility of the American currency.

A full story can be found here .

In the past, I’ve argued that the US dollar has a lot of depreciation ahead of it.

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