NDP MP Pat Martin, ‘economic treason’ and anti-foreign bias

Stephen Gordon on a misguided belief as old as the world

by Stephen Gordon

(Adrian Wyld/CP)

The conflict among nations that so many policy intellectuals imagine prevails is an illusion; but it is an illusion that can destroy the reality of mutual gains from trade. (Paul Krugman)

In The Myth of the Rational Voter, Bryan Caplan argues that the most important obstacles to implementing sound economic policies are not lobby groups or the ability of other special interests to influence politicians, but certain systemic, irrational beliefs of the electorate. This is hardly an encouraging conclusion, but if we needed any more evidence for at least one aspect of his thesis, the CNOOC-Nexen takeover is providing it.

One of the prejudices identified by Caplan is what he calls anti-foreign bias: “a tendency to underestimate the economic benefits of interaction with foreigners.” According to popular (mis)perception, dealing with foreigners is to be mistrusted: if they want something from us, then they must perceive some benefit from the exchange. And if foreigners are gaining, then Canadians must be losing.

This is nonsense, of course: the gains from trade are not zero-sum. But once you’re locked into anti-foreign bias, a Canadian who sees nothing wrong when foreigners benefit from trade is the same thing as a Canadian who wants Canadians to lose from trade. And so words such as “disloyal” (apparently a favourite epithet among those opposing reciprocity in 1911), “betrayal”, “traitor” and “treason” tend to get thrown around like so much confetti. NDP MP Pat Martin’s accusation of “economic treason” on the part of those who don’t see why the government should forbid a freely negotiated exchange of an asset is simply the latest in a long line of similarly overblown rhetoric.

Now, blocking the deal might well prove popular: anti-foreign bias is widespread, and understanding why it’s wrong sometimes requires a significant intellectual investment. It’s hard to shake the notion that another country’s gain must be Canada’s loss.




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NDP MP Pat Martin, ‘economic treason’ and anti-foreign bias

  1. Adam Smith ~ Wealth Of Nations:

    It is the maxim of every prudent master of a family, never to attempt to make at home what it will cost him more to make than to buy … What is prudence in the conduct of every private family, can scarce be folly in that of a great kingdom.

    ——

    By means of glasses, hotbeds, and hotwalls, very good grapes can be raised in Scotland, and very good wine too can be made of them at about thirty times the expense for which at least equally good can be brought from foreign countries. Would it be a reasonable law to prohibit the importation of all foreign wines, merely to encourage the making of claret and burgundy in Scotland?

    • Claret and burgundy is a produced capital good. Oil is a non-produced non-renewable resource.

      Produced capital is by its nature a freely exchanged good. Land and resources by its nature is the commonly owned foundation of a nation.

      • Watch it! Tony’s about to throw some O’Rourke back at you.

    • Practically everything we buy is from China – nobody is against trading with China.

      • So Pat Martin is nobody? I kind of like that.

  2. Martin and his economic treason ideas are just usual left wing twaddle taught in our left wing universities and never questioned by our left wing msm. It is amazing what NDP are allowed to say without much scrutiny from our journos while they get their knickers in a twist about Anders for days on end.

    I grew up in Toronto and spent a lot of time in Chinatown, it was exotic, and I wonder how much of our trade imbalance has to do with products from China or India or Thai that would not be otherwise on sale in Canada. Many products I buy from Asian markets and other ethnic food stores would not be available here if we didn’t trade with foreigners and/or allow immigrants into country.

    Martin is peddling xenophobic nonsense.

    • Remember what I said earlier about you seeming quite bright when you use your own words?

      Yeah.

      My mistake.

      Especially that first paragraph.

      • What were you thinking? I only read the stuff between the quotation marks.

    • What I remember about Toronto Chinatown are the people in the anti-communist parades.

    • So, wait. Not wanting to allow a Canadian company to be sold to Communist China is “left wing twaddle”?

      I’m so confused.

      • If you enjoy soy sauce, you must approve this sale.

        • Or if you want to keep on getting those nice shiny new I phones from Apple.

          • Foxconn is owned by Taiwan, not China…..and they are responding to our ‘concerns’ by replacing workers with robots.

          • No they aren’t, but nice try.

          • Mmm.. 5 seconds online revealed Foxconn hiring 100,000 people over the past year. They hired 18,000 for the iPhone 5 alone. Are you on a different internetz?

          • I read quite well, thank you. I read your comment, “they are responding to our ‘concerns’ by replacing workers with robots.”
            Those are only “plans” by Foxconn, they are not currently replacing workers as your statement suggests. Robots have been part of Foxconn’s operations since the beginning, long before our concerns. Besdies, if I had a dollar for every time I heard a factory was going to become fully automated I’d be lunching with Warren Buffet. Foxconn keeps hiring people by the boatload. Until that trend slows down I don’t see them fully automated within 3 years like the article says. Also, the article does not mention our ‘concerns’ as a part of the reason. Nor is it likely to be a reason. If they ever managed to replace their workers with robots, volume, efficiency and per unit costs would be the reasons. Then they could also take down the suicide nets.

          • And I repeat, your statement, “they are responding to our ‘concerns’ by replacing workers with robots” is incorrect. Your link doesn’t work. Foxconn only has plans for this.There are many automated factories, but there are many many more factories which planned to fully automate but never did.

          • My link works just fine….your head doesn’t.

    • He’s a nutbar. I don’t understand why anyone, let alone an economics professor, is taking his opinion seriously.

  3. Pat Martin is the kind of Dipper that puts everyone off voting for the party. He doesn’t understand economics, or even the meaning of words…..like ‘treason’….and he appeals to similar stupidity and racism among the population. And it holds us back.

    • I think by “treason” he means selling off selling off a national resource to a totalitarian regime that can’t be entirely trusted. The Americans blocked similar purchases from the Chinese as well citing “national security.”

      • The word already has a meaning….we don’t need made-up ones.

        And the only thing the Americans blocked was going to be near a naval base where they were testing drones

        • Nope, they may be going to block the sale of Nexan’s assets in the gulf of Mexico too – last i heard anyway.

          • They ‘may’ do a lot of things….but if they want trade with China, and they do….they won’t get so snippy.

          • Since China would do pretty much the same thing in the same situation to the US, or any major power, who’s being the realist here – Obama or Harper?

          • China would do what?

            The same as Japan and Saudi Arabia did when they were flaunting their riches….you know, buy things?

            So let them buy!

          • Sure…but they weren’t communist China with an unquenchable thirst for strategic resource assets, and little reciprocity. Well scratch the last part about Japan. I seem to remember some reciprocity issues there too. Although they did have some respect for the rule of law…and they weren’t a superpower. Distinctions matter. You don’t seem to grasp that.

          • No, not communist. Are you saying that’s worse than fundie Arabs?? Really?

            Japan was an economic powerhouse at that time…grasp that

            In fact they started telling the west how to do business, and that they could easily say ‘no’……and they spouted lots of grudges about the war.

            China has 12,000 Canadian businesses there….Canadians helped to build their high speed railway!

            And they’d like more….there’s your ‘reciprocity’

          • Of course they’re in another category from fundamentalist SA. For one thing the Saudis had no home market or anything else to sell…but their oil. We needed it, they had to sell it. They had nothing else. Lastly and not leastly, we [the US] could kick the crap out of them if we had to. Want to try that with China?
            So you’d trade our security for hi speed rail then, if it came down to it? Point is they wont let us into their strategic industries, we should be cautious about allowing them into ours. Trade by all means. But trade smartly.

          • What? The ME is awash in oil. The US was shoring up their supply in the old days….much like China is doing now. SA could then, and can now…sell other things. They choose not to, as it’s their belief that Allah gave them the oil for a reason.

            No the US can’t ‘kick the crap’ out of them. The US has retreated from Iraq, and is doing the same in Afghanistan.

            Plus of course, the Saudi’s have their oil fields rigged to blow if they’re invaded…..and there won’t be any goofs like with Saddam’s wells

            I said nothing about trading our ‘security’…which we neither have now, nor need… for high speed rail. I said Canadians built it for the Chinese, but did nothing for our own country. So kindly stop misquoting me.

            China is quite open to change and trade….and they are booming because of it. You want to hold old crap here close to your chest…..for what?

            Oil is not strategic….there is oil all over the world, not a scarcity.

            Ideas are strategic.

          • Sorry bout putting words in your mouth. As for the rest, let’s just say you have an interesting way of seeing the situation.

          • Yes, it’s called economics in the globalized world of the 21st century.

          • You ought to add the disclaimer…according to me.

          • Well I can speak with authority on the matter….you can’t.

            But if you had any real interest in this topic you’d be familiar with other economists and analysts around the world who are saying the same thing.

          • No big deal, but i’ll bite. Why is it that you can speak with authority on this matter. I wont contest the fact that i can’t.

          • Global developmental analyst.

          • Hmmm, ok. Can’t match that.

          • Have a window, access to a newspaper, or the internet?

            You too are a Global development analyst.

            Lame.

          • Acrually it takes several degrees, travel, and knowledge about a great many subjects

          • I don’t care what Workopolis says.

            If you spend all your free time here, then it shows have insignificant your position really is.

          • I’m working as we speak dear…..people do that online these days.

            New fangled thing….global communication.

            Like Google, Amazon, etc

            Go dig a ditch.

          • New fangled thing….global communication.

            Yeah, right. You sit in Ontario, and play on Canadian political (Ont) based comment boards.

            Try Yahoo Games – it’s more Int’l – and you might win something.

          • Well actually at the moment I’m dealing with someone in Taiwan….I do a fair amount of business there, and it’s the start of their day.

            Now lose the chip on your shoulder, and stop whining. Ciao.

          • None of which are evidenced by your comments on here.

          • Is there some reason why Cons are so cranky that they attack posters instead of discussing a topic?

          • My how we jump to conclusions. I thought we were talking about your supposed credentials, and their relevance to your pearls of wisdom (such as they are). That’s the topic in this part of the thread isn’t it? Try to keep up.

          • Actually the topic here is selling a company to China…..not your silliness

  4. Trust an economist like Stephen Gordon to paper over the fact that the foreigners involved are the Communist Party of China with abstractions to the effect that “the gains from trade are not zero-sum.”

    These people deal in nothing but false equivalences on a daily basis. So it should come as no surprise when they make no distinction between “freely negotiated exchange” with a foreign firm and an authoritarian state power. They’re thinking demands that they equivocate all possible actors. And when a suggestion arises that maybe there could be such a thing as national interests at work the voice can be readily shut down as “anti-foreign,” i.e., racist, anti-intellectual and populist.

    • ‘racist, anti-intellectual and populist’

      Yup, that’s what it is.

      According to you we should only trade with people who operate like us, run things like us, think like us…and look like us.

      • According to me and the fortunate loved ones I based my argument from, the CPC is a force of evil and the liberals who are naive enough to confuse ethnic nationalism with an observation of this fact are fools and traitors.

        • Well that will teach you to base arguments on relatives….stop living in the Cold War, and being a scared little wuss

          • Not relatives, survivors.

            Who exactly is scared here? I don’t need the Chinese to be socialist for me.

          • Gee, there are ‘survivors’ in every country, including this one…..however this is no longer the Cold War, and China is a booming industrial capitalist country no matter what they call it.

            Get over the fear, and the lack of knowledge, and move on.

          • China has an elective emperor like the old Mongol Empire.

            You are completely ignorant.

    • Wow, Markham and Richmond Hill Ontario are in deep trouble, they not only raised the Chinese Flag to recognize China’s National Day and the contribtuion that comunity has made, but elected a Chinese Canadian as their MLA. And what about Adrienne Clarkson, slipping in as a girl mole conniving to the position when she could betray us big time.

      • The Chinese people need to eat, cure diseases and raise their children in peace like everyone else.

        Chinese people are remarkable, they will move ahead regardless of the obstacles in their own government or those placed before them by the West.

        This Mao dynasty has given the Chinese a new prosperity of a kind, but they still have an emperor, no matter what you call him in the West, China still has an elective emperor like the former Mongol Empire.

        It is a tragic mistake for the West to have an antagonistic view of the Chinese….

        The emperor has a 200 million man army, it is fruitless and destructive to be antagonistic, especially since a cooperative relationship is what the emperor really wants with the West.

        Nothing really changes politically in China, Westerners will never understand it.

        China can only change from the inside.

  5. All the ideological generalizing about trade leaves out the ugly details of how one nation often has a comparative advantage over another under free-trade globalization.

    One nation can have anti-child labor laws. Another has the advantage of being able to exploit child labor (keeping wages low.) One nation has strong environmental regulations. Another has the advantage of cutting corners and being an environmental freeloader. One nation has regulations that ensure worker safety, the right to form unions, and minimum wages laws. The other…

    So free-marketers are arrogating doctrinal superiority while leaving out a lot of the hard facts. First they say: tear down all the barriers to trade and watch the prosperity come flooding in. Next they’re saying: well of course you are going to have to work a lot more for a lot less wages and benefits, we live in a globalized economy now.

    Therefore we need a practical alternative to recklessly winding back the clock on progress. The present wage deflation we are experiencing is destroying first-world markets and putting the global economy in depression.

    • Well in a perfect world…..except that this isn’t a perfect world…..we could trade even-steven. But that ain’t gonna happen for a long time.

      Yes, they have child labour….so do we, but that’s a different discussion….yes they have environmental problems…..so do we, but that’s a different discussion.

      Gosh….worker safety, unions, minimum wage laws, nope they don’t have that although it’s creeping in……

      I guess the fact that we are a rich advanced technical western nation with a long history of peace and stability….up against a country that has more peasants than we have people…..doesn’t count for anything eh?

      I mean….i wouldn’t want them you know….taking advantage of us.

      • Actually, I just don’t want them taking advantage of themselves, and then forcing us to do the same.

        The problem with most free-trade agreements is that they operate from the assumption that the country with the least restrictive set of laws is doing it right, and thus gives the ability to sue the other nation into matching their lack of regulation for the trade to be “free”. This has very little counter-balance, as it matches the general direction that the private enterprise wants to go.

        What we need is the reverse.. that a country with more significant protections of their people, resources, and environment are the ones who are doing it correctly and can sue the other country to match them. This would then have private enterprise as a counter-balance, as they’d still work to prevent too much restriction, but they’d be up against the public interest — in both nations — to achieve their ends.

        Then instead of a race to the bottom, we’d have a race to the top.

        • Well that’s lovely, but think how long it took for us to come from the beginning of the union movement in NA….to now.

          And even now, unions are under attack….by business and govt.

          So there’s no sense waiting until China can ‘catch up’….we have to move on it now, or neither country will prosper.

          You can’t ‘sue’ someone to match you, that would beggar them….you just go with what you have instead of waiting on Nirvana.

          • It took us that long because we were the ones who were starting it. We had to feel our way along to get to where we are now. They, therefore, can use our experience — and our legislations — to get a jump on the process.

            And of course you can sue someone to match you. That’s how it works right now. If they have restrictions we don’t, we sue them under free-trade rules to get rid of their restrictions so that our products can enter their market “unencumbered” by legislation. AFter that, even if their company wants to maintain its protections and wages for its people, it doesn’t dare because it’ll fail. Race to the bottom.

            So reverse it. They sue us to put on the same environmental protections, and if our companies can’t meet those restrictions while theirs can, then it suggests our companies didn’t actually have a competitive advantage, but rather an exploitative advantage. And if the company can’t live without that exploitation.. maybe it shouldn’t.

          • It took that long because prosperity in general was rising, and people had other jobs to go to if they needed them. China doesn’t have that option yet.

            We’ve been in the industrial revolution since 1750 in the west….not in Canada of course….but China has only hit that stage recently.

            They have millions of peasants still…..grateful to get any kind of job, and they don’t care about the conditions. We went through this ourselves

            You can get restrictions removed in other countries, but you can’t sue for them to ‘match’ you in everything.

          • “They have millions of peasants still…..grateful to get any kind of job, and they don’t care about the conditions. We went through this ourselves”
            What a pantload. I guess you missed all the labour unrest, strikes and riots of the 19th and early 20th centuries in Canadian history class.
            They’ve been having the same problems in China, where people care very much about their work conditions:
            https://chinastrikes.crowdmap.com/
            A book on case studies since the 1990′s: http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520250970

          • The Industrial Revolution started in England in 1750, hon.

            People worked in horrendous conditions. Piles of documentation on it. Literature too. Took us a long time.

            China is currently going through the same thing.

          • You are making no sense and seem unable to track a conversation. I responded to your claim that Chinese workers don’t care about their conditions with evidence that they do.

          • No, actually they don’t.

            They’d rather work difficult conditions at Foxconn, that return home to the peasant life of the villages.

            Same as people who laboured in the factories in the UK for most of the hours in a day, 6 days a week.

        • I agree 100%. Instead of free-trade blocks we need common regulation blocks. These ensure that the workers in developing nations are getting their fair share of the economic pie and are able to buy first-world goods and services to keep the economy going. When they are forced into virtual slave labor this kills potential markets, vast amounts of GDP growth and untold human potential.

          Fact is first-world nations were developing nations for centuries. We made the transition from peasant to factory worker without any difference: in with the new boss, same as the old boss. But in the post-war era using centrist Keynesian economics (and the rising influence of unions) we created modern living standards and the modern middle class (all of which are under fire from free-market ideology like free trade.)

          So these emerging economies will be emerging for centuries using free-market ideology; and Western nations will be dragged down to their level if we allow free-market con men to do it.

          In order for civilization to survive itself in this century we need to evolve, especially our economy: a race to the top!

  6. Is oil the same as any other commodity? History suggests no. He who has the black gold writes the rules, and creates the embargoes. He who doesn’t starts the wars. So, having control and securing the for an energy hungry China has some real value.
    What is the CNOOC/Nexen deal about? A foot in the door. A test. And a long term strategy on their part.
    the FTA/NAFTA agreements have special provisions for energy. We don’t have a similar agreement with China. And it seems like this is quite some time off, according to the father of FTA, Brian Mulroney.
    Until there is a similar free trade agreement, I’d be inclined to put a number of restrictions on the sale, and not create any precedents that would limit negotiations in the future.
    Suppose Iran wanted to purchase AECL? Same reaction, Professor Gordon?

    • Gosh, are we like this with Saudi Arabia? Or do we agree with all their beliefs and culture?

      • Well, given that modern Saudi Arabia was largely a creation through the support of the American gov’t and the House of Saud, principally to get access to develop their oil, no.

        Geopolitics, m’dear.

        • We are all aware of that…..we are also aware of Mecca, beheading and abayas.

          Modern, it ain’t.

          Yet we are best buds with them, and they could cut off oil at any time

          • As they and other Arab states did in the early 70′s. Why I originally wrote: “He who has the black gold writes the rules, and creates the embargoes.

          • And Alberta can’t sell to anyone else….so who writes the rules?

          • I’m not against the deal going through, just with conditions.

            AB can sell “its” oil or bitumen to China. Rejection or non consummation of this deal does not change that.

            All this deal does is lays the groundwork for China to secure supply and control of the resource. And/or remove it from the freely traded market.

            And in all likelihood, they will upgrade AB bitumen in China, which no doubt was not contemplated when Nexen bid on the original leases. So, I could argue this economic benefit of upgrading elsewhere should be returned to AB, not the Nexen shareholders, but just my thinking. Either in a lump sum, or say a transfer price for bitumen based upon open free water price for Brent crude (say 70% as an example). They could still upgrade in AB if they like, with no penalty. Just some ideas.

          • Well ‘conditions’ are up to our and their trade negotiators. And to the business CEOs.

            Alberta can’t sell anything without pipelines, so Alberta can’t afford to be picky.

            Most of ‘our’ oil companies are owned by Americans anyway….spread it out, no eggs in one basket stuff anymore.

          • Alberta can’t sell anything without pipelines, so Alberta can’t afford to be picky

            Most of the good oil sands leases have already been sold at fire sale prices under Klein. State owned Chinese companies were not invited to participate – but can you imagine the uproar if they had (particularly from CAPP) – if they had to compete and lease prices rose accordingly?

            So, China is now trying to come in through the back door, buying private companies – which they are quite happy to sell, because they are capturing the economic upside, and it’s an easy way to cash out. Time frames being quite different for companies and States like China that measure it in decades &centuries, not in terms of quarterly reports.

            Btw, if you were to look at Nexen’s stock price, historically, $27.50 isn’t that unusual
            http://www.google.ca/finance?chdnp=1&chdd=1&chds=1&chdv=1&chvs=maximized&chdeh=0&chfdeh=0&chdet=1349380800000&chddm=490314&chls=IntervalBasedLine&q=TSE:NXY&ntsp=0&ei=v8ptUMiUG4OXiQL77wE

          • Yup, fire sale prices. Chinese companies couldn’t participate back then….they can now.

            China is at the front door…the one we left the huge knocker on….and you know what they say about Opportunity and knocking

            Get with the programme.

          • I think that’s the problem. You’ve been programmed.

          • I thot Cons were supposed to be big on economics and business and all like that.

            Instead you’re a bunch of scared little economic nationalists.

          • Maximizing profit is rarely the same as maximizing production. Most right leaning economists (or those that embrace simple slogans like: “Either we’re open for business, or we’re not”) don’t fully understand this concept. Or ignore it because it requires some investment of time and expertise in an industry.

            Sorry, gtg. That was swell.

          • And dealing with a global world is much different than playing in an Alberta sandbox

            What you need is expertise in economics

            Either we’re open for business or we’re not. Enough with the racism.

          • Vice president

            Joe Biden – D

            -

            US Senate…

            Michael Bennet – D
            Richard Blumenthal – D
            Barbara Boxer – D
            Benjamin Cardin – D
            Dianne Feinstein – D
            Al Franken – D
            Herb Kohl – D
            Frank Lautenberg – D
            Joseph Lieberman – D
            Carl Levin – D
            Bernard Sanders – D
            Charles Schumer – D
            Ron Wyden – D

            -

            Supreme Court…

            Ruth Bader Ginsburg – D

            Stephen G. Breyer – D

            Elena Kagan – D

            -

            House of Representatives

            Gary Ackerman (D-NY)
            Shelley Berkley (D-NV)
            Howard Berman (D-CA)
            David Cicilline (D-RI)
            Stephen Cohen (D-TN)
            Susan Davis (D-CA)
            Ted Deutch (D-FL)
            Eliot Engel (D-NY)
            Bob Filner (D-CA)
            Barney Frank (D-MA)
            Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ)
            Jane Harman (D-CA)
            Steve Israel (D-NY)
            Sander Levin (D-MI)
            Nita Lowey (D-NY)
            Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
            Jared Polis (D-CO)
            Steve Rothman (D-NJ)
            Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
            Adam Schiff (D-CA)
            Allyson Schwartz (D-PA)
            Brad Sherman (D-CA)
            Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)
            Henry Waxman (D-CA)
            Anthony Weiner (D-NY)
            John Yarmuth (D-KY)

          • LOL riiiiight…..which is why Obama has gotten everything he wants.

            Don’t you think others can count?

          • You simply cannot decide if you are a Zionist or a Jew hating antisemite.

          • You sir, are a crackpot. Ciao.

          • Cities in the West are full of single mothers, fatherless children, diseased homosexuals, drug addicts and other filth who prey upon the honorable.

            Detroit looks worse than Tikrit, Iraq and Chicago is more violent than Fallujah.

            American soldiers are safer in the war zone than they are at home in Los Angeles.

            The EUSSR imports an Islamic invasion of their own countries to provide workers to support the failing pension schemes of usury (which is forbidden by Islamic law) without a thought for the future of their own children.

            And yet you have these hypocritical criticisms about what Muslims do in their own countries?

            I often find myself more in agreement with radical Muslims than with the Westerners like you, because they will eliminate you first…

            “The Moor is of a free and open nature that thinks men honest that would but seem to be so…”

            Muslims are falling into a trap.

            The soft underbelly of the West is not their silly videos and gay porn movies.

            Westerners can only worry about their little wee wees and gay rights… the incorporated mainstream media is selling a narrowly focused narrative and you are playing along…

            Homosexuals are executed in Islam… I agree with this policy… and I simply refuse to interfere…

            The Koran permits a man to have four wives, the Bible does not prohibit this either, so why does the West want to force homosexual monogamy upon people?

            I think the greater cultural strategy for Muslims would be attacking your homosexual perversities in the West.

            You see, the Russians, the Pakistanis, Ugandans, as well as many other places in the non-Western world oppose this vile filth.

          • Like I said, you’re a crackpot….religiously insane.

            None of that is true…..now don’t talk to me again unless you take your meds first.

          • -

            All men are born of a woman…

            No magical faerie can craft a magic spell that will produce a baby from a man’s anus.

          • Doesn’t take magic spells….it takes science.

            Gays have babies everyday

            We even have kids with 3 biological parents now.

            Kindly note: ‘Ciao’ means goodbye in Italian. Make it so.

          • Mammalian evolution is entirely heterosexual.

            You skipped evolutionary biology in grade school and went to some queer studies class instead.

          • Gay relationships are plentiful in all mammals. Quite normal.

          • You should not be having sex with animals… Isn’t that illegal in Canada?

          • Arrivederci…

            Ho fissato un appuntamento.

          • Die Stadt als solche ist uninteressant, aber die Lage ist ganz einmalig…

            Essen Mein Shiza.

            吃狗屎

        • Or principally to get Saudi Arabia(1973) and other OPEC(1975) to only use the US Dollar to sell oil. The mighty Petro Dollar.

          That was the bigger game being played.

    • The EUSSR needed Libya’s oil and since they have been on US military welfare since WW2, they had their dupe Sodom Hussein Obama arrange the assassination of their newly uncooperative stooge Muammar Queerdaffy, who they previously had on the UN Human Rights Commission.
      In Syria, nobody wants to get involved because it would force them to admit that George Bush was right and the WMDs Saddam Hussein did have and did use on Kurds and Iranians went over to his friend (and formerly theirs) Assad in the Ba’ath Socialist party.
      The EUSSR socialists can never face the facts of what socialism really is.
      -
      “The U.S. has lost track of some of Syria’s chemical weapons, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Friday, and does not know if any potentially lethal chemicals have fallen into the hands of Syrian rebels or Iranian forces inside the country.”
      - Foreign Policy (9-29)
      -
      Leon Puñettas was too busy having gay pride celebrations at the Pentagon… now there is a dead ambassador and all they can do is play with their wee wees and cry about some stupid movie?

      • Is there a reason you have keep trying to prove to us you’re not gay?

        • Sodom Hussein Obama has a “spread the other cheek” foreign policy!

          Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of Iran, says the promotion of homosexuality is a Zionist plot…

          Protest of the participation of the United States Embassy in the Czech Republic in a so-called gay-pride parade which was to have taken place on August 18, lamented that “at the directive of the president of the United States, Washington is aggressively promoting the ‘gay’’ agenda internationally, including same-sex ‘marriage’ and the stigmatization and marginalization of any who object to the same.”

          The protest follows a similar statement issued against the U.S. ambassador to Latvia’s participation in the “Baltic Gay Pride Parade” in June of this year… The U.S. State Department, under the leadership of Hitlery Clintong and the Sodom Hussein Obama administration, has created controversy in recent years by using its diplomatic muscle and prestige to promote a homosexual agenda in foreign countries.

          While the whole Middle East was exploding, Leon Puñettas was having gay pride celebrations at the Pentagon… Hitlery Clintong was on a homofascist, gaystapo world tour with Madonna preaching the homosexual religion.

          This current American administration is petty and incompetent.

          Sodom Hussein Obama has an official policy of promoting homosexuality…

          I don’t think this is helping his foreign policy in Islamic countries.

          In Pakistan, they called the promotion of homosexuality by the U.S. Embassy there an act of cultural terrorism and they had riots over it.

          Why is the media covering this up?

          • Are you posting from an airport washroom?

          • Florida today, tomorrow Detroit or maybe Windsor if the Spaghetti Factory is still there…

  7. Would we be having this same conversation if IRAN wanted to buy Nexen? What if North Korea wants to take over a Canadian company?

    • Well they’re not.

      But if they were, I’d say great! Get them out and involved in the world and learning how everyone else lives, and get them over their paranoia. Works much better than bombs and stupidity.

      Remember years ago when people said it would be wonderful if Russia and China dumped communism, and joined us in a freer world and capitalism?

      Well we got what we wanted….and now we’re getting all snotty that they haven’t become ‘exactly’ like us (although I don’t know what we’d trade with them if they were ‘exactly’ like us)

      Are we open for business or aren’t we? If so, enough with the hoity-toity stuff, and lets get on with it.

    • To his credit I think Gordon would. Others perhaps no.

      • If Gordon took the same stance on the question of whether or not we should allow the sale of a major Canadian oil company to Kim Jong-un, I’m not sure I’d consider that to be “to his credit”.

    • The Chinese emperor would swat Iran like a gnat just as Genghis Kahn did Persia… history repeats itself…

  8. “The conflict among nations that so many policy intellectuals imagine
    prevails is an illusion; but it is an illusion that can destroy the
    reality of mutual gains from trade. (Paul Krugman)”

    That is likely true, although it doesn’t mean that some conflicts aren’t real, or potentially real. And while point taken about the danger of listening too closely to popular view of foreigners and investment, the risk they may be out to get us, i think you are still missing some of the point.
    . It would be naive to assume we have equal weight when reaching deals with behemoths such as the US and especially with closed societies like China – that should be a given. Obviously we as the junior negotiating partner have to take on more risk than China, that’s unavoidable…but let’s go in with our eyes wide open please.
    It’s clear the NDP are playing politics with this too, so the more open and informed the debate the better.
    Let’s not lose sight of the fact that this isn’t something this govt can often claim to be – occupying the higher ground. Running around yelling Carbon tax! It’s a tax on everything! They’ll scew you! You wont even be able to afford kids anymore! Or cap’n trade is a tax but ours isn’t, naturally, is hardly conducive to good policy making either.

  9. In theory, no problem, come over. But we have to remember that letting a military superpower own natural resources means that this military superpower thinks it does own the right to come in here and get it, no matter the circumstances.

    • We’re not changing the constitution here. The provinces still own the resources.

      • Didn’t Ronald Reagan voice this risk, if my old memory serves, in 1979 on Canada AM? These trades provide great gains, my first impulse would be to OK, as the risks of running into a conflict with China are remote, but I would not say that China would respect the Canadian constitution in the event of a conflict. In the event, the constitution would be as much a deterrent as was Norway’s stated neutrality to the Wehrmacht. Maybe I’m too old and still fear wars, maybe I’ve listened too often to Han Suyin speaking of the ‘yellow peril’!

        2012/10/4 Disqus

  10. That liberal free trade ad was a dozzy; and a piece of outrageous propaganda too of course. But you have to admire the sheer audacity and subtlety of it. It should be in a hall of fame somewhere.
    If Harper had a been doing it they would have had Brian up on stage with Ronnie singing away, the Canadian flag nowhere to be seen. Brian would have been singing,’ i’m the guy that broke the bank of Monte Carlo..and showering the crowd with green backs…feel free to adlib.

    • That Liberal Party anti-free trade ad was pure scaremongering and xenophobia. I agree that it was effective — effective in appealing to the worst instincts of feeble-minded losers.

      • Hind sight is 20/20. Easy for you to say now.

        • I had the exact same view the ad back in 1988 as I do now.

          • I believe you. But for many others it wasn’t so clear cut at all.

  11. I love how lunatics like Ezra Levant rant hysterically about “foreign radicals” helping Canadian environmental groups lobby against pollution from tar sands, but when China (whom Levant even calls the worst environmental butchers in the world) takes over a Canadian company it’s perfectly acceptable.

  12. The question I want to ask every economist: how does it feel to be wrong all the time?

  13. You got it wrong, we just don’t believe in the trickle down theory and we know who will benefit, the 1%, and it will be at the expense of the 99%.

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