Ottawa’s wait-and-see approach to the economy is failing

Dismal new job numbers could be a sign of too much belt-tightening too soon

by Chris Sorensen

Unemployment assurances

Lee Brown/CP

December’s ugly job numbers took a lot of economists by surprise—and not just because the nearly 46,000 job losses occurred more or less across the board. “Digging beneath the ugly headline reveals more ugliness,” wrote Doug Porter, BMO’s chief economist, in a note. “Full-time jobs tumbled 60,000, and thus barely managed to rise at all last year.”

As a result, Canada’s previous unemployment rate of 6.9 per cent shot back up to 7.2 per cent, putting it above the U.S. jobless rate (which fell to 6.7 per cent in December from 7 per cent before) for the first time since the financial crisis. That in itself is probably meaningless since the way the two jobless figures are calculated is quite different. (As a rule of thumb, economists say, it’s probably best to subtract a single percentage point from the Canadian figure before trying to compare it with its American counterpart). Nevertheless, it’s safe to say that Canada, lauded for its performance throughout the recession, is now on a different trajectory than its southern neighbour.

How we got here isn’t complicated. When the U.S. fell into the abyss in 2008, Canada lowered interest rates in lockstep with the U.S. Fed. That, in turn, fueled the housing boom and boosted overall consumer spending, helping to make us the envy of the world. But now there are concerns that both housing prices and household debt have reached unsustainable levels, meaning Canadian consumers can no longer be counted on to carry the weight of the economy on their shoulders.

The hope now is that businesses will take over the heavy lifting by resuming investment—building new factories, buying new equipment, hiring workers—while the strengthening U.S. economy gives the country a lift by boosting demand for Canadian exports. The falling loonie, now below 92 cents U.S. following the dismal job numbers, will help in this regard by making Canadian exports cheaper.

It’s not a bad outcome, if it happens. But it hasn’t yet. Whereas Finance Minister Jim Flaherty found it relatively easy to influence the housing market by tinkering with mortgage insurance rules, he has zero control over wallets of American consumers. Nor does he have much of a say in the global commodity prices that drive Canada’s vaunted resource sector—the other growth engine Ottawa is banking on.

That has prompted some to muse whether Canadian governments should take a more active role in the face of increasingly bleak economic data. Toronto Star columnist Thomas Walkom recently raised the idea of government investment in badly needed public infrastructure—effectively another round of stimulus spending. A similar proposal has been put forward by Larry Summers, a Harvard economist and former U.S. Treasury Secretary, when it comes to the U.S. economy. Arguing that the U.S. faces “secular stagnation,” Summers says a continued focus on monetary stimulus will only create the illusion of growth by fueling “substantial financial bubbles and dangerous buildups in leverage.” Instead, Summers asks, why not take advantage of those same low interest rates to build things that will also increase the economy’s long-term potential?

Politically-speaking, these aren’t popular ideas. The last thing we need after an extended global slump brought on by profligacy is more spending, the thinking goes. Indeed, most governments are in a hurry to balance the books to demonstrate their fiscal bonafides. Thanks to the debt ceiling battles, the U.S. government is now slashing spending at an unprecedented rate. Meanwhile, Flaherty has predicted a budget surplus by 2015.

Economists, on the other hand, are divided on the wisdom of so much belt-tightening so soon. Those who believe fiscal responsibility makes businesses feel better about investing, and consumers more inclined to spend, argue the fact that the U.S. economy grew by 2.6 per cent through the first three quarters of 2013, and 4.1 per cent in the fourth quarter, is evidence austerity works. Others argue the U.S. recovery was merely strong enough to withstand an ill-timed experiment.

Canada, of course, is also conducting its own real-time economic experiment. But, unlike the U.S., we may have picked an even riskier time to do it. Canada’s economy grew by a barely-there 1.6 per cent last year, businesses are shedding jobs and policy-makers are still grappling with the possibility of a housing bubble. “We must stay focused on our plan to grow the economy and keep taxes low to create the environment where job creation can flourish,” Flaherty said in a statement following the release of December’s brutal job numbers. Yet, other than another interest rate cut by the Bank of Canada (which has yet to yield the desired result), it appears Ottawa’s “plan” remains remarkably similar to the rest of the country’s—and that’s to simply wait and see what happens next.




Browse

Ottawa’s wait-and-see approach to the economy is failing

  1. Ahhh but we’ve been told all along we are the best in the world….and that everyone should imitate us….and that Harp is a brilliant chess-playing economist…..and that oil is the solution…and….

    • And a single bad month for jobs disproves all or any of that?

      • At this stage of the game….and in a Dec at that….yes.

        However it isn’t a SINGLE bad month we’re talking about.

        • December is usually a good month, as its shopping season.

          Bet January is bad too. This isn’t rocket science, its arational pragmatic though and good old realistic economics without the liberal-socialsm statism fraud.

          That is, don’t be like chickens with their head up their ……s.

      • …month, after month, after month, after month, after month,…

    • When politics tout we are the best, its the time to sell out.

      Its why so many like me now invest in offshore. I even prefer domestic investments to have a foreign component as I know this Ottawa/provincial debt fraud is killing Canada. Have to preserve big fat wasteful and corrupt governemtn even at the costs to its people in devalued money and job loss.

      NEVER trust a polician, they all lie and are well honed in deceiving the people, that is their job. Deceive people out of their money for inflated contracts, corruption, bailouts of buddy banks, Government Motors, Air Canada unions, union pension bailouts and guaranteed 10.4% returns on MP/Senators pensions. Even have lots of money for defective F35s and Libya replacement bombs.

      Very little of Ottawa spending will ever benefit you or your family. Unless of course you work for government inflated wages and benefits. We are a negative value economy of statism fraud and debt. There can be no good long term outcome with devalued money for governemtn bloat.

      As people with less money (taxes) and less value money from currency value losses, are going to spend more to get less. And getting less means less jobs to produce less. No amount of fleabagger economics is going to change this equation.

      And why I seek foreign investments as Canada fails. For the 9 cent drop, my foreign investments in terms of CAD appreciate (1 / .91) 9.9%. Its a technique to preserve wealth against government debt malfeasances. Even CPP Canada has been going offshore.

      Always look for how governemtn walks, not how they talk. I can’t remember the last time a Ottawa politician told an unabridged truth.

      • I have no idea why you waste so much time posting rubbish to me…..I seem to have become a geezer magnet.

  2. It’s one bad month of data. A single month. There’s nothing to indicate that January won’t bounce back.

    The government shouldn’t panic just because of one bad month, just as it shouldn’t react wildly to a single good month.

    I have a feeling that Chris Sorensen is just taking on the roll of the homeless guy who’s always predicting the end of the world.

    • Start looking for a job Ricky….this gig is coming to an end.

    • 102,000 jobs created in the entire year of 2013. Absolutely pathetic and anemic. Not just one month.

      Time to heave Steve.

      • But we let in 300,000 in immigration.

        When this Ottawa bubble breaks, its going to be very nasty.

    • Look at history, There isn’t a bounce back in January.

      • Yep, history shows January is a bad month as Christmas sales are over.

        And people with less value money, pensions getting smashed in value, get less goods for the money and that means less jobs to produce less goods.

        Government can’t solve this as they don’t leave enough value in peoples pockets to run the economy right.

        Heinz closed because with less value money the sugars and tomato costs went up and their customers were not able/going to pass on 10% inflationary effects of devalued money. Heinz is a good example of this and how depreciating money and negative value economics has damned Canada to economic depression for the foreseeable future. Any recoveries will be small, halted due to inflation and depression.

        But we have big consumptive governemtn growing like never before, on the backs of productive people and their grand kids debt.

    • And you play a mean Bagdad Bob. And it’s role, not roll.

    • But hey, most people think the CAD currency devaluation is unrelated. Its very related.

      People with less value money spend more to get less goods and services, and less goods and services means less jobs. No statism economics is going to change it either.

      Its why governments can’t stop the depression economics, there bloat, currency and debt fraud is the cause of the problems. Can’t have governemtn consumption outstriping productions ability to support it forever. Its like cutting the grass too low so it doesnt’ grow back right.

    • … bad month, after bad month, after bad month, after bad month, after bad month,…

  3. Thomas Walkom … Phd. in Economics … could this be true ?
    Must be the “other” economics,eh ?

    • The one Harper studied?

      • If you read Walkom regularly ( and I recommend it )
        it ain’t the Calgary kinda Masters.

        • Walkom is an idiot, He ignores Canadian taxpayers did get hooked ofr |$125+ billion bailout of banks, he ignores that people with less value money see inflation and less goods for their depreciated incomes, and less goods IS LESS JOBs.

          No amount of liberal-economics is going to change reality.

          Why spends more on jobs, retired people with 5% returns on pensions, or people losing money value in pensions?

          Sorry, no country has ever printed (electronic counterfeit) money for currency depreciation and debt fraud and succeeded. Argentina still feels the effects of 20 years ago yet Chile is doing well as it never stooped to fiat currency fraud economics.

          Our governments can’t solve the economic problems they started in 2006, as preserving over sized consumptive government with ponzi debt/currency economics is just making it worse. Until some economic sanity hits this nation, expect the economy to take one step up followed by 2 steps down in value.

    • PhD in economics in Canada isn’t worth the paper it is written on. They preach statism, ignore fundmemtal and real economic priciples. If you want a good economics education, be prepared to read books no university brainwashing course caries. While I graduated from the system, they got my compliance and not my mind. Liberal-economics degrees are about indoctrination.

  4. The so-called American unemployment rate is decreasing only because its labour force participation rate has been decreasing. It is now the lowest that it has been since 1978.

    So fewer Americans as a percentage of the working age population are working than at anytime since 1978.

    Larry Summers is also advocating negative interest rates…i.e. officially robbing people of their savings. Up to now, the central banks of the world have only been unofficially stealing from savings and pension funds by suppressing interest rates and printing new money for the benefit of the banksters and the 1%.

    • You’re wrong again Bob…

      “The so-called American unemployment rate is decreasing only because its labour force participation rate has been decreasing. It is now the lowest that it has been since 1978.”

      Conservatives say the darndest, dumbest things… You really think that’s the ONLY reason the US rate went down? What correlation do you think the 2.2 MILLION new jobs created in the USA have to do with the unemployment rate? Sigh.. typical conservative stupidity. Completely incapable of seeing the whole picture.

      Do you know how many jobs King Harper managed to create in Canada in 2013? 102,000. Absolutely pathetic. The .2 in the American number is larger. And anywhere from a 1/3 to 1/2 being TEMPORARY FOREIGN WORKERS (slave labour). The US created jobs at well over double the pace of Canada and they’re trending upwards while we just lost 45,000 jobs in the month of December.

      Tory times are tough times indeed.

      • The United States brings in temporary foreign workers also. It is the biggest issue Silicon Valley lobbies for, to bring in programmers on temporary work visas, so they don’t have to raise salaries of programmers.

        Fewer people in the United States are working now than were working before the economic crisis began in 2008.

        • You conservatives really love making yourselves look stupid. Soooo…. it’s ok that Stephen Harper is bringing in foreign slave labour from China, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, etc because Silicon Valley is doing it too? Wtf kind of logic is that? #conservativelogic! I really can’t believe you would use that as your argument to justify betraying Canada. Harper is bringing in TFW’s to steal jobs from Canadians looking for employment and then demagogue those very same people. And to also suppress the wages of Canadians who do have jobs. By the way, whatever happened to English being a requirement to working in Canada? Cuz a lot of these guys don’t have a clue how to speak English. The TFW program under Harper is one of the most anti-Canadian government policies in our nation’s history and you ought to be ashamed of yourself for defending it. Mines in BC advertising for Chinese workers in Mandarin, and firing Canadian workers. RBC being caught firing Canadian workers, but not before forcing them to train their Chinese replacements. All part of the Conservative race to the bottom to compete with Chinese slave labour. You people aren’t patriots, you’re traitors. It’s sickening and disgusting. You really ought to be ashamed of yourself. You don’t stand up for Canadian values, you betray them. Canada just lost 45,000 jobs last month. There are millions of Canadians looking for work and a 7.2% unemployment rate. And you want to justify Stephen Harper’s 500,000 strong slave labour corps. Pathetic. Stop betraying your country. Stand up for Canada for once. I’m a Liberal. Here’s a Liberal proposal. You want to run a business in this country, hire a CANADIAN to do the job. It’s bad enough corporations can offshore, outsource, and automate and we can’t do much about that. But on top of that Stephen Harper wants to import cheap labour from 3rd world countries to finish off and wipe out the average Canadian worker and Canadian Middle Class.

          #SHAME

          • Go in your purse and get a hanky and have a good cry

          • You’ve only further solidified the obvious fact when conservatives are faced with an overwhelmingly strong, coherent argument based on facts, logic and reason… they revert back to Kindergarten-level petty insults. Thanks for being you.

          • Yes….because BEFORE Harper…..no foreigners were ever employed in Canada.
            geez man….do you READ what you write before you post it?

          • Were you complaining this loudly when Paul Martin fired all of the Canadians working for Canada Steamship lines and replaced them with Fillipino workers for a fraction of the pay?
            Didn’t think so.
            That aside…..I actually agree with much of your premise. Stop importing workers if a Canadian is available (and willing) to do the job. Problem of course…..many Canadians don’t want to DO these jobs.

      • And a lot of Harpo’s jobs are consumption jobs. If you tax 50,000 people $1 to buy a “goverment” job, the reality is 50,000 people spend less on someone else’s job and thus the net effect is 50,000 people with a lower value for their incomes.

        As you mention, 20,000,000 US people are no longer seeking work, as worker participation and realized wages have massively plumeted and not recovered.

        Sort of like the political ruse of GDP, GDP isn’t job recovery. Growing GDP without jobs is just inflation. People spending more devalued money and getting less does not drive jobs.

        CAD drop on USD:

        http://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=CAD&to=USD&view=2Y

        CAD drop to Yuan:

        http://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=CAD&to=CNY&view=2Y

        USD drop to Yuan:

        http://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=USD&to=CNY&view=10Y

        This are charts liberal and socialist economics of fraud want to ignore, Media to, its why they don’t quote the obvious, debt fraud nations are going down in value and in job/incomes.

        Note in the above hart that US unemployment took off just after Bernanke started printing money for debt and fraud low rates. While he calls it QE, its really paying the bills with inflationary no value counterfeit money. And BoC in Canada does the same fraud.

        People have to stop thinking of fiat fraud money today as having lasting value. Real inflation on a world wide basis of the CAD is now over 12% per year and rising. We are a negative value economy of ponzi fraud governemtn debt.

        • If you tax 50,000 people $1 to buy one government job, their spending habits have changed by basically 0%. You’ve got 50,000 people buying one less chocolate bar… per year. Not even the chocolate companies are going to notice that.

          On the other hand, that one government job means you now have one person contributing actively to the economy, buying a lot of stuff for his or her family that they couldn’t afford before. Maybe moving out of mom&dad’s basement and into their own apartment. What’s more, if they’re employed in the right government job, they could be doing things like making it easier for *other* businesses to be getting more customers — whether here or overseas, etc.

          You seriously need to consider learning something, really anything, about economies of scale before you spout any more of this trash.

          • Yeah….$1 each isn’t much for each public employee….but in 2006, there were over 454,000 FEDERAL Employees……
            And god knows how many Provincial public employees…..
            It adds up quickly. Let’s not forget, we also have to pay each of them a rather generous Pension for life after they retire, along with all of the other benefits.
            Also….many (if not most) public employees make more than $50K.
            Just sayin.

    • Look at other statistics under the Obama Administration
      Explosion in Food stamp usage…..
      Exsplosion in “disability” benefits…….
      That is Obama’s plan to improve job numbers. Get as many people as possible to quite looking for work……and you’re numbers just get better.
      good politics…..bad economics.

      • That is The Obama deception. Fewer people looking for work and those that do get lower wages…..a negative value depreciating economy of government currency and debt fraud:

        http://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=USD&to=CNY&view=10Y

        No legitimate lenders are lending money to Obama or our politicians for returns below inflation+taxes to lose value.

        Reality is our governments are diluting the currency to pay the bills and people with lower value money get less goods for the money, and less goods means less jobs needed to produce them. THIS CAUSED the “Great Gov/Debt/Currency Fraud Depression of 2006-20xx”.

        In 20 years, they will correctly name this depression. Until then our politicians and media are pushing a lot of deceptive propaganda.

        • Worst part is the printing of money, which basically eats up people’s savings as the rate of inflation outpaces returns, while at the same time making the actual holdings in savings account less valuable. Double whammy. .
          Just another “tax” by Government to pay for their mistakes.

    • Yep, a lot of liberal-fraud economics out there. They refuse to acknowledge the fundamental keystone of economics.

      If people with less money (taxes) and less value money (gov fiat currency devaluation fraud) will ulimately get less goods for the incomes/pensions/savings. And less goods and services means LESS JOBS.

      Heinz and Caterpillar (and others) knew Canada was in for low value currency. Sugars, tomatoes costing 10% more, major customers can’t pass on 10% inflation…and union wage pressures a rising..with governemtn related costs of electricity, taxes and inefficiencies growing…..plant closes. It was the only sane thing to do, close the plant.

      Fact is it is a fallacy that low value currency is good, it KILLS investment as machinery need for manufacturing just got 10% more expensive!!!!

      The reality is government can’t solve the problem as their liberal-economic Keynes policies are an abysmal failure and ignore reality.

  5. Meanwhile the Feds are sitting on a huge surplus and they are goofing around buying jets and upgrading helicopters. The US just announced a very low new job rate. The world economy is in a slump. It had to hit us sooner or later. Austerity doesn’t work just ask England. We have lots of infrastructure that needs fixing. Open up that reserve and create some jobs Jim!

    • Huge surplus? What alternate reality are you living in?

      • Yes, huge! The feds announced that they had a surplus. Followed up by a second announcement that it was larger than they thought. Look it up online!

        • Link, please! They are currently projecting a surplus by 2015 – i.e. next year.

          • I stand corrected. It is projected for fiscal 2015/16 just before the election. How convenient for them. No doubt they’ll open the purse and promise all kinds of new spending to get votes.

          • “No doubt they’ll open the purse and promise all kinds of new spending to get votes.”

            How do you know that? Are you clairvoyant (because if you are, I think I left my belt hanging over the back of your vanity chair back a few days)? Or are you basing that bitter charge on past evidence of same? Examples, if so (and don’t be shy, feel free to work your way up from 1867).

          • I think that past history is a good reflection on the next election. You remember the spending spree they went on before the last election? Mostly in conservative ridings or ridings they were competitive in. It was not that long ago.

        • Proposed surplus might be larger than expected next year

    • True…….Buying equipment for the Armed Forces is just “goofing around”
      Unless of course, it happens to be a Canadian Forces guy who happens to risk his life dangling from an outdated helicopter to pluck you off a crane situated over a raging inferno in Kingston.
      You GOTTA be an NDP supporter.

      • They recommended defective high maintenance and over priced helicopters. Fact is CF SAR needs should be outsourced like UK did in the North Sea. It now costs less and services levels are right up there as it cuts dysfunctional politics and less union stupidity.

      • Too bad we did not actually buy anything. We just talked about it and spent money on procurement plans that had no results.

    • WRONG. The world economy isn’t in a slump, just the J CU PIIIGGGS in debt fraud countries. Chile, Australia, New Zealand, all of Asia is doing quite well as is central America.

      How bad an economy is is proportional to the excessive debt and consumption of its governments. It is the defining facotr of which economies are prospering and which ones are failing. China is still growing at numbers Canadian politicians can only dream off, but then China isn’t debt fraud for governemtn bloat.

      • You are talking about developing countries that have large populations versus developed countries that have shrinking populations. Also trade agreements like NAFTA and GATT have removed economic barriers and allowed corporations to move their work to low-wage countries and remove profits from home countries to reduce taxes. There is no offset for that lost income to government. Europe and post communist countries are having a terrible time. England, for example, has sold many of its public assets like hydro to private and/or foreign ownership. Canada is quietly allowing China to buy land and oil companies without any real opposition so far. There is no way Canada or the US will ever recover lost production jobs to alleviate their high unemployment rates.

  6. Out of the 45,900 jobs lost in Canada in December, 39,000 were in Ontario. That skewed the national jobless rate. So, panicking (Unless you are looking for work in Ontario), is a bit of a stretch. Traditionally, after the retail Christmas boom, jobs are scarce until April when many firms start hiring. I now this is a bit simplistic, in the global picture, but it can’t be ignored either. Heinz and Kelloggs decided to leave Ontario and that contributed to a high rate, it was about 2,000 jobs I believe. Its a slow time now in a fragile recovery. We were told the recovery would come but jobs would not really start to increase until 2014. So, lets hope the experts were right and we see a rebound this year.

    • True….
      Most of the jobs left the province under the Liberals….due to their incompetent and ill-thought out policies. I know it’s fashionable for Macleans et al, to try to find fault with the Conservatives under Harper…..but I think the reality to the job losses can be found mainly around Provincial Liberal policy.

      • Agreed. In Canada if you map income/employment/property/utility taxes including spend side taxes and spend side inflation due to taxes, to jobs for the province, there is a direct correlation no statism (gov-bloat) politician would want to admit exists.

        The more cumulative Ottawa, provincial and city taxes, including hidden taxes and inflation caused by those taxes, the less jobs their will be.

        As people with less money (taxes and taxes as inflation) and less value money are going to get less goods and services. It also means less jobs as less demand is less jobs.

        But politicians and governemtn unions ignore fundamental 101 principles of economics as it is too easy for government just to print money for debt that devalues our lives. That is, politicians are taking the path that preserving bloated government is more important than the people.

        Debt is never cheap and easy. Its just a mater of who and how its going to be paid for. We will see a poor job market and hyperinflation.

    • Yep, low value money is why Heinz and Kelloggs left. Cost of raw material up 10%, rising governemtn and utility/hiddent tax costs added to union wage presures mounting, and customers not able to pass on 10% inflation from currency losses….

      Best answer is to close up and move out.

      So NDP and Cons, how did the low value money work for ya? You get to pay 10% more for everything in devalued money, devalued pensions, devalued incomes, devalued savings but we have big fat bloated governments!!!! Oh, and enjoy new home priices as be it toilets, copper wiring, nails, union labour, or appliances, the next shipment of goods is 10% more expensive!!!

      Me, since 55% of my investments, like CPP I went offshore I don’t get the full bite as I don’t invest in negative return value Canada. Every 10 cents the dollar devalues, is 11.11% increase in CAD value if you are offshore. Even higher if your into Asia/China.

      • You are on track Dave, its the smart play, how you are investing. With the 63 cent dollar in the days, a GIC in Canada was paying at the most 5%. I got lucky and met a European Banker. He got me investing in off shore treasury bills that were paying 14% and 18% respectively. It opened my eyes to what you are saying.

        News releases tell us a low CAD is good for exports, fine. But as a consumer you get hammered. I don’t know if you have seen this before; but I will paste in an excerpt of an article that speaks of a European trend where people are not voting for socialist type governments, but are moving to a more fiscal conservative type. The basic thread sure applies to Canada!

        “There are fewer fruits of economic growth to redistribute, globalization continues to exert downward pressure on wages and working conditions in developed countries, and the demographics of ageing societies with shrinking work forces, make welfare benefits and pensions ever harder to sustain”.

        “Its big battalions of supporters tend to be among public employees and unionized industrial workers with strong job protection and secure pensions who fear privatization, and resist easier hire-and-fire regulations and later retirement”.

    • You may want to look at your numbers again, because last time I checked, 2000 is a hell of a lot less than 39000.

      And sure, traditionally after the retail Christmas boom jobs are scarce, but these are the numbers FROM the Christmas boom.

  7. Under Harper the sky is always falling to our media. Ignoring the facts of the last eight years where the world economic community held Canada out as a beacon of econimic stability, avoiding the ravages befallen other countries, we are now to cast Harper’s economic policies as a failure on a single month of jobs data.

    Shall we label this data a “scandal” as well?

    Of course it naturally follows that someone well versed in speaking on the strength of his family name, and on nothing much else other than pehaps lavish ski trips on his family fortune, should be put at the helm. I look forward to the first debate between Harper and the silver spoon manchild on the subject of economic issues. If you haven’t seen Justin’s only sit down on the economy it was a real treat. Do look for it on the interwebs. Try to imagine Kim Kardashian discussing quantum physics. Justin performs south of that.

    I wonder how a fawning media will shelter their boy from that? Perhaps they’ll simply try to cut the debate feed.

    • Hapless Harper had nothing to do with it. Canada has resources and commodities like food, these are must haves for modern society to exist.

      But given government and taxation is more now than in 2006, all the BoC money print devaluation fraud just caught up to us. Canada is economically on the edge of the cliff and falling.

      We will not escape this round.

    • Most economists will tribute our banking sector and our surpluses at the time as reasons why we did better than the rest of the developed world.
      However our current government has squandered that all away and now our employment rate is less than Britain and the US.
      You can only attribute that to the government policies of resource extraction at all costs. Maybe Mulcair was not wrong in saying that their is a dutch disease and it appears as though it has caught up to us with the loss of manufacturing due partly to the high dollar caused by the resource boom.
      Of course if we had a balanced policy and were running surpluses then we would be in a good position. But now manufacturing has to be rebuilt and this will take years. So don’t expect the cdn dollar to go up any time soon, unless there is another resource boom. But without the infrastructure would we even be able to take advantage of the next resource boom?

  8. I’m waiting for the TF/CEO program that will suppress the wages paid at the top.
    Trickle down economics hasn’t worked for 40-50 years it is time to try trickle up, pay the workers a fair, living wage ($16.50/hr in Australia; Britian meanwhile has cut taxes on anyone making less than $24,000/year to zero) while cutting government handouts that have no strings attached to corporations. Corporations should live and die by the market forces not live by governments bolstering their hoarded bottom line. Scrap the TFW program, if these people are good enough to work in Canada they are good enough to bring their families and live in Canada.

    • Our workers are paid too much and why we can’t compete.

      The real problem is in the value of the wages, in a tax inflated economy of debt the money earned doesn’t go too far. We pay twice as much for a lot of things because of hidden impacts of hyper taxation. 283% tariffs on Mozzarella cheese and if domestic, a “family” business makes billions quick to pay lots of taxes. Liberal economists don’t talk of it much, but some better economists talk of it as “tax inflation”. You pay twice as much for a dental cleaning, even if disabled and poor as 1/2 of the cost ends up into governments some how.

      Its why our cars, autos, big stuff costs so much. Half the cost of a modern home can be attributed to taxes in tariffs on toilets, wage taxes, and all….

      We have become a tax inflated negative value debt dysfunctional society.

      It is possible to make less gross money and live better if you could remove some taxes be they realized and/or hidden taxes as it would deflate the economy and make it more economical to live in Canada. And more economical to live here means less inflated beyond reason wage pressures.

      Isn’t that you don’t make enough, its that you are not getting the value for it because we have tax greedy governments.

      In cave man times we would lynch politicians if they took 30% from the provider of meat and 30% from the consumer of meat in trading goods and services. As with non-value added politicians getting 60%, the two people providing goods only gets to share 40%.

      But the reasons they don’t teach true economics on a personal or governemtn level as people with a lack of real knowledge are easier to lead. We don’t mange government, government manages us.

      Reality is we have too much governemtn consumption than is good for us productive people. Not enough return for the @280+ billion we cart to Ottawa and the 100s of billions we cart to provinces…then city union tax greeds….

      All make our lives unnecessarily expensive. You are over paid and undervalued. And why Canada will be hyperinflationed and devalued.

  9. Strange, isn’t it?
    When job numbers for the month were much higher than economists predicted, not many in the media were prepared to praise the current Government for the figures showing growth…but when they take a downward turn, it’s “Off with their heads…mismanagement..etc..etc…”
    There is never any mention that the winter season usually sees a downturn, as many sectors have a decreased demand for workers…which picks up again when the weather gets better and business start hiring again.
    What the author doens’t mention, is that the majority of these jobs were lost in ONTARIO….which, as we know, is curently under the control of the Provincial LIBERAL Govenrment…….which has consistently shown be be incompetent managers of the economy of the province.
    yeah…easier to blame the Feds.
    No mention of the manufacturers who have picked up and left the province for more business friendly atmospheres south of the border. After all…why pay 6 times for power than what it costs…..if you can move shop down to the states and have the citizens of Ontario provide subsidized power for American workers and factories.
    Keep up the good work Macleans…guess HALF a story is better than none.

  10. Ottawa isn’t waiting, it is causing the economic downturn.

    Blinded by government greed, they devalue money to pay the bills. And people with less money (taxes) and less value money will get less goods and services. And jobs are not GDP driven, they are driven by goods and services that people can pay for.

    So with less value incomes, derailed pensions, fraud low interest rates, we have less value money and pay more but get less goods and services and employ fewer people as there are less actual goods and services consumed.

    Its a vicious degeneration cycle really. guaranteed in due time to fail. No country in the history if mankind has succeeded in printing (electronic counterfeiting) fiat money for debt. But statism government itself is in denial of reality.

    Its why government can’t solve the economic problems, its fraud, debt and bloat is the cause of the problems, far more government consumption than productive society can support. With taxes, they cut the grass too low for it to grow right.

  11. This CONS Government, and it’s “lobbyist” Corporations, has outsourced Canada almost into oblivion, to the tune of hundreds-of-thousands of Jobs gone, forever.
    Many huge Corps have already gone “South”, namely Heinz, Kelloggs, …, taking ALL the Jobs with them.

    What? you think those jobs will ever come back?, come back to what ?
    “Belt-tightening”, why not just tell “starving canadians” that they need to go on a diet.
    Some of these Harper “inactions” border on treasonous.
    Zero regulation, zero accountability, zero resposibility,…, everything Harpo said he “was” gonna do, he simply lied to us.

    …ya ya, whatever, OIL, XL, ok fine, but are we ever gonna see the fruits of any of that profitability on our canadian plates ?
    That’s kinda hard when we are giving away(export) our raw crude Oil for pennies, while at the same time, allowing Big “International” (ex-pat) Oil Corp’s to “refine” it somewhere else, only to have to (import)/sell it back to us at ridiculous rate$, slowly bleeding away profit only for themselves.

    Ya, Great economic plan Harpo, you freakin’ traitorous boob.

  12. I guess we will see how effective the trickle down theory works. If the economy does not produce jobs especially in a period when the rest of the world expectations have improved then we can reasonable say that the tax cuts did not have much effect.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *