Don’t look back in anger


Stephen Harper, Oct. 2. “What Canadians are worried about right now is not the job situation, not losing their home like in the U.S. What they’re worried about is they see the stock-market problems.”

Globe and Mail, today. “Since October, when the Canadian economy took a major turn for the worse, workplaces have shed 213,000 jobs or 1.2 per cent of the work force.”

Stephen Harper, Oct. 1. “Canada is not the United States.”

Canadian Press, today. “And it was far worse, in relation to the population, than the 598,000 jobs retreat reported by the U.S. on Friday.”

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Don’t look back in anger

  1. Obviously you’re not an economist like our Prime Minister is, so you can be forgiven for not recognizing just how poorly this reflects on the Liberals, NDP and Bloc.

  2. What’s the point of this post other than Harper’s not able to see into the future? Harper was mostly right on Oct 1st and 2nd because there were no mass layoffs happening. The US has been in a recession since Dec ’07 at least but I am not certain if Stats Can has made it official yet on whether Canada has entered recession.

    And the Canadian Press article illustrates precisely what’s wrong with msm today. The Americans lost 2.6 millions jobs in ’08 while Canada had record employment rates last summer I believe. A little context for their comparison between Can and US for Jan ’09 layoffs would be nice.

    • The point is that one should not rely on their “trained economist” card if they’re total rubbish at economics.

      • You mean like all the “economists” that were used to build the consensus that Canada would shed only 40,000 jobs when we actually shed more than 200,000? Are all those people not economists or just Stephen Harper? This whole Harper is not an economist line is getting pretty tired since it appears few economists are actually getting it right.

        • From the original article
          “Opposition leaders accused him of being uncaring, laissez-faire, and out-of-touch with the real economic concerns of Canadians.”

          So I think the point is that the opposition leaders all recognized that the situation was much worse than Harper was projecting it…

          I do think that it is a legitimate point to note that Stephen Harper was the very last leader of any political party in Canada to recognize that we were in serious economic trouble. This was amplified in the fiscal update, when the opposition was already calling for serious stimulus measures.

          The ultimate result is that we have the Home-Depo stimulus package, a large group of disjointed odds and ends that will be ineffective. It will be ineffective not because it is not large enough, but rather because it is poorly thought out, incoherent and lacks any serious implementation strategy. This is a direct result of Stephen Harper’s earlier views on the economy and his stubborn refusal to recognize his mistake. As a result, this budget was put together in a few weeks rather than carefully crafted over months.

          • “I do think that it is a legitimate point to note that Stephen Harper was the very last leader of any political party in Canada to recognize that we were in serious economic trouble.”

            I would really like to see a situation where the government and not the opposition was the first to start screaming that the economy was collapsing. The government is always going to be the last to publicly acknowledge that the economy is hitting the skids because, politically, they have the most to lose (while the opposition tends to be first because they have the most to gain). That doesn’t mean the government doesn’t know it’s happening or aren’t trying to deal with it in their own way. The government was buying $25 billion in bad debt from the banks back in October. Why would they be doing that if they thought everything was going well? It may not have grabbed the headlines like stimulus spending but the government was definitely doing something to try to loosen the credit markets. However, I do agree with you that the budget seems like it was written on the back of a napkin.

        • I think the important thing to take from this is the frequency at which Harper gets it wrong. Wrong on Iraq, wrong on climate change, wrong on good investment opportunities, wrong on Dumont in quebec, wrong on Tory in Ontario, wrong on the November fiscal update. It does present a wionning strategy, however. Watch what Harper does. Then do the opposite.

          • At least he’s consistent.

    • Canada had record employment rates last summer I believe.

      Your beliefs are wrong as usual.

      • Instead of record, I should have written 30-year low. The point is that Canada is doing remarkably well economically, compared to most other countries in the world. And the credit goes to both Libs and Cons over the past 12 years or so.

        • I find that if I smear my body with the blood of a ritually slaughtered guinea fowl it confers immunity to the chaos of the world around me.

          Hasn’t worked real well so far, but in the spirit of the times , if something doesn’t work I’ll just do more of it.

          • Could you hook me up with your guinea fowl connection? My old dealer got busted smuggling a crate out of Africa.

    • Harper was mostly right on Oct 1st and 2nd because there were no mass layoffs happening.

      He was mostly right for people who have the attention span of a gnat.

    • that he is incompetent

  3. Quite simply I mistrust anyone at present and most especially the last few months … that can give any sort of projections. whatsoever. Although it’s very simple and easy to blame the current bad news of the last few months on someone, anyone and maybe everyone the bottom line is that … when the world loses 20 – 30% of it’s total markets value in a few weeks all gloves are off. There are no models of predictive analysis that do you one whit of good. Even now you have all the assorted experts saying things and all of them were wrong a few weeks ago what makes them right now? Only time will tell as if you look back at history with a bit of perspective the words ‘ Boom and Bust ‘ keep popping up revealing uncomfortable facts as we were in a boom and now we are busted. Plain and simple really the key is to adapt .. ps: great time for bank stocks the last while folks, if you don’t take advantage of that you are well you know. One last note I am always cautious of media spin as they are constantly in search of a ‘ Narrative ‘ take todays employment figures the TGM says ‘ Unemployment Surges to 7.2 % the sky is falling woe is me ‘ … however you could just as well say ‘ Employment decreases slightly to 92.8 % ‘ which to be honest all things considered is pretty damn good if you ask me as I have been through times when twice this unemloyment was good news!

    • Quite simply I mistrust anyone at present and most especially the last few months … that can give any sort of projections.

      I bet you weren’t saying that a few months ago.

      • actually I always have as I have studied the area (mathematics and network computing is my bag) and I know it’s all wizardy and replete with arcane rituals and analyzing sheeps livers. I invest 30% of my gross and am a contrarian by nature which is quite beneficial at present as I made a bundle right after Katrina and moved out of oil and commodities just in time before the recent crash. I have been doing okay of late … did take a bit of hit but I moved out of precious metals and energy just in time and my bank stocks are doing GREAT! Plus my forex is a life saver as my bets on the international currency values have been spot on the last while. Last but not least I love gold always have and again got lucky selling off when it was very high awhile back and lately my remaining amount is doing quite well.

        • Gee, Ti-Guy, I bet you didn’t know you were in the presence of a self made millionaire.

          • Sorry haven’t made a million yet more along the line of 429,751 $ at present not bad for almost 15 years of investing oh yeah lest I forget I don’t do debt . I owe nuthin to nobody and keep it simple! with 10 years to go to retire I just might make a million as it is my goal and Harper is absolutley right as to buying opportunites which is exactly what I have been doing of late as I have just increased the amount I am investing to 35% of my gross and I dollar cost average wherever I can so in awhile when the boom returns oodles of money.

          • I hope the children are paying attention. This is what’s it all for kids…buy into the orthodoxy and one day, you’ll grow up to be just like Wayne.

          • Buy sell, buy sell, that’s all there’s to it isn’t it Wayne? If you hurry and catch the bottom of the market you just might be able to ride corn back up, that is if those greedy folks in the 3rd world haven’t eaten it all yet.

        • Gee, thirty-odd years ago I joined a defined benefit pension plan. Remember them ? They actually work.

          Guess that’s why they’re frowned on these days.

          • It would seem that they tend to bankrupt companies.

          • No they don’t. Corporate executives bankrupt companies. Pension plans are collateral damage.

  4. Meh, I still think there is a lot of apocalyptic raving going on, and the result of the “stimulus” in both Canada and the U.S. will be that fat guys in suits who already have their hands on the public till will be cut a bigger check. I’ll cut off my left hand if either this government, or a more left of centre government that replaces it, actually contributes anything to the economy of lasting value.

    You know, as someone who largely avoided the 70’s by being born in 1979, I’m rather annoyed at being dragged into the sequel.

  5. If only Harper didn’t kick Garth.ca out of caucus.

    • Anyone who has been following Garth for the past couple of years isn’t the least bit surprised in what is happening.

  6. Harper was following the advice of economists, who also failed to predict that job losses would be as steep as they were (see he is an economist after all). I ask you what is better – to make an incorrect prediction, based on the best evidence at hand, or to make a correct one based on conjecture?

  7. Hoser, Harper has consistently gone against the advice of economists during his rocky-run as PM. They advised against gimicky sales tax cuts (preferred income tax cuts by a large margin) and generally were calling for choppy seas ahead when Harper was acting as though the big wave covering the sun was just eye-shade. But let’s say Harper isn’t as stone-faced useless as an economist; perhaps his whole breaking the set-election law was in hopes of surfing in before the bad storm while utilizing both his litiginous muzzling of the opposition and a weakly-perceived opponent to knight him to the majority he so deserved. How did that turn out? And then, after at least increasing his minority, he still talked about maybe deficits, oh no deficits, but I like those panicky Dion ideas so I’ll use them, hey it’s a depression where stimulus is needed and now the stimulus I offer to Canadians (in Nov) is a squiddly FU!… Sounds like he needs a new horse-whisperer…

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