Justin Trudeau raises expectations

by Aaron Wherry

In an op-ed for the Star, Justin Trudeau focuses on the middle class.

So what would a new Liberal agenda look like? First, it will be based on evidence, not ideology. This may be an old-fashioned idea in today’s political climate, but I believe that policy should be based on facts. The problems that middle class Canadians are facing are real and complex. They won’t be solved with simple, easy answers.

So what will an evidence-based, fact-based policy agenda look like? What will it mean for, say, the GST? What about corporate taxes? Or carbon pricing? Or crime policy? It’s a very interesting standard to insist on.




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Justin Trudeau raises expectations

  1. Trudeau: “Where is the next wave of growth going to come from? Because the bottom line is that individual middle class wages have stagnated for decades.”
    ——–
    StatsCan 2012~ Average real wage rates of Canadian workers grew little during the 1980s and the 1990s before rising at a faster pace during the 2000s. From 1981 to 1998, average real hourly wages of full-time workers aged 17 to 64 increased by a total of roughly 4%, less than half the growth rate of 10% observed during the shorter 1998-to-2011 period. Overall, average hourly wages of full-time workers increased by 14% from 1981 to 2011.
    ———
    HL Mencken ~ The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

    • “Overall, average hourly wages of full-time workers increased by 14% from 1981 to 2011.” – Which works out to roughly 0.47%/yr, which is looking pretty stagnant from here. BTW, when one factors in inflation into those same 30 years buying power of those same workers DECREASED significantly.

      • Exactly. Trudeau is correct.

      • wiki ~ The term real wages refers to wages that have been adjusted for inflation. This term is used in contrast to nominal wages or unadjusted wages.

        • Your own quotes give you Trudeau’s answer.

  2. Can someone please ask Trudeau when he plans on start using evidence and facts?

    Trudeau: “Where is the next wave of growth going to come from? Because the bottom line is that individual middle class wages have stagnated for decades.”

    StatsCan 2008: First, occupations at the high end of the pay scale, such as other management in business, finance or government and natural and applied sciences, saw big employment increases over this period. Overall, employment increases from 2002 to 2007 were skewed toward the upper end of the pay scale, as workers in the highest pay ranges saw the largest increase in their numbers.

    • Talk to any carpenter, dry waller,plumber, just about any trades person outside of the AB oil patch and they will tell you their basic take home pay hasn’t moved much in several decades. There’s been an awfully big jump in service industry jobs and self employment too.Hidden in all the good news about AB is the fact that entry level wages haven’t moved all that much since the 80s at all.
      Trudeau’s basically right. Some professions have done ok and of course the financial service sector always seems to come out smiling – if you’re at or nearer the top
      Of course he still has to say how he is going to raise basic income levels; you can’t just go zap! it’s unfrozen..

  3. “So what will an evidence-based, fact-based policy agenda look like? What will it mean…”

    As i read that question this way: I hope this doesn’t become too much of a mantra for Justin – evidence based stuff. That’s all well and good, but it can imply there’s a simple easy answer just waiting out there for someone like him to just come along and say…look what i’ve found – the perfect answer? Fact is there is often contrary evidence available for any number of policy options – it’s part of the reason we have politics – we argue about them all day long.
    But If he is hoping to attempt take the raw politics[ better yet the ideological bias,the lazy easy partisan assumptions] out of decision making then i applaud him – but good luck with that. His dad tried it early on and quickly found people frequently aren’t all that rational – it almost cost him a couple of elections; but i applaud the spirit. If he is sincere about edging toward a form of post partisan politics he will need all the help and luck he can get, given the cynicism in our current politics and in the land generally.
    Should he succeed even to the degree that we dial it back a little and start thinking again about making sure everyone feels they have a stake in the well being of the country, no matter their status or standing, i’ll be happy.
    But i’m not holding my breath for him to usher in a new age of politics – to do that you would have to change people’s hearts. He is a talented guy, but i expect he’d drown as easily as i would.

  4. So, we’re going to see another Liberal leader who thinks he can win the Canadian electorate over with platitudes and bromides. Just what the Liberals need.

  5. When ideologues like Wherry and Trudeau try to equate “evidence-based” with their own ideological and irrational belief system, they only makes themselves look like children.

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