Justin Trudeau writes policy. I know it's in here somewhere - Macleans.ca

Justin Trudeau writes policy. I know it’s in here somewhere

Paul Wells on the mismatch between problem and solution


From the leader of the Liberal party, an op-ed on the themes the Throne Speech should contain. Let us go looking for them.

“I have had the great privilege over the past several months to travel our vast and beautiful country,” he writes. No, that’s not it. Let’s see… “all walks of life…” “teachers, truck drivers, farmers…” “gamesmanship and gimmicks…”

Ah. Here we are. Trudeau notes “the most pressing issue facing the country – the fact that middle class Canadians have not had a decent raise in 30 years.”

Here we arrive at the first half of Trudeau’s real argument: the diagnosis of failure. Here he is generous enough to blame  “governments of all political stripes” for “economic platforms which prioritized openness to trade, fiscal discipline, tax competitiveness, and investment in skills, research and infrastructure.”  And the problem with those policies is… what? That they haven’t delivered, apparently. “Middle-class Canadians… were promised that this growth would create prosperity – for them,” Trudeau writes. “Unfortunately, that simply has not happened. The only thing middle-class Canadians have seen grow at a level approaching GDP is household debt.”

Note here that Trudeau is not actually against trade, budget balance, low taxes and investment in human and physical capital. He couldn’t be. Those are the legacies of Jean Chrétien as much as of Stephen Harper. No, Trudeau’s worry is essentially about consent: “For wealthier Canadians, an urgent conclusion must be drawn: if we fail to solve this problem, Canadians’ anxiety will grow, and eventually, they will stop supporting a growth agenda.”

So it all falls apart if the middle class doesn’t feel benefit from economic growth. (Note that we could have a merry debate about whether Trudeau’s premise is accurate, and Maclean’s has been holding that debate for a few months. But let’s grant the premise and examine his remedies.) How should a government tackle “the most pressing issue facing the country?”

Trudeau makes, by my count, two sets of suggestions on this front. First, support the elderly. “Healthcare, home care, pensions: these items, in particular, must be protected and reinforced.” Second, support young people. “This means tackling youth unemployment rates – which are twice as high as the national average – and protecting young workers from exploitation via illegal unpaid internships.” I’m curious about how you can increase both pay and employment levels for young workers, and I’ve never really understood why youth unemployment shouldn’t be higher than employment for people who’ve had longer to find their path in life and to accumulate expensive responsibilities. But I should note that Trudeau also suggests “guaranteeing Canadians access to affordable, high quality, lifelong education” as a “crucial” element of his middle-class agenda.

Throw in seven more uses of the first-person singular pronoun, and that’s that. One is struck by the mismatch between the problem and the solution. If Canada’s “most pressing issue” is looming withdrawal of consent for a “growth agenda,” one can only hope that richer pensions and a simultaneous boost to the pay and the number of jobs offered to young adults will reinforce that consent. And that the cost of those programs will be paid by even faster economic growth. And that the resulting growth won’t be the alienating, consent-withdrawal-inducing growth we have lately apparently had, but that rather it will be the nurturing growth Trudeau prefers.

That’s Trudeau’s contribution. Thomas Mulcair made some suggestions of his own recently. We’ll see what the government has to offer shortly before dinner.


Justin Trudeau writes policy. I know it’s in here somewhere

  1. “…I’ve never really understood why youth unemployment shouldn’t be higher than employment for people who’ve had longer to find their path in life and to accumulate expensive responsibilities.”

    That makes two of us, I’ve also noticed that youth unemployment statistics often have bizarre age ranges like 15-24. Are we really counting people who have not even graduated from high school as unemployed?

    • Easier to keep a job than to get one. This tilts it so young get the shaft.

      Simple, no real job growth hinders new labour getting a start. Its part of the new economy of “just more debt” as the pyramid debt fraud schemes governments run in all this cause a depression effect on a devaluing economy.

      You could sum it up as more government means less for the people.

      While some kids are lazy, fantasy driven, many are not and they are getting shafted. Poor economy means lower pay and less attractive jobs. Its the byproduct of the “Great Debt Fraud Depression of 2007-20xx”.

      And if they get jobs, they will be taxed like salves to support the massive Ottawa waste.

      While politicians like to push the illusions, our economic model is failing the next generation. Too much government waste, not enough for the people.

  2. If Trudeau released a detailed policy platform two years before the election, the Ottawa pundits would say he was naive, a political neophyte with weak advisors, outsmarted by Harper, unschooled in the realities etc.
    Two years of Wells on Trudeau ahead. Oh my!

    • He can release a platform whenever he likes. I’ll stay busy in the meantime. But if he writes an article naming an “urgent” and “pressing” issue and proposing remedies, I get to read it. Oh my.

      • Ah, pundits. People in the business of creating controversy so they can get paid. If Mr. Trudeau was naive enough to release a platform now, people like you would complain about that. There’s no satisfying a pundit.

        • Yes. Shame on people doing something to get “paid”. If you weren’t here reading it he wouldn’t be getting paid and therefore wouldn’t be writing it.

          • My point is that Mr. Wells and his fellow pundits have space to fill and ads to sell and that drives their writing and opinions. They live for the negative and will find it everywhere. It’s simply the nature of the business.

        • Yes, we should not expect leaders of federal parties to “release a platform” and we should demand that the journalists in national online magazines ignore the fact that said leaders aren’t releasing platforms. That way, no one is doing their “job” and we supporters can remain happy.

          • The most detailed policy platform I ever saw was the Canadian Alliance 2000 election platform. It was released during the summer, even though no election had been called yet. That gave the other parties, and their numerous media critics, and entire summer to sharpen up their arguments, criticisms, fear-mongering attacks, and often outright falsehoods. By the time the election was called that fall, the entire platform had been villified. Stock Day was an ineffective leader and campaigner, and likely it would have ended the same way anyway. But that was the last time I’ve seen an early release of a platform. Sadly, there is simply no advantage in doing so.

          • Oh I am sure that is true but some JT’s supporters believe he is going to deliver a platform so profound and life altering that the other parties are waiting with bated breath to steal it.

          • The whole Green Shift idea was released early and suffered the same fate. All we had was a deafening chorus from the media about how *confusing* the darned thing was (they all failed remedial math, apparently), along with Inky the Splot telling us how it would destroy human civilization. Now that the Conservatives learned the lesson about releasing their platform early under Stock Day, and the Liberals under Dion, we should not be surprised to see them kept under wraps. Hopefully not as bad as Harper in 2008 releasing the platform after advance polling had begun, mind you.

          • Where is Harper’s platform for the 2015 election?

          • Head over to Aaron Wherry for that.

          • Some of it was in the Throne Speech today. Joint filing will be dangled for sure.

        • It is possible to take a stance on issues without releasing a platform. Every leader does this to some extent when they run in leadership races (because Trudeau faced a coronation, he largely avoided this). It doesn’t need to be costed, but it should be more specific than “we should help middle class (and the political definition of the middle class is everybody), old and young people”.

          We know, for instance, that Tom Mulcair wants to extend the Trans-Canada pipeline into Eastern Canada. We knew in 2006 that Stephen Harper opposed gay marriage, the gun registry and supported the war in Iraq. We knew that Michael Ignatieff supported a Quebec as a Nation resolution because he championed one as a leadership candidate. Dion floated the Green Shift as an idea before the Liberals released their full platform. We knew Tony Clement supported a lifetime income tax in the 2002 Ontario Tory leadership race. And we knew that Preston Manning supported term limits, and an elected senate, etc. before the Reform Party released its platform.

          Our opposition leaders have consistently introduced ideas that clash with the status quo before their parties release platforms. Trudeau has done little of this. Is that politically smart? Sure – if you are more popular than your ideas, it makes sense to speak little about your ideas (see, for instance, Bill Vander Zalm in the 1986 election). It can also produce terrible governance (see, for instance Bill Vander Zalm).

          But it is absolutely the duty of the fifth estate to call politicians on their evasion. What planet do you live in where it is the job of journalists to facilitate vacuous “I like puppies” statements by politicians because otherwise those politicians might lose support. Why the hell would I read Macleans in such a world?

          • I don’t recall the media fixating on what Alexa McDonough’s policies were during Chretien’s majorities. It seems odd to expect Trudeau to propose policies for the sake of proposing them before they have any relevance in the context of a choice for voters. In the mean time we ought to ignore the decisions the government is making about policy today?

          • She was never a serious possibility for the PM. Trudeau is.

      • No wait Paul, in the meantime you need to be writing scathing articles about the OTHER two federal party leaders. It isn’t enough that you keep from criticizing JT, you have to ramp up criticism of the other two or we won’t be happy.

      • If you want to stay busy I would suggest you do what sets real journalist around the world apart from the rest, hold the Govt of the day to account for going back on the reasons for asking Canadians to vote ( that is up for debate) them in, Transparency, Accountability, do the crime, go to jail, just to name a few. While at it, can you please keep busy by asking the Govt. what really happened to the $3.1B the Auditor reported was unaccounted for. Only in Canada, a Govt. of the day refuses to address the public through the press and you still have the press jumping to cover them at staged-managed events where no questions are asked. PW, there are so many things to keep you busy if you follow the tenets of a true journalist. Harper while in opposition never realeased his paltform until close to the election and I never once read a column by you protesting that and if you must know, I, like most Canadians care more about what this Govt. is doing to the Financial, moral fabric of this Country than JT’s elelction platform. I also realise there are Senate vacancies but don’t raise your hope by supporting this corrupt Govt. because, like most canadians will be surprised if they put in another Journalist in the Senate so soon with the track record of Duffy and Wallin.

        • In other words Paul, you’re not a real journalist unless you write nothing but articles slagging Harper and the current federal government. I’m sure that’s somewhere in a Canadian journalism 101 textbook.
          It might be ok to slag a provincial government, but only if it’s right-wing. But you better check back with truthcop about that.

        • You are honestly going to tell Paul Wells what he should and shouldn’t write about? Are you saying no one on Macleans online is writing about the “$3.1B the Auditor reported was unaccounted for?” No one on Macleans is writing about the Senate? Come on, you know that is not true. The journalists write about what interests the readers and JT interests readers as does Mr. Mulclair. Oh and read Paul’s comment about the “urgent”, etc….JT sent Paul a press release announcing this breakthrough….hence the article. If you really don’t want Paul to write about JT, maybe send a note to JT telling him not to send Paul anymore press releases.

        • Only in Canada?! Dude, really?!

          • Mr. Wells, like all of us here, can write whatever he chooses. But his opinion, despite his position as a “journalist”, is really no more weighty or important than that of a non-journalist. One of the major problems with modern “journalism” is that there are too many opinions and not enough hard facts. Entertainment over substance seems to be the way to sell ads.

      • And you know Trudeau will not put a binding legal contract to the citizens that reads deliver on time or quit, as it is just more Liberal BS for a vote.

        May the best liar and deceiver of the people win. As government always wins on our rigged ballot. No option exists for less government waste and less taxes.

      • The Chretien Liberal unveiled their policy platform, the famous Red Book, two weeks AFTER the 1993 election was called. And pundits chastise Trudeau for not presenting his party policy TWO YEARS BEFORE the election??? Oh my.

    • If Trudeau’s going to talk about how he wants to fix something, he’d damn well better be able to explain HOW he’s going to fix it. Without details all of his talk is hallow and meaningless. He might as well be promising unicorn’s in every back yard.

      If Trudeau had any meaningful policies, he should be happy if the government were to steal them. It would make the country a better place, and he’d be able to take credit for them.

      All of this garbage about how he’d be criticized for releasing policy details are nothing but cover for the fact that he’s got no policy ideas.

    • But surely Trudeau needs to say more than the platitudes he’s offered since
      being elected leader. His brain-trust and handlers must understand that he’s
      not running to be Student Council President and that he needs to say more than just “unemployment
      bad, social programs good”.

      • Why? Harper managed to get re-elected saying less.

        • By the time Harper was up for re-election, people — even those who don’t follow politics on a daily basis — knew that Harper had some very clear policy stances. They have not have agreed with anything he said, but he certainly wasn’t a neophyte.

          With Trudeau, we haven’t seen much of anything. His responses from the Speech From the Throne were regurgitated talking points about his summer travels. He has his father’s charisma, but to date I have yet to hear anything to match his father’s intellect. This leaves me to believe that without the Trudeau name I suspect he would a well-liked history teacher. That’s a honourable
          professional path, but a long way from Prime Minister of Canada.

    • They both were idealistic “Young Liberals of Canada”.

  3. So it all falls apart if the middle class doesn’t feel benefit from
    economic growth…

    Trudeau makes, by my count, two sets of suggestions on this front.
    First, support the elderly. “Healthcare, home care, pensions: these
    items, in particular, must be protected and reinforced.” Second, support
    young people. “This means tackling youth unemployment rates – which are
    twice as high as the national average – and protecting young workers
    from exploitation via illegal unpaid internships.”

    Can someone please explain to me what either of those priorities will do for the so-called “middle class” ?

    • Maybe he thinks that since healthcare jobs are middle-class jobs that see annual raises because they’re all members of government unions. And if everybody had a job in healthcare the middle class would suddenly be satisfied with their annual raises (on the taxpayers dime). Of course no mention of where the money will come from to pay these people. Maybe from legalizing and taxing marijuana?

      As for the second, I believe Trudeau thinks that if they simply banned unpaid internships that all of those positions would suddenly just turn in to $50,000/yr paid jobs. Which is plainly insane, but insane seems to be a recurring theme with this guy.

    • Yes. The middle class is often called the “sandwich” generation. They have parents with income, health and care problems; children unable to afford education without depending on parents or incurring great debt,and/or unable to get a decent job and make a start in life, so they are still living with their parents even well into their twenties..
      You’re welcome.

      • So the middle class is a “generation” now?

        Being middle class has nothing to do with when you were born.

        • Yes.
          When you have some money is after you have been working for a while say 30’s – 40’s, and before you hit the retirement wall. It’s not perfect i agree, but to quite an extent the middle class are the working middle of the population age wise, or more or less a generation.
          But you make a good point.

    • Middle class simply means middle-income. The best way to tackle the problem is to create more middle-income earners. The only way to do that is to make worker training and education more accessible. People, especially the young, can make it to the middle class with a trade, certificate or college diploma.

      Trudeau has a plan of raising post-secondary education levels to 70% (from 50%.) That is a contemporary solution. (As opposed to Harper’s 19th-century solution which is to dig more holes in the ground.)

      Of course, the devil will be in the details. He will need to follow through, strike the right-balance of government funding, work on making post secondary education less expensive, provide worker training allowances, match skills to market needs, reign in private business colleges scamming students for everything they can get, etc.

      • JT ” has a plan of raising post-secondary education levels to 70%”.

        Really, he has a plan to get that accomplished. What? He’s gonna force people to attend post-secondary education? Because anybody is already allowed to attend post-secondary educational institutions NOW. So, what exactly is JT gonna do to make it 70%???

        • Being allowed to do something doesn’t mean one is able to afford to do it.

      • Perhaps Trudeau will get some post secondary education . Something more useful than a drama teaching diploma. He did try once and dropped out.

        • In fact, it’s been pointed out he wasn’t a drama teacher.

          You should be ashamed of yourself.

      • Is it a plan or is it a goal?

    • john g, Let me try to explain how Trudeau will save the middle class:
      Massive government funding will immediately go into senior healthcare creating bountiful union salaries for unemployed middle class folks. CPP and old age pensions will now be hand delivered weekly instead of monthly, thereby creating bountiful union jobs for new Posties.
      Youth unemployment will drop to almost zero by creating new and bountiful public service jobs in new government depts. such as state run snow board hills, compulsory drams schools and of course the nationalized pot farms. Oh, and we will pass a law outlawing internships and forcing all private sector companies to retroactively pay bountiful salaries to new graduates.
      Hope this was helpful.

      • very well done – love it :)

      • Where’s my unicorn?

        • Unicorns come after re-election.

      • You’re Justin Trudeau, aren’t you?!

  4. Justin – and his fundraiser, schoolmate Stephen Bronfman – have never spent one second in the middle class they purport to speak on behalf.
    Justin is concerned that Harper will steal his economic idea (or ideas – if more than one!).
    If the media love-in with the young man ends then he and the so-called Liberal party are in deep doo doo.

    • And what if it doesn’t end? Do you consider this Wells’ piece to be a love-in with Trudeau? Did you actually read it?

      • rfaris did not say that the Well’s article is a love-in with Trudeau. Did you read rfaris’s post??

  5. There you have it; the Liberal Party is the political center and Canada is a doughnut.

    • I have no idea what that means, but it makes me feel hungry and patriotic all at the same time.

      • Doughnut hunger IS patriotism in Canada!

        • I’m like Don Cherry in a maple-leaf suit patriotic, then.

      • It helped me make new friends. ~ waving with right hand for a change ~

  6. William Sumner – The Forgotten Man:

    The type and formula of most schemes of philanthropy or humanitarianism is this: A and B put their heads together to decide what C shall be made to do for D.

    They are always under the dominion of the superstition of government, and, forgetting that a government produces nothing at all, they leave out of sight the first fact to be remembered in all social discussion — that the state cannot get a cent for any man without taking it from some other man, and this latter must be a man who has produced and saved it. This latter is the Forgotten Man.

    Every bit of capital, therefore, which is given to a shiftless and inefficient member of society, who makes no return for it, is diverted from a reproductive use; but if it was put into reproductive use, it would have to be granted in wages to an efficient and productive laborer. Hence the real sufferer by that kind of benevolence which consists in an expenditure of capital to protect the good-for-nothing is the industrious laborer. The latter, however, is never thought of in this connection.

    • I thought you said sociologists are full of crap.
      Now you’re quoting the first one?

      Perhaps what’s full of crap is you.

      • Indeed, maybe I am.

  7. Wages are not important indicator, standard of living is what matters. And anyone who was alive, remembers 1970s or early, is not keen to go back in time. Our lives now are immeasurably better than they were 40 or 50 yrs ago.

    I wonder if Trudeau Jr is aware of Trudeau Sr economic record during the 1970’s? I am convinced Trudeau Jr wants to propose wage and price controls to help middle class, we shall see what happens.

    • Pure nonsense. Living standards were much higher 30 years ago. Back in the 1960s and 70s a factory worker could make it to the middle class, support a house and family on a single income with a full-time job for life and company pension.

      How much of that is left?

      Fact is our economy was far better off during the high inflation of the 1970s that it has been over the past decade. 30 years of free-market reforms have: a) caused towering inequality and debt; b) hollowed out of the middle class; c) continuously downsized and outsourced jobs; and d) culminated in a global economic meltdown. Failure doesn’t get anymore failing than that.

      Here is average real GDP growth by prime minister/era:

      Trudeau Sr. (1968 to 1984): 3.7%
      Mulroney (1984 to 1993): 2.6%
      Chretien-Martin (1993 to 2006): 3.3%
      Harper (2006 to 2012): 1.4%

      • The contents of your post is complete nonsense.

        GDP numbers in this sense mean absolutely nothing! Ask how many Canadians do without a vehicle. Ask how many Canadians do without a tv or computer. Ask how many Canadians could afford their own house if they would be smart enough to save up for a downpayment and spent less on unnecessary things so that a mortgage payment can be made.

        ASK! I’m betting the answers you will get will open your eyes.

        No one should have it all when being just 27 years of age; wealth build up takes time. That was true then and it is true now.

        • “GDP numbers in this sense mean absolutely nothing!”

          Clearly you haven’t the faintest idea of what you’re talking about.

        • Excellent point, Francien.
          How can a post-secondary student with substantial student debt ever qualify for a mortgage? Many are postponing marriage and/or child bearing until they are in their thirties for goodness sake!
          Genuine Progress Indicators are much more relevant. They don’t go up during a war, whereas the GDP does!

      • If you are seriously pining for the high inflation 70s, then I can only conclude you are too young to have experienced the high inflation 70s. Had you been around back then, you would not be thinking of that era as the good old days. People do have fond memories of the early 1970s, of the ease at which they could find jobs with liveable wages, and the relatively low cost of living that still existed at that time. But nobody has such fond memories of the mid-to-late 1970s. By then, a decade of inflation had destroyed anything that was good about the earlier part of the decade.

        • Hear hear. I lived through 18% inflation and 21% prime rates in the late 70s/early 80s. You’re absolutely right that it verges on the clinically insane to pine for those days. We are, as a whole, infinitely better off today.

          • Actually, interest rates were 21% in 1982 when the central banks used monetary policy to break the back of inflation. But of course you already knew that, right?

            Only someone completely ignorant of economic facts would claim we are “infinitely better off today”.

            GDP growth is now anemic, below 2% — a third of recovery GDP growth we had in the 1970s. Job prospects haven’t been as bad since the Great Depression — thanks to 30 years of corporate downsizing and anemic GDP growth. Back then government debt was 25% GDP; now its 87%. Personal debt is at record highs; back then people had high living standards; today people borrow to pretend they still have them.

            Conservative economics = boneheaded ideology + ignorance.

        • Nobody has fond memories of the mid-to-late 1970s, but the facts are, as bad as that period was, we are in much worse circumstances now.

          It’s been 5 years since the free-market global economic meltdown and we have still have yet to recover from it. Economic conditions haven’t been this bad since the Great Depression.

          • “Nobody has fond memories of the mid-to-late 1970’s”

            Speak for yourself: I for one thoroughly enjoyed the four Stanley Cup victories of the Montreal Canadiens especially when they beat Don Cherry and the Bruins!

  8. Dottt’s alternate policy themes:

    1) Buy low, sell high
    2) Inflate, don’t contract
    3) Synergize, not cannibalize
    4) Grow the tent, not the pie
    5) Wonk, wonk, wonk is the sound of a rolling flat tire
    5) Remember, vision is a six letter word

    • Baker’s top 5?

  9. “Note that we could have a merry debate about whether Trudeau’s premise is accurate, and Maclean’s has been holding that debate for a few months.”

    Now that’s a joke. If one reads the National Post, Globe and Mail, etc. they will read about rising inequality and the hollowing out of the middle class. In Macleans there is no “debate”: just the rantings of right-wing ideologues.

    The same “economists” who deny middle-income earners are under threat also tried to deny Canada has a productivity problem: specifically multi-factor productivity. According to the Conference Board of Canada the problem is even worse than imagined: zero MFP growth over 32 years.

    If Maclean’s wants to have an economic debate they will have to add some moderate economists/columnists the to right-wing looney bin they have now.

    Canadian productivity: Even worse than previously thought

    • So what you’re saying is you don’t want a “debate” about inequality because you’ve already made up your mind? If your points had any merit, you wouldn’t be so terrified of opposing view points.

      • Clearly you don’t know how to read. What I said is that there is no debate from the blogger economics section from this magazine. What you get is a bunch of right-wing agenda-driven nonsense you don’t read anywhere else. Other publications have a diversity of views on economic issues. Even the National Post.

        • Sure because Mike Moffat, Stephen Gordon et. al. are a bunch of fire-breathing right-wing dragons. We’re actually lucky Macleans has the panel of economists that they do. I find them refeshingly objective. In your universe, anyone who isn’t a clone of Paul Krugman or Jim Stamford is a right-wing extremist pushing a “neo-liberal free-market corporatist agenda”.

          • Their arguments largely appeal to the layperson who has not taken or does not fully comprehend introductory Economics, in my uncensored opinion.

          • My background is in economics, and I do not see any serious flaws in their arguments. Given the limited space, and the need to talk to laypeople, I think they do quite well.
            Probably the most economically illiterate people out there are those who have taken Intro Econ 101 and not gone beyond that. Back in university, I found that much of the remaining 3 years of study were spent unlearning that first year.

          • “Sure because Mike Moffat, Stephen Gordon et. al. are a bunch of fire-breathing right-wing dragons.”
            Awesome. I think there’s a smoking crater where Ron was standing.

          • Heh. I think they quit paying attention to Ron months ago, after repeatedly begging him to stop reposting the same cut-and-paste nonsense. The flames that came his way must have been inadvertant. A sneeze perhaps.

          • You think that because you are an ignoramus.

          • “Sure because Mike Moffat, Stephen Gordon et. al. are a bunch of fire-breathing right-wing dragons”

            WTF are you babbling about?

            Cooking stats to claim there is no hollowing of the middle class and that Canada has high productivity when it doesn’t is the very opposite of “refreshingly objective.”

            Conservative economics = boneheaded ideology + lies.

        • “Back in university, I found that much of the remaining 3 years of study were spent unlearning that first year.”

          Why Americans Hate Economics:

          How did modern economics fly off the rails? The answer is that the “invisible hand” of the free enterprise system, first explained in 1776 by Adam Smith, got tossed aside for the new “macroeconomics,” a witchcraft that began to flourish in the 1930s during the rise of Keynes. Macroeconomics simply took basic laws of economics we know to be true for the firm or family—i.e., that demand curves are downward sloping; that when you tax something, you get less of it; that debts have to be repaid—and turned them on their head as national policy.

          As Donald Boudreaux, professor of economics at George Mason University and author of the invaluable blog Cafe Hayek, puts it: “Macroeconomics was nothing more than a dismissal of the rules of economics.”


          • Actually we had an economic golden age during the post war era with living stands unprecedented in human history. Then we used centrist mixed-market economics.

            The utter economic mess we have now is the result of 30 years of free-market reforms that culminated in a global economic meltdown.

          • That post-war growth was an accident of history driven primarily by demographics, and a rebuilding world economy after a destructive depression and then war. It wasn’t just brought about because some really smart economists brought in some really smart policies, much as you’d like to think so. It was a set of circumstances that will not be replicated. But go ahead and belive that economists actually control the economy through “smart policies” if that’s what you wish to believe.

          • Given con cranks reject evidence-based policy as a matter of “principle”, it’s not surprising they can’t comprehend the concept of cause and effect.

            Right-wing ideologues say they know the best economic policies to achieve economic goals like job creation and stronger GDP and productivity growth. Except when their policies fail (which is almost always.) Then they say no government policy affects the economy.

            These agenda-driven con men are the scum of the Earth.

  10. This comment was deleted.

  11. Did Trudeau hire Iggy as a speech writer? His whole article wreaked of the empty cliche’s that Iggy was so fond of. Except I guess Trudeau likes to say “I” even more than Iggy did.

    • “I” am pretty sure Trudeau wrote that himself.

  12. It would be wise for Justin to wash his feet before he speaks.

    • He has disciples to do that for him.

    • He doesn’t need to. When you walk on water, your feet stay clean.

  13. As usual, Trudeau offers exactly nothing. All we get is platitudes, generalizations and the utter avoidance of anything, however tiny, that’s specific.

    A grade 9 high school student could say all the same things as Mr. Trudeau. There is simply no substance from the man…ever.

    • He’s starting to remind me of Belinda Stronach. He’s more likable than she could ever manage, but he, like her, seems more glamour and pedigree than substance.

  14. so many fallacies in this article, oh my. so much bias in this article, oh my.

    • Specifics?

    • Such a vacuous, meaningless comment, oh my.

  15. Ah, the Torontoid reptilian mind stirs. A young guy comes in with courage, a quick mind, something called principles and empathy for the burden the Canadian people have carried for the past 8 years. Well, one mistake he won’t make is to reveal a huge plan 2 years before an election so the Torontoids can have their way with him.
    And while we’re at it, get a better picture, Well, you look like a dork.

    • The best defense you can come up with for Trudeau is to call the writer a dork? Ladies and gentlemen, please see the intellectual depth of the average Justin Trudeau supporter.

      • I thought dick was a bit vulgar.

    • Sure, because we’ve carried such a horrible burden these past eight years. People are suffering and dying as we speak!

  16. Trudeau’s style is a little off-putting but it’s kind of silly to complain that he’s not putting enough meat on the bones when all he’s offering is the bones. He’s offering warm and fuzzy platitudes and Harper is offering lukewarm and faux-fur platitudes.

    Decisons, decisions…

  17. While Mr. Trudeau talks about a platform to help the middle class, our PM is doing it. While Mr. Mulcair whines about the Conservatives all the time, the Liberals are gobbling up his Quebec support. Another Conservative majority next election.

  18. This is hardly surprising. My question is where were the media before Justin became leader? Oh, right, they were putting him on magazine covers. I suppose he’ll sell papers just as well on the way down as on the way up. Meanwhile, Canada is leaderless.

  19. Trudeau in a nutshell:
    1. support old people
    2. support young people

    Absolute genius.

    Next week’s Trudeau policies:

    1. support people neither old nor young
    2. support dead people

    The week after:
    1. support short people
    2. support tall people

  20. Trudeau’s signature policies will be called the red shift, to signify a series of ideas moving further and further away from the concerns of actual Canadians.

    • Or just signifying red ink, or the money bleeding from our wallets.

  21. I will say this. In Paul Martin’s long campaign to unseat Chretien and steal the throne for himself, few journalists bothered to press him on what his platform would be. In fact, Paul Wells writes in his book Right Side Up that one of the most surprising things about Paul Martin when he first became Prime Minister was the utter absence of policy ideas he brought with him, despite the years he had to come up with them. Not for nothing did The Economist label him ‘Mr. Dithers’.

    In retrospect, giving the “Paul Martin Juggernaut” the benefit of the doubt on the policy front was a mistake. I can’t speak for the author, but perhaps Mr. Wells had exactly that in mind when he wrote this article?

  22. Paul your analysis of Trudeau’s op-ed was so breathtaking I found myself daydreaming about curling.

  23. Justin Trudeau….get off the pot. I may not have liked
    you father’s political beliefs, but at least I respected them coming from a man who was educated and had some legal backround. YOU???? What qualifications do you have other than your father’s name??? You have no legal or political training, learning or experience.

    Keep riding the coat tails of your father and you will soon realize that your heritage means nothing and you have no credibility to be on the federal stage and lead your (already sick and tarnished) party into federal politics.