Sunday, June 23, 2013

He Certainly Has Mr. Harper's Number

It is always heartening to me, and I am sure to countless others, to see that some members of the Canadian electorate are not asleep at the proverbial wheel but instead busy exercising their critical-thinking skills. Peter Dick of Toronto is one such citizen. Not content to blithely and blindly accept the official mythology that the Conservative government is an able manager of the economy, Mr. Dick, in today's Star, offers the following trenchant observations about a naked emperor and his entourage:

Re: Parliamentary session over for summer, but scandals still remain, June 20

Government House Leader Peter Van Loan continues to spout the Stephen Harper party line in Thursday’s Star, saying: “We’ve been working hard to strengthen our economy, create jobs and support Canadian families.” If only repeating this, ad nauseam, made it true! People outside the 1 per cent know how bad things are. Economies suffer and degrade when people don’t spend money, and people don’t spend money when they are unemployed, in a precarious job or making less than a living wage.

As long as Harper continues to create and support policies that export Canadian jobs, put downward pressure on Canadian salaries, weaken unions and destroy any semblance of job security, he is sabotaging the economy for us all. Add to this the deliberate degradation, rather than bolstering, of the Canada Pension Plan and employment insurance benefits, and you ensure that fewer and fewer Canadians have disposable income to spend. How strange that an “economics guy” like Harper does not make the connection between a precarious, low-paid workforce and a tanked economy. Harper’s policies contradict everything that comes out of his mouth, and your wallet already knows this. Vote accordingly.


  1. Mr. Dick is a better economist than Mr. Harper.

    1. The Harper hubris is such, Owen, that I doubt he would be able to recognize the surperiority of others in any field.

  2. The graduate-degree economist, Stephen Harper, was asleep at the wheel when Canada got t-boned by the Great Recession. In the aftermath Harper tried to mask his incompetence, declaring that "no one saw it coming." Apparently he hadn't bothered to read the clear warnings of people like Nuriel Roubini or Joe Stiglitz or even Paul Krugman's 2006 book "The Great Unraveling". They all saw it coming and they were telling anyone who would listen that it was coming, why it was coming, and what was necessary to prepare for it.

    Stiglitz and Krugman are Nobel laureate economists and Harper must have made a deliberate choice to ignore them. It's not that he couldn't see it coming. He willfully chose not to look. When you're crossing the highway from a sidestreet, you've got to look both ways or you're in for nothing but trouble.

    Today we have Harper tying Canada's economy to the worst part of the Carbon Bubble, Athabasca bitumen. When that bubble bursts, and it will within the next three years, it will begin in Alberta. Not only will the Wild Rose province be devastated but so, hopefully to a lesser extent, will be the rest of the country. It's what will remain of our economy, post-bitumen, that Harper has been neglecting just as he did in 2008.

  3. I also recall, Mound, that Harper also opined about the excellent buying opportunities the stock market represented as the recession began to take hold.

    I guess the kind of tunnel vision your comment describes is not surprising when you have a convergence of Prime Ministerial arrogance and the obsequiousness that inevitably ensues when one surrounds himself with yes-people who reinforce a distorted view of the world and the economy.

    That few people, at least in the media, are willing to point out the absolute folly of building a country's economy around a single resource is stunning, to say the least.