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The Common Sense Canadian: The Harper Conservative economic disaster

Photo: Stephen Harper/Flickr cc licence

Guest post by Doug Carrick

According to Stephen Harper, the coming election offers a choice between the certainty of Conservative economic expertise on the one hand…or the risk of Liberal or New Democrat inexperience. However, a closer examination reveals a different picture. It is the Conservatives who have the shaky economic record.

All his eggs in one basket

Mark Robinson/Flickr cc licence

For example, instead of diversifying the economy, Harper has put all his eggs in one basket (the tar sands). Farmers on the prairies know all about diversification. To cover the possibilities (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: Give a thought to Alberta’s approaching budget day: there’s little to gain and plenty to lose from ‘debt free’ government

PHOTOS: Former premier Ralph Klein, now elevated to sainthood by the neoliberal cargo cult, celebrating the retirement of Alberta’s debt in 2004, never mind the mess the infrastructure was in. Below: Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci, Canadian economist Jim Stanford and Wildrose Finance Critic Derek Fildebrandt, with, bottom, his old debt-trailer. Anyone remember Ralph Klein’s […]

The post Give a thought to Alberta’s approaching budget day: there’s little to gain and plenty to lose from ‘debt free’ government appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: What Are Market Predictions?

“Mon, Aug 17, 2015 – 8:15 AM Bill Baruch, chief market strategist, iiTrader joins BNN to discuss why he’s watching crude oil to move sharply higher today.” “oil will rally today” is the BNN video title, but I didn’t hear the trader say that, but he did say a rally by midweek. In the video he notes $35 oil is realistic in the near term (which was actually a better prediction), and it will be unlikely to rebound to $60 if production levels stay similar to now.

How far are we from $30 oil? http://t.co/A1CW1aOkcn @iiTRADERbill @BNN #crudeoil

(Read more…)

Excited Delirium: Stephen Harper Has Offered the Opposite of Good Economic Management

Because of his reliance on oil, Stephen Harper has been a very poor manager of Canada’s economy. Exchange rate volatility, job losses and other factors point to this conclusion.

Scripturient: Strat Plan Part 4: Economic Vitality

What, you may ask, is meant by the term “Economic Vitality” – the third objective in our town’s strategic-plan-in-the-works? Apparently it’s one of those motherhood statements people make on soapboxes and campaign platforms that have little grist in them to mill into actuality. Sure, we all want a town that has a lively, thriving economy. […]

A Puff of Absurdity: On So Much Anger

Anger may be defined as an impulse, accompanied by pain, to a conspicuous revenge for a conspicuous slight directed without justification towards what concerns oneself or towards what concerns one’s friends. If this is a proper definition of anger, it must always be felt towards some particular individual, e.g. Cleon, and not “man” in general. It must be felt because the other has done or intended to do something to him or one of his friends. It must always be attended by a certain pleasure — that which arises from the expectation of revenge. – Aristotle

I’m just trying (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Stephen Harper Is Such a Bad Economist!

He says he’s awesome, but he’s so bad, that on the economy he’s the worst prime minister since WWII.

And his campaign is “don’t change horses in mid-stream, I’m a great economist, we aren’t in a recession, we have a balanced budget and only I can protect you from the terrorist onslaught that wants to kill us all.”

All lies.

And here’s some data that demonstrates Harper’s delusion that he knows anything useful about economics:

December 11, 2013 How Harper is Gutting Canada: THE LIST (0) August 11, 2014 Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial! (1) (Read more…)

A Puff of Absurdity: Economics of Happiness

The 60 min. documentary, Economics of Happiness, is being offered free to watch online for the month of August.

It’s a thoughtful look at how we could be living if we could only let go of consumerist culture that hasn’t made us particularly happy in the first place!

Larry Hubich's Blog: Jim Stanford separates rhetoric from reality on the Harper economic record

Alberta Politics: Shhhhhh! Don’t tell anyone: As PM, Stephen Harper’s economic performance is a bust!

PHOTOS: From the sublime to the ridiculous? Liberal Lester Pearson, the top postwar economic performer among Canadian prime ministers. Below: Stephen Harper, the bottom. Below him: Pierre Trudeau (second best) and Brian Mulroney (second worst). Below them: Unifor economists Jim Stanford and Jordan Brennan. One of the most effective ways to keep a population quiet […]

The post Shhhhhh! Don’t tell anyone: As PM, Stephen Harper’s economic performance is a bust! appeared first on Alberta Politics.

A Puff of Absurdity: Child Poverty Worse than During the Depression

The article is about the states, but Canada isn’t far behind.

Children growing up in poor households are likely to lag in their brain development and thereby perform poorly in schools, even if they move in better neighborhoods, a new longitudinal study on child development revealed this week. Examining hundreds of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans from a group of children growing up in poor households, researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Madison discovered that the regional gray matter volume in case study brains was up to 4 percent below the developmental norm for their ages.

We know it’s wrong, but (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Using Comics to Explain Complex Economics

Economix Comix is a series of comics that looks at, you guessed it, economics. Using comics is a great way to translate really complex economic ideas into something which is more relatable and understandable. Late last year the artist (and brain) behind the series of comics released a look at the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Above is one of the pages from the comic looking at the chaos of a deal the TPP really is. It’s worth a full read if you’re new to learning about the TPP and you can read it all for free here.

Economix Comix (Read more…)

A Puff of Absurdity: Celebrity Impact

So Harry Styles advises us to avoid SeaWorld if we care about dolphins, and everybody’s talking about it.  This could just be the needle that broke the camel’s back; many groups have been trying to stop the hunt of dolphins since The Cove first aired.  Or it could be, as I’ve said before, that some of our celebrities are like royalty of old, and we the peasants who will blindly follow their lead. Is there any single act that had more effect on LGBTQ rights than when Ellen came out on her sitcom? And I remember the first mention I (Read more…)

A Puff of Absurdity: So I Went to the March

I went to the Jobs, Justice, Climate march on Sunday.  It’s taken me a few days to think about what I think about it.

Klein so close at the pre-pre-rally.

I got to Queen’s Park way early and sat under a big tree to read and wait, and I happened to sit where the media were setting up, so right next to Naomi Klein and Bill McKibben.  I missed seeing David Suzuki, and I somehow didn’t recognize Jane Fonda.  But the usual crowd was there.  In the pre-rally show, they faced the media with their backs to us, which felt (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Read my lips—it doesn’t trickle down

It has been the heart and soul of capitalist market economics since day one—the ultimate justification for an unfair society. If we ensure that the rich get richer, the benefits will trickle down through the economy benefiting all. According to a new and exhaustive study released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), if this was ever true it isn’t anymore.

The report, Causes and

The Common Sense Canadian: Canadian oil industry slashes production forecast by 1.1 million barrels/day due to price slump

Enbridge tank farm at “Refinery Row” in Sherwood Park, Alberta (Damien Gillis)

Read this June 10 Calgary Herald story by Stephen Ewart on the Canadian oil industry’s diminished projections for daily production, amidst $50 oil:

Well, there’s a quick 1.1 million barrels a day towards the no-carbon economy.

Day One of the 85-year time frame G7 leaders established this week to phase out carbon fuels by the end of the century saw Canada’s oil industry sharply lower its forecast for production growth over the next 15 years but it has more to do with economics than politics.

“The primary driver is the change to lower (Read more…)

A Puff of Absurdity: On Being an Ally

I’m not sure how to say this without being blasted, but I’ll try:  I might understand a little piece affecting Rachal Dolezal decision to present as black rather than be a white ally.

I just have one story.  It was about ten years ago.  I had just finished reading The History of Mary Prince: A West Indian Slave Narrative and was floored by it.  I couldn’t believe I had never heard of her before.  The story is compelling, and it’s a good length to offer to high school students.  I was curious if anyone else had tried teaching it (Read more…)

A Puff of Absurdity: OITNB

I read some review somewhere of the first episode of Orange is the New Black on the weekend before I dove into a marathon session of the entire season.  It suggested that the reason people like the show is because it actually shows real relationships between real women.  The context is divorced from most viewer’s experiences, but the conversations are similar.  And we rarely see that elsewhere.

No spoilers.

Okay, sure.  It’s nice that it’s a show about women, for sure, and the dialogue is fantastic – especially between Big Boo and Pennsatucky.  But I don’t relate to it because (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Has fracking peaked?

Bloomberg graph shows cresting of production at major US shale oil plays

Read this June 9 EcoWatch story by Aanastasia Pantsias on the declining production at the big US shale oil plays.

Since fracking began its boom period in the last decade, its supporters have promoted it as the answer to all of the U.S.’s energy issues. It would free us from dependence on foreign oil, they said, thereby strengthening national security. And in fact, the U.S. has become the world’s largest exporter of fossil fuels, while prices at the gas pump have dropped steeply as fracked oil and gas (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: The Boom With the Bomb Train Boom

CBC is a funny beast now. Along with their story parroting what the latest Canadian Energy Research Initiative report says, is RBC/tarsands shill Amanda Lang staring at you from the sidebar. Also we learn about “Dollarama’s winning formula” of selling Chinese mass produced garbage to Canadians, a “retail success story”, and again with “Amanda Lang takes you inside the world of business.”

Back to the oil train story. Outpacing oil trains apparently are wheat and coal. Coal shouldn’t even be burned anymore, now that we know how deadly and damaging it is. The report makes no mention of the (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: The Inexpensive Computer Comes With Expensive Shipping Option Only

When I read about the $9 computer on Crash Bang Labs’ Facebook page, I was ready to help kick start that CHIP. But I got to the payment screen when the shipping amount came up. How much could it cost I’d thought to ship a computer smaller than a couple of AA batteries? I braced myself for an exorbitant $5. If I was American, I’d have that somewhat greedy option. No, the over-popular CHIP computer (shipping next year) comes to Canada and most of the world for $20US (19% more than CAD right now)! It’s literally twice as expensive to (Read more…)

Blevkog: Oil buck$

Playing around on the internet at lunch today, I came across a couple of interesting databases that confirm, at least visually, that we are a petro-economy. With data on the daily price of West Texas crude from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (thanks Google!) and daily foreign exchange closing data the following graph shows […]

The Common Sense Canadian: IMF study: Fossil fuel industry gets $5.3 TRILLION in public subsidies a year

A tar sands operation in Fort McMurray, Alberta (photo: Chris Krüg)

Read this shocking May 19 story from the EU Observer on a new study by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which pegs subsidies to the fossil fuel sector at a whopping $5.3 Trillion USD per year.

Around 1.6 million premature deaths would be prevented annually if the world’s governments stopped subsidising fossil fuels, a study by four researchers from the International Monetary Fund found.

The most relative gains could be made in eastern Europe and Turkey, where 60 percent of the people who die as a result (Read more…)

Blevkog: “If I could increase it, I would”

These are the words of Tim Brown, CEO of Nestle Waters, responding when asked if Nestle would decrease the extraction of ground water to supply its California bottling operations. He would increase it if he could. He doesn’t see the historic California drought as anything more than an opportunity – all of those who thirst […]

Blevkog: A simple question, unanswered

If the Trans Pacific Partnership is really the biggest game on the planet, why really is it okay to negotiate it in complete secrecy? Secrecy to the point that our elected representatives, who theoretically should have our best interests at heart (heh) can’t even see the thing? Why is it that the only details we […]