Canada – Where Are Our Green Shoots?

Jim Stanford of the Globe & Mail, reporting on the Canadian economy, has come to the same conclusion The Mayor reached over a year ago: our economy is screwed:

Tepid GDP numbers released Tuesday by Statistics Canada confirm that Canada’s economic recovery, such as it was, is sliding completely into the ditch. We’re clearly heading for stagnation at best, and quite possibly another “double dip” downturn.

The headline number was disappointing, to say the least. Real GDP grew only 2 per cent (annualized) in the spring quarter. That’s just a hair faster than the U.S. economy (which everyone knows is still deeply in the soup). Two per cent doesn’t keep up with population and productivity – implying higher unemployment ahead, not lower. Typically, at this stage of recovery, the economy should be growing three times faster.

Dig a little deeper, and the picture looks even worse. Half the growth reported Tuesday was a statistical “shadow” of the faster expansion experienced in the first quarter – earlier growth that automatically boosted the second-quarter numbers, whether the GDP kept growing or not. From March through June, actual growth was weaker, about 1 per cent annualized.

Moreover, the growth that did occur was due solely to inventory accumulation, as businesses began restocking the shelves in hopes of stronger market conditions. Strip out new inventories, and real GDP actually declined. But consumer spending is already slowing, and now those inventories will drag down future growth.

There is no growth. The only reason there was any growth the last year and a half was because of our *Conservative* government flushing $60 billion down the toilet on an idiotic stimulus program. Now the stimulus is gone and there is no cash left. The *Conservative* government shot their bolt, and all that is left is to watch businesses close down, the housing bubble explode, and unemployment soar. The Conservatives should pack a really big box lunch, because come spring they will be shipped off to the political desert for another 20 years. But that’s what happens when you govern like a bunch of liberals.

Also, consumers have stopped spending. That’s because they have no cash left. Like our American brothers and sisters, Canadians got credit card fever in the 90’s and haven’t stopped spending since. Now it’s time to pay the piper, and Canadians from BC to Newfie are looking for a place on the piper to swipe their maxed-out Visa card (that was pretty funny):

The average Canadian family’s household debt rose to $96,000 last year, a new study says.

Debt-to-income levels rose to 145 per cent – the highest level ever recorded in the study, which has run annually for 11 years.

The Vanier Institute of the Family study found a dramatic rise in late debt payments.

Mortgage payments that were at least 90 days late were up 50 per cent over 2008.

Additionally, there was a rise of 40 per cent in credit card payments that were three months behind.

If you care to look up the statistics, the average Canadian household has  far more debt right now than the average American household did when everything crashed in 2007-2008. Our debt-to-income ratio? Yup, we’re #1 again. Yippee!

Multiply that with the housing bubble that is already here and you have a recipe for disaster.

Jim Stanford of the Globe ends his piece in typical msm pump-monkey fashion:

Governments clearly need to keep stimulating through budget deficits and low interest rates (rather than choking off recovery with premature tightening). But in the absence of business leadership, they’ll also have to take on a bigger task: finding ways to directly expand output and create work, filling the vacuum left by the private sector’s continuing failure to borrow and spend.

Of course, spend more money on more idiotic stimulus projects. Why didn’t our government think of that before? Oh, they did? Well then, maybe the idiotic stimulus wasn’t idiotic enough. Maybe if the “Conservative” government can find something more idioticer to waste money on, our economy will shape up quick-smart.

I have another idea that may help. I know, it has never been tried before and is probably pretty dumb, but you never know, maybe, just maybe it could make a teenie-weenie bit of difference. Here goes: maybe if the government, on ALL levels, cut their spending and got the flying fuck out of the way of the business person – the wealth creators – maybe then we would be on our way to economic growth.

Keraaaazy, eh?

But what kind of government cheese can be cut out on all three levels of government?

I’m glad you asked.

Firstly – get rid of the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs. What the hell purpose does it serve? Oh, to “provide advice to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Cabinet on federal-provincial-territorial relations, the evolution of our Federation and Canadian unity.”

That’s dumb and useless. Get rid of it and everyone associated with it.

Next – get rid the Ministry of Western Economic Diversification and combine that department with Natural Resources. It’s overlap, it’s expensive and ridiculous.

Next – get rid of the Ministry of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Stop apologizing and start living. We are broke. We have no money. The Indians have to realize it and move on starting 25 years ago. We are all equal under our constitution (I think), let’s stop degrading the Indians by treating them like welfare cases.

Next – combine the Ministry of the Environment with the Ministry of WED and Natural Resource into one smallish ministry. It’s all the same thing. It’s like having a Ministry of Knives, a Ministry of Forks and a Ministry of Spoons. Combine them and make a Ministry of Cutlery. Think outside the box, Jeeves.

Citizenship and Immigration? Cut the budget by 2/3. Why? Because we’re cutting immigration from 300,000 a year to 100,000. Again, we are broke. We have no money. There is no gravy left. Yes, I know, immigrants contribute to the tapestry of diversity which is our strength. Sorry, we don’t need any more tapestry. Someone peed on our carpet. To repeat: we are broke. We have no money.

Ministry of Canadian Heritage? Gone. No one gives a rats ass about such trivial and wasteful things like Canadian Heritage. If I want more Canadian Heritage I’ll YouTube up the Beechcombers and eat a pound of poutine.

Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans? Again – combine it with the Min of Nat Res. Done.

Ministry of Agriculture and Agrifood? See above.

That’s a start. I’m sure we can work on Ministry of Human Resources and Ministry of Public Works, but my fingers are getting tired saving our country billions and billions and billions and billions and billions of dollars.

As for the province and the municipal governments (as well as the feds) – ANY program, agency, board, offices, councils, tribunals, centers, commissions, services, etc; ANY and ALL of those that encompass any group – racial, sexual, religious, environmental, or anything with the word *wheat* in it, is to be disbanded and never talked about again.

Think about it: if the Ministry of Canadian Heritage was gone tomorrow, would you miss it?

Can we live without the Human Rights Tribunal?

Is the National Film Board really necessary?

Is the CBC worth a cool billion a year?

What’s the name of the chap that runs Defence Construction Canada?

Our governments’ need to stop spending. They are out of control spendaholics. They need to cut. They need to cut government ministries and ministry jobs. The need to streamline immediately. If they don’t, we need to get rid of them right away. There are no second chances.

Folks, we are seriously fucked in this country and no one gives a shit. Our governments’ (that’s plural) are all bankrupt, yet they continue to spend recklessly and we actually let them. Hell, we re-elect them. Imagine, we keep re-electing those that have screwed us without kissing us, all the while believing that even though they have shown not one iota of common sense in the past, they are sure to be better stewards with our money next time.

That is insanity.

Classic insanity.

I’m not sure where to go with this, it’s tiring and frustrating. I got way off topic, but it was fun.

4 Responses to “Canada – Where Are Our Green Shoots?”

  1. dmorris Says:

    You made some valid points,Mayor, BUT, no politician is ever going to do any of the things you mentioned,which we peasants know damned well should be done, for the good of the entire Country.

    Lets take the partisan blinders off for a moment,and take an honest look at who allegedly represents us: a few decent people,and a LOT of self-interested second raters whose only mission in life is to maintain the status quo.

    Remember how ALL the politicians held off on a confidence vote last Summer,to wait until they’d passed the magic six-year mark and would be eligible for their gold-plated pensions? I’d call THAT a clear indicator of what is really important to the whole bloody bunch of them.

    We need to elect you Dictator For Life,like your hero,Papa Doc Duvalier,so you can make the necessary changes. I’ll back you 100% if you’ll make me Lord High Executioner,and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. A modest salary would be okay, as long as the fringe benefits are GREAT!

    Yes, we all know what should be done to get this Country back on it’s feet again,productive again, but there is NO will to do anything more than shuffle the deck chairs,on the part of ANY political Party.

  2. marc in calgary Says:

    “Status of Women”

    Isn’t Papa Doc the man that brought building standards to Haiti?
    I have a foto of some female Colombian Santa Claus’ from and I’m curious if “Secretary of Foreign Affairs” is taken yet? I sometimes look for work, still.

    a foreign affair, oh yeah, send marc…

  3. J.M. Heinrichs Says:

    Jim Stanford is the house monkey/economist for the United Auto Workers. While his assessment may contain accurate data and such, his conclusions tend toward the “more government spending because the conservatives and rednecks will kill all the babies” style of union objectivity. In the days before the Nat Post, the Financial Post would publish Jim and Linda McQuaig as evidence of non-partisanship. He’d support Liz May but his soul is held in the Office of HM Loyal Socialist Opposers.


  4. The Mayor Says:

    ah ha!

    J.M – you are a model of efficiency. Great info.

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