Jus’ thinkin’

Interesting twist to the Canadian economy, don’t you think?  The Harper-cons were so petro-oriented and, then of course, the price of crude dropped and the economy tanked. Just-in Trudeau wins the election with a smile and a positive message and, in a short time, Canada’s image abroad improves, our popularity improves and – HOLY COW! – our economy improves.  Oil is still down and yet the economy is up.  One would think we were exporting smiles and hope rather than oil.

It’s not that simple, of course, but in some ways, it is.  That Trudeau has changed the mood of the country is undeniable and that the mood of the country is the largest driver of the economy is well-known.  Oil only represents a very small percentage of GDP.  Hope and goodwill seems to be much more influential.  Canadians are more upbeat.  And ‘upbeat’ is a strong economic driver rather than the other way around.

The devalued dollar makes our goods easier to sell overseas.  I know that.  A booming manufacturing sector is really just another way of saying ‘DISCOUNT PRICES!’  So the lower loonie is probably a more real ‘metric’ indicator.  Still, the change in the air is palpable. Trudeau has turned Gloomy Gus into Jolly Joe Six-pack.  And, somehow, that is working in ways previously unseen.  Message to business: see the extra special response to ‘going good’ and ‘delivering hope’ that is way more productive than cutting costs and jobs and wages and preaching doom.

But I don’t wanna gloat about the past and present.  I really want to look at what it means to us in the future.  I was NOT impressed with Trudeau and still resent, to some extent, a pretty face and a famous name gaining him our top office.  Feels wrong to me.  I will continue to look for that kind of superficiality in his character that I saw when he gave the eulogy to his father. But there is no doubt that he is currently batting 1.000.  So far, the guy has done good.  It would be churlish not to admit it.  As of this date, I have no complaints and only praise.  He is well on his way to proving me wrong.  And I admit it freely.

Still, let us look for a minute at what constitutes success in the future….

I don’t know.

Is it just numbers?  Is the GDP the brass ring?  Money, money, money?

Is it Canadian unity?  If we all love one another, First Nations, French Canadians, Muslims, Jews and Wasps…throw in some Syrians for spice…is that the measure?

Is it simply surviving climate change?

Maybe we are to embrace Bhutan as our model and strive for Gross Domestic Happiness? (Concept. Gross National Happiness is a term coined by His Majesty the Fourth King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck in the 1970s. The concept implies that sustainable development should take a holistic approach towards notions of progress and give equal importance to non-economic aspects of wellbeing.)

But how do you strive for an enlightened state like that in a Capitalistic culture?  Especially a corrupt Capitalist culture?  How, in fact, do you even reconcile a cheap B flick shoot-em-up washed down with scotch in a Gross Happiness culture?  Sounds counter-intuitive, don’t you think?

Anyway….the world’s progress engine is going into ‘stall’ mode.  That much is clear.  So, if monetary progress is halted or at least slowed, what does that do the collective psyche?   Methinks technology and more massive migrations will ameliorate that effect to a large extent in some places (like the Chinese exodus of the rich to Vancouver BC) but the rich will likely get richer and the masses more redundant and revolting – in every sense of the word.  What to do with the masses?

Growth, as a sustainable concept, was never viable and it is finally showing up. Jeff Rubin is proving to be right (The End of Growth).  This may be the new future.  The rich got what they wanted…and, so, now what do the rest of the rabble do?

 

8 thoughts on “Jus’ thinkin’

  1. You are onto an interesting trend yet to unfold. Many folks are feeling the Bern as folks realize that Cohen is correct, “Everybody knows the fight was fixed
    The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
    That’s how it goes, Everybody knows.” Even the Americans are talking about postcapitalism. Donald Trump says the ” game is rigged.” The Panama Leaks have caught a number of conservative Prime Ministers(UK, Iceland) in the net of deceit. It’s austerity for Joe Lunch Bucket and numbered tax havens for some 350 Canadians in Panama. The flaw in the reasoning of some politicians is that governments must not spend money on anything that business could fund. This was the Harper mantra which resulted in ten years of flat grownth. The world economy is blamed but when one looks at the engines of growth (ie. USA) these engines have been slowed by austerity. Inject hope, social justice and some folding green and the economy starts to perk up.

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    • Yes the “game is rigged” and until there is a quantum change in how the US ( and Canadian) electoral process is funded……Nothing will change.
      $1 billion dollar election costs are ludicris and lobbyists earn a lot of favours.
      Lobbying should be banned.
      Advertising should be banned.
      Cash contributions, free use of planes, free hotels, free anything should be banned.
      Politicians should be allowed to make speeches. Thats it.
      Televised, public, radio, internet, what ever venue they choose but without advertisements. Govt funded “air time” free of partisan, expensive, lobbyist funded crap.
      Govt Budgets should be auditted and reported by forensic accountants…..NOT by the party in power with a vested interest in lying( ie the Conservatives, Liberals and the NDP) know what I’m talking about….
      Politicians and govt employees should also be banned from recieving jobs or “consultant” positions in the very same private sector they are entrusted to regulate for a minimum 5 years after leaving office…..
      News media personel should also be banned from receiving jobs in govt. media positions for 5 years after quitting the private sector….Too many media lickspittles cosying up to the govt trough these days…..Can you say “conflict of interest”?
      Govt should be collecting just enough tax dollars to effectively fund the day to day requirements of the state. ie roads , sewers, police, military, hospital buildings, schools.
      Everything else including teachers, nurses could be run far more cost effectively by the private sector……
      What we are currently doing…..isnt working and its going to implode.
      Im sorry.
      Was that politically incorrect?
      My bad …….part deux.

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      • I can’t help but imagine that your tome, ‘My Bad’ goes on for chapters and chapters. Might even be a trilogy or a series…..
        So, go for it! I haven’t found one thing to argue with yet.
        What we’re doing is NOT working nor is it sustainable. So, let ‘er rip!

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      • Privatization of social institutions for profit by private providers has had mixed results. It gives one pause to consider private armies, private police forces, private fire departments, and private other social institutions run on service for profit model.

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      • I agree that privatizing what is for the common good (police, fire, army, water, etc.) is tantamount to sanctioned theft, monopoly and corruption. Some things have to remain under the public domain because giving them to corporations doesn’t work. Having said that, institutions and public service conduits have to be held accountable, too. They get old, stale, inefficient and hoary. AND corrupt. Maybe what we really need a degree in college offered for leadership, revolution, change and creativity. Better include ethics and morality, too. Now would that be Judeo-Christian ethics and Western values?

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      • Leadership in public institutions often means running pet projects that hardly help school based funding formula. For example fee charging academies of various types run in the schools or tuition is provided for international students. The schools supports these programmes but the district takes the fees. Workload is increased but staffing levels remain the same. But administrative allowances are increased.

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  2. One thing that will change in the future is First Nation’s role in Canada. According to the Supreme Court of Canada ruling the number of FNs has increased by 600,000 persons and these addional persons are entitled to additional resources. The social and political landscape has altered but as of yet is to be clarified. Canada lags on a number of equality measures. The challenge will be how to deal with these issues.

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    • Great, another 600,000 people foisted on the taxpayers that can ill afford what they are forced to contribute now.
      That being said I cant wait to see the infighting between the full status aboriginals and the new status “half” metis/aboriginals when the govt realizes the taxpayer “cookie jar” is empty and the inevitable program cuts start…….
      Trudeaus’ $20 Billion dollar annual budget deficits cannot go on forever no matter how many socialist bleeding hearts wish it so……..
      I’m sorry.
      Was that politically incorrect?
      My bad.

      Like

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