Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Living (Usually Broke) in Harper's Petro-WonderLand

Shifty Harper constantly blames setbacks to Canada's economy on problems abroad. It's his "heads I win, tails you lose" ploy and it usually works with the gullabillies who form a critical part of his base.

With almost two months remaining in the election campaign, we can expect China's market meltdown to send Harper squealing like a porker about how the economic blowback hitting all petro-states isn't our fault. Blame China.

Me, I'll blame Comrade Shifty for his "oilfields first" policy that even had his minions changing "tidewater, tidewater, tidewater."  China's ship may be sinking, so to speak, but it was Harper that lashed Canada's dinghy hard alongside.

The perils and pitfalls that beset petro-states have been well chronicled, especially the boom and bust cycles.  I'm sure the lessons haven't been lost on Alberta's sophisticates but, since Peter Lougheed left this mortal coil,  Alberta hasn't been burdened with a surplus of intellect.

Norway is Alberta's constant shame. They listened to Peter Lougheed's caution. They adopted Plan Lougheed. They're rich. They have the largest sovereign wealth fund on Earth. Alberta rejected Plan Lougheed, even though it was written just for them. Alberta doesn't have Norway's sovereign wealth fund. Alberta has debts and deficits.  And if the last three petro-busts have taught us anything, if and when the good times return, Alberta will do it again.  Kind of makes you wonder why we should trust those obvious mental defectives to run bitumen pipelines across our province.

For what China's meltdown could mean to Canada, there's this handy piece from - "China's Meltdown Spells Even More Peril for Petro-States."


LeDaro said...

Mound, on another subject I did a post about your knowledge of English language. Your vocabulary is amazing. You may check the post here

deb said...

Shifty has no problem taking responsibility for the good times in the economy. All about how he has sailed this ship thru the waters....well shifty anyone can sail calm waters but you dont get to call yourself a captain unless you can handle all weathers:P
He pisses me off soo much listening to his monotonous dull lying voice repeat all his media lines ...."you dont change course blah blah blah", its ridiculous. And I cannot believe anyone really buys his "im a good fiscal manager" hype:(
the harper cons have no idea what they are doing and no idea how the economy works or he wouldn't have made such drastic mistakes.

The Mound of Sound said...

@ LD - the long words? that's probably a conceit as much as anything. please don't praise my verbosity, don't encourage misbehaviour.

@ Deb - Harper has a rich history of failing Canada. Take the 2008 global meltdown. For two to three years a number of prominent economists including Nouriel Roubini and Nobel laureates Krugman and Stiglitz had been warning anyone who would listen that disaster was looming and just why it was unavoidable.

Harper had everything handed to him to protect Canada. He inherited a balanced budget. The treasury was full. Paul Martin had restrained Canada's bankers from indulging in American-style casino capitalism. We were about as shockproof as any developed economy could be.

Harper came in and set about undermining Canada. He cut the GST and defunded government. He began lifting restrictions on banks, even permitting 40-year term, zero down mortgages that left both lender and borrower at enormous, long-term risks. Fortunately he didn't have time to do more before the meltdown hit.

Still, Harper froze. He wasn't able to act. He didn't understand what had happened or where it came from. It took him a good while to accept that Canada, like all other impacted nations, required stimulus spending. Harper left it so long that he had to prorogue parliament lest he be turfed on a confidence vote.

When parliament returned Harper, with Ignatieff's support, passed a stimulus budget that was virtually pointless. Harper couldn't bring himself to spend the money directly on something worthwhile - badly needed infrastructure for example - so he tossed it away in penny packets that people could use to pay for that new deck they already were planning to put on the cottage. Having just defunded the government he had to borrow that money and some $50-billion to make whole our banks - bequeathing the burden of that debt to our kids.

And, as the dust settled, Harper, ever the greaseball, said no one saw the '08 meltdown coming.

LeDaro said...

Mound, "please don't praise my verbosity, don't encourage misbehaviour" please rest assured that was definitely not my intention. These days the only two blogs I check out is yours and Lorne's.

These days I am very pre-occupied and I am making a lot of mistakes though.

The Mound of Sound said...

Mistakes are the fuel of progress, LD. I could spend hours reciting my own.

deb said...

thanks for the point by point chart, and yes I remember some of the stuff. I saw a few cbc docs on the crash and the movie put out. I also remember that Harper was for deregulation and that Chretian wasnt and that Harper inherited a good economy but blew it.
And yes stimulus spending on infrastructure is always a good plan, but I will admit I did love the home renos tax break:)

ffd said...

I was just reading the Guardian online and they are running an article on how various countries have been affected by the Chinese meltdown. They say that Canadian exports to China have been surprisingly unaffected so far. So using Chinese economic problems as an excuse for Canadian economic problems is premature.

Anonymous said...

Anyong.....ffd...heard that last evening via British radio.