Archive for the ‘AMERICA’S COMING ECONOMIC TSUNAMI’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: CRITICISM OF THE LIBERAL STRATEGY – MORE ON COALITION – TAX RISES – SERVICE CUTS – HEALTH CARE AS COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE – AMERICA’S COMING ECONOMIC TSUNAMI   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN BY JEFFREY SIMPSON IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

I think you may be right, Mr. Simpson, as you so often are, being the country’s most astute political commentator after the late Jim Travers.

But the Liberals’ great strategic blunder, pre-dating this insipid election effort, was appointing Ignatieff as their leader.

The insiders responsible for this did our country a grave disservice, as will become painfully evident if Harper gets even the slimmest of majorities.

Ignatieff has almost no political skill and appears to be a poor strategic thinker.

More than that, I think it remarkable that a man with the reputation of “intellectual” shows almost no original or innovative thought. I have heard nothing from him that makes me say to myself, well, that’s right.

And, for a guy who supposedly was such a human-rights figure, his voice is never heard on the great human-rights issues of our day, but then I knew his genuine record – not the puff – before he opportunistically made his return to Canada.

Now while there are virtually no good qualities in Harper – poor ethics, poor democratic values, pandering to groups, a poor record of appointments, and a shabby record of dismissing those he doesn’t want to hear from – you must grant him a great strategic grasp of our electoral process. He is a one-man show of extraordinary dark political skills.

A political anti-Christ, I think it fair to say. Not a leader, not an idea man, not a man of principle, but a calculating machine to achieve dominance – a very dangerous man indeed.

Some choice we are given.

No wonder people in Quebec are turning to Layton, who like Elizabeth May, actually stands for some principles, whether they are ones you agree with or not.

But that too is go-nowhere development.

Layton’s replacing some of Duceppe ‘s seats does not really change the dangerous political calculus that may see Canada damaged seriously over the next five years.

What a great irony that Ignatieff, the very man who literally sneered at Dion’s coalition, should be attacked by Harper for intending “to steal the election” with a coalition.

What a great disappointment that so many Canadians are revealed to be so poorly educated that they believe Harper’s school-yard name-calling.

So long as we have the situation we have in Quebec – where Conservatives and Liberals are not contenders – the only way to stop a minority tyrant-bully like Harper is through a coalition.

And coalition is both legal and entirely proper in a parliamentary democracy.

Dion understood that. The pathetic Ignatieff has not.
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“Promising to TAX more? Mr Simpson, I’m pretty sure that even Mr. Ignatieff isn’t that silly.”

Here again is the kind of stuff which painfully reveals lack of education in a good deal of our voting populace, and ignorant democracy is dangerous.

How does anyone like that think Harper will make his vast deficits disappear?

And, at the same time, pay for gigantic and unnecessary commitments like buying that costly clunker of a fighter plane and building a new gulag of prisons?

Of course, the simplistic answer is cuts, and I, as a retired professional economist, am not against judicious cuts.

But you cannot spend the way Harper spends and have a deficit like those Harper has created, and cut your way to a balanced budget.

People like the commenter do not understand that some of our program spending is actually a competitive advantage for Canada, health care being a chief one.

We spend about 2/3 per capita to what Americans spend on health care, and – the statistics speak loudly – we get better overall outcomes by measures such as population longevity and infant mortality.

It is largely because of our health care that traditionally American corporations such as the big auto companies have viewed Canada as an efficient place in which to invest.

Not because our workers work harder, not because they are better educated, but because they start on the job by the companies not having to buy the horribly costly and inefficient private health insurance they must buy in America.

And just so for other of our national programs.
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The single greatest cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States is, and has long been, heath-care costs.

It is nothing to envy.

Anyway, readers, I think it quite possible that all the political sound and fury will be for nothing.

Despite Harper and his flaks’ constant blubbering about his economic management, when the other shoe falls in the United States, all bets are off.

People are still walking away from their mortgages there in huge numbers, and the country is spending money it does not have with wars on multiple fronts. It is also running unbelievable deficits in every account you care to mention, from the national budget to current accounts and to personal debt.

A gigantic economic tsunami is approaching the United States, and despite Harper’s childish bragging, it will not spare Canada.