Saturday, December 18, 2010

Canadian Economy

Well, so much for all the talk that the mainstream media in the US goes easy on President Obama. President Obama is turning out to be the best Republican President the US has had for a long while. Like other democratic Presidents before him, like Bill Clinton, he is leaning on and seeking the support of republics on his administrations policies. On December 17, 2010 he signed into law an 858 billion dollar economic stimulus that will, as reported by the US media, cut taxes for the super rich.

In my view cutting taxes is not the best way to stimulate an economy. Government and the private sector need to work together to provide long-term sustainable jobs that can’t see the minimum wage in the rear view mirror. A focus on long-term, necessary investments in Canada’s infrastructure is a good start to create those kinds of jobs and should be expanded. This will help provide funding for cost-efficient social programs for all Canadians.

Prime Minister Harper is long on cutting corporate taxes and public spending. Neither of these two will do anything to stimulate Canada’s fragile economy. He is fighting a national unemployment rate that is in the 8% range. Harper has bailed out the banks and the auto industry, ran up a $56 billion 2010 budget deficit, and has run Canada into an historic national debt. Finance Minister Flaherty has projected it will hit well over $500 billion by 2011-12 and that was predicated on a 2009-10 deficit of $33.7 billion, not the actual $55.6 billion.

Now consider interest rates going up and the resulting cost to government to service that debt. Also, consider that the average Canadian family carries $1.50 in debt for every $1.00 they have in disposable income and how an increase in interest rates will affect their service charges.

The Prime Minister always talks about the strength of Canada’s economic fundamentals. Economic fundamentals is a broad term, which includes economic measures as interest rates, the government’s budget deficit, the country’s balance of trade account (relating to exports and imports), the level of domestic business confidence, the inflation rate, the state of (and confidence in) the banking and wider financial sector and consumer confidence. With these economic fundamentals in mind it may be that Prime Minister Harper and President Obama are not on the right economic track for Canada or the US. Only time will tell.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fur Protest Ridiculous

PETA is over the top on this issue. The lobby in Canada and other countries to prohibit or discourage the use of fur in the clothing industry is ridiculous. Why we have allowed this to happen in Canada is an interesting question.

CBC News - Montreal - Trudeau's holiday card stirs protest

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Penny Gone - Next the Senate

How ironic! A Senate Committee has concluded that the government should stop production of the penny and after that to with draw it from circulation within a year. The penny should have been taken out of circulation long ago, but government works slowly even on the simple issues.

Neither the penny nor the Senate makes any sense (cents) having around. The penny costs more to produce than it is worth. The Senate costs a small fortune and no real value has ever been calculated as to the worth of the Senate. The term “not worth two cents” will still apply to the Senate since the cent soon won’t exist and therefore will have no value. It will be like “as phony as a two dollar bill.”

Regardless, it will be good to be rid of the useless penny. Now we can direct our attention on the future of the Senate. We should at least attempt to attach a real and tangible value that determines their worth.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper used to believe they should at least be elected. Then their existence would be based on the same principle (elected) as any politician, but would they be worth any more. It’s less expensive to appoint them. Maybe we should appoint all politicians and do away with elections. A revolving appointment committee would appoint one candidate out of twelve selected by the public based on their qualifications. Each candidate considered would be required to submit an extensive resume along with an endorsement of no less than 5000 signatures of people that person would be expected to represent. Their appointment would be for no more than a five-year term and could be terminated by the appointment committee if they failed to represent the will of the people or violated any rules associated with their appointment. Their termination would be final and binding. The successful candidates would be responsible for forming the government and committees from within their own ranks.

Please take all this with a grain of salt or a lump of coal, but it would make for an interesting debate. The party system is failing the people and reform is truly necessary. Try running as a conservative against an incumbent conservative MP and see how far that gets you. And the other parties aren’t much better. What happened to democracy?

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Prime Minister Harper Rocks

Regardless of your political persuasion you have to give Prime Minister Stephen Harper full marks for his performance as a musician and a singer.  His latest performance is at the conservative caucus Christmas party.  Most politicians would never risk it, but not Harper.  He has had other public performances as a musician and singer and you just have to love it every time he performs.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper too often comes across as cool and calculating and he is all of that, but these musical performances show the other side of Prime Minister Harper.  In my view he isn't passionate about politics.  He just likes politics, trusts few and seems always to be in total control.  That is what is necessary to be totally successful in politics.  I made the mistake of trusting too many and too often.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper loves hockey and music and for a politician in this country it doesn't get any better.  He may not be your favorite rock star, but he is your Prime Minister and he will likely sing his way to at least another minority government.  Not everyone is in tune with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, but he is the one rocking on Parliament Hill right now and performing well in more ways than one.  Politics can be interesting and entertaining!

Watch this video on CBC and you will agree.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Canada-Israel Relations

Regardless of your position on Canada's relations with Israel this video is an education and worth a look.  It is an excellent insight into the current relations between these two countries.

More at The Real News

Prime Minister Extends Deadline

Prime Minister, Stephen Harper recently spoke to the success of the federal government’s stimulus initiatives.  He announced the deadline for completing projects under the government’s various infrastructure initiatives has been extended to October 31, 2011.  This involves about $16 billion dollars the federal government has provided, but the extension does not involve any new funding.  It is intended to allow time for planned projects to be completed that otherwise had been interrupted due to bad weather the construction season experienced this past year.

Money spent on infrastructure projects in communities across the country is where the government deserves some credit.  These projects relieve the costs to local and provincial governments and are funded projects that are worth the investment.  The projects also provide for all levels of government and the private sector to work in partnership to secure necessary infrastructure projects.  The Prime Minister’s announced extension of the deadline for these projects is worth applauding.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The Fate of Drug Abuse

The following sad story is a fate that in the future will fall on many more of those involved in drugs as users or pushers or both. Parents are left with a feeling of despair where they are resigned to accept there is nothing more they can do for their children involved in drugs. It is interesting to note how society has attacked smokers and, to a lesser extent alcohol abuse, seems resigned to accept the abuse of drugs that may eventually kill our children. Parents need to know what can be done to save their children from an addiction that will make them sick, that will turn them into common criminals and may result in their death. Parents want their children to have a long, healthy, productive and happy life. Is there nothing parents can do to make that happen?

TheStar Father not surprised teen son was killed