Ralph Goodale's latest commentary speaks volumes on the Conservative ineptitude in managing Canada's economy.
One wonders, just HOW does a party that believes in "no government" actually go about planning to "manage" an economy.
Answer: They simply don't.
Call it the "Harper Auto-pilot"... The "sleep-walking government"... Asleep at the wheel...
IS CANADA READY TO TACKLE ITS FUTURE?
Because of collapsing potash revenues, the Saskatchewan economy has dropped into a sudden slump.
Nationally, while the Harper government boasts about “recovery” from a painful year of recession, Employment Insurance claims have recently shot up again, personal bankruptcies remain high, the country is running a trade deficit for the first time in 30 years, and any new economic growth is sluggish at best.
Public opinion polls say most Canadians think this country is now in long-term decline. Their personal prospects seem mediocre. They’re more worried about falling behind than they are excited about getting ahead.
These negative feelings are justified. One of Canada’s most respected independent financial analysts, Mr. Dale Orr, calculated last week that the standard of living across Canada dropped by more than 4% since 2007.
It’s significant to note the year in which that decline began – 2007 – long before the onset of any recession (which started late in 2008).
In others words, after steady national growth all through the tenure of Liberal governments (1993 – 2006), the country began to slip economically after only two years of Conservative rule.
The Harper regime seems oblivious to this hard reality. Finance Minister Flaherty says he plans no new government action in the year ahead – except for a whopping $13 billion increase in “payroll taxes” (i.e., much higher employment insurance premiums hitting both employers and employees).
But what about the massive insecurity surrounding pensions and retirement incomes?
What about heavy household debt and rising bankruptcies?
What about big gaps in child care and elder care across this country? What about unaffordable education costs? What about the stunning lack of real investment in innovation, science and technology? What about the steady degradation of our natural environment?
It’s no wonder a lot of middle-income Canadians are increasingly uneasy.