Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What Will We Do When The Good Days Are Gone?


I have a confession to make.

I am an academic.

Thus, in general, the folks I spend time with everyday, myself included, really lead pretty cushy lives.

And I've alreay told many of you who I owe for that.

But the great majority of my colleagues have no idea, or they pretend that they don't know, or they pretend they've forgotten.

And when I get worked up about things like the selling off of public assets for no good reason at all, or the destruction of public programs that really help people, those same colleagues look at me like I'm completely off my nut.


But here's the thing that really worries me.......

What happens when things go bad in a Province built for good times?

I mean, what will happen if we're on the hook for billions for things that really mean very little when the going gets tough and people start hurting.

And what would it take for that to happen when your Province's resource-based economy, and almost all of your provincial government's surplusses, depend on things like the following NOT happening:

........The fall in oil, metals and gold suggested the commodities bubble that has propelled Canada's resources economy ever higher in recent years could soon burst as investors and traders worry about a recession in the United States and its impact on the world economy.

On currency markets, the loonie had its biggest single-day plunge in nearly 46 years, dropping 2.19 cents against the American dollar. Traders worried that falling commodities will kick a leg out from under the Western Canadian resources economy, whose strong growth has cushioned the blow of a battered manufacturing sector in Ontario and Quebec.

Of course, this was just today.

And, of course, this does not take into account the lower-than-expected interest rate cut in the States.

However, if this is not just a single day plunge, but is instead the start of a long steep decline, I sure hope we can start spending money on things that actually count.


Before it is all gone.

The money I mean.

Don't get me wrong. It's not that I don't think we should try to build curling rinks, chair lifts and speed skating ovals when we get the chance, it's just that I think that we also need to keep working on repairing the ropes in the safety net at the same time.


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