Sunday, January 25, 2009

Inflation falls to 1.2 percent, but not Grocery

But not grocery, it went up 7.3 percent last month according to statistics Canada. Some fodder there for research buffs.

This was discussed briefly on a previous thread and at other occasions. The near monopoly situation that exists in the Canadian grocery industry will be an essential factor in this, given not only their dominance in the industry, but the way they compete as well. Pricing is not their choice of competitive tactics. Rather plush looking stores with what seemed like ever expanding offerings of specialty and prepared foods. As demand for such things declines under the pressures of overall price increases in grocery and declining incomes sources, these initiatives remain a significant part of the overhead structure and thus are factored into overall pricing.

Meanwhile, Monsanto's stock has done very well as they go about manipulating third world food producers into using their once only genetically modified seed. I was told that the price for corn paid to farmers in Ontario never went up significantly when production costs related to energy were skyrocketing and people were worried about how Ethanol production was affecting World food supplies. Another item that defied the law of gravity.

Meanwhile, Kuwait has had a great year.

"KUWAIT CITY (AFP) - Kuwaiti government revenues reached 18.55 billion dinars (64.4 billion dollars) in the first nine months of the fiscal year, almost covering full-year budgeted spending, the finance ministry said on Sunday."


  1. Putting a fine point on the upcoming budget, economic measures and the new session of Parliament:

    The Conservatives' objective this week comes down to this: survival ...

    Norm Spector,

  2. The storied shopping basket that establishes the rate of inflation does not include things everyone buys all the time, such as fresh foods and gasoline, because the prices of these are too "volatile" to be captured in periodic statistics.

    Wonder if the statistical shopping basket includes the price of the pound of salt you need to take it with.

  3. BOC contd.(?)

    For comparison, here is what the POTUS has in mind:

  4. From Specter

    "that people will try and find common ground on the things they agree on rather than focusing on the things they don't agree on."

    Few would argue that. Hopefully it's a positive indicator of moving forward. Bout time.

  5. Just popped in to garth's place for my daily dose of depression. Never disappoints on that expectation these days. One guy even declares that the banks are going to fail this week and backs it up with links to other like minded blog sites. Crrikey!

    There was even a story about how England's banks were 3 hours away from total collapse this past week. No MSM links though, just some good old fashioned fear mongering. Maybe if some one gagged that Rogers guy it might help. I'm sure a 47% drop in stock price got peoples attention.

    Nobody nodes da troubles I've known, nobody nodes but meeeee...

    Looks like we are in for an interesting week in the markets though. Lot's of profit/loss reports due from top 500 level companies. Financials are expected to take a hit again but there are bright spots. According to a link to CNN money provided by David Badoky, Proctor and Gamble, the tooth paste and household items giant is expected to report earnings of 1.58 per share as opposed to .98 a year ago.

    Maybe they have been selling pampers on wall street?

  6. I found this tidbit on the major Grocery chains across Canada. Ranked by percentage of sales. The remainder encompasses companies such as Co-op's, Walmart, Bulk Barn, Boxed Revolution, specialty stores and a few independents in small market areas.

    Loblaw Cos. Ltd. 38.2%
    Sobeys Inc. 17.8%
    Metro Inc. 15.2%
    Canada Safeway Ltd. 8.3%
    Costco Canada 5.0%
    Others 15.5%

    List came from here;

    It's interesting as you go down the comments to see people listing outlets like No Frills and Food Basics assuming them to be stand alone companies, when they actually are affiliates of Loblaws and Sobeys. Metro Inc. appears to have sprung up from Sobeys deal to buy out the Oshawa group which was the 2nd largest company. Government wouldn't approve them acquiring the whole company, so part had to be severed off. Don't know who owns Metro though. I'll have to look into that.

    This is one of the major reasons I oppose supporting the corporate structure as it has it has come to be. The three areas in the market place that have the most effect on people are housing, energy and grocery. Two of these are controlled by companies so big, they don't compete via pricing anymore.

    In my view, governments in Canada should never have allowed this to happen, but did by virtue of the power that companies of this size wield. Who got da money?

  7. "The three areas in the market place that have the most effect on people are housing, energy and grocery. Two of these are controlled by companies so big, they don't compete via pricing anymore."

    This hits on a theme and helps explain why I often bring up with comments `it won`t matter when the next election is or who wins even by majority`, `the system is broken beyond repair`.

    Compared to the deal manufactures got in transferring the manufactures tax to Cdn consumers via the GST or exporters get with the low loonie mantra that took their profit directly our of Cdn consumers pockets I`d say the Cdn retailer got screwed, just not as bad as most Cdns.
    Perhaps now the deniers will face reality, jobs and investors started leaving Canada with Ontario leading the exodus as a result of decades of federal government policies.

    no justice, no investment

  8. "as a result of decades of federal government policies."

    Not just policies, implementation as well. Having a Civil Service of the size we have, paying much higher than industry norm pay scales and providing benefits, expense and retirement packages that are far superior and receiving far lower productivity is no small item either.

    But governments wanted their taxes, and the easiest route to that pay day was large corporations. Most everything goes through the books, is traceable and far fewer accounts for CRA to deal with. Besides, small business people cheat the overlords out of their hard earned share

    Rant for the day.

    Changing this system requires the approval of the political parties, and they like it the way it is. So, how to get there from here? The only way I see is via a new party, and one whose key plank is turning democracy back to the people. Then regulating these corporate monstars so that they have to pare off segments and encourage small business to thrive again. A new party that would achieve these things needs talented people who are committed and a number with existing profile.

    This would have to be done completely outside of the current leading party structure.

  9. "This would have to be done completely outside of the current leading party structure."

    That my friend is an enormous task that will be opposed in the only non-partisan unity we ever see by the present Parties. Would digital democracy be strong enough to overcome the attacks from those opposed, perhaps and I would contribute my single voice to the effort.

    The short and secure road is for the Premiers to have provincial power returned along with whatever traces of federal power remain. As the federal government has broken the rules of confederation with an illegal tax it would only require a letter of intent by the Premiers, done deal.

  10. The enormity of the task would depend a good deal on how severe these economic times become.

    I've said before, if things get really bad, recruiting would be far easier.

    I don't think a Party of hope would have to run on radical policy proposals either. Just a whole big bunch of common sense and people would lend support. The Reform Tories talked much of the talk in relation to government, but I haven't seen much of the walk. So I don't believe them anymore than I believe the Liberals. Both display a "you didn't think we were serious" mentality.

    To put ones hopes on the Premiers is bit like asking the B team to run the big show. In Atlantic Canada we only have one Premier who could be considered national calibre. Quebec's guy has been around, but McGuinty is a bit questionable. I don't know much about the Western guys, but Alberta appears to have it's very own feudal system.

  11. "To put ones hopes on the Premiers is bit like asking the B team to run the big show. In Atlantic Canada we only have one Premier who could be considered national calibre"

    The only duty the Premiers have to Canadians at this time is to form a coalition to incorporate power of the federal government with their provincial powers. From there the people with national calibre would be selected from the vast provincial pool of talent and not just by the Premiers but by opposition Parties, elected union officials, school boards and other elected bodies such as municipalities that will select an amount equal to the governing Party allotment.

    Chances of corrupt programs, partisanship, media control, secrecy, and others problems eliminated along with the cost of future federal elections.

  12. CBC

    Questions for the Dragon

    What would you do with $20B?

    The opened with how many had been asked to appear and how few showed up.

    No one invited me.
    I would have presented the potential of a global transportation makeover using maglev. From the $20B available I require $500,000 to assemble a team of engineers to complete and certify a prospectus in 3 months. On approval a further $50M would be required to kick off the Cdn university competition on the best international design. How cheap is that???
    No further funding would be required as there are trillions sitting idly in cash accounts looking for exactly this type of investment.
    What am I, chopped liver?

  13. I think the various levels of government have to be bypassed and selection has to go directly to the people. Many politicians begin their quest as school board trustees and climb from there. Many are already affiliated and to get a new party with the right people established, the selection process has to more democratic.

    With my concept, even these people who utilize the traditional stairway to politics could offer in the selection process, so it wouldn't eliminate them, it would just broaden the field of potential candidates and allow for far more independents and give a New Hope party a fighting chance not based on ability to fundraise or buttkiss.

  14. Good Grief

    I`ve just realized I`m advocating stimulus money to promote private investment when every last politician is calling for tax dollar created jobs. Garth might have been right when he said my economic plan starting with cutting tax on the first $50,000 of self employed small business to 0 wouldn`t work on his planet.

    nanu nanu

  15. The fact remains, the entire process of selecting candidates would have to change, and that has to be set in motion by federal politicians who aren't going to want to. So until a New Hope party can get a solid foothold and speak to the People, nothing will change.

    There isn't going to be a traditional Revolution, it has to be a grass roots revolution which gains momentum probably from the suffering of the failures of our economic system. No better time than the next year or two. People feel apathetic toward the Cons and Libs but have been so conditioned to their place as those who lead the country, that very few can even envision a real change.

  16. "I think the various levels of government have to be bypassed and selection has to go directly to the people."

    The heart of democracy is an elected government of which the nomination process revolves around, the people elected them so they select, for the people that elected them, nominees. I would make exceptions for charities etc as they should have ears and a voice on national and international issues.

    "With my concept, even these people who utilize the traditional stairway to politics could offer in the selection process, so it wouldn't eliminate them"

    I can easily disagree. The worse thing about our federal government as it stands is politics, the more politicians eliminated from the federal level the better.

  17. Re: chopped liver.

    Suggestion. Ask for a good deal more than the $500,000 You were in construction/excavation weren't you? Certain parties need incentive.

  18. "There isn't going to be a traditional Revolution, it has to be a grass roots revolution which gains momentum"

    none of the above seems the best bet forwarded so far and as much negativity towards it that I hear little else of consequence meets the requirement of change

  19. "Ask for a good deal more than the $500,000 You were in construction/excavation weren't you? Certain parties need incentive."

    That is all I need to have a team put together a certified prospectus on the viability of a global university competition.

  20. Re: the people elected them.

    Now don't you think you need to consider chicken and egg?

    The provincial politicians are all products of the traditional party system, except maybe the PQ in Quebec and whatever remains out west. The rest are Con, Lib and NDP.

    So in order to get the order of priorities right, the people have to have choices other than the above in order to get a true democratic result. And that would include those above. Not everyone is going to want to go with the New Hope. Lot's will resist and choose the collective that's familiar.

    The heart of democracy comes from adequate choices, not choice solely from the status quo.

    And the number of politicians involved isn't carved in stone.

    Still, you haven't addressed how your concept gets birth? Who is going to bring this about and why? Where is it's nucleus of support going to come from? Remember, those who now rule have to convinced to change the rules.

  21. Re: suggestion.

    Umm, maybe if you told me a bit more about your construction background we could be on the same page. And if you did business in the Vancouver area or outside. Size of area has an impact.

  22. Resume, the quicky

    I have never mastered hand writing from a polio episode thus I was never popular with English teachers and so left school after grade 8.

    I continued my education in all 3 main industries of BC working my way to the top and contracting out my own equipment from time to time. During an earlier period I took a crash course in trigonometric functions and landed a job as an underground surveyors helper. After three weeks of training I became the survey and proceeded to study mining engineering from the engineers that worked in the office. I then hired on with a startup operation as the surveyor with one helper. As they had yet to develop an engineering office I set one up with all the checks and balances of the previous mine I worked at.
    As more of an interest than a sideline I set up an overnight photo finishing business in 1975, 10 years ahead of the 1 hr and it did very well through the years and different owners till digital was introduced.
    I don`t particularly like to call myself a workaholic but when for personal reasons and my body began giving up the hard work I found that attitude now driving my mental observations and assessments.

  23. Resume;

    Yes, we have some similarities. Very different work backgrounds but the entrepreneurial aspects are similar and at one point I had so much on my plate I had to admit to workaholism.

    Your background differs from my exposure, especially to government contracts and those involved in letting contracts, regulations etc. I have been burnt big time twice by the political machine and had direct insight from two family members as to goings on in the world of construction as in infrastructure, and government funded projects.

    One was a lawyer and got inside dope on goings on in local municipal gov, and the other owned a good sized construction company and was a devout liberal. Now everything in that game is relative to size as in smaller places it is more intense and often more obvious. But it's a system badly burdened by graft, corruption and influence peddling.

    That's why I suggested you ask for more. Here's an example. A highlight. Mayor of City has long standing executive connections with Construction Co. A, and Construction company B's owners come from same area. At the beginning of his time in office, both companies were small players in the area. In no time, they were getting all the contracts they bid on. Everyone else who was a direct competitor was shut out. Many closed up shop. How could they get all the contracts one might ask? Easy, they were opening the bids and undercutting by a few thousand.

    A few months into the contracts they would have a closed door session and council would approve cost plus. Let the gravy roll. Now council also consisted of two persons from one company and one from the other so with the mayor there was two from each. So to add insult to injury, they padded up the costs on these contracts, used sub level materials and often the projects had to done over again within a short time.

    Could they get away with it? Yes they could, for a while. Long enough. Eventually word started to leak out and political foes set about starting a movement to have said mayor removed and in time were successful. But that's all that happened to his worship.

    I could on, I have a list. lol

  24. A trip down memory lane, for those of us beyond repair, redemption and hope . . .
    Headline says "Inflation falls, but not grocery", and C.One has posted links pertaining to same.

    In The Cycle Of Nines, which is part of The Cycle Of Life and affects every living thing, as much as night follows day follows night, so deflation (now) is followed (quietly) by rising inflation (link I posted yesterday), then --

    Some headings: "Hyperinflation Will begin In China And It Will Destroy The Dollar", "The US's trade deficit requires China to print money"! and "So far China has been able to contain inflation, but…"

    Main stuff is on the link supplied, but added to C.One's post, we are living in extremely uncertain times, and someone is profiting from all this.

    The greenback has been surging higher recently -- / / -- witness the declining loonie, collapse of the pound and Euro, along with other currencies.

    However, if the greenback is decimated, what happens to other currencies? Would this bring forth a NWO, as Henry Kissinger has recently advocated? I was under the impression that it already existed, and it was going to brought out into the open anyway. I guess now is the time.

    "Control Inflation" -- the only thing we control is ourselves, no more. The term sheeple comes to mind, as they let the msm inadvertently control them, by spoonfeeding them garbage.

    Frank Zappa's lyrics in "I'm The Slime" still hold true today, and anyone can read them on the 'net. Frank spoke the lyrics in a deep, drawl-style with a light musical background.

    Now, different reports from, but they cover one issue -- the upcoming scrap between Iran and Israel. Both sides of the coin are taken into account.

    That should give y'all a good understanding of who the aggressors are, especially as the U.S., Russia, China and Israel are in the top 10 countries with nukes.

  25. Something out of nothing. Some of us wondered how Obama was going to fund projects?? Create a infrastructure bank and sell bonds.

    I think they should hire Madoff to run it. What do you think?

  26. It's a start but the government regulators were hired from industry so.......

    Obama has every right to sing "It's my country and I'll do what I want to, do what I want to".

    If you have time take a look at some of the other business articles in the independent link @ 8:41. Pretty rough for the U.K. eh?

  27. Dee, I think they should free Lord Black and let him run it. Before he was done he would probably hold a mortgage on the White House.

    Hey Charles, loved the vid on the 60's. Lot's of memories there.

    That feller from Gold Eagle sure can talk. Did you understand everything he wrote about? I couldn't make head nor tails of his talk about sterilizing the printed yuan.

    I know that China makes everyone convert foreign currency they receive into yuan, but things like making the Chinese banks hold huge reserves of the yuan they print to replace the US dollars it receives to balance its trade surplus makes no sense to me. Putting money into the economy can be channeled so it doesn't fuel rampant inflation. I realize that it's a lot of money, but as he goes on to discuss later, China has huge infrastructure and services needs that money could go toward and given the tight fist control the Chinese gov has over everything including the economy, it could simply implement broad ranging price controls if necessary.

    As he goes along he seems to argue both sides of the inflation/deflation issue, trading monsters as he goes. Sometimes arguing that China fears and is battling inflation, then arguing they fear and are battling deflation, and this will result in their worst fear, inflation.

    Frankly, I got a sneaking hunch his intent was to encourage people to buy yuan. Then the other links you provided seemed to me to be offering contradictory views regarding USD.

    The other thing I thought odd was assuming that bailout moneys would fire hyperinflation. Isn't the bailout money intended to replace a deficiency in available capital? And as argued, not a sufficient amount to effectively address the deficiencies. I'm no expert on world finance, but Ten Bears might say someone speak with double tongue.

    Maybe I missed a point or two, but I came away feeling that the "experts" weren't agreeing. Not that that would be unheard of.

    Good read though, and in the end the inflation will come once the idle money is confident. It will aid in paying back all that US debt and the other gov's too. Twofers.

    I will gladly repay you tomorrow, the price of a hamburger today. Hope you don't mind Canadian Tire money.

  28. Anybody remember about six months ago a several day discusion on Garths on how useless statistics Canada numbers were and how the then 15% real unemployment rate was called 5% and the real rate of inflation of around 5% a year was reduced to 1 or 2% in the yearend official numbers all to make the government of the day look better? With that in mind we all know that unemployment will hit 25% before this is over and real inflation this year will hit 10% on anything we NEED while probably going negative on things we don't really need but once again we will be told 1% inflation!

    Okay so everyone is unsure of the existing political parties and wants to start yet a new one. Well guess what, every country is planning on replacng the party in power because they have collectivly done all the wrong things trying to prop up the familiar existing economy we have had for at least three decades. So far not one world leader has had the guts to dig through the mess to find out that there are two simple fundimental reasons coming together to create the probems we are in. The best part is that there are sinple solutions to both but both solutions are political suicide and run the risk of worldwide violence which will occur anyway if they continue playing footsie with the real problems.

    I am only going to talk about one today and leave the other till another time. And today's is easy, so called free trade and the worldwide wage imbalance. In order for true free trade to occur a pipe with water in it must be level so water flows equally both ways. The free trade we have now has the pipe laying on a hill and no amount of effort can make water flow up that pipe so we have reached the point where that pond full of water or cash has run out and there is only a trickle left to keep flowing. This is because the free trade agreement has a fatal flaw in that there is no common world wide minimum wage to ensure that if jobs move to a country, workers in that country have enough money to buy products back from the country they are selling too. Think level pipe with water flowing both ways depending on which way you tip it. Remember all the high talk of new markets of over a billion people would magically open up once we started trading with China, India and others. That was twenty years ago and it would be fun to have those same people explain themselves today just before they are led before the firing squad.

    To confuse the issue more our media trots out two numbers to tell us how our economy is doing. The first is the trade balance which shows if we are selling more than we are buying. For decades Canada looks good so why worry? America on the other hand has had the warning of a trade deficet long enough to know they were in trouble decades before now or were they? Lets say a small comany sells 1 dollar of resources including wages and profit to China which turns it into a 2 dollar toy that is sold back to us. On paper both countries come out even in trade balance until we look at the price of that toy in stores that is 10 dollars. Instead of our government admitting that the real balance of trade is a 9 dollar deficet for Canada we trot out a new number called the GDP to account for it. If the shipping companies, wholesalers and retailers are all owned by Canadians then we go back to an even up trade balance with a big advantage to Canada because we turned a dollar ultimately into nine dollars. Since we all know that almost no companies in this country are owned by Canadians this throws the numbers out the window. If we assume that the resource seller sees 70 cents of their dollar stay in this country and add 50 cents on shipping then add another dollar in wholsale and retail costs and finally be generous and add a dollar for electric, fuel etc. that makes its way into our economy we come to three dollars and twenty cents actually making its way into our economy which means a real trade deficet of six dollars and seventy cents going outside the country. Yet the GDP will show a nine dollar boost to our economy. Anybody want to guess how long we have been in a negative position? Back to the States, while they run high trade deficets most of the profits flow into American owned companies which actually created a surplus using this model even though they bought more than they sold.

    The important number to track here is the 5 dollars or more in profits which flow from this item. Most of this money ends up in the hands of the super rich who gamble it back on the stock market etc. and basically remove it from the real economy. This whole house of cards works fine as long as there is enough money in the consuming countries to keep buying but they made one greedy mistake in allowing too much of their companies to move production overseas while only allowing low wage jobs in the extraction, wholesale, transportation and retail industries to survive because the rest could not compete with low cost goods flowing in under free trade. Most of the wealth our GDP numbers say we have created are concentrated in a few hands and there are no longer enough good paying jobs to keep our economy going. The only mistake Obama has made so far is lowering wages to compete again which can only result in bankruptcy unless he is going to cut off the flow of non essential goods across his border.

    How do we fix this problem? the obvious solution is to change free trade into fair trade but the danger is going back to protectionism like in the thirty's. Lucky for us the industrialised world is broken up into three trading blocks NAFTA, EU and the pacific rim countries. It would be easy to setup a common minimum wage and set of business and environmental laws to allow free trade between all countries in the blocks. The rest of the world could form their own blocks with common minimum wages and standards however if they want to trade with us we would have the right to place tarriffs equel to the difference in the standerds to make that pipe I talked about earlier level again. If they are smart and raise wages substantially we would see the beginning of that long ago promise of a huge new market for everyones goods that they talked about twenty years ago along with a lot of inflation. By dealing in larger trading bloc this would prevent countries closng their borders to each other like the last depression.

    Many positive things would flow out of this situation. Mexico would have to raise their wages enough to slow down illegal imigration to the states and draw some back home. Many countries like China would be forced to convince their citizens to create an internal economy as well as selling abroad. Every country would be forced to look at what is important to produce themselves and what they can buy which means that every country will have a least some manufacturing and agracultural base that will hopefully prevent a major disaster like we have now where most countries are missing key pieces of their economy due to outsourcing.

    As an offshoot of this we need to get rid of trade balance and GDP numbers and replce them with internal economy numbers and external numbers. Internal means money that doesn't cross our border and is neutral just cycling over and over again. This is the only one our government can change either stimulating or pulling it back if it gets going too fast. The external economy is any money going across the border in or out which is the only real way of measuring the balance of trade. It is rather simple to take the total transaction and subtract the money left in the country to see if we are gaining or losing.

    It doesn' matter if we had an election every month or 50 new parties to choose from until someone in power grows a pair big enough to tackle this issue no amount of spending other than on welfare or E.I. and other social benefits will make a bit of difference and we are only fooling ourselves to think otherwise. As well we need to stop following made up employmnt, inflation, GDP and trade balance numbers to try and hide the real problem.

    Next time the ecomony is a topic I will point out the second more serious underlying problem we need to deal with before we move out of recession. The only two ways I know of to increase your economy and standard of living is to have more people come to your country and spend money or sell more goods and services to other countries than you buy. Pretty simple but if I missed anything then I am sure someone will add it. If it is that simple then why do we go through such complicated agony to hide the truth from everyone?

  29. "Your background differs from my exposure, especially to government contracts and those involved in letting contracts, regulations etc."

    I`ve bid on government contracts for other companies, some successfully. Spending 30 years working my way from bottom to top in all the major industries likely gives me a better understanding of the interaction between different regulatory bodies and their regulations. For instance BC law was developed for the main industry at the time, mining, and still takes precident over logging regulations today.
    lol, I did a good job educating myself. I was always high on the hire list of the many companies I had previously done work for.

    "it's a system badly burdened by graft, corruption and influence peddling."
    I`ve had a few lengthy discussions about certain regulation interpretations and a few cases of a deficit lack of integrity but no real graft. From what I`ve seen and heard I wouldn`t doubt that it exists.
    Government is not governed by the rule of law so increased corruption has to be in the picture somewhere.
    I do not expect much headway on either a change of system in government or transportation which is why my main focus remains the children of divorce. I just like to throw out a `what if` not because we could or would but for thought for those that think we do need a what if.

  30. ::: BREAKING NEWS :::

    In 2009 the government will start deporting all the mentally ill people.

    I started crying when I thought of you.

    Run, my little crazy friends, run!

    Well, what can I say?

    Someone sent it to me, and dammit, I'm NOT going alone!

    Enjoy Your Day!
    C. One, glad you enjoyed the video. BTW, I only eat Wendy's Baconaters with a side of Canadian Tire money. Your treat to buy -- my treat to eat!

    By using opposing links I was, in a sense trying to convey the basic fact that generally, these so-called "expurts", although well-intentioned, really don't have a clue as to what is going on around them.

    Sure, they give facts and figures, different reasons for why, what and where, but as pointed out further on they, like anyone, are on this planet to make a buck and survive, and they are very good at what they do.

    The intangibles, the unknowns must be taken into account. Easy to talk about deflation and inflation, currency trading, that's surface talk. The msm covers that.

    Bloggers and sites cover the unknowns, and report them to those who would avoid the msm like the plague. First two links are good --
    On Garth's political blog, I briefly spoke about the karmic pattern of time really speeding up, leaving sheeple dazed and confused by all the events happening so quickly worldwide.

    Other posters probably assumed I was less than nuts, but that's okay (I am!) 'coz it's happening anyway, regardless of one's beliefs. --

    Links concern layoffs throughout the country. For further info., see the first story on 60 Minutes last night at --

    It will be curious to see the US jobless claims on Thursday. Apparently, the next few weeks will hit the majority of sheeple really hard.

    Am I grateful that I had the brain spasm, then the stroke? You betcha! I'm retired!
    Other than The Big Three waving bye-bye to 988 auto dealers in '08, the credit crunch starts to bite -- -- now, does this include or exclude all the credit card debt as well?

    As Robert has stated before, in Canada the CC debt runs around $100 mln. Has anyone considered paying their bills? That may be a good start!
    This is one of the ways the super-rich avoid losing the mansion. --

  31. Morning Charles,

    The problem with experts. Are there any really?

    Been listening to a wide variety of them in recent weeks and I have yet to hear from one who seems to be able to pull together recent events and a strategy that is comprehensive and has a real direction. Most are hot footing around, summarizing what went wrong and offering analysis on that, while avoiding stepping up and saying, look this is how we fix it. The one thing I believe they do have a sense of, is that society has gone too far down the current road for any quick fix measures to actually make a significant difference. It's like, this didn't work, that didn't work, chuck this, chuck that and now what? Back to the drawing board. I'm getting too old to be someone's lab rat.

    I think the 'sperts need to look back and realize that a lot of what they tinkered with, they shouldn't have. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    Something I agree with from wayupnorth's post is equalizing wage structure and as Leasa has written before as well, fair trade. At the end of it all, so much comes down to achieving a given desired income level, but what is at the heart of our problems is what so many have done with those income gains from past years. Aspiring to a life of acquiring the never ending offerings of new trinkets has left far too many with little other than debt. And around and around the great circle we go.

    From your article on the UK, I note that agriculture is the only area that has shown improvement in the British economy, but that it only represents 1% of their economy now.

    From your article on China and riots, came this;

    "I hope I can have a life in a big city like Guangzhou, but being a migrant worker is too hard right now," he said. "We were dealing in scrap and the prices plummeted, so they cut my salary by a fifth. My family have a farm and maybe I can run a small business there."

    I had written in a previous thread that one of if not the major problem facing the new urban unemployed is that they have no where to go back to, and maybe even worse is that they don't know how to help provide for themselves anymore.

    Reminds me of something someone who was once close to me said in criticism. "You are stuck in New Brunswick, 1964." There is some truth to that, but I will still defend my positions that what in fact has evolved from modern economic and social strategies is a population that is totally dependent on the system the money changers have created, and therefore said population are at the mercy of the manipulations of those same people. For many, thinking that they have control of their lives is merely an illusion.

    Good article on China btw, providing a more balanced and unbiased view.

  32. Wayupnorth,

    I agree with a good deal of what you wrote, but the big picture has to incorporate other factors, and increasing standard of living isn’t the priority overall in my view. Except for low income persons. Shifting views to appreciate that our standard of living is pretty good, but lacks focus would help a great deal.

    Western cultures have become far too fixated on the trappings of the day and far less focused on maintaining proper economic and social foundations. You touched on part of that.

    I don’t agree that having more electoral choices is of no value though, as trying to work within the existing structure would take far too long and offer FAR too much resistance. The Libs and Tories are agents for the very people who brought this pox, and the NDP are unrealistic in many ways as well as entrenched in their thinking.

    That’s not to say that there are no people within these parties who would like to make changes toward a healthier and more balanced society. I believe that is possible, but to effect such changes they have to up against those not so inclined within their parties..

    Robert poppavox says economics will make the necessary changes, and I agree with that to a large extent, except that much of it will happen willy nilly and that’s a shame. This is an opportunity to help shape things to come. One of the major areas that need a fix, is us. What we expect, what motivates us, how we interact with each other and how we often polarize ourselves or subdivide into small cliques or interest groups whose focus is often narrow and doesn’t see big picture or possible ramifications of their goals.

    About New Parties, it doesn’t necessarily have to a completely new one. I think the Green Party has the potential to evolve and move things along. Some good ideas and concepts there, they just need some guidance toward what is achievable in the near future.