Attention politicians: Planet Earth calling!
A recent story in the Ottawa Citizen informed us of '10 important issues to watch' when Parliament re-convenes.
This scintillating list included such hot items as Supreme Court appointments, copyright reform, Libya, and the gun registry.
The article does mention the 'fragile recovery' of the economy, but assures us that the Harper government will 'stay the course' (somewhat like the captain of the Titanic, I presume)
How on earth (and I mean that literally) was this list decided? Supreme court appointments? Who in Canada can name a member of the Supreme Court, or is aware of a single decision they have made recently? Libya? Another poorly thought out military engagement, with no defined mission and no exit strategy, kind of Afghanistan-lite, but what is the impact on the day to day lives of Canadians?
Not a mention of resource depletion - everything from oil, to fresh water to soil to rare minerals are in increasing short supply. That will have a much greater impact on lives than the gun registry.
The article lightly touched on 'the economy' as an issue, but glossed over reality. We are not experiencing a 'fragile recovery'; our largest trading partner, the US, is in a death-spiral of lost manufacturing, record unemployment and poverty, the destruction of the middle class, and the devastation of the family home as the most signicant asset most people hold.
Here's a few facts about the US:
Fact one: the US economy is teetering on the brink of complete melt-down. President Obama is trying to spend his way out of debt, in the process destroying the US dollar and any hopes for a recovery for a decade, maybe longer.
The only solutions which would actually make sense - i.e. repatriating the 700-plus US military missions around the world, stopping pointless wars, and cutting off corporate welfare to the military-industrial complex - is politically unacceptable to either party.
Fact two: one-sixth of U.S. citizens live below the poverty line, that is approximately 50 million people who will not be contributing to a US economic recovery anytime soon.
Fact three: the US (and Canada for that matter) have been exporting manufacturing jobs overseas for decades; there is very little left of the middle class to drive economic recovery.
Fact four: unemployment is 2 points higher in the US than Canada; unemployed people typically do not make big purchases that drive industry.
Fact five: 70 per cent of Canada's trade is with the US. When that demand crumples, so will the need for selling commodities and spare parts to the US.
Fact six: pick your apocalypse, e.g Peak Oil, Peak Water, Peak Soil, Climate Change, anti-biotic resistant diseases, cyber-war, resource war, etc etc. We will not escape all of these.
Conclusion: the US is going down. They have not, and will not recover for years, maybe decades.
Europe is in at least as bad a shape. When the tidal wave of debt and defaults hits, Canada will be swept away as well. Seventy per cent of what we produce goes to the US; if that market is gone, so is our economy.
Where is the political courage to face that fact, and start to develop a real plan to deal with it? 'Stay the course' is a recipe for disaster; if that is the best the government can offer, all Canadians had better start preparing themselves for hard times, because your leaders have abdicated their responsibility.
I've said it before: money, gold and stocks and bonds will become worthless. I promise you the main preoccupation of North America 10 years from now will not be Idiotic Idol, or whatever the latest celebrity moron is wearing, snorting, or screwing. It will be trying to find enough food.
Invest while you can in real means of production - land, tools, equipment and the skills to use them. Plan to have to feed and house your kids and grand-kids, because we will be going through a real rough patch, within this decade.
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