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Bob Green Innes,

candidate with vision

Trustee, Public System, Ward 4.  


News Flash

I interrupt this blog page with news of the collapse I have been expecting for so long. Britain has just hit the wall. So all those folks who are saying everything is alright have something more to try and explain away. Listen carefully. Future Vision

My thoughts about what a trustee should be doing now is based on my outlook for the future. I hope you are not easily upset. If you have been realistic about our politics/ economy and reasonable about your lifestyle, have been doing well jobwise and have been understanding what is going on and preparing for your future, you have little to worry about. Most Canadians I run into have no idea what's going on, many are living beyond their means, are overindebted, are full of themselves, are smug about Canada, optimistic about their future and are not willing to discuss any of the above beyond some nonsense they have swallowed uncritically. This worries me and will likely make it impossible to be elected. No matter. Its not my job to fix Canada, its only my responsibility to give you the chance to make change.

I believe we are in deep doodoo, unless we are very careful, both Canada and we, its people. We are entering a time when we are unwinding a giant bubble, a long term trend of increasing prosperity and rising but unreasonable expectations, fuelled and perpetrated by boomers, banksters and cheap oil, all of which are under pressure. Most folks think we are in fine shape based on our resources without acknowledging that we have already spent our future by amassing over a trillion dollars in public debt and enough private debt to jeopardize our wellbeing as noted recently by CBC's Helinka. It seems we still think the spending party is in full swing and our future should include an unnecessary stadium, a speculative Aerotropolis, an expensive LRT and half empty schools. Finance minister Flathead just blew through $100 bn and doesn't intend to balance the budget till 2015. So what, you say? Canada is rich.

So was Argentina and the Philippines at one point in time. The fact is that we are quickly losing our manufacturing base and going back to being hewers of wood, drawers of water. That is not a bright future. Hamiltonians especially should understand this but are being blinded by the hubris of our leaders and their dreamy schemes like Aerotropolis.

The dilemma is this - we have the choice of lowering our dollar to match the US dollar which is falling out of bed (watch the price of gold) or keeping our dollar strong in order to prevent severe inflation as China's currency rises. Keeping our dollar strong will finish off the manufacturing sector, letting it slide will cause inflation to trash the value of your pension plan. People with indexed plans, such as the public sector, think they are safe, but I believe the crunch will be so severe, and the taxpayers so impacted that all that will change. When Boomers retire en masse about 10 to 15 years from now, there will be only 2 people trying to support each retiree, most of whom have inadequate savings. Something has to give.

It is fine to say that our oil and minerals will get us out of this mess. Does that not imply we will have no choice but to let all the profits go to cover all our debts instead of benefiting the people? Doesn't it also imply we should be educating miners not technicians? I believe oil benefits will tide us over IFF (if and only if) we were to pay down our debts now - batten down the hatches as it were. It looks like the Spectator is goading us to do the opposite.

Perhaps you are thinking we will just pay off our debts with inflated dollars. That is a double edged sword. First it implies that pensioners or foreign lenders will be happy to receive those devalued dollars. Second it implies that folks will keep lining up to give us and our public insitutions more of their hard earned dollars. They might but it will take much higher interest rates to entice them. Third of course is you pay inflated prices.

Perhaps you are wondering what I'm even talking about - inflation has been low for years and looks to be continuing low for the forseeable future. This is what you get for reading newspapers, watching the boob toob to get your ideas of what is going on. Hey, they have one or two minutes and you think they can tell you the whole story? No, you do not get the whole story from the media, but if you do the shopping in your family, you know that inflation is running much higher than what you are being told. If you want to check this out go to shadowstats. The fact of the matter is that the government you trust has been deceiving us for decades because it has not been in the politicians' interest to be truthful. Disgruntled voters are less likely to return them to power. So instead of there being 1 or 2% inflation, we have had 8 or 10% for years/ decades. Instead of the economy growing at 2 or 3%, it has been shrinking for decades. Prove this to yourself by thinking about the middle class. Same thing for unemployment. Actual unemployment is much higher than official staticstics that get quoted in newspapers. Google U2 and U6 or go to Shadowstats if you want the truth on this

Because folks have not been hearing the truth, they have not prepared themselves properly for the future. Their pensions will not be as comfy as they think. Prices will shoot up. Pay and pensions will not. Interest rates will make borrowing unaffordable. Debts will become real burdens and/or will be wiped out by bankruptcy. Even the bankruptcy escape valve is being tightened up - banksters do not like to see suckers getting away. Governments will print money to bail some groups (boomers?) out but that will only make things worse for everyone else. It goes downhill from there.

This is where things get really interesting. Especially in the US. I will not be surprised to see a major breakdown of civil order, or worse, in the US. Eventually things will get desperate enough, even in Canada, that governments will finally have to tackle the problems they have swept under the carpet ever since Trudeau set us on his utopian path. He was willing to bring in wage and price controls. Perhaps this will happen again. For sure, public sector unions which have created much of the problem by being resistant to change, will have to go. Underlying the whole thing is Keynesian economics. This will finally be crushed by events and will be discarded. Probably the western currencies will be replaced by some sort of gold based system, at least for buying commodities like oil, which despite our tar sands, the Arabs still dominate. Public luxuries like pensions and public health will be crushed as boomers overwhelm the ability (and willingness) of the next generation to pay far more than we were ever asked to pay. Taxes will rise to the breaking point, then things will break.

In the middle of all this economic mayhem, Trudeau's multicultural legacy will finally be exposed as an unsustainable chimera. Religion will reveal its true intolerant colours. No amount of political correctness, Charter of Rights or Human Rights Commissions can paper over deep seated and very real differences. We will discover that the Rights Emporer has no clothes. What the outcome will be is anybodies guess, but it won't be pretty.

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Updated Oct 2010