Saturday, November 29, 2014
Stephen Harper and the Oily Road to Disaster
He was warned, but Stephen Harper wouldn't listen. Warned that he should not put so many economic eggs in one oily basket.
He was warned that the future would be green, or there would be no future. So it made no sense to turn us into a tarry petro state, and even less sense to torch the planet.
But he was a climate change denier and an oil pimp, so he muzzled his critics, and pressed on ahead in the name of Greater Alberta.
And now the oily basket is bouncing on the sidewalk, and the oily messiah just got dinged by reality.
Canada is going to take it on the chin from the collapse in oil prices. The plunge, sparked by OPEC’s decision to hold production at its current ceiling of 30 million barrels a day, will chip away at economic growth, eat into government revenues and erode the value of crude exports, which account for about 15 per cent of the total.
So much for the Promised Land of Petro Prosperity. So much for the mighty Petro Dollar, or as it's now known as, the shrinking Petro Peso.
Or just the Harper.
And so much for Great Economist Leader's Great Economic Plan.
Oops. There go the tarsands. The dramatic slide in oil prices has underscored the fragility of Stephen Harper’s entire resource-based approach to the economy.
Because not only is his Plan A a monumental bust, there is no Plan B.
The manufacturing industry can't pick up the slack, because it was ravaged by the Dutch Disease. And Harper's oily obsession meant he couldn't care less about developing a new industrial strategy.
As Toronto MP Peggy Nash points out, Ottawa — with much fanfare — announced a $200 million fund in 2013 to boost innovative manufacturing. But 18 months later, it has not approved a single project. In fact, Harper has his own unspoken industrial policy. It can be summed up in a word: pipelines.
So while once the shrinking dollar might have mitigated the damage to the economy, and almost made up for many of us not being able to afford to take a vacation, now it won't.
For this low dollar to work effectively there must be enough Canadian manufacturers willing to take advantage of it. Thanks in part to globalization and in part to the actions of this particular government, there aren’t. Instead, we are back in the resource trap. It’s as if we never left.
We're going nowhere, and neither is the oil economy...
Thanks to Stephen Harper's good friends in Saudi Arabia.
And the good news? So much for his shrinking chances of winning the next election.
Because it should be relatively easy now for the opposition to hammer him for putting so many eggs in one oily basket.
And it should now be clear to all but the dumbest Canadians, that Harper is no Great Economist Leader.
And even the Con eggs must know what that means...
The writing is on the wall. The Cons are slowly cracking.
And the Great Oily Messiah is bubbling or blubbering in his own bitumen...
The fickle hand of fate has finally given us a break.
And we shall use it to DESTROY him...
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