The Canadian Imagination

What it means to be Canadian; examining and reworking Canada as a nation.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

From a certain point of view

We always know that when stock markets go up, people end up buying a lot of things that are overpriced and when stock markets go down, people end up passing on a lot of things that are underpriced. I think there are probably some gains to be made in the stock market.
- Stephen Harper

When Peter Mansbridge asks a politician if he was sure he wanted to say that, there just might be a reason.

That the prices of luxury goods go down in a depression is absolutely true. After all, as most people cut out all non-essential spending, there is far less demand for them.

That share prices go down in a depression is absolutely true. Everyone is absolutely free to risk their disposable income and savings on whether the corporation will survive at all, if they have not already committed all their savings to try to compensate for the income they no longer have from the job they no longer have.

However, in the opening stages of a depression, the prices of essential goods often go up, as far too many middlemen try to cash in on them, including all the food futures speculators. Unlike the last depression, this time we are no longer heavily agrarian, and most of our food supply travels halfway around the globe: so let's add in the cost of transportation and preservation and not (yet) buying locally and supporting local farmers.

The audience and the timing can be as important as the substance. For the rest of this campaign, Harper has ensured his immortality as the Marie Antoinette of Canada.

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