03.21.2013 04:00 PM

Everything you need to know about Jim Flaherty’s ability to predict future economic events

From a little vid we did in 2009. And it stands up, still.


  1. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    smelter rat says:

    I hope Team Justin is smart enough to hire you guys when he wins the leadership.

  2. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Voice of Freedom says:

    The source of the contraction:

    Orwell, in his now famous allegory Animal Farm, foresaw that after initial conflicts, business would come to value and profit handsomely from partnering with totalitarian command economies and authoritarian regimes. Today, the Corporatist is merging with the Communist and members of the board mingle with the central committee as they discuss new initiatives in the global, Marixist-Laissez-Faire system. The air-mobile and bottom line driven ethos of today’s captains of industry are perfectly suited to the bread ration, Gulag-style production facilities of China and elsewhere. Workers toil away eking out just above the rice ration, the iron law of wages. If international capital is indeed looking for the best command economies to maximize profits, how does this play out in the Canadian sphere?

    As an organizing metaphor, the microcosm of the ship is strong one: Prime Minister Paul Martin internationalized Canada Steamship Lines back in the 1980s; Canadian flags came down, replaced by the flag of the Bahamas – what’s often known as a “flag of convenience” country. CSL International now owns 18 ships that fly foreign flags. CSL ships have, over the years, flown the flags of Liberia, Cyprus, the Bahamas and the tiny South Pacific nation of Vanuatu.

    The International Transport Workers’ Federation has lobbied against FOC registration for half a century. Ships registered in FOC countries typically do not need to employ nationals from that country. Owners are free to hire the cheapest labour they can get. Popular sources of cheap labour include the Philippines , Indonesia, and Eastern Europe – all countries plagued with dictatorial regimes. In some FOC countries, working conditions aboard ships are seldom monitored and international maritime conventions are rarely enforced. The ITF has documented cases where workers on board some FOC-flagged ships haven’t been paid for a year, or lived in substandard conditions aboard ship with no shore leave. When they complained, some seafarers were blacklisted. Typically, the benefit for the ship’s owners from flying a foreign flag is simply in not having to pay the higher wages of the industrialized countries where the ships are owned. (one CIS Canadian crew earned $11.68 an hour and was replaced by Filipino workers earning $1.74 an hour). The liquidation of Canadian labour. The race to the bottom.

    Prime Minister Jean Chretien’s entrée into the private sector was to the burgeoning CTIC conglomerate (Chinese, state-owned China International Trust Investment Company). While John Turner was leader of the federal Liberals, Chretien was working for Gordon Securities, one of the Li Ka-Shing-controlled companies on Canadian soil. Chretien also served as an international-relations adviser to PetroKazakhstan, a Calgary-based oil company trying to expand its oil exports to China.

    In a joint report by the RCMP and CSIS, Li Ka-Shing is reported to be one of Asia’s most powerful men. He owns large tracts of prime real estate in Canada and octopus-like interests in the nation’s telecommunications, petroleum and banking sectors. Even as he was acquiring Vancouver’s Expo 86 lands in 1988, Hong Kong Police were asking CSIS to investigate Li Ka-Shing in Canada. U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher revealed that the U.S. Bureau of Export Affairs, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and the Rand Corporation had identified Li Ka-Shing and Hutchison Whampoa (Li’s primary business) as financing or serving as a conduit for Communist China’s military in order for them to acquire sensitive technologies and other equipment. The liquidation of Canadian industry. The race to the bottom.

    When one considers that both Chretien and Martin are devotees of Maurice Strong, self-declared “socialist in ideology, a capitalist in methodology,” lifelong United Nations operative, and advocate for collectivist global government, these days living in China, where he says his ties go back “40 years,” a certain logic emerges. Strong’s cousin, Anne Louise Strong, was a Marxist, familiar with Mao Tse Tung.

    Strong founded CIDA, which funds numerous megamillion economic expenditures in China. Note, real wages in Canada have remained stagnant for over 30 years while the tax burden becomes ever more odious. And , while Canadian are paying plenty to Communist China, take as an example, the recent case of Canadian miners who, despite being qualified and ready to work, were denied being hired in favour of Chinese temporary foreign workers. It could be said that Canadians are being taxed to put them out of a job.

    There are now hundreds of thousands of temporary foreign workers in Canada. The strategy is obvious: just as with the flag of convenience ships, temporary foreign workers are intrinsically easier to exploit – they can simply be constructively dismissed and deported, blacklisted to never return, and language and cultural barriers hamper their navigation of the system. Again, the race to the bottom – Canadian workers are increasingly considered a troublesome redundancy.

    For a truly totalitarian, global system to function effectively, hindrances to its command structure must be minimized: the suppression of all labour standards and organized workers; private citizens with any significant wealth and power must be suppressed (relentless taxation/inflation/nationalization); all social systems that propose an alternate set of values or modes of living have to be suppressed – religion, the arts, a free press are the usual targets; the rule of law and habeas corpus; etc. As we look around, we can see that all these elements have been underway in earnest for decades now. With millions of Canadians just one or two pay cheques away from homelessness. With millions of Canadians near them. With the economy continuing to hemorrhage jobs overseas and the ramping up of temporary foreign workers. Events like the G20 protests show us that the rule of law is non-existent at crucial times. The mass infiltration of Chinese spies and agents of influence. One need only look at Tibet to see the future of Canada in ten or twenty years.

    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      Cath says:

      I didn’t realize this was an essay question WK?
      As you were.

  3. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    David Bronaugh says:

    To be fair to Flaherty, he did specify that “Not one economist predicted a global recession” — and the quotes are from economists who predicted local recessions (US, Canada). It would be much stronger if it actually had quotes from economists who predicted global recession — say, the ones The Economist talked to on or before Oct 9, 2008: http://www.economist.com/node/12553076 . He’s still a pedestrian finance minister, at best, but better to actually counter what he said, not some loose variant.

  4. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Steve T says:

    Uh, OK, but in fairness – Flaherty was talking (in 2009) about economists predicting the recession BEFORE the economy started to slide. All of those quotes in the video are from late 2008, when it was pretty apparent things were headed downhill. Most sources acknowledge that the recession began at the end of 2007 or the early part of 2008.


    So, under the reasoning of this video, if Jim Flaherty had made this statement (about the recession) last week, then every quote about the recession up to last week would somehow be proof of “making it up as he goes along”??

    Nice try, though.

  5. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    MacKenna says:

    Harper government runs a $517 million deficit in April, May 2008, long before the recession began to negatively impact employment in Canada http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2008/07/25/fedfinance.html

    In September 2008, Harper denied any recession was taking place or would take place. (The recession hit the United States in December 2007.)

    Canada’s fiscal year 2008 deficit – the first in 12 years – reached $2.25 Billion triggered by lower corporate income and sales tax revenue, and higher spending. The Tories blew through a $13 billion surplus the Liberals handed them in less than two years and during the boom years.

    Massive decline in corporate tax revenue put Canada in a deficit for first time in 12 yrs

  6. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    kre8tv says:

    In all the years he’s been a Fin Min, has this guy ever balanced a budget? I’m not asking this to be snarky.

    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      Eddie says:

      Nope, and he never will. for all the right’s blather about free spending socialists driving up the debt, invariably they are more guilty, just better at spinning it

    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      Ted B says:

      And the deficit actually went UP this year.

      Why is no one highlighting that in the press?

  7. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Liam Young says:

    Jim Flaherty: Worse Finance Minister in Canadian History.
    Hands down.

    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      Bill says:

      The very opposite is true. chrétien/martin had the very best situation going, a smoking hot economy. They also stole from the EI fund and basically just transferred the debit to the provinces….sorry, but true story. Harper government has done a great job at balancing debt and job creation. You guys just smoking that lib shit again….put that shit down and take the red glasses off….PLEASE.

      • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
        Ted B says:

        They did not have a “very best situation going, a smoking hot economy” in 1993 when they took over, in 1994 when they started tackling the deficit, in 1995 when they made serious efforts to end the deficit with cuts (which Harper has criticized the Liberals for doing and is unwilling to do himself).

        And the economy was not at all a “smoking hot economy” when they killed the deficit. They also did not “steal from the EI Fund”: the Supreme Court of Canada said what they did was perfectly legal and within their rights to take money from the federal accounts.

        They benefited from a lot of the things Mulroney did, yes. They benefited from the revenues of the GST which Harper cut (causing a deficit in the first place), yes. But they also took bold and even harsh action, took political risks, actual spending cuts, that Harper refuses to do, and they got rid of the deficit before the economy really took off, which is why we benefited so much when it finally did.

        To say Harper has done a “great job” is utterly groundless. The deficit GREW last year. Every single budget and estimate of Harper has been hugely missed.

        I don’t really care what party you support and the Liberals gave us lots to criticize and Harper has done lots that have been good, but let’s stick to facts and reality, please.

        • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
          Bill says:

          The world economy was in much better shape in 1993. Canada’s economy was already building steam at this point. Ontario still had the capability to generate alot of revenue for equalization. Interest rates could and did come down. This was a very good situation to pay debt, cut spending and still have the economy grow.

          Harper government is dealing with conditions that are much worse than any previous government has in recent history.

          Chretien did download massive amounts of what turned into debt to the provinces. He turned federal debt into province debt.
          He did use massive amount of money from the EI fund. Chretien government did do a few good things, but if look now much was smoke and mirrors and transfer of debt.

          How is saying Harper has done a great job utterly groundless? Who in the G-7 has done better? Answer is no one, Canada leads the pack. Utterly groundless…. I don’t think so.

          • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
            kitt says:

            So that’s your excuse then for this governments poor economic policies and huge deficits instead of the truth. Stick to it then. Oh look…. there’s a shiny object over there. See?

            Is the Harper government really that bad?

            Many Canadians are insistent that the Harper government is just pain awful. But are the Conservatives really that bad?

            Well, just for fun, let’s go over some relatively recent news involving the Harper government.

            For starters, we’ll begin with reports in late September of this year exposing the Tories for having spent $750,462 of taxpayers’ money on legal fees, in an effort to battle Canadian disabled veterans who were trying to prevent the clawback of disability benefits from their military pensions.

            Now, let’s just pause for a minute to reflect on this: for five years, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have fought disabled Canadian veterans in the courts on the public’s dime, simply because they didn’t want to see these former soldiers, who risked their lives in the name of this country, get their full pensions. Wow!

            To be fair, the Harper government did state in June that it would not appeal a Federal Court of Canada ruling, which rejected the clawback on the pensions of disabled veterans. In the Court’s ruling, Judge Robert Barnes let it be known that he ‘unreservedly’ rejected the Conservatives’ arguments. So, here’s to the Harper government for not appealing commonsense.

            In any case, let’s press on.

            Staying with the judicial theme, in the very beginning of October it was reported that from 2007 until June 2012, the Harper government spent $3.1-million in public funds unsuccessfully fighting to keep a First Nations child welfare case out of the courts. More specifically, the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and the Assembly of First Nations put forth a human rights challenge in 2007, claiming that the Conservative government was being discriminatory by not providing an equal level of child welfare support to First Nations children, compared to the amount other children in Canada receive from the provincial governments.

            One would think that the Government of Canada would be alarmed by these allegations, and immediately want to work with these organizations to ensure equal levels of support are given to the youth of one of Canada’s most disadvantaged people. Instead, however, the Harper government has spent the last five years battling to keep these advocacy groups out of court by constantly evoking legal technicalities.

            In other words, Stephen Harper’s government accrued $3.1-million in legal bills over five years, paid for with taxpayer money, in an attempt to prevent groups advocating equal welfare funding to First Nations children from bringing their claims to court. That’s $3.1-million of our tax dollars that the Conservatives could have used to help provide adequate levels of funding for first nations child welfare! But no, the Harper government felt the money was better spent fighting legal battles.

            What’s worse is that, despite the fact the Harper government failed in its attempt, the case must still be heard before the courts, where the Conservatives will spend more of Canadians’ tax dollars, and subsequently could still win the case. According to the current head of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, if the Tories do win, recently obtained powers for First Nations to launch human rights complaints could be severely restricted.

            Who knows though? Maybe somehow there are Canadians out there who could still make the argument that going after disabled veterans’ pensions and refusing to negotiate equal levels of welfare funding for First Nations children isn’t enough to label the Harper government as being ‘bad’. Perhaps their defence would be that, regardless of where the cuts need to come from, at least the Harper government is genuinely committed to fiscal prudence and reducing the deficit.

            Well, not quite. It was recently reported that the Harper government overspent its own cabinet-approved advertising budget by more than 37 percent, which amounts to a budget overrun of $128 million taxpayer dollars. And by ‘advertising budget’, we’re essentially talking about tax dollars used to fund Conservative propaganda in the form of those charming ‘Action Plan’ signs and annoying TV ads.

            Besides, wasn’t the Harper government’s economic ‘Action Plan’ a response to the 2008 economic crisis, and already finished by now?

            In fact, in the Tories’ March 2012 budget there was a chapter entitled: “The stimulus phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan: A final report to Canadians.” Obviously the Conservative brain trust didn’t feel that the economic ‘Action Plan’ propaganda well was dry yet. So much so that Treasury Board documents show that the Harper government approved more than $64 million in ad (propaganda) spending for just this year, which is actually an increase from the just under $53 million that was approved for the 2011-12 fiscal year. The reality is that in every single year since the Tories took office, the Harper government has exceeded its advertising budget by at least 25 percent.

            Clearly, trying to stay in power is far more important to the Harper government than maintaining fiscal responsibility. But hey, at least the Tories don’t lie about anything… Right?

            That brings us to this little nugget: In early October it was uncovered through the Access to Information Act that, while on his annual Arctic Tour in 2011, Prime Minister Stephen Harper blatantly lied when he assured Canadians that Environment Minister Peter Kent had not authorized the suspension of water-quality sampling at 21 sites in Canada’s North. However, a 600-page internal file clearly shows that Environment Canada officials had indeed been given authorization from senior bureaucrats in the Environment ministry, and that Environment Minister Kent was, in fact, aware of the cuts weeks before their implementation.

            What’s worse is that in 2012, the federal commissioner of the environment at the time issued a report stating that the department needed to re-assess the water monitoring program to give it a more scientific basis when taking into account risks. However, the environment department’s severe budget cuts in 2011 prompted a suspension of water monitoring in the North.

            In June 2011, after the Government of the Northwest Territories was made aware of the halt to water-quality sampling, the Northwest Territories Environment Minister, J. Michael Miltenberger, wrote a letter to federal Environment Minister Peter Kent and Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan urging them not to proceed.

            Fortunately, Miltenberger has stated that, as far as he knows, the 21 water monitoring sites have remained up and running. Nevertheless, as the Canadian Press reported, Environment Canada had withheld the 600-page file uncovering Harper’s blatant lie for more than six months beyond the legislated deadline to release the information, which subsequently prompted a complaint to the information commissioner of Canada. Moreover, the Privy Council Office refused to release the Prime Minister’s one-page briefing note on the incident, reportedly citing exemptions to the Access to Information Act in the context of federal-provincial affairs and advice. Or, in other words, Stephen Harper’s Privy Council Office didn’t want to release more evidence showing that he lied to Canadians.

            The truth is that I only picked out a few incidents involving the Conservatives over the last two months. I could have literally added dozens more that occurred over that time frame; and if I was to go back over the last few years, I would have hundreds of dishonest and disingenuous acts by the Tories to choose from. So, in responding to the question, “is the Harper government really that bad?”, I think the answer is probably no. But that’s only because the adjective ‘bad’ doesn’t do the Conservatives justice. Quite frankly, the Harper government is better described as being downright atrocious.

      • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
        MacKenna says:

        response to Bill.

        Flaherty/Harper created a deficit BEFORE the recession hit Canada. Canada was in a deficit position by April/May of 2008. In September 2008, Harper was still denying any recession was or would be taking place. Harper-Flaherty blew the rainy day fund they inherited from Paul Martin during Canada’s economic boom (2006 – mid-2008) by lowering the GST and corporate tax rates. All the of evidence for this is available in my comment above.

        In 2006, Harper and Flaherty pushed financial deregulation at home and abroad. http://thetyee.ca/Views/2008/10/08/HarperEcon/ …paving the way for US mortgage firms and easy credit, insured by Canadian taxpayers. When this house of cards collapsed, Flaherty quietly closed the loopholes HE HAD CREATED.

        Flaherty has never in his political career balanced a budget. He and Harper are the worst fiscal managers on record. The debt is now an unprecedented $617B and the deficit is nearing $60B.

        Flaherty will not balance the books before or by the next election. I am 100% certain of this because his last seven budgets, like this eighth one, have been sh*t.

        • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
          Bill says:

          That’s alot of spin Mackenna.

          The recession started earlier and was much larger that almost anyone predicted. Large recessions cause large deficits, you blaming Harper/Flaherty for the recession as well?

          Flaherty did change back some things, it wasn’t done quietly, it was in the news. When a situation changes one must make changes. Canadians understood this. Flaherty gained a lot of respect for accepting the landscape shifted and we required a step back.

          Don’t be so certain the budget will not be balanced, spending cuts are coming and will be much deeper than most expect.

  8. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Liam Young says:

    Oodles of folks were predicting the wreckage that occurred in 2008. The only problem was that they weren’t part of the mainstream. Also, a Rodrick from Diary of a Wimpy Kid repeats: ‘Deny, deny, deny.’ It was not in the interest of world leaders, including Jimbo and Steve-o to tell the truth about what was coming down the pipes. They all needed a chair (or an excuse) for when the music stopped.

    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      Ted B says:

      I would think Greenspan counts as pretty mainstream. He was predicting the worst depression since the 1930s at least as early as Q2 2007.

      In 2007 and 2008, before Flaherty’s comments, I spent most of my time selling off assets and businesses for global banks as they were desperately looking for cash because they all knew this was coming and it was going to be bad.

      Flaherty knew. He must have. His statements were political and absolute lies.

  9. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Philippe says:

    Has that guy ever in his life run a budget surplus?

    • Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
      Eddie says:

      2 years 2006 and 2007 that’s how long it took him to spend the liberal legacy

      historically in the last 30 years the libs ran 9 surpluses and 5 deficit years, the tories ran 13 deficits (every year of Mulroney and the last 3 of Harper)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.