02.26.2014 09:34 PM

Why my Sunday column is going to cause a Biblical shitstorm, in 140 characters



  1. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    You mean Stats Can still can? Somebody must have dropped the ball.

  2. Russ says:

    Being the Prince of Darkness makes you an expert on Satanic ?? 😉

  3. Cameron Prymak says:

    Just saw this yesterday,


    Given the focus on middle class here and in the US, would seem according to the above article that our experience is different than that of the US.

  4. Other Hockey Dad says:

    Can you find a place in the middle? None of those folks actually WORK to contribute to our society. OWS’ers and HFMgrs are all parasites of a sort.

  5. Philippe says:

    I sympathize with the 99% cause.. but man.. they couldn’t organize a community bingo tournament if their life depended on it. As much as I despise the tea party morons, they got involved in the political system and are making shit happen, real change (albeit based on their warped views).

    The occupy folks think sitting down and playing music will change the world… I wish they had some real skills/leadership and got involved in the political process to change it. Playing a guitar in a public park won’t make things better.. supporting, organizing and promoting candidates that share your views is how you will improve society.

    • Kelly says:

      Bingo. Read the great book, The Rebel Sell: Why the culture can’t be jammed for a full explanation.

    • !o! says:

      We’re talking about the 1%.

    • david ray says:

      I’m sure the dead and dying and mutilated who just occupied Kiev couldn’t organize a community bingo either and their lives did depend on it and they paid a horrible price. Maybe you should learn a few chords and join the kids who have the courage to act rather than posting facile putdowns in the voidosphere.

      • Philippe says:

        I see the Tea Party making a difference for the worst, and the 99% getting all worked up with no result. I would tell you, or anyone to their face, because I’m actually on their side. The problem is they (we?) don’t have effective strategy, organization or tactics. Crying victim gets old fast.. at one point the wheels of change have to be set in motion… “changing the conversation” isn’t enough. They need candidates, in the right places, who have the power to legislate. That means involvement in the political process. Too many of them are too lazy to even vote.

        And, comparing the 99% here to Ukraine’s population is like comparing an airplane to an alley-cat.

        • david ray says:

          strumming furiously while organizing bingo tournament 🙂

          this is the age of being played
          by those paid to make us slaves
          the more we learn the less we say
          because we’ve become too afraid

          what are you waiting for
          the wolf is at the door
          and he’s waging war
          what are you waiting for
          take back what’s yours

    • GPAlta says:

      Tea party grassroots members are neither organizers nor influencers, they are pawns of the ultra rich whose money provides the only influence that movement has ever had.
      Politicians take up tea party positions to ensure the financial support of dark money PACs that are usually funded by one or very few individuals. The grassroots are a smokescreen that the elites have misled into working against their own interests and on behalf of the interests of the 0.1%

      • Philippe says:

        I’ve seen those conspiracy documentaries as well. Trust me, way more billionaires want to get rid of the Tea party rather than keep it. Most billionaires are on the “moderate” Republican side, and supporting traditional Republican candidates in what’s become a civil war. Rich folk down there have a vested interest in things like the stock market- and paralyzing government (a favourite tea-party tactic) doesn’t sit well with most.

        I can’t stand them, but it’s obvious the tea-party folks have successfully changed the political discourse down there by paralyzing almost all major legislation. They’ve been incredibly effective. The moderates are now afraid and often change their votes despite their better judgement because of fear they will be challenged by a tea-partyer in primaries if they don’t tow the tea-party line.

        I only wish progressives became winners, and not whiners. Kudos to Warren on that one, he is a rare breed.

  6. Swervin' Merv says:

    Who’s counting the 10 million that died near Nanaimo over the last few years?


    We may all be in the same (sinking) boat soon enough.

  7. Sarah says:

    Yer just speaking as a punk rocker, and not a father of growing children dependent on the capitalistic system for their future.

  8. Marc L says:

    What do you have against Stats Can? They produce the data. Facts are facts. You are free to interpret them as you wish. Could this be because you are unhappy that Justin’s whole “suffering middle class” story is not supported by the data, either in terms of income flows or, as this week’s release of the Survey of Financial Security showed, in terms of net worth? Canada is not the U.S. If this is your economic platform for the next election, it is weak, very weak, because it is largely based on falsehoods.

    • Marc L says:

      An unhealthy combination of rational expectations and the love of spouting off. 🙂

    • Tired of it All says:

      See Warren, there you go setting economic policy again. Tsk. Tsk.

    • david ray says:

      C’mon Warren we always spout when you put the tease on future columns. It’s what we do 🙂

    • Yes, data is data, but when you are performing a financial analysis, the data gets processed. The news articles do not talk about the underlying assumptions, and the fragility of ANY calculation of wealth. There were TWO large components of the increase in net worth. The VALUE of pensions, and the VALUE of peoples homes. As is the case for any capital asset, the VALUE is inverse proportional to nominal interest rates. If, for example, the interest rate used to value pensions were to move from 3% to 4%, that would represent a 33.33% decrease in the present value of the pension asset. That strikes me as pretty volatile. For Real Estate, the relationship is similar, but due to ‘sticky’ real estate prices it can take a few years for changes in interst rates to be fully reflected in house prices. But the same relationship does hold true. So here we are in an environment featuring the lowest nominal interest rates imaginable. Should we experience as much as a 2% increase in nominal interest rates over the coming years, those gains would be completely wiped out. Unfortunately for borrowers, the value of their mortgages is not variable, and does not float up and down over time. It is a fixed obligation. I am NOT saying that household wealth has not increased. I am saying that you should understand the limitations of this particular ‘data’. If you want a cleaner picture of the financial position of Canadians, then net income is a cleaner and more stable measure. In my opinion anyway.

      • Marc L says:

        The value of pensions does include a discount factor, but also includes the effect of rising equity prices, which by far swamps your discount factor. If interest rates rise, housing prices will moderate relative to what they would have been otherwise. But unless you expect a real collapse in Canada’s housing market, the gains are not going to be wiped out.
        Net income is a flow. Net worth is a stock. You are not measuring the same thing at all. But if you really want to get into that part of the story, Trudeau is wrong on that front as well. I do not know who is advising him, but this story about median family incomes barely budging since the 1980s is misleading. If you take the incomes of all families (with or without chilren, single and multiple income earners) median incomes declined outright in inflation-adjusted terms between 1980 and 1997 and have increased by 22.5% since then (1997 to 2011). If you take his Nathalie (two earners, with children) median incomes stagnated between 1980 and 1997 and have increased rather steadily between 1997 and 2011, for a gain of 30.1% during that period. The stagnating incomes story is a 1980s and first-half 1990s story, not a 2000s and 2010s story. The issue is similar for income inequality by the way. What is true for the U.S. is not necessarily true for Canada.

  9. Ottawa Civil Servant says:

    The 99%-er movement is all so short-sighted, so completely ahistorical. The world is the wealthiest, most peaceful it has ever been. Governments are becoming progressively more open, and democracies are rising, falling and rising again. The environment is reported on and studied like never before, with accidents being contained and compensated.
    And nothing good came from the socialist experiments. Whether it was Africa, Asia, Europe or South America, capitalism, democracy and globalization have consistently rescued billions from tyrants, dictators and poverty. Cuba’s disaster is always celebrated for its health care and educational system: Who would trade our freedoms for Cuban healthcare? As usual, the West has the best of both.

    It’s the worst system, except for all the others. Force change and watch the Frankenstein consequences. Allow it to grow, adapt and evolve, over generations, organically, and the resulting political and economic system will match the society.

  10. Matt says:

    It seems we are seeing a case of dooling reports here.

    Jason Kenney is using the Stats Can report to say Trudeau is just making shit up.

    Trudeau responded by saying he doesn’t care what the Stats Can report says, and is referencing a recent report from bureaucrats in Kenneys department saying the middle class suffered between 1993 and 2007.

    Trudeau does need to be careful with that report though, as the Liberals were in power from 1993 until January 2006. HOWEVER I think Trudeau can still run with his claims because even though the stats may say the middle class in better off, SOME MAY FEEL THEY ARE WORSE OFF.

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