Buzz Hargrove on a BNN Business Panel from the other week, with an
interesting discussion of the high Canadian dollar, a potential Fall
election, etc..

Part 1: http://watch.bnn.ca/squeezeplay/september-2009/squeezeplay-september-9-2009/#clip211706

Part 2: http://watch.bnn.ca/squeezeplay/september-2009/squeezeplay-september-9-2009/#clip211707

It’s quite bizarre that even though the corporatists on this panel are
for a high loonie, they don’t actually bother to make any real
arguments at all why it’s a good thing. They just like simply assert
it is, while amazingly conceding that it’s going to be tough, hurt a
lot of people and cost jobs, particularly in manufacturing (a sector
already in a historic crisis).

Though I take it the real reason they are for a par or near-par dollar
is because they support this ongoing macroeconomic trend we’ve been
seeing, especially in the last decade or two, that is restructuring
the Canadian economy away from a high-wage, hi-tech, manufacturing and
export-based economy towards a low-wage, low-growth model dominated by
commodities and finance–Stanford points this trend out all the time–
and a high loonie is very good for the oil industry, commodities and
Bay Street, in my understanding, but devastating to manufacturing and
exporters.

Basically, these people want to turn Canada into a third-world
country, because that’s exactly how third-world countries work: they
are forced to rely on sucking all their resources and raw materials
out of their country and then exporting them to the rich countries;
they don’t produce and actually make things and depend on imports for
manufactured goods; they privatize everything; they have low-wage and
“flexible” labour; they completely deregulate and open up their
economy to be taken over by foreign investment, etc.. etc.. This is
going to turn Canada into an outright colony of the United States, and
is historically disastrous in terms of economic growth. There’s never
been an example in the history of the economic development based on
laissez-faire, they all have been caused by a dynamic State sector.
The “Lost Decade” of Japan in the 90s was in part caused by the
Japanese letting the price of their yen soar, which devastated
exports, the backbone of their economy. The US always accuses China
of artificially keeping the value of their currency low to buoy up
their exports, and they’re right, China is, and it demonstrably
works. South Korea and the other Asian Tigers are other examples of
export-oriented growth that kept their currencies on a short leash.

And the failure of these neoliberal policies has just been
incontrovertibly proven, they are what caused the Great Recession
we’re in at this very moment, yet these corporate shills are still
oblivious, and don’t seem to realize or care that their views have
just been completely discredited. John Risley on here is a perfect
example. He says that the government shouldn’t artificially interfere
in the economy and just let the market decide everything, because the
market knows best. Well deregulating financial markets, letting Wall
Street and speculators go wild and do whatever they want directly led
to the real estate bubble, and this Great Recession. Yeah, so I guess
I do agree with them that the government was the problem: it was the
government’s fault because they decided to give too much free rein to
the market, which is given to “irrational exuberance” as Alan
Greenspan famously put it. And Risley is clueless if he thinks
speculators have no effect on prices. They played a huge roll in
leading to record oil prices just a few years ago, to name one obvious
example.

Source: Adrian Brunette

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