Canadian Copycats

Canadians copy many social and cultural conventions from their North American neighbors. At the same time, many Canadians, particularly those in policy-making roles, agonize over their conception of a Canadian “identity” crisis. The latest manifestation of this trait is now a national economic problem. Canadians are carrying too much consumer debt against the preferences of leaders such as Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney and Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. Like their American cousins the policy-makers (politicians and bureaucrats) have been pursuing a low-interest rate strategy in an effort to “stimulate” a faltering economy. The regrettable side effect is that … Continue reading Canadian Copycats

The More Things…

From the Associated Press today: Tens of thousands of workers marched in cities from Hong Kong to Istanbul Saturday to mark international worker’s day, demanding more jobs, better work conditions and higher wages. A year ago today, I published a comment on “May Day” observations. Although “workers” in Greece and elsewhere may have their own spin on how to resolve the crisis of their country’s insolvency in the latest economic manifestation of the consequences of collectivism, nothing has fundamentally changed for the better in my view. “Better” would be a trend away from collectivism and toward individualism as a basic … Continue reading The More Things…

Free Haiti!

The catastrophic earthquake centered in Haiti on January 12 directly affected tens or hundreds of thousands of people and indirectly affects humanity in the millions. Regardless of the actual numbers of casualties and fatalities to be more accurately settled as the rescue, relief and recovery efforts continue, this emergency, like all others, has the effect of bringing out the best, and the worst among us, domestically in Haiti but internationally as well. There is a particular poignancy to this tragedy because the Haitian diaspora extends throughout North America. Canada, for example, has a significant population of Haitian expatriates including its … Continue reading Free Haiti!

Immigration is About Individuals

President Obama recently indicated his intention to pursue immigration reform as a priority. Although there are many other projects on the administration plate, this is one that warrants attention. You would think Pandora’s box had been opened anew to judge the negative attention the floating of this important issue has engendered. Talk radio and cable news have given the matter some time and most of the comments center around three points: economy, jobs, and border security. There may be other threads but these seem to be the hottest. Economy On the economy, immigration critics are saying that the economic recession … Continue reading Immigration is About Individuals