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jerryking : anti-development   7

Jeffrey Simpson: Slow growth now, no growth later - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON
Slow growth now, no growth later
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jan. 13,2016

The population is aging. Commodity prices are low. Oil and natural gas prices are hitting rock-bottom. The Canadian dollar has plummeted. Most governments are in deficit, or heading into deficit (read Ottawa). Innovation and the commercialization of research lag that of other countries. Productivity, the country’s long-term bugbear, remains sluggish....all the green traffic signals have turned to yellow or red. Yet this slow-growth economy, which might persist for a long time, is wrapped in a political culture that seems to favour slow or no growth, or seems to think that government infrastructure programs, useful in themselves, will solve the long-run problems.....Everywhere, projects are blocked or delayed, because environmentalists, aboriginal people, non-governmental organizations or even provincial governments oppose them....Many of these blocked or delayed projects with large-scale economic spinoffs are natural resource projects, which the federal government says might be saved with more “robust” oversight. The government is kidding itself in this belief, since the opponents don’t care what the regulatory process is. They oppose development pure, simple and always.

Far beyond natural resource constipation, the contradiction arises between slow growth and the huge desire of citizens for more government services, without higher taxes. Of special concern is Canada’s persistent low productivity, to which no easy answer exists, except that a slow-growth mentality doesn’t help.

...Don Drummond, working with Evan Capeluck, recently explained the challenge in a paper for the Centre for the Study of Living Standards, which looked at productivity trends in all provinces. Projecting these trends forward, they said most provinces and territories will not be able to balance revenue growth with new spending demands (especially for health care) without higher taxes or spending cuts.

Put another way, unless long-term growth can be improved – a trend that will require productivity improvements – Canada is heading for a poorer future with fewer programs and/or higher taxes.
growth  Jeffrey_Simpson  economic_downturn  anti-development  natural_resources  economic_stagnation  megaprojects  productivity  Don_Drummond  slow_growth  low_growth  weak_dollar  signals 
january 2016 by jerryking
Paradise lost - FT.com
December 19, 2013 5:03 pm
Paradise lost

By Robin Wiggleswort

The Caribbean is suffering from crippling government debt, endemic crime and a middle-class brain drain that have contributed to an economic meltdown of alarming proportions...

Persaud blames an “anti-growth coalition” for the Caribbean’s plight, a tight-knit nexus of politicians, business interests and unions that benefit from the status quo – one of the invisible flaws of small states where everyone knows one another. “The Caribbean is at a crossroads, it desperately needs political leadership,” he argues. “It can overcome these challenges, as other small states have, but it requires courage.”

Some fear that the erosion of the local middle classes – both the backbone of civil society as well as the most demanding voters – eases the pressure on politicians to shape up. “The depletion of our brightest graduates, our middle class and some of our most enterprising workers has drained the foundations of our society,” laments Trevor Munroe, a Jamaican academic, former union leader and founder of National Integrity Action, an anti-corruption watchdog. “Remittances are a big plus, but the big minus is the weakening of society’s internal drivers for reform.”
Caribbean  criminality  brain_drain  emigration  small_states  anti-growth  anti-development  tourism  cultural_detachment  middle_class  leadership  courage  civil_society  crony_capitalism  business_interests  cronyism  demanding_voters  debt 
december 2013 by jerryking
Canada heading for energy ‘gridlock,’ group warns - The Globe and Mail
Dec. 12 2013 |The Globe and Mail |SHAWN McCARTHY.

Canada is heading for a gridlock in energy development that will rob the country of future wealth unless it can solve vexing environmental and aboriginal conflicts, a blue-ribbon group including senior Calgary business people warns in a new report.

Concerned about growing conflict over resource development, 21 high-profile leaders from business, environmental organizations and First Nations met over the course of a year and concluded there is an urgent need for detente in the country’s heated debate over resource development.
Alberta  energy  aboriginals  Calgary  Canada  gridlock  energy_development  resource_development  natural_resources  anti-development  environment 
december 2013 by jerryking
Montreal and Toronto need a new breed of mayor
Jun. 20 2013 | The Globe and Mail | Konrad Yakabuski.

Canada’s two biggest cities are in the market for new leadership at a critical juncture. So-called “higher” levels of government are out of money and ideas and de facto city states are re-emerging as the real motors of national growth and innovation. Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley of the Brookings Institution point out that this “inversion of the hierarchy of power” presents cities with both challenges and opportunities. Higher levels of government are too broke, too slow and too politically divided to make transformative public policy, so visionary mayors must fill the void. The trend is yielding a new model of governance. “The metropolitan revolution,” they write in their new book of the same name, “is like our era: crowd-sourced rather than close-sourced, entrepreneurial rather than bureaucratic, networked rather than hierarchical.”...If inclusiveness is key to the metropolitan revolution, Toronto and Montreal have been shaped by history and demography to embody it. With half of its population born outside Canada, Toronto reverberates with the influences of an entire planet. Dundas Square on a Sunday afternoon is a chaotic free-for-all of colour, creed, generation and gender. There are few places in the world that could pull it off as peacefully....As Torontonians ponder a Ford-free future, they need to think about who can best lead such a diverse city as it stakes its claim to global greatness. Choosing an anti-development ideologue who puts poverty alleviation ahead of economic growth would be just as big a mistake as picking a crane-loving populist who doesn’t know his Weiwei from his WiFi.

The inversion of the power hierarchy promises to make the next mayors of Toronto and Montreal national leaders, not just local ones. To succeed, they will need to transcend outdated political cleavages and notions of progress.
Konrad_Yakabuski  Toronto  Montreal  anti-development  leadership  mayoral  networks  crowdsourcing  books  John_Tory  Brookings  voids  governance  cities  city-states  cash-strapped  vision 
june 2013 by jerryking
Too many first nations people live in a dream palace
Jan. 05 2013 | The Globe and Mail | JEFFREY SIMPSON.

Large elements of aboriginal Canada live intellectually in a dream palace, a more comfortable place than where they actually reside.

Inside the dream palace, there are self-reliant, self-sustaining communities – “nations,” indeed – with the full panoply of sovereign capacities and the “rights” that go with sovereignty. These “nations” are the descendants of proud ancestors who, centuries ago, spread across certain territories before and, for some period, after the “settlers” arrived.
Today’s reality, however, is so far removed in actual day-to-day terms from the memories inside the dream palace as to be almost unbearable. The obvious conflict between reality and dream pulls some aboriginals to warrior societies; others to a rejection of dealing with the “Crown” at all; others to fights for the restoration of “rights” that, even if defined, would make little tangible difference in the lives of aboriginal people; and still others, such as Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, to go on a hunger strike....Stephen Harper was correct in refusing a face-to-face meeting, since a prime minister should not be blackmailed into doing what any group or individual wants....Much of the rhetoric surrounding Chief Spence is of the usual dreamy, flamboyant variety, a mixture of anti-capitalism and anti-colonialism, blended with the mythology (blasted by the reality of what one actually sees on too many reserves) about environmental protection and the aboriginals’ sacred link to their lands....To imagine that isolated communities of a thousand or so people can be vibrant and self-sustaining, capable of discharging the panoply of responsibilities of “sovereignty,” is to live within the dream palace of memory.
aboriginals  Jeffrey_Simpson  self-delusions  protests  economic_development  emotional_blackmail  Stephen_Harper  myths  anti-capitalism  anti-colonialism  self-reliance  self-sustaining  sovereignty  anti-development 
january 2013 by jerryking
Absolutism in the Church of Green - The Globe and Mail
GORDON GIBSON

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Monday, Dec. 31 2012,

Our competitive edge in this world is no longer skilled labour and capital. The world is awash in both. We either responsibly exploit our natural resources or settle for less health care, education and lower pensions.

A choice of automatic opposition to resource development is one option, if that’s what we collectively want. But that choice should be understood as a public policy question with consequences, not as a religious one of no cost.
Absolutism  environment  green  natural_resources  resource_extraction  economic_development  public_policy  consequences  resource_development  anti-development 
january 2013 by jerryking

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