A questionable economy

Section: 
Editorial

The phone rang Thursday evening and a recording asked: Are you satisfied with the direction the province is going?

 

Dana, who answered, was asked to press 1 if she was satisfied with the direction and 2 if she was not. She hung up because she had no idea which direction the province was going. And now we’ll never know what the remaining questions of the poll were.

 

Does anyone know the direction the province is heading? Are we heading left, right, east, west, north or south?

 

I believe the answer is none of the above. The province, as the song, Sixteen tons, goes, is just another day older and deeper in debt. Tennessee Ernie Ford made the song a #1 hit 60 or so years ago.

 

If the province is going any direction, it’s going down the road to financial ruin.

 

Now we have the leaders of the three major political parties promising to get rid of the deficit – and cut taxes. They criticize one another and seem bereft of new ideas. Maybe they have prescriptions for the newly available medical marijuana.

 

My biggest fear is that one of the party leaders will find out what Great Britain is doing to make the economy appear more solvent.

 

The Office for National Statistics in Britain will add the contributions made by prostitutes and drug dealers when it figures out the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). (Italy was apparently the first country to try this brand of creative accounting.)

 

According to the Guardian newspaper, “for the first time official statisticians are measuring the value to the UK economy of sex work and drug dealing – and they have discovered these unsavoury hidden-economy trades make roughly the same contribution as farming – and only slightly less than book and newspaper publishers added together.”

 

The article I gleaned this information from appeared on Zero Hedge, a collection of blogs on economics, Wall Street and the financial sector. The article ends by suggesting all GDP numbers are about as made up as can be and fabricated on the spot to justify the prevailing economic narrative.

 

The author is no doubt right. How can you accurately calculate the amount of money drug dealers and sex workers add to the economy?

 

Surely none of our leaders will follow the British and Italian examples and add the value of the drug and sex trades to the province’s GDP and then tell us the economy is purring.

 

But back to the election, how do you cast your ballot when you believe that none of the leaders has a viable solution to the province’s economic woes?

 

That is the question to answer by June 12.

 

By the way, I don’t normally read blogs on the economy. A faithful reader guided me to the site.

 

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Maybe we won’t have to worry about politics much longer.

 

An Associated Press article last week said plant and animal species are becoming extinct at least 1,000 times faster than they did before humans emerged, and the world is on the brink of a sixth great extinction.

 

Species are disappearing from the Earth about 10 times faster than biologists previously believed, said the study’s lead author, biologist Stuart Pimm of Duke University.

 

Pimm said we’re on the verge of sixth extinction and “Whether we avoid it or not will depend on our actions.”

 

That’s scary. We seem to believe we can endlessly pollute and destroy Mother Earth and that there will be no consequences.

 

Our leaders and those in the rest of the world pretend everything is fine. But if the sixth extinction arrives, I believe man will be gone.

 

The landmark study was published Thursday by the journal Science.

 

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Brain Boyne of Point Clark phoned Friday asking if we knew any pigeon fanciers.

 

He has had a pigeon hanging out beneath his bird feeder. It has a tag on one leg and appears relatively tame. He wonders if the bird is a homing pigeon.

 

If you know anyone missing a pigeon, Brian’s number is 395-3764.

 

**

 

The Kincardine Theatre Guild’s production of Noises Off, a British farce, certainly provides you with a number of laughs. I believe John Adams could have made it in Hollywood as a slapstick star. He and the rest of the cast were in top form when Dana and I saw the show Thursday.

 

The production ends this weekend.