Stephane Dion On The National
1) Does he believe that statement? (If so, is this someone we want setting the economic direction of the country?)
2) Or does he think we'll believe that statement? (If so, what does that tell you for his respect of the country?)
"Okay Mr. Smart-Ass Blogger...Prove It!" Update: A brave nameless soul weighs in about my statements regarding societal and historical changes in manufacturing sectors of developed countries:
It's not enough to claim one knows something, it is imperative to demonstrate it.
Not in this corner of the yell-o-sphere buddy boy! My soapbox, my stats, and if you don't like it, feel free to ask for a refund.
Ah, who am I kidding? I like the fighty.
I was challenged about Denmark and Sweden, with the suggestion that their Green Shifts haven't changed their manufacturing sectors. Kyle hedged himself by also saying, "...And it just isn't the export of goods, it is the sales of services of how to manage your green economy."
This is a hedge, because I wasn't calling out Mr. Dion regarding service jobs. No, those could very well go up. In fact, I would bet on it.
But Mr. Dion is saying that manufacturing wouldn't be losing jobs and quite honestly, that would be bucking a number of historical trends, both here and elsewhere. But back to Denmark and Sweden. (And let's ignore that they are essentially small countries compared to Canada, both in size and population.)
Denmark - Nothing says retention like negative growth in 7 of the last 14 years. Heck, throw out their two big years (10.76%/1994)(8.18%/1997), and that leaves an average growth rate of - wait for it - negative 0.7% annually since 1991!
Now before I go breaking my arm patting myself on the back too hard, Sweden doesn't have the numbers to back me up. The Swedes have had only one down year (-2.1%/2000) and an average growth rate of a very respectable 7.3%. That merits a little more research.
I do note - with some glee - this section from the Swedish Institute fact sheet of 2006 [pdf]:
To improve the functioning of the economy, during the 1980s Sweden initiated the deregulation of many sectors. This began with the financial service market but continued with most transportation markets, the electricity market etc. In portions of what was previously a public sector monopoly (for example schools and health-care), there are now some opportunities for private and cooperative activities. Other important structural reforms include stricter competition rules, an expenditure ceiling for the public sector, an independent Riksbank (Swedish central bank) plus Sweden's membership first in the European Economic Area (EEA) and then from 1995 in the EU.
Betcha that's not the Sweden the Canadian left thinks it's trumpeting, eh? Anyhow, I'll revisit Sweden another night, because right now I'm damned curious.
Anyhow, if you look at overall manufacturing growth worldwide, you notice that most of the name's at the top of the list don't tend to be developed nations. And that you have to go down the list to find most of the nations that Canada likes to compare herself to.
Again, no one is claiming that the manufacturing sector is disappearing. Just that it's importance as a portion of Canadian GDP is going to continue diminishing as a percentage of Canadian growth and wealth. That's just following development trends. And even within manufacturing, there is going to be significant shifting from time to time.
For Dion to suggest or even hint that somehow the Green Plan - or any plan for that matter - can prevent job losses in manufacturing is wrong. So again, that leaves me to ask:
Does he know he's wrong?
Does he care that he's wrong?