Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

"Bob Rae: How to deal with the economic crisis," National Post, November 22, 2008.

[Good advice, but like a voice from the past. For a potential leader of the country, he sounds out of touch with the depths threatened by the present crises. And Harper is only just emerging from an ideological fog. Property, credit, transportation, climate change, a nuclear renaissance, exporting our values--redesigning the international economic architecture indeed. The foundations have been rotting away for some time. Time to replace the war economy, to phase carbon emission right out, leave oil behind, to stop killing off other species, to share the wealth, to leave the planet better than we found it. For a while, we will have no choice other than to live within our means. It could be a great opportunity. -jlt]

  We should play a role in redesigning the international economic architecture to help prevent such a crisis from happening again.

  • First, it is essential to understand the speed with which a falling economy can cause the revenues of a government to evaporate. Just four weeks ago, Stephen Harper assured Canadians that our economy was fundamentally strong. Today, he openly speaks to a potential deficit.

  • Second, times of crisis teach us the importance of being practical, and show us the folly of ideologies and theories. It was a great British Conservative, Edmund Burke, who reminded us that “there is nothing more dangerous than to govern in the name of a theory.” Mr. Harper is finally taking note. It’s about time.

  • Third, prosperity is earned, it matters and it can never be taken for granted.

  • Fourth, fiscal discipline matters and is linked to prosperity.

  • Fifth, governments must ensure everyone benefits from the opportunities prosperity creates.

  • Sixth, you can’t go it alone. It doesn’t matter how independently secure you might think you are — global recessions are humbling to the mighty. So it’s essential to get all sorts of people to the table. You need other governments, industry, labour and community leaders, so as to build consensus for tough action.
Read the whole article here =>
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