Wednesday, December 17, 2008

After Avarice

Comes faith. At least in New York, of all places!
I was waiting for this story to be written, and here it is.

Now, the Canadian Finance minister today announced that he expects the Canadian economy to shrink next year by 0.4%. Let's put that into perspective: the average economic growth in Canada over the past 15 years since the last recession has remained at ... what, a healthy 3% or so? Ok, let's say 2.5% per annum. That's a 37.5% increase in economic output since 1993, much of which is due to productivity gains c/o the internet.

This current projected 0.4% decline is barely going to put a dint on a decade and a half of production of goods and services, including the concomitant accumulation of wealth. So, let's ask a journalist to write the obvious story: the economic crisis is NOT what the media, in its frothing fervor, is making it out to be. Or, am I missing something?

Update, Jan. 23: 1) There has been a revision in the forecast for the percentage decline in GDP over the next few months, or actually, several revisions. The basic point of this post still holds however: if the economy were to shrink by an astonishing 5% in a few months, that is still a relatively small chunk of the GDP growth that we've experienced over the past decade and a half - we still need perspective on all the doom and gloom, no matter how gloomy it all sounds.

2) Check out this Canadian version of the Times' story, published Jan. 23. Seems Canadian news too often - and tediously - recycles the more exhilarating American story.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Wendell Berry & Herman Daly... almost live

Here is something a bit off the beaten track [for this blog]: the transcript from a panel discussion concerning agriculture and the support that could be provided for a different kind of rural economy, but with some gems about education, moral choices and all the other predicaments that attend the relationships between these things. Go to around pp. 13-14 for some really good chuckles... at the expense of certain economists I might add.