Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, recently released the results of a survey of economists that he commissioned. You can read the results yourself; those of you who are economically-inclined may want to view the available slideshow (lots of tasty graphs and percentages). Adams has also posted his opinion on the results of the survey.
I‘ve been reading Scott Adams’ blog since its inception on TypePad. I enjoy his wit and his unique perspective on both mainstream and esoteric issues. Much of what he says is designed to get a rise out of people and provoke them into calling him a stupid lemon-eater. Some of his favourite subjects include intelligent design, the workplace, environmentalism, and of course, politics and the economy. I was not surprised to hear that he had commissioned a survey; it’s just the sort of thing he would do.
So how about those results? Lots of Democrat econimists—it must be biased? Well, I love math, but statistics are not my favourite type of math. I‘m in the camp of people who thinks the survey is an inconclusive indicator of which candidate would be best. I doubt that either of the candidates truly has a plan for the economy. They’re stating positions on issues, but whether or not they would follow through after being elected is doubtful at best.
The economy has been a hot issue of late, what with the uncertain financial markets. What about here in Canada? As always, the economy is an election issue. Harper is playing down job losses, stating the there is a net gain of job creation. Dion and Layton are jumping on the child-care bandwagon after the Tories tried to sway voters by claiming that if they weren’t elected, the government would cancel Harper’s national child-care plan (since I don’t know much about the child-care plan, my opinion is embryonic at best). And let us not forget Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, and his Anything But Conservative campaign. The ABC campaign has its roots in an economic issue: the removal of nonrenewable resource revenues from the energy equalization formula.1 Harper broke this promise, so now Williams wants to encourage voters to elect a non-Tory government.
What about Dion’s crazy carbon tax and “Green Shift” plan, eh? We‘re all going to be driving to work in outboard canoes with seven layers of sweaters as we go back to living in igloos because we can’t turn on our furnaces, eh? This bit of environmentalism is just the latest consequence of an increasing social conscience toward “green” policies. The question is not whether this carbon tax makes sense, it’s do voters want a more environmentally-friendly government? If that is the case, then there’s two steps: 1) elect a government that will implement environmentally-friendly policies. This is probably ABC.2 2) Lobby your local MP to support environmental initiatives until the government implements something that works. Dion’s shown that he can be persuaded to modify his Green Shift plan. That may have just been election fever talking. But I mean, if it doesn’t work out between us and him, we can just dump him and call another election, eh?
I digress. Personally, I try to ignore the economy as much as possible. It gives me a headache. But I must admit that when it comes to voting, it’s an important issue. All politicians will screw up the economy; that’s a given. What you have to decide is: who will screw it up in your favour?
- [ 1 ] Newfoundland and Labrador have offshore oil reserves. Removing the nonrenewable resources from the calculation of revenue owed to the federal government would generate a huge amount of money for the province.
- [ 2 ] The Greens still have a snowball’s chance in hell—and soon, if we don’t implement green policies, the phrase will be “a snowball’s chance in Whitehorse”.