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Jacques René Giguère
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Canada ‘s rate is 1/3 ofUS . We had to delay closing the US border because we had to negotiate with the Orange Leader as he was threatening sanctions. Thousands of Canadians will die needlessly.
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Don’t worry Frances, the young’ uns are busy Instagraming their latest online purchases. Not counting the Zoom split screen where teenagers are busy upstaging each other.
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What part of the economy is invisible? My groceries and medications are available, my bookstore delivers, if I want take-out I can even have wine, beer and cocktails (available in Québec), my friend’ AA meeting is on Zoom. A good lot of industrial production continues. What is closed is non-food retail stores, hotels and airlines. Important yes but if you look at the input-output matrix,(always a reflex for a Québec economist) nothing is on the top line. So nothing that really crash the economy. Unlike the US we have policies that keep confidence in the social compact..We are not at Stunde null.
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A few further notes on Québec; Internal checkpoints can be crossed only by essential goods and personnel. I would not be allowed through. We are already beginning deconfinement: today mining, vehicle repair and gardening for extra local food supply. The horrible hand of tyranny at work. The reopening is coordinated through the Commission des Partenaires du Marché du Travail.(Labor Market Partners Commission) made up of representatives from government, business, labor unions (40% of Québec workers are unionized, education and relevant NGOs. They were originally tasked with coordinating the retraining of laid-off workers, planning future training needs and workplaces health and safety. There are regional boards (I served on one) and sectoral ones. So we know the exact state of business such as number of establishments, manpower needs and availability . So we can proceed easily. Take care and enjoy the happiness of a life under a definitely non-planning Great Leader.
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In Canada, the four small Atlantic have put up checkpoints. The biggest one, Québec, had divided more than 20 outlying regions, those less affected and less medically equipped. To go to the capital Québec City I would have to cross 2 internal borders. And yet economic activity, except shuttered schools and retail stores, continue. I live in a 25k inhabitants harbor town that live by shipping iron ore from the North. A small company making parts for the mining industry transformed into a medical equipment provider. They are making protective shields for intubation crews. Designed, prototyped, tested, produced, shipped, in use. Within a week. Developed, well managed (not the US) countries can do it. BTW, states on the coasts forming their own compacts mean that secession has begun. Steve Bannon must be happy.
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Too late for me too. And I am diabetic (never eaten sugar but bad genes on both sides). So who knows if it will be adios cruel world . In fact no way. I am recently retired, cooped up in my apartment and my region is cut off from the rest of the province (though it’s because we don’t have levels 3-4 hospitals).
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My first job long ago ( and I mean a longer ago than the long ago of last week) was in public health. Having trained in Industrial Organization I knew nothing about the subject but my boss told me « I once had an economist and I liked his work, so I asked HR for one ». Let say you buy one billion N-95 masks at $0.75 a pop over 5 years. It’s a rounding error that will save you a 25% drop in GDP. We’ll leave the cost-benefits analysis as an exercise to the first-year student. I wanted to leave the calculus about the dead to my colleagues at the Treasury Board but they told me they don’t care.
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How can Canada do better? Maybe by taking a cue from Shakespeare? « First let’s kill all the lawyers! » In this cas MBA’s and everybody at the Treasury Board who advise us to get rid of idle capital?
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We learned today that Québec stock of masks and other equipment bought for H1N1 and Ebola were used without replacement because it was excess to normal operation. That is to save money (remove idle capital).
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When I go past the local firehouse, l see most of the crews and trucks « doing nothing ». That’s infrastructure is for, waiting for the surge. MBA courses call that « idle capital « that must be « returned to shareholders. » Exactly what DJT learned at Wharton and said concerning CDC pandemic team. « I am a businessman and I don’t like having people doing nothing. » The 1990’s austerity closed our health system. We’ll die but a few years we produced nice returns to shareholders and lower taxes.
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Life without you will never be the same. Fitting that I retire the same day as you.
Toggle Commented Dec 14, 2019 on 32+ Years... at Economist's View
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« Why are successful, orderly....In Europe and Anglosphere ? » Maybe because Europe spent the best of five centuries wrecking the planet? And that the only countries outside it who are « orderly, prosperous... » are those like Japan that escaped its tender ministrations?
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And Canada in 1800...
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Poor people do not start revolutions. They start revolts that are easily crushed. French even have a special word for that: »jacquerie » from the old word for peasants « jacques ». Middle class people, who know how to organize, start revolutions that sometimes succeed.
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Best wishes and congratulations! And don’t worry she’ll survive the economists parentage...
Toggle Commented Jul 21, 2019 on Summer is Here at Economist's View
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In his article, JP Kooning hits the nail: you want to convert Bolivars into Libras bc bolivars are worthless. But why would FB buy bolivars? There is nothing to do with bolivars. Nobody buy bolivars precisely bc they are worthless, not the other way around. Gresham’s law still apply. Once again , some tech geeks think they can reinvent the wheel but square bc they are utterly ignorant of 5k years of history. Being young is fun, but sometimes you need an old uncle to remind you to avoid the brown acid.
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Never forget that on May 16th 1940 to the absolute dismay of command and troops he ordered the BEF to break ranks with the Belgian and French armies thus opening the way for the Germans advance and then blamed the Belgians. Followed by the abominable treason of Mers-el-Kebir which sent the undefeated pars of the French military into Pétain’s hands. After which the Bengal famine was barely an afterthought.
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I read it almost 50 years ago, but in French and as a 13-years-old Québécois, missed the racial implications. But the 63-years-old relish the quote from a long ago political character from my province.
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Dad made archives for all of us. Including the invoice for his first car , a Ford Falcon Fordor (four doors, ventilation and Preston’s instead of water, he always went for the children’s comfort). He refused the operation that my oncologist brother tried to get him at the Mayo . He had his head till the last 36 hours. I would gladly have the done the nice thing for him when he became hallucinatory. But we are not there yet.
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The far right had been defeated. Like the South really, really lost the War of Secession and have no influence on America’ politics?
Toggle Commented May 16, 2019 on Debating the far right at Stumbling and Mumbling
Trade balance is the difference between the two savings. Of course those damn foreigners are responsible for all our trouble. Let’s invade them. When we are united, the difference will disappear. Ok we’ll need equalization payments but at last the whole world will be Canadian. Poor sods.
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Oups! In my first I forgot: my first nirvana alone in my office was about income and substitution...
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Nick:in the end, we never learn...
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I can’t blame neither the students nor the public. It took me about a dozen years of teaching to go past the stage of rote teaching to suddenly have the illumination and reach the nirvana. I was in my office without witnesses but the real understanding of the power and consequences of comparative advantage came during a class. Some students thought I was having a kind of seizure. No , just an Econ version of Stendhal syndrome...
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