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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Find better things to attack Harper with

It's no surprise Stephen Harper thinks libertarians are naive; Brian Gardiner proves this like no other. Besides the horrible writing style and butchery of the english language, the post is riddled with mistakes:

After all, the Conservative Party just put much the same logo (sic) on the Olympic clothing to be worn by our athletes this year.

It doesn't take much effort to find out that the Conservatives had nothing to do with it:

Gary Lunn, the minister of state for sport, said any resemblance was purely coincidental.

"I can assure you that no one in the Government of Canada was involved in any way, shape or form in the design of any of the Olympic clothing. In fact the first time I saw it was (Wednesday)," Lunn said in the House of Commons. "The clothing was designed by the Hudson's Bay Company in consultations with the Canadian Olympic Committee and with an athletes' panel."


[The Liberal Party] is known as “Canada’s natural governing party,” and have branded themselves so well that Canada’s flag is Liberal red.

This was debunked by a simple comment by a reader:

Small correction: The Liberals never “branded themselves so well that Canada’s flag is Liberal red”.

During the Great Flag Debate, Mike Pearson’s proposed flag was a branch with three maple leaves (representing the English, French and Aboriginal founding nations) and bordered by two blue banners representing the two oceans. It was referred to as the Pearson Pennent.

In committee, the NDP, the Liberals, the Social Credit member of the committee and all of the Progressive Conservatives voted in favour of Gordon Stanley’s proposed flag, the one we have today (the maple leaf itself and the dimensions have changed somewhat).

Moreover, Stanley’s proposed flag had nothing to do with the Liberals. He got the idea from the flag of the Royal Military College of Canada.

Perhaps libertarians can gain more respect if they take more time to make their posts accurate rather than using a dead issue as ammunition to attack the Prime Minister (both sides of the political spectrum are against using partisan logos on government cheques). Though it should be obvious this wasn't a federal move and was not approved by Harper, measures have been taken by our leader to ensure fairness in the future:

Speaking in Edmonton at an unrelated announcement, Harper, criticized recently by his political opponents for mixing government and partisan advertising, said Keddy's move was a "mistake that is not going to be repeated."

To ensure the message got through to Conservative troops, a memo was emailed Wednesday to Conservative caucus members urging them, their staff and constituency workers not to cross the line.


[Gerald Keddy] has apologized for plastering a Conservative Party logo on a giant "prop cheque," admitting it was "inappropriate" to highlight a partisan connection to the expenditure of taxpayer funds.

Finally, I want to mention that Coca Cola is a corporation while the government is not. To compare the two (which Brian does twice in his post) doesn't make much of anything other than a pretty simile. Try comparing our government with, you know, an existing or former government - it may strengthen your case better than a pop company can.

[Cross-posted at The Right Coast]

Posted by Dane Richard on October 20, 2009 in Canadian Politics | Permalink


Isn't "Pennant" spelled with an "a" not an "e"?

I declare this post mistake riddled.

But seriously, what's the point of this post?

Posted by: Pete | 2009-10-20 1:42:11 PM

The point is many are attacking Stephen Harper for things that he didn't have anything to do with, then trying to justify it with false claims.

I understand this is only one example, but unless you've been hiding under a rock you'll know there's a lot of this going on.

Like the title says, I want critics of Stephen Harper such as the one I highlighted to "find better things to attack Harper with".

There's also the point of the libertarian idealism getting in the way of rational thought. I used to be a very idealistic libertarian and always wondered why no one would take me seriously. I believe I was a lot like what I was highlighting, so trust me it's not a personal attack.

Posted by: Dane Richard | 2009-10-20 1:55:48 PM

So, you found a ridiculous, error filled article written by a libertarian and use it to conclude that libertarian thought is flawed. Is this really the standard you want applied to conservatives?

Posted by: The Prarie Libertarian | 2009-10-20 2:04:34 PM

So your mission is to ruthlessly ID spurious attacks on our Great Leader?

Instead of leading by example and critiquing the countless number of things Harpo ought to be held accountable for?

Thanks for coming out.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-10-20 2:08:33 PM

Actually no, not at all.

I used the article as an example of flawed libertarian thought (which is blind idealism). Does that mean I think all libertarian thought is flawed? Absolutely not. I still retained a lot of my libertarian principles, but I realized that attacking the Prime Minister with silly issues - as I admitted I may have done in the past for all I know - is a waste of time.

Posted by: Dane Richard | 2009-10-20 2:10:16 PM

I'm sorry. What's the issue again?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-10-20 2:29:13 PM

"I used the article as an example of flawed libertarian thought (which is blind idealism). "

But what you said was... "It's no surprise Stephen Harper thinks libertarians are naive; Brian Gardiner proves this like no other."
This suggests that this one idiot is representative, regardless if it was done on purpose or not.

Posted by: People who drink are stank and fat | 2009-10-20 2:38:21 PM

@ Dane

So again -- you see it as your duty as an ex libertarian, to vet what you see as bogus complaints about the Great Leader (himself a former libertarian poseur)?

Why waste the space? Why do the job of party hacks to discredit the libertarian opposition to the apostate Harpo by spotlighting what you think are the weakest of said opposition?

The Tory party has once again slipped into their usual tricks of megalomania and corruption, declaring themselves to be the State and the Nation, and you want to pump out apologia?

Again, thanks for coming out.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-10-20 2:52:44 PM

An analogous argument would go something like: Christopher Hitchens thinks that Christians are very violent; David Koresh proves this like no other.
Do you see the problem now?

Posted by: People who drink are stank and fat | 2009-10-20 2:53:25 PM


Just out of curiosity, what in your opinion is a silly issue. Although many libertarians seem to often forget the forest for the trees, I find conservatives are very good at labelling any policy as "naive" when they disagree with that said policy.

Posted by: Charles | 2009-10-20 3:08:27 PM

"It's no surprise Stephen Harper thinks libertarians are naive"

He also has stated he thinks it's libertarian ideology that caused the current financial mess we are in ... which was the last straw for me.

Posted by: Charles | 2009-10-20 3:30:12 PM

If you don't like Harper, then by all means vote for Taliban Jack, Iggy and Betsy May - then you'll realize how good Mr. Harper was.

I'd rather have a disappointing Harper than any of the alternatives who represent the privileged idle wealth of Ontario. Once they are back in charge, it'll take decades to remove them.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-10-20 5:46:06 PM

@ Zeb Piker:

Thanks for yet another Deep Thought.

If I don't like Harper why would I vote for others whose policies he apes and who share his affinity for social democratic Big Government?

How would voting for more of the same make me appreciate Harper??

And Zeb, it is clear you still don't quite grasp how it is Canadian democracy actually works: Harper, the ONTARIAN, knows that most of the votes are in Ontario. So our ONTARIAN PM panders to Ontario. And they still ain't crazy about him.

Meanwhile, he is doing untold damage to untold generations of Western Canadians.

Your premise that opposing a very bad government means you LIKE or ought to like, or vote for, equally bad alternatives is puerile at best.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-10-20 6:46:11 PM

Charles: I don't mean to sound like an asshole but you really should take a look at this post here:

Although weak regulation in general was not the cause, the lack of regulation surrounding banks’ mortgage lending, banks’ capital requirements, and insurance “swaps” secured the collapse of the financial system, and can now be looked back upon when creating new policies regarding lending and capital requirements so that a crisis such as this cannot happen again.

Sometimes human nature trumps logical principles of zero-regulations in markets, especially when it comes to money.

The post explains the many reasons - some libertarian, others liberal, if you want to label them - responsible for the Great Recession, and it might shed light onto why Harper used a large stimulus budget (and why it wasn't much of a choice).

Posted by: Dane Richard | 2009-10-20 7:03:19 PM

If I don't like Harper why would I vote for others whose policies he apes and who share his affinity for social democratic Big Government?

First of all, he has a minority government. This means he is forced to water-down policies and compromise with the opposition parties. This is historically what happens, not some random speculation. If you're talking about the Economic Action Plan, as stated he didn't have much of a choice.

Secondly, wouldn't you want to vote for the one that is going to do the least harm to your principles? Yes it sucks that you don't have a popular libertarian that's a Prime Minister in waiting, but that's just the way it is right now. So who's closest to libertarian ideology? Like it or not, it's Harper. Ignatieff? Layton? Not even close.

I don't want to tell you what to think but if I were you I would at least appreciate the fact that the closest you'll get (unless Harper gets a majority in the future) to a libertarian government, like it or not.

Posted by: Dane Richard | 2009-10-20 7:12:16 PM


Harper is not "forced" to do anything.

But he apparently IS compelled to put his personal possession of power ahead not only of principle, libertarian or otherwise, but of practical and rational economics, even those Paul Martin was able to practise.

Your contention that Harper will do "the least harm" is also flat out false. Read a little history of North American politics: it is ALWAYS the "right wing" or "conservative" party that does the most damage to freedom and the economy -- the "left wing" party never dares to grow government as much as the so-called right.

At this point I would settle for an actual conservative administration -- and Harpo can't even deliver on that.

And even IN a minority government situation, Harper could still be promoting, SELLING rational economics to the Canadian public. But Harper never was a salesman. Persuasion is beneath him. Instead he not only makes a mockery of his previous alleged affinity for Hayekian economics, he goes out of his way to disparage those who subscribe to same.

Your apology for the Harper regime is inexplicable even for a conservative.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-10-20 7:26:29 PM

Definition of the word "conservative": All those whose principle preoccupation lies in expending energy making excuses for anybody doing business under the banner of a party of the same name.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-10-20 7:30:42 PM


You have already copped to being an alleged ex libertarian -- something many conservatives do to somehow adorn themselves with street cred when bashing libertarianism -- but do you even claim to be a conservative in any sense?

Your defense of Harper's stimulus scam is Keynesian, not even Monetarist -- and certainly not conservative in the conventional sense of the term.

Are you a social democrat? Because speaking as an ex conservative, I honestly do not recognize your economic POV as such. Would you consider yourself a neocon?

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-10-20 7:36:13 PM

Dane, in spite of the flack you make a valid point. There are verifiable reasons for criticising the PM and his minority government, and then there is the group with a bad case of Harper derangement disorder. The later cannot be taken seriously.

As for the claim that this is an attempt to discredit the libertarian opposition, many of those commenting as libertarians do the job quiet well. I note their absence when there are posts pertaining to liberty and freedom, unless it is in some way related to marijuana. How representative is this of libertarianism I know not, but I do know that such a single item agenda is not attractive.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-10-20 7:53:49 PM

@ Alain:

At least KNOW your enemy before disparaging them, sir.

Libertarians believe freedom is indivisible. I do not do drugs of any kind. Yet the War on Drugs, and the persecution of Marc Emery for instance, is an evil and clear threat to everyone's liberty. Even yours.

BTW -- what is a "verifiable" reason for criticizing a PM?

Do you consider yourself a conservative? If so, do you consider Harper a conservative? Can you prove the latter?

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-10-20 8:07:00 PM

Harper should be attacked with a baseball bat. He is not conservative in any way that I can see, unless your a religious fundamentalist. The faster he and his party gets shown the door the better. I will hold my nose and vote for one of the "socialist" parties rather than vote conservative again. Canada needs a good centrist party. One that follows Libertarian values on government powers, business, and individualism. And liberal values on health care and education. I know I'm just glossing over the whole picture, but why does everything have to swing left and right? Whats wrong with the center?

Posted by: Steve Bottrell | 2009-10-20 9:07:41 PM

@ Steve Bottrell:

I would argue that libertarian = liberal, and liberal = centre.

Small Government and Big Society.

The current in-name-only Convervatives and Liberals are social democrats.

The best solution is deconfederation. The next best solution is for libertarians to take over the Liberal Party.

But you are dead right: the CPC needs to go ASAP.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-10-20 9:13:45 PM

If you don't like Harper, you'll hate Iggy and Taliban Jack as they raise taxes for Kyoto.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-10-20 10:14:18 PM

Harper will do the same, he just doesn't call it Kyoto.

Posted by: Steve Bottrell | 2009-10-20 10:54:41 PM

@ Zeb:

Harper has already raised taxes to bury billions in the ground.

You've heard of inflation and "carbon sequestration"? Wake the hell up. Please.

At least "Taliban Jack" would save us tens of billions from Afghanistan.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-10-20 11:48:20 PM

Okay you can either dream for the perfect government, find one in his world. I'll take Harper over any of the alternatives any day of the week. He's the only sane choice.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-10-21 12:13:08 AM


I think dudes like you are who Churchill had in mind when he said the best case against democracy is a five minute conversation with a voter.

Voting is NOT mandatory, Zeb.

You GET what you vote for.

And you mindlessly promote the proposition that Harper is somehow better or less bad than the alternatives. Without ONE scintilla of proof.

As bad as Iggy is, an Ignatieff government would look a lot like a Paul Martin government which was hands down better than the Harpo regime.

As bad as Layton is, he would save us $20 billion from Afghanistan. He might end the War on Drugs, too, saving lives and hundreds of millions of dollars.

Worse government from either of the above would get us a federal Wildrose Alliance just as PC corruption and incompetence has led to a new choice provincially.

You sound like the kind of guy who'd celebrate being given a choice of "husbands" in prison -- just the kind of voter Stephen Harper takes for granted as he not only manages Canada's decline, but runs this country into the ground.

The Harper junta is government OF Ontarians, BY Ontarians, FOR Ontarians.

And we owe it all to "conservatives" who vote Conservative.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-10-21 1:08:05 AM

Man is it ever hard to read these comments with a straight face. The hysteria here is insane.

Your defense of Harper's stimulus scam is Keynesian, not even Monetarist -- and certainly not conservative in the conventional sense of the term.

Are you a social democrat? Because speaking as an ex conservative, I honestly do not recognize your economic POV as such. Would you consider yourself a neocon?

If you're talking about my defense of expansionary fiscal policy as a means of increasing aggregate demand in the economy, then I suggest you learn a little economics.

I also suggest you read this like I suggested earlier. Might clear some things up on my defense of expansionary fiscal policy in times of crisis.

I find it funny that you're basing my entire ideology on my explanation (it isn't even really a defense) of this type of policy.

Try reading my other posts and then attempt to label me as a "social democrat". You'll be disappointed.

Posted by: Dane Richard | 2009-10-21 6:20:11 AM


I don't want to sound like an asshole either but I am flabbergasted that someone who describes himself as somewhat libertarian would write a post about the current financial crisis without even once mentioning the role of central banks.
As you probably well know, the vast majority of libertarians do not want to simply deregulate; they want to return to some kind of free money and eliminate the central bank. Many also want to make fractional reserve banking illegal. In fact, as I understand it, most libertarians recognize the need for some type of regulation as long as central banks exist. I find it ironic that you mentioned Ron Paul without going into any detail as to why he saw the crisis coming.

Now, I must admit that believing we are returning to a world where there is no central is most likely very naive. To recognize, however, that it was the inflation of the money supply that caused this mess is not. It is also very naive to think that we can solve the problem by regulating. The FED has once again inflated. M3 has doubled. You can regulate capital reserve ratios all you want, but Wall Street will find a way to get that liquidity into the system.

If we want to prevent CPI inflation and bubbles then we need to stop inflating and that has nothing to do with regulation and everything to do with our money supply.

Harper's statement shows that either A) he doesn't understand libertarian ideology; or B) he's pandering to his conservative base.

Posted by: Charles | 2009-10-21 7:30:40 AM

I feel I need to add one last thing and then I promise I'll leave this alone ;)

I've never heard of a libertarian who doesn't think bubbles are caused by the inflating of the money supply.

If you're a Friedman type libertarian, then you think we need to somehow regulate the central banks. If you're an Austrian, then you think we shouldn't have one at all.

Posted by: Charles | 2009-10-21 8:07:36 AM

John, by verifiable reasons I was referring to specific policies and actions, such as resurrecting the Court Challenges Program under a different name, the back-out concerning the attacks on freedom of speech and of the press by the CHRC, increasing the size of government and government spending.

I stand by what I wrote about the absence of those who identify as libertarians when the subject is about freedom other than the topic of marijuana. I prefer to base my judgement on the deeds and actions of others rather than words.

As for attempting to attach a partisan political label on me, I could not really care since to date none of them stick.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-10-21 10:53:50 AM

"It is also very naive to think that we can solve the problem by regulating."

I hope this isn't referring to me. I never said we can solve the problem by regulating. I said that certain regulations such as credit requirements could have and would have prevented the housing bubble (the housing bubble is what sparked the crisis in the first place).

I mentioned Ron Paul because he was warning that the housing bubble would burst because all of the lending-without-credit going on.

Also, I believe Harper understands libertarian ideology but just doesn't believe it as fully as many of you. That's the way I am anyway.

Posted by: Dane Richard | 2009-10-21 12:33:42 PM

"I said that certain regulations such as credit requirements could have and would have prevented the housing bubble (the housing bubble is what sparked the crisis in the first place)."

Ok, let's assume you're right and stringent regulations could have prevented the housing bubble. Where would all this liquidity have gone? You would have had other bubbles elsewhere and we'd still be in a mess.

But having said all that, I don't think you quite understand my point. There are no libertarians (that I know of) who believe in deregulating the way he describes. To present it as such is dishonest. Libertarians either want to A) eliminate central banking; or B) regulate central banking. Only then would banks be allowed to lend in a deregulated fashion. I've never heard of a libertarian that suggests we continue to let the central banks inflate while giving banks free reign over their operations. In fact, most libertarians I know or have read are disgusted by the current system ... as am I.

If Harper had been honest, he would have denounced libertarians for their policies, not for this ridiculous strawman. If he disagrees with real libertarian policy, he should say so and state his reasons.

Posted by: Charles | 2009-10-21 2:40:01 PM


You defend Harper on political grounds.

You defend Harper on economic grounds and defend INFLATION.

Harper's policies are NOT conservative unless keynesian is the new conservative, a proposition I have no problem accepting.

And perhaps you ought to "learn a little economics" yourself: when you insist on blathering about inflation increasing aggregate demand you reveal yourself to be Keynesian.

Inflation is DESTROYING real demand and real capital.

If you could grasp the damage Harper's neokeynesian economic policy is doing to the Canadian economy and social structure, I think even you would be appalled.

The bottom line is there is no defense of Harper on either libertarian or conventional conservative grounds: his policy and practise is purely neokeynesian and social democratic. Some might add fascist on other fronts.

Your quibbling with the critiques of Harpo come off as nothing more than mealy mouthed, I'm afraid.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-10-21 2:46:06 PM


Harper is a statist who is embarrassed by his flirtations with Hayek the way a statist centrist NDP premier would be with his Marxist or Maoist dalliances in college.

Harper likes to pose as an economist on the world stage as he cheerleads for inflation and war in a personal bid to land a gig at the world bank or IMF or some such after he gets his doughy butt punted from Ottawa. There is no deep motivation for anything the man does as he is fundamentally intellectually lazy, as he is in most things.

Fortunately for Harpo, he has a coterie of relatively young, intellectually lazy typists who adore power as much as he does.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-10-21 2:53:31 PM

I suppose what is really sad, Dane, is you invest your energy scouring the libertarian blogosphere looking for petty errors out of which to spin a justification for Harpo's repudiation of the philosophy of freedom.

The blogger error you highlight neither proves nor explains what the apostate PM thinks.

Harper hates libertarians because they remind him what a fraud he is and has been. He hates libertarianism because it is incompatible with his first love, POWER.

Most importantly, bashing libertarianism in both word and deed helps him in his pursuit of a post-Ottawa career in international statist bureaucracy.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-10-21 3:24:37 PM

Charles, where in God's name do I defend inflation? Expansionary fiscal policy is not inflation. Inflation is the rising of prices, keeping other variables constant.

It blows my mind that someone telling me to learn economics doesn't even know what inflation is. Canada has had fine inflation rates (within 4%, normally closer to 2%).

Canada has actually always had a strong central bank. One good thing about central banks is it can stop runaway inflation with monetary policy (changing the interest and the money supply). Although I love a solid free market as much as the next conservative or libertarian, I do understand that the free market cannot stop inflation like a strong central can in a situation where time is money (literally).

Obviously inflating the money supply beyond this is stupid and will make the currency worth less, which we saw in the U.S. I never said I wouldn't reform the Federal Reserve or seriously take a look into it. But I was never talking about that, so I don't know why you are.

Talk to the Fed or some Americans, because I can't help you with that.

Posted by: Dane Richard | 2009-10-21 5:40:54 PM


"...where in God's name do I defend inflation? Expansionary fiscal policy is not inflation. Inflation is the rising of prices..."

Dude: EXPANSIONARY FISCAL POLICY IS INFLATIONARY. INFLATION IS THE INCREASE IN THE MONEY SUPPLY. Higher prices may or may not be as a direct result of INCREASING THE MONEY SUPPLY. Prices MAY even fall for a time, in the face of MONETARY INFLATION. When governments BORROW FROM THE FUTURE and distort the economy by misallocationg capital today, only to "pay" for it through eventual higher taxes, AND inflation, yup, prices will indeed ultimately rise.

Meanwhile, look into Bank of Canada practise (and don't for a nanosecond try to snow anybody about how it is "independent"): We are among the most inflationary countries in the world.

I can only conclude -- and, please, correct me -- that based on your economic and partisan political positions, that you are a SOCIAL DEMOCRAT, more likely a NEOCON.

And your faith in a central bank's ability to stop "runaway" inflation is laughable: ONLY a central bank, in conjunction with fractional reserve banking itself, can CAUSE runaway inflation. And there comes a time, as we are already seeing, where Central Banks have limited influence on REAL INTEREST RATES.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-10-21 6:49:17 PM


"Charles, where in God's name do I defend inflation? Expansionary fiscal policy is not inflation. Inflation is the rising of prices..."

Your QUESTION is the ANSWER to your question.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-10-21 6:50:54 PM

John I've tried to be civil with you but you're really, really not understanding economics.

Expansionary fiscal policy is the increase of government spending and decrease of taxes.

Expansionary Monetary Policy is the increase of money supply and decrease of interest rates.

Two completely different policies. The latter was not used for this recession. It's no one's opinion, it's just a fact.

I've said this about five times but seriously, read my essay. It explains everything you're trying to throw at me.

And if you don't believe me, then I guess you don't believe in macroeconomics. It's an extremely basic thing to understand what is and what isn't expansionary fiscal policy, expansionary monetary policy, contractionary fiscal policy, and contractionary monetary policy.

For God's sake, don't embarrass yourself any further. Please.

Posted by: Dane Richard | 2009-10-21 7:26:47 PM

I think it is you who is oblivious to the very basics of economics.

A) there is no difference between macro and micro economics, so wrap your keynesian head around that, neocon;

B) why don't you explain to the class again, how it is that inflation = an "increase in prices" , k, rhodes scholar?

C) now explain to the class WHERE the government GETS its fiscal wherewhithal, genius, and WHY: I'll give you a hint, cupcake: B of C takes direction from the government which means a low interest cheap money policy tool to aid Ontario manufacturing. The government is running a deficit it thinks it can get away BECAUSE of the low interest rates it has mandated.

D) newsflash, rhodes: taxes have not gone down.

E) while you are on your roll, and still clearly oblivious to the degeree to which you are embarrassing YOURself, why not let us all in on what precisely the Federal government did with mortgages and CMHC this year, and please tell us whether that was FISCAL or MONETARY expansion -- and then tell us how one is better than another?

F) finally let us in on your neokeynesian neocon interpretation of how the FISCAL and MONETARY policies your Harperite heros have implemented INTERACT, and what the MATERIAL difference is for the public?

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-10-21 10:09:50 PM

A) Uh, they are two different aspects of economics. Macroeconomics has to do with the global and national economies, dealing with interest rates, government policy, money supply; exchange rates, current accounts, aggregate demand and supply, etc.

Microeconomics has to do with the individual firm, the individual consumer, the individual good or service, etc. More specifically things like substitution, complements, prices, elasticity; the list goes on and that's just some of the basic aspects. See where I'm going with this?

B) I thought you were going to give me tough questions. Wait, no I didn't.

Like I said, inflation is the rising of prices, holding other things constant (such as the value of the dollar or national income levels for example). Inflation thus has to be measured of periods of time, which should go without saying. But seeing how this guy doesn't even know what the definition of inflation is, I'll say it anyway.

When prices increase, each dollar you have is now worth less than before. This means your purchasing power is lower. As you should know this will create a decrease in aggregate demand.

As for hyperinflation, yes that is often caused by the money supply exceeding economic growth. Thankfully that isn't happening in Canada, nor in the U.S. It happens (or happened) more often in oppressive African or Central American countries.

C) I really don't know what you're asking me. Please try to make more sense; it's painful to try and decode your messages. The government is running a deficit because we're in a recession, not because of interest rates. In fact interest rates have nothing to do with provincial budgets.

As for low interest rates, they increase spending in an economy. High interest rates increases national saving. It should now be obvious to see why low interest rates are good during a recession.

D) Wrong.

The Harper Government has made Canada more competitive by reducing the general corporate income tax rate from over 22 per cent to 19 per cent today. Through these and other policies the Government is helping to create jobs now and is laying the foundation for long-term economic growth. By 2010, Canada will achieve the lowest overall tax rate in the G7 on new business investment.

Also, unless you've been hiding under a rock you should know about the GST cuts. In fact unless you don't work at all you should have gotten a cheque in the mail about a week or two ago. Would you rather the government keep that money? As a libertarian your answer should be an emphatic "NO!".

E) & F) I really don't know what you're trying to ask of me. Fiscal and monetary policy is used by every industrialized nation in the world. It's not used for some hidden agenda, it's used to stabilize the economy when it's needed. (Keyword: when needed)

Posted by: Dane Richard | 2009-10-22 8:40:40 AM

@ Keynesian Dane:

You clearly do not grasp the definition of inflation. Understandable, as most first year university courses in "macro" and "micro" (LOL) economics don't really do a very good job of explaining it.


I don't know if I can GET any clearer, Keyensian Dane, so read this question over again S-L-O-W-L-Y: WHERE does government GET the money it uses for its fiscal policy? How does it INCREASE spending to do so, without raising taxes? Try real hard this time, Dane.

Artificial LOW INTEREST RATES are what CAUSED the recession, you Keynesian fumbduck -- not just Something Governments Do during recessions.

Your argument and grasp of economics is so utterly festooned with misunderstanding as to be exhausting even to read. But I'll leave off with this: " interest rates have nothing to do with provincial budgets" spoken like a true socialist. Are you sure you really want to stick with your story that interest rates don't dictate HOW MUCH a government (that can't print money) will borrow???

"As for low interest rates, they increase spending in an economy. High interest rates increases national saving. It should now be obvious to see why low interest rates are good during a recession." They done brainwashed you in the publik educashun sytem good, boy: SPENDING is not the cure for a recession. DEBT reduction is. SAVING is. CAPITAL formation is. REAL INVESTMENT is. NATURAL low interest rates are.

Artificial low interest rates CAUSED the bubble that burst and that is attempting to correct BUT for MORE artificially low interest rates that are forming more bubbles, more debt, and basically eating the seed stock of the Canadian economy.

You are clueless. Which is fine. What I don't understand is why you insist on pretending you were once a libertarian (bullshit: you never were), why you pose as a conservative (you are indeed a Conservative, but might just as easily be a Liberal or New Democrat, albeit "right" leaning), and why you don't simply acknowledge what is plain for the world to see: you are a neokeynesian (worse than the original, in theory) social democrat, precisely what the Harper regime is in practice?

There may be hope for you, yet. I assume you are about 20 years old. So there is time. So in the meantime just work on getting this answer: WHERE does the federal government get its money? Who buys its debt?

And just as an aside, a curiousity, why ARE you so hot and bothered for the Harper regime? Why so partisan, boy? What's in it for you? What's in it for anybody?

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-10-22 2:39:36 PM

I've said what I needed to say and I'm not going to continue with someone that gets hysterical and insults me. But I will say a few last things.

If there are any people reading this other than us, they can decide for themselves who's the clueless one.

For someone who thinks so highly of himself in the realm of economics, it's odd that you can't understand how fiscal and monetary policy works. It doesn't matter if we like it or not, it's something that's practiced in almost every government in the world.

Of course you would take that as me defending the policies simply because I acknowledge it exists. You really should learn to differentiate between explanation and opinion. I'm trying to be relatively objective and you're accusing me left and right of being a "social democrat" (even though we haven't been talking about social issues whatsoever) or a "neokeynesian".

I suggest the next time you see one of my posts you will ignore it, for both our sakes.

Posted by: Dane Richard | 2009-10-23 1:15:28 PM

Keynesian Dane:

How arrogant do you have to be to suggest that I, or anybody, does not know that States indulge in what they term "fiscal" or "monetary" policy?

The point is both are statist interventions that do NOT "work" but that always have destructive impacts.

The ESSENCE of social democracy is dependent on socialist and keynesian economic interventions, Dane. The kind you nod and wink at.

You stagger around with a collossal misundertanding of the concept of inflation, shrilly insisting that "expansionary fiscal policy" is required during a recession, don't know WHAT causes recessions, don't understand the importance of SAVING, can not explain WHERE governments get their money from, nor how monetary and fiscal policy interact... and on and on.

Which is all consistent with Conservative policy, which you waste the world's time defending. You pettily seek to pick apart criticisms of the Great Leader by people espousing libertarianism, and yet your own defenses of Harpo's regime are flimsy and as formidable as a fist full of confetti thrown from fifty feet away.

If you are going to attack putative libertarian critiques of Great Leader, be prepared to back them up with something -- anything -- rational in the realm of economics.

The most telling thing is you still won't say why you bother to go out of your way to be a partisan shill for the worst government in Canadian history. What IS in it for you, Keynesian Dane?

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-10-23 3:29:58 PM

"shrilly insisting that "expansionary fiscal policy" is required during a recession,"

Wrong. I said it is a way to make a crisis recession less bad.

Recessions happen all the time and are usually minor and don't need much if any government intervention like this.

I explain all this in my post. You misunderstand a LOT of what I say. You also still have some inability to differentiate between explanation and opinion.

What I don't understand is how you don't believe an extra increase in demand isn't good in a recession. That's what government has the ability to do. I don't like the government handling my money either, but in a rare, major recession there's often not much of as choice. To have that choice is what I consider good.

I really wish you'd stop calling me Keynesian Dane. For one, during normal economic times I prefer little to no intervention in the economy. I'm not for bailouts, subsidies, useless social programs, or spending that's wasteful.

I know you really want me to be some mold for your imaginary fascist Harper government, but it's not working. I'm a free market guy that that recognizes that in cases of emergency, a little fiscal policy isn't going to be the end of the world. If that makes me a "social democrat" then I guess we just live in two different worlds.

Have fun in make-believe-land, Condescending Collison.

Posted by: Dane Richard | 2009-10-23 10:27:20 PM

@ Keynesian Dane:

You. Just. Don't. Get. It.

Expansionary "fiscal policy" makes recessions WORSE. Though classical Keynesianism holds it mitigates them. But only if you save during the good years. Neokeynesians say spend all the time. Which one are you, Dane?

The "extra demand in a recession" you fantasize about, Dane, is NOT demand. It is artificial. A fraud. An economic crime. Worse than a crime, its a MISTAKE. Like putting out fire with the proverbial gasoline. It is a DESTRUCTION of real capital. A redistribution and misallocation. It is DEBT, Dane. The opposite of CAPITAL FORMATION required to spark real, sustainable growth.

During good economic times you "prefer (a) little intervention in the economy." In a recession, you prefer a LOT. Because "there is no choice".

Well get this, Keynesian Dane: what you advocate in an economic downturn IS WHAT YOU BELIEVE, PERIOD. You ARE the classic neocon: 'I believe in free markets, blah. blah...except for all the times I don't, when I prefer government taxation and spending and borrowing and money printing, and, and, and.

"a little fiscal policy", KD, is, with the monetary policy it merges with (once again, KD, WHO sets interest rates, and WHO buys Canadian government debt??), the CAUSE of economic malaise.

WHERE precisely is the $65 Billion your Great Leader has blown this year coming from, KD?

And to recap: you came here with a pointless post pettily crapping over a putative libertarian critique of your Great Leader. You throw in some gratuitous illiberal economics, and economic illiteracy, then get all pissy when you get made as a keynesian social democrat Doing Business As a "Conservative".

You REFUSE to say how shilling for this horrendous Conservative government benefits YOU.

My only guess is you are some sort of Harpo groupie. There is of course, no accounting for taste.

But there may be hope for you yet. I too once subscribed to statist economics posing as conservatism. But I am proud to say I never took partisanship to the ridiculous degree you do. And I was once a Harper fan -- back in the day when he espoused, and promised policy inspired by, Hayek.

I just can't figure out how an allegedly former libertarian winds up where you are now.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-10-24 7:12:57 AM

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