Economy short-changing itself

I often ask myself that age-old question: ‘Have Canadian economists all been brainwashed?’

To the Editor;

When I read articles on the state of the Canadian dollar, I often ask myself that age-old question: ‘Have Canadian economists all been brainwashed?’

The old saw about how a low dollar creates jobs because it makes us attractive to foreign investors is getting tired. We ship a resource south raw, export the jobs that went with processing it, and we do that at a 30-per cent discount. And this is good for us?

I would say it’s blindingly obvious who it’s good for. Our industry and economy have been reconfigured to fit with trade agreements where the U.S. seriously outnegotiated our trade representatives; what’s good for Canada is a detail in the picture.

Job creation is given the most positive spin analysts can muster. Somewhere down the page we learn that an ever larger percentage of those jobs are part-time. Part-time jobs pay part-time money, not enough for people who need a job to live. The boom in the part-time sector is one of the most negative trends the economy has seen.

These stats routinely ignore the underemployed, workers classed as full-time who work less than 30 hours a week, typically at jobs that hover around the minimum wage.

Economists do admit a lower dollar is tough on Canadians travelling abroad. How about the businesses that import goods from abroad to exist?

Is it time to rethink the wisdom of grounding our economy on being a cheap date? Or is it too late? After all, we don’t even own most of our resources anymore.

Michael DanceNanaimo