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The announcement that Canada Post will be phasing out door-to-door mail delivery starting in 2014 is a logical extension of the deregulation, privatization, free trade, public austerity and tax cuts agenda being followed since the 1981-82 recession served as an excuse to roll back public services, and thwart wage and salary gains for working Canadians.
"Wise" is not a word frequently used to describe Stephen Harper or his policies. Partisan, ideological, narrow, secretive, devious, or controlling come up more often.
The opposite of wise is foolish or ignorant. Both are brought to mind when assessing the performance of the Canadian prime minister at the G20 leaders summit in Russia last week.
Those who follow the business press closely, and listen attentively to corporate economic commentators, are still mainly in the dark about "who is actually getting what" in the business world.
Some very interesting information does turns up. A current New York Times series entitled "The United States of Subsidies," covers business subsidies handed out by U.S. local governments. It cost $80 billion to attract and keep companies in local communities, the NYT estimated.
What an odd moment Barack Obama's collapse in Wednesday's TV debate was, much like Robert Redford's in The Candidate. We all have go-to cultural images and that's one of mine. In the 1972 film, Redford starts as an idealistic candidate who learns to make all the right, unprincipled moves but loses the script at a crucial point: the big TV debate, and blurts out some things he really believes.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Canada this week as champion of an austerity policy stance that is failing Europe. Without a change in policy direction, a prolonged period of European economic stagnation is likely to continue. German-sponsored austerity policies shut the door to economic recovery in the Eurozone, but since they have the full support of her party as well as business figures and key opinion-makers, the Chancellor is unlikely to support a new approach.
The Chancellor is caught in the most restrictive of positions for a political leader. If she wanted to change direction, her supporters would become her opponents.