Monday, February 03, 2003

I hate to keep hammering Canadians, but my duties here at fraters compel me to....

Interesting page one piece in last week's WSJ. What do I mean by interesting?

Well allow me, as Sheila Jackson Lee might say, be more Pacific.

The article detailed how fears of the impending war are basically halting growth to the US economy as companies put everything on the back-burner waiting for world events to play out. says that business investment is $50b less than its model of the economy would predict given the current pace of growth. As well, $75b less in goods and services are being produced and 900,000 fewer jobs are being created--all due to jitters about what will happen with this war (and when).

This looks like a good opportunity for El Daschle and Teddy the Philanderer to back war for economic reasons alone. 900,000 jobs for the people of Massachusetts and South Dakota? What a track record to run on for Dash when his seat comes up again. After all, isn’t this the party that cares about our working families?

The article detailed the tribulations of one Canadian company called Nova Chemicals,which produces plastic beads used in television casings, dashboards, garbage bags, and some other chemical products.

Since the company’s products depend on the price of oil, they obviously have a deep interest in the events of the Middle East. Margins are so narrow for this firm that even getting an extra penny of profit out it’s 14 billion pounds of chemicals can translate into $90m to their bottom line.

With this much on the line, the company has a full-time political analyst, one Malcolm Tuner, on hand at it’s Calgary office to look at world events and then make recommendations as to the firm’s strategy.

One might expect a mature, real understanding of world politics from a businessman, however:

”Saddam Hussein isn’t talking like a person who capitulates easy” he said, adding that he thought Saddam would try to destroy Iraq’s oil fields and that opposition to the war will grow rapidly in the US, thus dampening spending and consumer confidence.

”The relationship between the US and Canada shapes your view. If you look at what happened to the US in Vietnam and Iran, it points to indications of a messier war than most Americans expect”.

Good God. This is the insight of a professional political analyst? Half-baked, outdated, simplistic comparisons to Vietnam? And then making it seem like a fresh perspective? This isn't just some Oakland radical who would just love the US to get into another Vietnam to prove our inherent worthlessness, this is a man on whom business owners and investors depend for clear-headed analysis, not trifling clich├ęs. How could any sane person have faith in this company and it's direction when it is being lead around by such a dimwit?

I knew them Canadians was dumb, but...

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