Canadian Politics. It's not so boring.

September 12, 2005

The flagging empire

Even though this one isn't about Canadian politics the subject of it may have a deep impact on Canadians. Like many that have been watching the news intently, I've watched the disaster of Hurricane Katrina with unusual interest. The people of New Orleans will need massive efforts to rebuild their homes and their lives many of which will involve cash, most of it Federal. The Bush Administration has already announced that at least $84 billion will be provided. This, from an administration that is already mired in a Trillion dollar deficit and fighting two wars. Where will it lead? Paul William Roberts thinks he knows:
It is safe to say that relocating more than a million people, along with the loss of the nation's largest port, and the other economic consequences from Hurricane Katrina will bankrupt the United States
Bankruptcy is probably too harsh but I do believe since 9/11 that the United States has been in decline. The stuttering economy has only come out of its malaise recently. Though by no means down and out, the United States is beginning to fail to live up to its greatness and other countries are gaining.
China's economic growth rates terrify both Japan, which has been persuaded to remilitarize, and America, which did the persuading. The Central Intelligence Agency's National Intelligence Council predicts that China's gross domestic product will equal that of Britain this year, Germany in 2009, Japan in 2017 and the United States by 2042.

However, Shahid Javed Burki, former vice-president of the World Bank's China Department and a former Pakistani finance minister, forecasts that China will probably have enough purchasing power to surpass the United States as the world's largest economy this year.
The sleeping giant is awakening. What this may lead to is a global fight over the worlds resources of oil, Roberts speculates. The decline of the American empire could have great repercussions for Canada with most of our trade being with them.

September 11, 2005

Judge issues call to action

Neo-Conservatives tend to answer escalating street violence with more police officers. But the cause of crime is often, though not always, one of poverty. Canada's biggest municipality finally gets it:
"A lot of these problems' root cause is simply poverty, lack of opportunity, lack of hope, lack of self-respect," McMurtry said. "There is obviously a competition for the minds and hearts of many young people with the gang culture."

This summer's spike in shootings, many of them in communities rife with poverty, underscores the need for action.

"The problems are monumental. They're systemic and many have been ignored by governments for many years," McMurtry said. "To me, it's a disgrace that it's been allowed to grow to the extent it has."

Thanks to Ernie F. for letting me know about this Toronto Star article.