Strong & free

tims1

“Canada now has the strongest economy in the G7. Last month, more than 100,000 new jobs were created – the biggest one-month gain ever. We’re going to get through this together. Our election platform is not full of grandiose, costly promises. It’s a prudent approach. We can afford it.  We’ll never go back into deficit.”
– Stephen Harper, October 14, 2008.

“The deficit will be $64 billion over two years…”
– Stephen Harper spokesperson, January 22, 2009.

 

135 comments ↓

#1 Matthew on 01.23.09 at 10:37 pm

Perhaps the most worrisome part of these predictions is not that a politician got it wrong, but on a global scale, large, extremely successful companies such as Microsoft are having a hard time getting a hold on how quickly the bottom is falling out. It is in stark contrast to the Bank of Canada which now predicts it will be over by the end of ’09. If the best and brightest companies in the world continue to take unexpected hits below the belt, how can anyone be so confident in their prediction?

Keep up the good work Garth. Hope you come to Calgary.

ps:
The best thing we did last year was back out of buying a house in Calgary. Comparing similar ones now they are at least $40,000 less, and the ones we were envious of are now cheaper than the one we were looking at… Obviously we lose a bit a money by renting, but why pay a much larger mortgage than you need to for the next two or three decades? Either way, we’re paying to live somewhere, the only difference is that if I lost my job today, I could downsize or leave town in 3 months, no strings attached. It’s a comforting feeling right now.

Cheers,
Matthew

#2 ThumbsUp on 01.23.09 at 10:47 pm

Thanks Garth for reminding us of that.

In 1-2 years they’re going to say that again when the stimulus is in place and artificial jobs are created, and claim we’re recovering.

Here is what R. Reagan said:
Recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when ______ loses his.

#3 Jon B on 01.23.09 at 10:54 pm

And which of the two statements was made at the Tim Hortons?

#4 squidly77 on 01.23.09 at 11:04 pm

sometimes one has to stop and think before speaking
but to some thats a challenge..

#5 North Vancouver Citizen on 01.23.09 at 11:05 pm

First

…this $64 Billion deficit might not have been needed had it not been for our “Centre of the Earth Based Chartered Banks” invested in the U.S. mortgage meltdown.

I say it is time to split the country in half…at the Manitoba/Ontario Border.

…Split Canada’s debt…proportionate to the population and no…Quebec cannot utilize the West’s new Cascadia Dollar.

all world visitors will receive 10% discount visiting Western Canada travel vouchers…good for one year….no pregnant women will be allowed to enter as will Muslims not be allowed too either.

#6 Dave in Calgary on 01.23.09 at 11:28 pm

Quite the turn around from Stevie…

Brings back memories of Chretien promising to get rid of the GST…

Garth, I’ve think you’ve discovered something big here… politicians are liars!

You’re preaching to choir… you just happen to be really good at it. I’m still ticked you aren’t coming to Calgary. Thanks for the signed books, and thanks for speaking your mind without lying like politicians.

#7 islander on 01.23.09 at 11:36 pm

Meh. Politicians lie.

It would be a headline if they told the truth.

#8 Pat G on 01.23.09 at 11:39 pm

Isn’t this just too rich?!!! Sort of goes to prove Harper and his team have been making it up on the fly and don’t know where they’re going. Just flying blind.

No doubt they will try to use some of the ‘stimulus’ dollars on their pet ideological projects. Would they dare to put a poison pill in the budget?

Will people forget that they would have had a $13b deficit before putting any stimulus money out there?
Will people realize they spent too much wooing Quebec and buying votes wherever they saw an opportunity?
Will people realize that cutting the GST was another way of buying votes?

This is going to get even more interesting all next week.
Will stay tuned!

#9 Bill Braskey on 01.23.09 at 11:42 pm

If only we could take the politics out of running a country.

#10 john on 01.23.09 at 11:53 pm

Great post Garth ..and a very good indication of the future…………………………..“Incompetence – When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there’s no end to what you can’t do.”

Larry Kersten

#11 Torquemada on 01.24.09 at 12:12 am

Last year, I told everyone I spoke to that Harper broke his promise and went to the polls a year ahead of schedule because he KNEW we were headed for a massive downturn and didn’t want to risk going to the polls in 2009.

Of course, I was living in Calgary at the time (in Harper’s riding no less) so all my arguments fell on deaf ears.

#12 Alberta Ed on 01.24.09 at 12:13 am

And Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney forecasts a “dramatic economic rebound” in Canada this year. Do you laugh or cry?

#13 MIDAS on 01.24.09 at 12:16 am

Garth, you were in politics long enough to know that such about faces amongst politicians are the norm not the exception. Remember Chretien’s red book promise to get rid of the GST and NAFTA? An honest politician is an oxymoron; I am cynical enough or wise enough to suggest that being a liar is #1 on a politician’s job description list. So anyone who plans their lives based on the drivel that comes out of Ottawa or Washington or London or Rome or……deserves everything that his fearless or should I say truthless leaders have in store for him. Questioning authority on a daily basis and holding politicians responsible for their deceptions is the only way to preserve freedom. Sadly that boat left the shore a long time ago and is now being tossed and close to being capsized in the most turbulent storms that ever buffeted this world. God help us and save us all from the tyranny that surely must soon follow.

#14 nonplused on 01.24.09 at 12:21 am

Thank you coalition!

I guess if the majority wants a deficit, then the majority gets a deficit, even if the minority government doesn’t want one.

It also shows how even politicians can only live 3 minutes at a time just like the rest of us. And that they think way more things are under their control than really are, just like the rest of us!

We’re doomed! But after that we’ll rebuild. Hopefully. A bout of Z-E (Zimbabwe – Economics) and then start over from scratch, I guess.

#15 TUT on 01.24.09 at 12:34 am

Long time ago, my grandmother told me that a successful politician must be able to deny his/her own mother “without moving a single muscle in the face”.
At the time I thought she was hyperbolic but now I’m not that sure.

By the way, Mr. Harper is merely continuing a long tradition of “bait and switch” politics that knows no partisan nor national boundaries. So no surprise at all.

At the end of the day, whatever the consequences or the current crisis may be, we will be left to our own devices to pass it, as always has been. Therefore any hope that this, or any other government, will help in solving it is most likely wishful thinking. I will be happy if they do not mess it even more.

So better get up and make your own contribution to improve the situation around you instead or expecting handovers from the powerful and remember that there is no “ivory tower” in which you may find safe haven. This is a collective task and only a societal effort to live with less and learn the lessons from the past will improve our lot.

Going back to my granny: She lived a much harder life than mine (and possibly most of us), and still was able not only to survive but to raise a big family and enjoy life as much as she could. I’m sure almost everyone has a similar family story. We may learn a lot from it.

My best wishes for all.

#16 Da Hk Kid on 01.24.09 at 12:37 am

There is no substitution for great leadership!

Our PM has none! Be prepared for more words of wisdom to follow!

Nuff Said!

#17 Garthlover on 01.24.09 at 12:39 am

Yup Garth,
We know the Harp lies like a rug. But the electorate put him there, remember?

Anyway, I need your advice. My GICs are coming due, and I’m wondering if you recommend bonds which are now offering about 4-5%, compared to 2.2% for a locked-in, one-year GIC.

Short n’sweet, it is tough to survive on these low rates, without taking taxes and inflation into account.

CDIC does not insure bonds. So, where’s the next-safest place to park that money?

Help, please!

Govt of Cda bonds only. — Garth

#18 Phil G on 01.24.09 at 1:14 am

Oh Dear, Stephen, I feel you must inform us earlier of what may be forthcoming so that we may better prepare for what lies ahead in these uncertain times.

#19 Phil G on 01.24.09 at 1:28 am

However Stephen I should add that many of us are informed by an unbiased source

#20 Don Bool on 01.24.09 at 1:43 am

Pension Shortfall Problems

Credit card dept and pension shortfalls have not been considered yet to any extent in this financial crisis. Public service pension plans were underfunded in the best of times(Ontario teachers,government employees-m.p,s,armed forces,rcmp etc.). These pension plans derive their capital for pensioners from investing in the capital markets. How can these plans not be in dire straights now? I receive my only income from investing and due to the financial crisis many of these businesses have had to be prudent and cut distributions. My income has been substantially reduced. It stands to reason that these pension plans are in the same boat i,m in. What i,m asking is how is the federal government going to deal with this? To be fiscally responsible and fair i would think these pensioners would have to take a similar cut in their income.

#21 re-aligned on 01.24.09 at 2:23 am

Quote 1: During election campaign
Quote 2: after being elected.
Any more evidence required that people hear what they want to? Essentially no different than comments by the CREB spokesperson Garth posted about a few days back.

#22 kc on 01.24.09 at 2:33 am

I hope that is a sunsetting over those famous words …. “We’ll never go back into deficit.”
– Stephen Harper, October 14, 2008”

or is it a sun rise and Garth is heading for a morning cup of brew after driving all night….

“The deficit will be $64 billion over two years…”
– Stephen Harper spokesperson, January 22, 2009.

Either way… Harper is still full of sh!t any way you slice it…..

cheers

#23 Happy Renter in North Van on 01.24.09 at 2:46 am

Just goes to show… Never say “Never” in politics and the financial industry…

What do you think Garth? Would you say “never”?

#24 cms on 01.24.09 at 3:23 am

“But so much has changed in 3 months. We didn’t see it coming, but we acted before it happened by cutting the GST.” — MP Ted Menzies.

Is it just me or does this not make any sense? How can you not see something coming yet act to preempt it?

#25 Anon on 01.24.09 at 4:26 am

Speaks for itself, really.

#26 HalifaxFamily on 01.24.09 at 5:21 am

I don’t think anybody could have avoided this. All of our economies have become coupled over the past few decades and no leader could have saved us.

Harper’s comments were probably somewhat true at the time…. but we have to go into deficit to prop up the economy.

It would be political suicide for him not to do it, so he has to.

#27 David Bakody on 01.24.09 at 6:11 am

This from this morning Washing post ….

As banks’ situation worsens, some lawmakers expect total rescue package to reach trillions.

Lori Montgomery and David Cho

And from our G & M

The Associated Press

January 23, 2009 at 6:30 PM EST

McLEAN, Va. — U.S. mortgage finance company Freddie Mac said Friday it will need an additional $30-billion (U.S.) to $35-billion in government aid as it copes with losses on loans the company backed during the U.S. housing bubble.

Hello Harper gave our banks $75 Billion and the big bang has not hit here yet ……. ?????

Listen up ladies and gentlemen …… why are our country’s best university profs now stating the Coalition just might be are only HOPE and have told the GG in writing?????

and this from the rest of world to which Harper does not even appear to know where they are……..

World economy’s deterioration outpaces experts’ recent predictions as concerns mount about the slowdown in China and the recession in Europe.

#28 Norval on 01.24.09 at 7:05 am

Stephen (Bubbleboy) Harper! Does this man have any idea about what he’s saying, a little research prior to speaking maybe. I won’t be looking to this government for any sort of direction.It’s difficult to find an honest evaluaton of the times ahead. Maybe I’ll apply for some sort of bailout.

#29 Paul Fist In Your Face on 01.24.09 at 7:55 am

Pat G you are more correct than you realize when you raise the idea of a poison pill in the budget. Up here and down south we are witnessing the final act of the Neo-Cons. This has been in the making for most of their mandate. TARP and the bailouts and our stunning 34 and 30 billion deficit projections will leave the incoming center/left governments so flat broke there will be no expansion of government and social spending. In fact this level of indebtedness cannot be sustained by the tax base and will result in cuts to government and the slashing of programs. Much what it is designed to do. It gets better as all the dirty work will be done by the new governments who will take the blame. Class warfare at its finest. The Neo-cons are in retreat and are employing a scorched earth policy to leave no maneuver room for those ‘commie lefties and their national daycare programs’. What is going on south of the border guarantees that the ‘abomination’ of a National Healthcare program wont be contemplated for two generations or maybe never. Stephen Harper has already committed the government of Canada to several long term financial commitments that were designed with sandbagging future government in mind, that is where the surplus went. The budget is simply the death blow. The poison pill wont be embedded in the budget. The poison pill is the budget.

“Stand on Guard for thee” more like ‘Stand and Deliver” The theft of the wealth of a world continues.

#30 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 01.24.09 at 9:11 am

Speaking of speaking unknowingly, or even worse, sticking one’s reputation into the crapper, check out Jon Stewart’s show Wednesday. He shows the two Biggest MOUTHS in Amercia, Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limburger (The stench of his rhetoric is worse than a rotting corpse) making complete fools of themselves.

These two are nothing but FUD mongers. Fox News should be taken off the air for hate crimes.

#31 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 01.24.09 at 9:14 am

Oh, BTW, I caught a shot of Ignatieff the other day and he looked rather small and very thin. So, Garth, how tall is he actually? I note almost every pic in the MSM depicts him with the nasal hair shot making him look above others.

#32 john on 01.24.09 at 9:23 am

We’ll never go back into deficit.”
– Stephen Harper, October 14, 2008.

“The deficit will be $64 billion over two years…”
– Stephen Harper spokesperson, January 22, 2009.

Gee whiz perhaps we shouldn’t be too hard on “stevie” after all it was election time,and we we certainly should be aware from his past performances that honesty has no bearing on his statements.After all his largest spending unaccountable government was well on there way to destroying our democracy long before the economic crisis. In fact all one has to do right now is read the news about harper sending all his puppet MP’s out to leak out bits of his budget–at a time such as this when everyone is worried about their future harper’s playing political games—-im convinced he really believes everyone is stupid—hopefully we won’t confirm it and put up with much more of his crap!

#33 David Bakody on 01.24.09 at 9:27 am

First ….. Of course they could have avoided all this …. sub prime loans all couched in the WTO while America started looking for WMD’s and world jumping on the WonT band wagon and not looking after their prime responsibility ( their own people) and tuned in to the costly effects of Global Warming ….. would have save the day …. now they must do all this before any recovery can take place …. or snowball a few billion people to give more hard earned money to Jessie James (Banks) to put back into the Wall Streets of the World …. any takers?

For all who believe politicians are all nothing but a bunch of liars ….. Who would you vote for? A. a politician who told the truth that taxes and interest rates would have to be raised to run the country or B. a politician who said they would solve the problem (s) and lower taxes to boot and things are not really bad and we will never run a deficit.

Hello? y’all got and have exactly what you asked for…. and by the looks of it, we all are going to live with it as Canada’s Greatest King and his side kick (s) drive us back to the future of 1982 and beyond!

#34 North Vancouver Citizen on 01.24.09 at 9:38 am

Fellow Canadians…do you think we are safe…really?

…The U.S. has eyes on Western Canada…the Grains, the Uranium, the Oil Sands, the Lumber and the Minerals.

One day, sooner or later,(Manifest Destiny & in the name of North American security) in one fell swoop…by sending like 10 tanks and 150 soldiers, the U.S. will conquer Western Canada.

…Eastern Canada is useless to them…Ontario is an overpopulated Manufacturing Province…it’s too cold in Quebec and the fish are all gone in the Maritimes and the last two are all about $$$ handouts anyways.

If you think about it for one second, it is the only conclusion you can come to.

…So if you are smart, move west.

#35 CalgaryRocks on 01.24.09 at 9:41 am

I thought your political blog was closed. Guess not.

Maybe you should run if you think you can do a better job. Oh wait… Nevermind.

More fun to be a critic anyways. Less to account for that way.

This affects us all, the economy, house values, consumer confidence and jobs. You might wish few pay attention. My choice is to ensure most are. BTW, I will never apologize for having tried. And you? — Garth

#36 Bottoms_Up on 01.24.09 at 9:46 am

Harper’s lack of action regarding the transit strike is making 60 year old women have to walk 6 hours to work in the bitter cold:

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Offers+pour+help+woman+walks+hours+work/1212396/story.html

When will this madness end?

#37 Fibs on 01.24.09 at 10:20 am

It’s true that politicians lie.

It’s also true that we don’t vote for politicians who tell the truth.

So that leaves them with a bit of a quandry, doesn’t it?

Lie and get job (presumably they feel they can do the right thing then offsetting the moral cost of the lie), or tell the truth and be voted out of office.

If you had to fund an election out of your own pocket, if you had a bust your ass and put your name on the line, which would you do?

Until we start rewarding the right behaviour, we only have ourselves to blame.

#38 Gonzo on 01.24.09 at 10:32 am

Man, all this talk about about big deficits, I’m just glad I haven’t had to pay so much GST over the last two years. That 1-2% really helped me financially. It allowed me to buy that new house for a lot less.
What? What’s that you say? My house is worth what? Nevermind.

#39 md on 01.24.09 at 10:35 am

north vancouver citizen, your posts kill me, im lmao over here every time i read them. I just cant figure out if your being serious or just screwing with every one ….your funny!

#40 Ally-Ally-Oxycontin-Free on 01.24.09 at 10:37 am

#32 john on 01.24.09 at 9:23 am

Right on the money, Paul. Whatever happened to your avowed distaste for them thar C&&&&!!$$ers? It is, as you say, a deliberate ‘poison pill’ much like the Harris/Eves dynasty poison pill. Bleed the treasury through tax cuts, list assets for sale, and when your fiscal architect (Mullins) makes reference to an upcoming structural deficit, do your best to maintain absolute silence … like being elsewhere during a power failure … and holding the budget, off-campus, to satisfy ‘only interested parties.’

#41 daystar on 01.24.09 at 10:58 am

#35 Calgary Rocks:

Garth has a point. What have you done for anyone other than belittle others to build yourself up?

And try the facts next time. Garth had two blogs running, one for politics and one for realestate. Only a fool would believe that they too, don’t interweave especially hosted by a man who’s been a two time MP and minister of national revenue, never mind writer of best sellers.

Again, slowpoke, what has your great list of accomplishments been other than to run people down that are accomplishing things in this world? (Friggin’ losers, the world is full of them)

#42 wjp on 01.24.09 at 11:36 am

1. Tax cuts – Yes
2. Increased unemployment benefits – Yes
3. Retraining the unemployed for new industries – Yes

Bailouts and sector investment – NO!!!

I believe I heard on Global TV last night that a $250,000,000 investment in Southern Ontario would create only 200 jobs…do the math!!!!

#43 Camelot wilt on 01.24.09 at 11:38 am

Not so much Harper’s broken promises/about face that’s absorbing me. More a matter of where the *insightful* PMO is getting advice.

#44 Jmack on 01.24.09 at 11:54 am

Just money and time…..Now is perfect time to join forces with the USA and Mexico…I wonder if the Amero will be green, or have colors?.

” I will not have a fall election”
“We will not go into a deficit”

#45 Caper on 01.24.09 at 12:03 pm

If Tom Flannigan had not pushed for the disposal of the $urplus that had accumulated, we may not have needed 64 billion in deficit.

#46 CalgaryRocks on 01.24.09 at 12:11 pm

This affects us all, the economy, house values, consumer confidence and jobs. You might wish few pay attention. My choice is to ensure most are. BTW, I will never apologize for having tried. And you? — Garth

I consistently spoke against big spending such as tax cuts for baby boomers, ‘free’ daycare, income splitting, gas taxes, heating taxes, green taxes, bailouts for failures etc…

That was back when you accused me of hating my mother because I was against pension income splitting. haha!

Of course my mother hasn’t sucked at the tit of government sector all her life so her pension income, after a lifetime of work, split or not split still doesn’t compare to those overworked public sector employees that you can see, like clockwork, having a smoke at 10 and 3 downtown Ottawa.

#47 Jake on 01.24.09 at 12:11 pm

I am so glad Bush is gone and there is a peaceful president in the White house. I am just glad that I don’t live in Pakistan (where the US has just dropped some more bombs). It will probably be one of the first countries Obama liberates.

Hey Bill Muskoka, I suggest you take your Obama shirt off long enought to wash it this weekend. It is probably starting to smell a bit.

#48 GB on 01.24.09 at 12:12 pm

Ah Harper….do those beady little eyes get beadier by the day?

So if Harper knew this was coming and yet still stated those words….that says alot.

But if he didn’t know this was coming….that says alot more….

#49 john on 01.24.09 at 12:16 pm

35 CalgaryRocks on 01.24.09 at 9:41 am I thought your political blog was closed. Guess not.

Maybe you should run if you think you can do a better job. Oh wait… Nevermind.

More fun to be a critic anyways. Less to account for that way.
>>>>> LOL right from the “little stevie” playbook..when you can’t deal with the truth you try to attack anothers credibility……Garth is the man “little stevie” would like to be he just lacks the courage,intelligence and honesty to achieve it…….hmmmmmmm it appears you have that problem also…say something brilliant and prove me wrong ok :-)

#50 CalgaryRocks on 01.24.09 at 12:17 pm

Again, slowpoke, what has your great list of accomplishments been other than to run people down that are accomplishing things in this world? (Friggin’ losers, the world is full of them)

I have 2 bachelor degrees, I’ve worked in 3 different countries for big multi-nationals, I have several revenue streams, I choose to consistently improve myself so that I can earn extra money for my family, pay extra taxes and allow these great ‘achievers’ (as you call them) to use my tax money so that they can bailout a bunch of high school dropouts in Oshawa that make as much money as I do, with better benefits, tightening screws all day long.

How about you?

#51 Sularezi on 01.24.09 at 12:26 pm

Oh, God, deficit again?! If only this, ’09 would be a rosier year than I lately thought.

#52 Observer on 01.24.09 at 12:27 pm

#35 Calgary Rocks
Rather a comical post I must say. Extremely hypocritical. I don’t know Garth personally nor do I know whether he has an agenda. But this I do know. This man has made predictions that at the time were considered misinformed, extreme and made him unpopular with not only his opponents, but his peers as well. Not something your stereotypical self preserving politician is known to do. This type of action can at best be described as suicidal from perspective of one’s career. It appears to me, and other’s as well, that maybe, just maybe, this ex politician has the desire to help people regardless of the effect it may have had on his political career. I think its usually referred to as acting as a public servant.

I don’t know Mr. Turner, and I don’t know you Mr. Calgary Rocks, so enlighten us all. When was the last time you put your good name at risk in an attempt to help others? When was the last time you publicly put your career and livelihood on the table on the off chance you could save some family’s homes and savings?

#53 EW on VI on 01.24.09 at 12:32 pm

OK everybody, maybe time for a review of politinomics over the last few months.

1) lets supend parliament over mini-budget

2) come back later with balanced budget. Hey wait, that takes us back to one.

3) lets run deficit to prevent endless loop of 1-2.

4) lets scream about deficit so loud, we all go back to 1-2.

Everybody got that figured out now? Good. Lets move on.

#54 loren on 01.24.09 at 12:36 pm

Take a look at the comparison between Vancouver http://www.nvcondos.realpagemaker.com/aPage.jsp?aPageId=8 and Calgary sales this week http://www.findcalgary.ca/listings?pathway=127&pageId=19#stats
..talk about ground zero!

#55 O'Ryan on 01.24.09 at 12:42 pm

Thanks for signing the book Garth. I haven’t started it yet but tomorrow as I spend time in airports on the way to Palm Springs,I will for sure. I will be doing some real estate research while there. Will I have an appetite for buying a vacation home there after reading your book?
I’ll be back before you speak in Kelowna,looking forward to it.

#56 Sularezi on 01.24.09 at 12:46 pm

Look at this chart and scratch your head again.

http://multimedia.thestar.com/acrobat/1d/26/2206872e4616b05a1b780a0a7b97.pdf

#57 RJAG2034 on 01.24.09 at 12:59 pm

#27 David Bakody on 01.24.09 at 6:11 am
“Listen up ladies and gentlemen …… why are our country’s best university profs now stating the Coalition just might be are only HOPE and have told the GG in writing?????”

University profs!!!! Give me a break, they’re no better than the economists that spout all that crap and are wrong 70% of the time.

#58 Chris L on 01.24.09 at 1:05 pm

I’ve been following this blog, read the book and have been reading all I can find with respect to the economic collapse. I own two rental properties and live in one of the units. One is paid for, the other has a small mortgage which I can carry easily on my own (unrented) even if interest rates double. I am aggressively paying down debt and within 3-5 years should be free and clear. For the life of me, I can’t figure out an instance where it would make sense to sell these and get out of residential investment properties. I’d have no idea what to do with the cash if I sold either.

If Garth and others feel that now is the time to rent and ride out this mess, then does it not make sense to hold rental property that is free and clear and that has been purchased pre-2001 boom years? Our area hasn’t doubled in the last 7 years but has steadily risen. The average SFD is currently worth about $250k and I purchased for $160k and $180k for a duplex and triplex. Correct me if my thinking is wrong Garth, but why shouldn’t I hold and rent these properties out over this hump? I care not about their value, they produce excellent cashflow, always have, always will? With all the projections RE would have to drop 28% before they valued at a price less than what I paid for them. It seems to me that there is a recipe by which RE remains a solid investment. Have I struck that balance?

#59 JO on 01.24.09 at 1:07 pm

64 Billion is not the number. Rest assured, it will likely be more like 80 or more billion. I have already sent an email to both Ignatieff and Flaherty outlining my thoughts on the “stimulus” and primary cause of this crisis.

This “stimulus” and bailout garbage making rounds the world over will end badly. Token tax cuts, which will likely be reversed in a year or two, and bloated infrastructure spending will simply leave the economy with more debt (and interest payments from our taxes) after the potholes are filled. Expect to see at least one but probably two brief “recovery” periods lasting from several months to maybe a year over the next 3-4 years. After each temporary fix of more debt added by your friendly politicans, the economy will sink right back into a massive recession/depression. These actions do nothing to help cure the causes, nor deal with the core issue of extreme debt levels.

The faster consumers reduce debt and save to fix their balance sheets, the better we will be in the long run; however, no politican cares about that. They, and many of the people who got suckered into the debt fuelled, high consumption, no savings lifestyle (financial enslavement), want to re-start the massive debt bubble again. They have a better shot at the 649.

As usual, the people most affected are those who were prudent and successful as tax rates rise and interest rates, at least for now, remain low. Please consider taking action by 1) paying off debt and saving, 2) Boycotting all companies who receive any public money, 3) Contact your MP to voice your opinion on the outrage of bailouts, 4) Tell the MP to deal with the crisis by cutting personal and small business/corp income taxes deeply on a permanent basis and financing only high priority infrastructure. Deficit to be reduced once economy shows signs of stabilization by cutting government spending and raising sales taxes (GST) slowly over 2 years. Keep income taxes at low levels. Reform EI to focus on re-training and making benefits longer and larger. Most important, end fractional reserve lending and get rid of BofC and CMHC/CDIC. 5) Tell all friends and family to do the same. No matter what options decided on by Ottawa, there will be high unemployment, recession, and pain to be felt economically for at least 2 years. The current path of huge infrastructure spending and modest, temprorary tax cuts will do nothing to improve the long term picture, only to worsen it.

JO

#60 TS on 01.24.09 at 1:12 pm

The latest prediction by the Bank of Canada would appear to be a joke…and perhaps a bit of shilling for the Harper government.

The links below will connect readers to formal forecasts that have been issued by the Bank of Canada since April of last year.

The first three have proven to be completely inaccurate, so based on history there is no substantive reason to believe that the fourth formal forecast will be any more accurate than the first three.

http://www.bankofcanada.ca/en/mpr/pdf/mprsumoct08.pdf

http://www.bankofcanada.ca/en/mpr/pdf/mprsumapril08.pdf

http://www.bankofcanada.ca/en/mpr/pdf/update170708.pdf

http://www.bankofcanada.ca/en/mpr/pdf/2009/update220109.pdf

I also find it absolutely unacceptable and unethical that the Harper government would be advising the media about the content of the budget prior to it being formally tabled in the House of Commons. This is completely against parliamentary tradition and if the Liberals would have done this while in power Harper would have been screaming for blood.

Obviously Harper views the state of our economy as little more than a part of his partisan gamesmanship. I am absolutely disgusted by his lack of ethics, lack of forethought, lack of intelligence, and lack of caring for the Canadian public.

We can expect that his next budget will be yet another event in political gamesmanship. My best guess is that he will include all of the stupid items he put in his first partisan attempt in November, some token measures to stimulate the economy, and see if he can get the opposition to blink in his game of chicken.

We need REAL political leadership in this country, not this JOKE called Harper.

#61 Erasmus on 01.24.09 at 1:23 pm

Since we never really saw any benefit in lowering the GST, now it is time to bring it back to 7%. The increases will be masked by price savings on all kinds of things like house prices, lower car prices, etc. This will cut the projected deficit in half. If Harper can reverse himself on so many other things, why not the GST?

#62 canmoreguy on 01.24.09 at 1:46 pm

re: #17 – garthlover’s question on fixed income investments. Garth can you pls help explain why you suggest G of C bonds only for fixed income investments, yet in prior posts, feel equity investments still represent good long-term value? If the investor intends to hold to maturity, can live with yield, and doesn’t feel theentity will go bankrupt before maturity (ex. corp bond issued by a major bank), couldn’t that be a decent middle-ground investment? Thanks sincerely for your help Garth, really appreciate your blog. All the best

The question was about bonds, and government securities are best as opposed to corporate debt right now. Long term, equities of course are the best option. The financial marekts will recover years before real estate. — Garth

#63 kc on 01.24.09 at 1:55 pm

I am not sure how many people in the east have driven on our nation’s highway out here in the west so I will tell you a little story.

To get anywhere here we have a few bridges that go over major bodies of water. last week we lost one of our bridges that carries 80,000 cars a day. no big deal for we have another bridge that runs on hihghway 1 (or the same highway as the 401) Trans Canada Highway. This #1 bridge is (wait for it) 5 lanes 3 east and 2 west, on an average day this bridge carries 120,000 cars, (before the other bridge was shut down) I have no idea how many are on it now (you do the math) morning grid lock on the highway seems to start at 5 am and keeps there till 10. the main problem is that the fedder routes all jam onto a 2 lane highway that bottleneck and try to get onto the bridge deck. We hear this talk about twinning the Port Mann bridge to double the intake, however, this is an oxymoron because the powers that be DON’T want to add any more lanes to the exsisting #1 highway. The talk is that the new bridge will cost 2 B dollars and that the ones who were going to finance this BOON DOGGLE are broke. there is a fine line here about working money for infulstructure (make work programs)

Garth, when you are doing your western swing I truely hope you are driving across Canada so you can get a real feel for the shape of this country. I hope you can feel the pain of the general comuter in the lower mainland. I feel we need to not try and spend our way out of this mess for it will not do this country any good. Belt notch and suck it up. To the people who are in BC on this blog be prepared for the tax bill of our generation… Olympic SIZE swimming pool of 1000 dollar bills won’t help us. To the BC flag wavers who say that we are the best and the east should drop off the face of Canada, you guys REALLY PISS me off, give your heads a shake and put down the BONG, take a hard look at the shape of things out here. Our industries and tanking hard, the infulstructure in Victoria is just as corrupt as Ottawa, and top it off with the 6 Billion hang over from ski jumpers…. We are in a bigger mess then iceland…..

cheers

#64 Sudcouver on 01.24.09 at 1:57 pm

I believe the NDP or Liberals would have been able to steer us away from this world wide crisis. Yep, if only they were in power none of this would have happened.

#65 TS on 01.24.09 at 2:04 pm

“CalgaryRocks on 01.24.09 at 12:11 pm

I consistently spoke against big spending such as tax cuts for baby boomers, ‘free’ daycare, income splitting, gas taxes, heating taxes, green taxes, bailouts for failures etc…

That was back when you accused me of hating my mother because I was against pension income splitting. haha!

Of course my mother hasn’t sucked at the tit of government sector all her life so her pension income, after a lifetime of work, split or not split still doesn’t compare to those overworked public sector employees that you can see, like clockwork, having a smoke at 10 and 3 downtown Ottawa.”

Hmmm…it would appear that CalgaryRocks doesn’t think that public sector employees are entitled to coffee breaks. Should they be chained to their desks and treated like slaves? I wonder if has interviewed everyone on a ‘smoke break’ and discovered that *oh my god* some private sector people actually take them too…. and, then even get coffee breaks too. Imagine that.

As taxpayers we have all benefited from the services provided by public sector employees… we have attended schools and learned to read and write; we get health care benefits; we are protected by the police, firefighters and the military; our rights are upheld and we are protected by our legal system; we are protected by government legislated product safety standards (oops, well sort of… under Harper listeriosis is a joke to his cabinet minister and acceptable in the name of self regulation); we use the roads, bridges, airports and other infrastructure provided through the public service. In sort, our taxes contribute directly to the quality of life that we all enjoy in Canada.

#66 Marc on 01.24.09 at 2:08 pm

#42 wjp on 01.24.09 at 11:36 am

How can we have tax cuts, and increased unemployment benefits? Would we not have to pay higher premiums to increase the payable employment insurance? Giving money as tax cuts, while raising E.I. premiums offers little help in my opinion, so logically that will be the route the government will take.

#67 Barb the proofreader on 01.24.09 at 2:09 pm

We’ll never go back into deficit.”
– Stephen Harper, October 14, 2008.

“The deficit will be $64 billion over two years…”
– Stephen Harper spokesperson, January 22, 2009.

Exactly 100 days..

Well, actually, as Garth has pointed many times the past year, Harper knew we’ve been in deficit a year, but ran out of ways to hide it.

#68 Sam on 01.24.09 at 2:09 pm

contrary opinion by national post :
http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/story.html?id=1213192

#69 Roial1 on 01.24.09 at 2:16 pm

#29 Paul Fist In Your Face on 01.24.09 at 7:55 am

“Stand on Guard for thee” more like ‘Stand and Deliver” The theft of the wealth of a world continues.

But, But, But, WHERE IS IT GOING???????

Who is getting fat on the death of the world economy?

The bank owners have seen their profits evaporate too.

The value of money is “going south” so,

WHO PROFITS????

#70 miketheengineer on 01.24.09 at 2:18 pm

Garth et al.

You said it well before. Those who do not prepare, in the way that is best for them, how they see it, may be in for a real shock. This is becoming evident now more than ever.

My company has been down sizing since Nov. Last week the group that I work with, 6 people, was chopped to 1, me. I happen to be in a different dept., and our budge comes due at end of March. I am praying for new work to come in so I can keep my job.

If you need a new car now, please buy the ones “Made in Canada”. Some of them are Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Ford Edge, Chevy Impala, Toyota RAV4 or any of the ones assembled in the USA. You will cause demand that will help re-start the economy. The CANADIAN ECONOMY. We have had a long cold winter. I hope this helps stur demand now and towards the spring (ie lots of accidents).

Stay away from the imports that are not made in Canada or USA. The future of our country is at stake. You do not know the impact of your decision on car purchases has on our economy. Spare parts for maintenance, etc has a huge impact. Oh and those people who work at the suppliers and OEM’s pay huge taxes, and they spend their money on OIL and Gasoline and all the other things they need to make their life go round. If we are outa work, guess what, we become a huge tax payer burder, ie EI and welfare. This is now happening.

You want a good car, buy the ones your neighbours build. We all win.

#71 Roial1 on 01.24.09 at 2:23 pm

Than you God.

I have the answer to my question.

GARTH TURNER!

Lets see, Speaking tours.——- Yup!
Book sales,———————-Yup!
For profit web site,————–Yup!
Great travel opportunities, ——Yup!

So there you have it. This is ALL orchestrated by GARTH.

Now you all know.

Report this to Harpo. He will believe it.

#72 TS on 01.24.09 at 2:26 pm

The following link will take readers to an interesting web site that identifies the warning signs of dangerous cult leaders:

http://www.rickross.com/warningsigns.html

Based on one’s political persuasion one will interpret these differently I suppose….at any rate my judgment is that Harper has demonstrated 5 of the 10 dangerous behaviours.

#73 RJT on 01.24.09 at 2:37 pm

Carney at the bank of Canada should stop making predictions that are predicated on nothing but internal “models”. Why will there be a sharp rebound Mark? Hello? Anyone?

Every prediction he has made so far has been wrong, so why believe him now?

Also Bernanke, Greenspan, Paulson did not predict the recession, so I guess I should take it easy on Carney. But man, what a joke!

#74 TS on 01.24.09 at 2:43 pm

“Sudcouver on 01.24.09 at 1:57 pm I believe the NDP or Liberals would have been able to steer us away from this world wide crisis. Yep, if only they were in power none of this would have happened.”

No one is saying that Sudcouver. What Garth has consistently and correctly pointed out, is that the Harper government has spent like drunken sailors while in office and through ill-advised GST cuts has dramatically restricted the financial capacity of government to deal with the looming crisis.

It was the Harper government that approved 40 year no money down mortgages which beginning to implode (oh yeah, and Harper has since put the Canadian public on the hook for $75 BILLION of potentially bad debt).

If it wasn’t for Harper’s mismanagement and spendthrift ways the Federal government would have had approximately $25 BILLION more in its coffers to deal with this crisis.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer has reported that the Harper government will be in a deficit position for at least 5 years to the tune of $46 BILLION dollars, AND THAT IS THE OPTIMISTIC FORECAST. This does not take into account the increased downside risk inherent in the economy and does not include any stimulus measures.

Here’s the link:
http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Sites/PBO-DPB/documents/Pre-Budget_Briefing.pdf

I realize that you probably won’t take the time to read it and educate yourself, but other blog readers may.

Of particular concern is this statement: “Further, rough estimates indicate that the Government has a structural surplus of about $6 billion — though more work needs to be undertaken in this area. Thus,
any permanent fiscal actions (e.g., permanent tax cuts or permanent spending increases) exceeding $6 billion annually would likely result in structural deficits, limiting the Government’s ability to manage future cost pressures due to, for example, population ageing.”

What this means is that if Harper announces any kind of permanent tax cuts or permanent spending measures that exceed $6 billion annually, he will create a structural deficit position for Canada. This means that the Federal government will have no way of ever again meeting its fiscal obligations unless it either dramatically reduces services or increases taxes. This is simply irresponsibility taken to the extreme.

#75 Snowbird on 01.24.09 at 2:48 pm

Hi Garth
Just bought copies of After The Crash for all my kids.
Trust that they will gain some insight from it.
FYI
The St Petersburg Times have a Truth-O-Meter to measure the veracity of politicans statements. They have also started an Obamameter to indicate his delivery and or default on the 500 + promises made.
We could sure use a handy referance for our own politicians. Please give it some thought.

#76 CalgaryRocks on 01.24.09 at 3:13 pm

As taxpayers we have all benefited from the services provided by public sector employees…

Certainly, when they are not on strike they provide at least as good a service as someone in India can provide for 10% of the salary.

You could probably get rid of 25% of the public sector and not see a difference in services. Of course you couldn’t do that since these people are owed jobs for life.

#77 cms on 01.24.09 at 3:14 pm

Re: #26, #64

I don’t think anyone is questioning whether a government can avoid a worldwide economic event but rather what is being pointed out is that governments can *prepare* much more wisely than we have seen with the Harper Conservatives. #45 has a good grasp on the situation.

#78 dd on 01.24.09 at 3:29 pm

#26 HalifaxFamily on 01.24.09 at 5:21

“I don’t think anybody could have avoided this. All of our economies have become coupled over the past few decades and no leader could have saved us.”

Avoided it … no. Predicited it … yes.

#79 dd on 01.24.09 at 3:37 pm

#34 North Vancouver Citizen

“…The U.S. has eyes on Western Canada…the Grains, the Uranium, the Oil Sands, the Lumber and the Minerals…One day, sooner or later,(Manifest Destiny & in the name of North American security) in one fell swoop…by sending like 10 tanks and 150 soldiers, the U.S. will conquer Western Canada.”

What the heck are you talking about? The US will not do this. Period. Why send in the army when you can buy shares on the stock market at 50% regular prices now.

Write something sensible.

#80 john on 01.24.09 at 3:37 pm

#50 CalgaryRocks on 01.24.09 at 12:17 pm Again, slowpoke, what has your great list of accomplishments been other than to run people down that are accomplishing things in this world? (Friggin’ losers, the world is full of them)

I have 2 bachelor degrees, I’ve worked in 3 different countries for big multi-nationals, I have several revenue streams, I choose to consistently improve myself so that I can earn extra money for my family, pay extra taxes and allow these great ‘achievers’ (as you call them) to use my tax money so that they can bailout a bunch of high school dropouts in Oshawa that make as much money as I do, with better benefits, tightening screws all day long.
>>>> OMG! you are soooooooo funny! Quite a speal and an attempt to impress oh yes :-) and after “all of that” which in “your mind” should impress the masses you sum it up by stating you make less than a “high school dropout” :-) —-and i was hoping for something remotely brilliant??……… oh well you have potential for a part time position as an extra on “corner gas”—–one never gets anywhere in life till they accept their limitations :-) ha,ha

#81 dd on 01.24.09 at 3:41 pm

Bottoms_Up on 01.24.09 at 9:46 am

“Harper’s lack of action regarding the transit strike is making 60 year old women have to walk 6 hours to work in the bitter cold”

What does Harper have to do with negoiating a transit strike? Isn’t this a city issue?

#82 dd on 01.24.09 at 3:45 pm

#60 TS on 01.24.09 at 1:12 pm

“I also find it absolutely unacceptable and unethical that the Harper government would be advising the media about the content of the budget prior to it being formally tabled in the House of Commons. This is completely against parliamentary tradition”

TS, it is called a trial ballon. It is done all the time. Why not put it out to the public? If there is bitching, chance it and move ahead. I really don’t care how the table the budget tradition or not. Get the bloody thing done, work together, and lets get moving. Let the Conversative take the glory … just move this thing along.

#83 dd on 01.24.09 at 3:53 pm

“The question was about bonds, and government securities are best as opposed to corporate debt right now. Long term, equities of course are the best option. The financial marekts will recover years before real estate. — Garth”

Garth, so you think real estate could be a 10 year away recovery time line? People get burnt once and they stay away until the next up and commers move into the market?

#84 dekethegeek on 01.24.09 at 3:54 pm

#5 , #34 – NVC
Hmmmmm, A surprising series of ignorant statements from my Asiatic buddy.
Judging from your rascist rant in #5
I can only assume your
a) Gay : ( no pregnant women allowed) ?

Which, considering that you live in the Lower Mainland and it has the largest per capita Gay Community in Canada is a probably truthful assumption. You should know that us “breeders” (aka heterosexuals) produce children which eventually become taxpayers. So pregnant women are probably good for the economy in the long term.
And
b) Religiously Rascist :( no Muslims) ?
I find this assumption confusing as it is obvious you live in North Vancouver , which has the largest Iranian, my apologies, Persian(although I’ll be damned if i can find “persia” on a modern map!) population in the Lower Mainland. The majority of Iranians that live in North van are very entreprenurial as ‘trading” is part of their culture. Businesses, no matter how small, pay taxes.
Tell me why your living in North van ? please?

Now lets move on to your #34 statements.
To sum it up in a NUTshell.
The US is going to “take over” western canada for it’s resources and we should all move west.
Do you think that as a Gay, Rascist you will be safe in the “New World Order” thats coming? Usually the wackos that are running these miltary juntas are very intolerant of non conformists.
Stay in the closet, you’ll be safer there.

#85 CalgaryRocks on 01.24.09 at 4:02 pm

john, I bet you wished you made as much as a high school drop out, when said dropout makes over 55$ an hour.

Save the career advice for yourself. I am pretty sure you’re not very bright so you’ll need it.

#86 dd on 01.24.09 at 4:03 pm

1# Matthew

“The best thing we did last year was back out of buying a house in Calgary. Comparing similar ones now they are at least $40,000 less, and the ones we were envious of are now cheaper than the one we were looking at… Obviously we lose a bit a money by renting”

Lose money renting? Not really. It costs more to upkeep the home. The only place you would lose out on would be the building of equity. But as we all know equity is going down down down.

#87 Don Bool on 01.24.09 at 4:15 pm

#35 CalgaryRocks on 01.24.09 at 9:41 am

Not only was Garth right on with his economic forecasts but while he was an M.P. representing Halton he was right on in his opinions and forecast of what the consequences would be with a Conservative Government under Harper. My hope is the good people of Halton will see they,ve been had by the Cons and Garth can put that Con plant Lisa Raitt In dry dock for good.

Being a liar and committing an indictable offence are two differnent animals. Harper and his crew are criminals who have swindled citizens out of their hard earned assets. Simple as that.

#88 Gord In Vancouver on 01.24.09 at 4:22 pm

“…..We can afford it. We’ll never go back into deficit.”

Vancouverites didn’t react at all when they read this because they’re so used to hearing real estate speculators say that real estate never goes down.

#89 Tevan on 01.24.09 at 4:24 pm

Well, at least the buffoon in the cowboy hat photo is absent. I swear that whenever I see that simpering weasly conniving idiot-face, I want to spew.

Seriously.

Geez, what a Saturday topic. Can’t ‘it’ just go away? Whenever I think about Stalin Harper and his constitutional coup, I absolutely seethe. The guy is absolutely inadequate, ignorant, and psychopathic (meaning no heart or conscience). And, I simply do not have compassion or patience anymore for those who are unable to think for themselves (koolaid drinkers).

For example; quite frankly, CalgaryRock’s vitriol directed toward public workers as the cause of economic problems is simply laughable. I find it interesting that CalgaryRocks does not direct any hatred or anger toward the rate of pay of say, Healthcare CEOs and executives who don’t produce anything, but collect a very handsome salary (and payouts) on the backs of those who actually do the work. It’s sort of like price to rent ratio – Do the Math.

I don’t get it. Why DO you identify with the elite when you are most definitely not one??? Could it be the koolaid?

Geez, people, think.

#90 TS on 01.24.09 at 4:26 pm

Great story about how Obama is moving ahead in the US with a new style of open and accountable government:

http://news.sympatico.msn.ctv.ca/abc/home/contentposting.aspx?isfa=1&feedname=CTV-TOPSTORIES_V3&showbyline=True&date=true&newsitemid=CTVNews%2f20090124%2fobama_radioaddress_090124

#91 go green on 01.24.09 at 4:30 pm

I can’t recall whether it was on current Garth’s post or the previous one that a poster said that TD would charge him $35. a mo if he didn’t use his line of credit. We’be had a LOC for about 20+ years with them. Used it once for a couple of days when we bought our current house. Have yet to receive a notice from TD saying they’ll charge us $35. a mo to maintain it. We are, like the poster, totally debt free. If they try to do that to us we shall visit our local branch and threaten to remove our funds. I’ve been a client when TD was Guaranteed Central Trust – possibly longer, but I just can’t really remember all the restructures that they’ve gone though over the years. Sorta like those I experienced – 4 restructiorings in 5 years – and hence my reason to get out when I could. Several years ago (TD) wanted to charge us for transactions. They estimated that we made 1/4 of our actual transactions and it would cost us X$ per month. (I went thru 2 yrs of bank statements and figured they over estimated by 3/4. My husband visited our local branch and said he’d remove all of our business with them. Short story, we’ve never paid for any transactions with them. When President’s Choice banking became available, we moved money to them -better int. rate.) We still maintain accounts at TD, SDB, etc. but, if they want to charge us $35. annually for our $10K line of credit, they’ll lose more of our business. F’n Greedy Banks.

#92 Barb the proofreader on 01.24.09 at 4:36 pm

#68 Sam “contrary opinion by national post”
http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/story.html?id=1213192

Sam,

Did you notice that “Opinion” piece has no person’s name attached to it? Hmm.. “opinion?” So obviously the CPC/Post decided not to have Flanagan do the skirt lifting this time, but probably had their advertising wing H&K do the un-named “Opinion” piece. Huh? I always thought “opinions” had names attached to them?

Anyway, the following is probably the money quote, telling us EXACTLY what to expect in the budget. The earlier part of the “opinion piece” is set up to instruct Canadians on what they are supposed to think when the budget comes out. Then, that is followed by telling us what will be IN the budget:

(Of course it’s set up as a ‘demand’ ..or “opinion”, but since it’s so likely from the CPC public relations crew, it’s really just another one of their sets of instruction pills for the public to gobble down.)

“..we urge the Conservative government to adopt a longer-term, more tempered approach with the budget next week — an approach that will feature less direct infusion of public money for specific industries and programs and more broad-based relief on the personal and corporate taxation front. In Monday’s editorial column, we will provide more specifics in this regard. But at the very least, we urge our readers to enjoy their weekends..”

Y-e-s -- M-a-s-t-e-r-s -- w-e -- w-i-l-l -- o-b-e-y ;)

So that’s it in a nutshell what the budget will look like, and the CPC/Post will give Canadian robots their further instructions on Monday.

#93 TS on 01.24.09 at 4:59 pm

” dd on 01.24.09 at 3:45 pm #60 TS on 01.24.09 at 1:12 pm

“I also find it absolutely unacceptable and unethical that the Harper government would be advising the media about the content of the budget prior to it being formally tabled in the House of Commons. This is completely against parliamentary tradition”

TS, it is called a trial ballon. It is done all the time. Why not put it out to the public? If there is bitching, chance it and move ahead. I really don’t care how the table the budget tradition or not. Get the bloody thing done, work together, and lets get moving. Let the Conversative take the glory … just move this thing along.”

No, you are mistaken. This is NOT simply a ‘trial balloon’ as you state. Holding public forums etc. is the appropriate format to float ‘trial balloons’.

Making the contents of a Federal budget known before it is tabled is a serious issue as it can potentially put some investors etc. at a significant advantage. You obviously have a VERY short memory. Back in 2006 the Conservatives were in an uproar when it was suggested that the Liberal decision not to change the tax status of income trusts had been leaked prior to the budget was revealed to parliament.

This planned action by Harper is obviously politically motivated, and lacks ethics and integrity.

#94 john on 01.24.09 at 4:59 pm

#85 CalgaryRocks on 01.24.09 at 4:02 pm john, I bet you wished you made as much as a high school drop out, when said dropout makes over 55$ an hour.

Save the career advice for yourself. I am pretty sure you’re not very bright so you’ll need it.
>>>> Dog gone it…….your certainly not just a pretty face………. and are you just “pretty sure” im not very bright?? ………..im convinced beyond any reasonable doubt your not!………….wow $55 an hour (golly) p.s. hows things going in the oil patch since harper got elected?? :-)

#95 CalgaryRocks on 01.24.09 at 5:01 pm

For example; quite frankly, CalgaryRock’s vitriol directed toward public workers as the cause of economic problems is simply laughable.

Saying that the public sector is overpaid and bloated with dead wood is vitriol? Yeah, more like the truth that you don’t want to hear.

I find it interesting that CalgaryRocks does not direct any hatred or anger toward the rate of pay of say, Healthcare CEOs and executives who don’t produce anything,

I don’t hate anyone, this is simply your perception. Actually I am angry at the CEOs too however this would be another discussion for another time.

y DO you identify with the elite when you are most definitely not one??? Could it be the koolaid?

I don’t identify with anyone, how would you even know who I identify with? Are you doctor Phil?

#96 go green on 01.24.09 at 5:04 pm

76 CalgaryRocks on 01.24.09 at 3:13 pm As taxpayers we have all benefited from the services provided by public sector employees…

Certainly, when they are not on strike they provide at least as good a service as someone in India can provide for 10% of the salary.

You could probably get rid of 25% of the public sector and not see a difference in services. Of course you couldn’t do that since these people are owed jobs for life.

Get a life Calgary Rocks – I have many frustrations with our silly servants but do we really want to pay Cdns the wages that Indianspay their silly servants? Do you want to live in a society that the lowest denominator prevails for the greed of those in power. ?

As an aside, if one doesn’t have a ‘speaker phone’ when one calls a govt. dept. I pity you. You can be held on the phone for 10-20 minutes only to passed on to others who can only quote something that is on their site.

I recently spoke to someone at CRA who had my file and sent me a docu addressed to me with the wrong spelling of my name. IDamn, my name was infront of his eyes and yet he couldn’t send me an enveloe with my correct name. A year or so ago I went to get a new SIN card. Again, my name on my card was spelled incorrectly. It took them 2 months to correct it. Chees, I’ve had the same SIN for 40+ years. No wonder we’re paying so much for govt. services.

Rant over for this eve.

#97 an f-ing joke on 01.24.09 at 5:11 pm

Everyone- make no mistake-

IT WILL BE/IS A DEPRESSION

they happen like clock work every 70 years or so. It is a cycle. Prepare accordingly.

#98 TS on 01.24.09 at 5:14 pm

For those of you who are interested in increased government accountability and transparency, you may find the following link of interest:

http://www.accountability.wa.gov/audits/default.asp

The link will take you to a state of Washington web site and outlines some of the efficiency measures etc. used there.

All governments need to enable more transparency when it comes to program efficiency and the outcomes that are generated with our tax dollars.

As far as the comments posted by CalgaryRocks that the Canadian civil service could be cut by 25% with no impact on service quality and that workers in India can do the same jobs for 10% of the pay… it would be easy to apply that same opinion to every private enterprise in Canada.

So, CalgaryRocks…imagine if 25% of the workers at your place of employment were laid off tomorrow, and the balance of you had to take a 90% pay cut so that your efficiency would be inline with India. There is nothing factual in your posting to suggest that your employer should not take these kinds of actions. Ludicious? Obviously. But so was your posting.

Perhaps our own self-induced inefficiencies are a large part of the problem in terms of jobs exiting Canada for other parts of the world.

#99 TS on 01.24.09 at 5:21 pm

CalgaryRocks…I see that you ignored the essence of my posting i.e. that your mother has in fact “sucked at the tit of government” by consuming progrmas and benefits made possible by the public service. No shame in admitting that your family has benefited from government programs. Pssst….we all have….its called the quality of life made possible by an organized society.

#100 canuck on 01.24.09 at 5:22 pm

Garth,

What’s your reaction to this article in today’s Toronto Star?

“American prescription an overdose in Canada
Conditions here vastly different from those in the once spendthrift U.S.

I’m not accustomed to looking at such big numbers. 1 trillion divided by 64 billion = 15.625% = 7.8125%/year. Rather high as a high mortgage rate, but not impossible to pay back.

#101 brazer on 01.24.09 at 5:26 pm

#91 go green

That was me making the post in the previous blog entry….about the $35/year inactivity fee TD is imposing. I was likely flagged because I have not used that LOC for over a year; so I’m guessing that customers who don’t use theirs for that period may get the same letter.

I think TD needs to get these sorts of things off their books; so this a polite way to get people to cancel their LOC’s……as they know customers will balk at being charged like this.

Perhaps what one should do, is simply borrow $1 off the LOC and then pay it back…that keeps it “active”.

Big picture…it’s just telling that this sort of crap is happening…tells you what situation the banks are in when they even start doing this to their best long-standing customers.

#102 brazer on 01.24.09 at 5:30 pm

The TD story has hit the news:

http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/story.html?id=89aca503-9012-44d6-b823-221469b5ff2f

Lines of credit become costlier
TD imposes ‘inactivity’ fee besides rate hike

Sarah Schmidt, Canwest News Service
Published: Saturday, January 24, 2009

D espite interest relief from the Bank of Canada, at least two of the country’s big banks are increasing the borrowing cost for customers who tap into their lines of credit, and one is charging a new fee for those who don’t use it.

TD Canada is introducing a new$35 “inactivity” fee in April for customers who don’t use their unsecured line of credit over the course of a year.

For those who do, the interest rate is rising from 3.9 to 4.4 per cent above TD Prime, beginning March 1.

#103 brazer on 01.24.09 at 5:40 pm

#91 go green

The “TD LOC story” is now in the press:

http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/story.html?id=89aca503-9012-44d6-b823-221469b5ff2f

#104 Sail1 on 01.24.09 at 5:43 pm

Mr. Carney’s forecast for a dramatic economic rebound in Canada next year contrasts with the consensus of private sector economists of 2.3-per-cent growth that year and has prompted incredulity among observers.

But that doesn’t mean the central bank is wrong, economists said. Rather, it likely means the bank assumes that everything will go right for Canada in the coming year.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090123.weconomy24/BNStory/crashandrecovery/home.

Garth, can you please give us a brief rebuttal to the validity of Mr. Carney’s forecast?

Carney is a Wall Streeter, hand-picked by Jim Flaherty, and a product of the federal finance department, where he was instrumental in pushing the taxation of income trusts, which decimated a vast pool of Canadian savings. He’s been wrong in every forecast since becoming bank governor, and this one is the most unbelievable yet. He now has all the creds of a real estate board president. — Garth

#105 wjp on 01.24.09 at 5:44 pm

Marc # 66…

Well Marc I guess you approve spending $1250,000 per job in Southern Ontario, sounds like a plan!!!!
If the is one penny that goes into any company, it will be a penny lost…no if it doesn’t go to the ordinary working Canadian, it will end up in the pocket of some CEO…and the economy will still go into the tank…64 billion deficit and it will do zip for the average Canadian!

#106 wjp on 01.24.09 at 5:49 pm

So glad we are bailing out the banks and enabling them to fleece the public…what a joke!!! I say get the 75 billion back and let them operate like any other business in a democracy (so called), if they can’t hack it…too bad…so sad…
Glad I don’t deal with TD….if I did, I be out of there in a flash…

#107 CalgaryRocks on 01.24.09 at 5:53 pm

………..im convinced beyond any reasonable doubt your not!………….wow $55 an hour (golly) p.s. hows things going in the oil patch since harper got elected??

I don’t work in the oil patch. Are you implying that Harper controls the price of oil? Please elaborate on what you mean by:”hows things going in the oil patch since harper got elected?? “

#108 Jason on 01.24.09 at 6:11 pm

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090123.reBelford0123/REStory/RealEstate/home

This story is hilarious.

Toronto realtor Brad Lamb: “In my view, the numbers suggest this is still a seller’s market,” Mr. Lamb says

#109 Jelly on 01.24.09 at 6:12 pm

Observer Re: #52 post

Very well said – Garth is finally being proven right

after boldly saying “sacriligious” and unpopular

things that people did not like.

Calgary Rocks is ignorant and bitter, bottom line.

Silly and immature name too…

#110 CalgaryRocks on 01.24.09 at 6:15 pm

Cdns the wages that Indianspay their silly servants? Do you want to live in a society that the lowest denominator prevails for the greed of those in power. ?

I do not. I want to pay them what we can afford.

I especially don’t want to see them on strike in this kind of economic climate.

o, CalgaryRocks…imagine if 25% of the workers at your place of employment were laid off tomorrow, and the balance of you had to take a 90% pay cut so that your efficiency would be inline with India. There is nothing factual in your posting to suggest that your employer should not take these kinds of actions. Ludicious? Obviously. But so was your posting.

Talk to the guy in this thread that lost 5 co-workers out of a team of 6. Yikes. That’s more than 25% is it?

This happens in the private sector every few years. I don’t have to imagine it. I’ve seen it over and over again. When I worked in Florida our office went through 3 rounds of layoffs and by the time they were done there were 30 of us in the office, having started at 140. Don’t need to tell you that the morale was pretty sketchy there for a while.

Just this week Microsoft announced that it is getting rid of 5000 people because it only made 4.1B$ this quarter not 4.7B$. Shocking.

I believe GE used to get rid of the bottom 10% every year, just because.

64B deficit is coming, how many public servants will we get rid of? 0? 1? Maybe 2???

#111 hmm.. on 01.24.09 at 6:20 pm

#50 CalgaryRocks

I have …, I’ve…, I have.., I can …, I choose.. I..I…I..

man, give your head a shake

#112 CalgaryRocks on 01.24.09 at 6:20 pm

TD Canada is introducing a new$35 “inactivity” fee in April for customers who don’t use their unsecured line of credit over the course of a year.

I use Scotiabank. I find that they have great deals for day-to-day banking.

The person looking after my accounts calls me when there are special things going on. Like last week she called me to tell me that I should move my cash into a different type of account because it pays twice the interest rate. She gives me freebies all the time also like manually removing the annual fee from my Credit Card every year.

I’ve had top notch service with them. I dumped Royal Bank when I moved back to Canada. They sucked Royally.

#113 go green on 01.24.09 at 6:34 pm

#101 brazer on 01.24.09 at 5:26 pm #91 go green

That was me making the post in the previous blog entry….about the $35/year inactivity fee TD is imposing. I was likely flagged because I have not used that LOC for over a year; so I’m guessing that customers who don’t use theirs for that period may get the same letter.

I think TD needs to get these sorts of things off their books; so this a polite way to get people to cancel their LOC’s……as they know customers will balk at being charged like this.

Perhaps what one should do, is simply borrow $1 off the LOC and then pay it back…that keeps it “active”.

Big picture…it’s just telling that this sort of crap is happening…tells you what situation the banks are in when they even start doing this to their best long-standing customers.

Thx Brazer for igniting a couple of my few brain cells. :-)

I related to my DH what TD wants to do. Oops. When we actually receive that notice my DH will demand a ‘chat’ with our bank manager. I can’t repeat what my DH said – Garth would likely ban me :-).

#114 North Vancouver Citizen on 01.24.09 at 6:50 pm

“Calgary Rocks” posts prescient opinions.

….Except I disagree on Free Daycare…I support that.

“MD” is also very intelligent…he enjoys my posts.

“DD, Dekethegeek & Gordie Howe in Vancouver” still dont quite understand what is happening.

…If Canada slides into a bad recession or even depression…an “Open Border” is the last thing Canada needs…Canada needs to protect what it has left.

You are absolutely correct…I do not want uneducated or unemployable visitors and ditto w/ unemployable/uneducated pregnant females and certainly not similar backgrounded Muslims visiting Canada and then declaring refugee status.

…do you guys even know about uneducated Muslim families?….All they do is breed large families and create ghettos.

Look at Paris and London as prime examples.

I kid you not.

Canada is the safest G7 country, and if you guys believe not closing the borders during a recession…you guys are ill informed.

sheeesh

#115 smwhite on 01.24.09 at 7:04 pm

#36 Bottoms_Up

Since when did it become the prime ministers job to make municipal decisions? The bus strike is ridiculous but its not Harper’s fault. I don’t mind poking blame when somebody has a hand in it.

Focus…

#116 go green on 01.24.09 at 7:05 pm

#101 brazer on 01.24.09 at 5:26 pm #91 go green

That was me making the post in the previous blog entry….about the $35/year inactivity fee TD is imposing. I was likely flagged because I have not used that LOC for over a year; so I’m guessing that customers who don’t use theirs for that period may get the same letter.

I think TD needs to get these sorts of things off their books; so this a polite way to get people to cancel their LOC’s……as they know customers will balk at being charged like this.

Perhaps what one should do, is simply borrow $1 off the LOC and then pay it back…that keeps it “active”.

Big picture…it’s just telling that this sort of crap is happening…tells you what situation the banks are in when they even start doing this to their best long-standing customers.

Thx Brazer for igniting a couple of my few brain cells. :-)

I related to my DH what TD wants to do.. When we actually receive that notice my DH will demand a ‘chat’ with our bank manager. I can’t repeat what my DH said – Garth would likely ban me :-).

Agree – the banks must be getting desperate if they want to do this to their best customers. They may end up having ‘no best customers’.

#117 Marc on 01.24.09 at 7:22 pm

#105 wjp on 01.24.09 at 5:44 pm

I don’t recall saying anything about approving spending money in Southern Ontario. I was just questioning your points of tax cuts, and more E.I. benefits. I don’t know what the point of that would be. Our taxes would go down, while our E.I. contributions would have to go up. How could E.I. fund benefit extensions, with keeping the premiums the same, with a smaller workforce paying into it? That is why I think the government will go this route. The old political slight of hand. 20 to your left pocket, and 25 from your right. But hey, they are giving us back $20 so we will just focus on that.

#118 islander on 01.24.09 at 7:25 pm

Calgary Rocks, you’re punching at air. TS, Go Green, hmmm, and their ilk want to believe that the State can provide all.

They think jobs are created out of thin air. They believe money is grown on trees. They want the government to wipe thier b#ms and toss the last bit of soil over them when they lie down for their final dirt naps.

They are not impressed by your “education.” They scoff at your “job.” They mock your “self-reliance.”

When you counter their criticisms, they create Straw Men to attack.

They prefer to invest their faith in “leaders” who will tell them that all is well. And then whine when they realize they’ve been snowed.

And this is where the blog comments devolve into satire:

“As taxpayers we have all benefited from the services provided by public sector employees… we have attended schools and learned to read and write; we get health care benefits; we are protected by the police, firefighters and the military; our rights are upheld and we are protected by our legal system; we are protected by government legislated product safety standards (oops, well sort of… under Harper listeriosis is a joke to his cabinet minister and acceptable in the name of self regulation); we use the roads, bridges, airports and other infrastructure provided through the public service. In sort, our taxes contribute directly to the quality of life that we all enjoy in Canada.”

That is just about the most comical thing I’ve ever read.

#119 go green on 01.24.09 at 7:34 pm

#104 Sail1 on 01.24.09 at 5:43 pm Mr. Carney’s forecast for a dramatic economic rebound in Canada next year contrasts with the consensus of private sector economists of 2.3-per-cent growth that year and has prompted incredulity among observers.

Garth, can you please give us a brief rebuttal to the validity of Mr. Carney’s forecast?

Carney is a Wall Streeter, hand-picked by Jim Flaherty, and a product of the federal finance department, where he was instrumental in pushing the taxation of income trusts, which decimated a vast pool of Canadian savings. He’s been wrong in every forecast since becoming bank governor, and this one is the most unbelievable yet. He now has all the creds of a real estate board president. — Garth”

I’m quite naive about economics, but I know enough that I wouldn’t trust Carney & the BOC forecasts . Yeah, we’ll see growth in the latter part of ’09 or ’10. He is nothing but a shill.

#120 rory on 01.24.09 at 8:26 pm

To CalgaryRocks and NVA …keep up the good fight …funny and opinionated…

To TS and the bunches that seem a little like creepy far left NDP supporters …why so virulnet …So how is CUPE treating you these days anyway…did you know on avarage that public sector wages and benefits at all levels of Gov’t are 15 to 45% higher than the rest of poor smucks in the private sector…let’s give them more as they were nice to e the other day …whadda say …vote for more …NOT …let us rein in this tiger…common sense rules.

#121 wjp on 01.24.09 at 8:31 pm

#117…
If the government is going to spend 64 billion they don’t have, why would you be worried about a slight increase in employment insurance, surely they could get the fund for unemployment insurance from the same place as the 64 billion which is your kids pockets.
As far as what they might spend in Southern Ontario, that will cost you far more than an increase. They could give each of the 200 workers $40,000 a year and save money rather than pouring $250,000,000 into a black hole.

#122 john on 01.24.09 at 8:36 pm

#107 CalgaryRocks on 01.24.09 at 5:53 pm ………..im convinced beyond any reasonable doubt your not!………….wow $55 an hour (golly) p.s. hows things going in the oil patch since harper got elected??

I don’t work in the oil patch. Are you implying that Harper controls the price of oil? Please elaborate on what you mean by:”hows things going in the oil patch since harper got elected?? “
>>> Geez and it was such a simple question??? …okay ill try to word it a little different and hope you can grasp what im asking and respond ok?…….ill make it as simple as i can ok………Harper is in power and has been for a couple of years SO—is the oil patch booming?—are house prices on the rise?—did you lose any jobs (i heard 16,000 last month?)–and before you try to tell me again “harper doesn’t control oil prices” just simply answer my question—are things better now since Harper became our prime minister (the oil patch was booming before the government had huge surplus (billions to weather most storms) –what happened to it?? ——–a simple yes or no would be adequate ok!

#123 dd on 01.24.09 at 9:01 pm

#114 North Vancouver Citizen

“You are absolutely correct…I do not want uneducated or unemployable visitors and ditto w/ unemployable/uneducated pregnant females and certainly not similar backgrounded Muslims visiting Canada and then declaring refugee status.

…do you guys even know about uneducated Muslim families?….All they do is breed large families and create ghettos.”

Buddy … you are sounding like George Bush. Time to tone it down. Do we really need this kind of talk on this blog?

#124 Wealthy renter 2 on 01.24.09 at 9:23 pm

Man Garth, I miss the days before your book release, when the blog was averaging 50 posts. You’d get insightful comments, humour and lots of class. This blog is averaging over 120post per blog, and its a rabid mix of of: “all hail garth”, and all hate garth “. And whats with the conspiracy theories and racial comments flooding this blog?
Can we have just have a intelligent discussion on the economy, like we always used to?

#125 Bottoms_Up on 01.24.09 at 9:31 pm

#115 smwhite on 01.24.09 at 7:04 pm
———————————–
For your information, the OC Transpo services both Quebec and Ontario, making it federal jurisdiction. That’s why Rona Ambrose was recently involved. Focus SMwhite, focus.

#126 Bruce on 01.24.09 at 11:41 pm

Bank of Canada governor Carney comes off as a used car salesman. I personally wouldn’t trust this guy to take out the garbage. Yet here is, Canada’s chief banker, trying to calm panic and instill confidence. Either they just don’t “get it”, or the simply don’t want to. I think David Dodge should have stayed at the helm, except perhaps Dodge knew what was coming and wanted to get the hell out, in which case I don’t entirely blame him. Rebound by year’s end? Yeah, and I’m going to with the 6/49 tonight.

BS.

-Bruce

#127 Alex Curylo on 01.25.09 at 6:15 am

@go green:

“Agree – the banks must be getting desperate if they want to do this to their best customers.”

errrmm … no.

Their best customers — and, indeed, I actually mean TD specifically here, to make it particularly ironic — are getting really *quite* remarkable personal attentiveness to keep their money where it is.

If you’re not being bowed and scraped to right now, sorry friend, you have an unsupportedly inflated impression of your bestness.

#128 TS on 01.25.09 at 7:54 am

“rory on 01.24.09 at 8:26 pm To CalgaryRocks and NVA …keep up the good fight …funny and opinionated…

To TS and the bunches that seem a little like creepy far left NDP supporters …why so virulnet …So how is CUPE treating you these days anyway…did you know on avarage that public sector wages and benefits at all levels of Gov’t are 15 to 45% higher than the rest of poor smucks in the private sector…let’s give them more as they were nice to e the other day …whadda say …vote for more …NOT …let us rein in this tiger…common sense rules.”

Rory….NOT an NDP supporter here… and NOT a member of CUPE or any other union. Never have been and never will. Simply trying to play devil’s advocate and show the other side of the issue.

I simply tired of the senseless right wing bashing of the civil service in Canada without any data or substantiation.

In your latest post you claim that public sector wages/benefits are 15% to 45% higher than in the private sector….I assume you are referring to the notion of equal pay for equal work.

What factual statistics do you have for your 15% to 45% claim? Or, is this just your opinion with a couple of numbers thrown in to make it look legitimate?

Please provide us with web links where we can all read this comparitive analysis.

#129 Ralph on 01.25.09 at 3:01 pm

Isn’t it funny there are so many people here making comments with 20/20 vision. The fact is most here who are saying “I told you so” wouldn’t be able to perform any better in running the country.

#130 Accremonium on 01.25.09 at 3:32 pm

#107 CalgaryRocks on 01.24.09 at 5:53 pm

………..im convinced beyond any reasonable doubt your not!………….wow $55 an hour (golly) p.s. hows things going in the oil patch since harper got elected??

I don’t work in the oil patch. Are you implying that Harper controls the price of oil? Please elaborate on what you mean by:”hows things going in the oil patch since harper got elected?? “

From what can be discerned online and from friends / family, the oil patch is the slowest it has been for more than a decade, nearly as bad as the days of the Nat. Energy Prog. There are several of the juniors about to file for Chapter 11 and the majors are cutting all spending to the bone, canceling projects/expansions and pulling in their horns like never before. Now ask again just what Harper/Flarhety have done for them lately! He/they are who? Just dump this budget, call an election and see just how much money flows for grease spot adverts! Practically the square root of screw all, I am willing to bet!

#131 GB on 01.25.09 at 4:33 pm

Ralph stated:

“Isn’t it funny there are so many people here making comments with 20/20 vision. The fact is most here who are saying “I told you so” wouldn’t be able to perform any better in running the country.”

While this may be true Ralph, we are not getting paid big sums of money to supposedly be doing that job.

I am pretty certain that this meltdown was well telegraphed and if I’m paying someone huge wads of cash to create policy and provide economic direction….I’d expect better. So should you.

#132 dotava on 01.25.09 at 8:01 pm

#87 Don Bool on 01.24.09 at 4:15 pm

“Harper and his crew are criminals who have swindled citizens out of their hard earned assets. Simple as that.”

RIGHT ON!!!

#133 no fool... on 01.25.09 at 8:05 pm

Well, we could rant on the conservatives, but then again we could look at the Liberals and then just laugh.
And the NDP….dear lord. Let’s delay tens of thousands from graduating by failing to put an end to the stupidity at York U.

At least the Conservatives have the audacity and the brains coupled with gusto to admit it when their policies (i.e. NO DEFICITS) will not work. The libs would spend us back into the stone ages if they were at the helm.

I say this as a liberal realizing that our leadership has been atrocious for about a decade….actually, maybe more.

#134 Pat G on 01.25.09 at 9:40 pm

For all neo-con readers:

Please do yourselves a favour and go back and read TS’ comments at #74, 01.24,09.

And, yes, TS, the Harperites will do anything to distract from the deficit that they helped incur before even beginning to tackle the deficit, so they will do what they considered unethical when they were in opposition and, in fact, would have screamed blue murder if another party did what they are doing now — do a dance of the seven veils across the country, revealing little bits to tantalize the public. (“dance of the seven veils” idea courtesy of Craig Oliver, CTV).

When did ethics ever have anything to do with Steven Harper trying to get a majority government? When was transparency ever an honest intention? Even his fight for power has corrupted his government. It is unimaginable what he would do to us if he actually won more power!

#135 Judy on 01.26.09 at 6:45 pm

Calgary Rocks: Good for you!! You have a zillion jobs and keep the income flowing. You are a good son…you can supplement your mother’s pitiful pension.
Of course, there are thousands of Canadians doing exactly the same thing….helping out their parents, children, siblings whenever they can.
You are not unique.
You are bitter.