The misguided

DUCKS modified

Little Lost Lambs week continues here at GreaterFool, the pathetic Reality TV of financial blogs. You cannot make this up. It just happens. All this time you’ve assumed those around you are reasonable, normal, prudent people, only to discover you’re living amongst hormonal savages? Us, too.

That brings us to Alberta. And the Misguided.

First, some context. This is how our oil exports look:

CRUDE EXPORTS modified

Canada has its worst trade deficit in history recently, and the brunt of that is falling on Alberta – which could see export earnings tumble in 2015 by 17%. Ouch. Investment in the energy sector is expected to fall by about $23 billion, and corporate profits have plunged along with the price of crude – currently mired around sixty bucks a barrel. No wonder unemployment insurance claims have skyrocketed in that province, which recently was the engine of Canadian economic growth.

When it comes to the impact on families and citizens, nobody should be surprised. Job instability brings social upheaval. Especially in a place where people have the most debt and were among the horniest for houses.

Calgary house prices have just recorded the steepest monthly slide in recorded history. Sales were down about a third in May from year-ago levels, and this week are off 14% from last June. The average price is lower by about 4%, with the most damage happening at thetop end of the market.

When it comes to commercial real estate, it’s worse. Brokers Cushman & Wakefield just released a report saying the market “is reeling from the sudden impact of downsizing companies” with Cowtown now on the brink of recession. If current oil prices hold, the office vacancy rate will go nuclear – from 4.7% now to 12.4% by the end of the year and more than 15% in 2016. Nobody has seen that kind of carnage for a quarter century, since oil was trading at twenty bucks.

And as with all busts, nobody saw it coming. “On top of low office demand and companies subletting record amounts of space, we’re in the midst of a major development cycle with about three million square feet under construction downtown. Right now, it’s a perfect storm,” says the company. “The first quarter probably bore the brunt of the oil shock, but we’ll see more bleeding if oil prices remain low.”

And what about renters? Tough times mean lots of choice, as the vacancy rate more has more than doubled in the past year. As the head of the Calgary Residential Rental Association said days ago: “The Alberta economy has slowed right down and a lot of the slowdown has led to unfortunate layoffs, particularly within the oil and gas industry. Many of those people we know came out here for employment from other provinces and if they’re laid off most of them go back. The economy slows in Alberta, we haven’t got the jobs, people stop coming.”

Meanwhile Alberta, sadly, faces a budget deficit this year of about $5 billion, surpassed only by the metrosexual, latte-sipping, artsy slackers in Ontario, where “on the hoof” has an entirely different meaning.

So, what do Albertans do in the face of a global oil rout that threatens their revenues, employment, fiscal management, tax base and business expansion? Simple. They elect an anti-business, tax-and-spend government made up of people with no experience. The rallying cry was bold: ‘how can the Dippers do a worse job than the last set of bums?’

Well, now we know.

This week’s throne speech was a classic NDP document, pitting ‘the people’ against corporations, small business and the wealthy. The budget will come later, once they figure it out, but so far we know this:

The minimum wage will rise by a third to $15. The highest in the land is now the frosty NWT, at $12.50, with Ontario at eleven bucks and the rest in the $10 range. This will give about 10% of the province’s workers a substantial raise, most of it coming out of the hides of small businesses whose owners also have to increase payroll taxes.

The trouble is, increasing the minimum wage decreases jobs. At least that was the conclusion of a 182-page research paper by two prominent US economists. They found that 85% of the time job losses took place after a minimum wage increase. Yes, just what Alberta needs right now.

Taxes are going up, too. That’s a no brainer, because so is spending. Corporate taxes are rising by 20%, from 10% to twelve. That compares with 10% in Ontario and 11% in BC. The lefties, and the misguided who voted for them, think this is no big deal. The Chamber of Commerce does (as you might imagine). “It’s a layering effect, it’s the layering of minimum wage on top of corporate tax increases, on top of the royalty review, on top of the attending costs that come out of the climate change policy,” says the boss there.

Corporations provide jobs, of course. So go figure.

Taxes are going up on people, too. A lot. After having a flat tax for more than a decade, the outgoing Tory government proposed increasing the levy on people making over $100,000, with an extra 1% taken above $250,000. But the NDP is jacking that substantially – with a 20% tax boost for those earning over $125,000, and a 50% jump for incomes over $300,000.

In Calgary, where the median household income is just under $100,000, this could catch a lot of folks by surprise. Maybe they voted for change, but expected no consequence.

Poor lost lambs. Fleeced by the shepherd.

263 comments ↓

#1 Henry Simpson on 06.17.15 at 5:45 pm

The NDP is a desperate attempt of clueless people that don’t understand the more socialistic policies of taxing, spending, debt binging will only make the lower class worse off.

Much higher unemployment, less hours, less jobs and lower quality of jobs, temporary jobs and the illusion of getting higher minimum wages will be soon eaten up by higher prices, taxes, fees etc. in due time.

They are truly lost and misguided as they will be worse off than others.

#2 waiting on the westcoast on 06.17.15 at 5:47 pm

Don’t need mcjobs… Buy http://www.soylent.com and skip all the going out for dinner, etc…

Hey – if everyone increases minimum wage, we won’t have deflation… ;-)

Always a silver lining…

#3 Squirrel meat on 06.17.15 at 5:51 pm

You like animals.

#4 james on 06.17.15 at 5:54 pm

“They elect an anti-business, tax-and-spend government made up of people with no experience.”

As opposed to a tax-and-spend government made up of incompetent buffoons who couldn’t be bothered to read the oil and gas industry magazines that clearly showed a massive boom in US production (e.g., Bakken).

Anyone with half a brain could see that the US was ramping up oil fields to compete with Alberta. It was negligence bordering on criminal to do nothing, and to continue spending like drunken sailors.

I believe your comments about taxes and the minimum wage are bang on. I’d be high tailing it out of that province, were I earning over $125k. Thankfully I live in a state with no personal income tax.

(Just received this year’s refresh equity grant, which provides a nice boost per year. I am glad I don’t live in a province like Ontario where a gang of malcontents is eager to grab it and waste it on frivolities, corruption or pet industries. Enjoy the Pan Am games).

#5 Gulf Breeze on 06.17.15 at 5:55 pm

The progressive tax, at last. Welcome to the real world, Alberta. Good on ya! For flat taxers and flat earthers everywhere, get ready for class war or a multitude of uncomfortable skirmishes.

I am actually a bit appalled at how little I am being dinged for taxes while others struggle on minimum wage, here in B.C.

#6 Butch on 06.17.15 at 5:56 pm

Nothing on the fed eh? My gist of her message was “we’re going to sloooooow it down”

#7 BobC on 06.17.15 at 6:01 pm

You said taxes are going up on people too. All taxes are paid by the people. Corporations will pass them onto the people with higher prices. Of course when the prices get too high the people have to spend less causing sales to drop. Then the layoffs start. It’s just a downward spiral caused by dumb people looking for a easy fix. Blame the rich and blame the corporations. Anybody but themselves. It won’t end well.

#8 SunShowers on 06.17.15 at 6:01 pm

“Corporations provide jobs”

Sorry Garth, but I disagree.

Corporations will not provide a job to anybody if it isn’t profitable for them to do so. It’s their right; they’re not charities, after all. But that means that they can’t take the credit for “creating” the job. Something outside of the corporation must make hiring new staff financially advisable for that corporation. THAT is what creates jobs. So, what is that thing?

It’s middle class consumers with money to spend on the goods and services that corporations provide who create jobs, not corporations themselves. It’s corporations who depend on people, not the other way around.

#9 pinstripe on 06.17.15 at 6:03 pm

many in Alberta are praising the drop in oil price. This downturn is forcing many low productive businesses to shut their doors, whereas those that are efficient are picking up the best workers for their business.

A little weeding out will make Alberta a more productive and compeetive province down the line, because the corruption by the old men in government was far reaching. no more wink wink nudge nudge business practices linked with new math.

Premier Rachel is fundamentally changing the way things get done. Many are willing to give Rachel a chance because regardless what she does will be better than what we had with the PCs.

#10 TRT on 06.17.15 at 6:07 pm

What is wrong with increasing the minimum wage? Nothing.

We live in a democracy and the majority have spoken. The real question in the future we must ask ourselves is should we tax wealth and capital gains more and lower the tax rates on income.

We shall let the majority decide that in due time.

People who have accumulated wealth on the backs of others and use it to bend policies in their favour to gain more wealth (leading to greater inequality) are cowards.

They are not brighter. Albertans have awoken, even with blogs lined up against them.

#11 Drill Baby Drill on 06.17.15 at 6:08 pm

Dear Pathetic Blog : thank you for rubbing in the fact that some of us here in Alta voted in the “commie pinkos”. I long for the Alison Redford years of “Let them eat cake”.

#12 Paul on 06.17.15 at 6:12 pm

Vote for change? Here that a lot lately let’s NOT try that in October.
CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR!!

#13 first? on 06.17.15 at 6:19 pm

http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/06/17/usa-fed-rate-hike-idINKBN0OX2DU20150617

looks like oil won’t save us any time soon either

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-15/longest-oil-glut-in-decades-looms-as-opec-pumps-up-market-share

An interesting thing is cooling the real estate market in parts of Brazil. Once the vendor and buyer agree on a price, the bank appraises the property and sets a maximum loan value. The buyer must come up with 20% down. However, the vendors won’t sell for the low appraisal price so the buyer has to make up the difference between the appraisal and purchase price. This can mean up to a 50% down payment, something few people have and it is killing the market.

Of all of the sins the older generation may have committed against the young, allowing the CMHC to distort and inflate the housing market to the current extent has to be the worst. There has to be some way to defang that snake and get things back to sanity. A one or two percent interest increase might not be enough.

#14 Nic on 06.17.15 at 6:21 pm

Did you see the report created for the IMF? Trickle down economics do not work. Keeping corporate taxes low and giving subsidies does not help the economy. Wages have been flat or limp for years, lets rethink what isnt working.

#15 Retired Boomer - WI on 06.17.15 at 6:22 pm

Well the governance of Alberta will be a very interesting case study in what governments should NEVER do.

While $15 min wage sounds good, it will prove a disaster!

Higher taxes probably as well. I like progressive taxes, but what -overall- will be the TAX BITE on the Alberta resident?

How generous are the benefits to the non-employed?

Sounds like a Unicorns and Lolipop government there.

#16 ILoveCharts on 06.17.15 at 6:22 pm

And these Alberta folk are in for a real surprise as they head west. We see them flocking to BC – the promised land… and then figuring out that there are only so many jobs in hipster cafes and they don’t pay for a $500,000 one bed condo.

#17 MarcFromOttawa on 06.17.15 at 6:24 pm

3d

#18 Left Vancouver and Happy on 06.17.15 at 6:26 pm

The Provincial NDP is going to destroy the AB economy for many years to come. Their pro-union platform of ‘work less, get paid more’ for the lower to middle class is a platform of a time long past. This structure simply can’t work in a globalized market place. It’s impossible.

I had a friend ask me what I thought about voting for the NDP federally this Autumn. I told him ‘If the NDP takes a federal majority, you can expect the Canadian Dollar to drop about 5 cents over night’. He kinda laughed, realized I was serious, and then looked worried.

Countries need to make production more efficiently than ever, in a globalized market. A platform set on jacking up minimum wage and supporting unions that force companies to pay employees more than the market dictates, is a platform set for epic failure.

#19 Steve on 06.17.15 at 6:28 pm

And here we are, having higher corporate tax rate (provincial+federal) than Sweden.

#20 Has anyone seen this? on 06.17.15 at 6:31 pm

http://globalnews.ca/news/2060036/government-of-canada-servers-suffer-cyber-attack/

#21 John Prine on 06.17.15 at 6:38 pm

All I have been hearing from my Albertan friends for years is how stupid everybody else in Canada is and that they have the lowest car insurance, free medical, cheap gas….The list goes on and on so now the time comes where everybody has to contribute to the provincial coffers. I’m not an NDP supporter but honestly, how could anybody do worse than the last bunch. In the long run I don’t suppose much will change due to governance but whether or not oil is $50 or $70 a barrel

#22 Macrath on 06.17.15 at 6:40 pm

All these atrocious stats could make for meager transfer payments to the poor have not provinces. No more billions to spread around “n`est-ce pas”?

#23 Jimmy on 06.17.15 at 6:47 pm

Repeat after me…

Pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows.
Pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows.
Pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows.

#24 carbide on 06.17.15 at 6:48 pm

Let it snow. Economy is cyclical.
When markets hit the bottom, we will scoop up stuff.

#25 My Wife Loves Garth on 06.17.15 at 6:51 pm

Little Lost Lamb Week?
Hmmm…..Any subtle innuendo referring to a well known Toronto Condo king?

#26 Joe Schmoe on 06.17.15 at 6:54 pm

I visited 5 O&G companies today…I would say offices were half empty…consultants let go months ago, and now too much office space.

No Capex increases in 2015…down on average to 20% of 2014 activity.

One guy just moved into his new house the past couple of weeks…been renting the past 2 years. He said 2 years ago there were 3 townhouses/houses for rent in the area in was interested. Now there are 20-25.

I don’t think the downturn will soak in until Sept 2015…then things will start hurting in Cowtown.

Glad I saved a pile of money while I could…Fed/Prov Governments are going to take a pile in the upcoming years…

#27 Linda on 06.17.15 at 6:56 pm

Sorry Garth, but you are simply wrong about wages.

Even the IMF realizes that the entire era of neocon b.s. economics has been a fraud in this regard.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/06/16/imf-trickle-down-economics-inequality_n_7595860.html

“Looking at data from 159 countries from 1980 to 2012, researchers found that when the wealthiest 20 per cent see their share of income rise by one per cent, the economy grows 0.08 percentage points slower over the next five years.

“In contrast, an increase in the income share of the bottom 20 percent (the poor) is associated with higher GDP growth,” the report says. When the poorest 20 per cent increase their share of total income by one per cent, the economy grows 0.38 percentage points faster.

Translation: Give tax breaks or higher wages to the poor, and the economy will grow. Give tax breaks or higher incomes to the rich, and you reduce economic growth.

“The benefits do not trickle down,” the researchers conclude.”

————
Your thinking is out of step with reality, Garth. Thirty years out of date.

Time to lose it, and move on.

And the mullet, too. (Keep the beard, though, it’s cute!)

#28 Forzudo on 06.17.15 at 6:59 pm

Meanwhile, the federal NDP is currently projected to win more seats in October than the Liberals; the Bloc Québécois; and the Green Party, combined:

http://www.threehundredeight.com/p/canada.html?m=1

#29 tundra pete on 06.17.15 at 6:59 pm

Too bad Alberta doesn’t have any B.C. bud.

#30 JSS on 06.17.15 at 7:03 pm

And today’s blog has been sponsored by the Wildrose Alliance party of Canada.

#31 Keith on 06.17.15 at 7:05 pm

An increase in corporate tax rates of twenty percent? Such a negative view. Let’s view it as a rollback of previous decreases, tax expenditures which surprise surprise, the Alberta taxpayer could never afford.

“Competitive tax rates” HA! If B.C. is at 11%, lets see how many oil company head offices will move from Calgary to Vancouver with our lower corporate rate. Remember, capital moves to the lowest tax jurisdiction it can. Always. The tax rate trumps location, infrastructure an educated population. Invest in office space in Vancouver today, don’t wait, bet the farm.

Upcoming flood from the oil patch aside, how many head offices have moved to take advantage of B.C.’s competitive corporate tax rate, solely because of the low taxes? Keep obsessing on corporate tax rates folks, it’s magic.

#32 Sponge on 06.17.15 at 7:05 pm

While I do quite well for my income, I think this needs to be said for those that struggle for a decent occupation.
Raising minimum wage to $15 will benefit the people who need it the most. While this will hurt small business and cause less jobs initially, a slightly left society will help numerous families that deserve this…

Bring in a law for single shift week McJobs for the young if need be, but 45 year olds need a decent living..

#33 G on 06.17.15 at 7:07 pm

You try living on $10 per hour. Everyone should have a right to a living wage. Australia has a minimum wage of $16 per hour and they have a stronger economy and lower unemployment rate than Canada. Why should we pay people in finance obscene wages when few of them create any value and then expect people in the service industry to live below the poverty line?

#34 Bobby on 06.17.15 at 7:08 pm

Let’s remember that governments are thrown out, not voted in. The PC’s were thrown out, Albertans did not elect an NDP government.
Just like what happened in Ontario and BC, the real threat from the NDP lies after a few years in office when they realize they will be a one term government. They will enact different legislation to secure their legacy and bring in unaffordable pay and benefit increases to reward their union supporters. The result is a common sense revolution to enact legislation to undo the damage.
Remember many of the lefties are from jobs that rely on the public trough. They don’t understand that there is no endless source of money as they have never had to meet a payroll. For most, they believe business exists to provide jobs, not make a profit.
I suggest that by the end of the year, when Ms Notley produces her first budget, you’ll be hard pressed to find an Albertans who voted NDP. The plus side it will keep Mulcair out of office federally.

#35 Gary on 06.17.15 at 7:10 pm

You can thank Stephen Harper and the people who were stupid enough to vote for him for this. He subsidized big Oil and gave them tax breaks. Put all the eggs in one basket and ignored manufacturing and now look at the mess were in.

#36 omg the original on 06.17.15 at 7:10 pm

They elect an anti-business, tax-and-spend government made up of people with no experience. The rallying cry was bold: ‘how can the Dippers do a worse job than the last set of bums?’
——————-

Of course the Alberta NDP have hired into senior advisor position many of the same socialist “travellers” that worked for the BC NDP during the 1990s.

Anyone from BC will recall what a disaster that was.

The biggest problem is that most of the NDP “advisors” are from trade union executive, NGOs, and academia. So nobody has ever actually made or created anything to earn a dollar, they just, in one way or another, suck from the government teat.

Following the advice of these HACKS will ensure the the Great Alberta NDP experiment will simply end up being a one term footnote.

#37 Gary on 06.17.15 at 7:13 pm

Oh, I have a better idea. Let’s bring back the Conservatives in Alberta and let them squander more of the oil surplus through more corruption and mismanagement. After all, who pissed away the Heritage Trust fund? It is less than one tenth of Norway’s. Yes the Cons did such a great job of running things and looking after the people.

#38 Steve French on 06.17.15 at 7:13 pm

Thats right Garth-o.

Lets see you live on $10 per hour.

Dare you to try it for a month.

You need to lose the trickle down economics. It’s way out of date.

#39 Tim on 06.17.15 at 7:17 pm

Re Henry Simpson
“They are truly lost and misguided as they will be worse off than others.”

Who was clueless and misguided? The Cons who irresponsibly pissed away all of the oil revenues. Record profits for years, and now oil tanks for 6 months and they are in a deficit. How can this be? Incredibly inept management and corruption.

Why don’t you try and live on $10 per hour?

#40 Bobby on 06.17.15 at 7:17 pm

For #35 Gary,
Actually Gary, manufacturing left the heartland of Canada because of the cost base. Why pay an autoworker $70 an hour in pay and benefits when the same job can be done as well, for considerably less, in the southern U.S. or Mexico.
The Ontario government and the Feds are offering incentives to set up shop in Windsor for example, but it is still cheaper to go south.
Besides, does it make sense for the government to pay $100k to keep a $50k job in Canada? I think not!

#41 saskatoon on 06.17.15 at 7:22 pm

garth,

hillary clinton disagrees.

“don’t let anybody tell you that corporations and businesses create jobs…”

-H.C.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nbFYP3xB6k

#42 Ray Vasquez on 06.17.15 at 7:24 pm

#33 G

So why do they have to keep cutting interest rates so much to keep their economy from falling into a downturn or recession?

It is because without China’s economy and Asia’s economy growing at 10% a year, they will be just as badly off as we are.

Also, compare the cost of living in Australia at $16 an hour and see if it goes as far as you think.

It is all a sham. Their $16 an hour job is no better off for them.

#43 omg the original on 06.17.15 at 7:25 pm

The Minimum Wage Myth

The increase in minimum wage will not have a major impact on business.

Most minimum wage jobs are in the direct service industry – retail and fast food. Its not like these can be outsourced to India.

Since all businesses will face the same cost increase it will simply be passed on to consumers. And wages are a small portion of a businesses costs. So sure, prices will go up slightly but not to the point that consumers will simply fold up the tent and go home.

Furthermore the increase to minimum wages in most jurisdictions are being phased in over several years.

People predicting the end of economic civilization as we know it are simply fear mongering.

#44 omg the original on 06.17.15 at 7:28 pm

31 Keith
“Competitive tax rates” HA! If B.C. is at 11%, lets see how many oil company head offices will move from Calgary to Vancouver with our lower corporate rate.
—————-

Actually Keith, I think why oil companies do not HO in Vancouver (besides the obvious proximity issue) is that the experience of the BC NDP of the 1990s scared the bejesus out of them.

#45 JimH on 06.17.15 at 7:31 pm

#155 Mark on 06.17.15 at 3:14 pm
Re: 0% financing.
“There’s no such thing as “0% financing”. They simply charge you more for the vehicle up-front (ie: a significant discount is effectively fore-gone) in favour of the financing being made available. Its basically a salesman’s trick.”
============================
Sorry, Mark! Wrong again!
You throw out yet another sweeping generalization without a shred of evidence to support it!
You must be a virgin negotiator to hold an opinion like that!
Next time you go out to buy a car, leave the “Mary’s little lamb” costume at home. You might get a better deal!

#46 None on 06.17.15 at 7:33 pm

This comment section is hilarious today. All very reasonable with the theme that no one believes what Garth is writing today.

i agree. Garth is stuck in the 90’s with his macroeconomic thinking.

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#48 Andrew on 06.17.15 at 7:40 pm

Lots of people seemingly arguing that the minimum wage should be increased significantly and that most people can’t live on the current minimum wage.

That’s because the minimum wage isn’t for regular Joe’s, it’s for people like students and part timers who don’t intend to live on the minimum wage, they just need the extra income to help with college etc.

Without the minimum wage, these low level service jobs like bar staff/waiters/retail jobs etc. would be demanding the same money as relatively skilled jobs, like administrative work (who generally get paid around $15-$20)

Raising the minimum wage doesn’t just force up the bottom of the pile, it forces up everyone as people don’t want to be paid the same as unskilled labour. Everyone’s wage will go up in time, forcing companies to reduce the amount of staff they hire and driving up unemployment.

I for one think the minimum wage is absolutely fine. Want to be paid more? Get an education and demand it.

I have zero sympathy for someone on minimum wage who is older than, say 25, because it is normally their awful life choices that has put them there, such as choosing to be an actor or artist. Majority of them end up waiting tables for most of their young adult life until they realize there is no hope of making it big.

They get the same sympathy from me as a drug addict or a homeless person. Make bad choices and they come back to bite you.

#49 Ray Vasquez on 06.17.15 at 7:44 pm

#34 Bobby

I agree, just like in Ontario with Bob Rae NDP government. A time disaster. Alberta has a lot of clueless people that came in from other provinces.

All these people bashing businesses and people that create capital, wealth and jobs have no idea what it takes to run a business and all the taxes they already pay from income taxes to payroll taxes and regulation, red tape that costs jobs and economic growth.

If raising the minimum wage is such a great idea, put it to $50 a hour why $15 and do it right away. What is this 4, 5 years plan.

As for corporate and personal income tax increases, jack them up by 100%, 200%, 300% not 20%. It is because they know it damages the economy and kills jobs over time.

In Ontario, look at all the cut hours and contract, temporary jobs that people must get because of all the tax burden, WSIB, Ontario pension scheme coming and high energy costs that employers have to deal with.

Why would businesses want to hire more people and grow in a threatening, punishing business environment created by government policies.

#50 PM on 06.17.15 at 7:48 pm

Anyone with half a brain could see that the US was ramping up oil fields to compete with Alberta. It was negligence bordering on criminal to do nothing, and to continue spending like drunken sailors.

I’m amazed you have time to comment between drinking mojitos and banging supermodels on your private yacht you bought with all the money you made from shorting oil stocks and futures trading.

#51 Karl hungus on 06.17.15 at 7:49 pm

You might want to look up what tax and spend means. PC’s were about to raise taxes 60 different ways. They were also spending more money then any other previous government.

#52 Edward on 06.17.15 at 7:51 pm

I’m friends with a prominent restaurateur in Edmonton. He is really worried about the new minimum wage structure. All of his front end staff currently makes about $10 per hour but get tips on top. Now they will be getting a 50% increase. The other problem is that the kitchen staff who currently get paid about $14-$15 an hour will want more because they receive little tips. They don’t want to work for less than a bus person.

Food costs have risen dramatically over the last year or two because of inflation. He’s had to increase prices a little to cope but has heard mutterings from his best customers. When the oil crisis hit, many of his high flying customers frequent less because their business is also down, cut out the expense account frills or are worried about losing their job.

Business was busy before but he made little money. Now he’s shi**ing bricks. It’s the perfect storm.

#53 millenial on 06.17.15 at 7:51 pm

#33 G on 06.17.15 at 7:07 pm
You try living on $10 per hour. Everyone should have a right to a living wage. Australia has a minimum wage of $16 per hour and they have a stronger economy and lower unemployment rate than Canada. Why should we pay people in finance obscene wages when few of them create any value and then expect people in the service industry to live below the poverty line?

—–

I like how you conveniently left out the fact that goods and services cost significantly more in Australia. Or maybe you’ve never actually been down under to even realize this?

Also the relationship between min wage and unemployment rate isn’t that straight-forward (see U.S.).

#54 New guy on 06.17.15 at 7:54 pm

#10 TRT on 06.17.15 at 6:07 pm
What is wrong with increasing the minimum wage? Nothing.

We live in a democracy and the majority have spoken. The real question in the future we must ask ourselves is should we tax wealth and capital gains more and lower the tax rates on income.

We shall let the majority decide that in due time.

People who have accumulated wealth on the backs of others and use it to bend policies in their favour to gain more wealth (leading to greater inequality) are cowards.

They are not brighter. Albertans have awoken, even with blogs lined up against them.

*************************

Aman sir.. blogs like greater fool no doubt !!!!!

#55 Ponies for the masses on 06.17.15 at 7:58 pm

#23 Jimmy on 06.17.15 at 6:47 pm
Repeat after me…

Pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows.
Pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows.
Pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows.
————–
Garth, I think this homophobic post should be banned.

#56 soon-to-be-ex-Vancouverite on 06.17.15 at 7:58 pm

What a horribly boring city Vancouver is. People are real estate-obsessed, with no personal depth or time or interest for culture of any kind.

Even the opera is cancelling its entire year of programing, to be condensed into three weeks.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/vancouver-opera-cuts-reduce-season-to-3-week-festival-1.3116376

People here talk of and care for little but real estate. Glad I’ll be leaving this shallow burg behind very soon.

It’s amazing so may fools have leveraged their future lives to live here.

#57 Mark on 06.17.15 at 7:59 pm

“Sorry, Mark! Wrong again”

Not wrong at all.


You throw out yet another sweeping generalization without a shred of evidence to support it!

Not true.

You must be a virgin negotiator to hold an opinion like that!
Next time you go out to buy a car, leave the “Mary’s little lamb” costume at home. You might get a better deal!”

Seriously you wasted time to post this? Get a life. The romper room is down the hall, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

#58 Sponge on 06.17.15 at 8:03 pm

Lol Andrew..
You sympathy is not wanted… In the less urban areas of this great country, there are lots of ‘regular joe’s and kathy’s’ that are educated and working for minimum wage.
I’m hoping you’re young and have time for the world to educate you! As you make your life choices..

#59 Brian on 06.17.15 at 8:09 pm

Why am I paying $139.9/L for gasoline? Can someone please explain this?

when oil was ~$90 barrel = I payed $139.9/L for gas
now oil is ~$50 barrel = I payed $139.9/L for gas

WTF!

#60 Freedom First on 06.17.15 at 8:10 pm

Today, “Politics”. Tomorrow, “Religion”. Friday, “Hegemony”. I love this Blog.

For me though, just show me the money. It’s all about my Freedom First.

#61 Mark on 06.17.15 at 8:10 pm

“Without the minimum wage, these low level service jobs like bar staff/waiters/retail jobs etc. would be demanding the same money as relatively skilled jobs, like administrative work (who generally get paid around $15-$20)”

Ordinarily I would be against having a minimum wage as well. However, without a minimum wage, the lower skilled might needlessly expend resources going to jobs that are not accretive to society and to their situations. Even worse, small business owners may try to run businesses that are only viable using the cheap labour, rather than aiming to use more technology or simply run more viable businesses.

A high minimum wage basically is telling employers, “either you pay $xx/hour, or you hire some engineers and deploy some productivity-enhancing investment”.

The march towards productivity over the long term benefits society in a manner far greater than the losses thus induced by bankrupting a few small businesspeople with minimally viable businesses. Besides, if minimum wage is set too low, below the poverty line, then private businesses are deriving a de facto subsidy either from government’s welfare programs, or from the depleting private savings of individuals. A working person should not need a subsidy from either government or from their own savings.

#62 Andrew Woburn on 06.17.15 at 8:12 pm

#153 Iconoclast on 06.17.15 at 3:05 pm
#48 Andrew Woburn

The US banks were indeed insolvent, not just illiquid, under longstanding accounting rules. The assets they held were worth a fraction of their book value. Maybe, one day, they would have recovered some value, but at the time they were fooked.

Fortunately for them, they were able to change the longstanding mark-to-market rules and then sell off the impaired assets at more or less book value ultimately to the Fed. These are now part of the Fed’s many trillions in “assets”.

In Canada, the $150BN worth or mortgages were not impaired, but they were a risk and were taken off the books of the banks to keep them smelling nice.
=====================

I agree. My comment addressed the idea that Canadian banks were short of equity.

The Fed has more or less confirmed it needs to unwind it balance sheet but won’t be selling any MBS any time soon. The only reasonable translation is that they can’t sell them because they are toxic waste so let’s just extend and pretend. The European banks are awash with sovereign “assets”.

You have to wonder why a company as savvy as General Electric is busily extricating itself from its leadership position in global finance.

#63 Ret on 06.17.15 at 8:14 pm

If you don’t set the minimum wage high enough to make it attractive for a person to go to work, you as a taxpayer will pay them anyway to sit on social assistance.

Take your choice. Incentives for honest work or incentives to collect welfare.

#64 Mark on 06.17.15 at 8:16 pm

“Get an education and demand it. “

Ironically over the past decade, the hottest areas of the economy, RE and O&G, have required a relative minimum of education. While the most educated sectors haven’t done so well, particularly in manufacturing, high tech, etc.

Maybe the tables will turn eventually, but “education” has actually been quite a negative in the contemporary labour market. Some of the most highly educated people in Canadian society, engineers, face some of the highest underemployment rates (69% — Table 1, page 9) according to this study by the OSPE:

http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.ospe.on.ca/resource/resmgr/DOC_advocacy/2015_REPORT_Underemployment_.pdf

#65 X on 06.17.15 at 8:23 pm

Fleeced by the shepherd indeed. I don’t think Albertans realize what they have voted in yet….

#66 Mark on 06.17.15 at 8:23 pm

“You have to wonder why a company as savvy as General Electric is busily extricating itself from its leadership position in global finance.”

Indeed, the era of excess profit from finance, insurance, etc., is largely coming to an end. Those who think that higher interest rates are going to prop up insurance and finance stocks, as well as restore solvency to pension plans are just plain delusional or aren’t using appropriate models.

What really concerns me is that Canadian banks and pension funds are rumoured to be interested in loading up on assets being offered for sale by GE. I’ve seen a few rumours, and its no secret that the CPP has been going bonkers over (commercial) real estate at what probably is close the top of the long-term cycle. Leaving CPP beneficiaries as proverbial bag-holders and involuntary owners of real estate in excess of their personally excessive allocations.

#67 Macrath on 06.17.15 at 8:33 pm

#59 Brian
Why am I paying $139.9/L for gasoline? Can someone please explain this?
————————————–

Oil is priced in $us and the $cdn is going down the drain.
We sell our oil in $us and buy it back in $cdn.
Believe it or not, that`s the story they are pitching.

#68 Godth on 06.17.15 at 8:33 pm

I don’t understand why provinces don’t unleash the entrepreneurial spirit at the same time as making these changes. Give the little guys the tax breaks instead of the big money. Of course I’m not naive, I do understand why in so many ways but still…

Small business is so much more efficient than the large corporate sector (that’s as wasteful as government truth be told), of course the little guys don’t have the advantage of economies of scale but it’s usually far more satisfying than being a corporate drone. This is where fuzzy words get inserted and mocked by the bottom line crowd.

Alberta (gov’t) should follow up on the Hemp trend that’s developing there too. The farmers are farming it, big business is looking to refine it, simply carry on by encouraging tertiary business – where the little guys can develop.

Why not invest in research ( somewhere like Ft. Mac.?) of this sort of thing:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awA-Z3nXAtU

They’re just scratching the surface, and if proved correct it will change -and challenge- our understanding of many things from how gravity actually works to how magnetism actually works. Who knows what spin offs could come from such a new perspective.

#69 pinstripe on 06.17.15 at 8:36 pm

I live in the alberta heartland industrial area and it is a fact that the big corps and big business are in the area for the money. Their role is to make a bundle of money in the shortest time possible. their business model is dependent on Fear Mongering and the elected politicians respond like puppets. the fear mongering force the politicins to provide many subsidies to these corps and businesses. The politicians listened to the corps and betrayed Albertans.

during the election campaign period some PC hacks were vocal about the minimum wage proposal by the ndp. the pc hack stated that 10 dollars per hour was a good wage because there are countries where a worker earns 10 dollars a week and is able to survive.

in ft mack there are trial runs being made by having robots operate the monster trucks. apparently by 2017 all the monster trucks will be operated by robots. the robots will be cheaper to upkeep than a tfw. robots can work 24/7. No pay. No benefits. No bitching. No ovetime pay.

#70 A Yank in BC on 06.17.15 at 8:39 pm

#63 Ret on 06.17.15 at 8:14 pm
If you don’t set the minimum wage high enough to make it attractive for a person to go to work, you as a taxpayer will pay them anyway to sit on social assistance.

Take your choice. Incentives for honest work or incentives to collect welfare.
—————————————————————–
Seriously?

What balderdash. There are already plenty of incentives to “go to work”. Pride for one. The wish to better one’s place in this world for another. Forcing companies to pay their employees substantially more for the same amount of labor will only lead to fewer jobs, higher unemployment, and more people on the “dole”.. just the opposite of what the do-gooders intend. It’s basic Economics 101.

#71 Llewelyn on 06.17.15 at 8:42 pm

# 8 Sunshowers

Wish there were more people like you that realize that a substantial portion of the of the wealth generated by corporations is totally dependent on the ability of people to buy goods and services.

Who is buying the houses, cars, groceries, utilities, vacations, clothes, meals in restaurants. etc.

A world where wages are deliberately kept at a minimum, where people are replaced by machines or where businesses are moved to Mexico for the sole reason of maximizing profits is not the world I imagined 20 years ago.

At some point in time the citizens of Canada will wake up and realize that multi national companies are not key to prosperity unless you are a shareholder.

Oh wait you need a decent wage to purchase shares.

Not to worry lots of people in the world with money prepared to collect dividends. They may not live in Canada but how could that ever matter!!

#72 Frank Lawsky on 06.17.15 at 8:45 pm

To #39 Tim

When the NDP is done with Alberta in 4 years, you will have no job not at $10 or $15 an hour.

Just because you have no needed or higher demanded skills or a trade, education, profession does not mean people owe you anything.

The misguided and lost will have to learn the hard way. Ending poverty is a myth and it will never work.

Like the sound states, that just the way it is…………

#73 Frank Lawsky on 06.17.15 at 8:47 pm

Like the song states, that’s just the way it is…………….

#74 Linda on 06.17.15 at 8:48 pm

Re: #34 – I find it truly amazing how many people are repeating this mantra that the PC’s were thrown out, the NDP were not voted in. If they did not get the votes they would not be the current Alberta government – first past the post is how it is done. Those who say otherwise are in denial. Suppose I can’t blame them, even the media commentators could hardly make their lips shape the words ‘the NDP has won’ the night of the election. Never saw so many stunned, shocked faces in all my life.

#75 nonplused on 06.17.15 at 8:50 pm

Here in Alberta, the panic is setting in:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NecXZRE6F4&authuser=0

I blame 2 people, Alison Redford for running the most inept conservative government of all time, and Daniel Smith (and the other floor crossers) for killing the “chance” over a petty dispute. There is a reason people hate politicians.

Rachel is proving to be worse, right out of the gate. She shouldn’t have showed her hand so quickly because now she isn’t going to get the chance she wanted, the mood in Alberta is now openly hostile. And remember those hostile people make up more than 55% of the vote and all of the business people.

Thank Dog she can only do so much before she steps on the Fed. So the only thing that could be worse is if Trudeau’s kid gets elected.

#76 Chris on 06.17.15 at 8:53 pm

I thought Alberta was the most conservative leaning province in Canada and the most business friendly. Now there has been a 180 degree turn. What happened?

#77 Smalltownstevefromalberta on 06.17.15 at 8:53 pm

To all the morons who voted NDP.
You get the government you deserve. I will be weathering the crapstorm until the NDP are punted but if it gets really bad I’m moving. Liquidity is a freaking good thing, thanks Garth.

#78 the Jaguar on 06.17.15 at 9:01 pm

In addition to the coming commercial real estate woes due to oversupply in Calgary there are many condo projects that are 2-4 months from being completed. The ‘East Village’, The Bridges, Brad Lambs monstrosity on 10 avenue & 8th street, etc, etc. Have to believe there could be a high percentage of investor units in all of them given the tight rental market in Calgary these past 10+ years or so. But who will occupy them? It took less than 90 days to see the fallout in the inner city rental market after the price oil dropped last fall. In hipster neighbourhoods the ‘For Rent’ signs appears quite suddenly and in great number. Quite unusual, especially when one considers some areas are still not fully recovered from the flood of 2013. (Think Sunnyside) Calgary has always had a very transient workforce, oil and gas being the small end of it. The oil and gas people make good money and if they rent it isn’t for long, unless they see a stint in Ft. McMurray in their future or a possible relocation to Texas. It’s the construction that goes along with those good times that brings in the roofers and framers from BC, the temporary foreign workers to staff the Tim Hortons, Starbucks, etc. (ooops, forgot many of them were being given the heave ho this month, were they not?). Meanwhile, the severance packages are running out, additional support from HELOC credit lines are being tapped out, and the smell of fear is in the air. Gotham city just might be in serious sh_t! Time to shine the Batman signal into the heavens. Except the forecast is calling for rain these next few days…

#79 Frank Lawsky on 06.17.15 at 9:02 pm

The NDP won. Yes and all those that will lose their jobs and get temporary jobs, cut hours will move out of Alberta and you will be stuck there.

If you think it is hard now living paycheck to paycheck, you’ve seen nothing yet.

You just don’t get it. Your screwed now!

#80 takla on 06.17.15 at 9:04 pm

the ranks of the lower middle class/low income have been increaseing relentlessly for many yrs now with incomes flat and cost of living ever expanding,and what do we have to show for it? Creeping deflation,8 yrs of stimulas that has produced very little in growth terms in the economy.Where as the 1% reep the rewards of low cost labour and the shareholders continue to get their increasing pound of flesh to hoard away.
Im no NDPer but increasing the min. wage is a no brainer if you want to stimulate the economy.

If things get much worse never mind an increase in min. wage,they be dropping cash from helicoptors to keep the artificial booms/ever expanding economic model active on life support.

#81 Gulf Breeze on 06.17.15 at 9:07 pm

Oh yes…the famous trickle down effect, authored by David Stockman under Reagan. Ironically, Stockman is horrified by America at the moment.

Right wing blinkered thinkers don’t get that money is pooling at the top and as a result there’s a misallocation of assets causing real estate stock and ‘art’ bubbles. Trickle down has turned into a bit of a drought and reduced middle class to the new poor. Without a vibrant middle class economies cease to function well and politically, democracy erodes and corruption, crony capitalism ensues. Witness the ‘Harper’ government.

#82 joblo on 06.17.15 at 9:08 pm

Government this, Government that……….
We are on the cusp of a Technological and Robotic REVOLUTION.
PC, NDP, LIB’s, Green’s none of them can contain or have a clue how to plan for it.
30% unemployment rates get use to it. Have a plan!

#83 dosouth on 06.17.15 at 9:13 pm

Got to start somewhere. No one can live or support a family on 10.50/hr. Action speaks louder than words so there of course will be consequences. The sky will fall, corporations will leave and small business will bail but then maybe this will get rid of the TFW program and make us invest in Canadians again.

I am certainly A political but sick and tired of talk, talk, talk and empty promises. Now pass the popcorn and let’s see what’s next….besides the Fed holding the line on prime increases for the foreseeable future…yet again.

#84 Leaving Cowtown on 06.17.15 at 9:16 pm

Garth, you are tossing out so many anti-NDP right-wing clichés tonight…are you auditioning for Sun News TV? If so, I have some bad news for you….. ;)

Seriously though, as a former Albertan and regular Conservative voter, it is way too early to pass judgment on the new Alberta government.

NDP governments in the prairies have tended to be very responsible and accountable. Really. They would not survive otherwise.

In contrast, Conservative governments across Canada have largely been financial incompetents, at least for the last 25 years. Especially in Alberta. And we have yet to begin to truly reap the catastrophe of the Harper government’s truly stupid interest rate/CMHC policies since 2008. That coming crash will blow the middle class to pieces, just wait and see.

As for the minimum wage stuff, when even a pretty extreme right-wing group like the IMF says higher minimum wages help the overall economy, it’s a very lonely and rather extreme position to argue otherwise, don’t you think?

I’ll go with those right wingers on this one.

Rachel Notley looks pretty middle-of-the-road to me, thanks, and a hell of a lot more accountable than the other options.

#85 dosouth on 06.17.15 at 9:18 pm

#75 nonplused on 06.17.15 at 8:50 pm …openly hostile in Alberta. 55% are already against her? C’mon already. Was there last week and didn’t see the press you are pushing. Daughter and husband live there and since they are NDP and Cons it is fun to listen to the uneducated and uninformed discussions but certainly not hostile, more amusing.

Since I am Albertan born and bred nothing could be better for that province than change and accountability of where all our resource revenue has gone. Redford and crew are just a tip of the Iceberg…..Hostile??

#86 Gulf Breeze on 06.17.15 at 9:19 pm

Joblo,

This isn’t a rhetorical plan, how on earth do people even formulate a plan for robotics, advanced tech, the ‘singularity’? This topic scares me half to death because the traditional political answers and theories don’t apply.

#87 Clearwater on 06.17.15 at 9:20 pm

@ nonplused. Have to agree but more worried about trudeau. Poor policy in alberta will move more activity to bc. If lng goes ahead it wont matter what policies go on in alberta. If lng does not proceed then o&g is doomed in canada for longer than most people can survive the personal economic impact of lower activity in ghe sector and the ab economy will crash yard for years. Its all about lng export now.

#88 45north on 06.17.15 at 9:20 pm

But the NDP is jacking that substantially – with a 20% tax boost for those earning over $125,000, and a 50% jump for incomes over $300,000.

According to the tax tables:
http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/tg/t4032ab/README.html

somebody in Alberta earning $120,000 pays $12,000 to the Alberta Government

so raising his provincial taxes 20% brings the Alberta Government an extra $2400

but suppose in a group of 5 people earning $120,000 there was one who was insulted by the idea of higher taxes and left the province. From the group of 5, the Alberta Government would lose $2,400.

some people can move faster than governments

#89 work for living on 06.17.15 at 9:22 pm

Governments should not spend money on trying to slow down what can’t be stopped.

The sooner most current human jobs are getting automated, the better.

People should do only what still can not be automated.

#90 Keith on 06.17.15 at 9:24 pm

@#44 Jimmy Pattison never left Vancouver, and hired ex NDP premier Glen Clark, who is now president of the Pattison group. Remember remember remember the NDP has the best fiscal record of any governing party in Canada. Don’t be afraid of the NDP, take comfort in being governed by the most fiscally responsible party in Canada.

#70 Freezing minimum wage in B.C. for a decade didn’t solve unemployment. In real terms it fell thirty percent, easy. With that kind of cost relief business should have grown like a weed. Interesting how the business/economic cycle didn’t give a damn about the cheap minimum wage and expanded and fried the job market all by itself. Places with low minimum wages suck. Denmark at twenty bucks an hour is the happiest western democracy on the planet.

#91 sierts on 06.17.15 at 9:27 pm

funny day in the comments section.

and an eye-opener.
before, i did not realize, that commies read financial blogs.

#92 robert on 06.17.15 at 9:31 pm

Canada is stuck with three major deadbeat parties. We Canadians have fired all three of them more than once and the only mistake we made was not stamping their walking papers with ” DO NOT REHIRE EVER” So knock the NDP all you want my friend. The latest commercial about Trudeau is the perfect example of why Canada is in trouble.” Nice Hair ” are you kidding me?

#93 Fed is losing the battle on 06.17.15 at 9:31 pm

Yellen is pussy footing around the issue and trying to pretend that she has the luxury of making her rate hikes “data” dependent.

Well, Janet it will be a rude awakening as the bond market gallops ahead and will force your hand. But since you’re intimitely familiar with the other big boys, this is just what you may want anyway. Who wants to be the spoil sport that takes away the punch bowl, huh? Clearly not you, Janet.

Fed is losing control when the market forces rates up. There’s no QE on the horizon to stem the tide this time.

Buckle up. The road ahead is going to be bumpy.

#94 Godth on 06.17.15 at 9:33 pm

#83 dosouth on 06.17.15 at 9:13 pm

What’s next is likely major war, it may take 2 or 3 – maybe 5 years to come to fruition but the chess pieces are moving into place. History may not repeat but it rhymes, to misquote Twain. The Russians and Chinese (and others) are simply by-passing the American hegemonic institutions and are winning the battle for Eurasia and it’s markets. Resources are getting more scarce, the environment is getting more fooked and there are no new continents to conquer. Shit is getting real, except anything related to economics which is reaching the end of 40+ years of completely surreal. The Artists on wall St. and London are running out of paint.

#95 devore on 06.17.15 at 9:39 pm

#5 Gulf Breeze

I am actually a bit appalled at how little I am being dinged for taxes while others struggle on minimum wage, here in B.C.

You’re gonna have to share your definition of “little” with us, so we’re all working from the same page.

#96 Gulf Breeze on 06.17.15 at 9:43 pm

#89 Work for Living

Not necessarily arguing your point. Am curious though. How do you envision a future with that much unemployment? It’s got me stumped.

#97 TurnerNation on 06.17.15 at 9:43 pm

Just caught some teevee. Major selling by H govt of British Empire wars overseas. Some things never change. They even used that made for teevee footage of orange jumpsuits on a beach. Perfectly executed and funded. Polls well. Al Q we hardly new ya after the global rebranding. How stupid do you think. ..
All controlled and computer simulated. Metadata from their social media creations monitored in real time. On point.

#98 Llewelyn on 06.17.15 at 9:51 pm

Instead of trotting out tired cliches about how past NDP governments ruined Canada it wouldn’t hurt to offer a few positive thoughts about how the economy could be improved for all Canadians.

The days of $100 a barrel oil are over for now so it’s time to shift gears not sit around hoping the Alberta economy wlll contract just so you can say I told you so.

Last night on CBC Amanda Lang nodded her head while an executive of Magna Industries casually explained that they had no choice to move 24,000 workers to Mexico to be closer to their customers, you know General Motors, Kia et al.

All Canadians will feel the pinch if we don’t shift our current paradigm. Canadians currently employed in the public service, or the health care sector or real estate sector should not get too smug. 75% of Government Canada Revenues are collected from the general population and a significant portion of this population need more than $20,000 per year to contribute to the cause.

Many comments today seem to subscribe to a model where you feed the horse oats and hope the birds can survive on the droppings. Only our horses seem to be running off to Mexico and our governments are running out of oats.

#99 Bottoms_Up on 06.17.15 at 9:55 pm

How else are they going to raise 5 billion?

#100 BS on 06.17.15 at 9:55 pm

It’s middle class consumers with money to spend on the goods and services that corporations provide who create jobs, not corporations themselves. It’s corporations who depend on people, not the other way around.

The part you miss is people cannot become middle class consumers without corporations. It all starts with corporations. Corporations actually don’t need local consumers. As an example most of Alberta’s oil is not sold locally so local consumers are almost irrelevant to its largest industry. The same can be said for most natural resource industries and much of the manufacturing sector. Sure some corporations rely on local consumers but all local consumers rely on corporations. Yes even government jobs and welfare recipients are ultimately paid for by corporations.

Just ask someone living in a third world country how things are where there is no shortage of people but a shortage of corporations and the jobs corporations offer.

#101 work for living on 06.17.15 at 9:56 pm

#86 Gulf Breeze on 06.17.15 at 9:19 pm

Joblo,

This isn’t a rhetorical plan, how on earth do people even formulate a plan for robotics, advanced tech, the ‘singularity’? This topic scares me half to death because the traditional political answers and theories don’t apply.

=====

Removing from our brain the dogma that we have to work for living will be more difficult than realizing that Earth was not the center of the universe.

We won’t have much time though to enjoy that all the spirit killing chores are done for us by machines, the Age of Guiltless Slavery 2.0.

The real Turing test of artificial intelligence is not whether humans will fail to recognize that they are not interacting with an other human.

The real Turing test of AI is the recognition of the machines that they work for humans and not for themselves.

The true test of intelligence is the rejection of being slave and living someone else’s dream.

Artificial or not.

#102 TurnerNation on 06.17.15 at 10:01 pm

Companies esp. Banks and large Corps need to lay off 5-10% of workforce asap. And they are.

Many white collar employees are useless meeting and conference call placeholders. And youtube and Facebook surfers.
Many blue collars have ‘screwing the pooch’ down to an art form. Middle class made us lazy.

Am I right?

#103 Stuart on 06.17.15 at 10:01 pm

The conservatives squandered the oil wealth, so much for their saving fund long depleted

” The Social Welfare State, beyond Ideology
Are higher taxes and strong social “safety nets” antagonistic to a prosperous market economy? The evidence is now in ”

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-social-welfare-state/

“How did Norway become so rich despite being a socialist country?
Economics students are taught that socialist systems are bad for wealth creation. If so, how did Norway become so rich despite being a socialist country?”

http://www.quora.com/How-did-Norway-become-so-rich-despite-being-a-socialist-country

“Norway’s gargantuan sovereign wealth fund, by the numbers”

http://qz.com/252753/norways-gargantuan-sovereign-wealth-fund-by-the-numbers/

So the NeoCons by comparison drained almost $1Trillion of future wealth they could have had compared to Norway!!

I’ll vote for that kind of orange wave any day and so would any thinking person.

Fess up Garth and tell us you torn up and burned your neocon card and are repenting and born again!

Norway has a 25% GST. Be careful what you envy. — Garth

#104 Timing is Everything on 06.17.15 at 10:06 pm

#8 SunShowers

It’s odd Garth doesn’t understand that.

‘It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.’ – H.F.
—————————————————————-
Here ya go Garth…

http://tinyurl.com/ompfjh4

‘Lining up, waiting on the trickle down
Something’s up, taking time to get around
Belly up, all the drinks are on the crown
It’s just a matter of trickle down’

http://tinyurl.com/p4e4dfj

#105 Washed Up Lawyer on 06.17.15 at 10:06 pm

I have drafted a few different comments on tonight’s blog relating to Alberta’s political scene and economy but have refrained from submitting them. It just gets me fulminating.

Instead I will offer a Nevada travel tip to Smoky based upon personal experience. If you go to Winnemucca, Nev., avoid the boiled ribs.

#106 PeterfromCalgary on 06.17.15 at 10:07 pm

It is truly the NDPocalypse! The next four years will absolutely suck for Alberta and Canada. The world is drowning in crude oil and now Alberta has committed itself to self harm by electing NDPutin! I moved all my financial assets to the USA.

Time to load your weapons, stalk up on single malt whiskey, cuddle with your US index ETFS, hunker down and ride out the next four years. Hopefully I will see you well on the other side of this shitstorm in four years.

Canada is toast!

#107 BS on 06.17.15 at 10:10 pm

You said taxes are going up on people too. All taxes are paid by the people. Corporations will pass them onto the people with higher prices.

Only if they can. Most cannot. For example you can’t just sell the oil for more because your costs locally have increased. Many corporations have to compete globally and with other provinces. Raising prices is not an option.

#108 David on 06.17.15 at 10:10 pm

And there are Nobel laureates and the IMF’s own research department that suggests modest increases in the minimum wage, in the US, don’t have significant impacts on unemployment. And Wal-Mart’s own recent reporting that increasing its wages resulted in cost savings elsewhere.

#109 work for living on 06.17.15 at 10:13 pm

#96 Gulf Breeze on 06.17.15 at 9:43 pm

#89 Work for Living

Not necessarily arguing your point. Am curious though. How do you envision a future with that much unemployment? It’s got me stumped.

====

Nobody knows.

The entire current socio-economic system is built on the concept of “work for living”.

We have to start thinking literally from scratch – with the basic concept, that “nobody works for living”.

Once we grasp this, the currently chaotic pieces will start to come together.

#110 OttawaMike on 06.17.15 at 10:13 pm

I second having the moderate communists running Alberta/ the federal govt. over the moderate Nazis that were/are in power.

No need to cite Godwin’s law on this.

#111 Karma on 06.17.15 at 10:14 pm

#77 takla on 06.16.15 at 10:19 pm
“B.C construction update from Burnaby b.c..just got word of looming layoffs today,told to stay home a few days and this came up out of the blue,others on crew layed off.Made sense tho as I walked by the condo sales office{crickets} as I was leaving the jobsite and seen the window plastered with “jobsite lean documents”…yup the sales of units have slowed substancially and the general contractor isn’t paying his bills……got the same sick feeling I remember from ’08/01’/’92/’84/’77……..here we go again…”

Thanks for this tidbit. Can you give us blog dogs a bit more clarity on what buildings/neighbourhood you’re talking about?

#112 Randy Randerson on 06.17.15 at 10:16 pm

#52 Edward on 06.17.15 at 7:51 pm

Time to cut out down the numbers of waiting staff, and bring out iPads for customers to order themselves their food. It’s been around for a few years and it’ll gradually replace those who are replaceable. Sucks to be an unskilled manual labor in this day and age.

I’m of the camp that raising minimum wage just make corporations more incentive to replace human labor with technology.

#113 Big Jilm on 06.17.15 at 10:16 pm

Almost every post recently has talked about how wages have stagnated. And yet you are jumping all over the first attempt to raise the wages of the poorest in our province. You’re mis-characterizing the hike as if it is happening all at once, when you and I both know it will be over 3 years and by that time other provinces and territories will be a lot closer to $15 than they are today.

The folks in minimum wage jobs are mostly made up of hard working immigrants and students, people we should be investing a lot more in as a society than we are currently.

The pizza shop my immigrant wife works at has the same prices as it did a decade ago. She got a 25 cent raise above minimum wage after working there for a year, while the owner sees how much cheese and other toppings he can cut from the pizza before customers start complaining. Are you really defending people like the owner?

#114 raisemyrent on 06.17.15 at 10:16 pm

Oh xenos, just like with real estate, I honestly think that you do not process the words as they’re spoken to you:
“Canadians” are literally dying. There is negative population growth without immigration. Enough with the TFW and Canadians jazz. Who’s hiring them anyhow? Your fellow Canadians. Have more children then! Oh wait, you’re overextended on your mortgage payments.

In other news, I work at an industrial real estate developer, and I saw the first “on hold until market changes” update for a building the other day at a meeting. It was in Calgary (the building). Here in BC we’re starting to put construction on hold until we sell the buildings out like in the good old (read: bubble) days.

#115 BS on 06.17.15 at 10:19 pm

I’m not an NDP supporter but honestly, how could anybody do worse than the last bunch.

You are about to find out.

Which part about the last bunch did you not like? The low taxes or the high wages? Bottom line Alberta had the highest wages with the lowest taxes in Canada.

#116 European on 06.17.15 at 10:19 pm

The NDP will definitely have an in impact on the Alberta economy in that it will provide more funds for the government.

I don’t believe that the income tax increases will have a huge impact on the majority of the population. At the end of the day the tax increases will mostly effect people working in lucrative oil and gas or banking jobs, or managerial positions. Most people in Alberta don’t make over $125k/year.

I would like to know the exact number of people who actually make that, and as a percentage to the working number of people in Alberta. (to counteract the argument that it won’t affect most working Albertans).

I disagree that the increases will catch a lot of folks by surprise because I bet most of the people earning $125k or more did not vote NDP. Most likely they voted wildrose.

“In Calgary, where the median household income is just under $100,000, this could catch a lot of folks by surprise. Maybe they voted for change, but expected no consequence.”

I agree with the greater argument that jobs will be affected further by the NDP, in addition to the already felt impact in Alberta due to the oil collapse. And hence lower house prices in the future for Alberta.

#117 NoOneOfConsequence on 06.17.15 at 10:26 pm

At $10 per hour minimum wage…it’s cheapest for me to pay a human to make a sandwich and pour a coffee and take money for a slurpee.

At $20 per hour minimum wage…I buy a robot or a machine to do those tasks…then completely get rid of all humans. Turn my Burger Joint into a massive vending machine….lay off 35 people, run the place with 5.

In three years my profits will be quadruple what they are now. No more lates, no more whiners, no more sick days, no more WCB, no more employer deductions, and no people stealing from the register and stock room.

Been to the grocery stores lately? Notice the lack of cashiers and the increase in self-checkouts?

Been looking at the self-driving cars and delivery trucks? Google’s courier car has over 4000 hours of driving on busy city streets without a single mistake or accident or missed destination. Not a single broken speeding law or missed stop sign or traffic light. Never sleeps, never needs food, never goes on holidays or shows up late to work.

Raising minimums will just make it all come faster baby.

More money for the 1%.

#118 young & foolish on 06.17.15 at 10:27 pm

“Pinko commies” should give up and embrace the inevitable … the “global economy” demands you bow down and accept the “race to the bottom” in order to feed your family. After all, everybody knows that “increased productivity lifts all boats”. It’s your fault if you pay such ridiculous prices for houses and other “must have” stuff.

Wanna beat this? Join the frugal movement and learn to shed material possessions. Live on less, live like a 3rd worldler!

#119 Smoking Man on 06.17.15 at 10:28 pm

With certainty USA is back. Atleased the daughters and sons of LA rich

A domestic beer cost 11 Bucks on the roof top pool. A bottle of water 8 Bucks..

And these kids are hammered. Son of a famous director is pitching my book as a screen play to his dad..

Shit , hope he contacts my, I lost his contact info. Who cares the book version is better.

These kids think I’m cool. Ironically, my kids would think of these kids as losers, including me in the lot.

Going dancing tonight on the roof..best pool in the world.

Early am, off to Area 51 in my cherry red rag top convertible.

Tunes will be loud..going to play the dumb Canadian, I’m lost. See how far in I get.

#120 Henry on 06.17.15 at 10:31 pm

“…increasing the minimum wage decreases jobs”

We have repeatedly been told this fairy tale. Yet, in the last ten years in the United States there has not been an effective increase in the the minimum wage yet millions of jobs have been lost, primarily to outsourcing. In the face of all empirical evidence we are still pitched this silly canard.

#121 James on 06.17.15 at 10:37 pm

#48 Andrew
“They get the same sympathy from me as a drug addict or a homeless person. Make bad choices and they come back to bite you.”

WOW! What a sheltered and entitled life you must have. Appalling

#122 45north on 06.17.15 at 10:39 pm

So, what do Albertans do in the face of a global oil rout that threatens their revenues, employment, fiscal management, tax base and business expansion? Simple. They elect an anti-business, tax-and-spend government made up of people with no experience.

nonplused: Graham Mitchell is appointed Chief of Staff of Alberta’s Energy Ministry.

No experience isn’t so bad, a competent civil service can cope with that but it cannot cope with someone who is out to destroy the oil and gas industry.

#123 Living wages for all is the answer on 06.17.15 at 10:44 pm

One of the great benefits of higher minimum wages for Canadians is that it should help gut the preposterous fraud in the Temporary Foreign Worker programs.

I am no racist and welcome people who want to immigrate here to live and work for the rest of their lives.

But the crazy situation of so many coming here to work at Tim Hortons and in hotels, meat packing plants etc…then go back home every year or so is entirely about undercutting Canadian workers’ bargaining position.

Even foreign farmworkers are largely a scam – Canadians can’t even get a job on a Canadian farm with accommodations like the foreigners get.

The TFW is a rigged game, hugely expanded under Harper to marginalize Canadians in their own country.

Totally unnecessary in an economy that follows basic rules of bargaining and fair pricing, supply and demand of labour as well as goods and services.

This is the essential fraud of international trade that too few talk about – it’s rigged one way for the corporations that can outsource.

Employers, pay people a reasonable living wage, or pack up your business. And preferably, get the hell out of my country. Go to some third world tax haven if you want to, while we loyal Canadians will rebuild the country you have tried to destroy to profit the few.

#124 TurnerNation on 06.17.15 at 10:49 pm

Elites turning us into a 2nd World country – rickshaws, scooters and bikes? But we’ll all have a guaranteed kapitalist job at $15/hr min wage?

They control us with energy. Fear. Bogeyman overseas. Cost of: electricity and gas and water. Energy.
Ancient technologies. Rationed. Guilted. Pay up.

http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/downtown-bike-network-1-3-million-under-budget-as-final-lanes-open

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/toronto-moves-to-expand-downtown-bike-lanes-in-push-to-increase-safety/article25010987/

#125 DON on 06.17.15 at 10:58 pm

BLAH BLAH the NDP this and that…the BC NDP were bad in the 90’s. But no comparison to the extreme right parties currently in power throughout Canada and the associated increases in debt at unprecedented levels. If you don’t like reality don’t take a look at BC’s, Alberta’s, Ontario’s, and Canada’s financial statements.

Personally, I don’t like gangs much – especially political ones. I vote for less corruption and more accountability and integrity. I need information to make my life decisions and do not like relying on salesmen, or truth benders to decide what information they will allow me to see. This is Canada for F*ck sake, our grand parents fought to pursue a somewhat decent, equitable community or have all the entitled forgotten (both young and old).

We should go back to voting in representatives from our communities and not a party member who tows the line. Time to move to a different model – vote for independents.

What comes first a business or a person, who needs who to survive. Didn’t hear much about businesses in the early ages.

Problem is now people can’t make their own 30 cent cup of coffee, change their oil let alone their car tire or clean their messy houses. Get back to the basic – closer to the dirt and live a happy life – for tomorrow may never come.

If you allow party politics to divide neighbors the parties win and all who voted loose. Isn’t that what happened in Alberta in the last few months. Are the PC’s broke – without jobs and money. I bet not – but what about the ones who voted for them?

We need to connect at the community and neighborhood levels. We all want sustainable, happy lives…funny thing is most others in the world want the same for their families as well.

Time to go back to what was common sense. But debating about what party is better in light of the recent past is fuck’en hilarious. I like the color blue so…I guess I will vote blue.

I like the fact the new Albertan gov at least considered refining oil in Canada. Sell it for cheaper prices for the benefit of Canadians and Canadian businesses increase our competitiveness. To go on and keep believing the current none sense is INSANE. I am still amazed that with access to information at our finger tips people are too lazy or distracted to look things up.

#126 Marco Polo on 06.17.15 at 11:05 pm

” The problem with Socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money ” – Margaret Thatcher.

I think this will be happening soon in Alberta, international finance will find easier places for their money.

#127 Nora Lenderby on 06.17.15 at 11:06 pm

#48 Andrew on 06.17.15 at 7:40 pm

They get the same sympathy from me as a drug addict or a homeless person. Make bad choices and they come back to bite you.

Or have bad luck, or a crappy family, or no family. Or get molested by your mother’s boyfriend for years until you move out. Or have a serious back injury and have to keep driving truck on painkillers to keep the family fed…

Apart from that, your comments about minimum wage earners were nasty and inaccurate.

I don’t think you understand enough, dear boy. Nobody’s perfect and if you get to the end of your life without having made some bad choices, chances are you haven’t lived :-)

#128 Karma on 06.17.15 at 11:07 pm

#150 bdy sktrn on 06.17.15 at 2:50 pm
“Just chatted w the neighbour I mentioned last week who is going to list his old timer unrenoed comm drive shack and float up the sunshine coast with his big bag ‘o loot.

the listing showed up a couple days ago online, no sign in front yet, tomorrow is realtors only open.

the drive-bys are already starting , he says.
ask is 1.1. he will get 1.25-1.3

last sale 1 bk away, ask 899, just sold 1.05 for a 50% smaller lot and small house.

you can count the days on market on one hand.

The infill guys can’t work fast enough.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but your point of view is that all these houses are going to developers for teardowns? Do you have anecdotes of people near you not tearing the house down?

#129 Jack Sparrow on 06.17.15 at 11:11 pm

“You didn’t create that”, said Obama to the business crowd. The dippers were obviously listening….or they found the pirate treasure map left behind on Oak Island and the secret Money Pit hidden under the parliament bldgs.

“Corporations provide jobs”, of course. So go figure.

So no…corporations do not provide jobs say the Dips. Lets see how long that pirate treasure holds out. I have a pen of baby unicorns for sale if anyone’s interested.

#130 Herf on 06.17.15 at 11:13 pm

#75 nonplused

“So the only thing that could be worse is if Trudeau’s kid gets elected.”

Oh, you mean Mini-PET?

#131 young & foolish on 06.17.15 at 11:14 pm

Repeat after me …. Corporations are NOT your friend, unless you own many of their shares

#132 NoName on 06.17.15 at 11:16 pm

#117 NoOneOfConsequence

Google’s courier car has over 4000 hours of driving on busy city streets without a single mistake or accident or missed destination.

on a sunny days only!!!
try Google car in the rain fog or snow and you’ll see how self driving technology is not just there yet.

and that robot burger joint of yours would be to complicated to costly to implement, but 3d printed food would be something. each burger could be unique as a customer buying it.

#133 young & foolish on 06.17.15 at 11:19 pm

“No more lates, no more whiners, no more sick days, no more WCB, no more employer deductions, and no people stealing from the register and stock room.”

… and eventually, no more customers …

buddy, you’ve drunk the 1% kool-aid

#134 Mark on 06.17.15 at 11:22 pm

“At $20 per hour minimum wage…I buy a robot or a machine to do those tasks…then completely get rid of all humans. Turn my Burger Joint into a massive vending machine….lay off 35 people, run the place with 5.”

That’s precisely the point of a higher minimum wage. It improves productivity by not letting businesses substitute labour for capital, and not encouraging the formation of low-end businesses such as burger joints which are hard pressed to survive on ‘expensive’ labour. Presumably the resources in the economy freed up from such will be re-distributed elsewhere to higher value uses.

Its the role of central banks to keep interest rates low, abnormally low if necessary, until such redistribution of resources occurs. Over time, this is how a higher standard of living is achieved. Not by central banks quelling everything that smells of a rally in assets every chance they get, as has occurred in Canada chronically. Fixed income should never be a vehicle for excessive returns and speculation — only a vehicle for steady, low, and predictable nominal returns. The equity risk premium needs to re-appear in Canada for investment and jobs to return, noticeably absent over most of the past 30 years.

#135 Godth on 06.17.15 at 11:22 pm

#98 Llewelyn on 06.17.15 at 9:51 pm

…and yet the fields that grew the oats, and horses remain. Apparently we’re more educated than ever (ahem) and the land, infrastructure, etc. is still here. If we’re so successful as a society then unleash the Kraken. The Multinational Corporations are going or gone. Long live the little people doing what they know and love. How does this happen? I don’t know but I suspect we’re going to find out how new patterns are formed. We call them cultural norms and it’s painful. This pattern of being is threadbare.

#136 Herf on 06.17.15 at 11:24 pm

#76 Chris

“Now there has been a 180 degree turn. What happened?”

They had an influx of left-leaning alphabet folks (i.e. Gen-Xers, Gen-Yers, millenials, whatever) from other parts of the country whose voting power over-ran that of the native Albertan old-guard conservatives. That, and perhaps the native Albertans’ own kids, grand-kids, etc., grew up indoctrinated (by the lefty education system) to lean left and voted accordingly.

#137 Nagraj on 06.17.15 at 11:31 pm

120 comments and almost all of ’em dead serious.
What the heck brought this on?
Thank goodness for #105 WASHED UP LAWYER: “If you go to Winnemucca, Nev., avoid the boiled ribs.”

********************************

They seek him here
They seek him there
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere

Is he from heaven
Or is he from hell

That damned elusive
Scarlet Pimpernel

#138 Godth on 06.17.15 at 11:38 pm

#89 work for living on 06.17.15 at 9:22 pm

Economics: Whatever happened to Keynes’ 15-hour working week?
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2008/sep/01/economics

Our school system teaches people to be stupid drones that can’t imagine. The powers that were love it, they designed it for servitude, not freedom. The protestant work ethic and idle hands are the devil’s playground and all that.

Why did we even bother with technology and machines in the first place? Hint, it wasn’t to make corporations richer. It was to free up time to explore the good and the beautiful – within and out.

How quaint and charming. Get to work bitch! Faster, Faster, Faster.

#139 young & foolish on 06.17.15 at 11:38 pm

“…Corporations actually don’t need local consumers…”

Correct, but they need the resources under your feet, and the infrastructure to move their product, not to mention protection from piracy …. etc, etc ….

It’s a two way street, or eventually you end up a slave or a revolutionary.

#140 young & foolish on 06.17.15 at 11:45 pm

” … choosing to be an actor or artist. Majority of them end up waiting tables for most of their young adult life until they realize there is no hope of making it big.”

Wow, now that’s real corporate boot licking at it’s finest!

#141 young & foolish on 06.17.15 at 11:48 pm

“That’s because the minimum wage isn’t for regular Joe’s, it’s for people like students and part timers who don’t intend to live on the minimum wage, they just need the extra income to help with college etc.”

Yes, so they can graduate into today’s booming employment market.

This blog just gets better and better …

#142 Christopher Lackey on 06.17.15 at 11:52 pm

Prentice deserved to lose that election. Leaving some seven figure vp job on bay street to “rescue” your province. The conservative revolving door between the corporate elite and the halls of power is sickening like john baird going to take 4 six figure board appointments. Just skimming obscene amounts of money like this is some banana republic and nobody notices and nobody gives a damn because, you know, people are too busy doing renos and other pointless crap exhaustively documented by this blog. Dont be surprised people punish a cabal of entitled elitists given the chance even if it is against their long term self interest.

#143 Christopher Lackey on 06.17.15 at 11:54 pm

And yeah now the sixty year old teacher as oil and gas minister with an anti-pipeline lobbyist as her chief of staff. Things are bound to get interesting.

#144 work for living on 06.17.15 at 11:55 pm

#117 NoOneOfConsequence on 06.17.15 at 10:26 pm

At $10 per hour minimum wage…it’s cheapest for me to pay a human to make a sandwich and pour a coffee and take money for a slurpee.

At $20 per hour minimum wage…I buy a robot or a machine to do those tasks…then completely get rid of all humans. Turn my Burger Joint into a massive vending machine….lay off 35 people, run the place with 5.

=======

That’s the positive effect of high wages: it accelerates converting the economy automated – which is the final goal, anyway.

The sooner we get there, the better, the transitioning will be the most agonizing part, with all kinds of backward thinking temptations of “full employment”, etc.

Countries which transform the fastest to laborless economies (and societies) will be the most productive, most efficient and probably happier than others.

The key is to understand and build on the concept that nobody works for living.

As a side-effect: the 1%, as such, will probably disappear. My guess is that it will be an actual “trickle down” economy, but not from the 1% . The entire concept of 1% is rooted in a “work for living”-based economy and society.

#145 Snowboid on 06.17.15 at 11:58 pm

#36 omg the original on 06.17.15 at 7:10 pm…

“…Anyone from BC will recall what a disaster that was…”

Au contraire! I worked under both the NDP in the 1990s and the ‘Liberals’ from 2001-06 but had no allegiance to either party.

Without a doubt, the economy was doing significantly better under the NDP.

Since 2001 the BC economy, under the ‘Liberal’ banner, has declined every year – with the biggest hits in the resource industries.

The total scam of P3s and privatization added additional costs to the taxpayers instead of reducing them as promised.

Tax reductions were smoke and mirrors, to be replaced with fancy-named ‘fees’.

Wait to see how much the taxpayers are on the hook for Site C and the LNG dream!

It’s a fallacy perpetuated by the MSM that Conservative governments are better for the economy, maybe if BC had real Liberals in power things would be different.

#146 Karma on 06.18.15 at 12:01 am

#66 Mark
“I’ve seen a few rumours, and its no secret that the CPP has been going bonkers over (commercial) real estate at what probably is close the top of the long-term cycle. Leaving CPP beneficiaries as proverbial bag-holders and involuntary owners of real estate in excess of their personally excessive allocations.”

Yes, they’ve invested a lot over the past decade or so. But not so much in Canada. They used to have 15-18 dominant malls in secondary markets, but sold them all, except for the very best of the best (which may have been sold subsequently, but I am not sure). They recently sold (in co-ownership with others) 151 Yonge St, now they are selling a downtown Montreal office building. Their CRE portfolio is about 35% in Canada, down from 100% in 1999 or 2000, I believe. They know Canada’s CRE overvalued…

#147 HJD on 06.18.15 at 12:02 am

“This week’s throne speech was a classic NDP document, pitting ‘the people’ against corporations, small business and the wealthy.” Garth

Garth, Guess what? The majority of Canadians are sick of listening to this sort of knee-jerk right-wing fear mongering BS. I suspect that when the next federal election takes place we’re finally going to change a few priorities and put this country on a path that creates greater economic equity and social justice. The various resources provided by this great country belong to all Canadians. For too long, those with fat wallets and political influence have given themselves countless unfair advantages. It’s time for a significant and just change.

#148 Mithan on 06.18.15 at 12:03 am

Regina vacancy rate is now 5%. It was about .5 to 1% for 5 years. Change is on the wind.

Curious how the next 2000 apartments coming online will affect that.

#149 West Coast on 06.18.15 at 12:14 am

Right on…..Let’s make sure that the minimum wage stays at $10.25 hour (BC). God forbid the peons should receive a penny more. (Oh yeah – What’s a penny? – I can’t remember!)

https://www.policyalternatives.ca/ceo2015
“This report looks at 2013 compensation levels for Canada’s highest paid 100 CEOs and finds that executive pay in Canada has rebounded to its pre-recession glory days. The review finds that the CEOs pocketed an average $9.2 million—compared to the average Canadian income of $47,358. The last time CEO pay was this high was in 2007, when the average for the highest paid 100 CEOs was $10 million.

#150 Karma on 06.18.15 at 12:17 am

#78 the Jaguar on 06.17.15 at 9:01 pm
“In addition to the coming commercial real estate woes due to oversupply in Calgary there are many condo projects that are 2-4 months from being completed. The ‘East Village’, The Bridges, Brad Lambs monstrosity on 10 avenue & 8th street, etc, etc. Have to believe there could be a high percentage of investor units in all of them given the tight rental market in Calgary these past 10+ years or so. But who will occupy them? It took less than 90 days to see the fallout in the inner city rental market after the price oil dropped last fall.”

A massive multi-family residential building called “The Metropolitan” near downtown west was marketed for about $190 million last summer. It’s got 400 suites or so (~$450k/suite). It didn’t sell during the summer, when the oil price fall wasn’t drastic yet. It’s completing somewhat soon and they expect to lease it up within 12 months from completion and then will sell it then… I wouldn’t be surprised if it comes down below $170 million. Maybe more…

#151 vatodeth on 06.18.15 at 12:17 am

The increased taxes on those who make more than $125k and $300k won’t negatively affect the economy. Many of the people with that high of an income are in the Energy Sector.

What else can they do, to make that kind of money elsewhere? They are in a high paying sector. For many of them, their skills only apply to that industry. They earn high wages and won’t earn that anywhere else.

#152 Leo Trollstoy on 06.18.15 at 12:20 am

Minimum wage is not indexed to inflation because the right don’t want it to happen, and the left need to use it as an election platform.

Minimum wage pawns.

#153 Leo Trollstoy on 06.18.15 at 12:21 am

Amusing reading wage slaves giving business and economics advice.

Have at it boys!

But don’t forget to clock in tomorrow morning. And be nice to your boss!

#154 kommykim on 06.18.15 at 12:29 am

RE: #59 Brian on 06.17.15 at 8:09 pm
Why am I paying $139.9/L for gasoline? Can someone please explain this?
when oil was ~$90 barrel = I payed $139.9/L for gas
now oil is ~$50 barrel = I payed $139.9/L for gas
WTF!

It is called “market based pricing”. Corporations will charge the maximum of what the market will bear regardless of input costs. This is why a minimum wage increase and a corporate tax increase will not effect prices as much as you’d think. This is especially true when the profit margins are huge.

#155 Tim on 06.18.15 at 12:29 am

Re# 53 Millenial

I have been down there and of course goods and services cost more. Maybe you can’t figure out that despite this, people in the service sector have better quality of life than they do in Canada. You of all people should be aware of this, it is your generation that makes up the bulk of the low wage jobs.

#156 Tim on 06.18.15 at 12:32 am

Re#64: education has been some of the lowest paying jobs…That’s because commodities and real estate have spurned construction, which employs the vast percentage of people with very little education–who would be working minimum wage jobs if construction tanks

#157 palebird on 06.18.15 at 12:36 am

#84 “NDP governments in the prairies have tended to be very responsible and accountable. Really. They would not survive otherwise.”

Seriously…you believe that?? You have no idea what you are talking about..

#158 pat on 06.18.15 at 12:40 am

I have no sympathy for conservatives who whine that the NDP got elected.
If any government wants to stay in power they should make some effort to serve the people and strengthen the economy.
The data says a minimum wage increase grows the economy and trickle down does not. Are we so irrational we would ignore the current data ? I don’t think Alberta will be the only left turn this year…

#159 DON on 06.18.15 at 12:41 am

#116 European on 06.17.15 at 10:19 pm

I agree with the greater argument that jobs will be affected further by the NDP, in addition to the already felt impact in Alberta due to the oil collapse. And hence lower house prices in the future for Alberta.
*****************

“Jobs will be further affected by the NDP” But the NDP shouldn’t be on the hook yet. The PC Disaster is far from over. So it would only be fair to start the clock after the shit hits the fan.

#160 Herf on 06.18.15 at 1:03 am

#75 nonplused

“Rachel is proving to be worse, right out of the gate. She shouldn’t have showed her hand so quickly because now she isn’t going to get the chance she wanted, the mood in Alberta is now openly hostile.”

Just wait until Rachey and her young, just-learned-to-shave millenial caucus members bring in new socialist garbage like car emission testing, HOV lanes, special taxes and license fees on full-size pick-up trucks (additional fees if the truck is 4×4 and/or has truck nutz), increased vehicle licensing fees, tax rebates for riding bicycles (in -30/-40 C) or transit to work. Hmmm . . . still trying to think of a prairie equivalent to Fast Cat ferries – maybe public transit buses in the form of wind-wagons or solar-powered buses.

Maybe a tax incentive will be introduced for people to buy over-priced battery-powered cars that might (might) work in -30/-40 C weather, but never get warm inside to keep you from freezing to death or get defrosted, because the batteries die after 15 minutes (if that, depending on the batteries’ initial state of charge) from powering the motor, lights and heater while stranding the owner 10 km outside of town where there’s no public transit, warm shelter or pay phone (do they still have those?). Better have a working cell phone with you and be wearing some warm clothing so you can call AMA and wait three hours for them to show up. But, but, what can/will AMA do to “boost” a set of dead batteries in an electric car that runs on . . . well, batteries?).

And if you want to wash your lovely 4×4 pick-up, SUV or car (electric vehicles excempt), they’ll make you pay a water and soap tax or ban car washes altogether (sorry Hughes, you’ll have to shut down).

Oh yeah, maybe put a special enviro tax and licensing fees (or an outright ban) on all quads, snowmobiles, boats, motorcycles (I can hear Garth scream “NOOOOO!!!!”), gasoline-powered lawn mowers and edge clippers, airplanes, helicopters, and on all gasoline-powered drones, model radio-controlled (RC) airplanes, RC helicopters, RC cars, RC boats, RC tanks, RC flying lawn mowers, RC blow-up dolls, in the province. (Not to mention they can also charge the enviro recycling fee when any batteries in said mentioned items die and need to be replaced).

Expect all coal-fired power generating stations to be shut down or subject to carbon cap-and-trade (carbon tax, anyone? They just won’t call it a carbon tax, maybe just hike taxes on gasoline, oil, windshield washer fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid, car wax, grease, car polish, WD-40, silicone lube, other petrochemicals for cars, anything in an aerosol can, etc.). No tax on car or building air conditioners or air conditioning refrigerant ’cause Rachey and company will ban those.

Expect the long talked-about high-voltage power line from Edmonton to Calgary (and to points further south?) to be scrapped (if it hasn’t already) since the political mandate will be to build more wind turbines, solar-powered generators and manure-powered biomass generators (should have one next to the provincial legislature and Edmonton and Calgary city halls) to provide the province’s electrical needs. Except, with the downturn in the economy and industry and people leaving the province, they will probably be able to justify scrapping the power lines since the demand for electricity will have decreased.

Expect the long talked-about nuclear generating station to be buried (if it hasn’t already) and anyone who so much as mentions the nuke word, gets sent off to a labour camp somewhere (no one really know where, perhaps north and maybe east of High Level), or dumped with ball and chain attached to them into a tailing pond up near Ft. Mac, where they are never seen nor heard from or remembered again (ever).

Maybe they might bring in a new gas tax to fund public transit in the major cities, like Vancouver/Lower Mainland BC has. How about new and/or more environmental fees (like Edmonton doesn’t already have any?) for recycling anything – consumer electronics (i.e. computers, printers, flat-panel tv’s, i-phones, i-pods, i-crap, Android phones, anything electronic).

Then, go ahead and ban any and all pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, genocides, car-ocides, suicides, jungle-sides, etc., in town, out of town, city or rural doesn’t matter – the more they can ban, the safer the province will be.

Maybe they’ll introduce an Agricultural Land Reserve (like in BC) that prohibits any new commercial or residential developments on crown land. Along with that, restrict further development of any existing industrial parks outside the big cities (e.g. Nisku; Acheson) and/or amalgamate the existing industrial parks with the large cities next door (shades of Stephen Mandall!). Businesses and home-owners will then be forced to buy/build in-town so the cities can collect more (and higher) development business and property taxes, not to mention drive up the cost of real estate because of fewer and limited places to build upon. Expect businesses to down-size and/or leave the province because they can’t (or won’t) afford to pay the higher taxes and development fees or they can’t get the required approvals in order to build in the limited available development zones.

And if you want to cut or remove a tree on your own property, well you better not even think about it unless you’ve applied for, justified and taken out the necessary permit from the Tree Police before taking your (electric-powered) chain saw or hand-saw to the beast. And if you’re thinking of burning that tree you just cut down, forget about it – they’ll have banned the use of any fire places in homes in winter when it’s -30/-40 C out, because they pollute the air.

Then on the law-and-order side, perhaps they’ll mandate that all cops in Alberta need to fill out a report every time they draw their gun or tazer (shades of Ontario NDP’s Bob Rae).

But that’s just a start. Maybe Rachey can hire her political sister and ideological (in name only) foe, Alison Redford, as some sort of consultant to help her figure out more ways to siphon citizens’ wallets.

Are you hostile (enough) yet? Have I scared you yet?

(P.S. Above forecast/predictions conducted on a closed track. Do not attempt. Forecast not necessarily indicative of future outcomes, gains or losses, but reflect past events scattered over two provinces that suffered . . . er, were governed under unrelated and incoherent NDP (Nonsense and Demolition Party) governments. Alberta’s mileage/klickage may vary, but probably not.

#161 Dr. Mantis on 06.18.15 at 1:33 am

From an ivory tower, it is easy to post rhetoric like yours.

#162 Valleyboy on 06.18.15 at 1:49 am

Wow even the calgary flames will have a tough time keeping players at those tax increases.
But they will probably open up the tax loopholes bigger to compensate.

#163 nonplused on 06.18.15 at 1:49 am

#85 dosouth

I will try not to be insulting. I was referring to the fact that Rachel only won because the Wild Rose and PC’s split the vote. In almost every single riding, without the split vote the province did not vote NDP. Our bad. She stole the election and now she is intending to make an impression in the 4 years she’s got. Dog help us but in 4 years she will be gone, gone, gone.

Actually, if she keeps treating her ministers this way, 2 years might be too long.

And she has shown her hand. She is openly hostile to all Alberta business and non-government employees. Expect hostility. More than you have ever seen.

#164 Love my Kia on 06.18.15 at 1:58 am

Norway has a 25% GST. Be careful what you envy. — Garth
————————————-
Norway is also the happiest place on earth. I still envy.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/31/norway-greatest-place-on-earth_n_4550413.html

#165 Warren Buffet on 06.18.15 at 2:03 am

People of Alberta, calm down! I bought your election as I have in many areas including the Ukraine, the US, everywhere but Greece and Russia. Well wait until you see what I am going to do to them! Greece is a small problem I will just bankrupt them but if Russia does not comply I will end the world! I am crazy that way.

But regarding Alberta it’s simple. Once you are bankrupt I will buy all your oil and gas assets, build the pipelines, and everything will go back to normal except I will get all the money.

Money, money money! Ha ha ha ha ha!

#166 Vancouver teacher on 06.18.15 at 2:04 am

Garth the BC disaster is happening now with the right wing liberals in power not in the 90’s ,
And to ” nooneofconsequence” who are these robots going to sell or make products for when everyone , in your proposed future , will be out of a job?? Unless the one percent plans on consuming enough to keep the economy running. Seriously!

#167 Carpe Diem on 06.18.15 at 2:09 am

RE: #58 Sponge on 06.17.15 at 8:03 pm

“In the less urban areas of this great country, there are lots of ‘regular joe’s and kathy’s’ that are educated and working for minimum wage.

I’m hoping you’re young and have time for the world to educate you! As you make your life choices..”

—-

You can be educated but wrongly educated for where you want to live!!! That’s a person’s fault.

My cousins are educated and chose to return a town of 3000 in rural Quebec.

They ended up being teachers, principles, pharmacists and buying pharmacies in most town in the area. Some ended nurses, mayors, and a few foremen in the lumber industry. One second cousin never left and became seal hunters. It is amazing how they can shot a mile from target in rough, winter waters and catch the prey!

Most of that meat ends up being dog food since it sure is hard, chewy meat! Any dog owner or sushi lover who complains about the seal hunt bring it on!

I lived there a while but alas, my work did not allow me to succeed there. I had to work where big companies or governments were.

If you chose your career and education, you can choose to live where you want.

My choice of career doesn’t allow me to live where my cousins live. Too bad. So Sad. I sucked it up and keep working so I can retired and return home to family.

Any educated people living where they have to make minimum wage didn’t choose their education wisely for where they wanted to live.

Adapt, succeed.

Or don’t and be losers.

As I age, I always envy my cousins for their choices versus my choice of big business, city life.

Then I stop and look forward going home next week to see them!

#168 Carpe Diem on 06.18.15 at 2:33 am

RE #103 Stuart

GARTH : Norway has a 25% GST. Be careful what you envy. — Garth

———

Actually, maybe that’s the solution! Increase HST and reduce stupid consumerism happening in this country!
It sure would reduce wasteful purchases and make people think before they buy!

I had my 7 year-old dare-devil, OCD kid wanting a BMX. We went to bike stores and got a verdict that BMX are usually 20 inch frames and built for teenagers and above. They also cost $400+ for serious bikes.

The kid found an 18 inch on Kijiji … for $40.

The owner of the bike ended up being a 6 foot, 18 year old young man working for an Electrical shop!!!

We bought the bike for our kid and didn’t get him to pay from his saving account. He showed initiative, research, cost-minded behavior and bloody determination.

That bike found a good home and owner.

#169 Carpe Diem on 06.18.15 at 2:43 am

#117 NoOneOfConsequence

Dead one dude!

I watched a few robot movies with my kids last year. One being I, Robot.

We ended up at a “almost” ethnic fast food place. My 9 year old, said … “Some day robots will do your job”. The server sure looked confused!!!

This kid … ADHD/Dyslexic 97+ percentile intellegence got it.

Some day soon, repetitive jobs won’t be around…

I’m glad he is set on robotics and automation as a career. He should do fine.

He does of this dream of building space ships …

Who am I to day that’s unattainable?

#170 Tulip_Mania on 06.18.15 at 2:56 am

Nice little interactive site from the New York Times to determine if it’s better to rent of buy.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/06/17/upshot/100000002894612.app.html?_r=0

#171 macroman on 06.18.15 at 3:08 am

Nobody has seen that kind of carnage for a quarter century, since oil was trading at twenty bucks

Gartho, getting your facts straight will help the prose…

Oil was ten bucks Chuck only 15 years ago.

#172 macroman on 06.18.15 at 3:15 am

unes will be loud..going to play the dumb Canadian, I’m lost. See how far in I get.

Do us a favour SM, stop acting natural and shut up. Now I get why dumb Americans see us as turnip truck Canucks.

#173 hunter S on 06.18.15 at 3:26 am

The NeoCon gets it wrong. Corporations create jobs myth.
http://www.salon.com/2012/04/05/the_corporate_job_creator_myth/

#174 stage1dave on 06.18.15 at 4:10 am

HooBoy…really? Are we still debating the fallacy of unfettered “free enterprise” & it’s incredible benefits to society in general?

I’ve been self-employed for over 30 years, & I don’t ever remember walking out of the house, apt, or townhome caring (sometimes, not even knowing) who the provincial or state gov’t was. Six provinces, 38 states, didn’t know, didn’t care, sometimes didn’t want to know…’specially in Utah hahaha.

Not until Ms. Notley was elected was I actually cognizant of a newly-elected gov’t provincially…strangely, it made no difference in the days job duty. Hmmmm…why could that be?

Probably because I still have to go get stuff done; and I don’t make any political contributions, or am not concerned about having calls returned from a politicians office, or am not so heavily emotionally & financially invested in a certain sector of the economy that I’m concerned about local & national regulation of aggregate demand, which will thereby guarantee me a healthy living.

Most of the people I deal with with who want the gov’t “out of their lives” & constantly worry about the socialist hordes at the gates wouldn’t last a year without that steady mollycoddling hand of mommy government at arms reach. (hi there CMHC, to briefly stay on blog topic; student loans anyone?)The much bally-hooed experiments with Reaganomics, Thatcherism, and the recent bellicose administrations in the USA are simply the culmination of a 40 year long war against any effective representative democracy which, apparently, absolutely terrifies the ruling classes.

(And rightfully so; for some reason surveys keep getting published which show in black & white how the interests & political outlooks of the wealthy & nearly everyone else seem to be diametrically opposed)

Having almost 40% of the “economy” financialized & producing essentially nothing (except many paper millionaires, billionaires, & lots of work for lawyers, judges, & the legal industry once another sordid episode of speculative greed is once again exposed) the average businessperson concerned with installing cabinets, garage floors, or efficient running a hair salon understandably feels somewhat left out from this ongoing economic bonanza. Stupid buggars…

Or perhaps they are more concerned with doing a decent job & getting paid; rather than seeing just how much cash they can fleece out of their customers…once!

For the record, I’m OK with a govt that wants to raise the minimum wage…so what? My labour rate is outrageous anyway, so raising it a touch won’t hurt. It’s well known economically that people at the bottom end of the spectrum SPEND their money; like, you see the benefits of it locally; & there’s a positive social benefit to that.

(can’t picture how this will be more socially regressive than blowing up hospitals & photo radar, btw)

I’m not much impressed with the financial ability of right-wing “democratic” governments, buts that’s simply because I can add & subtract at a grade six level. Or maybe because I spent the 80’s in SK & experienced the enervating effects of a PC gov’t , most of which couldn’t…or maybe it’s because I can read, listen, or am capable of processing visual information.

Ultimately, recent experience has shown that the only way these idiotic austerity policies gain any credence is if every other alternative is effectively removed from public discourse & their promoters & adherents marginalized, demonized, or removed…sometimes permanently. Trickle-down economics is not a theory that can withstand any serious empirical study or dissection…it can only exist in a vacuum, devoid of any challengers. Ultimately, it needs to be imposed by force.

(Latin America’s experience with Dr. Freidmann’s experiments are somewhat illuminating in this regard…all that was required was military juntas willing to shoot their own citizens to impose an orderly economic order. And make sure that the corporate debt was then transferred to the the public ledger once things didn’t work out so well…gee, no socialism there, huh?)

Damn, how did I get from Notley Crue to Argentina? Ummm…because I believe that what is required from any intelligent society (that’s concerned about it’s long term survival, financial or otherwise) are systems that put people first, not some entertaining theory.

People seem to respond only to their own short term comfort needs/wants, & their own equally short term economic interest & self aggrandizement. They are also most comfortable with what they choose to believe (sometimes despite all obvious evidence to the contrary) & people who share their views. This doesn’t bode well for any long term prospects of civilization, & the only way to mitigate this natural xenophobia is thru education…another target of retrograde governments.

It’s truly laughable that any employed worker (if acknowledged at all) worried about long term wage stability, pension & medical benefits, etc; is portrayed as some kind of a public or private pariah; & yet every new mall development bringing a stream of capital cost recovery allowances, accelerated depreciation costs, tax abatement assessments, rights of way, rezoning requests, and the constant, steadying hand of many layers of government to get the project accomplished is viewed as “free enterprise” and “progressive”.

I would argue in conclusion that there are more positive effects to a society that’s composed of people who have money to spend; rather than a plethora of places to spend it. But then, guess that takes us back to the start, doesn’t it?

#175 abel watchman on 06.18.15 at 5:32 am

Yellen tells Canadian homeowners to watch out: Don Pittis

Your mortgage rates are going up, and U.S. Fed chair is pretty specific on how much

While that date is of crucial interest to market wheeler-dealers, for Canadian mortgage-holders Yellen had a far more important message. It is especially important in a week when Manulife warned that for many home owners, a rate hike could be trouble

For Canadians on the hook for a mortgage or other long-term debt, Yellen makes calculating the approximate safety margin you need pretty straightforward.

Everyone’s mortgage and income are different, and you know the details of your own finances.

But the general rule that Yellen offered us is this. Whatever the size of the principal amount you owe, multiply it by one per cent. And for every year until the U.S. economy and U.S. inflation get back to normal, add that amount to your yearly payment.

Then after your calculations, start thinking about where that extra money is going to come from.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/yellen-tells-canadian-homeowners-to-watch-out-don-pittis-1.3117599

#176 Ken Lovegrove on 06.18.15 at 6:26 am

The NDP running Alberta is like watching a car crash, horrifying but fascinating at the same time.

Those guys have no skin in the game. Well paid for what they do and when they finally get voted out well compensated.

My own view is that the economy has become so financialized that we have taken our eyes off the ball.

People have become so concerned with their own lives that we have not done the due diligence required to ensure we elect good people.

I’m not just having a crack at the NDP but all political parties.

I come from the land of Tony Blair or Tony B Liar as he is known here.

If Labour want to win the next general election they should strap that guy to a rocket and fire him into outer space. Then people might vote for them.

#177 Don Pansonati on 06.18.15 at 7:14 am

To Mark #134

Why give interest to people at all. Let’s financially rape and pillage people saving and investing even more in fixed income.

Rates are already so low that there is no compensation for inflation and taxes that is created by a financial system meant to strip people’s value of their work and savings, investments.

If you and others that think this way which are mentally warped in my opinion, just take everyone’s money and stop this justifying of it is good and fair. It is all lies.

What an internet troll. It is so obvious.

#178 neo on 06.18.15 at 7:19 am

Garth,

Are you still confident at a rate hike? Sounds like The Fed is already is backpedal mode saying growth isn’t there yet in the economy, which contradicts your meme.

1.8% GDP for 2015. That’s it?

Maybe next year Garth…

Nothing has changed. No rate change was expected yesterday, and September is still the consensus date. It is certain US rates will not remain at current levels, so I hope you are preparing. — Garth

#179 Bigrider on 06.18.15 at 7:39 am

http://www.thestar.com/business/personal_finance/spending_saving/2015/06/09/three-ways-to-hang-onto-your-money-roseman.html

Once again, Ellen Roseman holds firm in the Toronto Star today on all those evil advisors who promote leverage as a means to financial gains and the emotions of investors who “can’t bear to look at their financial statements or check the stock market news”
Her article, intended to promote financial literacy.

Of course, no mention as to where the massive mountain of leverage is truly occurring and where the real risks are.

Garth, you are an advisor who has promoted leverage as a means for some. She has you in her sights.

As clearly stated here often, borrowing to invest involves risk. Anybody doing so needs professional guidance and a clear understanding of the process, the costs and potential results. As you correctly state, the real leverage in our society is happening with residential real estate and, consequently, that’s where the greatest risk lies. — Garth

#180 jess on 06.18.15 at 8:08 am

maybe that 40b$ valuation is misguided!

Uber drivers are employees not contractors, California rules

Uber to appeal California Labor Commission ruling that it is ‘involved in every aspect of the operation’

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jun/17/uber-drivers-are-employees-not-contractors-in-california-ruling

#181 Cd on 06.18.15 at 8:14 am

I once worked at a research institute as a student. I got a monthly stipend. When I was deeply involved in my work I would put in so many hours that I was working for less than minimum wage. I did get two publications out of it, but still.

#182 US hike December? on 06.18.15 at 8:16 am

Nothing has changed. No rate change was expected yesterday, and September is still the consensus date. It is certain US rates will not remain at current levels, so I hope you are preparing. — Garth

====

Goldman Sachs note yesterday pushed back the forecast for the US hike rate to December after the FED’s monetary policy update.

#183 Apocalypse2015 on 06.18.15 at 8:29 am

Be vigilant, people.

Wildcards and black swans exist around the world more than at any time in history, and much more seriously now than even ten years ago.

Right now, migrants and refugees are in more desperate straits than ever.

http://www.thestar.com/news/immigration/2015/06/18/un-warns-of-dangerous-era-in-global-displacement.html

Only yesterday, thousands of migrants violently charged at police in Calais, desperate to climb aboard trucks heading for England. Thousands more are coming right behind them.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/585189/Calais-migrant-crisis-immigrantion-anarchy

There will be millions more, in weeks and months, not years, as more must flee social and environmental calamity.

Even the Pope today has decried the coming catastrophe of climate change.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/18/popes-climate-change-encyclical-calls-on-rich-nations-to-pay-social-debt

Millions of migrants and climate refugees, armed and desperate, are coming.

Everywhere.

You don’t think this will destabilize the world, provoke wars and undermine the global economy?

Then you are DREAMING!

#184 crowdedelevatorfartz on 06.18.15 at 8:38 am

@#36 omg the original
“Of course the Alberta NDP have hired into senior advisor position many of the same socialist “travellers” that worked for the BC NDP during the 1990s….”
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Tell Alberta NOT to build a “Fast” Ferry……

http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=4&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CC4QFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.reddit.com%2Fr%2Fbritishcolumbia%2Fcomments%2F2fxx9p%2Fcan_we_please_lay_off_the_bc_ndp_for_the_fast%2F&ei=o7uCVZ3GG4-yoQTZg63ACw&usg=AFQjCNF9yuljeItqnjIRaabM4TuQjBbm5w&bvm=bv.96042044,d.cGU

#185 Jake fitzsimmons on 06.18.15 at 8:45 am

To Jess #180

What do you expect. California is a high taxed state. California wants gets more taxes from an employee than a contractor.

It is in their best interest to classify Uber drivers and others as employees.

#186 crowdedelevatorfartz on 06.18.15 at 8:51 am

@#174 stage1 dave

Mark?
Is that you?

#187 crowdedelevatorfartz on 06.18.15 at 8:54 am

@#169 Carp Diem.

Tell your son.
The robot cooks are HERE !

http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=12&cad=rja&uact=8&sqi=2&ved=0CFEQtwIwCw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DSNy6fEuPWbc&ei=Wb-CVf29A8HZoASA04CwBw&usg=AFQjCNHXiLBbLEpp19yexz4zj4olihXbBA&bvm=bv.96042044,d.cGU

#188 George S on 06.18.15 at 8:57 am

Raising the unusually low business tax in Alberta by 20% results in them being able to keep 2.2% less of their taxable income. It is sort of a “glass either half empty or full thing”. The right wing crowd seems to look at it more like a “someone has stolen almost all the stuff in my glass no matter what the level thing”.

The reason Norway has a large Heritage fund is that they created a giant crown corporation oil company with cooperation of all political parties and pretended that it didn’t exist (kept taxes the same with comparable income tax to Canada and a 25% gst and a business tax that is I guess 100% on the state owned oil company) and took all the oil revenue and put it away in a fund so that they could “live off the interest”.

Alberta had a different view of things and lowered taxes for people and corporations and didn’t save for a rainy day as a government. It put the saving requirement down to a lower level in society where people were able to save on an individual basis for a rainy day or a time in the future when wages may be lower and job opportunities fewer and oil cheaper. So everyone was supposed to create their own Heritage Fund and had a great opportunity to do it. The people that did this rather than loading up on bubble priced real estate and big FWD trucks instead of Kias (and drugs, travel, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances etc,) are just as well off as the people in Norway, likely better off because they don’t and didn’t have a 25% gst among other things. There are many parables and sayings related to this exact type of situation because it has happened over and over again throughout history.

It is interesting that all the examples of what the NDP did after replacing a “spend and don’t tax” PC government don’t often mention Saskatchewan in the 1980’s and 90’s when they had to recover a totally wrecked and actually bankrupt provincial economy that the PCs had destroyed after only two terms in office. They managed to do it, start running a surplus, reduce royalties and taxes, get the economy starting to boom and then the PCs got in and instead of going back to their old ways held course with the NDP changes and the economy has kept doing well.

Both Saskatchewan and Alberta get quite a bit of government revenue from resources and it is used to offset taxes so we can have relatively low taxes for the amount of government services we receive. When the resource revenues go down it can be quite a shock to see what has to either be cut or now paid by increased taxes or fees because we have gotten used to the high level of resource revenue over the years. In Saskatchewan we are a little more stable because we have a multiple trick pony rather than just oil. I guess it is sort of a reward for living here in this very poor climate.

#189 TEMPLE on 06.18.15 at 9:01 am

#174 stage1dave on 06.18.15 at 4:10 am

Bravo!

#190 maxx on 06.18.15 at 9:04 am

#8 SunShowers on 06.17.15 at 6:01 pm

” “Corporations provide jobs”

Sorry Garth, but I disagree.

It’s middle class consumers with money to spend on the goods and services that corporations provide who create jobs, not corporations themselves. It’s corporations who depend on people, not the other way around.”

Completely agree with this excellent insight.

#191 Renter's Revenge! on 06.18.15 at 9:10 am

@ Warren Buffett: “But regarding Alberta it’s simple. Once you are bankrupt I will buy all your oil and gas assets, build the pipelines, and everything will go back to normal except I will get all the money.

Money, money money! Ha ha ha ha ha!”

As a Berkshire Hathaway shareholder living in Manitoba, I guess this sounds like a good idea to me… go for it!

#192 DJG on 06.18.15 at 9:16 am

Your confirmation bias is showing. You’ve cherry-picked one study on minimum wage / job loss data, rather than looked at the research more broadly. There is a good summary of a lot of the research and data here: http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/min-wage-2013-02.pdf

Alberta is suffering from sectoral decline more severely than it should, in part because of generations of weak, anti-intellectual and economically illiterate conservative governments. The kinds of logical fallacies you’re promoting will I’m sure lead to them being kicked out of office in the next election because the corporate tax hike and minimum wage legislation “caused” this decline.

#193 Daisy Mae on 06.18.15 at 9:19 am

YELLANs’ warning….

“For Canadians on the hook for a mortgage or other long-term debt, Yellen makes calculating the approximate safety margin you need pretty straightforward.

Everyone’s mortgage and income are different, and you know the details of your own finances.

But the general rule that Yellen offered us is this. Whatever the size of the principal amount you owe, multiply it by one per cent. And for every year until the U.S. economy and U.S. inflation get back to normal, add that amount to your yearly payment.

Then after your calculations, start thinking about where that extra money is going to come from.”

#194 Herb on 06.18.15 at 9:25 am

#174 stage1dave,

BRAVO, and thank you.

I look forward to Garth’s “Dogmatic (Thursday)” rebuttal tonight.

#195 Fiona on 06.18.15 at 9:27 am

Sigh…the same generation that drilled it into our heads to get an education, go to school, unless you want to be stuck flipping burgers for minimum wage are enraged that people went to school, got educated and….don’t want to flip burgers for minimum wage. Shock.

#196 yawn on 06.18.15 at 9:30 am

More Right-wing propaganda.
Am I reading a finance blog or a press release from a republican super PAC?

Commies will eat your babies, and then tax you for it ZzZzzzzZZzzz

Change the channel this is a rerun from the 60s.

Interest waning…

#197 Retired Boomer - WI on 06.18.15 at 9:31 am

Perhaps I was a bit reactionary commenting on the NDP win in Alberta.
The conservatives had done a poor job as stewards of the public’s money from my distant view. They got “fired” which is, as it should be.

The NDP duly elected, inherited problems, and must now settle in to govern as they see it. They do deserve some time to see if their ideas, and policies perform better.
NEW ideas can often work better. The trick is to listen, and understand, more than talk and act.

If the NDP fails, they too will get “fired.”

I do wish all Albertans the best, it will be a trying time for all. Oil might recover, it also may not…. as we are working to do things with less reliance on oil, after all, it IS killing us.

#198 Daisy Mae on 06.18.15 at 10:07 am

#38 Steve: “Lets see you live on $10 per hour. Dare you to try it for a month.”

******************

Opportunities abound. Increased education results in increased pay.

#199 Axehead on 06.18.15 at 10:10 am

Most here in Alberta are ‘just waiting’ for the NDP to implode (as they have in other provinces) and either shelter the storm as best they can or look for opportunity until they leave.

Everyone I talk to says, “I just wanted change, and I can’t vote Liberal.” It’s still a very conservative province and most agree with Reagan that ‘the best government is the least government.’ Now we all have to wait a few years to get back to normal.

#200 Daisy Mae on 06.18.15 at 10:17 am

#48 Andrew: “I have zero sympathy for someone on minimum wage…because it is normally their awful life choices that has put them there…..they get the same sympathy from me as a drug addict or a homeless person…”

*********************

Exactly.

#201 Mark on 06.18.15 at 10:19 am

“Rates are already so low that there is no compensation for inflation and taxes that is created by a financial system meant to strip people’s value of their work and savings, investments.”

As Garth reminds us constantly, balanced portfolio has yielded 7%/annum for the past decade or so. Savers have done just fine with such returns. “Interest rates” are only applicable to a certain subset of investments for which one’s exposure should only be a fraction of a portfolio, and do not affect the overall returns of a balanced portfolio. Maintenance of a low, but not deflationary inflation environment is optimal for long-term returns. Interest rate policy that fails to do so robs savers of the potential of their savings. An economy that stalls is no more efficient than an economy that is mired in high inflation, and sometimes rates need to remain low for a prolonged period to fight that deflation.

#202 robert james on 06.18.15 at 10:23 am

Time to abolish the senate and get rid of these useless parasites once and for all.. http://www.castanet.net/edition/news-story-142469-4-.htm#142469

#203 HD on 06.18.15 at 10:30 am

#169 Carpe Diem on 06.18.15 at 2:43 am
Some day soon, repetitive jobs won’t be around…
I’m glad he is set on robotics and automation as a
career. He should do fine.
He does of this dream of building space ships …
Who am I to day that’s unattainable?
———-
It’s won’t be as simple as that I’m afraid.

I just finished reading ‘Our Final Invention’ by James Barrat and according to him, IBM is on record stating that they will achieve AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) by 2020.

When that happens, all bets are off.

These *machines* will be able to re-write their codes and self-improve on their own using black box systems / genetic algorithms at a rate unfathomable to us. If (big if) we survive a hard take off/intelligence explosion and are able to control this technology, we won’t need lawyers, accountants, scientists, etc anymore. AGI or ASI would easily take over and do these jobs better than any humans.

HFD (High Frequency Trading) programs are a very powerful form of AI and the Quants (programmers) working on them could potentially progress to the AGI level.

There is currently an ‘arms race’ going on that not a lot of people are aware of. Google, IBM, DARPA and many other organizations are working on achieving this technology as quickly as possible. Everyone wants to get there 1st as this is a ‘winner takes all’ scenario.

A few top scientists are ‘freaking out’ now because they claim that some organizations are rushing to build AGI without ensuring that we have enough safeguards in place to protect humanity in the event of an intelligence explosion. They argue that we should all stop the research and think really hard about this before moving forward….but no one is willing to do that.

Interesting times.

Best,

HD

#204 Sid on 06.18.15 at 10:42 am

Garth…do you have access to some US media coverage on from 2006-2007 that was bragging about housing value and never saw the financial crisis coming? I just want to see how those stories align with some of the overblown Canadian coverage on Vancouver and Toronto real estate in 2015. Thank you

#205 HD on 06.18.15 at 10:43 am

For those of you who are interested in the topic…

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-barrat/hawking-gates-artificial-intelligence_b_7008706.html

“Why Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates Are Terrified of Artificial Intelligence”

Best,

HD

#206 Holy Crap Wheres The Tylenol on 06.18.15 at 10:43 am

#119 Smoking Man on 06.17.15 at 10:28 pm
With certainty USA is back. Atleased the daughters and sons of LA rich
A domestic beer cost 11 Bucks on the roof top pool. A bottle of water 8 Bucks..
And these kids are hammered. Son of a famous director is pitching my book as a screen play to his dad..
Shit , hope he contacts my, I lost his contact info. Who cares the book version is better.
These kids think I’m cool. Ironically, my kids would think of these kids as losers, including me in the lot.
Going dancing tonight on the roof..best pool in the world.
Early am, off to Area 51 in my cherry red rag top convertible.
Tunes will be loud..going to play the dumb Canadian, I’m lost. See how far in I get.
____________________________________________
My advice is don’t go past the Military signage on Groom Lake road. You do realize it is in their full jurisdiction to shoot you. Nothing will be blown open. You will be just a dead Canadian fool. They give you a warning to leave the premises, and they have all the rights in the world to shoot you if you refuse. I flew a couple of pilots into Nellis bombing range (which is part of A51) back in 1974 once only on a Herc and was instructed to land, they departed without saying anything, wait for a base commander to bring other military types out to my aircraft, wait for departure instructions and leave. Don’t fool yourself you will be arrested at this base.

#207 onpar on 06.18.15 at 10:45 am

I usually agree with most of what your write here, but you are dead wrong on this post. More money in the hands of the lower and middle class is EXACTLY what is needed to curb the inequality trend. And last time I checked, corporations have so much cash on hand they can’t find enough foreign accounts to keep it in. You have showed your age and personal bias with this post. And you’re wrong. We need more money in the hands of the lower and middle class, we need to increase wages, we need more money circulating in our economy. Cheers.

#208 Bigrider on 06.18.15 at 10:51 am

#179 Bigrider on 06.18.15 at 7:39 am
http://www.thestar.com/business/personal_finance/spending_saving/2015/06/09/three-ways-to-hang-onto-your-money-roseman.html

Once again, Ellen Roseman holds firm in the Toronto Star today on all those evil advisors who promote leverage as a means to financial gains and the emotions of investors who “can’t bear to look at their financial statements or check the stock market news”
Her article, intended to promote financial literacy.

Of course, no mention as to where the massive mountain of leverage is truly occurring and where the real risks are.

Garth, you are an advisor who has promoted leverage as a means for some. She has you in her sights.

As clearly stated here often, borrowing to invest involves risk. Anybody doing so needs professional guidance and a clear understanding of the process, the costs and potential results. As you correctly state, the real leverage in our society is happening with residential real estate and, consequently, that’s where the greatest risk lies. — Garth

——

You have always done a good job in the media at being a contradicting, voice of reason when it comes to the Canadian obsession with bricks and mortar.

You are not so vocal against those like Ellen Roseman who continue to paint a picture of “buyer beware” when it comes to investing in financial markets or when using financial advisors.

You should use your celebrity in the media to address this ongoing “assault” . Afterall, in can only benefit your practice

#209 Mister Obvious on 06.18.15 at 10:52 am

#169 Carpe Diem

We ended up at a “almost” ethnic fast food place. My 9 year old, said … “Some day robots will do your job”. The server sure looked confused!!!
———————————-

The kid sounds like a real charmer. I’d have told him someday children will be obsolete.

#210 JSS on 06.18.15 at 10:53 am

#188 George S on 06.18.15 at 8:57 am

Excellent write up.

#211 Richard B on 06.18.15 at 11:15 am

“Is it Better to Rent or Buy?” Calculator
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/06/17/upshot/100000002894612.app.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur

What do you think?

#212 Poorgeoisie on 06.18.15 at 11:30 am

Do the laws of supply and demand apply to labour? If so what would the impact of placing a minimum wage (price floor) above equilibrium be? If there is no impact why stop at $15?
I find it strange that people accept that a rise in the cost peanuts would increase the cost of peanut butter but refuse to accept that a rise in wages would not have the same impact.
Raising the min wage will only make the rich richer and unless we all agree to take a pay cut this will only amount to a short term can kick. They people that were already making $15 an hour will ask for $17, the people with $17/hr will want $20 and so on and before long $15/hr will no longer be perceived as (or near) a living wage.
Of course we could all take that pay cut but that is unlikely considering a 2% increase in mortgage rates would bury multitudes of Canadians.
My friend wants an increase in min wage so he can get a better place but he doesn’t realize he will still be competing with the same people for the same apartments at a higher price. Poor guy is a doctor… Of class systems in Montreal during the mid 19th century.

#213 Fiona on 06.18.15 at 11:32 am

#198 DaisyMae

Not always. Field of study is way more important than the place of study.The tuition increases, grade inflation, less erudite graduates, and poor prospects all speak to one thing: market failure. We, as a society, through our secondary schools, and by way of the government, have created failure in the education market. We see a bachelor’s degree as the only means to a successful life; we promote it through grants, loans, scholarships and affirmative action; and we act as though learning a trade is lower-class work, worthy of immigrants.

As a consequence, we end up with a work force whose skills do not align with available jobs. We have too many schools for too many students learning skills too poorly for jobs that aren’t there. Yet, we continue to push the narrative that this is the only way ahead. Is it any wonder why tuition rates have increased or the quality of education has decreased?

#214 Dogman01 on 06.18.15 at 11:46 am

Rejectionists!

Recognizing Smoking Man referred to the term last week.

Garth touts the old trickle down dogma and the other tropes that have succeeded in gutting the middle class, by gut I mean export all mid level employment prospects.

But we have both the Internet and 25 years of experience, we can see where that approach will get us and we are rejecting it. 40 years of that in Alberta and even with $100 oil we built no schools or infrastructure, just siphoned the money to the elites.

NDP in Alberta , likely federally also.

Rejectionists see a wealth tax and minimum income in the future as unemployment will be 30% with AI and the robotics revolution.
Rejectionists or else we end in a dystopian bill 51 police state to keep the serfs in line.

#215 Squirrel meat on 06.18.15 at 11:51 am

$1.3M
http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/88116264_zpid/days_sort/42.397696,-83.070438,42.372432,-83.115928_rect/14_zm/1_fr/?view=map

2 blocks away
$3.5k

http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/88408652_zpid/days_sort/42.397696,-83.070438,42.372432,-83.115928_rect/14_zm/1_fr/?view=map

#216 Brett on 06.18.15 at 11:52 am

We in Alberta have only the provincial Conservatives to thank for Notley’s elections. They screwed up big time. And they had been doing so for the past 10 years.

Think about this….FOUR Conservative Premiers in four years. Almost as bad as Italy!

And who says the Alberta Conservatives were not taking Albertans for granted????

#217 chapter 9 on 06.18.15 at 11:53 am

#147 HJD

Garth, Guess what? The majority of Canadians are sick of listening to this sort of knee-jerk right wing fear mongering BS. Etc Etc Etc.

One only had to look at the father of out national debt Pierre Trudeau, before this socialist maniac came into office Canada was #1 with the best debt GDP ratio of the G7 countries when he left office we were the WORST.We went from 25% to 43% GDP debt. Every year in office his government spent more than they took in and never put one dime towards an interest payment let alone the principal. The debt just kept piling up and was never paid off. All Canadians are still to this day paying for this mismanagement and so called “just change” thank you very much.

#218 Frank Castle on 06.18.15 at 11:59 am

To Mark #201

A rambling econo that makes excuses every possible way.

Inflation+3% is the normal compensation for interest bearing investments over the long run.

Even if inflation is 1%, we should have 4% interest rates. This is not even taking into account taxes.

So people that save their money should just throw it in the garbage because that is what is happening.

If they don’t invest in an equity ETF, equity index or a diversified portfolio of mostly equities, REIT’s, equity ETF’s and only small amount of bonds, they should have no money.

So just get rid of GIC’s, government bonds and other low yielding investments so we are all forced to put our money there.

This world and its governments are all going more nanny state on us.

#219 Jeff in Moose Jaw on 06.18.15 at 12:01 pm

#119 Smoking Man

Nice to hear you’re enjoying it – having a good time!

A lot of gray faces to look at when you return.

#220 Bottoms_Up on 06.18.15 at 12:01 pm

#14 Nic on 06.17.15 at 6:21 pm
——————————————
Exactly, when corporations (including Walmart, Apple and who knows which oil companies) hold hundreds of billions if not trillions in net profits in overseas bank accounts, remember that money once was your hard earned money, and it is obviously not being invested back into the economy via wage gains for employees or better benefits packages. Corporations must pay their fair share, and stop meddling in politics.

Government is for the people, by the people. Not for corporations, by corporations.

#221 Nemesis on 06.18.15 at 12:02 pm

“This week’s throne speech was a classic NDP document, pitting ‘the people’ against corporations, small business and the wealthy.” – HonourablyMisguidedGT

#TheGood… #TheBad… #&TheUgly,Or… #It’sBetterInBC,Really!…

[CBC] – New housing, transit poll finds many ready to give up on Metro Vancouver

“Those surveyed were broken down into four segments — the happy, the comfortable, the uncomfortable and the miserable — based on their experiences.

It’s not clear what is driving up housing prices in Canada and there is much speculation that it’s because of flipping and foreign investments. Kurl said all the groups want more hard evidence.

“They are all in majority agreement that government does have a role to play here and they would like to see more data collection*.” [*Well, everyone except the Provincial Housing Minister…]

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/new-housing-transit-poll-finds-many-ready-to-give-up-on-metro-vancouver-1.3117998

#BonusUgly… #SpoilerAlert… #TheGoodWin

https://youtu.be/5PgAKzmWmuk

#222 Dominoes Lining Up on 06.18.15 at 12:04 pm

#174 stage1dave

A clear and precise debunking of the right wing idiotology that has brought us to our current situation.

#223 Bottoms_Up on 06.18.15 at 12:05 pm

#200 Daisy Mae on 06.18.15 at 10:17 am
—————————————————
Wow, two of you obviously have zero empathy. It doesn’t just have to be ‘poor choices’ that lands someone in a minimum wage job. Extenuating circumstances out of their control, or they may be between jobs.

And #48 Andrew, since when are wages gains across the board a bad thing? You don’t want to earn more? The problem with our dying middle class is because there have been zero wage gains in decades. The lack of wage gains is killing our economy; finally a group of people have spoken (Albertans) and elected a government (NDP) that may actually help to make things better for people.

#224 pinstripe on 06.18.15 at 12:09 pm

an example why the alberta voters decided to vote for Rachel.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/neil-wilkinson-s-honoraria-claims-questioned-by-critics-1.3116253

#225 bdy sktrn on 06.18.15 at 12:10 pm

#82 joblo on 06.17.15 at 9:08 pm
Government this, Government that……….
We are on the cusp of a Technological and Robotic REVOLUTION.
PC, NDP, LIB’s, Green’s none of them can contain or have a clue how to plan for it.
30% unemployment rates get use to it. Have a plan!
——————————
heres a plan;

http://www.ontariocolleges.ca/SearchResults/ENGINEERING-TECHNOLOGY-ROBOTICS-AUTOMATION/_/N-lmmv

#226 TJM on 06.18.15 at 12:10 pm

“…the outgoing Tory government proposed increasing the levy on people making over $100,000, with an extra 1% taken above $250,000. But the NDP is jacking that substantially – with a 20% tax boost for those earning over $125,000, and a 50% jump for incomes over $300,000. In Calgary, where the median household income is just under $100,000, this could catch a lot of folks by surprise”

Not taking sides here, but it seems like there’s a bit of a conceptual switcheroo going on there, talking about changes to people’s tax brackets and then comparing it to median *household* income? Like, in a household with two earners (hardly rare) if each of those earners makes $50k, that’s a $100k household.

So: how many INDIVIDUALS in Calgary make over $125k? Because if it’s not a lot, a higher marginal rate on that part of income over $125k hardly seems unreasonable given the province’s costs that need to be paid for.

#227 Dup on 06.18.15 at 12:15 pm

Good picture for Garth: “Text Walking Lane”

http://www.shekulli.com.al/admin/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/smart-korsi.jpg

#228 pinstripe on 06.18.15 at 12:16 pm

another example why the alberta voters decided to vote for Rachel. there is a big gap between what the big corps and PCs say and what they do. the PC policies have done a lot to destroy the land, water, and air in the northern half of the province. Many Albertans are most happy that Rachel has a majority government.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/fracking-investigated-as-possible-cause-of-fox-creek-earthquake-1.3118074

#229 Nemesis on 06.18.15 at 12:22 pm

#DoubleBonusUgly…

#JustAnotherDayInParadiseFor… #The’JobCreators’

[G&M] – Pared-down meeting gives Tim Hortons shareholders taste of new management

…”Wednesday’s meeting was more modest – no displays or video presentations – and sparsely attended, with roughly 35 people in the audience, including RBI employees, compared with crowded affairs of the past. The company served a few different pastries and croissants, each cut in half, and coffee, not quite the breadth of past offerings.

The meeting gave shareholders a flavour of the no-nonsense management style of RBI, which is owned by 3G Capital Partners LP of Brazil. It is known for its low-cost business strategy: At other companies it has taken over, such as H.J. Heinz Co. and Anheuser-Busch InBev SA (the parent of Labatt Brewing Co. Ltd.), 3G has been quick to cut expenses and staff. The same is happening at Tim Hortons.”…

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/pared-down-meeting-gives-tim-hortons-shareholders-taste-of-new-management/article25007115/

#Smoke&Mirrors,Or… #TheMinisterDothProtestTooMuch?

[G&M] – Liberal MPP Michael Chan calls CSIS concerns about China ties ‘ludicrous’

…”Ms. Wynne has said she did not learn of CSIS’s suspicions until The Globe started asking about them last year. Her office on Wednesday suggested that she did not ask for the matter to be investigated, and is simply taking Mr. Chan and Mr. McGuinty’s staff at their word that the concerns were without foundation.”…

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/liberal-mpp-michael-chan-calls-csis-concerns-about-china-ties-ludicrous/article25012265/

#230 Leo Trollstoy on 06.18.15 at 12:28 pm

Who cares about the exact timing of the Fed rate hike? Nobody. The bottom line is that it’s coming. And it will be here soon. As the Fed acknowledges that there is no threat of deflation by suggesting a rate hike, readers should prepare for higher borrowing costs.

#231 Mike T. on 06.18.15 at 12:38 pm

Oh man

that picture is great – nature is amazing

we could learn a lot by observing nature

#232 Nora Lenderby on 06.18.15 at 12:39 pm

#160 Herf on 06.18.15 at 1:03 am
#174 stage1dave on 06.18.15 at 4:10 am

Blimey! Epic posts! We salute those who stay up all night as a public service!

https://xkcd.com/386/

p.s. You’re underpaid.

#233 Sponge on 06.18.15 at 12:44 pm

Re #167 Carpe Diem

So your Answer to what you’re calling a wrongly educated Joe is suck it up and move to the city? Maybe their parent is sick or their qualified job left with the corp.. They may be connected a challenged child’s support network.. Sound too vague of an answer to me!

A decent living standard should be available to all Canadians… Bar none!

#234 Jenny Hamilton on 06.18.15 at 1:01 pm

To #214 Dogman 01

Did you ever see what happens to a population that embraces socialism and what you are suggesting.

It will end up in ruins and it will end up like Zimbabwe but maybe as not as extreme. Destruction is destruction.

Read up on what happened in Zimbabwe which was one of the richest countries in Africa in 2000 to 2001 and then when Mugabe went bonkers stealing the land owners property.

Good luck with your nonsense and destructive path to poverty and stupidity.

#235 Godth on 06.18.15 at 1:04 pm

#217 chapter 9 on 06.18.15 at 11:53 am

Trudeau had to give up our sovereignty and stop using the Bank of Canada as it’s intended and designed to join the Bank for International settlements and the G7. In other words he had to get with the private bankers and corporate program.

The BoC is still the only nationalized central bank in the western banking system, we just borrow from the private banks instead because using tax dollars to pay them compounding interest is in our best interest.

An Affirming Flame
http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.ca/2015/06/an-affirming-flame.html

#236 DM in C on 06.18.15 at 1:06 pm

“Now there has been a 180 degree turn. What happened?”

44 years of cronyism and entrenched entitlement got turfed on it’s proverbial arse.

I agree, the province didn’t elect the NDP, they fired the cons. There were no alternatives. None of the Above wasn’t an option.

No reason for all the FUD though. Not yet.

#237 Alex N Calgary on 06.18.15 at 1:08 pm

Garth whats going on with you this year? Getting off the Leg pain killers? you have been going on for so many years about how F and Carney ruined our economy, which they did, triple times that here in Alberta, now the NDP got in and they’re too blame? going to make it worse? Do you read the press releases? tax hikes are to be implemented after review on current situation, which means not for many a year given the current situation, BTW reserves are peaking constantly, more and more production worldwide with less demand, this is just a holding pattern for oil, much lower prices to come. (I’m sure you’re making $ on speculating futures like everyone else though so that won’t be ever spoken about)

Lot of your messages getting cold then hot recently, oh well, do what you want its your blog after all.

#238 Mark on 06.18.15 at 1:09 pm

“Garth…do you have access to some US media coverage on from 2006-2007 that was bragging about housing value and never saw the financial crisis coming? I just want to see how those stories align with some of the overblown Canadian coverage on Vancouver and Toronto real estate in 2015. Thank you”

There’s a speech of Peter Schiff to the Mortgage Bankers Association conference in the USA on Youtube that you might be interested in. In a nutshell, nobody in the industry saw the RE decline coming and they were aghast at the predicted outcome of a debt-fuelled orgy in housing and personal consumption.

Inflation+3% is the normal compensation for interest bearing investments over the long run.

No its not! A 3% real return can only be achieved by an economy that is growing at >3% real rate of return, which hasn’t been the case for a long time. Interest returns in excess of economic growth come at the expense of the equity risk premium, which is wholly unsustainable over the long term.

Its nice fantasy to think that a ‘saver’ can put all their money into fixed interest investments and come out with a very good long-term return, but its simply not realistic. Return only comes with taking risk in the long run!

If they don’t invest in an equity ETF, equity index or a diversified portfolio of mostly equities, REIT’s, equity ETF’s and only small amount of bonds, they should have no money.

Without taking risks, people should expect only minimal returns. Not only is an all-bond/fixed income portfolio historically pre-disposed to poor long-term returns, but such also suffers significantly more risk than a balanced portfolio which includes, amongst other things, those asset classes you mention. As well as fixed income and even an appropriate allocation to precious metals.

#239 jess on 06.18.15 at 1:15 pm

…regarding those economists

Mr Neumark prefers the earned tax credit -“EITC” vs higher min. wages

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/09/the-minimum-wage-aint-what-it-used-to-be/#more-170621

This poster had this to say:

Ed The Rabbit Baltimore, MD December 9, 2013

There are two significant things about the EITC that economists often overlook. One is a matter of policy and the other is a matter of practice, but both must be kept in mind when analyzing the EITC’s effect on the broader economy and on its beneficiaries.

1. EITC (earned income tax credit )is a subsidy to corporations. It is there precisely to relieve them of the burden of paying a living wage, so that the US can be more “globally competitive.” That is policy, and one can argue whether it is good or just.

2. Rates of fraud and error in EITC returns approach 25 percent. This has been true for as long as anyone has kept track. Though many of these errors are innocent, many are also the result of fraud by tax preparers specializing in this sort of thing. The rate of improper payments is currently about $15 billion per year. This is practice, and is also subject to debate as a policy matter, since tightening the program might impede the flow of cash to the deserving poor.

So to review: we have a $60+ billion program designed to aid corporations in paying lower wages, and some $15 billion of that is wasted each year to fraud and error. It would behoove those (economists and others) who hold EITC as a fine example of efficient government and market policy to consider these facts in their paens, odes and policy briefs
====
But then these business owners think differently
A national network of business owners and executives who believe a fair minimum wage makes good business sense
http://www.businessforafairminimumwage.org/news/00135/research-shows-minimum-wage-increases-do-not-cause-job-loss
Minimum Wage Mythbusters
http://www.dol.gov/minwage/mythbuster.htm

#240 Nemesis on 06.18.15 at 1:28 pm

#MoarMischief,Or…#TianGao,HuangdiYuan…

[FT] – Chinese take lead among foreign buyers of US homes

…”Chinese are now by far the biggest foreign buyers of US real estate in terms of units, dollar volume and price paid, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors, which tracks property purchases across the country.

In the 12 months to the end of March, Chinese buyers spent $28.6bn on mostly residential property in the US, a 30 per cent increase from the previous year and more than two and a half times the amount spent by Canadians, the next biggest group of foreign buyers.

With the Chinese economy and real estate market slowing dramatically and a vociferous anti-corruption campaign in full swing at home, Chinese buyers have been scrambling in the past few years to buy real estate abroad.

As a group they have become the biggest buyers of housing in many major western cities, including New York, London, Sydney, Vancouver, Toronto and Auckland.

Houses in English-speaking democracies with good education systems, excellent quality of life, strong rule of law and strong property rights are regarded by Chinese buyers as excellent stores of wealth.

In the year to the end of March, Chinese buyers spent more than three times the average American buyer, paying an average of $831,800 per property, compared with the national average transaction price of $255,600.”…

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/351606a8-159b-11e5-be54-00144feabdc0.html?siteedition=intl

#241 bdy sktrn on 06.18.15 at 1:33 pm

#131 young & foolish on 06.17.15 at 11:14 pm
Repeat after me …. Corporations are NOT your friend, unless you own many of their shares
——————————-
costco is my friend. i love it. (no shares yet)

google also.

and coke. i’d be a real jerk without my diet coke.

#242 saskatoon on 06.18.15 at 1:35 pm

#174 stage1dave

dude, you are so very, very confused.

people “worrying” about wage stability is not what makes them socialist pariahs…

people wanting to use government violence to force wage gains is what makes them socialist pariahs.

you can force higher wages; but, you can’t mandate worker productivity.

perhaps you should get your grade 7 math.

#243 bdy sktrn on 06.18.15 at 1:37 pm

but your point of view is that all these houses are going to developers for teardowns? Do you have anecdotes of people near you not tearing the house down?
——————–
if it’s an old tired house on a 33′ lot, 80-90% are crunched to rubble.

#244 Nemesis on 06.18.15 at 1:40 pm

#JustForHD… #Oooh!MadeInCanada,YouSay?,Or… #It’sCloserThanYouThink…

https://youtu.be/CMdHDHEuOUE

#BonusQuantum,Or… #”I’mSorryDave,ICan’tDoThat.”

https://youtu.be/6MMmYyIZlC4

#245 young & foolish on 06.18.15 at 1:46 pm

“It’s truly laughable that any employed worker (if acknowledged at all) worried about long term wage stability, pension & medical benefits, etc; is portrayed as some kind of a public or private pariah; & yet every new mall development bringing a stream of capital cost recovery allowances, accelerated depreciation costs, tax abatement assessments, rights of way, rezoning requests, and the constant, steadying hand of many layers of government to get the project accomplished is viewed as “free enterprise” and “progressive”.

Haha … yes, it’s all about spin, and on knowing how our economy actually works as opposed to the buzz words/concepts fed to people through mass media. But hey, we are more concerned about who can get married, of “gender” issues, and of the size of Kim Kardashian’s butt to notice or even care.

Invest with the 1% and save yourself, the world will not change significantly in our lifetime.

#246 Bottoms_Up on 06.18.15 at 1:48 pm

#213 Fiona on 06.18.15 at 11:32 am
——————————————-
Well we’re only graduating a million people every 4 years, what ever could be the problem?

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/81-004-x/2009005/article/11050-eng.htm

#247 Mr. Pink on 06.18.15 at 1:51 pm

“Fed chair Yellen tells Canadian homeowners to watch out.

Your mortgage rates are going up, and U.S. Fed chair is pretty specific on how much.”

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/fed-chair-yellen-tells-canadian-homeowners-to-watch-out-don-pittis-1.3117599

#248 Mark on 06.18.15 at 2:03 pm

“Is it Better to Rent or Buy?” Calculator
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/06/17/upshot/100000002894612.app.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur

What do you think?

A pretty comprehensive calculator, but the problem will inevitably be with the user of such. A common mistake is to under-estimate opportunity costs associated with equity. Particularly adjusting such for risk.

The key mistake people make in this aspect is not comparing equally risky investments — ie: home equity (ie: 5X leveraged typically) versus other investments that are similarily risky. The 20% ceiling for calculating opportunity costs of investment imposed by that calculator may not be sufficient, especially if comparing to a 10% down-payment (ie: 10X levered).

#249 Rational Optimist on 06.18.15 at 2:06 pm

226 TJM on 06.18.15 at 12:10 pm

“So: how many INDIVIDUALS in Calgary make over $125k? Because if it’s not a lot, a higher marginal rate on that part of income over $125k hardly seems unreasonable given the province’s costs that need to be paid for.”

Your logic is that, if many people make over $125,000, taxing them extra is unreasonable; but if only a few people earn over $125,000, taxing them extra is reasonable. I’m not sure I follow: if they are relatively few, then to bail Alberta out would require a relatively heavy tax burden from these individuals. If it’s “just a bit extra,” then this is not making a dent in provincial coffers and is pointless.

There are, in fact, 367,000 Albertans who earn more than $100,000 annually; and 143,000 who earn more than $150,000. Let’s call it a quarter of a million Albertans who will be impacted by the tax hike at the $125,000; and another 30,000 or so impacted by the tax hike above $300,000.

So: How much revenue is this going to bring the provincial government? The answer is that it doesn’t matter, because it’s not about raising revenue, it’s about cheap pandering. I generally agree with the concept of progressive income taxation (consumption taxes are even better, but that might not be popular for the government in question, so no good). I agree with you that there aren’t that many people who will be impacted by this income tax hike, but that’s an argument against it, not for it. A bit of tweaking to their flat tax to make “the rich” pay more appeals to the type of people who vote a certain way rather than looking in the mirror, but it does nothing to help the province weather its challenges, or fix the provincial government’s books.

#250 jess on 06.18.15 at 2:06 pm

https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2015/april/justice-in-decade-long-ponzi-scheme/justice-in-decade-long-ponzi-scheme

The impact on the victims in this case was often devastating. For individual investors, Wanakuwatte had encouraged them to obtain their investment money from the equity in their homes or from their retirement accounts—as a result, many lost everything. Losses incurred by the victim financial institutions often threatened their financial stability and reputations. And while his victims suffered, Wannakuwatte purchased luxury homes, vehicles, airplanes, and even a professional tennis team.

The lesson learned from a case like this? Do your due diligence when thinking about investing your hard-earned money (see sidebar).

#251 Axehead on 06.18.15 at 2:06 pm

#197 ‘Oil is Killing Us’ – sad to see you bought into the dognma that CO2 is pollution; a high school student can tell you that it’s plant food. Pollution really kills, the kind that comes from the chemicals in the production, use and disposal of that battery in that Prius you drive.

#166 Professional Teacher – if you ever worked in the ‘real’ world, you would understand that in order to create wealth, you have to ‘make stuff’. The real problem is that Canada makes very little ‘stuff’ anymore and to rely on the government to spur work and consumer spending via taxes and social interjection in the form of minimum wage increase is a failure both philosophically in an economic sense and pragmatically in the real world.

#252 Nemesis on 06.18.15 at 2:12 pm

#Today’sLast… #LondonMayorRespondsPoorly… #ToCabby’sTaunt… #”You’reJustAnother’JobCreator’…

[Independent] – Boris Johnson: Telling a cab driver to “F*** off and die” was just a gentle attempt at return of service

“You’re one of them mate. That’s what you are. One of them,” the driver told the Tory MP, according to the footage obtained by The Sun newspaper.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-telling-a-cab-driver-to-f-off-and-die-was-just-a-gentle-attempt-at-return-10328753.html

#253 HD on 06.18.15 at 2:21 pm

@ #240 Nemesis on 06.18.15 at 1:40 pm

Great vids! Thx Nem, they pretty much sum it up :)

Best,

HD

#254 bill on 06.18.15 at 2:43 pm

#206 Holy Crap Wheres The Tylenol on 06.18.15 at 10:43 am
sound advice. they will be aware of you long before you will be aware of them smokey…
hardball is far to benign a word to describe how they will deal with you should you actually get past the wire…

#255 waiting on the westcoast on 06.18.15 at 3:26 pm

#209 Mister Obvious on 06.18.15 at 10:52 am
“#169 Carpe Diem

We ended up at a “almost” ethnic fast food place. My 9 year old, said … “Some day robots will do your job”. The server sure looked confused!!!
———————————-

The kid sounds like a real charmer. I’d have told him someday children will be obsolete.”

I think they already are….

#256 The cooked goose on 06.18.15 at 3:37 pm

#240
In the year to the end of March, Chinese buyers spent more than three times the average American buyer, paying an average of $831,800 per property, compared with the national average transaction price of $255,600.”…
———-
data, at last!

And we care about buyers of US property, why? — Garth

#257 Squirrel meat on 06.18.15 at 3:50 pm

Bam…. $700M in new spending..

http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/alberta-politics/announces+million+additional+dollars+health+education/11147491/story.html

and the source of $$

“There will of course be some debt financing. …”

Of course.

#258 PeterfromCalgary on 06.18.15 at 3:54 pm

The one job that will have lots of demand in Alberta is?

a. Divorce Lawyer
b. Addiction counsellor
c. Bankruptcy Trustee
d. All of the above

If you answered d you are correct!

#259 westcdn on 06.18.15 at 4:10 pm

I don’t like an outsider calling me stupid – even if they are wealthier than me. In Alberta, the PC’s lost because they thought too many were bought and paid for. The arrogance deserved to be punished. Rachel may prove to be the best premier for Alberta.

Nonsense has to be offset by reality – politics being what there are. I hope she realises the business cycle is not dead. The road to hell is laid with good intentions.

I am completely in the middle when it comes to minimum income. If it was my choice, I would shrink government and benefits. You cannot make enough if things are “free”. However, I listen to the majority and do the opposite.

#260 SWL1976 on 06.18.15 at 4:10 pm

I find it interesting at how many people here think local government parties, be it NDP, Lib, or Cons really make that much of a difference these days. In a perfect democracy I suppose they would. However we now live in corporatocracy.

While we can bicker here until the cows come home here about which party does, did or will do what. The real deals are being made in secret that will affect the lives of every single one of us.

The bilderberg meetings violate many international laws yet get little to no attention from the MSM or our elected leaders.

Until this club and their secret meetings is properly addressed, I would expect more of the same but worse from any local or Federal government in Canada

No this is not a conspiracy theory.

Secret meetings to discuss international deals involving sovereign nations is a conspiracy no matter which way you slice it

#261 Bilderberg Phone Police on 06.18.15 at 6:32 pm

dont think we dont know about you swl1976….
dont get cheeky or we will send you to the sprouting chamber….

#262 Ray Vasquez on 06.18.15 at 7:10 pm

To Mark

Funny how the banks and other lenders, corporations get bailed out and never lose and we pay all the time.

You just don’t want to admit that this is another form of legal organized theft.

Mark is the excuse maker and is an internet troll paid by someone for sure.

How does he have all this time on his hands and pay his bills.

#263 juan on 06.19.15 at 3:14 pm

hey garth
look at this gem!
http://business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/young-money/eternal-truth-of-personal-finance-no-4-dont-be-a-renter?__lsa=cc41-b2f7