Interesting read from Salutin in the Globe.
Once upon a time Europeans and Americans built things, Canadians mined and farmed things, and everyone else bought things. Then free-trade became all the rage. Suddenly Europeans and Americans were still building, but the nuts and bolts manufacturing had been shipped off to China and South America, Canadians kept mining and farming. Free-trade was sold as an evolution of things, yes we (or they, the Americans) were moving away from the dirty work, but they were heading towards the information and knowledge economy, an entire nation based on the creative class, a nation of people that simply came up with stuff for other people to build and then bought it from them.
The theory that all this was good for Americans was sound... as long as the Chinese, Indians, and South Americans stayed poor and uneducated. Well, they aren't anymore. Suddenly the technology and productivity of the poorer countries are sneaking up on, or moving ahead of, that in the United States.
The only way to stay ahead is by becoming more educated, which is near impossible given the speed of knowledge today, or to have value buried in the dirt, Canada's saving grace (though probably not for long given the new Conservative's insistence on selling off every harvesting asset in the country).
So there's the question, what happens when the Western world no longer has anything to offer to the invisible hand?
3 weeks ago