12/11/2009

Panem Circenses


I am no economist but, there wasn't a surprised bone in my body when we here in Saskatchewan were told earlier this week, that economically, things have turned out to be, not quite as rosy as the government had predicted.

Funny that the economic update was made just days after the Premier was once again bragging about the new covered stadium he and Mister Booster himself, Regina mayor Pat Fiacco want to build. I am told that method of trying to hoodwink the public is so old that it has a Latin name, panem circenses. Basically it is, in this case, when government tries to keep the population's attention diverted away from the real issues (The Government's failed economic policies) and instead get them thinking about how much fun it will be watching football games in a domed, heated stadium, without freezing their asses off.

It was interesting to see how this all unfolded.

The Potash industry was going mad. They were making money hand over fist. So what did they do? Instead of being happy with the huge profits they were making they decided to artificially push up the price of Potash, so they laid off staff and stopped mining.

They were right. That pushed the price up. It pushed it up so high that the third world countries they were selling to couldn't afford it any more.

Then the recession hit. No one could afford potash, so sales plummeted. The potash industry became a victum of their own corporate greed and the Saskatchewan government, that expected to capitalize on that greed through royalties, saw their economic plan slip through their fingers like quicksilver.

So despite all the crass bragging, the strutting around like a randy roosters and the unrestrained boosterism here we are. Saskatchewan is on the cusp of a recession. Those resource based economies will bite you on the bum every time.

So wait for it. Expect more announcements of grand projects but also get ready for the inevitable trimming of back of programs and the cutting back of services.

So, don't expect much bread with the circus.

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