Since debt became super cheap after the Great Recession, we all have taken on a ton of of it. Nationally we have an average of $27,000 in non-mortgage debt -- and $190,000 in mortgage debt. Here is how we all can get rid of our debt in 10 years so we can enjoy our retirements and our lives debt-free.
Canadians are stuck with $158-billion in new Harper debt -- without much to show for it. There are 160,000 more jobless Canadians today than before Stephen Harper took power. Job quality is at a 25-year low. Household debt is near a record high. Canada's trade deficit this year has topped $13-billion. The Liberal legacy was a decade of balanced budgets, average annual economic growth over three per cent, consistent trade surpluses every month of every year, 3.4-million net new jobs, lower debt, lower taxes, record high Transfer Payments to the provinces. That's what Mr. Harper inherited in 2006. But Mr. Harper blew it.
Tightening U.S. monetary policy suggests that the Canadian dollar will remain weak. And in spite of competitiveness concerns, exports are rising enough this year to suggest 10 per cent growth, and an added 6 per cent in 2015. This in turn will spur business investment, lifting Canadian GDP growth to 2.8 per cent in 2015.
Exporters are less upbeat about domestic economic conditions. The balance of opinion for this indicator was the only one to fall, edging back marginally to 13 per cent. Paradoxically, they are more positive about domestic sales, where the balance of opinion rose 9 percentage points to 43 percent of those surveyed.
A former CBC colleague-turned-journalism professor very politely questions the ethics of my writing this column for HuffPost. Surely, he suggests delicately, the internet in general -- and aggregators like HuffPost in particular -- are killing traditional mainstream, general-interest journalism. And, in the process, seriously damaging democracy. My reply...?
Good news! Canada's budget deficit is shrinking even before the federal government introduces its budget cuts. There's an important lesson for the whole world from the Canadian experience: the actions a government might take to reduce its deficit -- cutting spending, raising taxes -- can prolong the recession.