Nipawin - Thursday, August 9, 2001 - by: Mario deSantis

economic efficiencies

Again and again we learn from the media the latest index of "economic productivity," an index which is supposed to measure our quality of life. What is funny is that our productivity rates have been steadily increasing in the last ten years, yet we have social research supporting that our quality of life has been steadily decreasing in this same period. What I want to say is that it is time to debunk this mantra of economic efficiencies through productivity growth and focus our attention on people and our quality of life.




We cannot continue to make financial market corrections with the efficiencies produced by laying off people by the thousands as Nortel, JDS and Air Canada did in the last few months. It is time to stop this demented economic myth that we have to replace people with capital or technologies to increase our quality of life.




It is time that our health care politicians stop putting more money on Telehealth here in rural and northern Saskatchewan while we have a shortage of staff to look after patients. It is time that we put people first.




Listen to the latest crap coming from our financial gurus who make economic predictions under the banner "the economic trend will continue until it ends." Sandra Rubin of the National Post reports that the U.S. downward revision of its productivity rate for 2000 suggests that the productivity gap between Canada and the United States might not have been as large as believed. On the other hand, CNN reports that American productivity rose at its fastest pace in a year in this second quarter, indicating that the U.S. standards of living rose while inflation remained tame.




Listen yet to Patricia Coft, chief economist at Sceptre Investment Counsel, who has been commenting


"What's happening, of course, is companies are quickly laying off labour, and these massive layoffs really are having an impact in terms of improving productivity."




I ask why we should continue to be abused by our politicians and their financial gurus.


  Related social and economic articles published by Ensign
  Efficiency gap with U.S. narrows, Sandra Rubin, National Post, August 8, 2001
  U.S. productivity jumps. American workers produced more per hour in the second quarter, CNN, August 7, 2001
  Nortel Networks Reports Results for Second Quarter 2001 (Net loss including intangible assets write down and other charges: US$19.4 billion), July 19, 2001
  Doomsday for JDS workers, Vito Pilieci, The Ottawa Citizen, July 28, 2001 Services
  Air Canada Announces Job and Fleet Reductions, Enhanced Profitability Initiatives. Actions in Keeping with Job Commitments, News Release, August 1, 2001
  Improving health care for rural and northern communities, Saskatchewan Government, News Release, August 3, 2001Health - 602