Friday, July 31, 2015

Economic history: how various governments have managed the Canadian economy since 1945

Accidental Deliberations links to a recent study by Unifor, the big union, of the economic performance of the nine major prime ministers of Canada in the post-Second World War era. Okay, the study is not done by friends of the current government, but it reads as clear and precise and rooted in well-presented charts on sixteen vital economic indicators: job creation, employment rate, youth employment, productivity, living standards, exports, government debt, etc.
For 7 of the 16 indicators, the Harper government ranks last (or tied for last) among the nine postwar Prime Ministers. In 6 more cases, it ranks (or is tied) second-last. Among the remaining 3 indicators, the Harper government never ranks higher than sixth out of nine. Considering the overall average ranking of each Prime Minister (across all 16 indicators), the Harper government ranks last among the nine postwar governments, and by a wide margin – falling well behind the second-worst government, which was the Mulroney Conservative regime of 1984-93.  [emphasis added]
Yeah, well, we have been in hard times, whadda you expect. The study addresses that too:
The very poor economic record of the Harper government cannot be blamed on the fact that Canada experienced a recession in 2008-09. In fact, Canada experienced a total of ten recessions during the 1946-2014 period. Most governments had to grapple with recession at some point during their tenures – and some Prime Ministers had to deal with more than one. As explained below, Prime Ministers who served for less than one full year are excluded on grounds they did not have time to meaningfully affect Canada’s economic performance. one. Instead, statistical evidence shows that the recovery from the 2008-09 recession has been the weakest (by far) of any Canadian recovery since the Depression. A uniquely weak recovery, not the fact that Canada experienced a recession at all, helps explains the Harper government’s poor economic rating. [emphasis added]
The study is "Rhetoric and Reality: Evaluating Canada's Economic Record Under the Harper Government," The authors are Jim Stanford and Jordan Brennan of Unifor's Research Department. .
Follow @CmedMoore