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Monday, November 11, 2013

Christopher Hume: Climate change vs. Rob Ford and Stephen Harper (in The Toronto Star)

"Toronto Mayor Rob Ford isn’t this country’s only global embarrassment; Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s appalling record on the environment and contempt for international diplomacy has also shamed Canada around the world.

"Harper’s ... abject servitude to business, especially the oil industry, knows no bounds....

"The meltdown happening in Canada’s leadership is much more immediately gripping than that unfolding in the Far North. It has a beginning, a middle and at some point, an end. Besides, it makes for better TV.

"And though these dual disasters leave Canadians feeling frustrated and impotent, we are responsible for both. The difference is that one will go away; the other will be around forever."

Climate change vs. Rob Ford and Stephen Harper (in The Toronto Star)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Economists deserve the battering they're getting (in The Toronto Star)

"It’s been a rough patch lately for economists, no question about it.

"You might even say it’s been a tough millennium.

"Generally unloved at the best of times, practitioners of the dismal science have come in for a pummelling at home and abroad for a range of sins.

"A recent Bank of Canada internal audit found, according to media reports, that its economists had difficulty “being succinct, grammatically correct and prioritizing the data into useful information.”

"Now, the fact that some number-crunchers routinely take cover in the hazy vagueness of jargon and bafflegab hardly comes as a surprise, not in an age when bombs are referred to with straight face as improvised explosive devices...

"Hard on the heels of the Bank of Canada report came word of American research that finds economists are not merely incoherent but are more apt than others to be greedy, selfish weasels...

"[The study by three Cornell University professors] said economics majors were more likely than others to fleece colleagues and that they, and students who had taken at least three economics courses, were more likely than their peers to rate greed as good.

Economists deserve the battering they're getting (Jim Coyle in The Toronto Star)