Last week we discussed some real on-the-ground stories from Phoenix. Here are a few more insights worth sharing:
First and foremost, something very critical that separates us from the current U.S. policy. We spoke briefly last week about Prime Minister Harper traveling the country stating how well we are doing as Canadians in this economy. And he’s right. This isn’t about politics, although in the interest of full-disclosure, I’m a fiscal conservative. I believe that much of the intervention in the U.S. economy by the government is doing nothing more than creating a phony and temporary sugar high. Cash for clunkers was $3 billion of tax money to sell 700,000 cars – the car market is now dead again.
There’s an $8,000 tax credit for first time home purchasers. I guarantee you, when that expires in November, the housing market will die off again. Foreclosures are still increasing, and there are more than 17 million people out of work – and that’s still rising. The only way to get the economy back to health is to create jobs, and to reduce the killer debt load the average American is under.
If you believe the government programs are a blessing and not a temporary fix – just wait a year for them to expire, and you’ll see the results. Until then, you might not like Prime Minister Harper’s policies, but as a former economist, he knows that governments can’t be the solution to everything.
General Motors has now begun to sell new vehicles on the giant auction site e-bay. The trial with their California dealers was last month, but you can bet it’ll be back nation-wide. And GM is now working on a $4,000 vehicle. Tata Motors is selling their inexpensive one in India right now for $2,000, and they already have European certification, so you know they’re coming to North America at around $5,000 or so. Yes, GM is behind again – but not as far as usual.
Anyone who travels a fair bit will love this story: For some time now, there has been an on-going, multi-country investigation into illegal price fixing by airlines into their fuel surcharges. The CEO of Virgin Atlantic has already admitted to it. But it’s sad that any company that’s convicted will only have to pay a fine. And that fine will be way less than they made in profits from the fuel surcharges. Some of these executives should spend some jail time!