McStats Can Economist

I was shocked to hear Philip Cross, chief of economic analysis at Statistics Canada, and his comments in the Globe & Mail today:

“I don’t know where this idea came from that manufacturing jobs are great,” said Mr. Cross, who crunched the numbers using Statscan data collected over the past year. “There’s nothing exciting about hacking away at a pig carcass outside of Brandon, Man.”

He was basically stating that we needn’t worry about the drop of 120,000 manufacturing jobs in Canada last year (including 2,000 more gone in New Brunswick).

Who the heck is Philip Cross to degrade the jobs of hundreds of thousands of Canadians? For the head of economic analysis, Mr. Cross is showing a depth of ignorance probably only equalled by the number of university degrees he has hanging on his wall.

Canada is highly dependent on exports for the strength of its economy. 75% or so of our manufactured goods are exported. A steep decline in manufacturing in Canada will lead to an inability to fund through taxes all those fat cat, new government and public sector jobs that are coming online.

Here’s an idea. I find it shocking that public services pay the most and are driving the growth of employment in Canada. Why not pay Mr. Cross $15 bucks an hour and the ‘pig carcass’ hacker his wage of $50/hour?

I know, I know. That’s sounds a bit like a socialist revolution.

But I’m just venting a bit. Canadians like paying our civil and public servants more than we pay ourselves. Maybe we even like a bit when they (Mr. Cross) denegrate the jobs that are used to fund those salaries.

But if they lose those jobs – someone will be forced to cut 40,000 civil servants (remember 1994?) and maybe then Mr. Cross will have to take his turn as a ‘hacker’.

I have said this before but it’s worth repeating. I went to a government recruitment function when I was in school in Virginia and the first thing the recruiter said was “you will never make in the public sector what you could make in the private setor”. Then I came back to Canada and read a study that the opposite that the average government employee makes between 10% and 25% more than persons in the same jobs in the private sector.

Only in Canada, eh? Pity? or Pitiful?

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