The Secret

I suspect just about everyone is aware of “The Secret” by now. Which, come to think of it, doesn’t make it much of a secret.

Anyhoo.

I haven’t actually watched the movie or read the book. I didn’t actually see the Oprah interview. So, I am not overly knowledgeable about this. My wife tried to watch the film but turned it off after 20 minutes or so.

As I understand it, The Secret is based on the Law of Attraction which has three required steps—”ask, believe, receive”.

Essentially, if you want something bad enough and you believe it, you will recieve it. I saw a woman on TV saying that she really wanted a BMW and lo and behold, not long thereafter, she got her BMW.

Now, I am not going to debate The Secret. I feel bad for the poor schmucks in Africa who didn’t “ask, believe and receive” the rain they needed to stop the drought. Or the HIV/AIDs. Or the poverty. I guess it’s their rum luck they didn’t watch Oprah.

No, I am going to say that I hope Shawn Graham, Brian Dick and the Self-Sufficiency gang aren’t watchers of Oprah or believers of The Secret.

In my opinion, just wanting economic development – even really bad (oh, I wannnn it, puleeeeze), ain’t going to cut the moutarde as we say in French.

In about the first full year of the Graham government, there have been less jobs announced than just about any year in the last 10 (this is not a precise science because they actually use different ways of announcing jobs). In addition, there has been no major change in policy, direction and no major leadership shuffle at BNB. In fact, BNB’s budget is lower now than it was last year – and as a percentage of the provincial budget is only a fraction of what it was 10 years ago.

The Self-Sufficiency task force report said we needed to create 100,000 more jobs and raise average incomes by 20% to reach the goal of self-sufficiency. I have said before that this is, in my opinion, a low end estimate.

But let’s assume that the 100,000 is a good estimate. If you go through the BNB news wire service back until the last election, you will see that the government has announced about 700 jobs of which 660 were call centre jobs. In addition, the majority of the jobs were just expansions of existing New Brunswick operations. The number of new companies attracted to New Brunswick you can count on one hand (even if you have lost fingers in an industrial accident) and the number of jobs that pay above average wages – is, I think, zero or close.

Now, supporters of the government are going to say it takes time. They were left with ‘a mess’, I am told by several people close to the situation. They are working it out, I am told.

Fair enough. I am not close enough to it to know one way or the other. I just observe. And my observation is that there has been almost no change in direction, less funding and basically no results – beyond a few more call centre jobs.

So, in conclusion, my advice to the folks involved is to throw away your signed copies of “The Secret”, purge your mind of its insidious influence.

Real economic development in New Brunswick is going to take time, hard work, significant public investment, among the best leadership team in New Brunswick and commitment from the Premier on down the line.

Get crackin’

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