Alec Bruce syndrome

You have heard about the super bugs? Those viruses that are immune to treatment and propagate ferociously? I have identified a new one. It’s called wakin’up-to-reality disease otherwise known as Alec Bruce syndrome.

Peter Moreira, a writer for the Halifax Chronicle Herald has it for sure. Check out the tell tale signs in his column:

N.S. growth rate should deliver big wake-up call

It’s a pretty dismal performance when you dissect the numbers.

ScotiaBank last week estimated Nova Scotia’s GDP will grow by 2.2 per cent this year, less than the 3.1 per cent for the nation as a whole.

That means Nova Scotia is tied for last place with Prince Edward Island. For 2007, the bank sees some improvement, with Nova Scotia rising to 2.4 per cent, tied with New Brunswick for fifth place, but still shy of the national rate of 2.8 per cent.

[he then rattles off a series of data worthy of an It’s the Economy Stupid citation]

So here are three simple conclusions to draw from all of these numbers:

1. We’re poorer than most of the rest of Canada [richer than NB – DC].

2. The rest of Canada is getting richer than us [except NB – DC].

3. And we’re relying more and more on the rest of Canada to pay our bills [not as much as NB – DC].

What’s astonishing about this is the complacency in the face of so much evidence that we’re falling behind the rest of Canada. [sounds like NB – DC].

There is no indication that politicians believe we in Nova Scotia have to actually do better than the rest of the country to close the gap. [sounds like NB – DC].

And there is every indication that they have no intention of implementing policies to help close that gap. [sounds like NB – DC].

OH, the sweet irony. The agonizingly sweet irony. Al Hogan just got done running a long piece citing the same report only for Al it was justification that New Brunswick is booming! Now, I have heard that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure but cripes, does Al have to live in the garbage?

Now, did this guy just take an Alec Bruce blog and make the numbers look better?

I report. You decide.

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0 Responses to Alec Bruce syndrome

  1. Anonymous says:

    Keep in mind two things. First, as far as ‘staying on message’, you don’t take second place to Alec. There’s nothing wrong with Alec’s blog, but its usually a once a week update with various themes. However, this blog comes up with the goods every single day. That’s a real accomplishment. I wouldn’t bother with it if it was ‘well, today I”m feeling like badmouthing..X’ But almost every day are real criticisms of the facts and links to various studies. If anything you two bloggers complement one another quite well.

    Second, and more to the point, those numbers are projections. NEVER trust projections as they are used to sell you a point. 2007? Good lord these guys don’t know what’s coming down the pike in three months! A hurricane can literally wipe our oil based economy in one fell swoop.

    It’s off topic, but I posted a remark that I think may be more suited here, that’s from a study from APEC on foreign investment. For a larger population Nova Scotia has a proportionally larger number of foreign companies and employees, but for the segment of dollars spent in the province-and this is minus oil and gas industries, the number for Nova Scotia is EIGHT times higher! Anyone want the onerous task of finding out what those companies are and why New Brunswick is getting shafted-yet again!

  2. Virginian says:

    Speaking of waking up to reality, how about McGuinty in Ontario complaining (this am CBC news clip)that each resident of Ont. is owed $86.00 by the feds under various programs. Talk about bitting the hand that feeds you. How about the millions poured into the auto industry…would he want to trade jobs for equalization payments????

  3. Atlantic Canada First says:

    Hey Campbell, you hear that? We complement each other “quite well”. Perhaps we should merge our respective blogs to, you know, make one complete human being.

    Kudos to anon for intimating the possibility 🙂

  4. Anonymous says:

    I can’t quite tell if that was a jab at me or not, that is of course just my opinion.

    However, to repeat something said long ago, there seems to be a whole lineup of economic bloggers centred in Moncton ( I believe). That, of course, is Lords stomping ground and without it he’d be history.

    You guys probably aren’t swimming in dough, but I think the merging idea would be great. Namely, a website and lobby. The mention before of a private members bill would be a good start. Perhaps upping the 1% of NB pension funds that are invested in New Brunswick. That’s just my suggestion, but if one could be agreed on by the group of you, there’s your lobby.

    Most people don’t have the time to sit and read all the blogs there, that’s why I mentioned podcasting. Like I said, I have software that changes mp3 formats into flash audio, which are tiny. If you check out Amara software, for under a hundred bucks you can get flash software that is butthead easy to make flash slideshows and documentaries.

    So there would be your weekly, even daily, ‘show’. Kids today aren’t reading blogs, they are listening to stuff.

    The technology isn’t necessarily the progression, but the lobbying is. Just the idea that you are willing to do more than talk is a big step that often scares the bejesus out of government.

    Just a thought. You can get an excellent quality microphone for just over a hundred bucks. If you want more content,open it up to kids to contribute. Moncton is a pretty big city, and kids are into that kind of stuff.

    Like I said, if St. Andrews can make a televisions station, surely Moncton can get into multimedia. Don’t wait for that ‘leader’ to come along, you’re the guys with the ideas!

  5. Mike - LocalintheKnow says:

    We’ve been passing back and forth the idea of podcasting internally here,

    I am, an Avid podcast listener of the tech variety. Namely “This WEEK in Tech” alot of the Ziff Davis *Casts (video and audio casts)

    I would personally be open to setting up the framework for Podcasting on the LITK Local Perspectives if I had enough demand and some(one/people) who is/are willing to dedicate some time to trying it out. I love the idea myself.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’m always willing to help out, in fact when my site is up it will primarily be audio and flash files (which is why I know a little about it). I could even contribute content, however, mine is not specifically economic, but you’d be free to pick and choose what you want.

    The demand will be there, especially if you do it right, meaning RSS feeds, podcast search engines, etc. If its entertaining, people will listen-you just have to find them. That’s why I mention getting the community involved in the production-music is the easiest route to that. Audio editing is free and easy nowadays, I assume that time is the biggest concern you guys would have, but once its set up it is far easier than typing to be just able to say it. Then another ‘volunteer’ could edit it, add those CBC tweaks like music leadins, etc.

    Although we know where the guys are coming from, if a few more people contribute-like those high schoolers, etc., then perhaps it can also be tailored towards those ‘successes’ we discussed.

    In fact, a flash audio presentation could be a feature of the site, a sort of ‘why you should do business in New Brunswick’ sort of thing that the government seems to be poor at. A connection with New Brunswick employment offices and social groups could have a ‘link’ of the types of skills and availabilities of the labour force.

    The best thing is that it would be ‘community driven’, not government driven. I suspect many corporations are quite willing to suck at the public teat, the trouble always is that that is not secure because a new government may well be just around the corner. However, if policies are supported by the people, then that’s a different story.

    That would be the double edged sword-one half the government criticisms, the other half the positive stories. Again, I think the focus should be lobbying, which means both of those are tailored towards either suggesting a particular bill to address the problem, or else featuring a particular bill, or part of it, that is causing a problem.

    The best thing about it is if it presented right, then it is easier to access than, say, radio or television, where if you miss it, its gone. I think this shows the power of organization, particularly if there is already a group of people helping out-namely using bittorrent to feature larger files. That costs nothing and would be quite efficient since the files would already be hosted at ten different computers.

    Bittorrent also has the benefit of being worldwide, again, if its entertaining, you’ve got the world potentially listening. Just as an example, yesterday I came across a site that just featured trade friendly musical bands in concert. Bootlegs have always been big, and this is all legal.

    THere are whole communities in bittorrentland, lots of New Brunswickers as well. I always find myself typing in “New Brunswick” or some place in New Brunswick into emule or bittorrent just to see whats out there (and there is never anything).

    You can go to to see what a couple of kids are trying to do down there in Saint John(though not succeeding).

    As the poster above says, this is exciting stuff, which gets peoples attention. Tailoring it toward lobbying, which is sort of kinda what is done anyway really puts it into the ‘doing something positive’ section. Ultimately, it could become its own monster, combating the Irving Press (who are also going high tech but with the same old propaganda), who are increasingly ignoring New Brunswick stories.

    I’d just like to feature another theme that is rarely discussed and is another important economic one-buying local. I did notice at Irvings home page they mentioned a new juice coming out of Miramichi. But of course you have to pay Irvings to find out what its called, and I’m not about to do that.

    That getting any more persuasive for yas?:)

  7. Alec says:

    No jab at you anon. I was just kidding around. All work and no play. . .well, you know.

  8. David Campbell says:

    I’d yell into a mic a couple times a week if you (Mike) give me the infrastructure. I still prefer the written word as it can be keyword searched and you can’t show a chart in a podcast. But we should reach the kiddies with our message of doom and gloom so let’s do it.