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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Half a million jobs 

This is terrible -- Auto collapse may cost half-million jobs
I don't know if Canada can even imagine what this scale of job loss would be like.
I heard some ignorant economist hot shot talking today on the radio about how half a million jobs really was an exaggeration and couldn't really happen and even if jobs did disappear, well, them's the breaks.
Ha! Lord save us from 25-year-old "experts".
We lived in Victoria BC when the forest industry shed 30,000+ jobs in a six-month period in 1981-82. Now, coming from the Prairies where we had a "crisis" in agricultural employment for as long as I could remember, we thought we knew what hard times were like. But we didn't. The scale of the economic disaster in BC that year was simply awful.
Whole communities shut down. Hundreds of families lost their homes, and hundreds of thousands of dollars of equity evaporated as people could not sell because nobody could afford to buy. These were people who had a pretty nice life until then -- there they were, with boats they couldn't sell, and cars that nobody would buy, living in houses which were being foreclosed, owing tens of thousands to the bank for these adult toys and geegaws. There was a joke making the rounds, along the lines of "Please, Lord, send us another boom and we promise not to piss it away this time." But it wasn't funny, not really. People finally had to go on welfare just to feed their children -- the emotional despair was worse than the economic devastation.
Anything that governments can do to prevent this happening again, they should do.

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