Thursday, 12 May 2016
An Economic Report
Up here in Alberta the price of oil is in the toilet so the main engine of our economy was coughing and sputtering. Then a bunch of stupid people elected the NDP (commies) in as the provincial gubbermint...not that there were any real alternatives, mind you, the other political parties were pretty much clueless too. And now the fires up at Ft. Mac are petering out and we're starting to get preliminary damage reports. It's a triple whammy of bad news for Alberta.
The layoffs have been going on for quite some time actually but if you tried really, really hard to ignore the writing on the wall, and ya stuck your fingers in your ears and whistled a merry tune - you might be able to keep thinking this was just a temporary mild economic downturn that we will recover from shortly. I shouldn't be too smug - awhile back I was going to buy a new motorcycle and though it wouldn't have killed me to do so in the midst of looming unemployment - the money could be better spent sleeping in the safe! Shortly after the motorcycle deal fell through I started seeing economic indicators that forced me to take my fingers out of my ears, and read the writing on that wall. A lot of my friends though, are still whistling merrily along and telling me to shove my doom and gloom up my pie-hole! Flapz' girlfriend has been unemployed for 7 weeks now - and just bought a brand new Jeep! That just blew me away but everyone else has nary a problem with it. His sister is shopping for vacation/rec property in Canmore. An banking friend gave me a long lecture about leading and lagging economic indicators and explained that there is no need to panic and that the recovery is underway.
As for me? I am not economist - but I am seeing dire signs that I haven't seen since the late 80's and early 90's. The drill pipe yards are filling up. The equipment rental yards are filling up with idle equipment that used to be out on the job site. Every one or two of those machines represents at least one lost job. The new industrial parks are filled with new big shops and are either up for lease or down to the barest minimum skeleton staff. Amidst all this, the clucky hens and sexually disturbed politicos of the NDP babble about carbon taxes, provincial sales taxes and taxing and spending. Dear God - they're children with credit cards and if they all got fired today - we'll be paying for them for at least the next five years. This kind of damage does not heal in a short time.
I'm not overly excited this time - as a lifelong Albertan I have been through two big downturns already and I know we will get by - I just feel sorry for the kids. A lot of them have grown up knowing nothing about hard economic times. They are driving the big jacked up 4x4's, with a new ATV in the back and they have all the toys and trinkets a kid could want - and most of it financed. They are in for some truly awful education in life planning and finances.
My wife and I hit the job market in the great oil bust of the late 80's - and now I am glad of it! Youth unemployment ran as high as 35% and we thought it was truly awful. But we did learn the value of a buck, and my grandma - who was also a kid trying to scrape by in the Dirty Thirties - schooled us on money management, saving, rationing and prepping - that woman could have taught PP over at the Smallhold a thing or two - and that guy is prepped to survive everything short of a direct hit with an atomic bomb! Like Grandma and PP my wife and I are smart and resourceful and will adapt to whatever comes. We are more prepared than most for bad times - and that actually scares me.
If you haven't started prepping yet - now is the time.