I thought it would be interesting to run a simple test for Canada — take some key economic indicators, and see how far we’ve slipped. Here’s what I’ve tracked down so far:
(before October 2008)
|GDP||Q4 2008||CAD 399.6 B||Q4 2007|
|Current account surplus||Q4 2008||CAD 150.0 B||Q4 2007|
|Unemployment rate||January 2009||7.2%||November 2004|
|Canadian dollar||March 11, 2009||USD 0.77||September 2004|
Basically, we’ve slipped back to between 2004 and 2007, depending on which indicator you look at (a little further, probably, if I included stock market indices). That’s not great (and our population is a bit larger), but ask yourself this: how did you feel in 2004? Were you as worried as you are now? Did it feel like a depression then?
I know things aren’t great — especially for people who’ve been laid off and/or lost their retirement savings or homes — but I think the (mainly left-wing) pundits (journalists, bloggers, and politicians) who keep screaming words like “depression” are just exploiting fear to try to get more attention for themselves, just like the (mainly right-wing) pundits did with anti-terrorism fears after 2001-09-11.
It’s a vicious circle, because they have to keep upping the ante to stand out from the others, until we’re all convinced we’ll be standing in soup lines tomorrow (assuming anyone can afford to supply us with soup).