From the "why didn't Alberta just diversify their economy" file comes the news that Canada currently has the worst manufacturing levels in history†, falling below the "50" line that separates growth from contraction.
† "History" in this particular case begins in the fall of 2010
What's to blame for this news?
Today’s findings – they ended almost two years of “sustained expansion” - come, of course, amid the oil shock that has prompted companies to slash their budgets and, in some cases, their work forces.Hey what do you know, it turns out you can't just declare oil to be "volitile" and pretend that everything else in this country isn't remotely related to oil and therefore becomes magically "nonvolatile".
“February’s data reflect the hit to confidence from the oil price shock with the weakness most evident in the energy-intensive regions of the country,” said chief economist Craig Wright of Royal Bank of Canada, which does the survey with Market and the Supply Chain Management Association.
“Lower levels of new work and reduced production volumes contributed to a fall in manufacturing payroll numbers if February,” it added.So what was the ingenious NDP and Liberal plans to diversity Alberta's economy? Increase "corporate taxes"? Raise the tax rate on "the rich"? Has anybody taken the 30 seconds required to explain to them that if corporations are shedding payroll and reducing production volumes that raising their taxes won't help government coffers? Has anybody taken the additional 30 seconds to explain that reduced payroll plus tax hikes also reduce the number of "rich" to soak with the bill?
“Staffing levels have now declined for two months in a row, and the rate of job shedding accelerated to its fastest pace in almost 4 ½ years. That said, a number of firms noted that payroll numbers had been lowered through hiring freezes and the non-replacement of voluntary leavers.”