Rich in Quebec

Rich in Quebec
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  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News  [View article]
    I heard this morning on the CBC that the Great Lakes are at their lowest level ever measured. It should be bad for shipping companies, and perhaps good for railroads. Does anyone have investment ideas based on what seems to be this long term trend?
    Feb 11, 2013. 08:11 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News  [View article]
    a64hoo - History shows that we can spend our way out of an economy running at too slow a pace (think WWII spending). The ongoing question is whether the cure is worth the long term economic price. Those who presume no new tax hikes ever are left with muddle through austerity as a sole solution to present problems.
    Feb 11, 2013. 08:05 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Molycorp Price Deterioration: 8 Competitors Who Should Be Concerned  [View article]
    goldzone - It seems to me that MCP's breakout in either direction is dependent on Chinese machinations, and the reaction to these by those countries economically affected by insecurity of supply.
    Feb 9, 2013. 08:21 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News  [View article]
    gggl - If Warren Buffett's Berkshire had followed your prescription, the limited number of stockholders would be smiling about how their regional small company had done well. They would have gotten the bird in the hand rather than bushes full of birds. It is amazing to me how dividends have become popular again, after a time where they represented limited growth if not outright stodginess and lost opportunities. Somewhere in between those two extreme positions lies the truth.
    Feb 8, 2013. 08:47 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News  [View article]
    Buckoux - I really don't know why you try to "prove" your ideas by irrelevant questions. The American research university system is the remaining crown jewel of what made the U.S. a great country. From the founding of Harvard so that Puritans could read the Bible, to the development of land grant colleges by government subsidy, earlier Americans understood that bettering their citizenry by education was so important that it should not be left to individual effort. The result has been American domination of the science Nobel prizes.

    Until the Quiet Revolution in Quebec half a century ago, French Quebec still lived with a 17th century counter-Reformation mentality. Thus, fear of new ideas was the rule. Higher education was for producing priests, notaries and doctors. No emphasis was put on anything else beyond a basic elementary education. The crass commercial dealings of modern life was left to its Anglo minority. The French Catholics would work on what was really important - going to heaven. What there is of modernity in Quebec until relatively recently is Anglo. McGill was and is a quality research university. At the time that they were most known for progress in medicine, on a more trivial level, their graduates, Naismith and Morgan invented basketball and volleyball, when they both found jobs in Springfield and Holyoke Mass.

    For good or ill, French Quebec has left the mystical for the materialistic. Private electric companies were nationalized, put under the monopoly of Hydro Quebec and made into a motor for development. Modern universities were developed and access made relatively financially easy. Quebec schools now produce a better overall ''product'' than their American competitors. But, no Nobel prizes - yet.
    Feb 7, 2013. 08:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News  [View article]
    Buckoux - I guess that if you can't logically counter the idea, counter the messenger, or where the messenger lives. O.K., let's play your irrelevant game. No Canadian has been to the moon, but Montreal's William Shatner as Captain Kirk has been further fictionally. The Canadarm, originally developed in Quebec, has been in space for decades. A version of it is on the International Space Station that presently has a Canadian as commander.
    Feb 6, 2013. 09:12 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News  [View article]
    Wmarkw - Change is constant. But in a civilized advanced country, shouldn't work be rewarded with a minimum income for a decent living, even if the market would permit slave wages? Certainly, jobs could be saved if we had lower wages. Do we really want to live in a country with vast discrepancies in income? After all, we are willing to pay for universal education through high school. Can't we "afford" the cost of allowing decent lives for more of our fellow citizens? If not, what other "inadequate" and "unproductive" people are we willing to sacrifice to maximize GDP/person?
    Feb 6, 2013. 08:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News  [View article]
    Buckoux - I don't hate the U.S., though I find that more of their citizenry than in most advanced countries favor antiquarian ideas, long since modified or altogether dropped elsewhere.
    Feb 6, 2013. 07:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News  [View article]
    Buckoux - It's a question of values. I can't prove to your satisfaction that any minimum wage is better than Adam Smith's invisible hands. Nor could I have ''proven " to the slaveholder that he was harming his human property. The readers will decide for themselves. All OECD countries already have, some with more fervor than others.
    Feb 6, 2013. 07:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News  [View article]
    Buckoux - Why would you want to google anything starting with "Why I hate?"
    Feb 6, 2013. 03:24 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News  [View article]
    gggl - I was responding to the supposed difficulty in balancing budgets. Leaving a small recession after the boom 90's is as relevant as Clinton leaving stains on Monica Lewinsky's dress. It's the tax rates that were important in not creating structural imbalance. In Canada, we didn't cut taxes in the early 21st century, and we continued having budget surpluses. We also hadn't deregulated the banking sector to the extent that the U.S. did. Despite our economies being closely intertwined, government policy has made all the difference in what has resulted since 2008. Our greatest industrial problem results from the strength of our dollar, having gone from less than 80 cents U.S to parity.
    Feb 6, 2013. 02:49 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News  [View article]
    Buckoux - Equalization payments are based on provincial wealth. For years, Newfoundland and Saskatchewan were amongst the recipients. Not any more. Oil and potash have made them rich. Quebec provides more services to its citizenry overall than other provinces. If we played being Americans, we would still get the same money in Federal transfers, provide fewer social programs, raise University tuition fees, and cut provincial taxes, primarily for the rich.

    Remember that this is a transfer of funds from the Federal government to the provinces. While the U.S. does not have a formal method for transfering funds to the States, it is particularly ironic that those states whose citizens complain the most about government taxes and spending, are generally conservative, poor, lack quality social programs and are net plus beneficiaries of Federal largesse and thus dependent on the wealth of rich liberal states.

    Rich Alberta may resent seeing money transferred to six "poor" provinces, but they have the wherewithal to provide the same programs Quebec has. Alberta is the most conservative Canadian province and has the lowest provincial taxes. By the way, conservative is relative. The mayor of Calgary, famous for its stampede, is a Muslim.
    Feb 6, 2013. 02:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News  [View article]
    Wmarkw - Shouldn't we all be happy that some do not seek a ''better'' job, be it schoolteacher (Deercreekvols and I are examples), successful stock picker (Warren Buffett comes to mind), or hamburger flipper. Generally, when mechanisation comes and replaces bowling pin setters and almost all farmers, we bemoan the lack of stability and continuity even if we are societally "richer" for it.

    A decent minimum wage provides a floor allowing those who work, a decent life. Even if this costs the rest of us monetarily, most people would, if they thought about it, prefer to share their community (writ large) with people that are content.
    Feb 6, 2013. 01:37 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News  [View article]
    wyostocks - It's a living wage, enough to provide for the ''essentials" of life. It's not a new idea. It has been done in the past in the U.S.. It continues to be done in countries where people care about the conditions in which their fellow citizens live. To take an item from today's news, it does increase the prospect that a machine will flip the hamburgers at McDonalds. It has already meant that the middle class have mechanical dishwashers rather than scullery maids. Perhaps a ''living wage" is an unbearable burden for those obsessed with productivity, even if the price is societal indecency.
    Feb 6, 2013. 12:53 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News  [View article]
    Wyostocks - There is also a direct correlation between minimum wages and societal decency. Temporary slavery would "solve" the problem of unemployment for those incapable of finding remunerated employment as well as solving the welfare and free cellphone boondoggle so dear to James' heart. For those too delicate to envision slavery, a return to poorhouses would do the same.

    Apparently, to some, Dickens represents societal nirvana.

    Feb 6, 2013. 12:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment