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Rich in Quebec

Rich in Quebec
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  • Wall Street Breakfast: Oil Majors Cut More Jobs As Crude Slides [View article]
    Husker Bob - There are lots of social programs worldwide that exist because of their overall worth to society. "Free" to the user education along with compulsion to comply is expensive, normal and easily understandable and justifiable. There is no advantage in having an illiterate population. Rich civilized countries provide all sorts of other services usually at a lower cost and of a lesser value. Parental leave is one of these programs where the U.S. is far behind the rest of the civilized world.

    Jan 16, 2015. 07:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Oil Majors Cut More Jobs As Crude Slides [View article]
    Tony - Boston has a long history of protesters. All that hard cider probably inspired some of them to dress up in native American costume and try to brew a very large and salty quantity of tea in Boston Harbor in 1773. The arguments used to justify this folly did not sastify the authorities. They agreed with your assessment. "Stupid folks do stupid things with stupid arguments."
    Jan 15, 2015. 08:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Oil Majors Cut More Jobs As Crude Slides [View article]
    2harddrive - You're trying too hard to find a violent historical connection for 1783. That was the year of the Treaty of Paris which peacefully and officially concluded the American Revolution. The Battle of Yorktown was in 1781.

    Canadian independence was a gradual and generally peaceful thing. Unfortunately, wars continue, but the notion of the need for violence for something to be worthwhile has diminished over time. The condemnation of duels is perhaps the greatest example. Humans can be so silly.
    Jan 15, 2015. 07:54 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Coming Euro Crash [View article]
    Net blue sky - Facts can be stated in different ways, giving entirely different impressions. To have national debt to GDP ratio grow from 26 to 40% is not in itself necessarily bad. If it happened in the midst of war or depression, it can indicate more the importance of that event rather than the individuals in government dealing with it. If it happened during a period of growth, then it seems, something is askance. How bad will it be in a downcycle. The near-tripling of national debt, I recognize, is the alarmist point of view, usually used to counter the assertion of great gains made by the stimulus of tax cuts, which I find to be, when used in isolation, an accurate but misleading statistic. Context counts.

    The growth in debt during the Obama years, when put in the context of what other countries have been compelled to do because of the financial implosion, is unremarkable, better than some, and worse than others like Canada, which had been for years in a surplus situation and have been in deficit since the Great Recession.
    Jan 15, 2015. 02:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Coming Euro Crash [View article]
    Shareholders Unite - Sorry - my fault - the quotation marks did not register in my mind so I took the reference to your 2012 article as an assertion rather than a reference. Details count, and I blew it.
    Jan 15, 2015. 01:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: ECJ Adviser Backs ECB Bond Plan [View article]
    Buckoux - When you decide the car you want and/or need by the amount of payments you are willing to make, the latter having been modified by the extra bucks you have, that is illogical. For what it's worth, I have a 2006 Saab 9-5 wagon bought for Can$12,700 cash in September 2009.
    Jan 14, 2015. 03:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: ECJ Adviser Backs ECB Bond Plan [View article]
    Wyo - I disagree with James a lot, but when he who tends to despise all things governmental, writes that states should not put roadblocks in the way of local solutions, and particularly in his field of expertise, I think his views should be considered.

    I come at the subject in a different way. The municipally owned Holyoke Gas and Electric Department got involved with the Internet years ago. I don't have the expertise to know whether they have overspent along the way or are providing good value for money now. From their site however, I see that they are now partnering with their neighbor Chicopee and competing, I assume with private enterprise, in downtown Springfield. I also know that throughout my upbringing there, they provided the cheapest gas and electricity around.

    Government can screw things up, but it can also get it right.
    Jan 14, 2015. 12:24 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: ECJ Adviser Backs ECB Bond Plan [View article]
    GGGL and Wyo - I agree with both of you, and I don't see a contradiction. For now, the tendency will be to head out to the restaurant, but when it comes time to replace the car, how much car for a given budget will be the criterion.
    Jan 14, 2015. 12:09 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: ECJ Adviser Backs ECB Bond Plan [View article]
    gggl - Buying a little bit more vehicle would be, to me, the most ILLOGICAL thing the consumer could do with part of his $40 windfall- but, I agree, many will do it.
    Jan 14, 2015. 10:20 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Coming Euro Crash [View article]
    Netbluesky - I'm not happy with 100% debt to GDP ratio, no more so than the "greatest generation" was with even greater debt post New Deal and WWII. No doubt that different periods may produce effects that detractors may wish to suggest are "one off" and unlikely to be repeated. Thus, the high tax environment that produced growth and a decline of the debt to GDP ratio simultaneously is written off by small government advocates because of American comparative advantage to blighted WWII devastated areas.

    There was a great stock market rally that occurred during the Reagan era (until October 1987) that gave reason to take capital gains at what might be untenable low rates. We had an even more obvious situation in Mulroney's Canada where a lifetime allowance, (I believe it was $500,000), made taking gains an even more obvious thing to do considering that such a policy was likely to be reversed, as it eventually was. I don't know the specifics of Reagan's policies, but I do know that their partial reversal by GHWBush cost him his re-election. The author has already responded as to his opinion of Reaganomics ("tepid to irrelevant") in its ability to spur productivity and investment. I argue that its long term results on the SOCIETY it was supposed to be helping have been negative. A Martian looking on from above might consider the pain caused to Americans worthwhile considering the overall positive effects for the world in having jobs transferred to poorer areas. But globalisation and Third World growth through American working and middle class devastation was not what Reagan was trying to do.

    On the 26% to 40% growth of the debt ratio, that's only 50%growth. However, the actual debt, from what I remember, more than doubled if not almost tripled. Statistics are such a tricky thing.
    Jan 14, 2015. 09:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Coming Euro Crash [View article]
    Shareholders Unite - In the article you linked to, which seems to be YOUR 2012 article, it is mentioned right at the beginning that investment was halved during the 1980's, hardly a "winner". Shareholders Unite is supposed to be "retired university professors from Amsterdam. I have to assume that your faculty meetings included spirited discussions which, it would seem, have not yet been resolved.
    Jan 13, 2015. 09:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Coming Euro Crash [View article]
    Netbluesky - There is no doubt that Reagan inherited a demoralized country, likely getting worse since Viet Nam and quagmire became exchangeable terms, and only exacerbated by Nixon's subversion of the political process. Add the new problem of stagflation, and American diplomats illegally imprisoned in Iran, and the U.S. was a morose mess.
    Give credit to Reagan, he made Americans feel good about themselves - thus the overly subtle allusion to Morning in America. The "solutions" chosen were the wrong ones. He sent the U.S. back to the past, rejecting the metric system and removing the solar collectors on the White House roof. He chose supply side economics combined with tax cuts leading to supposed greater government revenues, at all levels of taxation, the voodoo economics alluded to by GHW Bush. Certainly a boom was created, while almost tripling the national debt. For those who understand such things, this was farce, but it did make the ordinary American feel good. I won't go over the subsequent years again, but what the world is going through now has its beginnings in the easy and fallacious sales lines so well expressed by Reagan. Is government really the problem, for instance, when we now know how much harm financial deregulation can do. We, in Canada had surpluses during the GW Bush deficit years, and our regulated banks sailed through the Great Recession relatively unscathed. Thus my perhaps too cute comparison with the famous Morning in America Reagan ad. Today, we are living the real Reagan legacy. The smile is gone and it is Mourning in America - for what the U.S. could have been.

    PS - Thanks for looking up the Reagan debt to GDP numbers that you provided and that I only saw after writing the text above. You and/or others may dispute it, but growth of this ratio in boom times is, I believe, inappropriate.
    Jan 12, 2015. 02:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Week Begins With Healthcare Deals [View article]
    James - With so many companies coming out with plans for production of hybrid and all electric cars, is a warning out that plain Internal Combustion cars are a doomed species? Certainly the timing is horrid with petroleum prices halved. But, despite the U.S. seemingly being the last bastion of the climate change denialists, the world seems to be moving on with only the timing being in question. I too doubt the profitability of these new vehicles in the short term, but I would already be looking at companies that might benefit from ever more frugal vehicles. For instance, will Ford's new F-150 be a signal to the man on the street that more aluminum is the way of the future?
    Jan 12, 2015. 08:14 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Coming Euro Crash [View article]
    205427 - When dealing with statistics, choosing the "right" ones may already be misleading. But choosing different statistics when comparing is usually the sign of an attempt to deceive, or perhaps, and I hope it is so, innocent cherry picking without intentional intent to deceive.

    I am favorably surprised, considering the mess he inherited, that gross debt to GDP in Obama's first term averaged "only" 97% and is now, I assume a bit over 100%. It would be interesting to know what debt to GDP was in Reagan's first years as compared to his last. Remember that Clinton's surpluses ( o.k. Gingrich has also taken credit, and I would also credit GHW Bush for doing the right thing and raising taxes), are usually poopooed because they occurred during boom years. Deficits don't matter and taxes can always be cut according to the Laffer Curve was the prevailing belief under Reaganomics. Fortunately GHW Bush brought sanity back and made rebalance of the budget possible which made possible the Clinton era surpluses only to have George W. Bush go back to Reaganomics (e.g. wars and tax cuts and deregulation ) and lead us to the mess we are still trying to get through.
    Jan 12, 2015. 07:55 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Coming Euro Crash [View article]
    Coins - Reagan did not inherit an economy losing 750,000 jobs per month as Obama did nor will Obama have left an economic ideology that will cause immense harm long after his departure as Reagan did. Cheney summed it up best with one line about Reagan's demonstration of the unimportance of deficits. The mourning in America goes on.
    Jan 11, 2015. 08:53 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment