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Posts Tagged ‘GDP’

From the June 2, 2016 episode of TVO’s the Agenda with Steve Paikin, the guest, claimed, 2 minutes in, that a report on mental health costs said that the annual cost due to lost productivity in Canada was $51 billion, and is projected to go into the trillions in 30 years. Given that Canada has a current GDP (PPP) of $1.6 trillion, that would be 3% of the economy in annual costs today, yet it’s supposed to go up to at least $1 trillion, when, in 30 years, the GDP will be $2.9 trillion (given a highly generous growth estimate of 2% annually), and the cost will be at least 34% of GDP?

The host had every reason to shocked by the claim. And, folks, just because it’s on a serious television program, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t immediately spot the claim as patently bogus.

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I emailed the following to Coast to Coast AM producers Lisa Lyon and Tom Danheiser, on the eve of Benjamin Fulford’s scheduled appearance on January 30, 2012:

Before you have Benjamin Fulford on this Monday’s show, consider that one of your previous guests, Joel Skousen, has openly stated that the claim Fulford made concerning two earthquakes in 2011 being caused by an anti-establishment group using nukes to blow up two underground bunkers of the elites is utterly false (World Affairs Brief, September 23, 2011).

Furthermore, one of your most prominent guests, Alex Jones, who had Fulford on in the past, hasn’t had him on again since 2008 (according to his prisonplanet.tv archives), and I’d say the reason likely is that Alex doesn’t want to be associated with the unsubstantiated claims that Fulford later put out.

The show description indicates that he plans to argue that Asia controls most of the world’s money, which is completely and provably false, just by world GDP alone, according to official IMF numbers for 2010.

While I understand the approach of letting the audience make up their own minds, the same could be said for the HIV/AIDS scam, yet discussion of it is deliberately being kept off your show, so I would ask for some consistency if Fulford is brought on.

Regards,

Jason Erb
http://fauxcapitalist.com

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Coast to Coast AM

Benjamin Fulford is scheduled to make his first appearance on Coast to Coast AM on January 30, 2012. From the show description:

Former Asia/Pacific Bureau Chief for Forbes Magazine, Benjamin Fulford, will address how most of the world’s money is now controlled by Asia, which will bring a fundamental change in the balance of power, and a restructuring of the international banking system.

That is a completely absurd statement, as by GDP, the non-Asian economies currently account for the majority of all wealth.

The IMF reports the GDP for all nations  was nearly $63 billion in 2010. The European Union, United States and Brazil account for over half of the world’s GDP alone.

To suggest that Asia controls most of the world’s money is to draw attention away from the privately owned Federal Reserve, which has been increasing the monetary base by trillions of dollars since 2008 through its “quantitive easing,” and away from the privately owned Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, which is the central bank for central banks.

This from Joel Skousen’s September 23, 2011 World Affairs Brief:

BEWARE OF BENJAMIN FULFORD CLAIMS

Fulford claims that two recent US earthquakes were actually the result of counter government forces blowing up two of the elite’s deep underground bunkers with nuclear weapons. This is totally preposterous. All bunker systems have large ventilation systems and a nuclear blast would have sent huge visible plumes of debris into the air from those vents. The blast valves on them only prevent incoming blast and do not stop a blast from escaping. Nothing like that occurred.

Be careful of the temptation to believe in too-good-to-be true claims that can’t be proven or tracked. The worst offenders to avoid besides Fulford are Lee Emil Wanta, the EU Times, Sorcha Faal and Russia Today (RT television: a KGB connected outlet that puts out a lot of truth in order to sucker in conservatives with periodic disinformation–much like Lyndon LaRouche)

If that wasn’t enough to make you wonder, check out this January 23, 2009 article on Rense.com: Absolutely Bizarre ‘Creature’ In Benjamin Fulford’s Spine.

For more on some of the highly questionable guests on Coast to Coast AM, see my article, The questionable guests of Coast to Coast AM.

For what Coast to Coast AM is really all about, see Erskine of Erskine Overnight says he was offered fame and fortune by hosting a Clear Channel program that sounds a lot like Coast to Coast AM, so long as he didn’t talk about “conspiracy stuff” (like the Trilateral Commission).

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Previously, I uncovered that the CIA is overstating Canada’s government spending by more than 200%, by inconsistently reporting all government spending for Canada, and only federal spending for the U.S., despite both having a federal system of government.

Looking through Canada’s numbers again, I noticed its massive exports hemorrhage from 2008 to 2009. This time, the CIA’s numbers are correct.

From Canada’s entry in The World Factbook:

Exports:
$323.4 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11
$459.1 billion (2008 est.)

Exports decreased by a whopping 30% from 2008 to 2009, despite the downturn not hitting Canada hard until September 2008, when, as one example, the Canadian dollar declined by 20% relative to the USD in less than a full month.

By comparison, U.S. exports “only” fell by 14% from 2008 to 2009, despite officially being in recession since December 2007.

The CIA states that export figures are stated in U.S. dollars based on the official exchange rate. Given an estimated GDP of $1.335 trillion for 2009, Canada’s exports only accounted for 24% of its GDP. Imports for 2009 were estimated to be $327.2 billion, resulting in net exports of -$3.8 billion.

In a forthcoming article, I’ll expand on my discussion from July 1 on “Crash! Are You Ready?” on why claims of a higher dollar being bad for exports are overly simplistic, and how it’s been completely counterproductive for Canada’s central bank and leading politicians to be slavishly devoted to keeping the Canadian dollar below par with the USD. In doing so, they argue for and support government intervention for 24% of the economy at the expense of the other 76%.

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History shows that when the CAD was in the low 60-cent USD range in 2002, it was a great time for those holding USDs to convert some of them into CADs, as in just five years, the CAD reached parity with the USD, for an annualized gain of over 12%.

Then there was the 20% drop in the CAD in less than a full month from September to October 2008, which made it another great buying opportunity.

However, given a CAD in the mid 90-cent USD range, I don’t see many gains coming from the CAD in the medium or long-term, and the reason is the historical policy of the Bank of Canada in intentionally keeping it below parity with the USD.

Here is an article from January about the Bank’s current governor, Mark Carney, chiding a reporter expressing comfort with a 96 cent CAD. The Bank governors, prime ministers, and unfortunately, most Canadians, have this unfortunate notion that the CAD should stay below the USD in value, since it “hurts exports,” despite the fact that exports account for less than half of Canada’s total GDP.

For short-term hedging, it’s possible for the CAD to go on a tear, up to $1.10 USD, as it reached in November 2007, but personally, I wouldn’t count on getting many gains from that versus other investments, until the CAD is down into the 80-cent and low 90-cent USD range.

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With the conservative Heritage Foundation’s 2010 ranking of Canada as more economically free than the United States, the CIA’s overstatement of Canada’s government intervention in the economy is particularly striking.

From Canada’s Economy section of the CIA’s World Factbook, we see:

GDP (official exchange rate):
$1.335 trillion (2009 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $514.5 billion
expenditures: $547.2 billion (2009 est.)

Government spending is reported to be 41% of Canada’s GDP in 2009.

From the United States‘ Economy page, we see:

GDP (official exchange rate):
$14.43 trillion (2009 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $1.914 trillion
expenditures: $3.615 trillion (2009 est.)

Government spending is reported to be 25% of the United States’ GDP in 2009.

From the official U.S. federal budget numbers for 2009, total spending was $3.518 trillion. The CIA’s estimate was off by less than 3%.

From Canada’s federal budget numbers for 2009, total spending was $237.8 billion or only 17.8% of Canada’s GDP, seven percentage points lower than that of the U.S., with the CIA’s estimate off by more than 200%.

Since both countries have federal governments, and the CIA is reporting the federal budget numbers for the U.S., the same should be true for Canada.

As further evidence the CIA’s data for Canada’s government spending is incorrect, the conservative Heritage Foundation ranked Canada as more economically free than the United States in 2010. If Canada truly had 41% of its GDP tied up in government spending versus 25% for the U.S, how could and why would the Heritage Foundation rank Canada as more economically free?

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From first-year economics, I remember a glaring omission by the textbook authors in their criticisms of free market interventions.

According to their models, they demonstrated how:

  • A minimum wage higher than the lowest market wage results in higher unemployment.
  • Quotas and duties on imports reduces overall global trade.
  • An increased government share of a country’s GDP results in less overall economic activity.

But they failed to criticize the biggest price control and intervention in the free market — a central bank. Ask yourself why that is.

Check your economic textbooks and let me know if they’re any different from the ones I’ve seen.

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