Weekly Commentary  

700 jobs!

Is '700 JOBS!' not good news?

Hardly anyone I talked to this week had seen that headline on the front pages. Do you know why they hadn't seen it? It's because hardly any national newspapers carried it on their front page.

I did find it buried on page 49 in a newspaper from one of Canada's largest cities and there it was in the financial section of another big paper.

Regular readers of this column know that I have an ongoing frustration. It's the national media's apparent 'commitment' to maximize the negative and minimize the positive.

I'm not even referring to political coverage. Perish the thought. I'm just referring to the everyday stuff that has an influence on the overall attitude of people in general.

We all well know that if there is a loss of jobs or a plant closure somewhere the headlines will rightly give that top billing. I fully understand the need to do that. Nobody is suggesting cramping anybody's right to full and free expression.

All I'm asking is why there is not equal billing when a plant or business announces a wad of new jobs? That's exactly what took place this week.

GM surprised almost everyone by announcing they were starting up a whole new line and hiring 700 people to run it! I mean, think about that. Even the dullest of economists agree that confidence in the general population can have a major effect on the economy.

Think how levels of confidence are affected when overall the airwaves and cyber-waves are weighted down with dire reports while positive ones are buried.

The auto industry is one of the most important bell weathers of the health and future of the economy. We all take to heart the most recent goings on in the industry. So the news of a 700 person call up is powerful.

Yet, any potential resonating effects of that are largely lost if poorly reported.

Aaanyway, for what it's worth folks, that was a great announcement and a hugely positive sign. Hopefully more to come.

This week Canada again takes the center of the world stage.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her counterparts will be here to address key global issues. Among other things, our Minister of Foreign Affairs will be clearly staking out Canada's sovereignty of the Arctic.

And have you been following what our Minister of Finance has been saying to his counterparts in New York and London? He has been advancing some basic principles of domestic financial management that should apply to global finances too.

For instance, how about requiring banks to have a healthy level of reserves on hand before they start lending out huge piles of money? That's what Canadian policy requires. It's one of the reasons our banking system is regarded as the most stable in the world.

Here's more practical advice. Don't keep piling on debt. Compound interest eventually buries you. Again, Canada's approach to reducing debt, freezing government spending and not raising taxes (which only encourages more government spending) is getting international attention.

We're taking these steps to provide a healthy economic future for our kids.

Looks like it could influence policy in other countries to help the future of their kids too.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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