Sunday, February 15, 2009

Snow Artists, Protectionism, and Obama Visits Canada

President Obama will visit Ottawa this coming Thursday on his first official foreign state visit. We can only hope that the made in USA provisions of the US's latest stimulus package are discussed and - and ultimately avoided. Ever since those protectionist ideas started to appear in the US they have spread to other countries of the world, including Canada. The president of the Canadian Auto Workers Union appeared on TV this week advocating that the Canadian stimulus money be used on Canadian wages! This is the type of attitude that can bring the world to its knees, with all countries shutting their borders to foreign products. The result of these attitude will be disastrous once again for the the world, just like when President Herbert Hoover increased tariffs and protectionism in the 1930s (not to mention bailouts and big spending on public works projects...)

Here's a small description of Hoover, found on the White House web site:

"After capably serving as Secretary of Commerce under Presidents Harding and Coolidge, Hoover became the Republican Presidential nominee in 1928. He said then: "We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land." His election seemed to ensure prosperity. Yet within months the stock market crashed, and the Nation spiraled downward into depression.

After the crash Hoover announced that while he would keep the Federal budget balanced, he would cut taxes and expand public works spending.

In 1931 repercussions from Europe deepened the crisis, even though the President presented to Congress a program asking for creation of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to aid business, additional help for farmers facing mortgage foreclosures, banking reform, a loan to states for feeding the unemployed, expansion of public works, and drastic governmental economy."

We can only hope that true leadership will be shown by the elected leaders and that they will have the courage to do what is right.

President Obama will be literally a couple hundred meters from another site of Ottawa's Winterlude, Parc Jacques Cartier, just across the river from Parliament. Here are some pictures and a video.

(please click on images to enlarge)

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