Saturday Morning Coffee

International Affairs Specialist by day, Blogger Enthusiast by night. This is a sneak peek into my world that should be enjoyed with ample time and a good and very strong cup of java.

Olympic Spirit

My friend the other day posted on their facebook page that they’ll be in San Francisco for the Olympics and was excited that they were within mere hundreds instead of thousands of kilometres away.  I chuckled to myself thinking, I’m in the same country and I’ll be farther away from them than my friend will be!

I’m excited for them.  Really, I am.  And the hype is building; the torch passes through our cities, the athletes start showing up on tv, the radios promote giveaway holidays to go see them.  You’d be a fool not to start getting excited.  I even bought a pair of Olympics mittens to show my spirit.  They were more than I normally would’ve paid for them, but what the hell? I put them in my purse, promising to bring them out at the first sign of snow, which I’m still waiting for :S  (gotta love global warming …story for another day).

Anyway, I came across those little red mitts the other day and turned them over, only to find out that they were made in China!  Whaaat?!  What happened to The Bay? My shock having worn off in a matter of minutes, my rational side kicked in to realize that I paid a mint for these mitts and they weren’t even quality made by The Bay! Grrrrr.  I’m all for free trade and I understand that exports cause greater competition, lowering prices and booting out the inferior products.  I just didnt’ think that The Bay was one of those inferiors.

I heard a woman the other day complain that all our goods now come from China, Bagladesh or some other far off country and it made me realize how many Canadians are confused by trade and and disgruntled that jobs are moving abroad, especially at a time when unemployment rates are skyrocketing.  But then again, I don’t think a lot of them realize that it’s by importing foreign goods that we are able to maintain low prices.  If they were too high, we’d be complaining about that or the tax breaks that we don’t recieve or how far we have to travel to keep that job that pays too little….

If Canadians are put out of work because jobs have vanished, then the task at hand would be to find another trade or tone up on another skill and chalk it up to another affect of globalization. In Canada, education is and will always be the key and is reiterated over and over again and even exemplified in the efforts that are in place to provide unemployed workers opportunities to become skilled at alternate trades or professions through the Second Career program .

Bottom line, Canada’s economy isn’t based on manufactured goods, otherwise it wouldn’t be as prosperous as it is.  I do feel bad that so many workers have lost their jobs in the last few months/year(s).  It’s going to be a long and tiring process to re-integrate into the work force.  But, this is the way the world is turning and it won’t stop to pick up the pieces for a handful  (relatively speaking) of manufacturers.

What is more troubling is to find scores of highly educated and un/under-employed citizens who aren’t utilized to their potential and become over-qualified for the positions they are able to hold on to.  That’s a real shame.  And thus, highlighting the importance of attracting investment and economic development across the nation, which has been and will likely continue to be at the forefront of policy research and debate.

In any case, I turn to mitts, and although I like the Bay’s quality better, I’m sure they would’ve been priced even further outside of my budget.  I put them on proudly, hoping that Chinese manufacturer’s know just how cold the winters can be in Canada, and prepare excitedly for the hockey match of the year!

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This entry was posted on 24/11/2009 by in Canada, China, Economics, Globalization, policy, Trade.

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