Canadians Suffer From Self-Inflicted Wounds
December 6th, 2019 | RR
A new study from the universities of Guelph and Dalhousie have everyone talking. According to the study, Canadians are projected to spend up to $500 more on groceries in 2020. The study, however, cites climate change as the elephant in the room and the main driving force behind the price increases. Whether you believe in man-made climate change or not, you would still have to agree that most of the factors in this price hike are self-inflicted.
Let me explain.
If you're a believer in anthropogenic climate change, this one is for you. If you're not, keep reading, because all of my other points prove that the other factors listed in this study are the result of self-inflicted wounds.
Even if you believe that climate change is a thing and that your farts and daily commutes are causing crops to dry up and food prices to skyrocket, you have to wonder why two of the world's biggest polluters aren't paying a carbon tax or doing anything to reduce their carbon emissions. Yes, I'm talking about China and India.
The Asian Brown Cloud is a thing. It even has its own Wikipedia page. You've never heard of a North American Brown Cloud—because there isn't one. Yet, Canadians are being told that their own actions and living habits require them to pay a carbon tax to their governments in order to save the planet. The study by the universities of Guelph and Dalhousie mention “climate change” as the elephant in the room and the main cause of rising food prices in Canada, yet recent studies from the United States don't reflect the same price hikes looming over Americans.
According to the USDA, food prices in America are set to increase by no more than 1.5% in 2020. That's an average and expected trend that falls in line with historic inflation, dating all the way back to the early 1900s. However, in Canada, food prices are expected to increase by 4% in 2020.
So, if you believe in climate change, you need to ask yourself one simple question. How is it that climate change is only effecting Canada and not the United States? Americans emit 16% of the world's carbon and Canadians only emit 2% of the world's carbon. There are plenty of factors that could play into the food price equation, one of which is trade, but even so—how can climate change be having such a massive impact on Canadian food prices, but not American food prices?
That's something the study fails to tell us. The study also fails to tell us how much, exactly, climate change is involved in Canada's 4% price hike. It tells us that Canadian farmers could face dry weather and disasters, but other studies don't suggest the same problems in the United States. The study does, however, mention carbon taxes.
The study mentions trade and Donald Trump's protectionist policies, which are effecting Canadian exports to the United States and China. If you're a typical hoser, you'll do the typically Canadian thing and blame Donald Trump—which is what many pundits and analysts have been doing since the study was released.
You'll notice how the media is trying to tell us that none of this is our own fault—except for the whole climate change thing, that's totally our fault and stuff. By weighing our economic prospects so heavily on trade with the United States for the past six decades, though, how could it possibly be our fault when an American president decides to take actions to protect his own country's interests? Derp!
Yearly, Americans import about $320B worth of goods from Canada. For the Americans, it's not a make-or-break deal, but for Canadians it is. Canadian imports into the US account for 12% of America's overall imports, while Canadian exports to the US account for more than 70% of Canada's total exports.
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"You would still have to agree that most of the factors in this price hike are self-inflicted."
Canada depends on exports to the United States. Canadian jobs, GDP and economic growth hinge on how much we can export to Americans. That sounds a lot like making your own bed and having to sleep in it. Next time it crosses your mind to blame Donald Trump for serving his own citizens and his own country's economic interests, look in the mirror. Maybe, next time, try electing a government that works for you in the same way.
As for China, they're looking for other markets when it comes to meat and crops. As the trade war heats up, they're buying more of our stuff, which is increasing demand at home.
Organics And Fake Meat
The demand for organic junk and fake meat is causing a change in market trends. Fake meat uses plants and vegetables and also produces just a small amount under the amount of carbon emissions as real meat, according to studies. It also increases demand for crops and vegetables, which in turn increases their prices.
If you believe in climate change, you are further inflicting more pain on yourself by increasing the national demand for crops and vegetables. Not only are your farts making your food more expensive by changing the weather, now your hipster trends are putting a dent in your finances by increasing demand for organic foods, fake meat and soy lattes.
The study mentions global population growth, but stops shy of directly citing Canada's own population growth. Even the most junior economists know that accepting more people means accepting a higher demand for food. Canada is expected to have welcomed 1.3 million new immigrants between 2018 and 2021, meaning that the current demands being put on our homegrown food will rise even higher.
Demand for other services, including healthcare, will rise exponentially between now and 2021 with the addition of more than one million new Canadians. To accommodate the increased demand for crop yields, meat and household products, Canadians will either need to import more from other countries (at a higher cost), or grow more of their own—which means cutting down more trees and emitting more carbon.
Highest Household Debts In The World
One thing the study doesn't mention is the fact that Canada has some of the highest levels of household debt in the modern world. As interest rates rise, mortgages, car loans and credit card debts will become more expensive to service. In turn, fewer Canadians will be able to afford food.
Of all developed countries in the world, Canadian household debt is one of the highest, sitting at more than 100% of GDP. In comparison, America's household debt sits at 78% of the country's overall GDP. In the G7, Canada is first for highest household debt per capita. Globally, Canada sits in seventh place for having the highest household debt-to-GDP ratio.
Like everything else on this list and in the Dalhousie/Guelph University study, this too is self-inflicted. From buying luxurious cars and designer boots they don't need, Canadians love to spend their money. They also love to pay taxes, which brings me to my final point.
Carbon taxes are literally a tax on everything. Everything that moves and consumes energy emits carbon, including your cars, your pets and your kids. Canada emits only 2% of the world's carbon, yet Canadians are paying a carbon tax while three of the world's top emitters don't: China, India and the United States.
The study cites climate change and changing weather patterns as having a major effect on Canadian food production and agriculture, yet the United States is not facing the same problems. As I mentioned earlier, with relevant links, US food prices are only set to rise 1.5% in 2020. According to the study mentioned here, because of climate change, Canadian food prices will rise more than 4% in 2020.
It makes little sense as to why Canadians are paying a carbon tax, but it makes even less sense how climate change will have a bigger impact on a country that only emits 2% of the world's total carbon, as opposed to the United States, which emits more than 16%. Again, the study fails to explain any of this.
Canada imports less food from other countries than the United States, meaning Canadians rely mostly on their own crops and meat. Yet, somehow, our food prices are set to skyrocket because of climate change. Somehow, our farms (not American farms) will be effected most by climate change? How a country like the United States, which imports more food than Canada, will escape the consequences of climate change must be beyond my level of comprehension.
What makes more sense is the idea that taxation and various other homegrown Canadian factors are responsible for our price hikes on food. “Climate change” sounds more like a scapegoat.
A national carbon tax effects the price of everything. The trucks and trains that transport the food to your local stores emit carbon, which is taxed. Rather than pay the tax, most companies will transfer the cost to consumers by increasing their prices. This has been an economic fact since time started.
On top of the carbon emissions from transporting food, the carbon emitted by growing and producing food is also taxed. This applies to livestock and crops—including the crops used to manufacture fake meat. The production of pesticides and herbicides used to protect crops also emits carbon, which is also taxed. Every single bit of carbon being emitted in Canada (aside from the carbon from your ass) is being taxed, and the costs of the tax are being transferred to consumers.
Consumers are being taxed on multiple transactions for the costs incurred by manufacturers, producers and transporters. The carbon tax is a hidden tax for consumers. Every penny a transport company gets charged for emitting carbon gets transferred to the consumer, down the line, by the costs being charged to the people and companies who pay the transport companies. Those people (stores and suppliers) then adjust their prices accordingly. When those producers and suppliers get charged their own carbon taxes for emitting carbon, the same thing happens: they adjust their prices to make up the difference—again.
Combine that with the carbon taxes being charged to oil and gas producers, the effect on consumers is felt at the gas pump and in their homes—with skyrocketing heating prices.
The study mentioned here leaves a lot of questions unanswered, but manages to pinpoint climate change as the overall culprit in rising food prices. It mentions trade, taxes and population, but somehow shifts the blame back to climate change without offering any solid proof of anything. No numbers, no solid facts and no verifiable evidence are to be found in these apparent links to climate change. In fact, the main goal of the study (or how the media is spinning it) appears to be an attempt to shift blame away from government policies in Canada and toward other countries and some shadowy boogeyman lurking underneath our beds.
The likely source of Canada's 4% hike in food prices is taxation and decades of poor government policies. But in the age of Trudeau and with the possibility of a Conservative government looming over a fragile Liberal minority, no one in Canada's mainstream media or academia wants to touch the truth.
© 2019 Poletical