Euromoney’s Finance Minister of the Year for 2009 is the fountainhead of hypocrisy that keeps on spewing.
I speak of Jim Flaherty.
Think back to that bizarre public relations exercise that Jim Flaherty embarked on when Canada’s dollar began its ascent against the dollar a couple years ago. Striving to extract some political advantage from a currency valuation situation that was crushing Canadian exporters with a strengthening dollar, under circumstance where Canadian consumers were feeling none of the benefits of the strong dollar in terms of the prices for retail goods, Jim Flaherty decided to take on the role of Captain Canada. Armed with a Harry Potter book in one hand and pointing his finger at the cameras with the other, Jim Flaherty stood at a custom podium emblazened with the words “Standing up for Consumers” and began preaching a gospel to consumers about something that they were already well familiar with, namely that only by shopping around are consumers able to get the best price.
The collective response to this heavy handed public relations grab for the spotlight was......”Well duh”.
The whole exercise was laughed at by most in the media who saw through it for what it was.....complete nonsense and political opportunism at its worst. To make the situation even more lauhgable, he got most of his facts wrong about the cost of purchasing a Harry Potter book in Canada, and only succeeded in enraging the Canadian book retailing industry in the process
For anyone who was foolish enough to actually think that Jim Flaherty actually gives a hoot about consumers, we now have the other book end to that Harry Potter story. A book end that now sees Jim Flaherty acting in a way that advocates the exact opposite. Now the argument of getting the best price by shopping around is being subverted by Flaherty himself, who is preventing Canadians banks from selling insurance products and creating more competition and lower prices. By denying banks the right to sell insurance products, either in their branches or (God forbid!) using the internet, he is acting in a manner that is completely contrary to the interests of consumers and in a manner that completely contradicts his Harry Potter sermons of the past.
This is just another instalment in Jim Flaherty’s never ending quest to favour insurance companies at the expense of average Canadians. Jim Flaherty’s income trust tax that was predicated on the policy hoax that income trusst cause tax leakage was a complete fraudulent diversion aimed almost exclusively at preventing the insurance companies from facing competition in their sales of retirement savings products......so he killed income trusts and employed falsehoods to do so.
Now, by denying banks the opportunity of selling insurance products, Jim Flaherty is again taking the side of the insurance industry and favoring that oligopoly at the expense of the consumer. The very same consumer onto whom Jim Flaherty hoisted his income trust tax, that double taxes people’s RRSP savings. The very same consumer whom Jim Flaherty hoisted his HST, that double taxes every consumer good and service in Canada’s most populous province at the rate of 13%, and now the very same consumer who is being denied the chance to shop around for the best price for their insurance policies by the man who a few short months ago stood at a podium and hectored at consumers to shop around.
Anyone who is unwiling to acknowledge the enormous hypocrisy and intellectual deceit of Jim Flaherty, Euromoney’s Finance Minister of the Year for 2009, is a shoe-in for next year’s award.......Eurodummy Consumer of the Year Award for 2010.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Posted by Fillibluster at 12:24 AM