The June 25 issue of MacLeans’s magazine asks the question, “why do we feel so poor, if everyone is working, the dollar is soaring, and Canada is booming”? I imagine it will get a good readership: enquiring minds want to know! Especially those of us in greater vancouver who wonder what happened to our middle-class visions of homes, pets, and a good annual vacation.FACTOIDS:
- Despite a strong dollar, we still pay $299 for the ipod nano that costs only $249 in the States. Or $69 for Ikea’s Billy the Bookcase, while Billy’s american friends get him for only $49.
- A litre of gasoline costs 72% more than it did in 2002.
- Our total personal debt as a country is approaching 1 Trillian (not a typo), of which 2/3 of that is for our mortgages (I think my mtg may actually account for 20% of the trillian, truth be told).
MacLeans theorizes that this is due to our gains being realized in corporations, not on a personal level. Furthermore, on the personal level, our costs are rising all over the place – real estate (hello), and gasoline (hello) and corn flakes. Corn Flakes?Well, as we go green, and turn to ethanol as a fuel alternative, that leaves less corn available for bread and corn flakes. Ergo, our corn flakes price goes up too. It’s a fun read, and a great way to connect big picture economics to our personal wallets.