Monday, October 27, 2008


Okay, I'm relenting. I'm writing about the economy.

Even just this past September, Canada's economy was booming. Now, with the global economic meltdown, our economy is sluggish.

Well, honestly, everywhere I go, I see help-wanted signs. Granted, it's not at the types of places you'll pull in 6-figures. But it seems like every other restaurant, department store and call centre (okay, there are only 2 call centres that I know of in Kingston, but 1 is doing a massive hire) are all hiring.

Now, those aren't the jobs that necessarily boost the economy. Some of the bigger employers in Kingston have a freeze on hiring until the end of the year. However, some other bigger employers are still hiring.

So why is Kingston (and many parts of Canada) so different from the rest of the world? If I knew the answer to that, I'd answer a lot of people's questions!
[Update added on November 17: the news agencies have been reported the last few days that we are about to enter the global recession, but the reason we were so protected until now had to do with our stricter banking laws, which prevented some of the things from happening here that happened in other parts of the world.]

I know my limited investment have depreciated by 1/3. I know not to panic, I know the market will recover, and since I'm young, I'll recoup it all back and then some with time. I'm lucky. I feel bad for those within a couple years of retirement. I really feel bad for those who have lost their jobs.

Hang in there. It'll get better. This, too, shall pass. And all that sage advice that you've already heard is true, even if it doesn't help right now.

As a consequence of the economic issues, The Salvation Army, The United Way, and other charities are reporting that donations are lower when compared to this time last year. However, the CBC just ran an article indicating that Kingston's United Way campaign is up from last year. According to the CBC, due to the nature of some of our big industries (two universities, a college, a hospital and several prisons), we are less affected by economic pressures. I don't know if that's the real reason (did you see today's numbers? we can't be immune for much longer) - I suspect the desire to help others who are in need is a greater factor.

The fact that local charities are (thus far) doing well does say something about our community (whether it says something about our economy or about the goodness of people's hearts is difficult to prove). Regardless of the cause of people's goodness, it's a good thing for local charities who are devoted to helping others.

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