We all know the Conservatives are the “rational economic managers,” right? After all, their tax cuts, free trade agreements, and tough-love social policy are all motivated by the need to free the entrepreneurial beast within us, and allow us to pursue our natural proclivity to truck and trade with wild abandon. The productivity of the free market is the common intellectual (or should that be ideological?) thread that unites all the disparate, carefully calculated Conservative policy proposals.
How odd, then, that the record of Canadian productivity growth since the Stephen Harper government came to power is so uniquely awful. StatsCan released their second-quarter productivity numbers on Sept. 10 (http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/080910/d080910a.htm). Productivity declined by 0.2%, the third quarterly decline in a row.