This article is a response to the calls from a fringe of ultra right corporate leaders and media corporations for not just endless growth but accelerated endless growth. Based on printed currency demand side only economic theory, the “Advisory Council” managed to ignore fiscal balance, social welfare, Canadian interests, job quality, resource lifespans and environmental consequences in their simplistic plan to line their own pockets. Below is a humourous look at what their plan and their mentality of everlasting technological salvation involves if carried forward a few hundred years.
By calling for a 50% increase in what has been, over 40 years, the worlds highest rate of immigration, the Advisory Council on Economic Growth is but scraping the surface on what Canada can achieve in growth and influence. This recommendation, if followed, would free this country from its economic doldrums and project the power of Canadian enlightenment and hope around the world.
Establishing an annual immigration rate of 1 ½% of the Canadian population creates a self-reinforcing cycle of compound growth. This will double our population every 50 years elevating it to 36 billion (1000 times the current paltry level of 36 million) in 500 years vs waiting to achieve that 36 billion number in the year 2700 with the current rate of 1% (320,000 this year).
Think of the dynamics of the economy created by adding 1000 Torontos, Vancouvers, Calgarys, Edmontons and Montreals to Canada’s empty landscape. To maintain the Canadian connection with the great outdoors every family would have a cottage meaning 14 billion personal retreats spread over the limitless Canadian beauty. We would truly be the nation of nature.
The use of cold fusion reactors running on sea water would allow never-ending power to be produced at ½ cent per kilowatt hour while the vast oil sands could be counted on to provide liquid fuels for the 175 billion vehicle fleet of our multi car and recreation vehicle families.
The latest generation of perpetual motion machines would enable this infinite energy to be used for infinite uses. Canada would become the leading consumer nation, eclipsing China and India combined many times over.
Yet Immigration Minister John McCallum appears to have backpedalled on this brilliant proposal saying it might be too ambitious. What bold initiative ever lacked ambition? For the nation of hope, “too ambitious” is an oxymoron. Ambition and hope are the twin pillars of progress and enlightenment.
An economy based on compound population growth guarantees unlimited market potential with housing prices soaring to the millions of dollars per sq foot and climbing continuously. A huge number of people can earn immense wealth in trading properties and billions more could have their mega yacht come in with just a few years of stock derivatives investing.
Those who were income challenged (one should no longer use the word “poor” or “lazy”) and living mostly on government transfers like doctors, engineers and those engaged in the tawdry trades of producing food and real goods and services, could be given courses in financial management. Investing in asset enhancement would allow them to participate in the galaxy of money making opportunities which dynamic stock and real estate markets provide. Keyboards are truly the wealth producers of mans’ dreams.
Of course, there are practical limitations. 36 billion people may be all well and good but it is 5 times the current population of earth which means that not only must the planets population have to grow but everyone has to move to Canada. As well they should given the growth of our economy. We would also be the greenest country with the greatest level of wildlife plus the benefits of the largest population on this planet. Or any planet.
Sacrifices? There would have to be a few. But paving over farmland is a natural process for an informed growth economy since agricultural produce accounts for a very small amount of the economy compared to land development. Once all of our farmland has been upgraded into money producing investment plays, the concept of agriculture will be just a quaint memory.
Not that there wouldn’t be problems. But these have been foreseen by the gifted Advisory Council. The economic bomb of skills shortage predicted for 2500 by forward looking business leaders due to indolent Canadian youth will be defused by that years immigration intake of 540 million (( 1.5% of 36 billion) 24/7 working, low wage craving, compliant, house buying and disposable goods consuming immigrants.
Other countries may be misguided by pessimists and naysayers pushing their quality of life and social cohesiveness agenda but that is all they will have to talk about after being left in the dust of their own ghg paranoia and global warming fantasies by our economic growth and market dynamics.
In just several short centuries of compound 1 ½% immigration, Canada will stand astride the globe like a colossus with our vision, not on the ground, but focused on the stars above us. There are no limits once the politics of compound growth are embraced and applied.
And in the year 2500, just 500 years from now, (and 500 years since the first Europeans landed in this deserted cornucopia of unending natural resources), even if the population of earth does not grow and there are no more terrestrial sources of migrants, our network of star-gates will allow migration of aliens from across the galaxy to come here.
Canada’s growth (after all, it is the size of the economy, not the health of the economy stupid) could still grow dynamically and our culture of market opportunities would be never ending. 36 billion citizens in the year 2500 itself is but a hint of what we can achieve as the most progressive society the galaxy has ever seen. By the year 3000, our population, doubling every 50 years through 1 ½% annual immigration, would again grow 1000 times and become 36 trillion. Think of it! Hope never ending, the solution to all of mans’ problems.
Too ambitious?? Humbug!
John Erik Meyer is President of Canadians for a Sustainable Society. He holds a degree in economics, works as a designer and medium-tech small business owner, and has had articles published on population, immigration, productivity, climate change, economic metrics and energy systems in the Globe and Mail, Financial Post, Toronto Star and other publications.
When is humour appropriate? When a special interest powerful government Council promotes a much larger population growing forever to boost the GCP metric with no accompanying analysis of environmental, energy, social or individual economic health impacts.