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Why “Dundernomics” is dangerous for NL

By: Shannon Reardon | May 17, 2011

The fundamental principle of Dundernomics… Cluelessness about reality and real, current figures.

Opposition Leader Yvonne Jones coined a new term in the House of Assembly during Question Period yesterday in the ongoing debate over the Muskrat Falls deal:

“Dunderdale Economics.”

I thought I was the first to, well, economize the new term and when after thinking I came up with it, I saw that NTV’s Michael Connors had tweeted it before me. In any event this portmanteau word, “Dundernomics”, seems to roll off the tongue better and I’d venture that more people will remember it put that way.

And so they should, and they should inform themselves as to what it really means because what Dundernomics entails in regards to this Muskrat Falls deal is nothing short of frightening for this province at present and into the future for if it is realized, our fiscal state will be, to borrow from Premier Dunder’s luminous and mythic predecessor, “shafted”.

And “shafted” to the tune of billions more public dollars.

For one regarding Muskrat Falls – a deal which is as smelly as one – Dunder is on the record as making the positively asinine claim that the costs for the transmission lines are the same as 1998 figures. Because, as you know, gas is where it was in 1998. Food is where it was in 1998. Housing is where it was in 1998. And so on…

You see, that’s the fundamental principle of Dundernomics. Cluelessness about reality and real, current figures.

Dunderdale has cited 1998 figures because that was the date of the MOU signed between then Premier Brian Tobin and then Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard to develop the Lower Churchill, a deal that was far better than this current stinker. And as you recall, obviously, the MOU expired before that megaproject got underway, effectively killing it. She wants us to have the impression that this development will be much the same in cost as it was thirteen years ago.

Thirteen years ago.

Furthermore, regarding the 2010 “term sheet” with Nova Scotia and with Emera, more specifically, Kathy Dunderdale, unelected Premier pro tempore, has no mandate from the people to do this deal just as Roger Grimes apparently didn’t have the mandate to do the Voisey’s Bay or Lower Churchill deals a decade ago. And if you recall, Grimes was grilled for that by the same crew who are now under their unelected Premier today, one who is obsessed to get this deal done by the time this term sheet expires on November 30th.

Can Dundergov (another portmanteau word I have seen coined by several fellow bloggers which I have enjoyed) with its Dundernomics show us exactly how, and more to the point, by how much rates are apparently going to increase if Muskrat Falls doesn’t happen, therefore – according to them – necessitating it?

Natural Resources Minister Shawn Skinner said yesterday in the House in response to the Liberals’ questioning of this deal that rates are going up without Muskrat Falls and further to that, it is the “longterm solution”. I guess his rationale, her rationale, and that of those other bigwigs in government, at NALCOR, and in the PC Party who are pushing this literally at all costs and are using Dundernomics of course, would be something unrelated to the specifics of this megadisaster, something like: “well, the cost of everything’s rising.”

Classic Dundernomics right there. Imprecision and evasion.

The cost of living in general for everyone regarding essentials of life such as food, gas, certainly housing in particular here in this “booming” province, and other necessities are NOT going to increase exponentially like energy bills are set to if this calamitous development goes forward.

Dundernomics and the vague statements made by its proponents – Dunder herself, Skinner, et al. – should, if anything, make one thing very conspicuous to you, the people of this province. Even though the specifics of the Muskrat Falls deal calculatingly have not been released for the public to see and to scrutinize, one thing is crystal clear no matter how Dunder and her gang try to spin it:

This deal is going to put us in debt at least over $4 billion dollars (when currently we already are almost $9 billion in debt – so you do the math, this time using real economics) and consumers will see their energy bills skyrocket to pay for this misguided, vain, and economically disastrous megaproject.

And if that’s not injurious enough to all of us, outsiders in other markets will benefit from our power that WE are going to be subsidizing for them!

Dundernomics at its finest right there!

So perhaps getting ‘er done will mean, politically, big electoral success come October for Dunder and “her team”. I personally cannot see that given the fiscal quagmire it will put us in, but if people are not aware of this, then ignorance will lead the way for this government’s sweep back into office. Furthermore, the continual disarray and ineffectiveness of both opposition parties, particularly of the Liberals, will ensure more than anything that Dundergov will charge back into government.

So then if that’s the case, why this absolutely dogged pursuit of getting Muskrat done?

That, along with the “Dundernomics”, makes this a very dangerous time for our province and for its future.

For more, visit Shannon’s blog The Fighting Newfoundlander

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