Posted by Neal Lipschutz
on June 28, 2010
You have to hand it to the cleverness of the political minds and their busy aides summing up the Group of 20 meeting. They’ve managed to defang language in their attempt to soften the edges of the hard choices facing most major Western nations.
So in the communique that represents the consensus of leaders who gathered in sometimes embattled Toronto, the remarkable phrase “growth friendly” is used to describe the need, in some cases urgent, for certain member nations to take better control of their spiraling fiscal deficits and their climbing debt-to-gross-domestic-product ratios.
To use a phrase like “growth friendly” to describe the cost cutting and/or tax raising needed, both usually growth unfriendly practices, is somewhat akin to talking about pious heathens or regimented anarchy. Indeed, this weekend’s meetings were colored by a destructive and decidedly unfunny brand of anarchic lawlessness that caused damage to Toronto police cars and widespread concern amid the heavy, heavy security.
Posted by Rick Stine
on February 17, 2010
On the long drive back from Quebec on Tuesday (after a little cross-country skiing trip northwest of Montreal), we were listening to the radio (in French) to get a sense what’s on the minds of the Quebecois. Two main topics of discussion, over and over again. The first was on the Olympics and a general complaint that the games were being broadcast in Quebec in English and not in French. The radio folk weren’t implying the games should be broadcast just in French. But that there should be some French spoken. It’s an interesting point, and a unique one – there aren’t too many countries where two languages are the official languages of different regions. That’s borne out by visiting some small Quebec towns and villages where no English is spoken. Period. I tend to agree with the Quebecois – French should have been spoken since the French population is a significant one in Canada.
The second topic was on business and more specifically, asking if there was a housing bubble in Montreal and Toronto.