Pounds Per Square Inch

Mar 08, 2021 | Mark Ryan


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Good afternoon.

 

Yogi Berra sounded sort’a like an old-fashioned father when he said: “I’m not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school.” And in one of his more famous quotes he quipped: “The future ain’t what it used to be.”

 

But maybe that’s a good thing.

 

It’s Counterintuitive: The Fraser River was once dotted with small sawmills employing thousands of workers in neighbouring towns and villages, flowing logs from the nearby forests, mostly hand-hewn. Similarly, the Skeena’s shores were smothered with fish hatcheries, each teaming with workers having a go. Like me, you might occasionally pine for those simpler days.

 

British journalist and businessman Matt Ridley notes that some people “… argue that there was not only a simplicity, tranquility, sociability and spirituality about life in the distant past… but a virtue too. This rose-tinted nostalgia, please note, is generally confined to the wealthy. It is easier to wax elegiac for the life of a peasant when you do not have to use a long-drop toilet.”

 

And, while the increased use of technology always displaces workers, as noted in this graphic of US labour intensity…

 

 

Improved productivity brings wealth. It most assuredly has other net benefits too, as shown quite remarkably in this agricultural output illustration.

 

 

My great grandpa lost his farm and went on to build a solid delivery business in Southern Alberta, using horse and buggy -- a courier in his own time, before the likes of Amazon and its juniors. It’s really all about adjusting.

 

In Global Financial Markets:

Will the Fed twist the yield curve? The continuing U.S. economic recovery has stoked concern that inflation could drive interest rates higher, but a more complicated picture may be coming into focus. We examine the long-term market forces in play and the Fed’s policy options.

 

U.S. data are mixed with vaccine rollouts and relief package pending: Optimism from a boost in vaccine supplies is tempered by increasing case counts, while rising oil prices add to inflation pressures.

 

Full Analysis Here:n Global Insight Weekly

 

Enjoy your weekend!

 

Mark